Offbeat: Twinkle toes!

Published: December 17, 2011
A 26-toed cat is helping an animal rescue centre raise money to relocate to a new building.

A 26-toed cat is helping an animal rescue centre raise money to relocate to a new building.

    A 26-toed cat is helping an animal rescue centre raise money to relocate to a new building.

Hitting the nail on the head — your own head!

Next time you have a sore head, spare a thought for Li Xin who has quite literally hit the nail on the head.

Xin entertained the crowds when he balanced on his head on the end of a spike.

Putting his hands out to the side, he balanced all his 66kg body weight, putting intense pressure on his skull.

The 47-year-old has practised the stunt for more than 20 years. He can hold the pose on top of the spike for more than ten seconds — impressive, seeing as most people would struggle to keep their balance doing a floor head-stand.

After the stunt, Li Xin leaned forward to show off a small but definite indent on the top of his head.

It’s not just his head that is as hard as nails — he also balanced all his body weight on a similar spike against his stomach. The spike was placed on a stool and Li Xin pulled back his shirt and lowered his body onto the spike.

He then lifted his arms and legs in the air, holding a starfish pose. The likelihood of this spike piercing his skin is reduced because the end is shaped into a larger blunt arrow, meaning there is more surface area for Li Xin to balance upon.

Meowing in millions!

An Italian cat has become the third richest animal in the world after inheriting almost £10m(Rs1383m) after his wealthy owner died and left him the entire family fortune.

Maria Assunta died last month aged 94 and, according to lawyers entrusted with her estate, left the fortune in property to Tommasino, a stray cat she had found and looked after because of her love for animals.

Ms Assunta had a large property portfolio of homes and villas across the country, as well as several bulging bank accounts and share portfolios but no living relatives.

Lawyers Anna Orecchioni and Giacinto Canzona say that she left the fortune to Tommasino in a will she wrote and deposited with them in their office in Rome in October 2009.

Mrs Orecchioni explained that under Italian law, Tommassino is not entitled to inherit the money directly and the will also asked for the money to be given to a “worthy animal association, if one could be found”.

She added: “We had requests from several organisations but in the end we did not find any that we thought were suitable.”

“Then earlier this year Maria told us about her nurse called Stefania who looked after her and who, like her, had a love for animals and, in particular, cats. We also could find no living relatives of her at all anywhere.”

“In the end we decided that Stefania was the most suitable person to administer the money that Maria had left in her will.”

“To be honest he doesn’t need all that money, he is happy with a saucer of milk and some biscuits.”

Stefania said: “I had no idea that she was worth so much money.”

Monkey  business

A painting monkey called Pockets Warhol has sold artworks for as much as £250(Rs34582) to buyers all over the world.

Pockets, a white-capped capuchin monkey, paints with his tail, hands, feet and sometimes even a brush.

He lives on Story Book Farm, a Primate Sanctuary in Canada where he arrived two years ago.

Buyers as far as Europe and Israel have bought his abstract colourful paintings.

Pockets is named after pop artist Andy Warhol, because of his wild white hair, but his paintings are said to be more like the work of Jackson Pollock.

He was first introduced to painting a year ago when volunteer Charmaine Quinn gave him some non-toxic children’s paint to keep him occupied.

She said: “Pockets has always been very playful so he really took to painting, however, he does have an artistic temperament and can lack concentration, sometimes preferring to eat the paint.”

The money he earns from the sales of his paintings will help fund a new barn for the sanctuary.

The talented monkey is having an art show where 40 of his paintings will be displayed in Toronto for the next two months.SOURCE:

Virtual ant-crusher

When this lizard was told it was feeding time, it probably didn’t expect to be licking a mobile phone screen.

But that was the case after the bearded dragon was unwittingly made to play an ant-eating mobile phone game.

In the YouTube video, the reptile is repeatedly seen licking ants on the phone screen.

Users of the video-sharing website were split on the 57 second clip. Some thought it was great, describing it as ‘freaking awesome’ but others weren’t impressed and were concerned that the animal was being taken advantage of.

Rosydonut wrote: ‘Aaaw, poor little guy just wants ants. I hope you gave something yummy after you stopped filming.’

Although it didn’t get to eat real life insects, the lizard can at least be pleased it done well on the game, clocking up a high score.

Miniature World Cup marvel

A miniature metal engraver has carved the names of all 38 England World Cup scorers onto a single football stud.

Graham Short, 65, even etched the iconic three lions emblem on the head of the stud.

And he engraved full names, like Nathaniel Lofthouse, Geoffrey Hurst and Joseph Cole, instead of the shortened versions.

Mr Short spent months working with his powerful microscope on the stud, having to restart the piece a frustrating 30 times.

He takes beta-blockers to ensure his heart rate remains steady and gets botox injections around his eyes so the muscles remain as still as possible.

“It took about five or six months. I only have to move slightly and I have to start over from the beginning. I must have done that about 30 or 40 times with the stud,” he said.

“My work-shop is a small building and I don’t go in till 10pm. I work at night because even the vibrations of a lorry going past in the day could cause me to make a big mistake.”

“I wear a stethoscope and try to engrave in between heart beats. If I see a mouse I have to go home straight away because I am scared of them and know I won’t be able to stay dead still when I engrave.”

The stud has been bought for £30,000 by an anonymous Premier League player who has donated it to the new FA museum opening in Manchester. SOURCE:

Too(th) expensive!

The tooth fairy is a piker compared with the bidder in Los Angeles who plunked down a world record $56,250(Rs5021662) for a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth.

Bonham auction house said the dinosaur tooth, discovered this past summer in Garfield County, Mont., and one of the largest ever found at 5 1/8 inches from base to tip, had only been expected to bring $25,000-$30,000(Rs2231850-Rs2678220) at its natural history auction. Instead, it garnered the most ever paid for a prehistoric tooth at public auction.

Bidders also paid $116,500(Rs10400421) for a saber-toothed tiger skull and vertebrae. SOURCE:

Twinkle toes!

A 26-toed cat is helping an animal rescue centre raise money to relocate to a new building.

The orange-and-white tabby, named Daniel, has two extra toes on each paw as a result of a mutation called polydactylism.

The Milwaukee Animal Rescue Centre asked for small donations of $26(Rs2321), one dollar for each toe, after their rent doubled.

They cannot afford the new rent and hope to raise enough cash for a new base. Amy Rowell, the rescue centre’s owner, found Daniel while picking up another cat.

As she bent down to that cat’s cage, the shelter’s future mascot stuck his paw out and poked her head.

“He was very clearly saying, ‘I need to be rescued, I’d like to be your friend, please pay attention to me’,” she said.

“And when a sign is that obvious, we tend to not ignore it.”

Normal cats have 18 toes — five in each of their front two paws and four in the hind paws.

Daniel’s total of 26 toes leaves him two short of the world record.


Get gold for dog poo!

A Taiwanese city is trying to clean up its streets — by offering lottery tickets to people who clear up dog poo.

More than 4,000 people have collected 14,500 bags of excrement since the scheme was launched in New Taipei City.

For each bag they turned in, they were given a lottery ticket. A woman in her 50s won the top prize — a gold ingot worth £1,400(Rs193662).

The scheme was due to end in October, but officials said it had been so successful, it had been extended.

The scheme — which began in August — has been credited with halving the amount of dog mess in the city.

The woman who won the top prize was among a team of neighbourhood volunteers who already helped to clean up the streets, including by picking up dog mess.

Smaller gold ingots, worth several hundred dollars, were given to four other prizewinners. A total of 85 people won prizes, including household appliances.


Art expresso

A mosaic made with a million coffee beans by Albanian artist Saimir Strati, depicting five musicians, entered the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest coffee bean mosaic.

Strati used 140 kg (309 pounds) of coffee beans, some roasted black, some averagely and some not roasted at all, to portray a Brazilian dancer, a Japanese drummer, a U.S. country music singer, a European accordionist and an African drummer. SOURCE: AFP

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2011.

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