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Friday, April 23, 2010

Baseball Rain Delay Turns Into Talent Show Dance-Off

By: Ryan Wilson

There used to be a time when baseball rain delays meant one of two things: the teams involved would sit in the dugout or the locker room and wait for the weather to clear, or one enterprising soul would grace fans with a reenactment of a Babe Ruth home run, complete with waddling home run trot, and topped off with a tarp slide at the plate. Those were simpler times.

Last weekend, Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic took advantage of the inclement weather and put on a talent show. There were dance-offs, wrestling matches, theatrical performances -- basically what you'd expect to find at a traveling carnival.

It was something right out of Glee just not as overproduced. Oh, and when the rain cleared, FAU beat WKU, 10-3. The talent show, however, was called a draw.

Doctors in Spain claim to have performed world's first full face transplant

A team of 30 Spanish doctors claim to have successfully performed the world’s first full face transplant.


Doctors in Barcelona who performed the latest surgery said that it was the first full face transplant to be carried out anywhere in the world.
As well as skin tissue, the patient received new cheekbones, facial muscles, teeth, palate, skin, nose, lips and jaw.

The gruelling operation took 24 hours in total to perform on March 20.

Before the surgery, the man, a farmer in his thirties, had been unable to swallow, speak or breathe properly after accidentially shooting himself in the face in 2005.

The man, who has not been named, is expected to remain in hospital for at least two months.

A statement released by Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, where the operation was carried out, said: "(The patient) had been operated on nine times without satisfactory success, therefore he was considered for full face transplant.

"This is the first full face transplant performed worldwide, as the 10 operations performed previously had been only partial."

The world’s first face transplant was carried out on a French woman, Isabelle Dinoire, in 2005.
She had been ravaged by her dog and received new facial tissue as well as a new nose and mouth.
Since then there have been a number of such operations, including in China and America.

In 2008 an American woman, Connie Culp, received what was at that point the most extensive face transplant ever performed.

As well as skin she received bone, muscle and blood vessel and nerve transplants.

Prof Peter Butler, head of the UK's Facial Transplantation Research Team, has been ready to perform a full face transplant for several months.

His team, based at the Royal Free Hospital in North London, has ethical permission to perform four face transplants.

He praised the work of the Spanish team, led by Dr Joan Pere Barret.

He said: "We congratulate Dr Barret and his transplantation team in Spain on what may well be the most complex facial transplantation operation carried out so far worldwide.

"Secondly I would like to wish the patient well for the future. 

"We must also remember the family of the donor who, we understand, has helped not only the facial transplantation patient, but others, with various forms of organ donation.

"To help others, not only to live but to have a good life, is a supreme act of human generosity.”

A Star Is Born—Just Not with That Name

Find out what these celebrities were called before they were famous

By Amanda Greene 


It’s not uncommon for stars to change their names before making it big. Whether to avoid confusion (one comedian’s birth name was Albert Einstein) or to add that special star quality (another famous heartthrob upgraded from Archie Leach), swapping out given names is a time-honored Hollywood tradition. Read on to see if you know which well-known stars have given the term “name dropping” a whole new meaning.

Albert Brooks (Birth name: Albert Einstein)
Through his first year of college, actor Albert Brooks was known by his birth name, Albert Einstein (no relation). To avoid confusion with the famous scientist, the actor chose Brooks, a family name, when he began his stand-up comedy career. The name switch was an obvious move for him: When asked why he did it, he replied: “Do I even have to answer?” Photo by Retna.

Ben Kingsley (Birth name: Krishna Bhanji)
The Academy Award winner was born in England as Krishna Pandit Bhanji—Krishna is the name of a Hindu god and Bhanji is a Muslim surname. He started his acting career in the theater, but when he decided to make the move to film, he changed his name because he, along with his father, believed a British name would help him succeed. He chose his father’s nickname, Ben, and a last name inspired by his grandfather’s nickname, King Clove. Of the name change, Kingsley has said: “The irony is that I changed my name from Krishna Bhanji to Ben Kingsley in order to play Mohandas Gandhi!” Photo by Retna.

Cary Grant (Birth name: Archibald Alexander Leach)
Hollywood legend Cary Grant was once known by a far less recognizable name—Archibald Alexander Leach. In order to escape his working-class English upbringing, Grant ran away from home and joined a troupe of comedians and acrobats. His travels with the troupe eventually led him to Hollywood, where he was offered a contract from Paramount under one condition: that he change his name to Cary Lockwood. After some negotiations, he settled on Cary Grant. Photo by Getty Images.

Charlie Sheen (Birth name: Carlos Irwin Estévez)
Like father, like son. Actor Charlie Sheen, born Carlos Irwin Estévez, decided to take dad Martin Sheen’s surname instead. But Martin Sheen was actually born Ramón Antonio Gerard Estévez, and adopted the name Sheen from his favorite Catholic archbishop, Fulton J. Sheen, in order to improve his chances at an acting career. It looks like it worked for both generations. Photo by Retna.

Demi Moore (Birth name: Demetria Guynes)
Despite the fact that Demi Moore no longer goes by her birth name, Demetria (her last name is from first husband Freddy Moore), she clearly has an affinity for unusual monikers: She named her three daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. And it seems that name-swapping runs in the family: In 2007, Moore’s daughter Tallulah Willis (then 13 years old) legally changed her name to Lula Willis. Photo by Retna.

Elton John (Birth name: Reginald Kenneth Dwight)
The iconic singer, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, changed his name to pursue fame. His choice was inspired by singer Long John Baldry and sax player Elton Dean. The star never felt at ease with his birth name—he’s even said that hearing it made him cringe—because he thought it didn’t have enough star power. “If you're going to make a record, Reg Dwight is not going to make it," he’s said. Photo by Retna.

Judy Garland (Birth name: Frances Ethel Gumm)
Judy Garland, born Frances Gumm, and her sisters used to tour the vaudeville circuit as “The Gumm Sisters.” But when the name was met with laughter at a performance, they were encouraged to choose a new moniker. The reason behind the choice of Garland remains a mystery, but there are plenty of theories. Two such explanations: that it was a tribute to the character Lily Garland from the film Twentieth Century, and that the trio had been told they were prettier than “a garland of flowers.” The star chose Judy as her first name based on a popular song. Photo by Getty Images.

Michael Keaton (Birth name: Michael Douglas)
Actor Michael Keaton was actually named Michael Douglas, but when he moved to Los Angeles and started auditioning for TV roles, he had to change his name to avoid confusion with the more well-known star. He chose Keaton for a surname because he’d read an article about actress Diane Keaton and thought her name sounded good. Years later, Michael called Diane and thanked her for her name, but the two have more in common than he realized: Diane Keaton was actually born Diane Hall. Photo by Retna.

Miley Ray Cyrus (Birth name: Destiny Hope Cyrus)
At age 15, Destiny Hope Cyrus legally changed her name to her childhood nickname, Miley. Her friends and family used to call her “Smiley” which eventually changed to “Miley.” As a tribute to her dad, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley adopted “Ray” as her middle name. Photo by Retna.

Whoopi Goldberg (Birth name: Caryn Johnson)
We have to agree: Caryn Johnson just isn’t as catchy as Whoopi Goldberg. The actress decided to give up her birth name when she started acting, and instead chose to go by her nickname, “Whoopee Cushion” (we’ll let you imagine how she got that name). Her mother convinced her to change her last name to something more conventional, and suggested Goldberg. Photo by Retna.

Mickey Rooney (Birth name: Joe Yule, Jr.)
Actor Mickey Rooney, born Joe Yule, Jr., got his big break when he was a child actor—he scored the part of Mickey McGuire in a show based on a comic book series. His mother wanted to legally change his name to Mickey McGuire to beef up the publicity for the show, but the comic’s creator wasn’t wild about the plan, so they went with Mickey Rooney instead. Photo by WireImage.

Shirley MacLaine (Birth name: Shirley Beaty)
Because she changed her name, it’s not common knowledge that actress Shirley MacLaine is actor Warren Beatty’s big sister (he added the extra “t” himself). During her early acting career she was auditioning for a role and the producer kept mispronouncing her name, so she opted to change it from Beaty to MacLaine. But she kept her first name, which was inspired by Shirley Temple. Photo by Getty Images.

Anne Rice (Birth name: Howard Allen O’Brien)
Author Anne Rice didn’t have fame in mind when she changed her name from Howard. According to Rice, her mother had named her after her father, but when a nun asked Rice what her name was on the first day of school, she told her it was “Anne.” Her mother, knowing how self-conscious Rice was about her given name, let it go, and she’s been known as Anne ever since. Clearly a fan of playing the name game, Rice has also published novels under the pen names Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure. Photo by Retna.

Bono (Birth name: Paul Hewson)
Thanks to his vocal skills, the lead singer of U2 was given the nickname Bono Vox—which means “good voice” in Latin—by a friend. He dropped the Vox and became known as Bono by everyone, including close friends and family. Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

Elvis Costello (Birth name: Declan MacManus)
Musician Elvis Costello, born Declan MacManus, has gone through plenty of monikers. During early performances he adopted the name DP Costello, a tribute to his father, who performed as Day Costello (Costello was his great-grandmother’s maiden name). A few years later, Costello’s manager decided to change his first name to Elvis, after the legendary musician. About 10 years after that, he decided to go back to his original name, adding Aloysius as a middle name. Finally, he adopted the alias Napoleon Dynamite for his 1986 album, Blood and Chocolate. Photo by Getty Images.

'Iron Man 2' Imax poster

"Iron Man 2" is less than two and a half weeks away! The premiere is in Los Angeles next week! Woo-hoo!
Here's the new (really cool) poster for the Imax release, first seen on SuperHeroHype.


William Shatner and Lin Yu Chun Sing Duet, Internet Explodes


William Shatner and Taiwanese singer Lin Yu Chun performed a duet of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on last night’s episode of Lopez Tonight. Consequently, the world of viral Internet memes promptly folded itself into one big tesseracted fourth dimension where we’re all slaves to cats wielding keyboards and “David After the Dentist” is the official language.

Lin Yu Chun shot to Internet famedom a few weeks ago after his stirring rendition of “I Will Always Love You” during his audition for the Taiwanese, American Idol-esque talent show Super Star Avenue. He’s been called “The Next Susan Boyle,” and garnered his share of accolades for his surprisingly sweet chords.
Shatner — aside from being William Freaking Shatner — is also set to star in the TV adaptation of Sh*t My Dad Says.
Together, the two online heroes create, um, beautiful music?

[via All Things Digital]

Borneo Rainforest: New Species Found Include Lung-Less Frog

A lung-less frog and a slug that shoots love darts: Just two of the 123 new species found in Borneo rainforest since 2007

By Daily Mail Reporter


A lung-less frog, a frog that flies and a slug that shoots love darts are among 123 new species found in Borneo since 2007 in a project to conserve one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

The global conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has called for protecting the threatened species and equatorial rain forest on Borneo, the South China Sea island that is the world's third-largest and is shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

'The challenge is to ensure that these precious landscapes are still intact for future generations,' said a WWF report released today.
Enlarge   Barbourula kalimantanensis
No lungs: Known as the Barbourula kalimantanensis and discovered in 2008, this flat-headed frog breathes entirely through its skin. It is among 123 new species found in Borneo since 2007
The search for the new species was part of the Heart of Borneo project that started in February 2007 and is backed by the WWF and the three countries that share the island.

The aim is to conserve 85,000 square miles of rain forest that was described by Charles Darwin as 'one great luxuriant hothouse made by nature for herself'.

Explorers have been visiting Borneo for centuries, but vast tracts of its interior are yet to be biologically explored, said Adam Tomasek, leader of WWF's Heart of Borneo project.

He said: 'If this stretch of irreplaceable rain forest can be conserved for our children, the promise of more discoveries must be a tantalizing one for the next generation of researchers to contemplate.'
Enlarge   Dendrelaphis kopsteini
Dendrelaphis kopsteini: This snake has an almost flame-like neck colouration that gradually fuses into a vivid blue, green and brown pattern. When threatened it flares its nape, revealing bright orange colours
Enlarge   Ibycus rachela
Ibycus rachelae: This slug uses 'love darts' made of calcium carbonate to pierce and inject a hormone into a mate to increase the chances of reproduction
The scientists' discoveries include the world's longest known stick insect at 56.7cm, a flame-coloured snake and a frog that flies and changes its skin and eye colour.
In total, 67 plants, 29 invertebrates, 17 fish, five frogs, three snakes and two lizards and a brand new species of bird were discovered, said the report.

Borneo has long been known as a hub for monster insects, including giant cockroaches about 10cm long.
Rhacophorus Penanorum
Rhacophorus Penanorum
Flying frog: The Rhacophorus Penanorum changes colour at night
Notable among the species discovered are:

  • A snake that has a bright orange, almost flame-like, neck colouration that gradually fuses into an extraordinary iridescent and vivid blue, green and brown pattern. When threatened it flares its nape, revealing bright orange colours
  • A frog that breathes through its skin because it has no lungs, which makes it appear flat. This aerodynamic shape allows the frogs to move swiftly in fast flowing streams. Although the species was discovered in 1978, it was only now that scientists found the frog has no lungs
  • A high-altitude slug found on Mount Kinabalu that has a tail three times the length of its head. They shoot calcium carbonate 'love darts' during courtship to inject a hormone into a mate. While resting, the slug wraps its long tail around its body.
The Heart of Borneo, the core island area the conservation effort targets, is home to ten species of primate, more than 350 birds, 150 reptiles and amphibians and a staggering 10,000 plants that are found nowhere else in the world, the report says.
Phobaeticus chani
Phobaeticus chani: Now officially the world's longest stick insect, it measures 56.7cm long with a body of 35.7cm). Only three have ever been found, all discovered near Gunung Kinabalu Park
Enlarge   Eirmotus insignis
Crystal-clear fins: Another new discovery is the Eirmotus insignis

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