Rather too close for comfort!

Here’s an amazing video clip of humpback whales feeding very close indeed to a kayak (I understand somewhere off the Canadian Pacific coastline, although I haven’t been able to confirm that). I’m not sure whether it was a good idea for them to get that close . . . but perhaps they didn’t have much option, if the whales came to them rather than the other way around. Still a brown-trouser moment, for sure! Peter

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A sad end for modern Vikings

(EDITED TO ADD: In January 2012 the leader of the ‘Wild Vikings’ did it again – perhaps even more irresponsibly this time! See here for the details.) The so-called ‘Berserk Expedition‘ was a voyage from the Arctic to Antarctica aboard a 48-foot steel-hulled yacht, crewed by the self-described ‘Wild Vikings‘ under the leadership of Jarle Andhøy. Sadly, the expedition appears to have met with disaster in the waters off Antarctica. A New Zealand Web site reports: Debris and an empty life raft have been found in the Ross Sea, north of Antarctica’s Scott Base, in a continuing effort to find

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Cinematic and automotive history under the hammer

The proprietor of the ‘Cars of the Stars’ museum in England has decided to call it a day, and is putting his collection of 25 famous cars from the movies up for auction. They include the original Batmobile created by George Barris for the 1966 Batman TV series; the pink six-wheeled Rolls-Royce FAB1 from the Thunderbirds franchise; and the heavily modified Ford Falcon from the Mad Max movie series. There are many more photographs of historic movie vehicles at the link, including the Ford Anglia used in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets‘, many of the vehicles from the

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Don’t forget New Zealand’s plight

The tragic earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, last week continues to reverberate through that country. The death toll is now almost certain to top 300, and may exceed 400. New Zealand is a small country, so that’s the equivalent of the USA losing Los Angeles in an earthquake that killed between 20,000 and 30,000 of our citizens. The city of Christchurch may never fully recover from the earthquake. The Guardian reports: One third of the buildings in central Christchurch were so badly damaged in last week’s earthquake they may need to be demolished, authorities in New Zealand have warned, as

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Doofus Of The Day #449

Today’s award goes to the police in Suffolk, England. When police launched a high-profile anti-burglary campaign with the motto ‘Close it, Lock it, Check it’ they hoped to stamp out the crime by encouraging householders and business owners to be more vigilant and look after their own premises. It was a shame then that the force failed to heed its own wise words, leading to red faces all round when just hours later one of its own police stations was burgled. An intruder apparently sneaked through an open window and got into their offices in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. There’s

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In politics, as in anything else, ‘follow the money’

The Center for Responsive Politics describes itself as follows: The Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government. In short, the Center’s mission is to: Inform citizens about how money in politics affects their lives Empower voters and activists by providing unbiased information Advocate for a transparent and responsive government We pursue our mission largely through our award-winning website, OpenSecrets.org, which is

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Muslim fundamentalism in North Africa, redux

At the end of last month, I warned that Muslim fundamentalists might exploit the situation in Egypt to take over there. It didn’t take long for signs to emerge that they were trying to do just that. A few days ago, I posted a warning from Stratfor that the same might occur in Libya, which might become a nexus for Islamic terrorism all over the region, if not the world. Evidence demonstrating the efforts of Islamic fundamentalists to take advantage of the current unrest in North Africa is now overwhelming. The Daily Mail reports: In keeping with Tunisia’s deep-rooted secularism

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A good laugh, revisited

I put this video up a couple of years ago, but ran across it again today on another blog. It’s as funny as ever; and since it made me laugh all over again, I thought you might like to enjoy it one more time as well. (I apologize for the not-very-good video quality, but it’s the best version of this clip I could find.) I’m sure the performer on stage must cringe every time he repeats that act, hoping – and praying – that he doesn’t pick someone like that again to destroy his poise! Peter

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Illegal aliens with impeccable taste!

I had to laugh at the tale of nine illegal aliens who tried to smuggle themselves across the English Channel in the very best style. Illegal immigrants tried to smuggle themselves into the country by hiding in the body shells of £275,000 [about US $442,750] Rolls Royces, it was revealed today. The nine men were discovered by a sniffer dog at Calais Port, France, in a German lorry heading for the luxury car maker in Goodwood, West Sussex. The stowaways, from the African country of Eritrea, were handed to the French border police and the lorry was allowed to continue

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