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Thursday, September 29, 2011

5th Annual Dog Surfing Competition (Slideshow)


All aboard

Five competitors pile on a surfboard during Sunday's Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon in Del Mar, Calif. The event welcomed 4,000 spectators, 80 pooches, and raised more than $100,000 for orphaned animals. Canine surf competitions have recently grown in popularity, and a number are held in Southern California each year. Click through for a look at more pups hanging ten.
PHOTO: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The perfect pitch

Since dogs like this California competitor don't have the ability to paddle into the oncoming wave like human surfers can, dog surfers need to be "pitched." That's when the dog's human helper pushes the board — with the dog sitting or standing on top — so it's moving at the same speed as the wave. The human then lets go and the dog is set free to ride its wave.
PHOTO: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson


A pug is thrown off its board on Sunday. Depending on the timing of the pitch or the size of the wave, dogs may wipe out just like human surfers — which is why all dogs wear life jackets and are assisted by human lifeguards.
PHOTO: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The old pro

Buddy, a 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, took home the honor of "top dog" Sunday, his fifth win in the competition's six years. Buddy is also the first member of the Surf Dog Hall of Fame. While Buddy is likely to retire after this competition, his owner said there was no doubt those last waves were "probably the best of Buddy's life."
PHOTO: Facebook/Helen Woodward Animal Center


A surfing bulldog tumbles off its board during Sunday's competition. The 80 dogs competing were divided among four weight classes.
PHOTO: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

One with the wave

One of Sunday's competitors sits behind a spray of water during his ride. A dog's low center of gravity and relatively low weight often give him stability in rough waves. 
PHOTO: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Helping hand

A labrador participates in a different Southern California surf competition last year. Humans are an important part of dog surfing. Getting the board out past the break point can be the most difficult part, because handlers have to keep the dog on the board through an onslaught of crashing waves.
PHOTO: CC BY: Port of San Diego

Big air

A small dog competing in the 2008 Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon wipes out while riding a wave. While humans attach themselves to their boards with a leash to the ankle, dogs are attached by their life vests. Surfboard companies now make softboards for dogs, which are preferable to fiberglass or wood because they prevent injury during canine wipeouts. 

Shake it, baby

A dog shakes off some sea water during the 2008 Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. Not all dogs are natural swimmers, and some have to practice holding their breath. While beginners can't exactly tell their owners they don't want to surf, canines do have other ways of expressing their disinterest in the sport.

The best reward

Australian Kelpie Abbie G gives her owner a little lick during a calm moment on the water. Abbie G is a longtime surfer who this year became the first Guinness World Record holder for the longest surf ride by a dog. The record-setting distance of 65 yards was measured using a GPS system duct-taped to the top of her wetsuit.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner is finally delivered

The differences between people who can and can't drive a stick


The latest infoporn from delves into the site's proprietary user data system to uncover the characteristics of people who can drive cars with a stick shift vs. those who can't.

The graphic, designed by Column Five Media, shows people who visit apparently know how to drive a stick shift more than the average American driver. Or at least they say they're able to drive a stick.
Either way, here's some of the results from the data about people who claim to be able to handle a stick:

• 69% more likely to have a graduate degree.
• 39% more likely to be married or in a long-term relationship.
• 19% more likely to be extroverts.
• 75% have changed a flat tire.
• 14% more likely to be optimists.
• 27% more likely to consider themselves close to nature.
• 22% more likely to hike, bike, or run at the park.
• They watch the Newshour with Jim Lehrer.
• They watch Face the Nation.
• They watch History Channel.
• They like George Carlin
• They read 1984.
• They read National Geographic.
• They like Trivial Pursuit.
So, if more people knew how to drive a stick, the world would be a better place. The numbers don't lie. Even if the respondents probably did.
See the rest of the data by clicking on the infoporn below:

Click to ENLARGE

Click to ENLARGE

Ladies Of Oktoberfest: Das Ist Gut [Photos]


The world has a bit of a love/hate relationship with Germany, with most of the love occurring during Oktoberfest. For those not familiar, it's a festival that celebrates beer and cleavage, at least that's what we've gathered from the not-so-extensive research we've done. It's a time of year when everyone can find a reason to drink way too much beer, eat half their body weight in cured meats and wear lederhosen without fear of judgment. Find yourself a beer tent and clear your schedule for the next week or so, because you're going to spend it welcoming the fall by throwing up and falling in love.

Even this guy can make it happen during Oktoberfest.

Not sure how that Daisy Duke shirt fits the dress code, but whatever.

Hello, German warrior princess.

Tara Reid may have lost her swagger in the States, but she may be pulling a Hasselhoff in Germany.

1993's Miss Germany, Verona Pooth, has a love affair with soft pretzels.

If you're not holding a mug full of beer at Oktoberfest, you have no reason to smile.

Photos via Getty