Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009

Filmed over the period of a few months in and around Edinburgh by Dave Sowerby, this video of Inspired Bicycles team rider Danny MacAskill features probably the best collection of street/street trials riding ever seen. There's some huge riding, but also some of the most technically difficult and imaginative lines you will ever see. Without a doubt, this video pushes the envelope of what is perceived as possible on a trials bike.

Danny MacAskill's mini film, Inspired Bicycles, is third in YouTube's worldwide most viewed on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old street trials biker jumps across roofs, off roofs and even along a spiky railing in the video.

He told BBC Scotland he took it as "the best compliment" that some people thought his stunts were fake.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The force is strong

Eight police officers serving with Scotland's largest force listed their official religion as Jedi in voluntary diversity forms, it has emerged.

Strathclyde Police said the officers and two of its civilian staff claimed to follow the faith, which features in the Star Wars movies.

The details were obtained in a Freedom of Information request by Jane's Police Review.

Strathclyde was the only force in the UK to admit it had Jedi officers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Egg Jarping Champion

About 40 people turned up to contend a bizarre Easter-inspired world championship in County Durham. The 26th world egg-jarping championship took place at a Peterlee social club on Monday evening.

The event resembles a game of conkers, with two players clashing the pointed end of hard boiled eggs together to see which one cracks first.

Ann Watson, 65, of Peterlee, won the knockout competition and received a first prize of £75. Ms Watson, who entered on impulse, said: "I was surprised to win - I guess I just had a good egg!"

The event also raised £100 for Macmillian Cancer Support.

Entrants in Monday's event at Helford Road Sports Club in Peterlee, submitted eggs to be hard boiled the day before, which were stamped and locked away. Strict rules are in place to prevent competitors toughening the shell.

Judges especially look out for eggs which have been dipped in beer, brushed with nail varnish or warmed against radiators.

Organiser Roy Simpson, added: "We've been told that egg-jarping is springing up all over the world. We've got ex-pats from the North East organising contests in Majorca and even in Poland."

Russian doctors find tree growing in man's lung

Surgeons in Russia's Urals Region were staggered to find a 5-centimeter high spruce growing inside a man's lung, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported on Monday.

The discovery was made while Artyom Sidorkin, 28, from the Urals city of Izhevsk, was undergoing surgery.

Sidorkin had complained of extreme pain in his chest and had been coughing up blood, doctors suspected cancer.

"I blinked three times and thought I was seeing things," Izhevsk surgeon Vladimir Kamashev told the paper.

Medical staff believe Sidorkin had somehow inhaled a seed, which later sprouted inside his lung. The spruce, which was touching the man's capillaries and causing severe pain, was removed.

"It was very painful. But to be honest I did not feel any foreign object inside me," Sidorkin said.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lego Jesus

Parishioners at a church in Sweden celebrated Easter on Sunday by unveiling a 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter-tall) statue of Jesus that they had built out of 30,000 Lego blocks.

It took the 40 volunteers about 18 months to put all the tiny plastic blocks together, and their creation shows a standing Jesus facing forward with his arms outstretched.

The Protestant church was filled to capacity with about 400 worshippers on Sunday when the statue went on display behind the altar, and some of the children in the congregation couldn't help but touch the white art work.

Church spokesman Per Wilder said the statue at the Onsta Gryta church in the central Swedish city of Vasteras is a copy of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen's "Christus" statue on display in Copenhagen.

He also said that even though the statue is all white on the outside, many of the donated Legos that the church received were of other colors and were placed inside.

Polish Drunk Cyclists

Poland's Constitutional Court upheld a ruling this week that drunken cyclists should be treated like drunken motorists and face prison if caught. Two thousand Poles are currently in prison for riding a bicycle whilst under the influence of alcohol.

The ruling has sparked a lively debate about whether cyclists should face such strict punishment. The Constitutional Court ruled that drunken cyclists should be tried as criminals just as drink drivers are.

Under a law passed in 2000, anyone riding a bike under the influence of alcohol faces a fine or up to two years in prison, depending on the level of their intoxication.

Many courts here apply the stricter penalty and the average sentence is 11.5 months imprisonment. Such a state of affairs has been criticised by both the prison service and some judges.

Jaroslaw Sielecki, a 37-year-old judge from western Poland, called it absurd and draconian, adding that it can drag whole families into poverty. He argued that intoxicated cyclists should be treated like drunken pedestrians, who face a fine rather than jail, as both use their own muscles to achieve motion.

The Constitutional Court, however, ruled that cyclists use public roads and are considerably more dangerous because of the speed they can travel.