Saturday, July 7, 2007

Big Wendy the muscular whippet

Big Wendy the muscular whippet

Rare genetic mutation increases muscles, weight of sleek breed
Kim Westad, Times Colonist
Published: Monday, June 25, 2007
People mistake her for a pitbull with a pinhead, but Wendy the whippet is one rare breed.

So rare that the Central Saanich dog recently graced the New York Times. She also had several of her photos shown on The Today Show, all because of a rare genetic mutation that has led to her being the Incredible Hulk of dogs.

Wendy is a 27-kilogram rippling mass of muscle. Forget the so-called six-pack stomach: Wendy has a 24-pack. And the muscles around her neck are so thick, they look like a lion's ruff.

Wendy the Whippet has a genetic disorder that has resulted in an exceptionally muscular appearance.View Larger Image View Larger Image
Wendy the Whippet has a genetic disorder that has resulted in an exceptionally muscular appearance.

"People have referred to her as Arnold Schwarzenegger," says doting owner Ingrid Hansen, stroking Wendy's sleek black coat and white chest.

Wendy was recently part of a genetics study done in the U.S. on mutation in the myostatin gene in whippets, which resemble greyhounds in appearance. The National Institute of Health study reported that whippets with one single defective copy of the gene have increased muscle mass that can enhance racing performance in the breed, known for speeds up to 60 kilometres an hour.

But whippets with two mutated copies of the gene become "double-muscled," like Wendy. It has been seen before in one human, and also in mice, cattle and sheep, says the study.

The uber-muscled whippets are called "bullies," not because of their nature -- Wendy likes nothing better than a good back scratch and isn't shy about sitting in your lap to ask for one -- but because of their size. She's about twice the weight of an average whippet, but with the same height and small narrow head -- and the same size heart and lungs, which means she probably won't live as long as normal whippets.

Hansen has had Wendy, now four, since she bought the dog from a Shawnigan Lake breeder when she was eight months old.

Wendy landed in clover. She lives on an acreage, runs around with other dogs and horses, sleeps on Hansen's bed and pretty much anywhere else she wants to.

People are often afraid when the muscle-bound dog runs up to them on her dainty whippet-thin legs, but they soon realize she's friendly, Hansen said.

New7Wonders World Tour and Campaign Examples

New7Wonders World Tour and Campaign Examples
July 2007

World Tour

The New7Wonders World Tour visited all 21 candidates between September 2006 and March 2007, to allow each to showcase their monuments and their cultures to the world, and to promote the campaign in general to the global media and people everywhere.

During the World Tour, the New7Wonders team was welcomed by presidents, a queen, a premier, governors and ministers, many mayors and countless cultural representatives, as well as several chiefs or tribal leaders and other popular figures. The ceremonies were often filled with music, dance and other tributes to the culture being highlighted and to the New7Wonders campaign giving it a global platform.

The World Tour dates were as follows:

The Acropolis, Athens—September 5, 2006

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul—September 13, 2006

The Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow—September 21, 2006

The Colosseum, Rome—September 26, 2006

Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany—October 4, 2006

The Eiffel Tower, Paris—October 10, 2006

Stonehenge, Amesbury, United Kingdom—October 17, 2006

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain—October 24, 2006

The Great Wall of China, near Beijing—November 9, 2006

Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto—November 14, 2006

Sydney Opera House, Sydney—November 21, 2006

Angkor, Cambodia—November 28, 2006

The Taj Mahal, December 5, 2006

Timbuktu, January 9, 2007

Petra, Jordan—January 16, 2007

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt—January 23, 2007

The Statue of Christ Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro—February 7, 2007

The Easter Island Statues, Chile—February 13, 2007

Machu Picchu, Peru—February 20, 2007

Chichén Itzá, Mexico—February 27, 2007

The Statue of Liberty, New York City—March 7, 2007

New7Wonders met and presented the Official Certificate of Candidacy to many notable figures throughout the World Tour, including Dr Károlos Papoúlias, President of the Hellenic Republic; Queen Rania al-Abdullah of Jordan; Prime Minister Ousmane Issoufi Maiga of Mali; Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Mercedes Araoz; Premier of the Australia state of New South Wales Morris Iemma; Mr Sou Phirin, Governor of Siem Reap Province in Cambodia; Patricio Patrón Laviada, Governor of the Mexican State of Yucatan; Prof. Haluk Dursun, President of the Hagia Sophia Museum; Dottoressa Irene Iacopi, Director of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum; María del Mar Villafranca Jímenez, Director of the Alhambra; Mr. Dong Yaohui, Standing Vice-Chairman of the China Great Wall Society; Cynthia Garrett, Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island; Dr. Norman Gillespie, CEO of Sydney Opera House; the Chief Abbott of Kiyomizu Temple, Mr. Seihan Mori; the Cardinal of Rio de Janeiro, Eusebio Oscar Scheid; Chief of the Council of Elders of Easter Island Alberto Hotus; Rollo Maughfling, Archdruid of Stonehenge; and Brazilian football legend and world record holder Jairzinho.

For details of the often spectacular event at each of the monuments, as well as photographs and insights in Bernard Weber’s “Founder’s Blog,” please visit

Campaign Examples

The New7Wonders Foundation, in putting on this first-ever global vote, has provided a platform for cultural dialogue. Campaigns in many countries, initiated either by the government, official cultural bodies, or by private individuals who share the New7Wonders vision, have played a very important role in promoting this dialogue and the involvement of people around the world. It has hence attained the status of a truly global grassroots movement. Here are some examples:

Many monuments were supported by dedicated websites or strong placements in national websites. Here are a selection of examples: (Neuschwanstein Castle), (The Alhambra), and (Petra), and (Christ Redeemer), and (Easter Island Statues), and (Machu Picchu), (Chichén Itzá).

Many monuments, such as the Alhambra, Sydney Opera House, Machu Picchu and Chichén Itzá printed postcards and pamphlets, and several printed information about the campaign on their entrance tickets. Posters promoting the votes were also hung throughout Jordan and Peru, while information about the New7Wonders campaign was prominently distributed in Chinese universities. Several European capitals saw posters promoting Chichén Itzá as a New7Wonders candidate on buses and in their underground or subway stations.

National figures and celebrities have promoted the New7Wonders campaign in many countries, such as King Juan Carlos of Spain and Shakira, who both voted for the Alhambra, the cast of the very-popular Big Brother television show in Brazil, who were taken out of the house (which normally does not happen!) to visit the statue of Christ Redeemer and to promote the New7Wonders campaign, and one of India’s most-loved singers, A.R. Rahman, wrote a moving song supporting the Taj Mahal’s candidacy and toured throughout the country in support of the monument. Rapa Nui elders and dancers held several public ceremonies in Chile calling on people to vote. A wide variety of celebrities and public officials in Germany, including Miss Germany and some top television personalities, have backed New7Wonders and called upon people to vote.

Some governments, such as the Peruvian and Mexican ones, used their global embassy network to create awareness amongst their citizens living abroad and friends of their countries.

Contact: Tia B. Viering,, tel: +32-2-503-4767 or +32-473-79 57 53 (mobile)


Official Declaration of the New 7 Wonders of the World in Lisbon, Portugal

… be part of the making of history!

Google Docs & Spreadsheets -- Web word processing and spreadsheets. Edit this page (you have permission)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Chinese Villagers Eat Dinosaur Bones

Chinese Villagers Eat Dinosaur Bones
Jul 4, 8:08 AM EDT

AP Photo

BEIJING (AP) -- Villagers in central China dug up a ton of dinosaur bones and boiled them in soup or ground them into powder for traditional medicine, believing they were from flying dragons and had healing powers.

Until last year, the fossils were being sold in Henan province as "dragon bones" at about 4 yuan (50 cents) per kilogram (2.2 pounds), scientist Dong Zhiming told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Dong, a professor with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said when the villagers found out the bones were from dinosaurs they donated 200 kilograms (440 pounds) to him and his colleagues for research.

"They had believed that the 'dragon bones' were from the dragons flying in the sky," he said.

The calcium-rich bones were sometimes boiled with other ingredients and fed to children as a treatment for dizziness and leg cramps. Other times they were ground up and made into a paste that was applied directly to fractures and other injuries, he said.

The practice had been going on for at least two decades, he said.

Dong was among a team of scientists who recently excavated in Henan's Ruyang County an 60-foot-long plant-eating dinosaur, which lived 85 million to 100 million years ago. Local officials held a news conference Tuesday, showing off the find to the public for the first time.

Another two dinosaur fossils were being excavated in the area, which is rich in fossilized dinosaur eggs, Dong said.

Get Your Own Japanese Castle Theme Park

Get Your Own Japanese Castle Theme Park
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Got a few extra million dollars lying around just wasting away. Well grab it up and purchase your very own Japanese Castle Theme Park.

We are just about 9.99 million away from purchasing it ourself.

Gambate Ne!

Must have a eBay Account

Buy It Now price
: US $10,000,000.00 Buy It Now >

PayPal account required
Shipping costs:
Pickup only - see item description for details
Ships to: Will arrange for local pickup only (no shipping).
Item location: Kyoto City, Kyoto, Japan