A very early photograph of New York City in the 1840s has sold for $62,500. The photo depicting Manhattan’s Upper West Side as open countryside was sold Monday at Sotheby’s auction house.
The photo is a daguerreotype, an early form of photography that was used mainly for portraits. It is believed to date from 1848 and shows a white house with shutters, a grassy hillside and a horse-drawn carriage.
A crime gang described by Queensland’s police chief as “very clever” has allegedly stolen more than $800,000 from Brisbane parking meters…
It is alleged the gang took an average of $8 from each of 1,900 parking meters across Brisbane every week between January 2007 and March this year.
Britain’s oldest ever man is looking forward to becoming a teenager – for the second time.
Henry Allingham turned 112 years and 296 days on Sunday, surpassing Welshman John Evans who died in 1990 aged 112 years and 295 days.
He spent the day quietly with a few visitors at St Dunstan’s care home for blind ex-service personnel in Ovingdean, near Brighton, East Sussex.
Mr Allingham, one of Britain’s only two surviving First World War veterans, is due to turn 113 on June 6, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Link to more: Ananova – Britain’s oldest man due to be teenager.
Mr. Allingham is the last surviving founding member of the RAF.
A Coventry motorist has been fined for speeding in an 86-year-old Model T Ford without a speedometer.
A speed camera caught Dave Stanisfield, 67, doing 35mph in a 30mph zone on his way home from a vintage car show, reports the Daily Telegraph.
A Ukranian driver already having a bad day – having taken a wrong turn onto a highway – found it getting a lot worse when he gingerly crept over a water-filled pothole, only to discover it was a 12-foot deep crater…
The driver had to smash his rear window and scramble out to the top to avoid a muddy end, before waiting for workmen to come and rescue his car.
via Mail Online.
An Atlanta crook, who must surely have been an apprentice in the bank robbing business, stole an excavator (think backhoe but stronger) from a construction sit and trundled down the street with it to a nearby bank where he proceeded to bash in the roof and rip off the doors before the cops got there. He ran but was caught after a short chase.
Two psychics have been given government funding to teach people how to “communicate with the dead”. Paul and Deborah Rees have been awarded £4,500 under the Government’s Want2Work job creation scheme, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The couple, from Bridgend, South Wales, will use it to instruct people on how to contact friends and relatives “on the other side”.
Critics are astonished at the award by the Department of Work and Pensions bureaucrats, and the Welsh Assembly has launched an investigation.
The mediums insist the “mere £4,500” of public money will be put to good use at their centre, the Accolade Academy of Psychic and Mediumistic Studies.
An eerie image of a figure in period costume has spooked experts investigating apparent photographic evidence of ghosts. The picture, taken in May 2008, appears to show a man or woman in a ruff peering out of a barred window at Tantallon Castle.
No mannequins or costumed guides are employed at the castle, and three photographic experts have confirmed that no digital trickery was used on the photo.
Even confirmed ghost sceptic Professor Richard Wiseman, who led the study, admitted being puzzled. “It is certainly very curious,” he said. “We ran it by three photographic experts and they said it hadn’t been Photoshopped at all. The figure appears to be in period costume, but we know 100% that Tantallon Castle is not the sort of place that has dummies or costumed guides – they just don’t go in for that sort of thing.”
via UK News | Sky News.
German twin brothers have spent the last nine years painstakingly putting together the world’s biggest train set. Housed in a previously empty Hamburg building, it covers 1,150 square metres and features almost six miles of track, but is still not complete.
Frederick and Gerrit Braun, 41, have spent 500,000 hours and the equivalent of more than £8million working on it.
Their creation is on display to the public and is so vast they have to employ more than 160 people just to show visitors around. Their ‘Miniatur Wunderland’ is split into six regions, including America, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Germany and the Austrian Alps…
The brothers estimate the enormous track will be completed in 2014, when it will cover more than 1,800 square metres and feature almost 13 miles of track.
Today, their model railway comprises 700 trains with 10,000 carriages, 900 signals, 2,800 buildings and 160,000 individually designed figures.
The scenery took 700kg of fake grass and 4,000kg of steel to build. Night and day is even replicated thanks to 250,000 lights.
More at World’s biggest train set.
Sure you’ve heard of cats getting stuck in trees, but what about a dog?
Buford, a 5-month-old hound mix, climbed a tree on Tuesday, and no one can figure out how he managed such a feat.
A [utility] bucket truck crew rescued Buford from a tree in South Knox County that was more than 20 feet tall. No one saw it happen, but he had managed to find his way to the very top branch.
After doing a lot of coaxing, a [utility] worker managed to get Buford into the bucket truck and back down into the waiting arms of his family.
A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both U.S. atomic bombings at the end of World War II, officials said Tuesday.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi had already been a certified “hibakusha,” or radiation survivor, of the Aug. 9, 1945, atomic bombing in Nagasaki, but has now been confirmed as surviving the attack on Hiroshima three days earlier as well, city officials said.
Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city. He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki just in time for the second attack, city officials said.
“As far as we know, he is the first one to be officially recognized as a survivor of atomic bombings in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Nagasaki city official Toshiro Miyamoto said.
There’s a girl in the town of Moses Lake, Washington, who makes soap in the shape of game controllers. Follow the link to Etsy.
The tale of a terrified woman who claimed to have a shocking close encounter with an alien on a sports field near Norwich was revealed this week after previously top secret UFO files were opened up by the Ministry of Defense.
The MOD has released once-classified files concerning reports of flying saucers, alien abductions and close encounters to the National Archives, and the Norwich case is one of the most remarkable to have occurred between 1987 and 1993.
On November 21, 1989, the distressed woman telephoned RAF Wattisham to talk about her frightening experience and a covering note provided to the MOD and Norfolk police at the time by the RAF man she spoke to described it as “one of our more unusual UFO reports.”
The woman, who did not give her name and address, said the previous night she had been walking her dog on a sports field not far from her home near Norwich.
The RAF report stated, “She was approached by a man who asked her if she would listen to what he had to say. She described the man as 5ft 9in, fair hair, with a Scandinavian type accent and dressed in a light brown garment similar to a flying suit.
There’s more at Our Strange World.
Residents of a small Vermont town are crying over the milk that was spilled when a truck overturned.
State police say the tractor-trailer was carrying about 8,000 gallons of milk when it went off a road Sunday morning and crashed into a drainage ditch in Swanton, close to the Canadian border. The tank ruptured, sending most of the milk into the ditch.
It’s been a jittery week at eastern Washington’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where more than 100 small earthquakes have been detected in the past seven days.
The quakes are part of an earthquake “swarm” that has puzzled scientists since it began at the first of the year. As of Friday, monitors at Hanford had detected more than 700 earthquakes since Jan. 4, said Alan Rohay, senior scientist and seismologist with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which operates at Hanford.
The quakes haven’t disturbed the extensive stores of radioactive waste at Hanford or interfered with cleanup operations there.
Sure as a Northeast Ohio snow shower in April, the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center gets a couple of dozen calls each winter and early spring from concerned people who have seen bald squirrels.
There’s no cause for alarm.
The fur loss is caused by a fungus or mites that spread easily from squirrel to squirrel in their winter dens. On frigid days, squirrels seek out the coziest dens and squish together. Most squirrels aren’t harmed by the fungal infection, the mites or the fur loss. They will regrow fur in the coming weeks.
Thailand’s Health Ministry has warned people with asthma and allergies to avoid eating fried insects, a popular street-stall snack in Bangkok and other cities, media reports said on Sunday.
A recent study conducted by the ministry found that the fried silk worms, grasshoppers and other six-legged delicacies often contain excessively high levels of histamine that can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks, The Nation newspaper reported.
A Massachusetts man had some misfortune when he allegedly tried to rob a Chinese restaurant. Four plainclothes police officers were enjoying their dinner at the time.
Anthony Whitcomb of Methuen was arraigned Thursday in Lawrence District Court on charges of unarmed robbery, larceny, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest.
via WCVB Boston.
If you’re seeing a pink elephant, don’t worry – no one’s spiked your morning orange juice.
This three-month-old calf is believed to be an albino, an extremely rare phenomenon among African elephants.
It was spotted by cameraman Mike Holding as he filmed the 80-strong herd for a BBC wildlife programme in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
via Mail Online