Anthology

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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Brits red-faced at inability to ‘speaka-da-lingo’

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The poll, which was commissioned by the British Council and surveyed 1,768 UK adults, found that 46% admit they have been embarrassed at being unable to speak the local language.

Some 45% said they rely on the assumption that everyone will speak English in the country they are visiting and 29% said they have been too scared to even try speaking in the local language.

Around one in six said they can speak a foreign language to a high standard and 37% said they can hold a basic conversation in another tongue.

But others are left to try a range of other tactics to make themselves understood in a foreign country – 56% pointed at a menu to avoid pronouncing foreign words; 42% had resorted to speaking English more slowly and loudly than usual and 15% said that had tried speaking English in a foreign accent.

Vicky Gough, schools adviser at the British Council, said: “It’s great that many of us are willing to have a go at speaking the local language while overseas. It’s a meaningful gesture that will help you get the most from your holiday.

“But too many of us are still relying too heavily on English alone. And if this means we’re missing out on holiday, imagine the effect that our lack of language skills is having on the UK more widely.

“Speaking other languages not only gives you an understanding of other cultures but is good for business and for life too.

“Trying out a few words or phrases on holiday this summer, and encouraging our young people to do the same, is the perfect way to get started.”

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Boeing pilot ‘draws’ huge Dreamliner over US

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The result was an enormous Dreamliner-shaped outline which stretched across US airspace.

The “drawing” took 13 hours, while the overall flight – taking off and landing again in Seattle – took even longer.

The giant 'dot-to-dot' style image of the Boeing jet took 13 hours to create, flying over the US
Image:The giant ‘dot-to-dot’ style image of the Boeing jet took 13 hours to create, flying over the US

Images visible on flight path apps and websites show the plane’s tail straddling Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, while its nose sits above Wyoming.

Areas covered by the “wings'”include Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

While this is not the first time test pilots have been creative with flight path shapes, it is certainly one of the most ambitious examples in terms of scale and detail.

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Danish Prince refuses to share grave with Queen

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The Prince says he is unhappy he was never acknowledged as his wife’s equal during his life, and therefore does not want to be so in death.

The couple will therefore break with tradition by not being buried together in the Roskilde Cathedral when the time comes.

Henrik was born in France in 1934, and married 77-year-old Queen Margrethe back in 1967.

They met in London, where he was stationed as a diplomat, when she was the crown princess.

The 83-year-old was named her Prince Consort when she became Queen, but he has repeatedly said he would have preferred to have been named King Consort instead.

:: Prince Philip carries out final royal engagement before retirement

The couple were married in 1967
Image:The Queen has accepted her husband’s decision, a spokesman says

In Denmark, princesses have traditionally been named Queen when their husbands take the throne.

Lene Balleby, a spokeswoman for the Royal Danish House, told the BT newspaper: “It is no secret that the Prince for many years has been unhappy with his role and the title he has been awarded in the Danish monarchy.

“This discontent has grown more and more in recent years.

“For the Prince, the decision not to be buried beside the Queen is the natural consequence of not having been treated equally to his spouse – by not having the title and role he has desired.”

The spokeswoman confirmed that Prince Henrik’s decision had been accepted by the Queen.

The royal couple attend a gala dinner in 1973
Image:Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik attend a gala dinner in 1973

When Queen Margrethe dies, she will be interred in the Roskilde Cathedral in a sarcophagus made by Danish artist Bjorn Norgaard.

It is not clear exactly where Prince Henrik will choose to be buried, but Ms Balleby said it would definitely be in Denmark.

Prince Henrik has carried out very few official duties since he retired last year and renounced his title of Prince Consort.

Since then, he has spent much of his time at his private vineyard in France, despite still being married to the Queen and still officially living together.

The couple has two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.

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Priests turned away from pub over stag do mix-up

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The seven seminarians had popped to the City Arms in Cardiff on Saturday night to celebrate the ordination of colleague Father Peter McLaren.

But when they arrived dressed in the clerical collar, the doorman assumed they were a group of revellers in fancy dress and turned them away.

It was only when the manager realised their outfits were genuine that the men were let in – to applause from other punters and a round of free drinks on the house.

One of the group, Father Michael Doyle, said similar misunderstandings were not uncommon, and that the group had been asked if they were on a stag do only the weekend before.

“The doorman basically said something along the lines of ‘sorry gents, we have a policy of no fancy dress and no stag dos’,” Fr Doyle said, adding that the situation was “just gold”.

The City Arms generally has a "quieter crowd of drinkers"
Image:The seven seminarians were initially turned away from the City Arms

Matt Morgan, the assistant manager at the City Arms, said the group were “great sports and saw the funny side of the situation”.

He said the pub tends to turn away stag parties as they “generally have a quieter crowd of drinkers”.

The group, which included trainee priests, continued drinking in the pub and were told they would be “welcome back any time”.

Reverend Robert James was even delighted to discover an ale sharing his name at the bar – and bought a pint of Brains Rev James for the barman.

The Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack, noted that Rev James did “not have any shares” in the brand.

He said it was “wonderful” that the men were celebrating by having a good time in Cardiff, “which of course they are allowed to have”.

The City Arms is also a favourite pub of the Archbishop, Fr Doyle added.

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