Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thirteen-year-old Laura Dekker has one simple wish. The Dutch girl would like to sail around the world in the yacht she's named Guppy. By herself.
She would need to miss two years of school, but if she's given permission to go, Laura will be the youngest person ever to make a solo trip around the globe.
This isn't some crazy fantasy. Laura, who was born on a yacht was given her first boat at age six, and she's been sailing solo for the past three years.
So who's stopping her from breaking the record? Not her parents--they're totally on board. No, Dutch social workers have stepped in to prevent poor Laura from living her dream. They say it's too dangerous for a girl her age.
How do we feel about that?
Read more here, and then write in to vote yay (she should go) or nay (keep that kid on dry land). I'll forward your thoughts to the Dutch government. (JK)
(Below: Is Laura aware of what's in the ocean?)
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
So there was a bear loose in the suburbs of LA yesterday. But it wasn't just any bear. This bear was AMAZING. He was hurdling over tall fences like they were nothing! I'm telling you, he was the bear equivalent of parkour legend, David Belle.
Bear video here.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
One of the things that amuses me most is the lack of imagination people display when it comes to extraterrestrials. More often than not, we depict them as the same size and shape as ourselves. But if aliens exist (and my personal vote is: YES THEY DO), it's unlikely they'd be anything like us. (My personal vote: GIANT BENEVOLENT SLUGS.)
Still, it feels strange to find stories in which the aliens aren't quite what we expect. For instance, this afternoon I came across the photo shown above on the Pink Tentacle blog. The caption said it's a mini-UFO that was captured by a bunch of Japanese kids in 1972. (How mini? It was roughly the size of a hat.)
My first reaction was, "yeah right." But hey, who's to say that we weren't visited by beings so diminutive in stature (really short E.T.s)?
Read the story here and let's hear what you think.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Whatever you do, stay away from the beaches of northern France this summer! Other vacation spots may have man eating sharks or giant jellyfish waiting to greet hapless bathers, but an even deadlier creatures has recently washed up on Brittany's beaches. Killer seaweed.
This year, pollution from French farms has led to a bumper crop of a seaweed known as sea lettuce. It's harmless when fresh, but as it rots, it releases deadly hydrogen sulphide gas. The gas, which smells like rotten eggs, can kill a person in minutes.
Recently a popular beach had to be closed after a man and his horse succumbed to the fumes. The man recovered. His horse, unfortunately, did not.
Isn't it about time for us to start cleaning up the messes we've made?
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
For centuries, the barren desert of Arabia's "Empty Quarter" was said to be haunted by evil spirits and djinn. Terrified travelers often reported hearing strange sounds and ominous music coming from the dunes.
We now know that those sounds were a phenomenon known as the Singing Sands. But that doesn't make them any less eerie. Listen to them here and here.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
(Photograph by Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)
I'm a pretty adventurous lady. I've done the breast stroke through dark caves in the rain forests of Belize. I've eaten things that would make most people keel over with disgust. And I've never met a roller coaster I didn't like.
But hats off to the person in the picture above, cause I would NEVER, EVER participate in the Northern Ireland Bog Snorkeling Championships. Sure you get flippers. And sure you only have to swim 360 feet.
But imagine wearing a snorkeling mask and coming face-to-face underwater with THIS.