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1   Man attempts to bring 700 snakes onto a plane

May 25, 2007

Yahia Rahim Tulba was a passenger attempting to travel from Cairo, Egypt to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with at least 700 snakes of various types in a carry-on bag, according to customs officers at Cairo International Airport.

When Tulba attempted to pass the customs checkpoint, officers had him open his luggage and his carry-on bag, but only after they noticed movement and heard hissing coming from Tulba's bag. When he opened the bag, it revealed various snakes and at least two separate smaller bags containing cobras.

According to customs officials, Tulba was going to attempt to sell the snakes once he arrived in Saudi Arabia. Officials took possession of the snakes and arrested him charging him with "violating the national export laws" and "endangering the lives of the passengers" in the airport.

snake    -     hledat v googlu: snake, obrázky v googlu: snake

2   Hot dog eating champion retains title after tiebreaker

July 4, 2008

For the second year in a row, American competitive eater Joey Chestnut defeated his Japanese rival Takeru Kobayashi at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York City, after a tie forced a five hot dog eat-off to be held.

After ten minutes of hot dog eating, two shorter than in previous years, Chestnut and Kobayashi were tied at 59 frankfurters. But after the rare tiebreaker, 24-year-old Chestnut emerged as the winner, claiming a $10,000 prize and a mustard-yellow belt. "It was crazy," he said. "I'm just a normal guy eating hot dogs on the Fourth. You can't overcomplicate it."

Kobayashi, whose loss last year shattered a six-year winning streak, said that a sore jaw and a tooth problem may have altered his performance. "If I put one more mouthful in, I could've won", the 30-year-old Nagano native said through a translator. "I lost because I wasn't quick enough in the rematch."

This year, the 22 competitors were under a 10 minute time limit, unlike the 12 minutes used for previous contests. The reason for this, according to Nathan's, was the discovery of a document from 1916, which revealed that the original competition was 10 minutes long.

Thousands gathered at Coney Island to watch the annual event, which has become one of the more colorful traditions of America's Independence Day.

hot dog    -     hledat v googlu: hot dog, obrázky v googlu: hot dog

3   Man auctions his life on eBay, is disappointed at sale price

June 30, 2008

Ebayheadquarters_cropped.jpg, 15 kB

After auctioning off his entire life on eBay for A$399,300 (€244 912.148) Ian Usher says he is "a little bit disappointed" at the final selling price.

The 44-year-old British immigrant living in Perth, Australia, put all of his worldly belongings up for sale on the popular auction website, including his three-bedroom house and all its contents, his car, motorcycle, jetski, skydiving gear, and his job at a rug store, for which he offered a two week trial period. He even offered introductions to his friends living in Perth.

Usher made the decision to sell his life after his five-year marriage suddenly ended. On his website, alife4sale.com, he explains that "despite my life being busy and fulfilled, I still miss my wife so much. Everything in my home is a reminder of the wonderful past we shared. So, after a year in this house I decided that it is time to sell it and move on."

It was as much about moving on as it was about selling it for as much as I could get.
—Ian Usher

During the 7 day auction, which ended on Sunday, there were several bogus bids which brought the sale price as high as A$2.2 million, but the final price ended up at A$399,300, which was around A$100,000 less than Usher had hoped for. "I'm a little bit disappointed, but I'm still excited. It's still enough to move forward and do what I said I was going to do, which is move on to the next part of my life," Usher said. "It was as much about moving on as it was about selling it for as much as I could get."

According to Reuters, the winning bidder, whose username is "mslmcc", also lives in Australia, and has a 100 percent feedback rating. Usher says he hasn't yet been able to figure out who the buyer is, because of the TV crews lined up in front of his home. "I'm trying to find some time to get on the computer and check it out ... I haven't looked (up) anything about them yet," he said.

Usher now plans to go off in search of a new life. His initial plan, as he describes on his website, was to just walk out his front door with just his wallet and a passport and board a train, with no idea of where to go. He has since launched 100goals100weeks.com, which will document his attempt to complete 100 of his life goals in a span of 100 weeks. Some of these goals include getting a pilot's license, climbing the Eiffel Tower, learning to play the didgeridoo, and shaking hands with billionaire Richard Branson.

"I was pretty aimless when I started this, and I had a vague notion of adventure, but I've come up with a much more solid plan, which is still very adventurous," Usher says. He invites anyone who is interested to join him on his adventures.

auction    -     hledat v googlu: auction, obrázky v googlu: auction

4   Lost tomb of 'Gladiator' real life Roman inspiration found

October 17, 2008

RomaViaFlaminiaArcoMalborghettoRestiStrada2.jpg, 19 kB

The long-lost tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, the inspiration of the character Maximus Decimus Meridius in Ridley Scott's popular film 'Gladiator', was discovered off the ancient Via Flaminia road in Rome this Thursday.

Pieces of the tomb first began to emerge from the ground during construction for a residential complex along the Tiber River's banks.

The archaeological finding was "the most important ancient Roman monument to come to light for 20 or 30 years", said Daniela Rossi, who was a top member of the effort in finding the tomb. The Superintendent of Archaeology in Rome, Angelo Bottini, described the tomb as "a monument of great beauty".

Cristiano Ranieri led the effort along with other archaeologists, who are still working hard to fully uncover the site. The team hopes to find the sarcophagus of the ancient hero among the sprawling tomb.

Marble columns fifteen meters wide, inscriptions, decorations, writings and other priceless treasures have been preserved thanks to an ancient flood from the Tiber River.

The massive tomb details the life of the ancient gladiator through ten inscriptions, whose history differed greatly from the movie's version. The two had only shared being close friends and generals of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. The historical version of the character had lived on to become wealthy and famous, while the character played by Russell Crowe had a tragic ending.

Plans are underway to turn the area into the Via Flaminia Archaeological Park, with the tomb as the central attraction.

Gladiator    -     hledat v googlu: Gladiator, obrázky v googlu: Gladiator

5   General Motors automobile sales plunge by 45%

April 1, 2009

GM_headquarters_in_Detroit.jpg, 13 kB

General Motors Corporation (GM) announced on Wednesday that it saw a 45% drop in United States vehicle sales for its cars in March.

Executives from several auto firms, however, said that there was some hope for the auto industry to stabilise, as car sales rebounded in the last week of March.

"The market is starting to show small signs of life which need to be nourished like seedlings," said the vice president and chairman of Chrysler LLC Jim Press. "It's too early to see a trend, but spring shows signs of hope."

Other automobile manufacturers also saw their car sales slip: Chrysler and the Japanese Toyota both reported a 39% loss, whilst Ford Motor Company sales fell 41%.

Annualised sales of vehicles in the car industry in the US are predicted to have dipped below nine million in March, compared to February's 9.12 million, which was the lowest number since 1981.

"Auto makers are pulling every lever in their effort to attract buyers, as evidenced by the new programs from Ford and GM. The typical incentive programs simply do not resonate in today's economy," Jesse Toprak, an analyst for Edmunds.

Ford shares gained 2.3% to a level of US$2.69 in early trading at US stock markets on Wednesday, while stocks for Toyota's US depository increased 5.9% to $67. GM shares slipped 1.6% down to $1.92.

General Motors    -     hledat v googlu: General Motors, obrázky v googlu: General Motors

6   Man arrested after crashing motorized bar stool while drunk

April 1, 2009

According to police, Kile Wygle, 28, from Newark, Ohio, was arrested for drunk driving after he crashed his motorized bar stool. The accident occurred on March 4.

While driving his bar stool, which is powered by a lawnmower engine, Wygle attempted to make a U-turn while going down his street and crashed. Police received a call from a local resident that Wygle had been injured in the crash. When police arrived, he was taken to a local hospital where police say he admitted to drinking 15 beers. After being treated for minor injuries, Wygle was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Wygle pleaded not guilty when appearing in court and denies that he was drunk, but that he did begin to consume alcohol following the crash. "I drank quite a bit after [the crash] because my head hurt so bad. I went in and drank a half a bottle of whiskey," stated Wygle to BBC News. He also requested a jury be present during his trial.

Wygle says his vehicle can travel nearly 40 miles per hour. Police say that motorized bar stools have become popular, with residents building them and then racing them. Most are made from old lawnmower parts, a steering wheel and a bar stool.

arrested    -     hledat v googlu: arrested, obrázky v googlu: arrested

7   Southern California auto maker announces fully-electric sedan

April 1, 2009

Tesla_Model_S.jpg, 13 kB

While hybrid vehicles have found considerable popularity in the United States since their introduction, one difficulty associated with the rollout of a fully electric car has been the comparably high price and poor performance, compared to an internal combustion engine-driven car of similar size. Tesla Motors claims that their Model S, a sedan which runs solely on electricity, will be more affordable.

Tesla first entered the automobile market in 2006, with a prototype of an electric vehicle designed on the roadster style. While the car, whose exterior design was based on the Lotus Elise, accelerated well and had considerable range, its cost of US$109,000 was prohibitive for many and to date only 300 have been sold, with a thousand more ordered.

Tesla says, however, that the Model S could sell for around $56,400, with the actual price some $7,500 lower after a Federal Government tax credit on electric vehicles.

Tesla claims the Model S has a range of up to 450 kilometers (280 miles) without recharging and can reach a top speed of 200 km/h (125 mph). It is powered by a 454 kg (1001 lb) battery pack.

Initial plans were to build the car in New Mexico, but instead the Model S will be built near the company's headquarters in San Jose, California.

California    -     hledat v googlu: California, obrázky v googlu: California

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