marathon for robots

TOKYO (AFP) – The world's first full-length marathon for two-legged robots kicked off in Japan on Thursday, with the toy-sized humanoids were due to run 42.195 kilometres (26 miles) over four days.

The machines began the non-stop race on a 100-metre (109-yard) indoor track in the western city of Osaka after doing knee bends or raising their hands to greet spectators.
The bipedal robots -- the tallest of which measures 44 centimetres (17.6 inches) -- must complete 423 laps to reach their goal.
The "Robo Mara Full" race is organised by Vstone Co., a robot technology firm based in the western industrial city, in cooperation with the Osaka prefectural government.
Competitors are allowed to change batteries and the so-called servomotors which control the robots' speed and other functions.
Robovie-PC from Vstone led the race at the start. Video footage from a camera in its head can be seen at

breast milk ice cream: for sale!

LONDON – Gross or tasty? A London company is offering an unusual dessert — ice cream made with human breast milk.
Trendy London ice cream parlor The Icecreamists said its "Baby Gaga" ice cream sold out as soon as it launched Friday.

alligator found sleeping in the living room

After floodwaters receded from her home, a Brazilian woman was shocked to find a most unwelcome house guest: a 5-foot (1.5-meter) alligator lying tamely in the living room as her 3-year-old son petted the reptile's head.

rare spider that bears a human face

A rare spider that has the markings of a human face on its back has been discovered at an English nature reserve.
The hairy arachnid is a lichen crab spider and is so scarce that only 41 of them have been spotted in Britain since 1890.
Despite its hairy appearance and grumpy-looking 'face' on its abdomen, the eight-legged creature is harmless to humans.

bikini stealing cat caught on video

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A thieving feline has been caught on camera, stealing over 600 items from neighbors' homes in a California town, reports said Wednesday.
Dusty the cat burglar was videoed by a night-vision camera carrying everything from a bath sponge and a toy dinosaur to a neighbor's bikini top down the street in San Mateo, south of San Francisco.

37 hours of non stop kissing!

BANGKOK (AFP) – Seven amorous but exhausted couples smooched their way to a new world record in Thailand on Monday with the longest continuous kiss lasting more than 32 hours -- and kept going.
The contestants broke the previous world record of 32 hours seven minutes and 14 seconds set in Germany and were vying to become the last ones locking lips for a prize of about $3,250 cash and a diamond ring, organisers said.

an act of heroism

watch how a canine display an extra ordinary act of heroism. 

cockroach for a valentine gift, anyone?!

NEW YORK – If lingerie is too intimate and dinner out is too expensive, the Bronx Zoo suggests another Valentine's Day gift: a Madagascar hissing cockroach.
Spokesman John Calvelli says, "Nothing says forever like a cockroach."

lingerie preferred over roses for valentine gift

LONDON  – UK men are choosing sexy knickers over short-lived and often more pricey presents such as roses and champagne this Valentine's Day as they seek a bigger "bang for their buck" in a tough economic climate.
"Lingerie is for love on a budget. It really is the gift that keeps giving," said Sharon Webb, head of design at department store group Debenhams, which is seeing demand rocket for knickers priced at 4.50 pounds.

transgender flight attendants for new thai airline

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A new Thai airline is hiring transsexual ladyboys as flight attendants, aiming at a unique identity to set itself apart from competitors as it sets out for the skies.
Known as "katoeys" or "ladyboys," transgenders and transsexuals have greater visibility in Thailand than in many other nations, holding mainstream jobs in a variety of fields. They are especially common in cosmetics shops or health stores, which almost always have a ladyboy shop assistant.

Rats delay flights

SEATTLE – Alaska Airlines had to delay a flight about to leave Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when a rat was seen scurrying in the cabin.
The airline says the flight from Seattle to Denver had just pulled away from the gate Thursday morning when the little stowaway was spotted. The 737 jetliner returned to the terminal and passengers and crew boarded another plane about 90 minutes later.


ROME -- A male apprentice, longtime associate and achievable lover of Leonardo da Vinci seemed to be the principal influence along with a model for the "Mona Lisa" painting, an Italian researcher said.
But the researcher, Silvano Vinceti, said Wednesday the portrait also signifies a synthesis of Leonardo's scientific, artistic and philosophical values. Simply because the artist labored on it at various intervals for several years, he was put through to distinct influences and sources of inspiration, as well as the canvas is stuffed with hidden symbolic connotations.