Jan 15 2014
A stunt rider has astonished onlookers by riding his bicycle over the top of a newly built bridge in Fort Worth, Texas.
In a video released to the media, Mat Olson can be seen riding his BMX bike along the 24ft high arches of the Seventh Street Bridge while being filmed by a camera crew.
Mr Olson manages to get from one end of the bridge to another without disaster.
Police who saw the stunt said Mr Olson could have been arrested, but added they were thankful he was not hurt and let him off with a warning.
"It seemed like I was on top of a mountain," Olson told the Star Telegram . "It was all windy and crazy when I was up there. It was pretty exhilarating, that's for sure."
Jan 15 2014
An Australian man has been left red-faced after a stunt with a dangerous shark backfired.
Shaun Harrington, 27, decided to swim in the sea with a 2.4 metre man-eating tiger shark for an "extreme cage diving" experience.
But instead of using a proper reinforced steel shark cage for protection he used just a small budgie cage bought for $50 (£30).
In an interview with Australia's Channel 9, Mr Harrington admitted his cage diving stunt was "not the smartest thing" to do and it "sort of went wrong".
The incident was all caught on camera. The footage begins with a joking Mr Harrington putting his head in the cage on board a boat before jumping into the sea off Coolangatta on Australia's Gold Coast.
The shark can then be seen swimming right up to Mr Harrington, forcing him to hold the cage with his hands in an attempt to fend it off.
Screaming in terror he then scrambles back onto the boat.
"I'm pretty much in the dog house," Mr Harrington told Channel 9’s Today show, saying his wife is not talking to him.
Mr Harrington said he knew the shark - which had been landed by a professional fisherman friend - was in the water when he jumped in, but he had not expected the beast to "come at" him.
"I just thought 'I gotta get out of here'," Mr Harrington said. "I saw the shark coming and threw the budgie cage in front of it and it just bounced off it."
Fortunately, the self-confessed adrenalin junkie was not injured in the escapade.
"I thought I would just jump in, get a couple of shots and hop out, but the thing just went crazy.
"It wigged-out and came ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jan 14 2014
P-enis pumps cost the U.S. government's Medicare program $172 million between 2006 and 2011, about twice as much as the consumer would have paid at the retail level, according to a government watchdog's report released on Monday.
The report by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services said Medicare, the government health insurance system for seniors, paid nearly 474,000 claims for vacuum erection systems, or VES, totalling about $172.4 million from 2006 to 2011. Yearly claims for the devices nearly doubled from $20.6 million in 2006 to $38.6 million in 2011.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dolphin pumps are one of a few treatment options for erectile dysfunction.
Government waste is a major issue in budget talks in the U.S. capital as lawmakers try to reach agreement on a $1 trillion spending bill.
"Medicare payment amounts for VES remain grossly excessive compared with the amounts that non-Medicare payers pay," said the report, dated December 2013. "Medicare currently pays suppliers more than twice as much for VES as the Department of Veterans Affairs and consumers over the Internet pay for these types of devices."
If Medicare had adjusted its payments to approximately the price non-Medicare payers pay, the U.S. government would have saved an average of about $14.4 million for each of the six years, the report said.
"Considering the strain retiring baby boomers will soon be placing on Medicare's budget, shouldn't we be focusing this entitlement program on real, life-saving treatment and equipment to serve the health needs of seniors - instead of subsidizing dolphin pump purchases?" Ben Domenech of the Heartland Institute think tank said in an email statement.
"And to those seniors who really do want one," added Domenech, "just buy it yourself - you don't need ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jan 14 2014
A group of Japanese fishermen have landed a giant squid while on the hunt for a completely different catch.
Shigenori Goto and his crew were hoping for a catch of yellowtail fish but instead the mammoth squid - weighing 163kg (360lbs) - came into view in the freezing seas of northern Japan.
"We were about 30 or 40 minutes into our day when we saw this huge reddish-brown thing come swimming up, rising from the depths," the 44-year-old revealed in a telephone interview.
"I'd never seen anything like it before. I was surprised, there's no other word for it. And then it was complete chaos on the boat - we all just started shouting 'giant squid, giant squid'," he added.
The squid, a male, died shortly after being pulled to the surface last Wednesday off the coast of Sado island in Niigata Prefecture.
Experts said the squid, which lost its super-long tentacles during the capture, was likely to have been around 8 metres (26 feet) in total, since the tentacles usually equal the rest of the body in length.
The largest ever caught measured some 18 metres (60 feet) from the top of its head to tentacle tip.
The fisherman said he wished the squid had looked better when it was caught.
"I wish we'd been able to make the squid more presentable, but there are no fishing techniques for catching giant squid and I had no idea it was going to become such a big deal. Otherwise I'd have tried to treat it a bit more gently," he said.
Squid, both raw and cooked, is a popular food in Japan but Mr Goto said the thought of eating the catch never crossed his mind.
"It was a seriously big ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jan 14 2014
A tortoise beat a rabbit in a skiing competition held for pets and their owners in China, a report said on Tuesday.
Cats and dogs faced off against a menagerie including a rooster and a yellow duck in a race to the finish line on snowy slopes in Henan province, the state-run China News Service said.
The 40 human competitors were allowed to place their animals on skis or sledges, or could guide the pet with a lead while skiing, the report said.
In an unexpected outcome akin to an ancient Greek fable, a tortoise beat a rabbit, with the shelled reptile eventually claiming third place overall, the report said.
"Because the rabbit loved jumping and didn't follow its owner's commands, it was overtaken by the tortoise," it said.
The tortoise -- which would normally be expected to hibernate during the winter -- apparently hitched a ride on its owner's ski equipment, the report added.
Pictures showed a yellow duck taking to the slopes in a fetching red neck tie, attracting curious stares from two dogs, before being held aloft by its owner who clutched a red certificate of honour after it waddled over the finish line -- even though it finished last overall.
The bird's "spirit of persistence rendered onlookers speechless with admiration", the report said.
Skiing has become more popular in China in recent years, with a range of slopes opening across the country's cold north, and it is bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The bid, though, faces a number of challenges, not least that Asia will host both the 2018 winter Games in South Korea's Pyeongchang and the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The US state of California plays host to an annual dog-surfing competition, and ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jan 14 2014
A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago is under investigation after it landed at the wrong airport seven miles from its intended destination.
Flight 4013, carrying 124 passengers and five crew members, was scheduled to fly from Chicago's Midway International Airport to Branson Airport, Missouri.
But the Boeing 737-700 landed at Taney County Airport instead, on a runway half the size of it proper destination.
It was unclear why the flight went to the wrong airport.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Tony Molinaro said an investigation has been launched.
Airline spokesman Brad Hawkins said: "The landing was uneventful, and all customers and crew are safe.
"Our ground crew from the Branson airport arrived at the airport to take care of our customers and their baggage."
Flight 4013 had been scheduled to go from Branson to Love Field in Dallas. Mr Hawkins said another aircraft was flown into Branson at 10pm on Sunday to take the passengers and crew to Dallas.
The runway at Taney County, also known as M. Graham Clark Airport, is 3,738ft. Branson Airport's website says its runway is 7,140ft long.
"As soon as we touched down the pilot applied the brake very hard and very forcibly," said passenger Scott Schieffer.
Mr Schieffer said the flight attendant announced "Welcome to Branson", but after a few moments "the pilot came on and said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry to tell you we landed at the wrong airport'''.
The Southwest plane was able to take off from Taney County on Monday.
It is the second time in two months that an aircraft has landed at the wrong airport.
In November, a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter which was supposed to deliver parts to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jan 14 2014
An unusual comic book hero has hit the streets of Berlin, as part of an attempt to highlight the plight of the city's homeless.
The superhero in Superhobo (Superpenner in German) has many of the usual features you would expect to find in a caped crusader: large muscles, a cloak and his underpants on the outside of his trousers.
But his torn bodysuit, bedraggled appearance and bottle of beer hint at his life on the streets. The slogan of the comic proclaims: "His muscles are firm but he has no fixed abode."
It was launched on Monday as a free supplement in the Strassenfeger (Street Sweeper) in an attempt to boost its circulation. The newspaper is sold by the homeless, the unemployed and poor immigrants.
The hobo gets his powers by accident when an intern at a secret service lab gives him a bottle of mysterious green liquid which "looks like a urine sample" by mistake.
Downing a beer gives him superhuman strength, and along with his sidekick "Gutter Girl" they take on "The Baddies". The hero sleeps on a bench in his woollen hat, dreaming of beer. The people he rescues gag at his bad breath.
When Superhobo is close to defeat "Convenience Store Man", who has a moustache and a Turkish flag, saves the day by providing him with a cold brew.
Behind the humour there is a serious message to the comic. The posters advertising it read: "Not every hobo is a Superhobo". People are encouraged to buy the paper or donate via its website.
Robert Krause, creative director of advertising agency Scholz & Friends and the man behind the comic, said: "The important thing is that people buy the comic, because we want to help the homeless simply ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jan 14 2014
A man whose wife was tracking him with a GPS device has left it by the side of the road attached to a note asking whoever finds it to take it away.
The husband appears to have had his fill of being followed by his spouse and left the white device and handwritten note for anyone to find.
"My wife is tracking me with this GPS device," the man wrote in his note.
"I am leaving it here. If you find it, you may keep the GPS device. Please take it far away."
His note went viral after finding its way onto Reddit, via Imgur, where it became a hot topic for discussion.
Users offered their own suggestions for what to do with the device, including: "Leave it at a gay strip club."
Other suggestions included attaching it to a stray cat so the wife would "wonder why he's wandering around people's backyards, jumping fences, and being parked in alleys".
But one man said he would not take the device in any circumstances: "Why? So your crazy wife can start following me around? Not gonna fall for that one again," he wrote.
James had fallen on hard times.
He totaled his car and he was living in a shelter in Atlanta. His wallet was empty. There was no money for a bus, certainly none for a cab. And that posed a significant problem.
James was supposed to report to a court in Lilburn, Ga. to resolve a traffic citation – some 29 miles away.
Failure to appear could have resulted in a warrant for his arrest. So James decided to do what needed to be done -- he would walk.
Now walking nearly 29 miles to resolve a traffic citation is certainly unusual, but walking 29 miles on one of the coldest days of the year is beyond unusual. James awoke at 1 a.m. and walked outside wearing a pair of blue jeans and a hooded jacket.
“I was absolutely freezing,” James told television station WSB. (James told the WSB reporter he is uncomfortable with his circumstances. He chose not to share his last name or show his face on camera.)
It was 6 degrees. The wind chill was minus 10. It was a bone-chilling, blustery kind of cold.
“As soon as the air hit my lungs it took my breath away because of the wind,” he said. “That was the major thing – the wind.”
His nearly nine-hour journey took him from downtown Atlanta across Interstate 85 to the northeastern suburb of Lilburn.
James arrived at the court, shivering and out-of-breath only to discover that his public defender failed to appear. Nevertheless, he settled his business with the court and prepared to make the long trip back to Atlanta.
Police Officer Andy Blimine saw James and felt compelled to help. But James rebuffed his offer. Soon, two other officers showed up ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
A Minnesota man died at a Chicago hospital early Monday after he apparently jumped into the Chicago River to try and retrieve a cell phone he had dropped into the water.
Police did not release the man's name Monday because next of kin had not yet been notified, but the Chicago Sun-Times reported that he was 26 years old and from St. Paul, Minnesota.
Authorities say a 23-year-old man and 21-year-old woman tried to help the man, but wound up falling into the water themselves. Both men were pulled from the water just after midnight Monday. The second man was in stable condition at a local hospital, a police spokeswoman told the Associated Press. The woman was still missing as of Monday evening and presumed dead
Chicago Police Officer Hector Alfaro told the Associated Press Monday evening that the search has ended for the day and recovery efforts will resume Tuesday morning.