Skin diseases, child molestation charges, baby dangling and cosmetic surgery aside, there's a lot to celebrate about the man nicknamed Wacko Jacko.
So here's a few facts, stats and figures about Jackson that may have passed you by:
1. Jackson's Billie Jean was the first video by a black artist to air on MTV.
2. Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State Anthem South Carolina on My Mind, recorded by Hank Martin and Buzz Arledge.
3. Jackson's waxwork features in five Madame Tussauds museums across the world. Only Elvis Presley and Madonna have more Tussaud figures - they have six each.
4. Jackson's total lifetime earnings from royalties, solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million (#271 million).
5. Jackson has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for radio play, located at 1541 Vine Street, and one for recording at 6927 Hollywood Boulevard.
6. Jackson received a Presidential Humanitarian Award from Ronald Reagan in 1984 for his support of charities helping people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.
7. Michael Jackson is the seventh of nine children.
8. Jackson fought fellow 50 year old Madonna on MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch - he lost.
9. Three of Jackson's albums - Bad, Dangerous and Thriller - are among the bestsellers of all time.
10. Thriller remains the biggest-selling album since records began.
11. Jackson has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.
12. Jackson wears his trademark black armband to remind fans of the suffering of children around the world.
13. Jackson's favourite superhero is Morph from the X-Men.
14.Jackson picked up his iconic moonwalk moves, which he debuted at the Motown 25th Anniversary show in 1983, from streetdancers he spotted performing outside a hotel.
15. MC Hammer once challenged Jackson to a dance-off. He was told to Beat It. Jackson reportedly responded, "I've seen your videos and every single dance move you use, you got off of me."
16. Little Richard wanted Jackson to play him in a biopic.
17. Bubbles the chimp and Ben the rat are two of Jackson's most famous pets, but he also befriended a ram called Mr Tibbs, a python called Crusher and Louie the llama.
18. An obsessed French Jackson superfan committed suicide in 1984 after his mother refused to allow him to undergo surgery to look like the star.
19. In 1984, a U.S. library accused Jackson of owing it over $1 million in overdue book fines. Officials said they would scrap the fines if he returned the books autographed.
20. Jackson dedicated his 1997 Blood On The Dancefloor album to Sir Elton John.
21. Jackson is a vegetarian.
22. Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Jackson 5 on May 6, 1997. He was inducted as a solo artist on March 19, 2001.
23. Jackson once dated Brooke Shields and Tatum O'Neal.
24. Jackson has several media nicknames. They include The Gloved One, Wacko Jacko, Jacko, The King of Pop, and MJ. Close friends call him Smelly!
25. Jackson's music video for Thriller was voted the greatest music video of all time in a recent Channel 4 (UK) poll.
26. Jackson won an MTV Movie Award for Best Movie Song in 1994 for his song Will You Be There from the movie Free Willy.
27. The Scream music video Jackson made with sister Janet is the most expensive promo ever made, costing more than $7 million (#3.8 million).
28. Jackson's double album HIStory is the biggest selling double album ever released in the U.S.
29. Jackson's Blood on the Dance Floor is the biggest selling re-mix album of all time.
30. Jackson really is a King in West Africa - he was given a royal title by villagers in Gabon, Ivory Coast in 1992.
31. Jackson's pre-concert ritual includes drinking Ricola candy dissolved in hot water. He claims the beverage helps to keep his throat and his singing voice clear.
32. Jackson owns the patent for a stage shoe device that allows performers to lean forward and appear to defy gravity.
33. Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana in 1958. The town is planning a tribute museum to the pop superstar.
34. Movie star Macauley Culkin is godfather to Jackson's two eldest children, Paris and Prince Michael.
35. Culkin helped Jackson design the amusement park at his Neverland Valley Ranch home in California.
36. Lisa Marie Presley's former brother-in-law and his wife were the witnesses at her Dominican Republic wedding to Jackson in 1994.
37. Jackson shares the record for the most Grammy Awards won in one year with Carlos Santana and Norah Jones - they each won eight.
38. Jackson co-wrote charity anthem We Are The World with Lionel Richie.
39. Jackson is godfather to Nicole Richie, Bee Gees star Barry Gibb's son Michael, and Oliver star Mark Lester's kids.
40. Jackson and brother Tito were best men at Liza Minnelli and David Gest's wedding.
41. Jackson's performance during the 1993 SuperBowl half-time show drew the largest TV audience in American history.
42. The directors of Jackson's videos have included Martin Scorsese, John Singleton and John Landis.
43. In 1999 Jackson paid $1.5 (#810,000) for the 1939 Best Picture Oscar, which was presented to producer David O. Selznick for Gone With The Wind.
44. Jackson appeared on a postage stamp in the Virgin Islands in the mid-1980s after locals voted him the superstar they'd most like to honour.
45. An extensive 1997 survey declared Jackson was the Most Famous Person in the World.
46. Jackson helped plan neighbour Gregory Peck's funeral.
47. Jackson once described close friend Elizabeth Taylor as "a warm cuddly blanket that I love to snuggle up to and cover myself with.”
48. Jackson provided a voiceover on The Simpsons - but it remained a secret for
12 years. He voiced a character in a mental institution in the Stark Raving Dad episode, which aired in 1991, but, because of a contractual problem, Jackson had to be credited as John Jay Smith. His contribution to the classic cartoon series remained a rumour among fans until The Simpsons creator Matt Groening confirmed it really was Jackson when the episode was released on DVD in 2003.
49. Jackson shares the same birthday as U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who turns 72 today. Other celebrities who share Jackson's birthday include moviemakers Sir Richard Attenborough and William Friedkin, and actresses Rebecca DeMornay and Carla Gugino.
50. Jackson's comeback plans have been scuppered by a new online poll - 71 per cent of 59,000 people voting on website PopEater.com answered `Not a chance' to the question 'Can the King of Pop make a comeback?'
There's a scuba diver, the Georgia Bulldogs football team and — of course — the cast of the Wizard of Oz. Even likenesses of Jesus and Elvis popped up.
The 1,700 real residents of Hoschton hope to nearly triple their population with 4,000 scarecrows and break the Guinness World Record for "Most Scarecrows in One Location."
The title belongs to the Cincinnati Horticultural Society's Cincinnati Flower and Farm Fest, which set the record in 2003 with 3,311 scarecrows.
Antique dealer Robbie Bettis and her husband, Fred, are leading the effort for the town's fall festival, which begins Monday.
On Wednesday they watched over an assembly line at an old downtown train depot, where about 20 people passed wooden frames among tables of dingy clothes, yellow milk jugs, plastic grocery bags, old hats, twine, ribbon and other donated materials
"We thought if we gave people something fun to do then maybe they will forget about the difficult economy," she said. "Winning the world record is just a byproduct."
Crows and criminals beware: Two men caught knocking over scarecrows were sentenced to build 25 of them, lest they face trespassing charges, Mayor Bill Copenhaver said.
Hoschton Fall Festival: http://www.hoschtonfallfestival.com/
However, there is much dispute over his actual age. Although he said he was 138 years old, his pension book showed him to be a mere stripling at 129 - and the Guinness Book of Records has been unable to verify his age at all.
Miyan, who lived in Jaipur in western India, had no birth certificate but has collected a state pension for decades. He once worked in the court of the king of Jaipur - Raja Man Singh, where he played in the wind section of the orchestra.
A crowd of thousands attended Miyan's funeral - demonstrating the fame to which he had risen in the state of Rajasthan. He died after suffering fever and dysentery, his niece Munni told reporters.
Miyan sprang to the attention of the world in 1998, when a bank clerk called Rajesh Nagpal decided to look up the records of the venerable old man who had been collecting his pension for as long as anyone could remember.
Six years later he became one of the oldest people to make the pilgrimage to Mecca - a lifelong goal for the devout Muslim.
The visit was exceptional: Miyan, who had been blind for more than 50 years and suffered limited mobility, spent most of his time at home praying and telling stories to his enormous extended family of 140 people.
"If you treat your body well, the body will treat you well," Miyan always said, according to a relative.
Kwok celebrated his new title with a press conference on Wednesday in Hong Kong where, in February, he wowed fans by dancing on a 10 by 9.44-meter, 450-degree revolving stage during his De Show Reel tour.
During the show, the stage took Kwok back and forth as it switched vertically and horizontally for as high as 10 meters.
Holding the Guinness certificate, Kwok told reporters that it was a significant moment in his career.
The 42-year-old singer staged 16 shows during the De Show Reel tour between late 2007 and early this year, with attendees totaling 170,000.
He is set to kick off another world tour this Saturday, bringing with him the crew who built the world record stage.
Thanks to the support of the thousands of customers who lined up to help the local store to achieve their goal, Domino's franchise, RPM Pizza, ended up breaking not only one, but three world record victories. These were: the number of pizzas sold in a single day (8,125 pizzas), the number of pizzas sold in thirty minutes (518 pizzas) as well as the number of pizzas made in a single hour by an individual.
This record was broken by RPM Pizza store manager, Donnie Rush, who made 142 pizzas - 49 more pizzas than the existing Guinness World Records (TM) holder. Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza is one of the world’s leading pizza delivery franchises.
According to the information provided, Domino's operates a network of 8,671 franchised and company-owned stores in the United States and 60 international markets. The Domino's Pizza(R) brand had global retail sales of over $5.4 billion in 2007, comprised of $3.2 billion domestically and $2.2 billion internationally.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, which recently opened in London's Piccadilly Circus, is offering to pay for Stadnyk to come to a gala event on September 3, where Guinness officials will be waiting with a tape measure to see if he can reclaim his crown.
Guinness World Records previously crowned 8 feet 5.5 inch Stadnyk the world's "Tallest Living Man" based on a statement provided by his medical practitioner. New guidelines, however, stipulate all contenders to the Tallest Living Man title must be measured in person by an official Guinness World Records adjudicator. Repeated requests to measure Stadnyk went unanswered, and as a result, Guinness World Records returned the title to China's 7 feet 8.95 inches Bao Xi Shun.
On September 3, the quirky and world famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, the global authority on the weird, strange and bizarre, will celebrate the opening of its London attraction with a “red-hot-carpet gala” filled with celebrities and human Believe it or Nots!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (http://www.ripleyslondon.com/) occupies 24,000 square feet in the heart of London’s West End at 1 Piccadilly Circus and offers a unique mixture of entertainment, education and fun for the entire family and appeals to anyone with a basic sense of curiosity.
About Ripley Entertainment Inc.
Ripley Entertainment Inc. (http://www.ripleys.com/) is a leading global attractions company with annual attendance of more than 13 million. In addition to its 65-plus attractions, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the globally syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Including the newly opened London odditorium, there are now 32 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museums in operation.
In addition to setting the record for the most people completing the wave, The TUMS Wave at Bristol Motor Speedway traveled around the stadium grandstands in a record time of 58.07 seconds. While Bristol Motor Speedway is the fastest half-mile track on the Sprint Cup circuit, the newest TUMS product, the TUMS QuikPak instant dissolve powder, goes to work faster than a lap at Bristol or the world record-setting fan wave.
"The TUMS Wave was a great way to show race fans just how quickly TUMS and the TUMS QuikPak can provide speedy heartburn relief," said Brenda Kale, Senior Consumer Promotions Manager at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. "TUMS is committed to ensuring NASCAR fans enjoy their race experience to the fullest and participating in the Guinness World Record attempt guaranteed a memorable day at the race track."
To add to the excitement, TUMS enlisted Jeff Byrd, President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway to give the green flag and lead 157,574 fans in the Guinness World Record-setting wave just before the start of the Sharpie 500. TUMS and its dedicated fans are now record holders alongside notable NASCAR drivers such as Richard Petty (most wins at the Daytona 500), Bobby and Davey Allison (first father/son duo to finish first/second in a race), Kevin Harvick (closest margin of victory at the Daytona 500) and Brendan Gaughn (driver of the world's fastest production truck, the Dodge Ram SRT-10).
Fans who helped set the Guinness World Record can visit http://www.bristolmotorspeedway.com/ to download the official TUMS Wave certificate. For more information on TUMS Racing, visit http://www.tumsracing.com/.
MONOPOLY fans in London, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Bogota, Lisbon, Hong Kong, Las Vegas and more than a dozen additional locations, as well as online at http://www.pogo.com/, joined together to contribute to the total World Record participant count and make MONOPOLY history.
In London's Covent Garden, fans gathered to play the game and try the new version of the game available for download on mobile phones. The event in London was broadcast live to fans in Tokyo, where Daisuke Naito, a world boxing champion, joined with fans for the attempt. Fans in Frankfurt used their "Get Out of Jail Free" card during the world record attempt at Old Police Custody Frankfurt. Even Elvis (impersonators) joined in on the fun at the Eiffel Tower
Restaurant at The Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
In Atlantic City, the birthplace of MONOPOLY, Mr. MONOPOLY threw out the first ceremonial roll as fans played the hometown game on the city's famous Boardwalk. In addition, fans played MONOPOLY on multiple digital platforms, including the Nintendo Wii(TM), online on Pogo.com(TM) and on mobile phones.
"We are pleased that so many fans of the game from around the globe joined with us to celebrate the release of the new World Edition of MONOPOLY by setting a world record," said Helen Martin, Vice President of Global Marketing for MONOPOLY Brand. "We are thrilled with the enthusiasm that people have shown for this historic version of the game."
In early 2008, MONOPOLY fans from around the world voted for the global cities that they would like to see represented on the first-ever world edition game board. After the worldwide vote, MontrA(C)al claimed the most expensive on the new MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition game board. Latvia's national capital, Riga, joins Montreal to round out the dark blue property group. More than 5.6 million votes were cast during the voting period to determine the 22 cities featured on the game board.
The new MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition is now available in stores around the world. Please visit http://www.monopoly.com/ to find out local availability and price.
Fans of the game can play MONOPOLY in a variety of ways that best fit their schedules and lifestyles. Stemming from the strategic alliance between Hasbro and Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS:
Electronic Arts Inc
Last: 48.04+0.80+1.69%4:00pm 08/27/2008Delayed quote data
ERTS 48.04, +0.80, +1.7%) , EA has created digital versions of MONOPOLY which will be available to download onto mobile phones, play free online at Pogo.com(TM) and for console systems including the Nintendo Wii(TM), Xbox 360(TM), PlayStation(R)2 and PLAYSTATION(R)3. The mobile game and online game at Pogo.com(TM) will be available starting September 3, 2008. The console versions of the video game are scheduled to launch October 2008.
Since 1935, more than 250 million copies of the MONOPOLY game have been sold in 103 countries and 37 languages. More than 200 different editions of the game have been published, but the most popular continues to be the classic "Number Nine." Affectionately known by its original product number, "Number Nine" is based on the streets of Atlantic City and is nearly identical to Charles Darrow's original submission to Parker Brothers. The MONOPOLY name and logo, the distinctive design of the game board, the four corner squares, the
MR. MONOPOLY name and the character, as well as each of the distinctive elements of the board and playing pieces are trademarks of Hasbro for its property trading game and game equipment.
Abdul, who won a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s biggest curry in 2005, has branched out into specialist sauce making after 25 years at the helm of his Eastern Eye restaurant in Lichfield.
While his Staffordshire restaurant continues to pull in regulars who have enjoyed Abdul’s exotic dishes for years, his new Masterchef UK factory in Lichfield is pumping out 5,000 jars of paste a week.
Abdul’s Indian restaurant sauces are available at Asian diners throughout the UK and now the Bangladeshi entrepreneur is targeting the mainstream supermarket sector to increase the paste’s profile.
‘I have been working for 37 years in the restaurant trade but running the factory is a totally different world for me,’ he told the Birmingham Mail.
‘Most people in the Indian restaurant market use pastes and curry sauces but I always thought that I could do better than the ones already on the market. At the moment we make eight curry sauces and eight pastes and we are looking to add other products, such as poppadoms, spices and pickles.
‘Since April, we have sold over 180,000 pounds ($333,000) worth of products for use in the UK and we also have orders lined up from Germany, Switzerland, Spain and elsewhere,’ he said.
Abdul’s factory in Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, currently employs around 20 full-time staff and he hopes to increase the workforce to up to 100 depending on demand.
‘I did my homework before launching into the market - I visited India to research the authenticity of spices and also travelled to the Middle East and Africa,’ he added. ‘Our products are now being used by people throughout the UK’s catering sector.’
Abdul has now put his son Mamun in charge of running Eastern Eye while he concentrates on the Masterchef UK business.
The solar powered plane flew for 82 hours 37 minutes, exceeding the current official world record for unmanned flight which stands at 30 hours 24 minutes set by Global Hawk in 2001 and Zephyr's previous longest flight of 54 hours achieved last year.
The UK Ministry of Defence has funded the development of Zephyr to date and has partnered with the US Department of Defense (DoD) under their Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) Programme - which is designed to move urgently needed technologies rapidly into the hands of US forces in the field. The US DoD funded the demonstration flight under the Programme and this was the first time the two governments have participated in a joint demonstration of a HALE UAV.
JCTD projects are specially tailored to meet the needs of US combatant commands. Zephyr is supported by USCENTCOM, the combatant command with responsibility for Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Advanced Systems and Concepts (AS&C) and the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC).
Launched by hand, Zephyr is an ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre aircraft. By day it flies on solar power generated by amorphous silicon solar arrays no thicker than sheets of paper that cover the aircraft's wings. By night it is powered by rechargeable lithium-sulphur batteries, supplied by SION Power Inc, which are recharged during the day using solar power.
The flight trial at Yuma took place between 28 and 31 July in the harsh conditions of the Sonoran Desert in mid summer with temperatures up to 45°C (113°F). Zephyr was flown on autopilot and via satellite communications to a maximum altitude of more than 60,000ft. The trial included a military utility assessment of a US Government communications payload.
Simon Bennett, Managing Director of QinetiQ's Applied Technologies business said: "The Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona was an appropriate setting for Zephyr's world beating flight as many landmark aviation developments have taken place there in recent years. In addition to setting a new unofficial record, the trial is a step towards the delivery of Zephyr's capability for joint, real-time, battlefield persistent surveillance and communications to forces in the field at the earliest opportunity."
Andrew Baird, Director Defence Technology and Innovation Centre, UK MoD said: "MOD is very pleased with the success of the recent trial which demonstrated the potential capability of the technologies in Zephyr. This success has also reinforced the close working relationship between the UK and US on these key technologies."
Potential applications for Zephyr include earth observation and communications relay in support of a range of defence, security and civil requirements.
For More Detail visit : http://www.qinetiq.com/
Depending on their location, thousands of DNC delegates and journalists can look out their hotel windows to the west to see the sign. Sponsored by American RTL Action, the message initially appeared with three enormous 160-foot tall, bright yellow letters, D-N-C, stacked on top of each other.
After those letters suddenly appeared on a mountain just west of Denver, the actual full message of the sign began to unfurl. Three lines of white text, built on the vertical yellow letters read, D-N-C:
"The tiniest boys and girls should be loved and protected," said American RTL Action president Steve Curtis, "but as nominating Barack Obama emphasizes, the DNC even supports killing kids in the womb old enough to know their mother's voice, sleep and dream, suck their thumbs, and play with their toes."
Columbine dad Brian Rohrbough, whose son Daniel was murdered at that high school massacre, is the group's vice president. "When we tell kids that unborn children can be killed if their parents don't want them," said Rohrbough, "we rob them of the knowledge of the God-given right to life and we destroy their moral foundation. Abortion is wrong because it's a baby; it's always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent baby."
Guinness assigned American Right To Life an official world record attempt number: 228132. The protest sign weighs more than 2,700 pounds and was sewed together with more than four miles of seams connecting 2,400 sheets and backpacked onto location and unfurled by 44 letter carriers with spotters a mile away to ensure proper letter placement. ARTL commits to removing the DNC Sheets Of Shame and leaving the area cleaner than it had been.
ARTL is also a lead sponsor of the DNC Power in the Park protest event by national black leaders at Denver's Martin Luther King Jr. Park and of the Clinton Watch project at Denver area strip joints.
SOURCE American Right To Life
Phelps broke the record previously held by American swimmer Mark Spitz, who won seven gold medals in 1972.
The US won in a world record time of 3:29.34, beating their own world record from 2004 by 1.34 seconds.
Silver went to Australia in 3:30.04, who were also under the old best mark, while Japan took bronze in 3:31.18.
It was the 25th world record broken in the Beijing Water Cube at the Olympics and came in the final swim of the swimming competition.
Phelps finally cracked on Sunday when he was presented with a certificate to show that he had won an unprecedented eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
Phelps started crying and sheepishly looked towards he team-mates when the president of the sport's controlling body FINA, Mustapha Larfaoui, gave the 23-year-old the certificate during the medal celebration for the men's 4x100m individual medley, which the US team won in world record time.
The rousing applause he received from the 11,000 spectators in the Beijing Water Cube brought more tears to his eyes and it was only when the US flag was raised and the national anthem played that Phelps composed himself and broke into a broad smile.
Here are 10 of the many moments that made the Beijing Games the most strangely wonderful Olympics in recent memory.
The Opening Ceremonies
How I wished I could have seen Bob Costas and Matt Lauer's faces as they chatted awkwardly through the most jaw-dropping spectacle ever televised. If they felt anything like I did -- part scared, part inspired, another part scared -- it's probably best only their voices were on deck. Conceived by beloved Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, the show featured more than 15,000 performers, lasted more than four hours, and was reported to have cost over $100 million. The perfectly robotic movements, stunning precision, and almost eerie perfection of the event mingled to send a single message: China was here, and they meant business.
Michael Phelps does something amazing
It seems odd to choose just one moment from the 2008 Phelps Games, but this one is the stuff of legends. In one of the closest races of Phelps' entire career, he out-touched -- literally -- second-place finisher Milorad Cavic of Serbia by one-hundredth of a second in the 100-meter butterfly. He didn't set a world record this time, but had he not tweaked his usual style and taken an extra stroke, his quest for an Olympics record of eight gold medals would have been over and Mark Spitz wouldn't be crying himself to sleep right now.
Usain Bolt sets new world records in the 200 and 100-meter finals
Sure, he was a little brash and full of himself, but wouldn't you be too? The Jamaican sprinter not only won gold in the men's 200-meter final in a world record time of 19.30, he also set a world record in the 100 meters, running it in a scant 9.69 seconds. Bolt is the first man since Don Quarrie in 1976 to hold both sprint world records at the same time. I'd say that qualifies him for an extra-long victory lap, wouldn't you?
Japanese win the last gold medal ever in Oympics softball
It was one of the biggest upsets in these Olympics -- and any other, really -- when the Japanese defeated the reigning U.S. ladies 3-1 to win the softball gold medal, the last one ever to be awarded for this sport at the games. It has been nixed for 2012 because the Americans had dominated for so long (they had a 22-game wining steak and three consecutive golds), so I wonder: Is there is a do-over rule at the IOC? I love to see these ladies match up again in 2012.
He Kexin wins gold for China on the uneven bars
Eesh, this was a relief. We may never know how old she really is, but seeing China's He Kexin kiss her gold medal after the women's uneven bars final was a rare tender moment for so-young-how-can-she-be-this-good? star gymnast. I definitely have mixed feelings about such young girls being under so much pressure, but seeing this little sprite of a thing make her country proud somehow, for that moment, seemed totally perfect.
Dara Torres wins silver in all her events
Oh, I wished for a gold for this plucky lady. At 41, Torres was the oldest member on the U.S. Olympics swim team and the oldest female swimmer to medal at the Olympics. She won a silver in each of her events: the 50-meter freestyle (where she was beaten by one-hundredth of a second); the 4x100-meter freestyle; and the medley relays. She is also the first swimmer from the U.S. to compete in five Olympics: 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008. Geez, aren't any extra medals left over for honorable mentions?
China's only track star, Liu Xiang, bows out before running his race
It was the moment Liu Xiang's 1.3 billion countrymen had been waiting years for. China's only track and field superstar, he was ready to defend his 110-meter hurdles title at home. But just before the race, he bowed out because of a painful lingering tendon injury. Just like that, his Olympics were over. He left the stadium without speaking to reporters while fans cried in the audience. A more heartbreaking moment in Beijing there was not.
Weightlifter dislocates elbow
It was the stuff of nightmares: While attempting to lift 148 kilograms (326 pounds) in the men's 77-kilogram division (170 pounds), Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai's elbow popped out of its socket like a piece of rubber. The 24-year-old competitor fell to the floor, crying out in pain as I winced at home, thinking "Um, isn't this the main reason most sane people avoid lifting three times their body weight?"
Shawn Johnson wins gold on the beam; Nastia Liukin wins in the women's all-around
Let's face it: Gymnastics is the dessert of the Olympics (and I'm thinking rowing and pretty much any volleyball event are the veggies ... snooze). The first week wasn't kind to the U.S. ladies.gymnastic team as China took home its first team gold. Then came Shawn Johnson: The 4'9" 16-year-old nailed her beam performance and scored gold (a particularly exciting moment as her coach, Liang Qiao, is a native of China). And our salvation didn't end there as 18-year-old Nastia Liukin earned gold for her flawless showing in the women's individual all-around and, officially, won back our hearts.
Swedish Greco-Roman wrestler throws down his bronze medal in protest
If the contest had been for poor sportsmanship, the guy would have clinched it. "I don't care about this medal," Ara Abrahamian told reporters after winning bronze in the semi-finals. "I wanted gold." (His coach said Abrahamian's defeat in the semi-finals was a result of "politics." Shocking!) The Swede, who won silver in Athens in 2004, now faces an official IOC hearing for his tantrum. This was one moment I felt totally free to laugh. Ah, ain't sports grand?
Lee Streeton (pictured), who heads the restaurant's kitchen within London’s Brown’s Hotel, created the super-sized British snack using a Clarence Court ostrich egg, Gloucester Old Spot sausage meat, haggis and breadcrumbs.
The ostrich egg, weighing 1.7kg, took an hour and a half to boil with the whole cooking process taking a painstaking eight hours. The final product weighed a whopping 6.2kg
Clarence Court Director Lisa Rowe said she gave Streeton the task of cooking “something rather different for The Albemarle carving trolley” to mark the sale of the first Clarence Court ostrich egg.
Streeton added: “As a chef who is passionate about sourcing local ingredients, it has been enormous fun to re-create this much-loved picnic staple and champion a food that has been part of our history for hundreds of years.”
The Scotch egg was first created by Fortnum & Mason in 1738. Brown’s Hotel, owned by Rocco Forte, sources all its eggs from Clarence Court.
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The new world record time was achieved when the first sheet of 10 special "UEFA Euro 2008 Champion - Spain" commemorative stamps was sold from the counter of an Austria Post Philatelic Shop, situated near St Stephen's Cathedral in the heart of the Austrian capital only two hours five minutes after the final whistle of Euro 2008. Spain beat Germany 1-0 in the match played in the Ernst Happel Stadium, situated close to the River Danube, at the end of Euro 2008, successfully co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
Everyone in our teams performed well." Mr Haas, added: "This is the perfect philatelic memento of EURO 2008, a tournament that will forever be part of our history.”
This Austria Post instant philatelic memento has captured the imagination of stamp collectors and football fans throughout Europe. The Provost of the Vienna Oratory of St Philip Neri, Fr Felix Selden, said: "This sheet of stamps will be collected and treasured by stamp collectors and football fans." Fr Selden, who collected stamps when he was young, added: "This engaging sheet of Austria Post stamps has certainly rekindled my interest in the hobby."
The Spanish goal during the final of Euro 2008 was scored by Fernando Torres of Liverpool and followers of football will have the opportunity to see him in action again when the new season of Premiership Football starts on Saturday August 16.
They played for 28 hours, surpassing the previous record of 25 hours listed in Guinness World Records.
“We’re getting tired,” said Jonathan Weisberg, 18, Tuesday morning, just after the group at Churchill Park made it past the 25-hour mark.
Some of the teens, like Steve Wiesen, 18, had bandages on their forearms covering the areas that had been hitting a rubber kickball for hours, while others, too tired to stand, sat waiting for their next shift.
The eight participants were divided into two four-person teams. Each team played in shifts of two- to four-hour blocks. After each hour, a five-minute break was allowed, according to Guinness rules.
“I think that they’ve been a positive image for Liberty,” said Jodi Stoyak, Liberty township trustee and mother of four-square player Ben Stoyak, 18.
Now, Weisberg will submit proof of the four-square feat to Guinness for review. His evidence will include a video highlight reel that also recorded official time; media coverage; signatures of crowd members; and signed witness statements. Two witnesses, who are not relatives of the players, had to be present during each hour of the record-breaking event.
With the exception of Zach Weisberg, 15, all of the other players, Jeff Banner, 19; Joey Giampietro, 18; Tony Pozzuto, 18; Ryan Nasci, 18; Wiesen; Stoyak; and Jonathan Weisberg, are 2008 graduates of Liberty High School.
The players broke the four-square record on the same day, Aug. 12, that the co-publishers of Guinness World Records, Norris and Ross McWhirter, were born 83 years ago.
The McWhirter twins were running a fact-finding agency in London when they were commissioned by Sir Hugh Beaver, the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, in 1951 to compile what would become Guinness World Records to help settle arguments about questions such as which was the fastest game bird in Europe, according to the Guinness World Record Web site.
Even when his goggles malfunctioned during the first race of a golden morning in China, the gangly, 23-year-old American squinted through water-filled lenses on the way to, yes, a world record. Of course, he was none too happy to beat it by only six-hundredths. So un-Phelps-like.
"In the circumstances, not too bad I guess," he said with a shrug. "I know I can go faster."
No wonder his competitors realize they're merely swimming for second.
Monumental challenges for mere mortals seem almost inconsequential to Phelps.
"He is just a normal person, but maybe from a different planet," said Russia's Alexander Sukhorukov, fresh off a thrashing by the Phelps-led Americans but still good enough to have a silver around his neck.
A day after etching his name alongside Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis with gold No. 9, Phelps set a standard all his own when he won the 200-meter butterfly. An hour later, he swam the leadoff of a runaway victory by the U.S. 800 freestyle relay team, which shattered the old world mark in becoming the first team to break the 7-minute barrier.
"Come on! Come on!" he screamed at teammates Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens and Peter Vanderkaay.
The previous record of 7:03.24 was set by the Americans at last year's world championships. Russia took the silver, more than five seconds behind the Americans, who mainly had to make sure they didn't get in the water too soon. Australia won the bronze.
"Safe start! Safe start!" Phelps yelled at Berens before he dove in.
After a six-gold performance at the 2004 Athens Games, Phelps needed only five days in Beijing to surpass Spitz, Lewis, Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina and Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi as the winningest Olympian ever.
"I'm almost at a loss for words," Phelps said. "Growing up I always wanted to be an Olympian. Now to be the most decorated Olympian of all time, it just sounds weird saying. It started setting in a little bit after the butterfly. I was just trying to focus on my next race, but I just kept thinking, `Wow, greatest Olympian of all time.' It's a pretty cool title. I'm definitely honored."
Phelps has three more chances to stretch his lead before he leaves China. He'll swim in the 200 individual medley, 100 fly and 400 medley relay.
"There is still something left in the tank," Phelps said. "I've got three races left, so there had better be something left in the tank."
In his signature stroke, the butterfly, Phelps was second at the first flip, then pushed it into another gear, his long arms gobbling up huge chunks of water as he literally sailed along atop the surface. He finished in 1:52.03, breaking his mark of 1:52.09 from the 2007 worlds.
Phelps barely smiled as he looked at the board, breathing heavily and hanging on the lane rope. Hungary's Laszlo Cseh really pushed it at the end, but settled for silver in 1:52.70. Japan's Takeshi Matsuda took the bronze in 1:52.97.
Phelps rubbed his eyes and said climbing from the pool, "I can't see anything." A pair of leaky goggles kept him from even seeing the wall as he touched.
"My goggles kept filling up with water during the race," Phelps said. "I wanted 1:51 or better."
Still, he had two more golds and two more records before lunchtime, leaving him just three wins away from beating Spitz's record in the 1972 Munich Games.
"There is nobody in our sport that can win like he wins," U.S. head coach Eddie Reese said. "He is not just winning, he is crunching world records."
British swimmer Simon Burnett provided his theory to Reese when they ran into each other in the cafeteria.
"He was saying to me, 'I think I've figured out Michael Phelps. He is not from another planet; he is from the future. His father made him and made a time machine. Sixty years from now he is an average swimmer, but he has come back here to mop up.'"
Phelps is also keeping pace with Spitz on the record front. Spitz set world standards in all his wins at Munich; Phelps is now 5-for-5 in China.
"I'm pumped about our relay," Phelps said. "It's the most fun thing to be in a team environment and be part of a relay. It's cool when you get four Americans who all swim well together. Everyone has to play their part or it's just not going to happen. We've been lucky that we've been able to do that."
The Americans are sure lucky to have Phelps, who is already recognized as the greatest swimmer ever — sorry, Mark — and plans to keep competing at least through the 2012 London Games.
After another trip to the medals podium, he flipped his flowers to mother Debbie, tears pouring down her face as she proudly watched from a front-row seat with her two daughters.
Everyone wanted to get a look at history, including the U.S. men's basketball team. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony were among those cheering on Phelps from poolside seats. James posed for pictures with Phelps' mom.
Three worlds records fell before Phelps even walked on deck the first time. By the end of the morning, six new marks were set. It was impossible to win gold without putting up the fastest time in history.
So much for concerns that morning finals would hurt the competition.
In the semifinals of the 100 free, Australia's Eamon Sullivan and France's Alain Bernard played takeaway with the record Sullivan set two days earlier.
In the first heat, Bernard won in 47.20 to knock down Sullivan's mark of 47.24 from the leadoff leg of the memorable 400 free relay. That record lasted all of two minutes. Sullivan won the second heat in 47.05, setting up a thrilling showdown in Thursday's final.
"Records don't mean much," Sullivan said. "They don't win medals at the end of the day, unfortunately. But it gives me confidence that I can swim my own race under pressure."
American Jason Lezak, who chased down Bernard in the relay, advanced to the final with the sixth-best time, 47.98. The other U.S. swimmer, Garrett Weber-Gale, failed to advance.
Then it was Federica Pellegrini's turn in the women's 200 free. The Italian broke the mark she set a day earlier in the semifinals, winning gold in 1:54.82. The old record was 1:55.45.
Sara Isakovic of Slovenia claimed the bronze in 1:54.97, and China's Pang Jiaying thrilled the home fans by passing Katie Hoff on the final lap to take bronze in 1:55.05.
Hoff's disappointing day wasn't done.
In the 200 individual medley, she again finished in the first spot that doesn't give a medal. Australia's Stephanie Rice completed her IM sweep with another world record, her time of 2:08.45 erasing the mark of 2:08.92 set at the Australian trials in March.
Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe took the silver in 2:08.59, also below the previous world record. Natalie Coughlin of the U.S. won the bronze in 2:10.34, her third medal of the games, beating Hoff by 34-hundredths of a second.
The glamorous Rice, wearing big green earrings that matched her country's colors, added to her victory in the 400 IM.
Then there's Hoff, who looked to be one of the big stories of the game when she qualified in five individual events — the same number as Phelps.
The 19-year-old, who says Phelps is like a big brother, has yet to match his success in the water. In her first two races, Hoff settled for a bronze and a silver, which look pretty good after Wednesday. Now, she's got only one more event — the 800 free — to win an individual gold.
"I went out there and I raced tough and that's all I can do," Hoff said. "It was definitely a tough day, but I think I handled it pretty well."
An inspiring Olympic story came to an end in the semifinals of the 200 breaststroke.
Eric Shanteau, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer just before the U.S. Olympic trials and put off surgery until after the games, failed to advance to the final.
He finished sixth in his semifinal heat and 10th overall, 13-hundredths of a second out of the last spot into the final.
Japan's Kosuke Kitajima, trying for his second straight sweep of the breaststroke events, cruised along as the top qualifier at 2:08.61. He already won the 100 with a world record after taking both golds in Athens four years ago.
Source : AP
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Olympic Records 2008
Abhinav Bindra won India's first ever individual Olympic gold medal on Monday, saying it was a reward for "punching holes in a paper target" all his life.
Bindra, a 25-year-old businessman from Chandigarh, followed his world championship title of two years ago by grabbing the men's 10m Air Rifle shooting gold medal.
Athens Games champion Zhu Qinan of China won the silver and Henri Hakkinen of Finland the bronze after one of the most thrilling shooting finals in Olympic history.
Bindra, who trailed by two points after the qualification round, trumped his rivals in the 10-shot final as he went into the last shot level with Hakkinen on 689.7 points.
While Bindra secured his best score of 10.8 in the deciding shot, Hakkinen managed only 9.7 to concede the silver to Zhu, whose last shot was 10.5.
"I was just trying to concentrate on shooting, I was not thinking about making history.
"For me life will go on. All my life I have just been punching holes in a blank piece of paper target.
"But I sincerely hope this win will change the face of Olympic sport in India. In our country, Olympic sports are not really a priority, I hope now they will get more attention."
India, a nation of a billion people addicted to cricket, have won eight field hockey Olympic gold medals but had never won an individual title before Bindra's feat.
The previous best was trap shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore's silver at Athens four years ago, while there were bronze medals for wrestler Khasaba Jadhav (1952), tennis star Leander Paes (1996) and woman weightlifter Karnam Malleswari (2000).
Meanwhile, Satu Makela-Nummela of Finland, a 36-year-old mother of two, won the women's Trap gold medal in her maiden Olympic appearance.
Zuzana Stefecekova of Slovakia took the silver, while Corey Cogdell of the United States claimed the bronze after winning a shoot-off with three other competitors.
"It is amazing," said Makela-Nummela. "I did not believe I would win today.
"I could not concentrate in the final because I was thinking of home. But it's good I did not think of the results or who was breathing down my neck.
"That made sure I was not under any pressure."
Cogdell, the youngest of the three medallists at 21, won the shoot-off against a field that included 2000 Sydney Games champion Daina Gudzineviciute of Lithuania.
Of the six shooting golds decided over the first three days of competition, China and the Czech Republic have won two each with India and Finland taking the other two.
News and Photo source by : AP
2008 Beijing World Records
Limca book of records
2008 Guinness World Records
GoldPlus a jewellery division of Titan Industries of the TATA group has created the world’s biggest, pure 22 carat bangle at Erode, Tamilnadu.
The bangle measuring a diameter of1830 mm, is 140 mm wide and weighs 24,505 g]rams. Built on a frame of four 22-karat rings, the bangle is symbolic of TATA’s core values - Trust & Transparency, Customer Focus, Honesty and Innovation. The infinity symbol used on the bangle reflects the eternal bond that the TATA group and GoldPlus shares with its customers.
The bangle is essentially inspired by Indian design, with the purity of 22 carat in every gram. As a symbol of the GoldPlus vision, the Seal of Purity is engraved in 8 different Languages on the bangle which signifies the ambition of GoldPlus to be present across India as the strongest jewellery brand. The bangle took 227 man days to complete with a team of 30 craftsmen.
“The TATA family has been the pride of India ever since its inception. It is only natural that GoldPlus from TATA makes India proud by setting a new record with the World’s Biggest Gold bangle.” Said Mr. Natarajan, Vice President, GoldPlus
GoldPlus is a Chain of Jewellery Outlets from Titan Industries of the TATA group, dedicated to providing customers in smaller towns and rural India with assured purity of gold in a wide range of beautifully crafted jewellery in over 25 GoldPlus stores spread in 6 states across India
It is the largest jewellery chain in Tamil Nadu and has been pioneer in India in offering Branded Jewellery to Rural and Semi Urban India.
The Tata Group is a multinational conglomerate based in Mumbai, India. In terms of market capitalization and revenues, Tata Group is the largest Company in India. It has interests in steel, automobiles, information technology, communication, power, tea and hotels. The Tata Group has operations in more than 85 countries across six continents and its companies export products and services to over 80 nations. The Tata Group comprises 98 companies in seven business sectors and employs 350,000 people. Companies which form a major part of the group include Tata Steel, Corus Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Tea, Titan Industries, Tata Power, Tata Communications and the Taj Hotels.
Mr Uribe, who now weighs around 310kg, stayed on his specially designed bed throughout the trip to the lake, where he dined on fish and vegetables.
It is the first time Mr Uribe has left his home in five months. Unable to walk, his last planned outing in March was abandoned after the platform carrying his bed got stuck under an overpass.
His last successful trip outside his home was in March 2007, when six people pushed his bed out to the street as a mariachi band played and a crowd gathered to greet him.
Before that, he hadn't left his home in five years.
More Amazing News
Andy Saunders converted a 7ft 8ins high VW Camper into a 3.3ft high version - in just three days.
The steering had to be lowered and moved to a central position and all the systems altered to make it work.
There are two seats behind the driving position, it is fully road worthy and Saunders believes it could get into car parks by driving under the barrier.
Although it is possible to sleep in the back, the height of the roof could cause claustrophobia.
With a top speed of 80mph the bizarre camper turns heads when Saunders drives it around his home town of Poole in Dorset.
"We were up at 6am and worked for three full days - it was the hardest thing I've ever done.
"The biggest problem was the roof because when we cut a big chunk out there was a 14ins difference because of the tapering.
"Then we had to move the steering into a central position and put in a new steering system.
"We lowered the seat, moved the handbrake and the gear stick and replaced the fuel tank.
"It is roadworthy, does about 80mph and you could throw mattress in the back and sleep in it.
"We've applied to the Guinness Book of Records and they've indicated this is the world's lowest van.
The Grand opening ceremony of Olympic 2008 will be held Friday 08-08-2008 in Beijing's "Bird Nest" national stadium. Beijing, China. The games are set to open at 8:08 p.m. local time (1208 UTC). The event will be broadcast to an estimated one billion television viewers around the world.
The number eight is considered so lucky that weddings on Friday, Aug. 8 - 8/8/08 - are in high demand. Minutes after the city clerk's office in San Francisco started taking reservations, the date was booked.
The number eight is considered lucky by numerologists and is especially auspicious in some Asian cultures. In Chinese, a day is considered lucky if it sounds like a word that is positive. The words for the number eight are ba in Mandarin and paat in Cantonese, which sound similar to the words for prosperity, fa in Mandarin and faat in Cantonese.
Last year, 7/7/07 was an extremely popular wedding date, and planners say they are expecting people to choose 9/9/09 as well, as the word for the number nine in Mandarin sounds like the word for longevity.
In China, press reports show that people try to get phone numbers, addresses, license plates and floors in buildings with the number eight in them. The telephone number 8888-8888 sold for $280,000 at an auction in China, according to a report several years ago by the Associated Press.
World 07-07-07 Mania - Are Your Lucky Number 7?
10 wonders of the new china
Amazing Facts of the World
Amazing News of the World
Amazing Stories of the World
Animal Facts and Guinness World Records
Priyesh Prathap, station head of Big 92.7 FM, Thiruvananthapuram, said that the first target is to achieve 92.7 hours of talk and the show would go on depending on the well-being of the RJs. The Limca Book of Records has an air-marathon record of 107 hours, while the Guinness record is 217 hours by a RJ in London.
He added that the radio jockeys have held several practice sessions and besides, he is undergoing yoga and breathing exercises to keep fit.
The RJs will take an hour�s break depending on their needs. The central theme of the record-breaking attempt is fight against drugs. Big 92.7 FM radio has 44 stations across the country.
It took thousands of Scouts more than 2 days to build the shining Scout Emblem that broke the Guinness Record and helped raise money for the communities of Chiapas. The principal objectives of this Scouting event was to
- Contribute to and form an ecological culture through recycling
- Donate resources to social causes
- Strengthen the values and principles of Scouts in Mexico
Chiapas, a region that was badly hit by the hurricanes last year will benefit from the money raised from the recycling of the cans that is to be donated to projects that focus on street children and the rebuilding of communities.
The President of México Vicente Fox was present at the event and was witness to the great contribution Scouting has made to Mexican Society from the money raised by this event.
This year, the Mexican Scout Association celebrates its 80th year of being part of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.
"My (two collected) animals were found next to a patch of forest, so I surmise that they require a forest (habitat) like most other native organisms," he said. "The islands were completely covered with forest originally, and now there is almost no forest remaining."
If Barbados residents continue to engage in habitat destruction by replacing forest lands with buildings and farms, the threadsnake could, he said, go extinct "because these animals live on islands, they have nowhere to go when they lose their habitat."
The island isolation likely explains many animal size extremes, both big and small, since species over time evolve to fill ecological niches unoccupied by other organisms. On land, for example, an insect might replace the smallest snake's spot in the food chain but, on water-surrounded Barbados, the snake evolved to fill that spot. Information on other snake size extremes may be found here.
Robert Henderson, curator of vertebrate zoology at the Milwaukee Public Museum, told Discovery News that he agrees with the findings, saying that "the West Indies harbor the smallest species of frog and lizard; may as well have the smallest snake too."
Herpetologist Robert Powell, who is a professor of biology at Avila College, also supports the new research.
"What I find most exciting is that we are seeing how nature pushes the lower size limits of body size," Powell told Discovery News. "I remember as a student being fascinated by the smallest known frog, lizard and snake -- marveling at how all of the necessary parts fit and worked."
"Since then," he added, "those size limits, which we then thought were immutable, have been extended again and again. Dr. Hedges seems to think that this time, nature has run up against a real wall, and that body size for a snake couldn't get any smaller, but I wouldn't bet against him finding a smaller species next year."