The Lincolnshire Curly Coat pig, often called the sheep-pig, is a breed which became extinct in Britain 37 years ago… but they are back, thanks to Tony York, a British farmer dedicated to reintroduce the breed.

The Lincolnshire Curly Coat pig, or sheep pig
A sheep? A Pig? A sheep pig!

Tony discovered that British farmers had exported many Curly Coats during the early 20th century to Hungary, where their coat helped them survive harsh winters. There they were cross-bred with the Mangalitza, a similar breed, creating the ‘Lincolista’.

He found the sub-breed thriving in Austria, and brought 17 of the animals back to his Pigs Paradise farm near Stonehenge, Wiltshire, driving a trailer 2,400 miles across Europe to ensure they had regular food and water stops.

Tony has named one of his pigs Boris Johnson, after the Tory MP and London mayoral candidate.

The British Pig Association has agreed to register his acquisitions as direct descendants of the Lincolnshire Curly Coat, securing the link with UK farming heritage. [Dailymail]


A 18 year-old Japanese man has set a world record for making 109 full spins on his head in the space of one minute. The Kyoto-based break dancer, known as “Spinboy Aichi” had previously set the world record for 101 spins in a minute last September. [Reuters]

Video from Reuters – Spinboy Aichi breaks record

Israeli scientists have inscribed the entire Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible onto a space less than half the size of grain of sugar. The tiny Bible appears to be the world’s smallest.

The nanotechnology experts at the Technion institute in Haifa say the text measures less than 0.5 square millimeter (0.01 square inch) surface. They chose the Jewish Bible to highlight how vast quantities of information can be stored in minimum amounts of space.

Smallest bible in the world created by Israeli scientists
World’s smallest bible… ya, the black dot (Image courtesy of Eastday)

The previous smallest known copy of the Bible measured 2.8 x 3.4 x 1 centimeters (1.1 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches), weighing 11.75 grams (0.4 ounces) and containing 1,514 pages, according to Guinness World Records spokeswoman Amarilis Espinoza. [Metro]

We know the French eat escargots (snails), but I didn’t expect that snail eggs (or snail caviar) could become a delicacy as well…

Snail caviar becoming a delicacy in France
Snail eggs becoming special delicacy in France (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

Snail farmers in France occasionally produce some snail eggs… but the caviar are not really tasty. Dominique and Sylvie Pierru, a couple of snail farmers from Soissons in the Picardie region northeast of Paris, has found a way to make the snail caviar into tasty stuff.

Their snail caviar, called “De Jaeger”, hit the shelves in October 2007 and retails for 80 euros (USD115) per 50 grams. Despite the high pricing, the snail caviar is in high demand during the Christmas season as food lovers in France are always eager to explore new gourmet experience.

Queen Elizabeth II has launched her own channel on the video-sharing website YouTube.

The Royal Channel will feature her Christmas Day message, and has recent and historical footage of the monarch and other members of the Royal Family.

The launch marks the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s first televised festive address in 1957.

The palace said it hoped the site would make the 81-year-old monarch’s annual speech “more accessible to younger people and those in other countries”. [BBC]

The Xmas message video has garnered 346,084 views at the time of writing; I guess the Queen is not doing too bad as a Youtube debutant :)

The world’s densest cities according to Forbes (Top 20)…

1. Mumbai, India (29,650 people per square kilometre)
2. Kolkata, India (23,900)
3. Karachi, Pakistan (18,900)
4. Lagos, Nigeria (18,150)
5. Shenzhen, China (17,150)
6. Seoul/Incheon, South Korea (16,700)
7. Taipei, Taiwan (15,200)
8. Chennai, India (14,350)
9. Bogata, Columbia (13,500)
10. Shanghai, China (13,400)
11. Lima, Peru (11,750)
12. Beijing, China (11,500)
13. Delhi, India (11,050)
14. Kinsaha, Congo (10,650)
15. Manila, Philippines (10,550)
16. Tehran, Iran (10,550)
17. Jakarta, Indonesia (10,500)
18. Tianjin, China (10,500)
19. Bangalore, India (10,100)
20. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (9,450)

Below is the winner of the Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest 2007 organised by The Neural Correlate Society.

The two images of the Leaning Tower of Pisa are identical but it gave an impression that the right tower leans more than the left… simple yet amazing. [Why?]

Optical illusion with the Leaning Tower of Pisa
“The Leaning Tower Illusion” by Frederick Kingdom, Ali Yoonessi and Elena Gheorghiu

The Neural Correlate Society is a nonprofit organization that promotes scientific research into the neural correlates of sensory perception, awareness, and cognitive experience.

“W00t”, a hybrid word of letters and numbers used by gamers and netizens is chosen as Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2007 via an online poll.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word is used for expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word “yay”.

I don’t use this quite often, but w00t often reminds me of the old steam-powered-train horn… like w00t w00t. I normally used it as a sign of approval for what others are saying in some online discussion boards.

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