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Tue, 30 Nov 2021
The World for People who Think

Don't Panic! Lighten Up!


Iranian president agrees to Oliver Stone film about his life

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has agreed to let Oscar-winning U.S. film director Oliver Stone make a documentary film about his life.

Ahmadinejad told journalists: "In principle I have no objections to featuring in such a film, but all the details have to be agreed with my advisors."

The president had earlier refused to allow filming to go ahead, saying the director was part of the "Great Satan," a term used in Iran to describe the U.S. since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when the despotic U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown.

Magic Hat

Indian suspect on trial despite swallowing knife

NEW DELHI - The Indian businessman spent years evading authorities around the world, fleeing accusations that he'd run elaborate bank scams, investigators allege. When he lost an appeal in Germany against extradition to India, he came up with a novel scheme: He swallowed a knife.

For four years, Amarendra Nath Ghosh refused surgery to remove the knife, hampering India's attempts to bring him back to stand trial because medics said flying with the 4-inch metal object lodged in his stomach might prove fatal.

Magic Wand

Miners unearth world's biggest diamond

The world's biggest diamond, believed to be twice the size of the Cullinan, has been discovered in the North-West Province of South Africa. The find has electrified the diamond community, but the circumstances of the discovery are shrouded in mystery.

The diamond is expected to attract furious bidding from buyers worldwide and could fetch up to £15m.

The 203 carat Millennium Star is the second biggest flawless diamond. The newly found stone could produce a stone even bigger.


Missing German kangaroo captured

Skippi, a wily kangaroo on the run since early August was returned to his home at a petting zoo Monday in southern Germany, but not after a chase through the German Alps that left the animal with a strained leg.

The injured marsupial was captured in a cornfield near Leutkirch im Allgaeu, almost 10 miles from where his journey began, police in the nearby town of Ravensburg said.


Finns crush cellphone-throwing competitors

Far from the World Athletics Championships in Osaka a Finn has emerged at the top of his game-- in mobile phone-throwing, organisers of the event announced Sunday.

Competitors were reduced to silence when Tommi Huotari threw his cellphone 82.62 metres (294 feet) at the eighth annual tournament in Finland, home of Nokia, the world's number one handset manufacturer.


House made of 13,500 plastic bottles

A Serbian pensioner is hoping to get in the record books by building a house, completely out of plastic bottles.

Tomislav Radovanovic, from the central town of Kragujevac, celebrated his retirement by moving into the unique house, which he created out of 13,500 bottles in five years, reports Ananova.

According to the national news agency Tanjug, all parts of the house are made of plastic bottles that Tomislav had been collecting for years, except for the foundation, which is of concrete.


Advice on calamities

Gather round, young people, because it's back-to-school time, and Uncle Dave wants to give you some important advice to help you excel in the classroom and have successful, rewarding careers, assuming that the Earth is not destroyed by giant comet chunks.

©Painting by James Christensen

Arrow Up

Dancing with an oligarch bear: World's most expensive book

A British entrepreneur is selling what is believed to be the world's most expensive book - for £3 million. Roger Shashoua is offering a diamond-encrusted edition of his new book Dancing With The Bear. He says Russian tycoons are the target readers for the made-to-order book which features more than 600 flawless diamonds. The book is an account of how the author made £100m through business in post-Soviet Russia.


Have some sympathy for the devil - Smoking With the Stones

The world as we know it almost came to an end this week when Keith Richards and Ron Wood defied Britain's new anti-smoking law and lit up during a concert in Greenwich. We were surprised to learn that these two aging artists had any bad habits at all -- but that should be more of a concern to their respective families and their physicians.


Panda gives birth to cub at Austria zoo

VIENNA - A giant panda on loan from China gave her Austrian zookeepers a surprise Thursday: the first panda cub born in Europe in 25 years. Caretakers at the Schoenbrunn Zoo detected the cub on a surveillance camera after hearing little squeals coming from an enclosed compound where the mother, Yang Yang, had retreated. Zookeepers had not been certain Yang Yang was pregnant.

A photograph released by the zoo showed Yang Yang, a first-time mother, holding the tiny creature in her mouth and looking up toward the camera.

©AP/Tiergarten Schoenbrunn
In this photo taken by a surveillance camera and released by the Schoenbrunn zoo in Vienna, female panda Yang Yang holds her newborn baby in her mouth, on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007. For the next two or three month Yang Yang and her baby will spend in the enclosed area where she gave birth.