April 10, 2012

Niue     Photo: piawaugh/Flickr

Pacific Island Niue Wants Lady Gaga Show

Nation promises all citizens will attend

The island nation of Niue has invited singer Lady Gaga to perform after she visits New Zealand for a show in June. Niue spokesman Mike Hogan has promised to bring all of the country's 1,600 citizens to the show and has offered to host Gaga at one of the island's nicest resorts. Niue, known as "The Rock of Polynesia," is 1,500 miles north of New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean. "There's only one flight a week from New Zealand," Hogan said, "but I presume she'd have her own jet, so she could stay as long as she liked."

Read more at AFP


The Shard, London

The Shard, London     Photo: George Rex/Flickr

Urban Explorer Climbs London's Shard

Building is Europe's tallest

On Saturday, urban explorer Bradley L. Garrett announced that he has climbed London's Shard, the tallest building in Europe. Garrett, 31, says he sneaked past a security guard with two friends and charged up 76 stories, then exited a hatch onto the roof and climbed a crane on top of the building. It is unclear when the trespass occurred, though Garrett says he has broken into the site "half a dozen times" since December 2010. In February 2011, a fox was found living on the Shard's 72nd floor, but the building is considered one of the most secure properties in the city. Garrett holds a PhD in urban exploration from the University of London.

Read more at The Independant


    Photo: CharlesLam/Flickr

Wild Parrots Are Learning English

Birds taught by escaped pets in Australia

Escaped pet parrots in Australia are teaching wild birds English, including some unsavory words. The Australian Museum says it has received a number of reports from people who say they've heard wild parrots and cockatoos speaking to them, often cursing or repeating greetings like "hello cockie." Naturalist Martyn Robinson told Australian Geographic that some of these words will likely be passed down through generations in wild flocks. "If the parents are talkers and they produce chicks, their chicks are likely to pick up some of that," he said.

Read more at Treehugger


Pléneau Bay, Antarctica

Lowering a Zodiac in Pléneau Bay, Antarctica     Photo: Liam Q/flickr

Film Crew Rescued off Antarctica

Brazilian yacht caught in ice

On Saturday, the Chilean navy rescued four documentary filmmakers from Brazil after their yacht became trapped in ice off the coast of Antarctica. The crew was working on a project about navigating the Antarctic when their vessel, the Endless Sea, became stuck near a Chilean naval base. The yacht is owned by the Brazilian journalist João Lara Mesquita, who led the expedition and wrote about their rescue in his blog. "Our evacuation was epic. Waves of more than 1.5 meters and winds over 40 knots made the boat jump from one side to another, like a bucking bronco," he said. The yacht later capsized and sank. Chilean authorities are attempting to prevent the spread of debris from the wreck and will continue to monitor for oil leaks.

Read more at Global Post


Diving boards

Diving boards at London Aquatic Centre     Photo: Alexander Kachkaev/Flickr

Gold-medal-winning diver dies at 43

Mark Lenzi first to score 100 on 1 dive

Former Olympic gold-medal-winning diver Mark Lenzi died on Monday in Greenville, North Carolina at age 43. Lenzi had been hospitalized for several weeks with low blood pressure but his cause of death has not yet been released. Lenzi, who wrestled in high school, did not take up diving until he was 16. He went on to win two NCAA titles, a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, and a bronze in 1996, and became the first person ever to score 100 points on a single dive. No American man has medaled in Olympic diving since Lenzi's 1996 third-place finish.

Read more at ESPN