The 75-year old bodybuilder who has the same amazing physique as he did at 21

Taken 54 years apart, there is little difference between these two photographs of super-fit grandfather Max Moore - apart from the grey hair and extra wrinkles.

When the 75-year-old retired ten years ago, the former award-winning bodybuilder was determined to restore his body to its physical peak.

Hours of training in the gym have turned back the clock and given Max back the muscles that won him more than a few admirers.
The 75-year old bodybuilder who has the same amazing physique as he did at 21
The 75-year old bodybuilder who has the same amazing physique as he did at 21

The pensioner, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was a physical training instructor in the RAF, putting military hopefuls through gruelling sessions in the gym.

In 1952, he was crowned Mr South-West Britain bodybuilding champion and the following year saw him come third in the Mr Britain championship.

Max, who has four children and five grandchildren, said: "I went into the RAF to do my national service in 1952 but the job of an airman wasn't for me so I asked what other roles were available.

"I trained as an instructor and it was basically my job to keep in good shape and put the recruits through their paces.

"My six-month training course was the hardest and most gruelling of my life but I had to be fit to train the troops day in, day out.

"The competitions were just a bit of fun for me but I won the regional one in 1952 and came close to winning the national one the next year."

But when, after four years, Max left the RAF, his training regime stumbled and it would be half a century before he regained the body that won over his teenage sweetheart and future wife Thelma, now 71.

Max recalls it was a trip to the swimming baths with his RAF recruits in 1952 where he first met Thelma and impressed her with his body.

He said: "I remember meeting Thelma as if it was yesterday.

"I had taken a group of recruits to the swimming baths and one of them bet me half a crown that I wouldn't have the nerve to go and talk to her.

"I walked right over to her and whipped off my top to show her my pecs. Thelma was suitably impressed and we married in 1956."

After leaving the RAF, Max worked as a salesman selling to the construction industry as well as being director of a building merchants company.

With a full-time job and a wife and four children to support, spare time for training fell by the wayside.

It wasn't until he retired in 1997 that Max had the time to get back in the gym and get back the body he craved.

He said: "I had always wanted to get back into training but never seemed to have the time.

"When I was in the RAF, it was my job to exercise but my jobs after that weren't very physical at all.

"The trigger for me to get back in the gym came in the 1990s when I saw the actor John Mills on Parkinson.

"He was in his 80s then but Michael Parkinson said that he looked 20 years younger.

"It made me think that if he could do it, so could I."

The 75-year old bodybuilder who has the same amazing physique as he did at 21

So after his retirement, aged 65, Max signed up to the JJB gym in Swindon and set about resurrecting his award-winning body of old.

Max visits the gym three times a week lifting weights and using the rowing machine.

He said: "My biggest shock when I stepped back into the gym was that all the weights had gone metric.

"Back in the 1950s, they were all in pounds so the kilograms took a bit of working out.

"I do a lot of rowing and can row 2,000m in ten minutes.

"Matthew Pinsent can do that in six-and-a-half minutes but he is 40 years my junior and a professional athlete so he has a bit of an edge on me.

"I get a lot of comments from people down the gym saying they can't believe I am 75 and in such good shape.

"It took many months to get back my body but I am now 12 stone, the same as I weighed when I was in the RAF.

"I don't think my body is any different now to what it was except I have shrunk a bit.

"I was never very tall, but I used to be 5ft 7in and I'm now only 5ft 6in.

"I think Thelma is pleased as well - I like to think it reminds her of the man she fell for all those years ago."

Max cites other fit pensioners such as Clint Eastwood and Bruce Forsyth as his inspiration to stay in shape but says the secret of his success is that he hasn't abused his body.

He added: "I never smoked and I never drank and have always had a good diet.

"They say you reap what you sow so I suppose by not abusing my body over the years, I am getting the benefit in old age.

"I have muesli for breakfast and try to eat two portions of fruit every day.

"Fish is good for you so I usually eat that three times a week too.

"I think a lot of people think once you get to my age, there is not much point of challenging yourself to do something.

"But I'm living proof of what you can do, even if you are 75."

Wild monster python eats pet dog as parents fear their children will be next victims

A couple in tropical Australia today feared their children were in danger after a giant, wild, five-metre python swallowed their family dog in front of them.

And just weeks ago other snakes killed their cat and pet guinea pig.

Shocked Daniel Peric said he is now terrified of leaving his two children, aged five and seven, alone in any part of the house, after the "enormous" python ate his silky terrier-cross chihuahua on Monday night.
Wild monster python eats pet dog as parents fear their children will be next victims

"Actually watching it unfold before your eyes was pretty gut wrenching," he said. "We'd had the dog about five years, so it was part of the family."

The huge snake had already devoured the pet dog before they realised what had happened: "All we could see was his back legs sticking out. There was nothing we could do to save the dog."

Mr Peric said in the weeks before, the family had found their cat's body, which looked like something had attempted to swallow it and on Sunday a smaller python had eaten their pet guinea pig.
Wild monster python eats pet dog as parents fear their children will be next victims

"When it happens once, you think it's a one-off, but last night I thought 'this is serious,'" he said.

"We have ducted air-conditioning. Call it paranoia, but my big fear is that a snake will get in there and come into the house and attack the kids while they're sleeping."

Australian Venom Zoo owner Stuart Douglas took the call from the distressed Peric family on Monday night and arrived at their home in the town of Kuranda near Cairns in far north Queensland to remove the scrub python within 20 minutes.

"They were very upset but they still had the decency to call us to come and get it," Mr Douglas said.

"It was at the bottom of the veranda. They'd thrown chairs at the python to try to stop it, but it had already eaten the animal."
Mr Douglas said by the time he arrived, all that could be seen of the dog was its back legs and tail.

"It only took about 30 minutes to eat the dog, but it will be digesting it for two days," he said.

Mr Douglas said pythons were amazing animals that belonged in far north Queensland but people needed to be aware that pets were potential prey.

"These pythons used to feed on wallabies but now they feed on cats and dogs in suburbia," he said. "This python actively stalked their dog."

He said if anyone saw a large snake near their home they should call someone to remove it as soon as possible."

Mr Douglas said he would wait until the python had fully digested its prey before releasing it.

Shiver me timbers... meet the parrot that needs a wooden leg

Somebody forgot to tell George that it's the pirates who are supposed to have a peg-leg, not their pet parrots.

Today, he will be fitted for a prosthetic claw to replace the one he lost in a fight with a wild animal which got into his aviary 18 months ago.

Hopefully, the procedure will mean the ten-year-old African Grey will be able to get a decent night's sleep once more.
Shiver me timbers... meet the parrot that needs a wooden leg

Currently, whenever George dozes off, he loses his balance and falls off his perch, squawking "Bloody Hell!" in surprise.

The hullabaloo has also been keeping owner Sheila Weare awake at nights at her farmhouse in Crewe.

Concerned for George's wellbeing, Mrs Weare sought advice and was referred to Dr Glyn Heath.

Through Salford University, Dr Heath runs Lacerta, an animal prosthetics company, and has agreed to treat George, in what he called a "completely unique" operation in Britain.

The prosthetic claw will be attached to the perch, rather than George himself, but he will be trained to slot his injured leg in it for balance.

Glyn said: "While I've worked on dogs, rats and even a panda, George is my first bird. He's quite a challenge."

Model strips naked in Selfridges' window causing rush hour chaos

It's certainly one way to liven up the rush hour.

People on their way to work got an eyeful today when a woman stripped naked in the window of Selfridges - but it was all in the name of art.

The model posed nude for an artist to paint her to promote Strip, a fragrance by lingerie label Agent Provocateur.

Passers-by gaped, fumbling for their camera phones, while buses slowed down and passengers swarmed to the windows.
Model strips naked in Selfridges' window causing rush hour chaos

Model strips naked in Selfridges' window causing rush hour chaos

But once the artist, who calls himself Jacques le Trompet, finished the painting, the model, Jen, covered up and the curtain was drawn.

Sadly for those with a sudden urge to rush down to Selfridges this afternoon she has now been replaced by a clothed mannequin.

It is the latest and most daring window display by the label. A spokeswoman said: "It's part of the tradition for Agent Provocateur. In 2005 we had a live striptease in the window of our Soho branch. The street was rammed."

Transparent fish causing ripples in the marine world with its alien-like smiling face

This baby ray born into captivity in the UK is making waves for its ghostly other-world smile.

The semi-transparent fish left visitors to a popular aquarium reeling after it gave them an alien-like grimace.

And now the month old thornback ray is proving something of a hit with Doctor Who fans - because it looks just like one of the baddies from the hit show.
Transparent fish causing ripples in the marine world with its alien-like smiling face

With its smiling face, it is a spitting image of the time lord's enemy 'The Last Human' played by Zoe Wanamaker in the BBC show, fans say.

The young fish is just 12 centimetres long and is one of a dozen hatched from eggs known as 'mermaid's purses.' They were all born as part of a captive breeding programme at the Blue Reef Aquarium at Southsea, Hants.

The baby rays are currently being looked after in a special nursery tank, but once large enough they will join adult thornbacks and a variety of sharks, in a huge, open-top pool.
A Blue Reef spokesman said the babies were proving very popular with visitors.

He said: "Their faces are very distinctive, especially the apparent smile.

"Some people have likened them to an alien or even the 'The Last Human' featured in Doctor Who.

"UK waters are home to up to nine different species including the electric ray and the giant skate which can reach lengths of up to three metres.

"Thornbacks are the most common ray in British waters and can grow up to 1.2 metres in length.

"They are called thornbacks because their upper body is covered with coarse prickles."

'The Last Human' featured in two episodes of Doctor Who, starring opposite both Christopher Eccleston and current time lord David Tennant.

Amazing marine wilderness where the spiders as big as dinner plates live alongside massive, creepy crabs

More than a mile below the icy surface of Antarctic waters scientists have discovered an amazing world of giant sea creatures, including spiders as large as dinner plates and jellyfish with tentacles that stretch more than half the length of a London bus.

They live in a dark and mysterious wilderness of thick sea grasses and coral gardens that are teeming with creatures never seen before – huge worms, giant prawns and massive, creepy crabs.
Amazing marine wilderness where the spiders as big as dinner plates live alongside massive, creepy crabs

Many of the marine animals hauled to the surface and landed on the decks of the research ship Aurora Australis have never been seen before and will now be sent to universities and museums around the world so their relationship to other known creatures can be assessed.

Tissue sampling and DNA will be used in the tests, but voyage leader Martin Riddle said when he arrived back in Hobart, Tasmania, yesterday that he believed much of his catch would be totally new species.

"With us we had some of the world's experts on Antarctic fish and they were completely, completely flabbergasted at the sight of some of the fish that came on board – they were unable to name them," said Dr Riddle after the census of the South Pole's marine life.

"The fish had fins in various places. They had funny, dangly bits around their mouths.

"Many of them had very large eyes, although what they are going to use them for where this is no light I couldn't tell you. But they are very strange-looking fish."
Amazing marine wilderness where the spiders as big as dinner plates live alongside massive, creepy crabs

In some places, he said "every inch of the sea floor is covered in life".

Giantism, he said, was "very common in Antarctic waters", where his team had even found deep gouges in the sea floor, caused by icebergs scraping the coral" as they floated by.

"Some of the video footage we have collected is really stunning – it's amazing to be able to navigate undersea mountains and valleys and actually see what the animals look like in their undisturbed state."

The scientific team used three ships to trawl for life in 30,000 square miles off the east of the Antarctic continent.

Dr Riddle said he and his team made the voyage "with certain expectations" but they were totally exceeded.

"What we found just blew me away and made me realise just how really important it is to document all this before the changes that we're seeing take effect, ocean acidification among them."

Amazing marine wilderness where the spiders as big as dinner plates live alongside massive, creepy crabs

This toxic destruction, he said, was brought about by global warming which came from increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

"This is a real threat to some of these marine creatures."

An Australian scientist who was travelling on an accompanying Japanese research ship, Dr Graham Hosie, said his team had discovered totally new species of plankton and jellyfish.

Although the jellyfish looked much like the species found around most coastlines of the world, the Antarctic variety had tentacles that stretched up to 18ft.

His team had also found glass-like creatures called tunicates, unidentifiable fish, starfish and sea urchins.

The scientists estimate that at least a quarter of the sea life – weighing up to 65lbs - they have brought to the surface has been previously unknown.

They believe the census, known as the Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census – made up of researchers from France, Japan and Australia – will help scientists understand how marine communities have adapted to the unique, unspoiled Antarctic environment.

Marine scientists have already suspected that huge creatures live in the very deep waters of the Southern Ocean which reaches Antarctica.

Giant squid have been caught by New Zealand fishermen, but these are usually sick creatures which have risen up from the sea bed.

Tournament of blood: The sheer horror of horse-fighting

The crowd roars its approval as the chestnut stallion sinks his teeth into the throat of his opponent.

The terrified victim rears up on his hind legs and veers away in a desperate bid to escape, but it is no use.

Blood is pouring into his eyes and he can no longer see. His right ear is torn and bloody.
Tournament of blood: The sheer horror of horse-fighting

The bigger
horse moves in for the coup de grace, repeatedly kicking the weaker animal in the head with his front hooves.

His opponent soon collapses and lies panting on the ground, an all too typical end to one of the most horrific spectator 'sports' ever devised - horse-fighting tournaments.

But that hasn't stopped them becoming hugely popular in the Philippines, where these appalling pictures were taken.

The images are deeply disturbing, but the Mail believes they must be seen.

"These tournaments are truly barbaric," says Andrew Plumbly of the welfare group Network for Animals, which has been campaigning to bring an end to the savage contests.
Tournament of blood: The sheer horror of horse-fighting

"Our vets
have seen horses being kicked in the head so hard that their eyes have popped out of their sockets. Other horses have had their ears ripped off. It's straight out of the Middle Ages."

Horse-fighting occurs almost exclusively in Mindanao in the southern Philippines, and in parts of China.

The horrific tournament captured in our photographs happened in the town of Don Carlos and involved 54 horses, many of which had gruesome injuries.

Thousands of people turned out to watch the bloodbath, including hundreds of children. Many of the adults were drunk and spent their time gambling and jeering at the battling animals.

Though horses do not normally fight one another, these stallions had been whipped into a fighting frenzy by the presence of a young mare who was "in season" and had been staked to the ground in the middle of the muddy arena.

Overwhelmed by desire, the stallions attacked each other in a bid to defeat their sexual rivals.
Tournament of blood: The sheer horror of horse-fighting

were soon covered in gashes and bites. Others limped around the arena with a glazed look in their eyes as they pathetically tried to escape.

The tournament was equally traumatic for the mare used as "bait" for the stallions.

Not only was she repeatedly hit by stray blows from the duelling horses, but the poor creature was also obliged to mate with the victorious stallions from each "bout", meaning that she was mounted as many as 30 times during one tournament which can last up to six hours.

"Horses often die in the ring from exhaustion or their injuries," says Mr Plumbly, who has witnessed one such tournament.

Veterinary care is too expensive for most owners to bother with, so wounded horses are often killed for their meat and the choicest cuts barbecued and sold to the crowd.

A similar fate awaits those horses deemed too old or too weak to fight. These are "sacrificed" by pitting them against much stronger stallions.

Some break their legs as they desperately try to escape. But the bloodier the injuries, the louder the crowd cheers.

Although horse-fighting is illegal in the Philippines, corruption and lack of enforcement ensure that the tournaments continue - and with apparent official sanction.

Matches are featured on TV, and local businesses sponsor horses and tournaments. Local authorities offer prize money.

The tournaments are promoted as a "cultural tradition", but in fact they are largely organised and controlled by crime syndicates, who rake in huge profits from gambling.

Thousands of pounds are bet on each fight - a small fortune in a desperately poor country such as the Philippines.
Tournament of blood: The sheer horror of horse-fighting

for Animals wants to build clinics to treat injured horses and to educate local people about caring for animals. It is also encouraging tourists to avoid the southern Philippines.

"If people want to help stop these tournaments they should write to the embassy in London and tell them that they will not visit these islands," says Mr Plumbly.

"The threat of a loss of tourism money will help bring this despicable blood sport to an end."

Green Blues: Biofuels wwwadd to Global Warming

Green Blues: Biofuels add to Global Warming

It is official: the Green Blues has began. Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two new studies published in the top-tier journal Science have concluded.

The studies for the first time take a detailed, comprehensive look at the emissions effects of the huge amount of natural land that is being converted to cropland globally to support biofuels development. The destruction of natural ecosystems — whether rain forest in the tropics or grasslands in South America — not only releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when they are burned and plowed, but also deprives the planet of natural sponges to absorb carbon emissions. Cropland also absorbs far less carbon than the rain forests or even scrubland that it replaces.

Together the two studies offer sweeping conclusions: It does not matter if it is rain forest or scrubland that is cleared, the greenhouse gas contribution is significant. More important, they discovered that, taken globally, the production of almost all biofuels resulted, directly or indirectly, intentionally or not, in new lands being cleared, either for food or fuel.

This is horrible news news for biofuel proponents. In the energy bill just passed, the U.S. is betting heavily on ethanol, mandating a sixfold increase in the use of biofuels by 2022. Current ethanol demands are already pushing up grain and meat prices and contributing to inflation. The tradeoff was that we were saving the world. Now that bargain looks pretty shaky.

But not all is lost on the biofuel front. Some companies are working on ways to make fuel from algae or ”waste” plants like sawgrass that wouldn’t prompt farmers to clear-cut the precious rainforests and grasslands.

It's Bubble O seven: James Bond underwater car fantasy becomes a reality

Ever since he saw James Bond drive into the sea to escape a villain in The Spy Who Loved Me, Frank Rinderknecht dreamed of creating his own submarine dream machine.

Yesterday, he launched the astonishing result.

The pioneering Swiss car designer has created the sQuba, a vehicle equally at home on land, sea and beneath the surface.
It's Bubble O seven: James Bond underwater car fantasy becomes a reality

It's Bubble O seven: James Bond underwater car fantasy becomes a reality

"For three decades I have tried to imagine a car that can fly under water," he said.

"Now we have made this dream come true."

In the 1977 movie, Bond, played by Roger Moore, avoids the clutches of the metal-toothed thug Jaws by plunging his Lotus Esprit Turbo into the ocean.

Computer animation techniques show the wheels folding under the chassis while lateral fins and propellers emerge before 007 dispatches his foes with a built-in rocket launcher, harpoons a fish and drives on to a convenient beach.

Just like its inspiration, the sQuba is built on the chassis of a Lotus, although this time it is the more rounded Elise.
It's Bubble O seven: James Bond underwater car fantasy becomes a reality

It's Bubble O seven: James Bond underwater car fantasy becomes a reality

But realising it would be too difficult to make a car completely watertight as in the Bond film, Mr Rinderknecht designed the sQuba to be open-topped.

If driven into water it will float and operate as a boat.

Two propellers positioned either side of the rear number plate push it along.


Dream: Swiss designer Frank Rinderknecht

But open a door and the car begins to dive. Under water, one of its three battery-powered engines sucks in water through the car's front grille and pushes it out of its two side jet vents.

It is these two jets, mounted on swivelling heads, which manoeuvre the car up, down, left and right.

The sQuba will go on show at next month's motor show in Geneva, Switzerland.

As a one-off concept car it is not for sale, but it cost around £750,000 to be built by Mr Rinderknecht's company Rinspeed, which normally specialises in restoring and modifying classic cars.

The interior boasts mother-of-pearl embossed trim with diamond-plated inlays. And the upholstery features sharkskin-style patterning.

In a nod to another of James Bond's gadget-filled cars – the Aston Martin DB5 in 1964's Goldfinger – another feature is a rotating rear number-plate holder.

Rocket launcher and harpoon gun, however, are not among the optional extras.

Crested ‘beach bum’ dinosaur found in Mexico

Washington: Seventy-two million years ago, a dinosaur with a sail-shaped crest on the top of its head lived at a Mexican seashore, munching plants and trying to avoid a cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex.

US, Mexican and Canadian scientists on Tuesday announced the discovery of Velafrons Coahuilensis, a duck-billed dinosaur that lived about 7 million years before a big rock from space wiped out the dinosaurs and many other creatures.

Its fossil was found in the rugged, dry terrain of north-central Mexico’s Coahuila state.
Crested ‘beach bum’ dinosaur found in Mexico

“Velafrons was probably a beach bum,” said palaeontologist Terry Gates of the Utah Museum of Natural History and University of Utah.

At the time, its shoreline home was lush, with rivers flowing into a warm, shallow sea, the scientists said.

“It would have been a beautiful time to have been there – very warm, very Mediterranean-like,” Utah Museum of Natural History palaeontologist Scott Sampson said. “But you’ve got to worry about the tyrannosaurs out there.”

The creature’s head is its most remarkable feature. Sitting on the top of its skull is a hollow crest, shaped a bit like the sail of a sailboat.

Velafrons coahuilensis means “sailed forehead from Coahuila.”

Velafrons and other similar duck-billed dinosaurs had nose bones at the top of the head, with their nasal passages greatly lengthened and running through large crests.

Scientists do not know the crest’s function, but think it may have helped attract mates.

Air blown through the crest passages could have made a distinctive trumpeting noise.

The adolescent Velafrons was 25 to 30 feet long, and a full-grown adult would have been 35 feet long, the researchers reported in the Journal of Vertebrate

Palaeontology. That would have put the species around the same size as the Tyrannosaurus rex – though it probably wasn’t as vicious, being a plant eater.

The Velafrons fossils were found in 1995, but it was not until 2002 that scientists – using a jackhammer to get through the hard rock – managed to free the skull from the ground.

Sampson said the remains of a horned dinosaur related to Triceratops were also found, as was evidence that a big meat-eater related to Tyrannosaurus was on the prowl. Many of the dinosaur bones are covered with fossilised snails and clams, indicating these animals lived near the shore.

The St Valentine's Day porker: Piglet born with heart-shaped spots

A cute little piglet born with heart-shaped markings on his side is the centre of attention as lovers gear up for Valentine's Day this week.The 10-day-old Gloucester Old Spot piglet christened Valentine - what else? - is one of a litter of seven born at Byford's Farm in Taynton, near Newent, Glos.Farmer Eric Freeman, 75 - a founding member of the Gloucester Old Spot Pig Breeders' Club - said Valentine's mother Mandi Lou has already got used to her piglet stealing the show.
The St Valentine's Day porker: Piglet born with heart-shaped spots
"Some sows get really annoyed and squeal but Old Spots are known for being quiet," he said."Mandi Lou was very good and didn't mind Valentine having her picture taken."I've bred thousands of Old Spot piglets over the years but this is the first ever to have such a clear heart-shaped mark."It couldn't be more appropriate with Valentine's Day just around the corner."
The St Valentine's Day porker: Piglet born with heart-shaped spots
Mr Freeman has been breeding Old Spots at his farm for 25 years and said the breed has come back from near-extinction in the past few years."I think there are probably around 400 members of the breeders' club and they have spread far and wide," he said."There has been a lot of interest because they are a fatty breed and it's a different taste to the normal type of pig - it's much more succulent."

Mini-muscleman: Meet the world's smallest bodybuilder

At just 2ft 9in, Indian muscleman Aditya 'Romeo' Dev is the world's smallest bodybuilder.Pint-sized Romeo is well-known in his hometown of Phagwara, India - for his ability to lift 1.5kg dumbbells - despite his overall 9kg body weight.Every day, crowds flock to the local gym to the see the mini-muscleman in training.
Mini-muscleman: Meet the world's smallest bodybuilder
Unlike many dwarfs, Romeo is well proportioned, with a head circumference of 15in and a chest measurement of 20in.Romeo said: "I've been training as a bodybuilder for the last two years and by now I think I must be the strongest dwarf in the world."I have always been fit but since I started working out, I have become famous for my strength."My size has never stopped me. I train with dumbbells and do aerobics and dance. People are always pleased to see me. I have been invited on TV shows and dance on stage."
Mini-muscleman: Meet the world's smallest bodybuilder
His trainer Ranjeet Pal spents hours helping his 19-year-old protege build his small muscles to perfection."Because of his small size, I don't assign him hard exercises. But Romeo trains more or less the same as anyone else and he's much more determined."When he first started, I insisted he did a month of basic exercises like aerobics, push-ups and basic gymnastics to prepare his body.
Mini-muscleman: Meet the world's smallest bodybuilder

"After that, I made lightweight dumbbells and taught him basic weight-lifting exercises to shape his biceps and triceps. His size and his weight were taken care of so that he never hurt himself."Determined Romeo is hoping to have an entertainment career after performing in many local TV shows.He said: "I earn good money through my dance and bodybuilding shows but being rich doesn't interest me."My dream is to travel a lot - I want to perform in London with my idol, Jazzy-B."
Mini-muscleman: Meet the world's smallest bodybuilder

The moment a diner sent back an £18,000 bottle of wine - for being 'fake'

It was a moment to make the most experienced sommelier gasp with horror.Normally when a favoured wealthy customer orders a magnum of Pétrus 1961, appreciative purrs of pleasure are expected to follow.

Not just from the drinkers. There will be a profit of several thousand pounds on a bottle costing as much as a large family car.
But this time the usually exquisite claret was returned untasted with angry accusations that it was a fake.

This was the hugely embarrassing scene at the Michelin-starred Zafferano in Knightsbridge earlier this month when a party of British and Italian diners asked for the 1961 — regarded as one of the finest wines ever made — to go with their meal.

At £18,000 it was among the most expensive bottles on the wine list, described by one reviewer as 'awesome in its density, richness and concentration'.But the customer refused to touch it because the cork was not stamped with the standard mark of provenance proving where and when it was made.

Zafferano's general manager Enzo Cassini admitted it was an awkward and unprecedented situation."Yes, the customer was cross. He had a problem because when he saw that there was no mark on the cork he didn't want to drink it any more. He said: 'this could be a fake.'
The moment a diner sent back an £18,000 bottle of wine - for being 'fake'

"The bottle
was perfect, there was nothing to think it wasn't genuine. I tasted the wine and it was off anyway. It was a big disappointment for the customer because he had brought over a friend from Italy."We have had to write off the Pétrus. As they say, stuff happens."

But the restaurant was so alarmed by the possibility that it was the victim of a fraud that it called in the 'Pétrus police' from Corney & Barrow, an upmarket City wine bar chain who also act as agents for Pétrus n Britain.

The company has accumulated photographic records of every surviving bottle still stored at the 28-acre vineyard to counter the growing phenomenon of wine fraud.The allegation was regarded as so serious that Corney & Barrow despatched its managing director Adam Brett-Smith to investigate.

Although there was no evidence the bottle was a fake, Mr Brett-Smith was unable to provide a definitive answer.The company said: "What we told the restaurant and later confirmed in writing is that it is impossible to confirm 100 per cent the authenticity of a wine pre-1964."

Before then the vineyard was run as a family concern by the former owner Madame Edmond Loubat with only limited record keeping and no cork stamps.Corney & Barrow now insist that every empty bottle of Pétrus is destroyed after the contents have been drunk to stop it being refilled with an inferior, fraudulent wine.

The row at Zafferano had a happy ending.After calming down the customer ordered an alternative — a magnum of Mouton Rothschild 1945 at £20,000. This time it got drunk.
But for Mr Cassini, it was a case of once bitten, twice shy.

"I wouldn't buy any more wine of that calibre. It is a big risk to take. Only a few customers go for a wine like that. You can have fantastic experiences with younger wines from the Eighties or Nineties. Is any wine really worth £20,000?"

Shark's virgin birth: Lone female in aquarium gives birth to a pup without ever coming into contact with a male

Imprisoned in a tank hundreds of miles from a mate, Ibolya the female shark resorted to desperate measures. To the astonishment of her keepers, she spontaneously produced a perfectly healthy pup.The virgin birth is making biologists think again about one of the oldest and - in evolutionary terms - most successful creatures.

"When I saw the baby shark lying on the bottom of the tank I thought it was a joke," said Attilia Varga, the director of the Nyiregyahaza Centre in Hungary. "I was amazed when I realised it was a real shark."Ibolya, a white-tipped reef shark, has been with the aquarium for seven years. In that time, she has never shared water with a male.The pup has been a hit with visitors - but has left keepers looking for a bigger tank. They also plan to find a male so Ibolya can breed conventionally next time.Virgin birth - parthenogenesis - happens when an egg begins to divide without being fertilised. Common in insects, it is rare in vertebrates such as fish, birds and reptiles.
Shark's virgin birth: Lone female in aquarium gives birth to a pup without ever coming into contact with a male
Scientists believe that sharks use it as an emergency survival mechanism. Normally animals rely on genetic diversity - the interplay of genes from two parents - to evolve. However, reproduction without sex is a useful stopgap.Sharks are one of Nature's great survivors, appearing in the oceans 400million years ago - before the dinosaurs. Normally their eggs are fertilised inside the female.In the white tip and most other species, the female gives birth to live young.

Starring horse-riding lions, the Sickest Show on Earth

Starring horse-riding lions, the Sickest Show on Earth

Starring horse-riding lions, the Sickest Show on Earth

Starring horse-riding lions, the Sickest Show on Earth

Just when
it seemed that the Chinese had plumbed the depths of animal humiliation, along comes something even worse.The country which gave you bears riding bikes now proudly presents ... lions and tigers on horseback.In one of the nation's most notorious zoos, applauding spectators are treated to a bizarre display as a 30-stone lion leaps on to the horse's back.
Then it rides around the ring while a trainer with a whip keeps it moving.After that, a 35-stone tiger climbs up on the same terrified steed for its turn in the limelight.The shocking pictures come from the animal park at Xiamen in Fujian, south-east China, where the public seem to delight in humiliating circus-style stunts and have no regard for animal cruelty.Conditions are poor, with big cats including lions, tigers and leopards and other large animals including bears kept in solitary confinement in tiny cages.Elsewhere in the country, bears ride bicycles at an "Animal Games" in Nanjing. At the Xiogsen Bear and Tiger Mountain village in Guilin, live animals are fed to tigers as a show for tourists. Bears pulling cars in a race with a strong man caused anger after the bizarre stunt was shown in Jinan last year.In a display in Changchun, a tiger is put in a cage with an ox while muzzled so it tries to attack its prey but cannot kill it, producing an agonising and long-drawn-out battle.Save China's Tigers, a charity which has a branch in the UK, campaigns to save animals trapped in the country's zoos.It carries out public education schemes in China to raise awareness .And it aims to free tigers from their cages, set up breeding programmes and reintroduce the proud creatures to the wild after teaching them how to hunt for themselves.

Lounging lizards have the perfect pose for every occasion

Lounging lizards have the perfect pose for every occasion

Lounging lizards have the perfect pose for every occasion

Lounging lizards have the perfect pose for every occasion

Lounging lizards have the perfect pose for every occasion

Lounging lizards have the perfect pose for every occasion

Lounging lizards have the perfect pose for every occasion

Lounging lizards have the perfect pose for every occasion

Lazy lizards like nothing better than lounging around at the home of this reptile expert.
Henry Lizardlover places them in amazing poses on his mini sofas, hammocks and even waterskis.The 53-year-old has more than 50 green creatures of all sizes roaming about his home in Los Angeles, USA. Henry, whose surname was Schifberg until he changed it, has been working with lizards for 25 years.

Lizards - which can remain still for long periods of time - look almost statue-like in these amusing pictures.Two of his Chinese Water Dragons, which are one-years-old and two-years-old, have been enjoying lazing about on their velvet chairs for the past six months.Henry said: "When they are calm and relaxed they like to sit in chairs.
"When I get lizards to ride on a waterski they just love it. And when I get one of them to hold a guitar he will just stand there for half an hour because lizards are really comfortable doing that.

"I have been living with them in my house since 1982 and I have always had 30 to 50 lizards living with me."Henry discovered lizards' remarkable ability at posing thanks to his first iguana which could be easily manipulated into different positions."He was so trusting and he demonstrated such a calm quality that I got the idea that he would just sit anywhere I put him," he said.

"It worked so well I decided to try it on the other lizards."
But Henry added: "Lizards will only do this if they are comfortable in the position."It doesn't cause them any pain or discomfort."But the lizard expert said only a few out of the 50 in his collection were calm enough to do the poses."Many lizards are nervous. And many of them are not suitable to be kept as pets," he said."Out of 50 or 60 lizards, only one or two are going to be calm and comfortable enough to be posed up like this."


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