Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10ft tall Horse Poe set to gallop into the record books

It’s lucky he’s such a good-natured beast.

Because if this horse turned grumpy, there’s no way a petite woman armed with a rope could hold him back.

Standing 20.2 hands - that’s 6ft 10in - at the shoulder and weighing 200 stone, Poe is the tallest horse in the world, according to owner Shereen Thompson.

The Clydesdale is 2in bigger than the horse from Texas currently listed in the Guinness Book of Records, she believes - and dwarfs her own 5ft 3in frame.

He lives on Miss Thompson’s farm in Tupperville, Ontario, in Canada.

Poe - who is 10ft tall with his head held high - needs two bales of hay a day, 10lb of grain and 75 gallons of water.

Miss Thompson rescued Poe - named after her favourite writer, Edgar Allen Poe - in February 2008.
He used to work in the city of London, Ontario, hauling crates of Budweiser - ‘rather like the horses of Youngs Brewery used to in London, England,' Miss Thompson explained.

The ten-year-old has since become a firm favourite at local fairs - where she said he behaves like ‘a real puppy’.

‘But he does sometimes forget his strength and drags me along if he wants to play or go chasing something,’ she added.
Clydesdale horses were first bred in what was then Clydesdale, now Lanarkshire, in the mid-18th century.
They usually stand at around 5ft 4in at the shoulder.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cool and Awesome gargoyle face Art peering out from four-inch toilet roll tubes

Coming face to face with one of these creations in the bathroom might be a shocking experience.

But these gargoyle-esque faces are no bog-standard art project, but a painstaking process involving the intricate moulding of single four-inch toilet roll tubes to create a modern sculpture.

French artist Junior Fritz Jacquet, 30, who describes himself as a 'creator and sculptor in paper', then mounts his creation on steel stands and sets them loose on the art-buying world.
The Parisian artist said his passion for paper started with school origami classes and he now takes inspiration from the unique characteristics of card.

He said: 'I first concentrate on the construction of the eyes, then the nose, then the mouth and then the entire expression.

'I am trying to create funny and jovial expressions and will keep working on my technique because there is no limit to experimentation.'

He said: 'I started to get interested in origami techniques when I was 14. At school the teacher gave us origami models to build ourselves.

'My connection with origami was immediate and I quickly understood that you could take it a long way from a single sheet of paper.

'I have perfected my technique since then. I work with every sort of paper and believe every type has its own personality.

'In the end, every mask is unique.'
Monsieur Jacquet cites his artistic influences as the bronze figures of Swiss surrealist sculptor Giacometti and Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow's majestic, powerful figures in clay.

As well as his 40 unique toilet roll masks, the artist creates playful folded card figurines and illuminated paper sculptures.

He added: 'Paper is surprising in its fragility but also complex in its texture, elasticity, capacity to absorb light and its memory of being folded or crumpled.

'It is also an immediate material. That's to say, unlike earth or metal or wood it does not need treating or time to dry.

'I treat paper like a living material. It has a memory in that it holds or forgets folds or the pressure of a finger.

'It also contains a resin which changes with time by interacting with humidity, light and colour.'

Monsieur Jacquet's masks, mounted on steel stands, sell at 60 euros each and must be ordered in a minimum batch of five.

Amazing Giant Hand Buried in the Atacama Desert

It looks like the extremity of a giant man, buried by a monumental sandstorm. In the wasteland of Chile’s Atacama Desert, 75 km to the south of the city of Antofagasta, a strange and unexpected sight confronts the eye: four fingers, a thumb and part of a palm, emerging from the sand. Set against the azure sky, this surreal giant hand is of course not made of flesh but stone. Called “Mano de Desierto”, or “Hand of the Desert”, it is a piece of art that grabs those who see it like no other.
The work of Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal, the massive sculpture rises 36 feet in the air atop a base made of iron and cement. The piece was constructed at an elevation of 3608 feet above sea level on the virtually rainless plateau of the Atacama Desert – the driest in the world. Yet despite its isolated and arid location, vehicles regularly pull up and people pile out to take in the desert artwork – a must stop for those travelling along the Panamerican Highway since its inauguration in 1992.
After studying philosophy and art at the University of Notre Dame, IN, and theology at the Università Gregoriana Pontificia in Rome, artist Mario Irarrázabal trained under the German sculptor Otto Waldemar. He first exhibited his work in Chile in 1970, using the human figure to express themes such as injustice, loneliness, sorrow and torture. The exaggerated proportions like those evident in the “Hand of the Desert” are seen to emphasise human vulnerability and helplessness.
You might think such an exceptional sculpture was one of a kind, but hands are a recurring subject in Irarrázabal’s work. “Monumento al Ahogado”, the “Monument to the Drowned”, is an earlier and more well-known sculpture completed by the artist in 1982 consisting of five fingers partially submerged by sand on a beach in Punta del Este, a popular resort town in Uruguay. Similar sculptures were also created by Irarrázabal in Madrid in 1987 and Venice in 1995.
Yet despite these other works, the hand rising from the Atacama Desert retains its own mystique, perhaps because of the barren landscape on which it stands. Graffiti sometimes besmirches the colossal structure so it must occasionally be cleaned, but otherwise “Mano de Desierto” is well-preserved and will likely stay that way for years to come. Who knows? This uncanny monument to the human form may well remain long after we are gone from this world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Demand for Amazing 'Spider-Man' lizard soars

Demand for a striking blue and red lizard has surged among comic fans thanks to its uncanny resemblance to Spiderman.

Pet shops specialising in exotic animals have reported a surge in popularity for the Mwanza Flat Headed Agama lizard, which is native to Africa.

Karen Baker, of amphibian and reptile specialist store Exotic-pets.co.uk, said that the lizards, which live for up to 15 years, had currently sold out.
She said: 'People are drawn to them because of their unusual colourings.

'These lizards usually live in groups with one dominant male who is usually the most colourful.

'We should have another batch of these lizards available in October, the demand just keeps going up and up।
Demand for the unusual pet soared after photographer Roy Daines captured an image of the lizard while on holiday in Kenya.

He said: 'I was relaxing around the lodge pool, when the lizard appeared out from behind a wall surrounding the terrace I was bathing on.

'I was absolutely fascinated by him, I have never seen anything like it before.
'His colourings were very bright making him look like he was dressed in a suit - crawling around on the rock made him look exactly like Spider-Man.'

Rich Nunn, of Nostalgia and Comics in Birmingham said that the resemblance to the Marvel superhero was amazing.

He said: 'The colouring is unbelievably similar, especially in the chest arms and legs.

'I am sure there would be lots of comic fans who would want a lizard like this, because it looks so much like Spider-Man.'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Awesome Hotel made from plastic keys and cards

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with unwanted hotel key cards, then think no more.

Because, providing you've somehow amassed 200,000 plastic slips, the solution is simple – use them to build your own guest house.

That, at least, is what one hotel chain decided to do.

Holiday Inn’s Key Card Hotel, which opened yesterday in New York, includes a guest bedroom, bathroom and lobby, all fully equipped with life-sized furniture all made out of, yes, well, you get the point.

The 400 sq ft, two-ton construction in Manhattan , which will be in business until September 21, was built by world record-holding 'card-stacker' Bryan Berg.

He said: ‘This is my largest card-stacking challenge to date and the only card creation I have ever made at full human scale.’

During the five day event, Mr Berg will build a freestanding 9ft replica of New York’s Empire State Building in the lobby using Holiday Inn playing cards.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Strange Fight between Golden Eagle and Siberian Wolf

Soaring from its master’s arm, the mighty bird wheels high overhead, then dives like an arrow from the apex of its arc. On the plain floor, the lone wolf glances back while continuing its faltering trot onwards. Without warning, the giant raptor appears out of the sky, hitting its target at high velocity while clawing and raking with razor-sharp talons. The wolf bites back at its far more lightweight attacker and for a brief instant the bird of prey appears prone – but in an instant, it lunges back at its canine quarry, fixing it in an iron grip. The wolf struggles for a few seconds. Then it lies still.

Predators will turn prey: Wolves baiting a bison seen from the air
Almost everywhere they roam, wolves are alpha predators. Even the brown bear will begrudgingly share territory and kills with wolf packs; only tigers can drive them away in the wild. A wolf can weigh more than 85 lbs and grow to over 6 feet, but in the golden eagle this formidable canine finds its match. Trained to track and kill by the Mongolian Kazakhs and Kyrgyzstanis of the Central Asian plains, the golden eagle is a fearful foe for wolves and foxes. These hapless animals are hunted for their fur pelts or to control the numbers that prey on the indigenous people’s livestock.

Trained to kill: A golden eagle with an eagle hunter
Weighing up to 15 lbs but with a wingspan reaching 7 feet, golden eagles are avian apex predators, ruling the skies over territories as large as 60 square miles. For the people of the steppes of Central Asia, training these awesome creatures is considered a high art; a tradition stretching back thousands of years whose secrets have been passed down through the generations. Training a golden eagle takes remarkable skill, toughness and patience. The bird’s brute size, bone-crushing talons and beak, and the potential danger it presents make it a formidable charge.
Assailant from the air: A golden eagle pounces on a chained wolf cub
Many might see eagle hunting as a cruel sport – an example of man’s interference with nature, since untrained eagles would rarely if ever attack wolves in the wild. Yet as a species, wolves are not yet endangered, listed as of least concern by the IUCN. And though eagle chicks have traditionally been taken from their nests to be trained as hunting birds, under new legislation this practice is meant to be strictly regulated. Conservation and animal rights issues will inevitably hover over this practice.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bizarre Mutant Animals

These animals and reptiles, all born with extra appendages, have been circulating throughout the Internet in recent years, gaining fame and popularity. Here they are in one place - a kind of celebrity page for mutant animals.

Awesome Motorcycle Sidecar By Francois Knorreck

This motorcycle sidecar dubbed “Snaefell” and was created by Francois Knorreck. He literally attached full-sized car (that consists of several different vehicles) to his Laverda motorcycle. Knorreck spent more than 10 years and about 15000 Euros to complete his work. Good job!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

BBC team discovers 40 new Weird and Strange species in 'lost world'

Rats as big as cats, fanged frogs and grunting fish - they sound like something from a horror movie.

But, incredibly, there is a 'lost world' on a distant island where these nightmarish creatures really exist.

A team of scientists discovered the bizarre animals - and dozens of others - at a remote volcano in Papua New Guinea.

In the kilometre-deep crater of Mount Bosavi, they found a habitat teeming with life which has evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago.

Among the new species was the the Bosavi Woolly Rat.

One of the biggest rats in the world, it measures just over 32 inches from nose to tail and weighs 3lb.

The silvery grey mammal has dense fur and its teeth suggest it has a largely vegetarian diet and probably builds nests in tree hollows or underground.
The Bosavi Woolly was discovered by a team from the BBC's natural history unit as they searched for new wildlife while filming the series Lost Land Of The Volcano.

During the trip to a little-known part of the rain forest, the team also found about 40 other new species, which are at various stages of verification.

This included a marsupial called the Bosavi Silky Cuscus, a camouflaged gecko, a fanged frog and a fish called the Henamo Grunter, which makes a grunting sound from its swim bladder.

Researchers also found an extremely hairy caterpillar which is now awaiting cataloguing in Oxford, where the team will give names to their finds.

It is estimated that along with the giant rat and cuscus the expedition found about 16 species of frogs, one species of gecko, at least three species of fish, at least 20 of insects and spiders and possibly one new species of bat.

The expedition was led by climber and naturalist Steve Backshall-wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan and head scientist Dr George McGavin.

Mr Buchanan and Smithsonian biologist Dr Kristofer Helgen were first on the scene when the rat was found by a tracker from the local Kasua tribe. Dr Helgen said:

'This is one of the world's largest rats. It is a true rat, related to the same kind you find in the city sewers, but a heck of a lot bigger.

'I had a cat and it was about the same size of this rat. This rat was incredibly tame.

It just sat next to me nibbling on a piece of leaf. It won't have seen a human being before. The crater of Mount Bosavi really is the lost world.'

Papua New Guinea is famous for the number and diversity of rodents that live there, with more than 57 species from the Murid family of rats and mice on the island.

Further evidence of the rich wildlife of the tropical location came with the discovery of the Bosavi Silky Cuscus. This animal, which resembles a small bear, is a marsupial that lives up in trees, feeding on fruits and leaves.

Weighing in at some 4.5lb, it has thick silky fur adapted for the mountain environment in which it lives. Dr Helgen has identified it as a new subspecies in the group of strange marsupials known as cuscuses.

He said: 'Long ago it was isolated on this volcano and has become something unique to Bosavi.'

The habitat in the area is currently regarded as pristine, but less than 20 miles to the south of Mount Bosavi extensive logging operations are happening.

The mountain acts like an island in the vast sea of jungle, trapping different species on it.

The expedition base camp was in the foothills east of Mount Bosavi with smaller teams going out to remote locations.

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