That is one extremely lucky snowboarder.
Arachnophobes may want to avoid Lake Tawakoni State Park in northern Texas. Entomologists have discovered a spider web that covers a 180m (650ft) stretch of trees and shrubs in the park.
The web was created by millions of small spiders and has park rangers puzzled as to why they have all teamed together to build this gigantic web.
Although it was initially described as "fairy-tale" white, it has turned brown from all the mosquitoes caught in its trap. Link
CNN has a video of the web.
A police car car rests in a family’s garden after catapulting off the road and smashing through a fence.
Shocked Mark Goddard, 22, watched from inside his parents’ house as the Volvo V70 — with blue lights flashing and siren blaring — flew into their washing line and bird bath, in Sarisbury, Hants.
He said: “Right before my eyes a police car came crashing into the garden about a foot off the ground. It was like something out of an action film.”
The cop driver suffered minor hand injuries and went to hospital. Link
This snake was caught stealing a goldfish four times its width from a garden in Kent. It's not the first time that it's stolen fish from the garden pond. This fish was lucky enough to be rescued when the owners whacked the snake on the head.
A penniless chef who couldn’t pay after racking up a £3,500 bill on Chinese takeaways in just 12 days dodged jail yesterday.
Shane Wiggins, 19, treated himself and his mates to hundreds of dishes while his mum was in hospital — and settled up with bouncing cheques.
They scoffed 250 egg-fried rice portions, 12 crispy ducks, 100 pork ball portions, 200 tubs of beef with black bean sauce and 50 sweet and sour king prawns.
Neighbour Erjon Korrs, 23, said: “Delivery men turned up day and night. They struggled with the bags.”
Staff eventually realised his cheques were bouncing and called cops. Wiggins — who lost his job in a Chinese restaurant in January — admitted defrauding them out of £3,563 in nine orders, at Canterbury Magistrates Court. Link
At 107 she is probably the world's older blogger and cyber granny Olive Riley may also lay claim to being the oldest YouTube user.
The great-grandmother of seven, updates her blog (or blob as she calls it), The Life of Riley, from her home on the Central Coast, Australia and it has won her thousands of fans across the world.
A boy has been born with 12 fingers and 12 toes. The rare condition, called polydactylism, is usually genetic. His dad was born with an extra finger on his left hand. He'll have all the extra digits surgically removed in a couple of weeks, his mom said.
The only way in and out of this remote Columbian village is either via a 2 hour hike through a jungle or using a zipline 1,200ft above a river. As the zipline journey only take a minute, everyone, including small children, opt for the crazy ride.
A new restaurant has opened in Nuremberg that may be world's first automated sit-down restaurant.
Dogs now outnumber children aged 10 and under in Japan -- there were 13.1 million dogs in 2006. As the number of humans shrink, the dog population is growing, research firm Euromonitor said, and so is the market for dog-related products. More images. Link
Rhodri Thomas, Director of New Business Strategy at Texperts, contacted me shortly after offering me the chance to test out the service for free for a whole week. During the week I could ask as many questions as I wanted and not be charged. This would be a great opportunity to test out the speed and accuracy of the service.
In total I asked around 20 questions and I've listed some of them below along with the answers and response times.
Q. What is the world's rarest bird? A. Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) thought to be rarest; extinct in native habitat but >60 in breeding program. Other contenders Night Parrot and Ivory Billed Woodpecker (two species which may or may not be extinct). Response time: 4 minutes.
Q. When did the first human die of AIDS?
A. The world's first known case of AIDS has been traced to a sample of blood plasma from a man who died in 1959. Over 20 million have died of it since 1981.
Response time: 6 minutes.
Q. What is the best selling beer in the world?
A. Budweiser has been the world's best-selling beer since 1957, and is distributed in more than 70 countris. Carling is Britain's best-selling beer.
Response time: 2 minutes.
Q. What is the most remote village in Britain?
A. Inverie, on the Knoydart, Scotland is the most remote village in the UK. Britain's most remote mainland pub is also in the same village.
Response time: 5 minutes.
Q. Who was the top scorer for Everton FC in the 1985-1986 football season?
A. Gary Lineker was Everton's top scorer in 1985/86 season. He scored 40 goals in all competitions. Graeme Sharp was second with 22.
Response time: 13 minutes.
Q. Which airline has the worst safety record and which has the best?
A. Air Canada has been ranked as the world's safest airline. Surinam-based SLM is considered the worst, with a death rate of 238/million passengers.
Response time: 8 minutes.
Q. Is civil war a good thing?
A. Generally no - leads to bloodshed, but recently Iraq's political leaders come closer to a unified leadership after bombings almost started civil war.
Response time: 8 minutes.
In general, I was very impressed with the answers and the response time varied from 2 minutes to 13 minutes. I'm not sure how their infrastructure is set up but it's impressive how the question is routed to the appropriate Textpert and returned so quickly. You can even respond to the answer to clarify or ask a further question.
There were a few responses that I wasn't happy with but I wasn't charged for them and the Texpert offered research the question further if I wanted. Here's an example.
Q. What is the coldest recorded temperature for the town of Newport, South Wales (UK)? A. Did you mean Newport (Shropshie)? It had the lowest recorded temperature in England : -26.1C on 10th January, 1982.
Q. No, not Newport (Shropshire), Newport (Wales) - east of Cardiff.
A. Many apologies for the poor first answer. Unfortunately details of the Newport, South Wales are not currently available. If you contact us tomorrow we will call the MET office. Many apologies for this. No Charge.
So even though the Texpert didn't answer the question he did offer to find out the next day (I didn't respond so never did find out the coldest recorded temperature for Newport).
Speaking to Rhodri via email, he did offer some insight into how the Texpert system works. Many people, myself included, think that there is someone at the other end who quickly does a Google search or consults Wikipedia ("the enemy of anyone who wants real knowledge") but they actually employ a team of real experts (PhD students, professionals, people who also work in creative industries) who consult over 250 different sources as well as search engines.
Overall, my opinion of the service has changed a lot and whilst I would still go hunting for the answer myself most of the time (I enjoy a challenge) when time is of the essence, Texperts is an invaluable tool. Be careful though, it can easily become additive!
P.S. If you think you have what it takes to become a Texpert, try having a go at the Tex-Factor quiz.
Artist Frank Boelter set sails in his lifesize paper boat as he leaves a shipyard in Lauenburg, Germany.
He constructed the 9-metre vessel from 'Tetrapack' and fearlessly sailed it up the Elbe, despite the fact the light material is more commonly used for packaging milk.
The £110 boat is 30 feet long, weighs 55 pounds, uses a 170-square-metre piece of Tetrapack paper, and took only two hours to construct. It is expected to last four days before it disintegrates. Link
A happy belated birthday to the Big Mac that turned 40 on August 22nd.
The Big Mac was first introduced in 1967 by Jim Delligatti, a McDonald's franchise owner in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. A year later it was being sold in McDonald's all across America. Today, McDonald's estimates that 560 million Big Macs are sold each year in America.
To celebrate the burger's anniversary, Delligatti, 89, and his family opened a Big Mac Museum Restaurant this week in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, full of memorabilia, celebratory exhibits and the world's largest Big Mac statue. Link
Related: Meet Don Gotske, the man who has eaten over 22,000 Big Macs since 1972.
Tubecast.tv is a new Internet video startup that is building a user interface layer on top of the online video services like YouTube.
Completely browser based (rather than a download like Joost), each channel on Tubecast shows videos in a schedule but you can easily click through them to view the video that you want. There are groups of channels such as music videos, movies and martial arts but I was only able to view the music channels. The interface is pretty slick and videos start almost instantly. [via]
When asked the question, "recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?”, Miss Teen USA contender Lauren Caitlin Upton (Miss South Carolina) responded...
Just incase she lost you after the first sentence, here's a transcript:-
Collecting queen Carol Vaughan really is a bag lady - after amassing more than 23,000 plastic bags.
While most people search for ways of getting rid of the items, Carol can't get enough of them.
The 63-year-old started building up her collection 20 years ago.