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50 Jokes for 50 US States (part i): Alabaman headlines, Alaska nights, catching rabbits in California, and more...

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe... and also had a time-share in Hawaii.

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What's the state of the states of the union? Let's see ... New Yorkers mock Southern drawls. Southerners don't cotton to West Coast hippies, who in turn can't understand why Midwesterners live so far from the ocean breeze. And Midwesterners? They wonder who could survive New York-the city that never sleeps. Yes, the U.S.A. is one big, happy dysfunctional family. And to prove there are no hard feelings, every state gets a handpicked potshot all its own.

Alabama
When a visitor to a town in Alabama spotted a dog attacking a boy, he grabbed the animal and throttled it with his bare hands. An impressed reporter saw the incident and told him the next day's headline would scream "Valiant Local Man Saves Child by Killing Vicious Animal."
"I'm not from this town," said the hero.
"Then," the reporter said, "it will say 'Alabama Man Saves Child by Killing Dog.'"
"Actually," said the man, "I'm from New Hampshire."
"In that case," the reporter grumbled, "the headline will be 'Yankee Kills Family Pet.'"

Alaska
An Alaskan was on trial in Anchorage. The prosecutor leaned menacingly toward him and asked, "Where were you on the night of October to April?"

Arizona
It's so hot in Arizona, cows are giving evaporated milk and the trees are whistling for dogs.

Arkansas
An Arkansas state trooper pulls over a pickup truck on I-40.
He says to the driver, "Got any ID?" The driver asks, "'Bout what?"

California
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the FBI, and the CIA want to see who is best at catching perps. So a rabbit is released into the forest, and each of them has to catch it.  read more »

World's newest republic maintains an unique century-old culture - Nepalese girl, 3, begins life as "living goddess"

a 3-year-old girl who was appointed a living goddess in Nepal - Matani Shakya received approval from the priests and President Ram Baran Yadav

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Nepal became the world's newest republic in 2006, and in May 2008 ended the country's 240-year monarchy. However, the centuries-old Hindu-Buddhist tradition of worshipping a young virgin as the living embodiment of a powerful goddess has survived, and the Nepalese president now receives blessings from the girl - “living goddess”.

people watch as the guard of honor for Nepal's President Ram Baran Yadav stands at attention during the Indrajatra festival in Kathmandu September 14, 2008

The three-year-old daughter of a Nepalese watch repairer became a "living goddess" after being approved by the country's new atheist government. Despite Nepal being a Maoist republic after the monarchy was unseated in May, the centuries-old tradition of worshipping a young virgin as the living embodiment of a powerful Hindu goddess has survived.  read more »

Once-in-a-century heatwave cripples S AU, buckles rail lines, cooks egg on court at Australia Open in 60C

Australian Open tennis tournament

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Above: players and fans at the Australian Open tennis tournament did their best to keep cool.

heatwave: cooking an egg in 10 minutes on an outside court at the Australia Open, 2009
An egg cooked after ten minutes on an outside court where air temperatures reached 60C. The official temperature in the shade at 4.53 pm was 45.4C, the hottest since 1908.

heatwave in Australia buckles rail lines
A heatwave scorching southern Australia, causing transport chaos by buckling rail lines and leaving more than 140,000 homes without power, is a sign of climate change, the government said.

one of the worst heatwaves in recent history in Australia
"It is the worst heatwave most will have lived through," senior forecaster Terry Ryan said in a front-page story headlined "Heat Wave Hell". But this lot looked like they were enjoying it.

Heatwave in Melbourne plays havoc with the Australian Open  read more »

Arctic blizzards, UK. Freezing snow turns cars, bridges, trees into ice statues. Warm ocean currents 30% less

drivers face dangerous conditions on the M20 motorway near Ashford in Kent as snow sweeps the country

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Snow and freezing weather threaten to shut down Britain

Arctic blizzards are set to cause a national shutdown on Monday as forecasters warn of the most widespread snowfall for almost 20 years.

The Met Office is warning of an "extreme weather event" across large swathes of England, Scotland and Wales with up to 10in of snow expected even in the usually warmer south and as much as 1ft on higher ground. With freezing temperatures expected to endure for at least a week, there were predictions that resulting disruption and an expected spike in absenteeism could cost the British economy as much as £600 million a day, as the public transport system grinds to a halt and schools and offices are forced to close.

an ice storm in Versoix near Geneva in Switzerland rendered cars immovable

New weather warning after storms kill 21 in France and Spain

As hundreds of thousands are left without power, forecasters fear floods will follow worst weather for a decade
With 680,000 people still without electricity in France and 50,000 in Spain...  read more »

"SOS Amazon": 1st action of Amazon tribes, sending message "Wake Up, World!" at 2009 World Social Forum in Brazil

while world leaders are gathering in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, an alternative meeting is taking place in Brazil

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BELÉM, Brazil, Jan 27 (IPS) - A human banner made up of more than 1,000 people, seen and photographed from the air, sent the message "SOS Amazon" to the world, in the first action taken by indigenous people hours before the opening in northern Brazil on Tuesday of the 2009 World Social Forum (WSF).

gathering in Belém, a city at the mouth of the Amazon, for the six-day World Social Forum (WSF)

The mass message reflects "our concern about global warming, whose impact we will be the first to feel, although we, the peoples of the Amazon, have protected and cared for the forests," Francisco Avelino Batista, an Apurinán Indian from the Purus river valley in the Brazilian Amazon, told IPS.

September 1988, Rondonia State, Brazil: Newly cleared land. Soya farming is one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the Amazon  read more »

"SOS Amazon": every second we lose 1.5 acres of rainforests once covering 14% of earth land surface, now a mere 6%

SOS: save the Amazon

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The Disappearing Rainforests

We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.

June 1989, Brazil: The forest burns

* One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries.

* Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners.

left: walking leaves (Phyllidae) are closely related to stick insects. Crater Mountain, Papua New Guinea; right: only the inappropriate perch gives away these leaf bugs (Phromnia) in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar

* Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation.  read more »

World's tallest buildings (part ii): Washington Monument, Eiffel Tower, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building..

Washington Monument – United States, finished in 1884 (555 ft - 169.29 m)

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The Washington Monument, U.S.A., completed in 1884 (555 ft - 169.29 m)

The Washington Monument took the title as the world's tallest building in 1884 and is among the world's tallest masonry structures, standing 555 feet - 169.29 m in height, and is made of marble, granite, and sandstone. The Monument held the title for just 3 years.

Eiffel Tower, France, completed in 1887 (1,063 ft - 324 m)

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, completed in 1887 (1,063 ft - 324 m)

The Eiffel Tower, completed in 1887 took the title of the world's highest building not with just a few extra feet in height - it is twice the height of it's predecessor, The Washington Monument. The Eiffel Tower was to retain the world's tallest building title for another 43 years.

Chrysler Building, United States, ompleted in 1930 (1046 ft - 319 m)

The Chrysler Building, New York, USA, finished in 1930 (1046 ft - 319 m)

Completed in 1930, the Chrysler Building had just 1 year of glory as the world's tallest building. You will note from it's height that it appears to be shorter than the Eiffel Tower, however this is because a new antenna was located on the Eiffel Tower in the year 2000 - before this the Eiffel Tower was some 79 ft - 24 m shorter than The Chrysler Building.  read more »

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