June 23, 2014

Yoda, yet another chihuahua mix, took top honors in 2011.     Photo: seaotter22/Flickr

This Is the World's Ugliest Dog

Mutt claims top prize in prestigious competition

Ladies and gentlemen, you are free to exhale: We have a winner in the World's Ugliest Dog competition. A rescue mutt named Peanut was awarded the top prize Saturday at the 26th annual Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.

While the victorious pooch's full backstory remains somewhat fuzzy, the two-year-old is likely a chihuahua-shih tzu mix who was abused by a previous owner before being adopted by Holly Chandler from North Carolina. Chandler was awarded $1,500 in prize money, which she intends to use to raise awareness for animal abuse. 

"He's my baby. I guess I don't see him every day as being that ugly. But I guess the judges thought so," Chandler told CBS's local affiliate KPIX News

Winning an ugliest dog competition might not strike one as much of an achievement, but Peanut had plenty of competition. Twenty-nine other hideous canines were vying for the prize. Each was judged on several criteria like "unusual attributes," "personality," and "natural ugliness."

In the end, however, Peanut prevailed.

"Peanut is one of the ugliest dogs we have ever judged in this contest," said judge Brian Sobel after announcing the winner.

Chapeau!

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Who wants to learn to ride a bike in the driveway when you can do it along the Seine?     Photo: David Fiedler/Google

Bikes for Tykes in Paris

The world's first bike-share program for kids

Parisians are teaching their children that "sharing is caring," but in their own chic way: on bikes.

On June 18, P'tit Velib', an initiative sponsored by Paris's bike-share program Velib', became the world's first bike-share program for tots. Kids ages two through eight can stop by a rental station, choose one of four bike models (one is even a balance bike), grab a helmet, and learn to ride safely in the city.

"We wanted this habit of riding a bicycle, the cycling experience, to be learned at the earliest possible age and that young Parisians pick up the habit at the earliest opportunity," Jean-Francois Martins, who is in charge of sport and tourism at city hall, told the Associated Press.

Prices for the small-person shares start at 4 euros (about $5.44) per hour and go up to $16 per day. This is considerably more expensive than the adult Velib' program, which offers an unlimited annual pass for 29 euros, or $39, according to Time.

While the adult Velib' program runs around the clock, P'tit Velib' enforces bedtime hours from midmorning to 7 p.m.  

Even though Paris can't claim to be the first metropolis to introduce bike sharing, Velib's methods, such as the use of electronic docks, have caught on in other cycling cities, according to Fast Company. We'll see if the bikes-for-tykes trend catches on, too.

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As comfortable as this looks, airports are now offering alternative sleep facilities.     Photo: Robertus B. Herdiyanto/Flickr

Atlanta Airport to Open New Sleep Suites

Catch your flight—and some zzz's

Sleeping at airports can be a tragic procedure. We build forts with our briefcases and imitate pretzels to fit horizontally into hard chairs.

But by 2015, getting some shut-eye before a red-eye won't be an issue for those traveling through Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The world's busiest airport announced plans last week to build a large number of short-term sleep units and showers in two international concourses.

The Atlanta City Council approved a contract with Minute Suites to open the company's largest branch of sleeping sections with 17 deluxe suites in Concourse E and six in Concourse F. 

Atlanta opened a trial Minute Suites location in domestic Concourse B in 2009, with five 7-by-8-foot rooms that cost $34 per hour or $125 overnight. The suites are equipped with noise-suppression systems, making them semi-soundproof. The suites have been so popular that the airport is extending the service to international travelers, who have "significantly more time available on their hands," airport spokesman Reese McCranie told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Since opening the Concourse B suites, Minute Suites has begun operation in Philadelphia International (13 rooms) and Dallas-Fort Worth International (10 rooms). The Dallas location also features two shower rooms. Atlanta is taking cues from Dallas and opening shower service as well, which costs $25 for showering only. 

More air travel coverage from Outside:

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Tough Mudder's Walk the Plank event—where two medical emergencies have happened this year—has participants jump 15 feet into freezing water.     Photo: The 621st Contingency Response Wing/Flickr

Injured Tough Mudder Diver Recovering

Officials still haven't released name

The diver who became ill during a Mansfield, Ohio, Tough Mudder event on May 17 is doing well, the Mansfield News Journal reports. Spokesperson Ben Johnson said the diver is in recovery "thanks to the expert medical attention they've received."

Though no name has been released, the person is thought to be a man in his 50s. No specifics on the nature of the medical emergency have been released either. Tough Mudder participant Bret Buike, a former firefighter and EMT, told WKYC he helped pull the diver from the water after he noticed he was looking ill. Three participants who had medical experience helped perform CPR and removed the diver's wet suit before getting him transported to a hospital.

The incident happened during the Walk the Plank obstacle, which involves a 15-foot jump above water. That's the same obstacle where Avishek Sengupta drowned in April—he didn't resurface after jumping into the water and died a day after the race. Though the nature of these two incidents are very different, question remain on the safety of Tough Mudder's water obstacles.

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