Currently, Dr. Thienna's personal record is 5,389 which exceeds the current record held by Attila Horvath, recorded on January 30, 2002. At the age of 40, Dr. Thienna can still do over 10,000 squats per week and is ready to grab the record-holding title.
Dr. Thienna explains that the reason she is so thrilled about this event, is not only the attempt to break the record, but to share through the event, how healthy squats can make people.
"Squats can really keep people looking young and healthy," she explains. "It's the king of all exercises."
Generally, people hate the idea of squatting because it can be so repetitious. However, if done correctly, squats work every muscle in the body. They also strengthen the heart and maintain flexibility.
"My strength and stamina/endurance have primarily been gained from practicing my 'Natural Fairskin Method' in a book I recently authored, 'Unlocking the Mystery of Skin Color,'" Dr. Thienna, says. "Skin health reflects overall health."
Dr. Thienna was born in Saigon, Vietnam three months after Viet Cong forces attacked the city during the infamous Tet Offensive. Eleven years later, Dr. Thienna and her family fled communist Vietnam in a 50-foot wooden boat that carried 285 passengers. On its way to Indonesia, the vessel was attacked by pirates. Less than one year later, Dr. Thienna's family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in San Francisco.
Dr. Thienna is founder of Thienna, Inc. and is one of the world's leading authorities on human skin color. She holds a number of academic degrees, including a BA in Economics; a BS in Microbiology; a Graduate Certificate in Genetic Engineering; an MA in Business Administration; and a Ph.D. in Scientific Nutrition. She also has performed significant additional study in the fields of chemistry, biology, and molecular biology. At the age of 27, Dr. Thienna started a small business that has blossomed into a million-dollar success.
Several sponsors have joined together to support Dr. Thienna in her personal achievement and they include: CaliToday.com; GG Connections; KTR; NetworkPCB.com; Legaldigitalvideo.com; Piercey Toyota; Redgraphic.com; Saratogadentalspa.com; Call Centers International; and Thienna, Inc.
For more information on the book and the event: visit: www.thienna.com/global-event_avi.html
To start the event, the Santas will gather at 11.30am in Guildhall Square, Guildhall Street, Custom House Street, Waterloo Place and Strand Road. Music and entertainment will be provided by local bands and Christmas singers at Santa’s “Gig Rig”.
Disabled participants can meet in Union Hall Street and Bank Place and can begin their route approximately 15 minutes before the main body of participants.
“THE SHEPHERD’S AREA” near Shipquay Place walls will be available for large groups of school children with accompanying adults to congregate and watch the event. Access to this area will be via Waterloo Place.
At 12.00 the Santas will be organised into lines and guided through Magazine Gate, where they will be counted by The Guinness Book of Records’ Adjudicator and awarded a certificate for becoming a “WORLD RECORD BREAKER”. Note: You must be in your full Santa suit and have your Santa Reference Number to be counted.
Once through Magazine Gate the Santas will make their way up Magazine Street, across Butcher Street and onto Upper Magazine Street where they can access the walls at three designated entrances. One ramp will also be available at Palace Street/Upper Magazine Street.
On the walls the Santas will follow a clockwise route. Street entertainers and Santas Helpers will be positioned around the walls giving out small treats to children. Nambarrie will also be at the Millennium Forum and Guildhall Square to supply a “wee cup of tea”.
Participants can leave the walls at any time from one of the exits - Stewards will be available to provide assistance.
The final exit point is at Stable Lane. Participants can return to their mode of transport via Bishop Street or return to the Guildhall to enjoy the closing event with live Bands until 1.00.
Emily Welch has been training for the high-endurance record attempt for six months. She has been shearing professionally for six years and is the only female shearer in her gang, but has a rising profile on the competition shearing circuit.
The record was previously held by another New Zealander, Jills Angus Burney, who set the mark in 1989 in Bennydale. She says participating in an attempt like this is as exhausting as running a marathon.
Twenty-seven year-old Emily was taught by her father Philip Woodward, a local shearing legend. Emily has been shearing professionally for six years.
She is the only female shearer in her gang. Emily competes alongside men around the show circuit throughout the North Island and more recently Australia.
Emily Welch gained second place in the senior grade at this year's Golden Shears at Masterton, and sixth at the New Zealand championships in Te Kuiti.
Her most recent show was Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia where she controversially placed second in the seniors.
Welch, who began her bid at Waikaretu, south of Auckland, at 5 am, celebrated by having a sleep, TV3 said. Presumably, she did not need to count them.
Thanks from http://www.worldrecordsacademy.org/
A palanquin arrived amid much fanfare at Chennai Silks, a textile house in Tamil Nadu, to give a princely welcome for an outfit that's fit for a queen – a sari studded with gold, diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones.
The textile house has woven what it claims is the world's costliest sari, one that costs Rs 40 lakh and weighs around eight kilogram.
“The most special thing about the sari is the Ravi Varma painting which has been woven into it. All the intricate details in the painting have been replicated like the curly hair of the ladies and the jewels they are wearing,” Assistant General Manager of Chennai Silks K V Sriram said.
While it has already entered the Limca Book of Records, the company says it will try to enter the Guiness Book as well.
It took 30 weavers around seven months to make the sari and its launch was also star-studded with actors Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Shobhana and Jeeva attending the event. So, was the attempt just for a record?
“This sari can be worn. Normally also it can be used, so it’s not just for a record,” Sriram said.
The director claims they have already received enquiries regarding the sari and hopes that it will be sold soon.
Thanks from IBN LIVE
DO always sign the card with a ballpoint pen.
The moment you get your debit card, DO note down the card number and the emergency number. Then, should your card ever get misplaced or stolen, having these numbers ready will enable you to report the loss immediately.
DO keep these two numbers in a place other than the wallet that holds your card. Then, if your pocket gets picked, you won't have to hunt for the emergency number frantically.
For reasons of security, DO keep with you a photocopy of the front and reverse of your debit card.
If you are going abroad, DO make a note of the card company's (Visa/MasterCard/ Amex) emergency phone number in the country you are going to.
DO report a lost or stolen card immediately.
DO try and memorize the PIN instead of noting it down somewhere.
DON'T lend your card to anyone. DO be well aware of who has access to your cards. If a member of your family (spouse, child, parent) borrows your card, with or without your knowledge, you are responsible for the transactions they make with it.
NEVER reveal the card number unnecessarily.
DON’T give your debit card number over the phone or the Internet. Debit Card cannot be used for transactions through the Internet, phone or e-mail.
At a shop or restaurant, NEVER leave your card unattended.
DO make sure that the card returned to you at a merchant establishment is your own.
When using your card at a merchant establishment, only your signature is needed. NEVER reveal any other personal detail about yourself, be it your address or phone number.
NEVER sign an incomplete sales slip. DO make sure that totalling has been done.
DO always keep a copy of the bill and the payment slip for a transaction and the ATM receipts for cash withdrawals.
DO always check your billing statement. DO check the purchases and DO compare them with the bills and receipts in your possession.
If you are returning or handing over your card to the bank, DO cut it into two and DO make sure you give it to a bank official only. This will ensure that the card can never be used again.
"I kept trying to find a way to make it legitimate so I could cash it," he said. "I did think about all the things I could do with the money ... who wouldn't?"
Mika returned the check a mistake that occurred when an employee entered a serial number, not an amount to state finance offices Wednesday.
"Clearly we have an honest, honest citizen. I wish I could do something more than say thanks," commerce department director Francine Giani said.
Giani said the state will implement additional internal controls to catch such mistakes in the future. A new computer system, which only requires entering the amount of a check once, might have contributed to the problem, she said.
Mika, who runs the nonprofit Providence Foundation to help Nepalese sherpas, said he's had great fun showing off the state's mistake.
"Everybody looked at it, started giggling and asked why I wasn't already in Switzerland," he said.
He admits to being tempted to deposit the money and draw a bit interest before the state asked for its return.
"That money would have gone a long way," he said.
But ultimately honestly and the idea of spending time at the Utah state prison made Mika too nervous to do anything.
Because the check was state-issued, cashing it would probably have been easy, despite the large amount, Giani said.
"It was a valid check," said Rick Beckstead, the state accounting operation manager whose signature is stamped on the check. "But it would have been caught when we did reconciliation and we would have been after him for the refund."
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, sltrib.com & AP
Forty-eight year-old shipping and receiving clerk Tim James explained that the feat was intended for him to be able to leave "a nice little legacy for my ancestors to come across."
His track was laid out as mats around the inside of his office building, the Buford Lewis Printing Co. To reach the record, James needed to do 700 laps.
The crawl was intended for 35 miles, in 45 hours. The starting time was 5:30 pm Friday, and James expected to finish at around mid-Sunday.
At around 10:30 p.m. Friday, Tim's wife spotted the injuries that James had sustained, and insisted that he stop.
"I realized I hadn't gained very much ground in five hours, and I realized it was going to take ma a lot longer than I thought," Political Gateway quoted James.
The idea of breaking that particular record came to the aspiring clerk by recalling that as a former plumber, he spent a considerable amount of time crawling on all fours.
"I said, 'That's something I could probably actually do'," The Tennessean quoted James.
James had previously attempted to break the record, as he tried crawling on the corner of Harding Place and Nolensenville road. He stopped after 14 miles, as it began to rain and he had started to slip.
The record is currently held by two Colorado college students, whose 44-hour, 32.26-mile crawl put them through torrential rain, lightning and hail. Their crawl was in order to raise money for pediatric AIDS research.
The new transmitter snaps into a tiny pocket in NuMetrex sports bras and shirts, where it receives the heart rate signal from textile sensors located across the chest band area. The data is then transmitted to a watch or exercise machine that displays a read-out of the heart rate.
The NuMetrex system is compatible with most analog heart rate monitor watches including Polar, Nike, Reebok, Oregon Scientific, New Balance, Highgear and Accumen models, as well as gym-quality treadmills and elliptical machines.
"By replacing the conventional hard plastic electrodes with soft, flexible textile sensors that are knit directly into the fabrics of our clothing, we are able to offer the most comfortable heart rate monitors on the market," says Textronics CEO Stacey Burr.
"Now, with the development of our own transmitter, we can also provide improved accuracy and compatibility with many different brands of watches. This makes our comfortable solution accessible to more people.
" The NuMetrex transmitter is built using technology that was designed specifically to meet performance needs created in a textile environment.
“When it comes to heart rate monitoring, comfort and accuracy can work against each other. Fabric sensors stretch and move with the body which makes them super comfortable but potentially confusing to existing transmitters,” explains lead developer Brian Wheeler.
The new transmitter smartly sorts through feedback to bring accurate data to the wearer.
It is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably against the sternum without rubbing.
More News Details and Photos
Please check all photos and Buy Dreams of Flying Book online at http://www.janvonholleben.com/dof_extra.html
The man-made salt water lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile, was completed late last year and has been drawing large crowds ever since. Situated on the Chilean coast, it provides a spectacular play area of seemingly endless crystal-clear blue water.
The lagoon employs cutting-edge technology that allows it to "harvest, filter and permanently recirculate ocean water", according to biochemist and businessman Fernando Fischmann, who heads Crystal Lagoons Corporation, the company that designed the mammoth pool.
"This advance provides something that until now was not technically possible - the generation of monumental masses of water in a crystalline state to provide a beach life environment and aquatic sports at the top level," he says.
Fischmann says companies are keen to take advantage of the way lagoons form "impressive artificial paradises, even in inhospitable areas".
The San Alfonso pool:
* Is 8 hectares in surface area or the equivalent of 6,000 standard-size 8-metre-long swimming pools.
* It easily dwarfs the next biggest pool - the Orthlieb in Casablanca, Morocco - which measures 150m x 100m.
* The lagoon's water temperature in summer is 26C, nine degrees warmer than the ocean it sits alongside.
* Its waters are transparent to a depth of 35 metres.
* It cost approximately US$1.5 billion to build and about US$4m per year in maintenance.
* The pool fills itself with 250,000 cubic meters of water from the Pacific ("which filters itself")
Alexis Lemaire, now studying for a doctorate in artificial intelligence in Reims, France, had to work with a 17-line number generated by a computer. His answer, in less than two minutes, was 2,397,207,667,966,701 (or 2 quadrillion, 397 trillion, 207 billion, 667 million, 966,701).
"The first digit is easy and so is the last, but the middle ones are very hard," said Lemaire, adding that anyone can do it, but he has a high-speed mind and at times his brain works very, very rapidly.
British jeweller Laurence Graff bought the ring whose octagonal stone weighs 2.26 carats and is the largest red diamond to appear at auction, it said.
The previous record for a red diamond, considered the rarest of coloured diamonds, was a 1.92 carat gem that sold for more than $1.6 million (783,000 pounds) in 2001, according to the auction house which held a semi-annual jewellery sale in Geneva on Thursday night.
An emerald and diamond necklace, which belonged to German Princess Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck at the end of the 19th century, sold for just over 2 million Swiss francs to an anonymous bidder.
In all, Christie's jewellery sale netted 53.9 million Swiss francs, with 80 percent of the nearly 400 lots on offer finding new owners.
"After nearly a billion dollars of art changed hands at Christie's New York in the last two weeks, the jewellery sale at Christie's Geneva demonstrated the same trend with spectacular prices achieved for exceptional jewels and gemstones," said Eric Valdieu, director of Christie's jewellery department in Geneva.
Steven Jones of Aeration Decorations, based in Cincinnati, leads an international team of balloon designers with the 4th annual BalloonTown USA event. The event is at Cincinnati Mills Mall in the old Media Play building. Artists are attending from throughout the United States, Europe and Israel.
Over 150,000 balloons will be used to break the existing record set in 2003 by an Italian team of balloon designers. Their sculpture used just over 59,000 balloons, so the Cincinnati effort should easily surpass the record.
The event was open to the public. The event is also a charity fund raiser. Proceeds from the project will be donated to St. Rita School for the Deaf and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati.
A press conference took place at BalloonTown USA on Thursday, November 8th at 10:00 AM. At that time, there was an official ribbon cutting ceremony and guided tour through the completed sculpture.
If you have questions or wish to schedule and interview contact Carmen Tellez 562-948-5342
Thanks from http://charmandhappy.com/
The girl named Lakshmi is joined to a "parasitic twin" that stopped
A team of 30 doctors was removing the extra limbs and organs. They have separated the fused spines and the next step will be to separate the extra limbs and then the rest of the "parasite," said Dr. Sharan Patil, the orthopedic surgeon leading the operation.
"As of now, the child has been responding very well," Patil said several hours into the operation.
Lakshmi is named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth, and some in her village in the northern state of Bihar revere her.
"Everybody considers her a goddess at our village," said her father, Shambhu, who goes by one name. "All this expenditure has happened to make her normal. So far, everything is fine."
Others sought to make money from Lakshmi. Her parents kept her in hiding after a circus apparently tried to buy the girl, they said.
The complications for Lakshmi's surgery are myriad: The two spines are merged, she has four kidneys, entangled nerves, two stomach cavities and two chest cavities. She cannot stand up or walk.
"It's a big team effort of a lot of skilled surgeons who will be putting their heart and soul into solving the problem of Lakshmi," Patil said earlier in the day. "It's going to take many, many hours on a continuous basis to operate on the baby. So, these issues definitely make it complex."
Patil put the risk of losing Lakshmi between 20 and 25 percent.
Doctors at Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore, where the girl is undergoing surgery, said she is popular among the staff and patients.
"She's a very cute girl," Dr. Patil Mamatha said. "She's very playful and gets along well with others."
The hospital's foundation is paying for the operation because the girl's family could not afford the medical bills, Mamatha said.
Collaborating for the first time, Cerrone and MobileMuster have worked together to produce an exquisite jewellery range highlighting what you can do with materials that can be recovered from recycled mobile phones.
The range includes a men’s ring, cufflinks and necklace, and a women’s necklace, bracelet and earrings, which contain the equivalent amount of gold that would be recovered from recycling 8,700 mobile phones or mining between 20 to 25 tonnes of gold ore.
TV personality and former Miss Australia, Erin McNaught, and former Olympic swimmer, Michael Klim are also supporting the campaign by modeling the range to be auctioned online. Funds raised will be donated to Landcare Australia as part of the joint “Old Phones, New Trees” program with MobileMuster.
“We wanted to illustrate the value of recycling mobile phones and make the point that when you get a new mobile phone this year, you might also be getting the gold necklace you receive next Christmas,” said Rose Read, Manager of Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association’s (AMTA) national recycling program, MobileMuster.
“Over 90% of mobile phone materials are recoverable. This includes gold, silver, copper and other valuable resources that can be reused to create products like jewellery, stainless steel products, batteries and plastic fence posts,” Ms Read added.
Nic Cerrone, famed for creating jewellery worn by Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Kirsten Dunst, says designing and creating the jewellery range for MobileMuster was an exciting challenge.
“I loved the idea of creating jewellery to demonstrate the importance of recycling. I’m passionate about the environment and protecting Australia’s scarce resources and minerals” said Mr Cerrone.
GraysOnline will be auctioning the pieces on behalf of MobileMuster and have also donated their services and all proceeds to Landcare Australia to support the “Old Phones New Trees” program.
Cerrone’s striking pieces contain gold, silver and copper and will be available to the highest bidder online at http://www.graysonline.com.au/ from 28 October to 12 November.
The public can view the jewellery range at Cerrone Double Bay during the auction period - 15 Cross Street, Double Bay, Sydney.
"The range is a creative way to show the importance of recycling old mobile phones, illustrates how these materials can be reused to create valuable and beautiful items, as well as reduce our demand on the earth’s natural resources,” said Brian Scarsbrick, Chief Executive Officer, Landcare Australia. MobileMuster
Gillian Henry, an accessory designer, has already started knitting the scarf giving it a classic style. It has reached 50 feet long and continues to grow by 5 five feet per day.As a part of the ‘Handbag Heaven’ promotional weekend in the Oxford street shop, the designers at Johnstons have already started tailoring the scarf in Selfridge’s signature yellow.
Selfridge has provided Johnstons, a platform to promote knitting, cashmere, accessories and most importantly the tag-Made in Scotland.
Please visit official site
Sound Asleep a fantastic new gadget from Comfy Quilts, incorporates a miniature covert speaker into a pillow creating the perfect solution for balancing the harmony in the bedroom.
Ideal as a Christmas gift, the Sound Asleep pillow is great for relaxing in bed whether it’s dosing off to your favourite tunes on the ‘Z’-pod or watching late night Match of the day, the pillow maximises entertainment while minimising the risk of keeping your loved ones awake.
Insomniacs no longer have to suffer in silence but can now tune into late night radio rather than lie there in the dark trying not to bother their partner, safe in the knowledge that only they can hear.
The unique Sound Asleep pillow has a discreet speaker built into its design meaning the sound is distributed via the cushioning, direct into the users ear.
Compatible with i-pod’s, MP3 player’s, TV’s, stereos’ and radio, the Sound Asleep enables the user to listen to their own personal sounds that only they can hear, without the discomfort of headphones.
The pillow has a removable 120mm wire meaning it is safe and tidy when not in use and the connector uses a 3.5mm stereo plug, universal to most devices. With 100% polyester cosy hollowfibre filling it’s allergy free and exceptionally comfortable.
Jamie Moryoussef, Director of Comfy Quilts, comments: “Our extensive research on peoples lifestyles and sleeping patterns showed us that a large number of us like to listen to music to help us sleep at night - others just don’t fall asleep as quickly as their bed partners."Some people need to listen to the “peaceful hour” on the radio, others tune into their favourite tunes on the i-pod while some prefer to listen to the comforting noise of birds in the amazon jungle. “Headphones aren’t the most comfortable of things to fall asleep in hence we developed the Sound Asleep pillow.”
In an exclusive interview with Fibre 2 fashion.com, Prof Bazargani said, "It was our idea to help people to sleep on an ergonomic pillow and stop snoring as it a general problem."
"The system has many air chambers and a computer can reduce or enlarge the air chambers to change the head position of the sleeper. The computer searches and finds the optimal position of the head facilitating easy breathing. Optimal breathing position is the best position with the least snoring noice or help completely stopping snoring."
This pillow was first displayed at a health conference on Wednesday last in Germany."
Rounding off on marketing potential of his invention, Prof Bazargani said, "We are seeking an investor to finance the production and maketing of this wonder pillow."
The snakes crawled under his arms, between his legs and anywhere else they could slither, Bibby said. None bit him.
"They can go wherever they want as long as they don't start biting," Bibby said. "The key to not biting is for me to stay still. Rapid movement scares a rattlesnake. If you move real slow and gentle, that doesn't seem to bother them."
Bibby sat in the dry tub with a pillow behind him, wearing regular clothing. The snakes were not defanged and still contained their venom, he said.
The clear bathtub was specially made several years ago for Bibby by the Guinness folks for a televised segment. He has used it for subsequent attempts at the record for sitting in a tub with snakes.
"I have set several world records in that bathtub," Bibby said.
The record was Bibby's latest grab at glory. Last year he set a Guinness-certified record by holding 10 rattlesnakes by their tails in his mouth at once. He said he hopes to break that record Tuesday by squeezing in an 11th.
The Texas Snake Man also claims to hold non-sanctioned records for climbing into a sleeping bag head first with 20 rattlesnakes and going in feet first with 112. Dublin is about 120 miles southwest of Dallas.
Source : AP
Sodexho is the food service provider for Roseburg public schools, and it is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest food drive by a non-charitable organization in a 24-hour period.
All schools are collecting food during school hours through Wednesday, when the cans will be taken to Roseburg High School and counted.The world record is 221,028.85 pounds. Sodexho is working with all of its accounts in the United States.
In Roseburg, the food will be donated to the Umpqua Community Action Network.
Thanks from http://www.sodexhousa.com/
The World Record attempt will see a centralized mass brushing mega event in Delhi where over 5,000 students from 7 schools will assemble and simultaneously brush their teeth as they attempt to break the world record. Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan, brand ambassador for Colgate MaxFresh, will flag off the event and encourage the children in their record-breaking attempt.
Organised as part of the 4th edition of Oral Health Month (OHM), http://www.oralhealthmonth.co.in/, this world record attempt is aimed at boosting and spreading greater awareness about oral health in India, while teaching school children the right way to brush.
In addition to the centralized mass brushing event in Delhi, over 145,000 students from over 350 schools across 23 cities in India will also participate in satellite brushing events being held at various school venues. In Delhi, over 15,000 students from 31 schools are taking part in this world record attempt.
Dental health packs will be provided to each student taking part in the attempt, which will include a toothbrush, toothpaste, bottled water and a suitable container for rinsing. Students will be guided by dental professionals associated with IDA on the right way to brush. To qualify for the record, different schools from across the country will brush within the given time period.
Prabha Parameswaran, Vice President - Marketing, Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited said, “In India, Colgate has been working towards better oral health awareness and promoting good oral hygiene for years. That is why, in 2004, we introduced the month-long Oral Health Month program in India with the aim of educating people on the importance of good oral health practices. This year, we are seeking to go a step further by attempting to break a Guinness World Record™ through an innovative effort – the mega brushing event - ‘Brush-Up Challenge’. This program is not only ambitious, but is truly a pan-India effort with children from across the country participating in this world-record attempt. Through this initiative, we hope to succeed in our endeavor to draw people’s attention to the importance of oral hygiene and the importance of brushing right.”
October 2007 is being observed as Oral Health Month. Now in its fourth year, the event conducted in association with the Indian Dental Association (IDA) is an intensive month-long oral health awareness campaign in India to establish and promote the importance of good oral health habits for all ages. ‘Mission Zero Tooth Decay’ is the theme of the Oral Health Month 2007. Over 8,000 dentists are expected to participate in OHM 2007. For more details on Oral Health Month 2007, please visit http://www.oralhealthmonth.co.in/
Thanks from http://www.colgate.co.in/
Pigeons have lived alongside man for thousands of years with the first images of pigeons being found by archaeologists in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and dating back to 3000 BC. It was the Sumerians in Mesopotamia that first started to breed white doves from the wild pigeon that we see in our towns and cities today and this undoubtedly accounts for the amazing variety of colors that are found in the average flock of urban pigeons. To ancient peoples a white pigeon would have seemed miraculous and this explains why the bird was widely worshipped and considered to be sacred. Throughout human history the pigeon has adopted many roles ranging from symbols of gods and goddesses through to sacrificial victims, messengers, pets, food and even war heroes!
The first biblical reference to the pigeon (or dove) was in the Old Testament of the Bible in the first millennium AC and was the story of Noah and the dove of peace. Later, in the New Testament, the pigeon was first mentioned during the baptism of Christ where the dove descended as the Holy Spirit, an image now used extensively in Christian art. These early biblical references have paved the way for the many different ways that the urban pigeon is viewed in modern societies worldwide. Perception of the pigeon through the centuries has changed from God to the devil and from hero to zero!
Pigeon poop – foul or fantastic?
Although pigeon poo is seen as a major problem for property owners in the 21st Century, it was considered to be an invaluable resource in the 16th, 17th and 18th century in Europe. Pigeon poop was a highly prized fertiliser and considered to be far more potent than farmyard manure. So prized in fact that armed guards were stationed at the entrances to dovecotes (pigeon houses) to stop thieves stealing it! Not only this, but in England in the 16th century pigeon poop was the only known source of saltpetre, an essential ingredient of gunpowder and was considered a highly valued commodity as a result. In Iran, where eating pigeon flesh was forbidden, dovecotes were set up and used simply as a source of fertilizer for melon crops and in France and Italy it was used to fertilize vineyards and hemp crops.
The pigeon as a war hero
In modern times the feral pigeon has been used to great effect during wartime. In both the first and second World Wars the pigeon saved hundreds of thousands of human lives by carrying messages across enemy lines. Pigeons were carried on ships in convoys and in the event of a U-boat attack a messenger pigeon was released with details of the location of the sinking ship. In many cases this lead to the survivors being rescued and lives saved. Mobile pigeon lofts were set up behind the trenches in the First World War from which pigeons often had to fly through enemy fire and poison gas to get their messages home. The birds played a vital role in intelligence gathering and were used extensively behind enemy lines where the survival rate was only 10%. In the Second World War pigeons were used less due to advances in telecommunications, but the birds relayed invaluable information back to the allies about the German V1 and V2 Rocket sites on the other side of the Channel.
The pigeon as a messenger
The earliest large scale communication network using pigeons as messengers was established in Syria and Persia about 5th Century BC. Much later in the 12th Century AD the city of Baghdad and all the main towns and cities in Syria and Egypt were linked by messages carried by pigeons. This was the sole source of communication. In Roman times the pigeon was used to carry results of sporting events such as the Olympic Games and this is why white doves are released at the start of the Olympic Games today. In England, prior to the days of telegraphs, pigeons were often taken to soccer matches and released to carry home the result of the game. Their use as a messenger in war time resulted in many pigeons being awarded honors by both the British and French Governments. Incredibly, the last ‘pigeon post’ service was abandoned in India in 2004 with the birds being retired to live out the rest of their days in peace.
The religious significance of the pigeon
Many religious groups including Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs feed pigeons for religious reasons. Many older Sikhs feed pigeons ceremoniously to honour the high priest and warrior Guru Govind Singh who was a known friend of the pigeon (or rock dove). Some Sikhs also feed pigeons because they believe that when they are reincarnated they will never go hungry if they have fed pigeons in their previous life. Other religious groups in India believe that when a person dies his or her soul assumes the form of a bird (normally a pigeon) and therefore by feeding birds they are caring for the souls of their departed ancestors. The pigeon is revered in India with huge flocks numbering many thousands of birds being fed daily at Hindu temples in town and city centres throughout the country. In both eastern and western societies many of the most entrenched pigeon-related problems in urban areas are considered to be caused, certainly in part, by religious feeding of the birds. In the Christian religion the pigeon is both a symbol of peace and of the Holy Spirit.
During the First World War a pigeon named Cher Ami (Dear friend) saved the lives of many French soldiers by carrying a message across enemy lines in the heat of battle. Cher Ami was shot in the chest and the leg, loosing most of the leg to which the message was attached, but continued the 25 minute flight avoiding shrapnel and poison gas to get the message home. Cher Ami was awarded the French ‘Croix de Guerre’ for heroic service. Another heroic pigeon named G.I. Joe saved the lives of a thousand soldiers in World War 2 after British troops had established a position within an Italian town that was due to be bombed by allied planes. Communication equipment was down and the only means of stopping the raid was to attach a hastily written message to G.I. Joe and send him to the HQ. G.I. Joe flew 20 miles in 20 minutes arriving at the air base whilst the planes were taxiing on the runway. Disaster was averted with 5 minutes to spare. G.I. Joe received the ‘Dickin’ medal for his bravery.
‘Rock Dove’ or ‘pigeon’?
The feral pigeon that we see in our towns and cities today is descended from the Rock Dove (Columba livia), a cliff dwelling bird historically found in coastal regions. The word ‘pigeon’ is actually derived from the Latin word ‘pipio’ which meant ‘young bird’. The word then passed into Old French as ‘pijon’ and thus the English name ‘pigeon’ was derived and is now used the world over as a common name for the Rock Dove. Other common names include ‘domestic pigeon’ and the ‘feral pigeon’. In 2004 British and American Ornithologists officially re-named the bird the Rock Pigeon.
Why do pigeons bob their heads?
The pigeon has side mounted eyes unlike humans and owls which have forward facing eyes. As a pigeons have monocular vision rather than binocular vision they bob their heads for depth of perception. The pigeon’s eyes work much better with stationary images and therefore, as the pigeon takes a step forward the head is temporarily left behind. The next step jerks the head forward again and so on. This allows the bird to correctly orient itself.
Pigeon-gram Air Mail service
The first organised pigeon air-mail service was started in 1896 between New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef. The sinking of the SS Wairarapa off the Great Barrier Reef, with the loss of 134 lives, was a catalyst for the service. News of the disaster did not reach New Zealand for 3-days and as a direct result a pigeon-gram service was set up between the two islands. The first message was carried in January 1896 and took less than 1.75 hours to reach Aukland. Up to 5 messages were carried by each pigeon with the record time for the journey being held by a pigeon called ‘Velocity’ taking only 50 minutes and averaging 125 kmph (only 40% slower than a modern aircraft!). Special pigeon-gram stamps were issued costing 2/- each (20 cents) with the fee being paid in cash before the pigeon was released.
Pigeons in Wall Street
One of the richest and most famous families in the world amassed its wealth, certainly in part, as a result of exploiting the pigeon. In the early 1800’s the Rothschild family set up a network of pigeon lofts throughout Europe and used homing pigeons to carry information between its financial houses. This method proved to be quicker and more efficient than any other means of communication available at the time. The speed of the service combined with the ability to send and receive information ahead of the competition helped the Rothschild family amass a fortune which still exists today.
Mating habits of the pigeon
The feral pigeon mates for life and can breed up to 8 times a year in optimum conditions, bringing two young into the world each time. The frequency of breeding is dictated by the abundance of food. The eggs take 18/19 days to hatch with both parents incubating the eggs. Young dependant pigeons are commonly known as ‘squabs’. Both parents feed the young with a special ‘pigeon milk’ that is regurgitated and fed to the squabs. Each squab can double its birth weight in one day but it takes 4 days for the eyes to open. When squabs are hungry they ‘squeak’ whilst flapping their wings and as a result they are also commonly known as ‘squeakers’. At approximately 2 months of age the young are ready to fledge and leave the nest. This much longer than average time spent in the nest ensures that life expectancy of a juvenile pigeon is far greater than that of other fledglings.
Pigeons are big business
We normally think of the pigeon as being an unwelcome guest in our towns and cities but most of us are unaware that racing pigeons can be worth huge sums of money. One racing pigeon recently sold for a staggering $132,517.00! The 3-year old bird was a champion racer beating 21,000 other pigeons in one long distance race. For this reason he was bought by one British company that breeds racing pigeons for ‘stud’. One very happy pigeon! The previous record price for a pigeon was $73, 800.00.
How do pigeons navigate?
There are many theories about how pigeons manage to return ‘home’ when released 100’s of miles from their loft. A champion racing pigeon can be released 400-600 miles away from its home and still return within the day. This amazing feat does not just apply to ‘racing’ or ‘homing’ pigeons, all pigeons have the ability to return to their roost. A 10-year study carried out by Oxford University concluded that pigeons use roads and freeways to navigate, in some cases even changing direction at freeway junctions. Other theories include navigation by use of the earth’s magnetic field, visual clues such as landmarks, the sun and even infrasounds (low frequency seismic waves). Whatever the truth, this unique ability makes the pigeon a very special bird.
Famous people and pigeons
The humble pigeon has attracted some very famous fans over the last few thousand years ranging from Royalty to rock and roll singers and actors through to fashion designers. One of the most famous royals is Queen Elizabeth of England who has lofts and pigeon keepers at her estate in Sandringham, Norfolk. Elvis Presley had a soft spot for pigeons and Mike Tyson is also an enthusiastic pigeon keeper. Even Maurizzo Gucci the internationally renowned fashion designer is a keen pigeon fancier spending a reputed $10,000 on one American pigeon. 'One famous couple, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, are keen pigeon fanciers but after being swamped by autograph hunters at a pigeon show they are apparently less comfortable to show their affection for the birds publicly.' Last but not least, and probably the most famous of all... Noah!
Probably the greatest disaster to befall the species was the extermination of the passenger pigeon in North America in the early part of the 20th century. It is estimated that there were 3-5 billion passenger pigeons in North America at the time. Flocks of 100,000’s of the birds would blacken the skies as they flew over but early settlers managed to wipe out every last bird by 1914 through over-hunting. A more recent, and quite bizarre disaster, befell tens of thousands of racing pigeons released from Nantes in France as part of a race held to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Racing Pigeon Association in England. 60,000 pigeons were released but only a few birds ever arrived back at their lofts throughout southern England. One theory suggests that the sonic boom created by Concorde as it flew over the English Channel, at the precise time the pigeons would have been at the same point, completely disorientated the birds, compromising their inbuilt navigation system.
Pigeons as lifesavers
Although pigeons are one of the most intelligent of all the bird species man has found limited uses for the birds other than for the purposes of sport, food and as a message carrier. A team of navy researchers, however, has found that pigeons can be trained to save human lives at sea with high success rates. Project Sea Hunt has trained a number of pigeons to identify red or yellow life jackets when floating in the water. The pigeons were not only found to be more reliable than humans but they were also many times quicker than humans when it came to spotting survivors from a capsized or sinking boat. The pigeon can see color in the same way that humans do but they can also see ultra-violet, a part of the spectrum that humans cannot see, and this is one of the reasons they are so well adapted to lifesaving.
Pigeons in the news
One of the world’s most famous news agencies, Reuters, started its European business by using trained homing pigeons. The service was started in 1850 with 45 pigeons carrying the latest news and stock prices from Aachen in Germany to Brussels in Belgium. Although a telegraph service between the two countries existed, numerous gaps in the transmission lines made communication difficult and slow. The birds travelled the 76 miles in a record-breaking two hours beating the railway by four hours.
Why do you never see a baby pigeon?
Most small birds rear and fledge their young in 2/3 weeks with young birds sometimes leaving the nest after only 10 days of life, but pigeons are different, their young remain in the nest for up to 2 months before fledging. This gives the young pigeon an advantage over many other species of bird. It leaves the nest as a relatively mature juvenile, allowing the bird to cope better in the first few days of its life, a dangerous time for all youngsters. Juveniles can be told apart from adults but it takes an experienced eye. A juvenile’s beak often appears to be far too long for the size of its body and the cere (the fleshy area at the top of the beak) is white in adults and greyish pink in juveniles.
What is the natural predator of the pigeon?
Although the natural enemy of the feral pigeon is now man, with millions of pigeons being killed in control operations the world over, it is the peregrine falcon that is the pigeons’ real natural predator. Although a shy and retiring bird that has its natural habitat along rocky coastlines, the peregrine is now being introduced into towns and cities as a ‘natural’ pigeon control. The peregrine is the fastest bird on the planet when in a dive and can achieve speeds in excess of 200 mph, over 130 mph faster than a pigeon.
Are pigeons intelligent?
Pigeons are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds on the planet with pigeons being able to undertake tasks previously thought to be the sole preserve of humans and primates. The pigeon has also been found to pass the ‘mirror test’ (being able to recognise its reflection in a mirror) and is one of only 6 species, and the only non-mammal, that has this ability. The pigeon can also recognise all 26 letters of the English language as well as being able to conceptualise. In scientific tests pigeons have been found to be able to differentiate between photographs and even differentiate between two different human beings in a photograph when rewarded with food for doing so.
Thanks from : www.deterapigeon.com
Two winners are awarded the hotly-contested title of the "world's most beautiful bottom". 19-year-old Kristina Dimitrova from Bulgaria and Andrei Andrei aged 24 from Romania won the women's and men's categories in the world's best bum contest, organised by the underwear maker Sloggi. 43 candidates from 28 countries battled it out at the final in Munich to convince the jury of the quality of their behind.
They're the new fashion heavyweights: a Tokyo design school sent models decked out in more than 1,500 Austrian gold coins clinking down the catwalk on Thursday to showcase its students' skill.
The coins, lent by the Austrian Mint Office and worth more than $1.2 million, were sewn onto three pieces of apparel -- a full-length dress weighing 10 kg (22 pounds) and two jackets weighing up to 21 kg (46 pounds).
The outfits, shimmering like golden scales in the spotlight, were designed by students at Bunka Fashion College for their annual school festival.
The coins were sewn onto the clothes in a locked room within the college campus, where the teachers kept a constant watch. "I felt the weight of the task as I sewed on each piece, coin by coin," said student Yuko Imauji.
One of the models became overwhelmed with the weight of his outfit, a 15 kg jacket, which was swiftly taken off.
"The dress is heavy but well constructed and it fits well," said female model and student Haruna Mine said. "My back's feeling it, though -- it would be tough to wear these coins every day."
Gold prices hit a 28-year high on Thursday as the dollar dropped. Spot gold hit a high of $799.30 an ounce, its highest since January 1980.
Thanks from Xinhua/Reuters
Its been quite sometime since we saw a Hello Kitty or Disney themed laptop. Nec has broken the silence and unveiled the Lavie G Hello Kitty laptop, apart from the usual Hello Kitty wallpapers and laser etchings this one adds a luxury touch. The Lavie G has four petals and the Kitty herself blinged with 299 Swarovski crystals straight from Austria on the top of the notebook. Coming to the specs the lappie is powered by an AMD Mobile Sempron 3400+ CPU at 1.4 Ghz and 1 GB of RAM. It has 100GB hard drive, ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 graphics, DVD super drive, Felica for making wireless payments, 2 in 1 card reader, Wi-Fi and 15.4 inch WXGA (1280 x 800) display. The nickel hydride battery has power for 1.8 hours of use only.