Anthology

Woman finds diamond ring on carrot after 13 years

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Mary Grams, an 84-year-old from Canada, was astonished to be reunited with her engagement ring she lost 13 years ago after it re-emerged with a misshapen vegetable growing through it.

Her daughter-in-law, Colleen Daley, pulled the carrot – with the ring around it – while collecting vegetables for dinner on the family’s farm in Alberta.

Mrs Grams had never told her husband Norman, who died five years ago, that she lost the ring while weeding more than a decade ago and had long given up hope of ever finding it.

She was left in disbelief when the treasured jewel, which she had replaced with a much smaller ring, reappeared.

Ms Daley admitted she had almost fed the strange-looking carrot to her dog before noticing the ring while washing the vegetables.

Mary Grams, 84, found her lost engagement ring - which had been missing for 13 years - with a carrot growing through it Credit: Sarah Kraus, Global News
Image:Mary Grams, 84, had never told her husband she lost the ring Credit: Sarah Kraus, Global News

She told her husband, Mrs Grams’ son – who had known about the ring’s long disappearance, before the pair then revealed the news.

“I said we found your ring in the garden. She couldn’t believe it,” Ms Daley said.

“It was so weird that the carrot grew perfectly through that ring.”

A delighted Mrs Grams scrubbed the dirt off the ring before sliding it onto her finger as easily as the day her late husband had given it to her.

“I feel relieved and happy inside,” she said. “It grew into the carrot. I still can’t figure it out.”

The pensioner added: “We were giggling and laughing. It fit. After that many years it fits.”

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Man shoots himself in heart with nail gun

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Doug Bergeson was framing a fireplace when his nail gun fired, sending a nail ricocheting off wood and into his chest with the speed of a .22-calibre bullet.

The 52-year-old from Peshtigo, Wisconsin, said he could only see an inch of the 3.5in nail sticking out of his chest and “common sense” told him not to pull it out.

“I could see the nail moving with my heartbeat,” he said. “It was kind of twitching with every heartbeat.

Doug Bergeson
Image:The nail narrowly missed a major artery

“I was frustrated because I knew I wasn’t going to get home until late and I couldn’t get anything done.”

After driving to a hospital 10 minutes away, Mr Bergeson started to feel more pain and needed the help of a security guard to make it inside.

X-rays showed the nail was a 16th of an inch – about the thickness of a piece of paper – from a majority artery.

Mr Bergeson was rushed to a cardiovascular hospital by ambulance and underwent open-heart surgery.

“A wrong heartbeat, a wrong position, and he would have had a much more complicated problem than he was bargaining for,” Dr Alexander Roitstein said.

Doug Bergeson
Image:The 52-year-old drove himself to hospital after the accident

“He’s quite fortunate from that standpoint.”

Dr Roitstein added that Mr Bergeson’s decision to leave the nail in place “shows the great composure this gentleman had after a very bad day’s experience”.

Mr Bergeson spent just two days in hospital and has been recovering at home since the accident on 25 June.

He said: “I feel pretty good. I’m back to doing things carefully.

“It was a pretty awakening experience.”

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Festivals ban fireworks, drones – and pineapples

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The tropical fruit will not be allowed into either the arenas or campsites when the music event takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

READING, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: A fan soaks up the atmopshere as the Kaiser Chiefs performs live on the Main Stage on Day Three during the Reading Festival 2012 at Richfield Avenue on August 26, 2012 in Reading, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Image:The Reading and Leeds festivals take place from 25 to 27 August

The move is thought to be down to the band Glass Animals and their song Pork Soda, which features the lyric “pineapples are in my head” and has previously inspired fans to take the fruit to gigs.

The band have responded to tweets about the ban on social media, replying “yes good idea” to one fan who suggested wearing a pineapple costume instead.

Pineapples are the latest addition to a list of banned items which includes paper lanterns, drones, fireworks and animals.

The line-up at the festivals, which take place from 25 to 27 August, includes Kasabian, Eminem, Muse, Liam Gallagher, Haim and Korn.

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Goldfish turn to alcohol to get through winter

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Unlike most vertebrates which die within a few minutes without oxygen, goldfish and their wild relatives crucian carp are able to survive for months in oxygen-free water.

Biologically speaking, the fish convert their anaerobically produced lactic acid into ethanol which diffuses across their gills into the surrounding water.

The researchers from the Universities of Oslo and Liverpool have discovered the unusual molecular mechanism behind this unique ability.

They have pinpointed sets of proteins which are normally used to produce energy by channelling carbohydrates towards their breakdown within a cell’s mitochondria.

While one set of those proteins is very similar to what other species of vertebrate possess, the second set is uniquely activated by the absence of oxygen.

Dr Michael Berenbrink, an evolutionary physiologist at the University of Liverpool, said that the blood alcohol concentration in these fish can exceed the drink-drive limit during the winter.

“During their time in oxygen-free water in ice-covered ponds, which can last for several months in their northern European habitat, blood alcohol concentrations in crucian carp can reach more than 50mg per 100 millilitres,” said Dr Berenbrink.

“However, this is still a much better situation than filling up with lactic acid, which is the metabolic end product for other vertebrates, including humans, when devoid of oxygen.”

Lead author Dr Cathrine Elisabeth Fagernes, from the University of Oslo, said: “The ethanol production allows the crucian carp to be the only fish species surviving and exploiting these harsh environments.

“Thereby avoiding competition and escaping predation by other fish species with which they normally interact in better oxygenated waters.

“It’s no wonder then that the crucian carp’s cousin the goldfish is arguably one of the most resilient pets under human care.”

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100-year-old cake found near South Pole

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The cake is believed to date to Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition between 1910 and 1913.

Although the tin containing the cake was rusted and falling apart, the cake inside “looked and smelt (almost) edible” according to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

The Terra Nova hut was stocked with supplies for the expedition
Image:The Terra Nova hut was stocked with supplies for the expedition

:: 118-year-old painting by Brit explorer found in Antarctica

Lizzie Meek, the programme manager for artefacts at the Trust, said: “With just two weeks to go on the conservation of the Cape Adare artefacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise.

“It’s an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice.”

The tin containing the cake was heavily damaged. Pic: Antarctic Heritage Trust
Image:The tin containing the cake was heavily damaged. Pic: Antarctic Heritage Trust

The cake and its tin have been taken to New Zealand’s Canterbury Museum laboratory, where the Trust’s staff are working on conserving almost 1,500 artefacts.

Scott’s expedition had a number of objectives, but reaching the pole was key – and although they ultimately succeeded they found that the Norwegians had beaten them to it.

Tragically the entire party died on the return journey from the pole.

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Jurassic crocodile named after Motorhead’s Lemmy

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Like the hell-raising rocker it is named after, the creature was no shrinking violet.

At 19ft (5.8m) long, with a skull measuring just over a metre, it used its large, blunt teeth to crush bones and turtle shells.

It would have been one of the biggest coastal predators of its time when it roamed the Earth more than 145 million years ago.

It has now been named Lemmysuchus, which translates as “Lemmy’s crocodile”.

It comes after a study of a fossil skeleton housed at London’s Natural History Museum, which was dug up from a clay pit near Peterborough in 1909, by University of Edinburgh palaeontologist Michela Johnson.

Lemmy
Image:Lemmy, playing at Glastonbury in 2015

Ms Johnson realised it had been incorrectly classified and required a new scientific name, with the Lemmy inspiration coming from the Natural History Museum’s Lorna Steel.

“Although Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, we’d like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth,” Dr Steel said.

“As a long-standing Motorhead fan I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to immortalise the rock star in this way.”

Lemmysuchus was part of an extinct group of reptiles known as teleosaurs, which were distantly related to the crocodiles of today.

“It can be difficult to identify new species as we are normally working with incomplete fossil skeletons,” Ms Johnson, a PhD student, said.

“Following careful anatomical comparison, and by referring to the main specimen held at the Natural History Museum, we could see that most of the previous finds were actually from relatives of Lemmysuchus rather than the species itself, and we were able to assign a new name.”

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Runner collapses 36km short of 10,000km goal

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Samir Singh, dubbed “The Faith Runner”, spent nearly three months running between Mumbai’s slums and business district using donated clothes and equipment and living on just £2.30 a day.

After ending his attempt on Sunday, the 5ft 7in running coach weighed just 88lbs (40kg) having suffered with stomach problems and viral fever.

Mr Singh began his challenge on 29 April and has been running through monsoon rains without missing a day.

He needed to run 150km (93 miles) on the final day to reach his target after falling behind schedule through illness.

But the 44-year-old was forced to stop agonisingly short of his goal after completing 114km (70 miles) on Sunday.

The 44-year-old battled through scorching temperatures and monsoon rains during his challenge
Image:The 44-year-old battled scorching temperatures and monsoon rains during his challenge

Vikram Bhatti, who ran his campaign, said: “He was plagued by gastro-intestinal infections and contracted viral fever but has run 9,964km in 100 days.”

Ahead of his final run, Mr Singh had said: “My journey of running 100 kilometres per day is very challenging but I wanted to show the endurance limit of human spirit.

“I survived without a job for the last nine months and people have come forward and supported me with donations, shoes, clothes and equipment.”

The five-time ultra-marathon winner lost 35lbs during his challenge and his ordeal captured the imagination of documentary makers who christened him “The Faith Runner”.

Fans also joined him for several stretches of his run every day, similar to Tom Hanks’ character in the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump.

But Mr Singh plans to hit the road again after he has recovered, this time running 40,000km.

He said: “I have not met my mother for a while as she would be heartbroken looking at my sunken face.

“But I am happy so many people are invested in my story right now.”

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‘Meat-eating’ sea bugs leave teen bloodied

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Sam Kanizay had waded waist-deep into the ocean at Brighton Beach, Melbourne, on Saturday evening and remained still in the water for around 30 minutes.

But when he got out of the sea he discovered he was bleeding profusely from the calves down.

Sam's feet were covered in blood when he left the sea. Pic: Jarrod Kanizay
Image:Sam’s feet were covered in blood when he left the sea. Pic: Jarrod Kanizay

The 16-year-old told 3AW radio: “The cold water numbed my legs. I felt what I thought was pins and needles but maybe it wasn’t just pins and needles.

“It sort of looked like hundreds of little pin holes or pin-sized bites distributed all over my ankle and the top of my foot.”

Washing the blood off in the shower did not stem the bleeding and Mr Kanizay was taken to the hospital after what his family believed was a sea lice attack.

He added: “We had a few people guessing that it was sea lice, but no one really had any ideas.”

Mr Kanizay was taken to hospital when the bleeding would not stop. Pic: Jarrod Kanizay
Image:Mr Kanizay was taken to hospital when the bleeding would not stop. Pic: Jarrod Kanizay

His father scooped some of the creatures out of the water and posted video of them eating small chunks of meat.

Other speculation has blamed stingrays or jellyfish for the teenager’s injuries.

Jeff Weir, from the Dolphin Research Institute, said the likely culprit was probably opportunistic amphipods, tiny crustaceans that latch on to decaying plant or animal matter to help break it down.

“They are not there to eat us, but sometimes they might take a little bit, like mosquitoes and leeches and other things out there in the environment,” he said.

preview image

Video:Watch sea creatures devour chunks of meat

“He must have been very, very cold and he wouldn’t have felt it.”

He added that the creatures cause injuries similar to a graze and the teenager should not be afraid of going back in the sea.

Others pointed the finger at jellyfish larvae or stingrays.

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Family moves in with lions and crocs after buying zoo

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Keen to incorporate animal therapy with Tracy’s job as a psychotherapist, the couple quickly found that the South East was built up and expensive, so took their search a little further afield.

Dean told Sky News: “We’d fostered children when we lived in Kent, and we saw how they responded to our pets – they allowed them to come out of their shell.

“Animals are being used in therapy more and more, and we were drawn to the idea of using the animals to help people.”

As soon as Dean saw the Animalarium Borth Zoo, in Ceredigion, he knew it was meant to be.

“We’d spent holidays in Snowdonia before, but never Mid Wales. As soon as we drove over the hill and saw it we both knew we would live there.”

Pic: Dean Tweedy
Image:Dean Tweedy said he plans to make the zoo a ‘sanctuary for people as well as animals’

Moving from Milton Regis in Kent, the animal-loving family – who already had about 40 pets – found a whole new raft of exotic animals to care for.

The £625,000 zoo has more than 300 animals, including lions, monkeys, meerkats, a leopard, crocodiles, turtles, wallabies (including a rare albino wallaby), lemurs, peacocks and osprey flying overhead.

There is also a reptile house, with snakes including “a medium sized” 15ft snake, and a 22ft female boa constrictor.

For those looking for a more tactile experience, there is also a petting barn with ponies, lambs, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits and Guinea pigs.

And Dean’s daughters – Sophie, 13, Sarah, nine, and Paige, eight – can’t get enough of the animals during the summer holidays.

“From the moment they wake up they are helping the zookeepers,” Dean said.

“All their friends are keen to have sleepovers. They couldn’t be happier.”

Pic: Dean Tweedy
Image:The zoo included a ring-tailed lemur

While Dean insists he “is no Matt Damon” and wasn’t inspired by the 2011 film We Bought A Zoo, he has spoken to the man whose life the film is based on, Benjamin Mee.

The former bricklayer, who bought the dilapidated Dartmoor Wildlife Park in Devon back in 2007, before opening it to the public the following year, has offered his words of wisdom to the Tweedy family as they go about returning the zoo to its former glory.

While Mr Tweedy says he has “no plans yet for an elephant or a rhinoceros”, the next job on his list is to engage boy scouts in painting the meerkat enclosure.

“I’m keen to get some social projects going, get local people involved with the zoo,” he said.

“Lots of the animals here were rescued – either from other zoos or from owners who they’d got too big for. The leopard used to belong to an Indian prince, but once he started showing an inclination to eat his owner, he gave him to the zoo.

“He’s so used to being around people, he has trouble relating to other leopards.”

He added: “Our dream is to make it a sanctuary for people as well as animals”.

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‘Spell-casters’ sacked by Chinese government

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Members of the ruling Communist Party are forbidden from following any religion and the government punishes officials who practise what it regards as outdated folk beliefs.

State media said a county official in Hunan province was dismissed after asking others to set up an altar so he could “cast spells”.

The Xinhua agency said he “paid 100,000 yuan (£11,320) in tribute each time, with hopes of being promoted”.

Meanwhile, another official was sacked for attending five fengshui training courses and claiming they were business trips.

Tang Yuansong paid 54,000 yuan (£6,110) per session and claimed the costs back on expenses, Xinhua reported.

He also earned 5,000 yuan (£565) a year conducting fengshui for others, it said.

Both officials have been expelled from the party and will be investigated for suspected criminal acts.

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