Archive for the ‘human interest’ Category

World’s largest egg up for sale

March 28, 2009

Believed to be the planet’s biggest egg laid in the 17th century by an elephant bird of Madagascar, the huge orb is up for sale in a Chelsea antique fair.

Offered for 5,000 pounds (about $7,000) in UK this week, the egg has a circumference of more than a meter. It is supposed to have been laid by a now-extinct flightless big bird larger than an ostrich —scientifically called (Aepyornis maximus) which stands about 10 to 11 feet. The egg’s volume is about 160x more than that of the chicken. (Photo Credit: wikipedia; http://wagerwebentertainmente/) =0=

Elephant Bird (Aepyornis maximus)
Source: Answers.com

(Aepyornithidae)
Class: Aves
Order: Struthioniformes
Suborder: Aepyornithes
Family: Aepyornithidae
Thumbnail description: Extinct, large, flightless birds of massive build, known only from fragmentary fossil remains
Size: Some species probably 10 ft (3 m), 880 lb (400 kg)
Number of genera, species: 2 genera; 7 species
Habitat: Thought to have inhabited woodland and forest in southwest Madagascar
Conservation status: Extinct
Distribution: Madagascar

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A large Florence Nightingale lamp lights up for a nursing board topnotcher

February 20, 2009

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, It requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.” — Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)

Overwhelming happiness must be what nursing board exam first placer Jovie Ann Decoyna feels. The farmer’s daughter whose mother works as an OFW in Taiwan basks in the glow of honor after the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) released the result of the November licensure test yesterday.

Proud and admiring classmates from Baguio Central University came to gift the young professional with an extra-large Florence Nightingale lamp, a symbol of care and abiding commitment that nurses worldwide are known for. (Photo Credit: Andy Zapata/ Philstar)=0=

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Great Britain’s 13-year old boy-dad

February 18, 2009

Among the most alarming images I have seen lately is the picture of a four-foot tall, baby-faced Alfie Patten, the British boy who at 13 fathered a newborn girl. Sadly, little can be said, but much has to be done, about the immature kid and his infant whose heart-breaking photo appeared in the front page of the The Sun. The young mom is Alfie’s 15 year-old girlfriend Chantelle Steadman.

“It’s an indication that we’ve lost our way, that people don’t know the difference between right and wrong,” he said of Alfie. ‘The plain fact is society can’t proceed on this basis. I think this is an indication of broken Britain,'” said Sir Bernard Ingham, Former Press Secretary of Margaret Thatcher. San Francisco Chronicle/AP (02/16/09, Katz, G)

In another vein, in California, USA, Nadya Suleman, a 33-year old, jobless woman who has been battling emotional instability gave birth to octuplets (8 babies) by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) done a fertility MD against the standard of medical practice. Before the birth of her 8 babies, Nadya who shares a 3 bedroom home with her financially bankrupt parents has 6 children from previous assisted pregnancies.

It’s debated how the unmarried woman who lives on welfare will be able to take care of her 14 children. The hospital bills she has incurred are beyond the roof. With meager sense of accountability, she has hired a PR person to handle her book deals, TV interviews, and appeals for donations to keep her kids.

Great Britain suffers from inordinately high rate of teen pregnancies, petty thievery, alcoholism, and rampant street crimes among teenagers. America has problems which mirror these problems as well. As human beings, we think inwardly and ask, “Why? What has gone wrong in our world?” (Photo Credit: Stringer/ AFP/ Getty Images/ SFC)=0=

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Kissing Guinness World Record goes to Mexico

February 15, 2009

It must be a cause of disappointment for Filipinos that this year, Mexico bagged the Guinness world record of having the biggest number of people gathered for a simultaneous kiss. On February 14, 2009, Valentines day, 39,897 Mexicans simultaneously kissed together in public to beat the the Britishers who won last year with 32,648 smoochers. The Philippines had only about 7,000 couples in a kissing event held in February 2007 in Manila.

According to Carlos Martinez, one of the Mexican organizers this year, the number could have reached 42,225, but crowd control was a problem in an open square in the city. The world record brought a shimmer of meaning when coodinators and social activists decried the growing peace and order problem of Mexico.

Almost 6,000 died last year of violence that has extended in towns along the US-Mexican border. Most of the crimes are related to the drug war being waged in the country. (Photo Credit: Sir Frank Dicksee PD) =0=

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Kissing Guinness World Record goes to Mexico

February 15, 2009

It must be a cause of disappointment for Filipinos that this year, Mexico bagged the Guinness world record of having the biggest number of people gathered for a simultaneous kiss. On February 14, 2009, Valentines day, 39,897 Mexicans simultaneously kissed together in public to beat the the Britishers who won last year with 32,648 smoochers. The Philippines had only about 7,000 couples in a kissing event held in February 2007 in Manila.

According to Carlos Martinez, one of the Mexican organizers this year, the number could have reached 42,225, but crowd control was a problem in an open square in the city. The world record brought a shimmer of meaning when coodinators and social activists decried the growing peace and order problem of Mexico.

Almost 6,000 died last year of violence that has extended in towns along the US-Mexican border. Most of the crimes are related to the drug war being waged in the country. (Photo Credit: Sir Frank Dicksee PD) =0=

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Fiddler on the Roof”s "Do you love me?"

February 14, 2009

“Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.”—Mark Twain

On February 14, it’s nice to recall the exchange between the ageing Teyve and Golde, the interesting Jewish couple in the old musicale “Fiddler on the Roof.” Their lives seem to affirm what writer-humorist Mark Twain was trying to say about the mystery of the heart. From one of the most unforgettable Broadway shows, here is the sing-song conversation about love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_y9F5St4j0&feature=related

(Tevye)
“Golde, I have decided to give Perchik permission to become engaged to our daughter, Hodel.”

(Golde)
“What??? He’s poor! He has nothing, absolutely nothing!”

(Tevye)
“He’s a good man, Golde.
I like him. And what’s more important, Hodel likes him. Hodel loves him.
So what can we do?
It’s a new world… A new world. Love. Golde…”

Do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I what?

(Tevye)
Do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
And this trouble in the town
You’re upset, you’re worn out
Go inside, go lie down!
Maybe it’s indigestion

(Tevye)
“Golde I’m asking you a question…”

Do you love me?

(Golde)
You’re a fool

(Tevye)
“I know…”

But do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I love you?
For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
Given you children, milked the cow
After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

(Tevye)
Golde, The first time I met you
Was on our wedding day
I was scared

(Golde)
I was shy

(Tevye)
I was nervous

(Golde)
So was I

(Tevye)
But my father and my mother
Said we’d learn to love each other
And now I’m asking, Golde
Do you love me?

(Golde)
I’m your wife

(Tevye)
“I know…”
But do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I love him?
For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him
Fought him, starved with him
Twenty-five years my bed is his
If that’s not love, what is?

(Tevye)
Then you love me?

(Golde)
I suppose I do

(Tevye)
And I suppose I love you too

(Both)
It doesn’t change a thing
But even so
After twenty-five years
It’s nice to know.

[Thanks to amcanclini@yahoo.com for lyrics] Source: http://www.stlyrics.com/f/fiddlerontheroof.htm (Photo Credits: sundaygirl; greypoint)

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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A footnote from Madonna’s nude photo

February 13, 2009

If only to remind us that it’s the culture, value judgment, and sensibility of the 21st century that people are living, Madonna’s nude photo taken when the singer was just 20 years old trying to make ends meet, fetched for a record sell of $35,500.

The astounding amount is enough to stave off hunger of more than 35,500 indigent families in the Third World for a day or feed greater than 1,167 poor families for one month.

The frontal shot was taken for a measly $25 in a 1979 photo session with the then obscure Madonna Louise Ciccone before she became the well-known Madonna, the celebrity of the musical world. The photo was bought by an unidentified European buyer at a price more than twice than originally expected in a New York auction on February 12, 2009. (Photo Credit: Tony Barton PD) =0=

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Biggest breast enhancement on record?

February 9, 2009

Texas resident Sheyla Hershey, a 28 wife and mother wasn’t satisfied with an eye-popping 34FFF surgically enhanced breasts. On medical grounds, US plastic surgeons refused her request to further size augmentation, so she went all the way to Brazil to have the operation done.

In her pursuit for a place in the Guinness Book of World records, it was reported she allowed a gallon of filling material and multiple surgeries to bring the twin firm globes of her chest to rise to its astounding size of 38KKK.

(Photo Credit: http://www.sheylahershey.net) =0=

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Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps apologizes for smoking marijuana

February 3, 2009

Michael Phelps, most admired Olympic swimmer with 8 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Games apologized for being caught smoking marijuana. The popular 23 year old with multi-million product endorsements on his sleeve had a picture by a British newspaper showing him inhaling pot. The incident allegedly occurred in a party at the University of South Carolina in November last year, prompting South Carolina’s sheriff’s office to investigate for criminal wrong-doing.

“I’m 23 years old, and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me,” he said. “For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public — it will not happen again.”—CNN.com/crime (02/03/09)

Many said his quick apology was appropriate for damage control. In 2004, pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated (DUI,) Phelps was sentenced to 18 months probation for which he also apologized.

Role models like him run the danger of alienating fans and product sponsors if similar incidents occur in the future. The marijuana incident reveals the error-proneness of the young sports celebrity who supports the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a group which aims to rid competitive sports of prohibited drugs. More infractions by personalities like Phelps make the public wonder if social decorum has been so compromised in the present generation. (Photo Credit Alexandre Battibugli) =0=

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Iraq unveils a shoe monument

January 30, 2009

We can forget Imelda Marcos’ shoes for a while. Iraqis are still elated and angered by the shoe thrown at Pres. George W. Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last December 2008 by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi. A brown shoe sculpture seems a funny retaliation by a culturally sequestered people who appreciate al-Zaidi and boil mad on the former US president even if they have been liberated from Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical rule.

Surely, the Iraqis have strong reasons to be mad. The cost of war is high in places of ethnic strife and tribal clashes. Many human lives have senselessly been lost in the name of freedom. 5.1 million people were displaced and about an equal number of children were left without parents.

To vent their anger and send praises for the jailed shoe-thrower who dreams of getting an asylum status in Switzerland, Iraqis and children from the Tikrit Orphanage helped sculptor Laith al-Amiri make a symbolic shoe monument. A brown footware with a raggedly brown surface was mounted on a white cloth so the people could see and ponder.

Whatever thrill one gets in looking at the oversized shoe, the use of children to make a political point is disturbing. There is negatism and darkness young minds can’t miss when they see the controversial shoe. The footware is less likely a symbol of disrespect and misplaced rage, but more a reminder of the derision the Muslims have for USA and Pres. George W. Bush.

Lacking gratitude after being saved from Saddam’s terroristic regime, some Iraqis have taken the low road of the warring militants who succeed in teaching generation(s) of children on selective memory and tough love. The faith-based beliefs against the “infidels” are still the driving force of hatred against the Western civilization. There are those who have become one-track thinkers— intolerant, violent, self-righteous, and unforgiving in their political views. This is one reason why the culture of violence kills the innocents. And peace is so elusive in that part of the world. (Photo Credit: CNN) 0=

UPDATE: Feb. 1, 2009. Iraqi officials ordered the dismantling of the shoe monument in the Tikrit Orphanage. They say government facilities must not be used as a venue to air political views.