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Triplets Born 11 Years Apart

It’s really hard to believe that the two to 11-year-old girls and the 3-month-old baby in the picture are triplets, but Bethony, Megand and Ryleigh actually are.

Although the three of them were conceived on the same day, Ryleigh came 11 years after her twin sisters. This was possible because, while the first two fertilized embryos were implanted back in 1998, this third one has been frozen up until recently. This is a rather unusual situation for both parents and doctors as neither of them have knowledge of other cases of siblings conceived at the same date but born with such an age gap.

Health problems, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovaries, reduced Mrs. Shepherd’s chances of becoming pregnant and determined her and husband Adrian to undergo treatment. Out of 24 eggs collected by doctors, 14 were successfully fertilized, 2 were implanted and the other 12 were frozen. The pregnancy went smoothly and, although 6 weeks early, Bethony and Megan were born healthy and brought joy to their family.

After about 9 years, when the Shepherds decided they wanted another baby, they went to the same clinic and used one of the embryos stored years before.

It seemed strange to think that we were using embryos that we had stored all those years ago, that were conceived at the same time as the girls. We knew that if we had another baby it would in effect be the girls’ triplet as they were all conceived at the same time. We didn’t  know if it would work, and we agreed that we would just have one go with one embryo and if it didn’t work we wouldn’t try again. It was one last chance, and if it was meant to be, then it would happen,” Mrs Shepherd explains.

The doctors warned the parents there was the possibility the body would reject the frozen embryo, but fortunately this didn’t happen and Ryleigh was born healthy, although 11 years later than her twin sisters.

“The girls are thrilled to have a sister – and they know that she was conceived at the same time that they were, but has been in the freezer. She’s a really happy baby and has got a really good appetite – it’s as though she’s making up for lost time,” says Mrs. Shepherd.

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Border Collie Chaser Learns the Names of 1,022 Toys

This news probably wouldn’t be that impressive if it was about a parrot, although I’ve never heard of  one that knew the names of over 1,000 toys. And as smart as some people would like to think their dogs are, no one would expect a canine to know this much.

Chaser, a 6-year-old border collie, managed to learn the names of 1,022 different toys, which is more than any other animal has ever learned and around as much as a child around the age of three would be capable of learning.

Interested in how much of a vocabulary the dog would be able to develop, psychologists Allison Reid and John Pilley have worked intensively with Chaser for about three years. And their hard work certainly paid off, as they have proved that talking t your dog is not a waste of time.

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Mister Christmas Makes Plans to Marry His Christmas Tree

Andy Park, also known as “Mr. Christmas” recently stated he wants to marry his beloved Christmas tree and is currently looking for a priest wiling to perform the ceremony.

47-year-old Andy Park loves Christmas more than anyone else in the world, and has proven it every day for the last 17 years. Starting in 1993, he has has celebrated Christmas every day, and I’m not talking about putting on a Santa hat and singing Christmas carols. No, Andy pops champagne bottles, buys himself gifts that he, in turn, opens, decorates the entire house and enjoys a traditional Christmas dinner.

Now, the wacky divorcee says he’s determined to marry his Christmas tree.He’s only had the plastic tree for the last two years, but they’ve become pretty close in this short period of time, and Andy thinks of it as “his best friend”. He never gets tired of looking at it and since other people have married their pets, and even their pillows, marrying a Christmas tree doesn’t seem that strange to him, anymore.

Mr. Christmas has already bought a beautiful ring for his Christmas tree, but has yet to decide on which branch to place it on. An even more serious problem is finding a minister willing to join them in holy matrimony.

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Chinese Artist Creates Edible Model of Shanghai

Song Dong, one of China’s leading contemporary artist has almost completed a miniature replica of Shanghai City, made out of various sweets. Song apparently has a thing for recreating major cities out of food, as this is the seventh project in his “Eating the City” series, which includes sweet replicas of Barcelona or London. Working with a team of talented food artists, he uses wafers, biscuits, cookies and candy to create edible replicas of Shanghai’s major landmarks.

On Christmas Eve, Song Dong will show his masterpiece to the world, and invite the people to take a bite out of Shanghai, literally. Take a look at the photos below to see how the project is coming along.

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“Punch Me Panda” Is a Modern Day Solution To Stress

“I knew people were angry. I knew people want to punch things, because I want to punch things,” that is how Nate Hill, 33, explains his crazy idea of dressing up as a panda and encouraging passers-by to hit him.

Believe it or not, Hill actually thought of becoming a human punching bag as a community service. He’ll just visit busy thoroughfares, businesses expecting layoffs and he’ll even make house calls, and have people punch him to lighten their day. No matter how big your problem is, a few punches and a shoulder charge will make anybody feel a lot better.

At first, everyone thought he was just part of some advertising campaign, others just didn’t understand why he was asking them to hit him, but as soon as one person starts to hit him, all of them become intrigued and want to show off their own boxing skills. Whether their dealing with relationship issues, work-related stress or just boredom, hitting a panda makes all their faces glow.

When he’s not wearing his funny panda suit, Nate Hill works in a laboratory,m where he cares for fruit flies used in experiments. You might not guess by looking at him, but this man is a veteran when it comes to helping Americans deal with their anger. So far he also has dressed up as Death Bear, and Mr Dropout, two fictional characters imagined by Nate himself, as a way of relieving some of the pain on the street.

Although he uses a breastplate and cushion to protect himself against the flurry of blows he receives every day, the man behind Punch Me Panda admits people sometimes cross the line and him in the face. The panda head offers little protection, so he just takes it off, so the person hitting him knows they have to stop. Most of them offer apologies, and Nate always accepts them.

So if you feel the need to hit someone, remember to call Punch Me Panda Nate Hill. You can probably find him wondering the streets of New York, but you can contact him on his official website, as well.

 

 

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Japanese Researchers Create Tweeting Mouse

In a genetically engineered experiment, Japanese scientists at the University of Osaka have created a mouse that tweets like a bird. After crossbreeding genetically altered mice for some time, to see what would happen, they apparently got their first interesting result, by mistake. Researcher Arikuni Uchimura said they were expecting physical mutations, but definitely not a tweeting mouse.

The “mistake” happened at the University of Osaka called “Evolved Mouse Project”, where scientists have the sole purpose of breeding mice ‘pron to miscopying DNA and thus to mutation”, without knowing for sure what will the end results may be.

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Christmas Excitement Causes Girl’s Heart To Stop

Christmas is a time for parents to be happy for their children’s excitement. But this doesn’t apply to Ray and Tina Cleveland, as their daughter Holly is suffering from a rare disease that causes her heart to stop and leaves her breathless for about 30 seconds, when she gets over excited.

This is two-year-old Holly’s first Christmas since she was diagnosed with the disease and both her parents are very worried, even though they were assured the toddler’s heart will always start beating again. In fact they put up the Christmas tree and started “celebrating” early so that little Holly could get used to all the excitement gradually.

“We even put our tree up early to try and get her used to the twinkly lights before they started appearing everywhere. It’s heartbreaking to see her little face light up and then have to immediately calm her down again. I’ve even avoided asking her what present she wants because I don’t want her to get too excited when she sees it,” Holly’s mother, Tina, explains.

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Italian City Drives Its Tourists Up the Wall

Climbing buildings has become a tradition for the Italian city of Sondrio. For several years now, passionate climbers have been gathering here to take part in the now famous  Sondrio Street Climbing festival.

This year, the event has managed to bring together around 200 professional climbers from all over the world, all eager to start climbing some of the oldest, most important buildings in the city. “It is the new sport of the future and we are pioneering it – street bouldering. And with the Sondrio Street Festival we have established ourselves as the world center for street bouldering,” a spokesman of the council explained.

Last year, 75 climbers showed up for this offbeat event, but the numbers of people interested in street bouldering is definitely on the rise. On December 18, over 200 climbers took part in the various events that included scaling granite columns, stone walls and even a 40 meter tall bell tower. Just like last year, winners were rewarded with a delicious pizza and pints of beer.

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World’s Most Expensive Christmas Ornament

I don’t know if the guys at the Emirates palace Hotel are still looking for stuff to hang in the world’s most expensive Christmas tree, but just in case they are, here is the world’s most expensive Christmas ornament .

This particular Christmas decoration features 1,578 diamonds encrusted in 18 carat gold and has two rings encrusted with 188 rubies. And, as if it wasn’t blinged-out enough, this one of a kind ornament also has 3 1-carat Roman  diamonds encrusted into the sphere.

The world’s most expensive Christmas bauble was hand crafted by Embee Jewels London, in partnership with Hallmark Jewelers , and is scheduled to be sold in an auction. 15% of proceedings will go to the National Autism Society, the UK’s leading autism charity.

 

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Christmas Tree Made Out Of 80,000 Plastic Spoons

A team of young Taiwanese students as created an impressive Christmas tree out of 80,000 plastic spoons, in Taichung city.

In their quest to deliver a message about the environment, this Christmas, a team of six students from Taiwan’s Transworld University have created a unique Christmas tree out of 80,000 plastic spoons. The young environmentalists entered a competition for the best Christmas tree made of recyclable materials, and their original idea came up on top.

The 80,000 plastic spoons used in the making of the tree were provided by the Taiwanese branch of KFC, who was probably looking for a way of improving its overall image. After the holiday season, the spoons will be taken to a recycling facility and used to create something useful. Impressed by the feat of these young students, mayor Jason Hu felt the need to send an environmental message of his own: “”Christmas must be celebrated in an eco-friendly way, and it is the same when we choose clothing or when we take a shower.”

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Dog Gives Birth to Seventeen Puppies

A dog in Germany gained it’s celebrity after giving birth to 17 puppies. Both the owners and the vet were thrilled and amazed by this “numerous” surprise, especially since all the puppies were born naturally, without a cesarean being necessary, and although the birth took almost 26 hours, all puppies have survived and are in good health.

Ramona Wegemann, Etana’s owner is very proud of her dog, a purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback, but non the less exhausted after having to cope with feeding and taking care of all the 17 puppies for the first 4 weeks, as their mother wouldn’t have been able to deal with all of them.

This was Etana’s second pregnancy, but the first time she gave birth to 8 puppies, a number very common for her breed, so nobody really saw this coming. As this has turned into a full time job, both Ramona and her husband have had to dedicate most of their time, and space, to these little ones. Their living room was turned upside down as it is now occupied by a giant box housing the puppies. It’s really a full time job,

Etana has given birth to 9 male and 8 female puppies, and as you can imagine, their owners are having a difficult time telling them apart: the male puppies are called Baakir, Banjoku, Belay, Bruk, Bundu, Bayo, Bukekayo, Biton and Bulus and the female ones are Bahati, Binta, Bahya, Bashima, Batouuli, Binki, Bora, Bisa. These are all African names, because the Rhodesian Ridgeback is an African breed, but…do all African names start with a “B” or is this a real weird coincidence?

The 17 puppies were born on September 26, and since then four of them have been sold, two more are already paid for, and Ramona hopes she will be able to find good homes for all of them. But she says they are only considering families with children, not breeders.

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Hello Kitty Painting Auctioned Off for $1.25 Million

If there was one field that I thought was safe from Hello Kitty mania, it was painting. But all my hopes were shattered when I stumbled across this $1.25 million artwork of the famous Japanese icon.

That’s right boys and girls, a painting of your favorite kitty is being auctioned off on eBay for the “bargain price” of just $1.25 million. And if you, by chance, think that’s too much, you should know the price has gone down from $1.5 million. I mean come on people, it’s not just any other Hello Kitty painting we’re talking about, this is in fact the world’s largest Hello Kitty painting, measuring 4 feet by 5 feet. The auction page reads “this would make a great gift for that little girl you love so much”, but unless they were referring to Paris Hilton’s dad, I doubt anyone will by this as a Christmas gift.

I don’t know if this matter to you or not, but the painting was done by American artist James Dillon Wright, also known as Dillon Boy.

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World’s Largest Collection of Santa Claus Memorabilia

Canadian Jean Guy Laquerre , a 74-year-old former geography teacher, is the proud owner of the World’s Largest Collection of Santa Claus Memorabilia.

Laquerre became addicted to Santa Claus memorabilia after his aunt gifted him with a beautiful 20th century papier-mache Santa Claus figure, over two decades ago. “It awakened the child in me” he says, but his fascination for Santa soon turned into an uncontrollable obsession. This “Santaphilia”, as he calls it, started back in 1988, and in the next 22 years he managed to put together an impressive collection numbering 25,139 items.

Laquerre confesses it is hard for him to restrain from buying more Santa stuff, “I can’t stop myself entirely, but I do restrain my urges. I surprise myself when I go into a store and I don’t buy any new ones…it’s because I just don’t have any more room for more figurines.” They are everywhere…and in every form imaginable, from jolly-dancing Santas to table-cloths, cushions, blankets, albums, and even a toilet-seat cover.

Although his name was listed in the Guinness Book of records in 2009, he broke the record in 2004 with this impressive collection.  “A Texas woman held the record for 30 years.  She had 1,039 items. It was time that I came along and broke the record.”

It is clear that he is very fond not only of his entire collection, but of every piece in particular as he is very meticulous in arranging and classifying them, every year. He is very hopeful that one day this will all be displayed in a museum, although his home on Christmas can already be perceived as a private Santa Claus museum.

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Rare Brain Disease Makes Woman Fearless

Haunted houses, cockroaches or any kind of bugs for that matter, snakes, you name it, there’s nothing in this world that will freak this woman out.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to never experience fear, but there is someone out there who really is fearless, due to a rare disorder, called the Urbach-Wiethe disease, which destroyed a part of her brain called the amygdala, where researchers believe the feeling of fear is born. A 44-year-old woman, whose identity hasn’t been revealed for reasons of confidentiality, suffering from this rare disease, has become a case study for researchers at the University of Iowa.

Scientists have tried everything to provoke her fear – spiders, live snakes, tours of haunted houses – but nothing seems to work. As a matter of fact, she has been exposed to very dangerous and scary situations in her day to day life, for example being held at gun point or knife point, or even life threatening domestic violence, but none of it caused her to be afraid. While it may sound like some cool superpower, her lack of fear and response can also be very dangerous for her as it comes with a lack of preservation instinct.

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India Displays Most Impressive Cake Ever, in Bangalore

I’ve always been a big fan of cool cakes, but the one Indian chefs have just created, in Bangalore city, really takes the cake.

Showcased during the 36th Annual Cake Exhibition, the sweet replica of Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is definitely this year’s star of the show. It’s made out of approximately five tons of sugar, and at 22 feet long and 14 feet wide, it’s about to enter the record books as the biggest cake ever made in India. A team of chefs and food artists have been working around the clock to get this perfect replica of the iconic Mumbai hotel ready in time for Christmas, as a tribute to the landmark attacked by terrorists, in 2008.

The impressive-looking cake can be admired between December 17 – 27, during the cake show, in Bangalore.

 

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