Anthology

Locked-out man rescued after hours in chimney

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A neighbour raised the alarm after hearing his screams – but he had to endure four hours wedged in the chimney until he was hauled back on to the roof.

The 26-year-old emerged covered in thick black soot to the amusement of fire fighters from Tuscon Fire Department in Arizona.

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Image Caption:A rope was lowered and the man was hauled out. Pic: Tucson Fire Dept
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Image Caption:A neighbour had heard his screams for help. Pic: Tucson Fire Department

They used a rope to pull the man back up the chimney.

Ironically, he had almost completed his unconventional entrance at the university-area property.

His feet were touching the ground but he was unable to move because the space had narrowed as it went into the fireplace.

The man emerged from the embarrassing incident blackened but otherwise unscathed. 

 

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Great white gets into cage… with diver inside

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The footage shows the shark biting on a line on the surface of the water. Thrashing around, it manages to break a metal rail and enter the cage from the side.

Onlookers fling open the top door as it wriggles around looking for a way out.

Its head suddenly lunges out of the top and the bloodied shark is able to wriggle on its side and out into the open water.

“Is there anybody in there?” asks one man on the boat, as the shark swims away.

“Nobody’s in the cage,” another assures him.

But after a few seconds they realise that, in fact, someone was inside while the shark was thrashing around the supposedly protective shell.

The diver – shaken but unhurt – ascends to the surface to a smattering of applause from the people on the boat, which was off Guadalupe Island in Mexico.

The footage was posted on the YouTube feed of Gabe and Garrett, two Californian boys, by their father, who said the shark breaching was “a very rare event”.

He added: “These awesome sharks are biting at large chunks of tuna tied to a rope.

“When a great white shark lunges and bites something, it is temporarily blinded.

“They also cannot swim backwards so this shark lunged at the bait, accidentally hit the side of the cage, was most likely confused and not able to swim backwards.

“It thrust forward and broke the metal rail of the cage.”

He said the diver inside was a “very experienced” instructor and had managed to emerge from the terrifying incident uninjured.

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Charity wants inquiry after gorilla zoo escape

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The Born Free Foundation said the incident was a “startling reminder” of how dangerous wild animals could be when kept in captivity.

The zoo was put in lockdown on Thursday after a male gorilla escaped from its enclosure and had to be tranquilised.

Born Free said the Zoos Expert Committee, a Government advisory body, should investigate the safety and welfare of great apes in UK zoos.

#Gorilla on the loose? Huddling in a building at the #londonzoo after staff told us to get into a building quickly! pic.twitter.com/BBbFvBLTn6

— Dr. Jonathan T. Mall (@CognitiveTwo) October 13, 2016

Chris Draper, associate director at the foundation, said: “While we are relieved that this incident apparently ended without injury to visitors or to the gorilla, it is yet another startling reminder of the risks associated with maintaining dangerous wild animals in captivity.

“This incident could have ended very differently. We are calling for an urgent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding this escape, and into safety procedures at London Zoo.”

Malcolm Fitzpatrick, London Zoo curator

Video:Kumbuka ‘back with his family’ after escape

Armed police had to be called to the attraction as visitors were evacuated while keepers dealt with the emergency.

Some reported being locked inside buildings at the zoo, which is one of London’s top tourist spots.

The 18-year-old western lowland gorilla, named Kumbuka, was eventually subdued by vets and returned to his den.

Security at London Zoo

Video:Security alert as ‘gorilla escapes’

In a statement, the zoo said Kumbuka “got out of his den at ZSL London Zoo and into a non-public zoo keeper area at 5.13pm.

“The gorilla remained contained within the exhibit off-show area. Staff responded immediately and (he) was tranquilised by vets.

“We can confirm he is awake and well.”

Malcolm Fitzpatrick, curator of mammals at the zoo, described Kumbuka’s escape as a “minor incident” and said visitors were “never in any danger”.

The incident is now under investigation, he said.

Police helicopter over the #londonzoo.. Looking for a loose ape? pic.twitter.com/ODGdk6WSyU

— Dr. Jonathan T. Mall (@CognitiveTwo) October 13, 2016

It is not yet clear how Kumbuka got free.

Visitors to the gorilla attraction reported seeing the “lead male” apparently agitated and charging at the enclosure’s glass walls moments before the escape.

One visitor, Rob Hogan, told Sky News he saw a “big male” gorilla throw himself at a window moments after he and other people took pictures of the animals in their enclosure.

Mr Hogan said the glass shook and the creature made a “loud boom” noise, adding his heart was racing.

The gorilla – almost certainly Kumbuka – then sat down, clasped his hands and “all seemed calm”.

Staff lead people from a building at London Zoo after a gorilla escaped from its enclosure Pic: Dr Jonathan T Mall/Neuro-flash.com
Image Caption:Staff lead people from a building at the zoo. Pic: Dr Jonathan T Mall/Neuro-flash.com

Shortly after, Mr Hogan and his group left and headed towards the reptile house where they were asked to remain by staff as they were “running a drill”.

They were allowed out about 20 minutes later.

According to the zoo’s website, there are seven gorillas living in Gorilla Kingdom, which was opened in 2007 by the Duke of Edinburgh.

In May, a gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo in the US was shot dead by keepers after it grabbed a four-year-old boy who had fallen into a moat.

Harambe, a 17-year-old male western lowland, was killed after he dragged the youngster around for 10 minutes.

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Stonehenge tooth reveals ‘prehistoric dog walk’

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The fossil was unearthed at Blick Mead, situated around a mile from the World Heritage Site at Amesbury in Wiltshire.

Tests on the tooth reveal it belonged to an Alsatian which most likely came from the York area – and suggest it feasted on salmon, trout, pike, wild pig and red deer.

Archaeologist David Jacques, a senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, said the domesticated animal may have been brought to Stonehenge to exchange.

He said its discovery is significant because it was not known people travelled such long distances 7,000 years ago, and it adds to the weight of evidence of people coming to Stonehenge 2,000 years before the monument was built.

The tooth of an Alsatian dog discovered a mile from Stonehenge. Pic: University of Buckingham
Image Caption:The tooth of an Alsatian found a mile from Stonehenge. Pic: University of Buckingham

Previous excavations uncovered evidence of tools from Wales, the Midlands and the West of England.

A natural spring at Blick Mead – and its fairly easy accessibility with the nearby River Avon being the M1 of its time – may have attracted people to the site, it is thought.

Burnt stones, wood and auroch bones – belonging to extinct, large prehistoric cattle – suggest it was popular with feasting.

“The fact that a dog and a group of people were coming to the area from such a long distance away further underlines just how important the place was four millennia before the circle was built,” said Mr Jacques.

“Discoveries like this give us a completely new understanding of the establishment of the ritual landscape and make Stonehenge even more special than we thought we knew it was.”

Andy Rhind-Tutt, chairman of Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust, said: “These amazing discoveries at Blick Mead are writing the history books of Mesolithic Britain.

“A dog tooth from York, a slate tool from Wales and a stone tool from the Midlands show that this wasn’t just the place to live at the end of the Ice Age, but was known by our ancestors for a long time widely across Britain. They kept coming here.”

 

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Man fights for ‘Mona Lisa’ passport smile

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A citizen who French media are calling “Thierry” has gone to court to challenge the regulation.

He took up the case after his Mona Lisa-esque passport photo was rejected because it showed a “slightly ironic grimace that borders on a discreet smile”, according to Le Parisien.

The man, understood to be a 40-year-old senior civil servant, has accused the French state of “abuse of power”.

In a letter sent to French news agency AFP, the man asks: “Is it responsible, in a depressed France, for the authorities to accuse people if they smile?”

French passport rules, like those in the UK, state that: “The subject must adopt a neutral expression and should not smile.”

The British rule is understood to have been brought in with the introduction of biometric passports which allow the features of a face to be compared with those held in a database.

Because the width of a smile varies, it can leave facial recognition technology unable to verify a person’s identity.

The lawyer for “Thierry”, Romain Boulet, claims a previous court judgment that banned smiling was incorrect and based on a note with no legal value.

A man has challenged the rule forcing people not to smile for the French passport photo
Image Caption:The man says smiley photos would “give the French a friendly face” at airports

He argues the law simply states that subjects must look at the camera, maintain a neutral expression and keep their mouths shut – with no mention of not smiling.

In his submission, Mr Boulet referred to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, famous for its subject sporting an enigmatic half-smile.

For over 500 years people have wondered if the Mona Lisa is smiling,” said the lawyer.

“That so many leading experts have failed to agree on this, shows that it is not (for) the authorities to determine whether a smile is neutral or not.”

Allowing French people to smile on their passport photos would “give the French a friendly face” when they arrive “at borders around the world”, Mr Boulet added.

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Serial prankster ambushes Kardashian in Paris

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Footage shows the reality star walking past photographers when a man in sunglasses suddenly lunges forward and seemingly attempts to kiss her bottom.

Vitalii Sediuk was quickly pulled to the floor by a security guard.

This is the second time that Sediuk, a former Ukrainian television reporter, has targeted Kardashian.

On Instagram, he claimed his stunt was in protest at Kardashian’s use of cosmetic surgery – and called on her family to “popularise natural beauty among teenage girls who follow and defend them blindly”.

Sediuk also insisted that his attack was unplanned, adding that he was merely eating ice cream outside the restaurant and did not know Kardashian was going to be there.

Sediuk also crawled under America Ferrera's dress during a premiere in Cannes
Image Caption:Sediuk also crawled under America Ferrera’s dress during a premiere in Cannes

Last week he grabbed Gigi Hadid as she left a fashion show in Milan, with video showing the supermodel forcefully elbowing Sediuk to loosen his grip.

Following some articles questioning her behaviour, Hadid defended herself in an interview with Lenny Letter, saying: “Honestly, I felt I was in danger, and I had every right to react the way I did. 

“If anything, I want girls to see the video and know that they have the right to fight back, too, if put in a similar situation.”

After that altercation, Sediuk said the stunt was a protest against the use of celebrity models.

Sediuk completes community service after punching Brad Pitt in 2014
Image Caption:Sediuk completes community service after punching Brad Pitt in 2014

The prankster spent two days in jail in 2014 after he punched Brad Pitt on the red carpet of a premiere in Los Angeles.

Sediuk was sentenced to 20 days’ community service, and was photographed cleaning a park dressed in a hi-vis jacket and a tank top adorned with a picture of Pitt. 

The ex-journalist also caused controversy after crawling underneath America Ferrera’s dress at a premiere during Cannes festival.

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Police called to ‘assault’ find zombies instead

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A passer-by rang 999 early on Sunday evening after believing they had seen a man biting a woman and assaulting her on the M62 between Manchester and Liverpool. 

Officers discovered the car concerned near junction 11 for Birchwood and Warrington.

But when they pulled it over, they found two people wearing zombie make-up.

They were extras on their way to an acting job.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: “We got a call to reports of a man biting a woman on the M62 at junction 11 and being assaulted. 

“Officers were sent out to search for the vehicle as it is a serious incident. 

“But when they found the car in question, they saw they were covered in fake blood.

“Thankfully the man and woman were extras on their way to a job and it was a funny ending really.”

North West Motorway Police tweeted: “Report of female being assaulted on M62, vehicle stopped pair of extras making to a job – posing as Zombies – takes all sorts.”

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Man bitten by snake while trying to take selfie

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It happened in India’s northwestern Rajasthan state after forest department officials removed the snake from a school.

They were holding the python and posing for pictures after successfully capturing it.

A man then moved in closer for a selfie and was attacked by the snake, which lunged forward and bit him on the shoulder.

The snake was then taken away, and the man only suffered minor injuries, according to India Today.

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Man who lived like badger gets spoof Nobel

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Charles Foster, a fellow at the University of Oxford, was honoured with an Ig Nobel prize in a zany ceremony at Harvard University.

The 26th annual event featured a paper airplane air raid and four real Nobel laureates.

Winners received $10 trillion cash prizes – in almost worthless Zimbabwean money.

This year’s Ig Nobels were sponsored by the science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

Chemist Dudley Herschbach, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, throws a paper airplane as part of the fun
Image Caption:Chemist Dudley Herschbach, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, throws a paper airplane as part of the fun

They included a Swede who wrote a trilogy about collecting bugs and an Egyptian doctor who put pants on rats to study their sex lives.

Mr Foster was one of two Britons who won for literally living like an animal.

He spent months mimicking a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer and a bird in an attempt to see the world through their eyes.

He then wrote a book – called “Being a Beast” – about his experiences.

As a badger he lived in a hole in a Welsh hillside and as a fox he rummaged through bins in London looking for meat scraps.

Scholar Gary Dryfoos joins the fun at the 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard University
Image Caption:Scholar Gary Dryfoos shows an invention at the ceremony at Harvard University

He was even tracked by bloodhounds through the Scottish countryside to learn what it’s like to be a deer.

“I was hunted down quite quickly,” he said.

Another Briton – Thomas Thwaites – was awarded a prize for roaming the Alps to see what it was like to live like a goat.  

His experiment led to him living on four prosthetic legs, at a goat farm, with a prosthetic rumen strapped to his chest, eating grass. 

“I tried to become a goat to escape the angst inherent in being a human,” the GoatMan author said.

Meanwhile, Fredrik Sjoberg published three volumes about collecting hoverflies on the sparsely populated Swedish island where he lives.

Mr Sjoberg’s books have been a hit in his homeland, and the first volume’s English translation, The Fly Trap, has earned rave reviews.

Elsewhere, Ahmed Shafik was awarded a gong for his work dressing rats in pants.

He clothed the rodents in polyester, cotton, wool and polyester-cotton blends to determine the different textiles’ effects on sex drive.

The professor at Cairo University in Egypt, who died in 2007, found that rats in polyester or polyester blend pants displayed less sexual activity.

He speculated this was perhaps due to the electrostatic charges created by polyester.

 

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Portuguese man-of-war found on UK beaches

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The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has received reports of the stinging creature washing up on beaches in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.

Sightings in UK waters are rare, with the last significant strandings being in 2009 and 2012.

The species is most commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Indian and Pacific oceans, but there was a spate of strandings in Ireland just a few weeks ago.

Three Portuguese-Man-o-War have been spotted in West Cornwall
Image Caption:Friends of Portheras Cove said the creatures had been spotted there and also in Penzance and Hayle. Pic: Friends of Portheras Cove/Facebook

MCS spokesman Peter Richardson said: “We don’t receive reports of Portuguese man-of-war every year, but when we do they can turn up in big numbers, usually around about this time of year.

“In the last couple of weeks we’ve received several confirmed reports of Portuguese man-of-war stranded on beaches around Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.

“With the earlier strandings in Ireland, these recent sightings could herald the arrival of more of the creatures as they get blown in from the Atlantic.”

Portheras Cove, Cornwall
Image Caption:Portheras Cove, Cornwall, where some of the sightings have been made. Pic: Friends of Portheras Cove/Facebook

Contrary to popular belief, the Portuguese man-of-war is not a jellyfish, although it is closely related. The creature is actually a siphonophore – an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together as one.

Its stings can be agonising and, in extreme cases, lethal.

They have “tentacle-like polyps” which can be tens of metres in length, and it is these that give the sting, said Dr Richardson.

“A stranded Portuguese man-of-war looks a bit like a deflating purple balloon with blue ribbons attached, children will find it fascinating,” he said.

“So if you’re visiting a Cornish beach this weekend, it’s well worth making sure you know what these animals look like and that no one picks them up.”

Warnings after Portuguese man-of-war spotted in Cornwall
Image Caption: The Marine Conservation Society has asked people to let them know of sightings. Pic: Friends of Portheras Cove/Facebook

One of the animals was discovered at Portheras Cove, near Morvah, Cornwall, by volunteers of the Friends of Portheras Cove environmental group during a beach clean.

Group member Delia Webb said the creature was discovered lying among plastic debris.

“We find all sorts of strange and unusual items at our tiny Cornish cove, and we have had strandings of Portuguese man-of-war before,” she said.

“They look amazingly beautiful, with hints of pink and blue, but thankfully we were aware of the potential danger lying beneath, and knew not to poke or prod it, just report the sighting to the MCS.”

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