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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

329 hot air balloons

Balloon Launch

Also available in: Français

The largest hot-air balloon gathering in the world,, Chambley, France

Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons 2009 - Chambley Panoramique Panorama

ombre

The largest mass ascent of hot air balloons took place recently at the biennial Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons rally in Chambley, France. Pilots from around the world lifted off in 329 balloons on 26 July. Were you there? Then join the Biennale Mondiale de l’Aérostation group and add something to the pool!

Photos and video from gbatistini, mortimer?, daniel guffanti and normandie2005.

Vending Machines at Hotel Chain to Stock Swimsuits

Vending Machines at Hotel Chain to Stock Swimsuits
Courtesy of The Standard

Quiksilver has partnered with André Balazs’ The Standard Hotels to offer a new, cobranded line of swimsuits that will be sold both in the hotel boutiques and -- in an absolutely genius move -- poolside in special vending machines in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami in August.

As Joshua Katz, director of marketing and communications at Quiksilver, told WWD: “We decided to collaborate and make something cool as well as useful for Standard guests. Our core product is boardshorts, and The Standard hotels have pretty notorious pool scenes, so swimsuits made a lot of sense.”

Four different styles of men's board shorts were designed -- each representing the respective cities of the Standard's hotels: Hollywood is blue with white stars, for example, while New York's are (of course) black. Ladies seeking something to swim in at, oh, 4AM, can purchase a simple black string bikini.

In an even more brilliant move, each pair of shorts includes "Quik Tips" city guides -- spots of interest that bathing suit wearers might like to check out in the respective cities they're visiting. (We might take issue with the idea of folks in downtown L.A. featuring art spaces wearing old swimsuits, but we digress.)

The new collaboration can be purchased online today at shopthestandard.com, and the first vending machine will open in Los Angeles on August 8.

SNEAK PEEK: Shark Week! - Incredible Pictures - LIFE



That's right: The Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" launches on Sunday, Aug. 2, with six new series about the behavior and aggressive nature of the ocean's great predators. At least two of Discovery's new programs focus on great whites -- like the one pictured here, breaching the water to get at a seal decoy.

Photo: Caterina Gennaro/Discovery Channel

Jul 30, 2009

Thieves Snag $20K Bottle Of Wine From Hopkinton

HOPKINTON (WBZ) ―

A 64-year-old bottle of wine valued at $20,000 was stolen Wednesday from a Hopkinton wine and liquor store.

Hopkinton police officials say the vintage bottle was taken along with three other bottles from the Hopkinton Wine and Spirits on West Main Street.

Police say two men and a woman worked together to steal the rare bottles. They say while the woman distracted the store clerk, the two men each grabbed two bottles from a cooler labeled "Rare Wines."

Click to enlarge
The 1945 Mouton Rothschild wine had recently been tasted by experts who gave it a perfect rating. They said it probably has another 50 years of life left in it.

WBZ



In addition to the 1945 Mouton Rothschild, the trio stole a 1992 bottle valued at $300 and two 2000 bottles valued at $875 each.

Surveillance video captured the thieves in action.

The men are described as white, about 20 to 25 years old and weighing about 170 to 190 pounds.

The woman is described as white, 23 to 28 years old and weighing about 120 to 140 pounds.

Police say the thieves may be looking to resell the bottles.

The Mouton Rothschild wine had recently been tasted by experts who gave it a perfect rating. They said it probably has another 50 years of life left in it.

A similar bottle from the same year recently sold at auction for $23,000.

(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Beach attempt to break world record for bikini-clad beauties fails as 'only 42' turn up

A bid to set a new world record for the number of women being photographed wearing bikinis in one place failed, after only 42 of the required 1,924 turned up.


Women in bikinis: the oldest participant was in her 80s
Only 42 of the required 1,924 turned up
Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS

A poor weather forecast in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, was blamed for the disappointing turnout.

Organisers had hoped to enter the record books by getting more than 1,923 women wearing swimwear on the sands of the Essex seaside town, beating the number reached in Russia last year.

One said that only 42 had turned out to raise money for Southend Hospital's breast cancer appeal, the oldest of whom was in her 80s.

Debbie Reynolds, 23, said she thought they would at least break the UK record of 320.

She said: "It was sunny and everything, so we thought we'd get a good turnout, but it was very sad when we realised that 42 was the grand total.

"It's pretty rubbish I must admit. We really need to try harder.

3 of 5 Images
Some of the contestants go for a run along the beach
Some of the contestants go for a run along the beach
Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS

"It made be feel pretty embarrassed to be British when we can't even mount a decent challenge."

Tracy Jones added: "I don't think the terrible weather yesterday and forecast today helped.


Some of the participants pose for photographs
Some of the participants pose for photographs Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS

"It was a beautiful day but I think a lot of people made up their minds yesterday."

Italy Finds 4,500-Year Old Skeleton Of Warrior



The well-preserved skeleton, dubbed `Nello`, was found during a routine flyover around areas of archaeological interest in May.
A roughly 4,500 year-old skeleton of a man, probably a warrior killed by an arrow to the chest, has been discovered on a beach south of Rome, Italian police said.

The well-preserved skeleton, dubbed "Nello", was found during a routine flyover around areas of archaeological interest in May that prompted police to probe a fissure in the ground.

"We thought it was that of a Roman solider, but then the experts identified it as dating back to the third millennium B.C.," said Raffaele Mancino, an official with the police division overseeing Italy's cultural heritage.

Six small vases were found buried alongside the skeleton, whose feet are missing. The young man probably lived just within a few hundred years of "Otzi", the prehistoric iceman whose corpse was found frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991.

Archaeologists said they plan further excavations since the discovery could be a tip-off to a broader necropolis in the area.

Why Does Coke From a Glass Bottle Taste Different?


The Usual Suspects: Various container materials might impart slight changes to Coke's flavor. Courtesy The Coca-Cola Company

It doesn’t. That’s what Coca-Cola’s spokespeople say, anyway. “The great taste of Coca-Cola is the same regardless of the package it comes in,” they insist. Rather, they say, “the particular way that people choose to enjoy their Coke can affect their perception of taste.” Sure, most people would agree that the cola is indeed delicious and refreshing, and pouring it into a glass or serving it over ice could influence the sensation of its flavor. But is it possible that the subtle variation in taste that some notice among aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles is more than just a psychological effect of their soda-consumption rituals?

Given that the formula is always the same, yes, according to Sara Risch, a food chemist and member of the Institute of Food Technologists. “While packaging and food companies work to prevent any interactions, they can occur,” she says. For example, the polymer that lines aluminum cans might absorb small amounts of soluble flavor from the soda. Conversely, acetaldehyde in plastic bottles might migrate into the soda. The FDA regulates this kind of potential chemical contact, but even minute, allowable amounts could alter flavor.

Your best bet for getting Coke’s pure, unaltered taste is to drink it from a glass bottle, the most inert material it’s served in. Even that’s not a sure bet, though. Coca-Cola maintains strict uniformity in processes in all of its worldwide bottling facilities, but it concedes that exposure to light and how long the product sits on store shelves may affect the taste. So yeah, the packaging might mess with Coke’s flavor, but we’ll still take it any day over New Coke.

Vortex Cannon! - Bang Goes the Theory Preview - BBC One


http://www.bbc.co.uk/bang

Jem Stansfield builds a vortex cannon to blow a house of bricks over.

More about this episode: http://www.bbc.co.uk/progra...

Fosters releases $70 bottle of beer

Fosters
Refreshing ... Fosters have released a new beer that will cost $70 a botle with expectations it will sell fast. Pic: File
  • Costs $70 a bottle
  • Queen has a bottle
  • Expected to be sold out within weeks

IT comes in a champagne-style bottle, is best drunk from a wine glass, and costs $70 a bottle.

It's in the Queen's cellar; and the maker says it has traces of vanilla and curry leaf, with hints of honey and passionfruit.

Sound like one of those pompous descriptions for a luxury wine?

It's not - it's an Aussie beer.

While the Fosters Group spends a mint on aiming some of their beers squarely at the blue-collar brigade, they're also cornering a new market: luxury lagers.

Despite tough economic times, the group is convinced success will follow arguably the country's poshest beer, the Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager.

The brewer released the first vintage - yes, the beer comes in a yearly vintage - last year.

It sold out within weeks.

The 2009 vintage will be released on Monday with Foster's expecting the limited edition lager to be again snapped up within weeks.

Some beers cost more: Sydney's boutique brewer Red Oak releases its signature beer, the Framboise Froment reserve, for around $75 for a 250ml bottle.

That drop and Crown's ultra-premium lager fall well short of the world's expensive beer, an honour claimed by the Carlsberg Group.

The Denmark-based brewer last year produced 600 bottles of the Carlsberg No.1 Vintage, which retailed at the equivalent of $465 for a half-litre bottle.

The Crown Ambassador Reserve lager comes in a 750ml bottle is shaped like a champagne bottle, with each of the 6000 limited edition bottles is individually wax-sealed and numbered.

But you can't get number one bottle of either vintage: both have been sent to the Queen and have found a place in the royal cellars.

Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager master brewer John Cozens oversees the making of the beer, which can be cellared for a decade. When approached by his bosses, Mr Cozens considered the task a dream job.

"The idea was born to have a crack at something that is a bit special," he told AAP.

"A lot of the time we're working on a lot of different beers but we often don't have the freedom - we are working in the confines of a brand or within somebody else's idea about what the style should be. "

Children in Gaza attempt to set Guinness world record for kite flying

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Thousands of Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

Thousands of children in the Gaza Strip sought to break the world record for kite flying in a rare moment of respite from the war-battered enclave's daily life

Thousands of Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

More than 6,000 boys and girls gathered on a sandy beach in northern Gaza to fly more than 3,000 kites, according to the officials of the UN agency that organised the event

Picture: EPA

Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

If the figure is confirmed by Guinness the event will hold the new record for the highest number of kites flown simultaneously - the previous high of 710 kites was reached in northern Germany last year

Picture: EPA

Thousands of Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

The colourful kites were built as part of activities at the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) summer camps which hosted more than 240,000 children this year.

Picture: EPA

Thousands of Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

Some of the kites included designs such as the red, green, black and white Palestinian flag

Picture: EPA

Thousands of Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

The Guinness Book of World Records said it had received an application from Gaza for "most kites flown simultaneously." Guinness was unable to send a judge to the attempt due to travel restrictions into Gaza

Picture: EPA

Thousands of Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

But the children would be able to break the record even without a judge by verifying the accomplishment in other ways, said Guinness spokeswoman Karolina Theli

Picture: EPA

Thousands of Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for the U.N. agency, said every child at the event had their kite registered in accordance with Guinness protocol, which he said event organizers followed with "military precision"

Picture: EPA

Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

"The symbolism of thousands of children in one of the world's most locked up communities, creating beautiful kites, letting them soar upward, is truly beautiful," he said

Picture: EPA

Thousands of Palestinian children fly kites along the beach during a UN-sponsored summer camp in the northern Gaza Strip

Many of the children in the Hamas-ruled territory still bear psychological scars from Israel's devastating January offensive where some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including more than 300 children

Picture: EPA

Anthony Napolitan Lands The First BMX Double Front-Flip At 2009 X Games

Anthony Napolitan Lands The First BMX Double Frontflip

Total Pro Sports - If you have never been to the X-Games then we recommend you try and catch this great event, you wont be disappointed. The opportunity to see the likes of X-Games greats; Travis Pastrana (Moto-Cross), Matt Hoffman (BMX) and Dave Mirra (BMX), is definitely worth every penny.

Yesterday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Summer X-Games 15 held one of the most amazing stunts. BMX'er Anthony Napolitan was the first ever rider to land a Double Front-flip without faceplanting. Somehting trully special we had to watch the video twice.

Just listen to the announcers in the video,

"That's was so impressive, that was ridiculous, what are you gonna add to that? That's it, that's the double front! I mean if I'm him I'm estatic that i pulled it and I'm happy of whatever happens next even a slam."

A historic moment in the sport, hopefully we can continue to see more ground breaking stunts throughout this years event.





See the original image at theselvedgeyard.files.wordpres… Wilt Chamberlain, Andre the Giant and Arnold Schwarzenneger



theselvedgeyard.files.wordpres… The three on the set of Conan

WES ANDERSON’S FANTASTIC MR. FOX TRAILER

Here’s your look at the first trailer for Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl book (adapted by Anderson and Noah Baumbach). Voice cast includes Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Anjelica Huston, and Bill Murray, who if you thought he was lovable as a human, is even more of a huggable snugglebottom as a badger in a suit.

A lot of the other movie sites out there are complaining about the animation looking “weird” or “flat”, but I like that it’s easy on the CGI and not 3D. 3D is particularly stupid. I like to be free to look at any part of the frame without getting a GD headache, and the screen looking like a pop-up book isn’t a huge selling point for me. And if I wanted to wear glasses I would’ve been born a nerd. I don’t want 3D, I don’t want my chair shaking around, and I don’t need an “immersive experience.” How bout you just make a good movie and let me sit here with my nachos and stay outta my sh*t, eh hotshot?


Former top banker goes to deserted island to quit smoking

Retired senior banker Geoff Spice is to live on a deserted island for a month in a last ditch attempt to quit smoking.
Geoff Spice: Former top banker goes to deserted island to quit smoking
Mr Spice began smoking 43 years ago as a paperboy, when he stole some cigarettes from the shop where he was working.

Mr Spice, 56, from Surrey, will become a castaway on Sgarabhaigh, a 40-acre uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides.

The former managing director for NM Rothschild, the top London investment bank, will have to camp as there are no houses.

Sgarabhaigh, which means Cormorant Island in Gaelic, also has no electricity or water supply, so he will rely for fires from driftwood and a camp stove and bottled water.

He does not want to fish for food, but the island is also free of rabbits. However, there are plenty of sheep to keep him company.

Mr Spice, who smokes 30 cigarettes per day, said: "I'm a bit apprehensive now that the time is almost here about spending the month on the island by myself but I'm determined to see it through.

"Today I'm going to have one last cigarette and give the rest of the packet to my wife and get on the boat to the island.

"This is my last chance. I've been smoking 30 a day as usual but I think I can crack the habit.

"I am taking plenty of midge repellent though ironically they say that smoking helps keep the insect away."

To fight boredom, he hopes to learn to play the guitar and will take with him an iPod that contains the text of 120 books.

He will take with him a mobile phone and a computer, both powered by a photo voltaic solar cell. It will also have a wind-up handle as a back up to generate electricity.

Dave Hill, the island's owner, has arranged for Mr Spice to be dropped off on Sgarabhaigh and picked up a month later.

"If he rings to say he cannot stand it without a cigarette we will ignore it until it gets to three calls. He must have time to reflect on his decision," said Mr Hill.

Mr Spice began smoking 43 years ago as a paperboy, when he stole some cigarettes from the shop where he was working.

He has previously tried nicotine patches and gum, a self-help book and going cold turkey in an effort to kick the habit, but nothing worked.

The former banker first considered staying on an uninhabited island a decade ago, when he was living in Australia, but was worried about the spiders and snakes there. He found Sgarabhaigh by Googling 'Uninhabited Scottish Islands'.

"I will miss my wife Elena, my children and my family very much but I understand that my mobile phone will work on the island so we can speak that way," Mr Spice said.

"I'm hoping that my plan will work, I'll stop smoking and my month on the island may lead to many years of extra life that I'll be able to spend with them."

Science Fail – Freak Pig Shocks Chinese Village

By Jeff Wysaski

piglet-monkey-1

For a species that is universally equated with ugliness, a little piglet born in the small Chinese village of Fengzhang makes Miss Piggy look like Megan Fox.

I’m completely horrified by the photo above, and yet, I…can’t…look…away. As owner Feng Changlin suggests, the little pig’s face – thin lips, bulbous nose, big eyes – looks exactly like a monkey. (Side note: Feng Changlin is a fucking awesome name and should be given to Marvel’s next comic book super villain ASAP.)

Any resemblance to a primate quickly shifts below the neck, however. Though parts of the thing are 100 percent pig, the beast’s back legs are longer than the front legs. Such a disadvantage (advantage?) means the little piglet hops around like a kangaroo.

I don’t know about you, but that fact right there freaks my shit out. I just keep picturing the little thing leaping off the ground and biting my face off.

As expected, the farmer and his wife are completely horrified by the thing. Obviously, they can’t sell the thing because it’s too hideous. And though they want to get rid of it, it appears Feng Changlin’s son won’t let him. Apparently, the young Changlin has taken quite a shine to the little guy. He plays with it and feeds it milk. Is that cute? Or revolting? (Answer: revolting).

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