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Archive for April 2009

Family of 8 commutes on 1 motorcycle — together!

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How does a large family commute anywhere if they have no car and little money?

As this picture proves, there are no problems, only solutions.

What appears to be an entire family of eight have all piled cheerfully on to one motorcycle.

The three children, two men, two women and a baby are clinging to one another tightly, their hair blowing in the breeze – as they are, of course, compounding their danger by riding without helmets.

Their lives appear to be in the hands of one of the men – clad in a dark purple shirt, he is the driver.

His control of the motorbike is compromised by the three children crammed on the saddle in front of him however. One hopes they only have to travel in a straight line, as he will find it very difficult to turn the bike with the three children there.

Of course, the weight he is carrying on the back of the motorbike will not help either.

To go around corners on a motorbike, the driver must lean into the turn. That is always more difficult to do when carrying a passenger – if the passenger does not lean with the bike also, or if they lean too little or too much, the driver could lose control.

Unless you are an experienced rider, that’s difficult enough to manage with one passenger. With seven, it must be just about impossible.

The driver will also find stopping difficult.

Read more and see more pictures: Solved! How a family of eight can travel from A to B… on just TWO wheels


Written by allpositivenews

04/29/2009 at 5:38 pm

Grand Central Station lighting goes green

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How many people does it take to change every light bulb in Grand Central Terminal?

Six, it turns out. And it’s a full-time job.

On Tuesday, those wiremen — their official title — unscrewed the last remaining incandescent bulbs in the building, replacing them with compact fluorescent bulbs and completing the greening of the lighting system at the bustling station.

While the wiremen worked, photographers snapped pictures, and officials applauded the efforts, reminiscing about the days when both the station and the light bulb were young.

The bulbs in question were on one of the 10 huge Beaux-Arts chandeliers in the main lobby. Adorned with gold detail and banded with 110 bulbs, the 96-year-old globe-shaped chandeliers hang above the Main Concourse balconies like luminescent Fabergé eggs.

Fluorescent bulbs last longer and use less energy, saving money and helping advance the city’s environmental goals.

They were first installed in the terminal in the mid-1980s, with tube-shaped fluorescents hung on the train platforms largely to brighten them, said Marjorie S. Anders, a spokeswoman for the Metro-North Railroad. About seven years ago, compact fluorescents, which can be screwed into standard light sockets, were installed in the cornice that rings the ceiling of the Main Concourse, 75 feet above the ground, largely because frequently replacing the old bulbs was a risky and labor-intensive chore.

And as the technology and aesthetics improved — the bulbs became less distinguishable and could be dimmed — the bulbs were added everywhere from the departure board to the chandeliers.

“If you see an incandescent bulb in this place, call me,” said Steve Stroh, the terminal’s electrical and mechanical superintendent, who has overseen the replacement effort. “We’ll have it changed, because we may have missed one or two.”

Mr. Stroh would not even hazard a guess as to the number of bulbs throughout the terminal, which covers 48 acres on two levels, but he estimated that the annual light bulb budget was less than $100,000. Its costs about $1,100 to replace all the bulbs on a single chandelier.

Replacing the roughly 4,000 bulbs in the public areas of the terminal — which doesn’t include the platforms, the train yards, or office space — will save an estimated $200,000 a year, Ms. Anders said. The payback on the initial investment will take just months.

However, with the bulbs burning 24 hours a day, the shift will not be putting any of the terminal’s six wiremen out of work, Mr. Stroh said. Even with the fluorescents, he said, “it’s a big job.”

Read more: Grand Central Terminal Lighting Goes Green

Chihuahua blown away by 70-mph winds reunited with owners

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Tinker Bell has been reunited with her owners after a 70-mph gust of wind picked up the six-pound Chihuahua and tossed her out of sight. Dorothy and Lavern Utley credit a pet psychic for guiding them on Monday to a wooded area nearly a mile from where 8-month-old Tinker Bell had been last seen. The brown long-haired dog was dirty and hungry but otherwise OK.

The Utleys, of Rochester, had set up an outdoor display Saturday at a flea market in Waterford Township, 25 miles northwest of Detroit. Tinker Bell was standing on their platform trailer when she was swept away.

Dorothy Utley tells The Detroit News that her cherished pet “just went wild” upon seeing her.

Read more: Blown-away Chihuahua reunited with owners

Tennessee hotel voted to have the best bathroom in the country

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The Hermitage Hotel has afternoon tea in the grand lobby. Down-filled duvets (that’s a fancy word for comforters). A presidential suite with 2,000 square feet. And a really nice toilet.

So nice, in fact, that it’s been voted (drum roll please) America’s best restroom.

Flush in the middle of downtown Nashville, the luxury hotel and its ground-floor men’s bathroom are definitely the head (so to speak) of the class.

The redoubtable restroom is art-deco style with gleaming lime-green-and-black leaded glass tiles, lime-green fixtures, terrazzo floor and a two-seat shoeshine station.

“You just can’t find anything like it anywhere else,” says Janet Kurtz, director of sales and marketing at the hotel.

The restroom won the honor in online voting sponsored by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp., which supplies restroom hygiene products and services. The company says “tens of thousands” of people voted over two months last summer. Precise numbers are kept, well, private.

Criteria were hygiene, style and access to the public. The highfalutin honor has earned the restroom entry to “America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame.”

“People see it and fall in love with it,” Kurtz said.

It has four stools, three urinals, four sinks, spotless mirrors and a Sultan telephone that connects to the front desk.

And, (how do you put this delicately?) women seem attracted to it.

Lita Esquinance of Bradley County, Tenn., guides friends to the restroom for a discreet peek just about every time she visits Nashville. One of them, Sonja Luckie, jokingly summed up her visit with this discerning observation:

“For men, it’s very stimulating.”

The hotel, built in 1910 and renovated in 2003, has 122 guest rooms and suites. The restroom, down the hall from the hotel bar and restaurant, dates back to 1939.

Do they leave the light on for you? Not necessarily, but the famous restroom is cleaned hourly.

In her six years at the hotel Kurtz has never used the men’s restroom. But just wait.

“I hope they have a ladies’ night sometime.”

Read more: Flush with class: Tenn. bathroom voted best in US

Man registers car right before officer can finish writing ticket

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In less time than it took a North Brunswick patrolman to write a ticket for an unregistered vehicle, the driver got his car registered online Thursday. 

When officer Jason Zier pulled over a 1992 Mazda 626 on Thursday afternoon, the vehicle’s registration had expired. By the time he’d finished writing up Sean Leach for the infraction, the car was legal again. 

That’s because the 36-year-old Jersey City man had a cell phone, a friend with a computer who he could reach and the foresight to use the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s online registration service. 

Leach’s ingenuity did not save him from getting a ticket, but it did keep him from having his car towed _ and getting socked with the towing bill. 

Zier pulled Leach over on Route 130 after noticing the sticker on his license plate was expired. When Leach told Zier he had not gotten around to renewing his registration, the officer mentioned that drivers can register online, North Brunswick Police Department spokesman Capt. Donald Conry said. 

Leach took the renewal form the commission had sent him from his visor, which contained the access code he needed to renew. While Zier issued the summons and ordered the tow, Leach called a friend who took his credit card number and other information and renewed the registration for him, Conry said. 

When Zier came back with the ticket, Leach told him the car was now registered. The computer inside Zier’s patrol car confirmed it. 

“It’s immediate,” Conry said. 

Zier canceled the tow truck _ no longer needed since it was to tow an unregistered car off the road.

Source:  Genius and Great!

World’s smallest bodybuilder [Video]

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At 2 feet, 9 inches and a mere 19 pounds, Aditya “Romeo” Dev isn’t like other bodybuilders.

The 21-year-old from Punjab, India, weighs as much as the body armor worn by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, but that hasn’t stopped the little person from becoming a body builder.

Dev told “Good Morning America” today that the most he’s ever lifted is 10 pounds — about half his weight.

“From the very beginning I liked lifting the dumbbells and lifting weights,” he said through a translator. “I used to watch wrestling when I was a small kid and that’s how I got inspired.”

His hard work has paid off — three years ago the Guinness Book of World Records named him the world’s smallest body builder.

When he hit a Crunch gym in New York City, people flocked to him, picking him up for a pose and taking pictures.

And ladies, he’s available.

“I don’t have a girlfriend,” Dev said, with a shy grin.

Watch this story and see him in action: An Inside Look at the Littlest Bodybuilder

The lake that Cupid made

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It seems an unlikely place to find such a symbol of romance. But Mother Nature chose this bleakly beautiful Arctic landscape to leave her mark in the form of a stunning heart-shaped lake.

It has emerged as climate change melted the glacier that covered the area. Blocks of ice trapped during the glacier’s retreat caused the ground to cave in, creating a heart-like hollow, some 120ft by 90ft, that then filled with rainwater or snow melt.

The picture was taken by French photographer Bruno Mazodier on Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago.

The Norwegian island 620 miles from the North Pole is the most northerly inhabited-place on Earth, although people are outnumbered by polar bears.

Dr Bryn Hubbard, of Aberystwyth University, said: ‘The glaciers all through this island chain have receded, but the heart shape is an anomaly. You would do well to find another.’

Read more: The lake that Cupid made (after global warming had melted the glacier)