16 December 2009

Geoffrey Edelsten in helicopter crash

Dr Geoffrey Edelsten has vowed to fly again despite crashing his helicopter today while attempting his first solo flight.

Edelsten, 66, escaped with only minor injuries after crashing the aircraft at Melbourne’s Moorabbin Airport at about 10.15am today.

Nine News helicopter pilot Ben Harris, who was one of the first people on the scene, said the craft yawed strongly to the left shortly after take-off.

"You need to put a fair bit of 'pedal' in the aircraft when you take off and it looks like he just failed to do so," Mr Harris told the Nine News 11am bulletin.

Edelsten walked away from the crash and was treated at the scene in an ambulance for cuts to his hands.

“His first phone call was to his new bride, Brynne Gordon,” a spokeswoman for Edelsten said.

Walking a little gingerly, Edelsten left Moorabbin Airport shortly after midday to be reunited with 26-year-old Gordon.

He confirmed to a waiting media pack that he was fine — and that he had no intentions of quitting flying.

“It all happened very quickly,” he said.

“I was on my back looking up at the broken windshield and glass thinking this can’t be happening.”

He would not say where he was to meet Gordon as he got into a waiting car.

Edelsten’s spokeswoman confirmed the medical tycoon was on his first solo flight when he crashed.

But she insisted he was “an experienced pilot [who] has flown fixed-wing aircraft previously”.

Edelsten’s helicopter was incinerated despite the efforts of bystanders using extinguishers.

Mr Harris said he initially thought the tycoon was trapped but was quickly proven wrong.

"He was fine when he got out … he was walking around.

"He said something like, 'I wish that didn’t happen'.”

Ambulance Victoria spokesman Paul Bentley said the sole occupant was treated for a minor cut to the hand.

"He was assessed by paramedics but didn't go to hospital," he said.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokesman John Taylor said Edelsten was walking on the tarmac when fire crews arrived.

Mr Taylor said fire crews were on site to mop up fuel leaking from the helicopter.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was also in attendance, he said.

Last month Edelsten, 66, wed 26-year-old Brynne Gordon in the most expensive wedding in Australian history, with the nuptials carrying a price tag of $3 million.

PHOTOS: Edelsten weds in $3m ceremony

The extravagant ceremony at Melbourne’s Crown Casino raised eyebrows after '90s sitcom stars Fran Drescher and Jason Alexander were brought in to host the event, which was attended by more than 550 guests.

with AAP

A user commented on DIGG:

The gold digger nearly got his money sooner than she expected.

The media also labeled him as an AFL 'personality'. Dr. Edelsten cannot 'practice' in Victoria as a result of fraud. Another concerning part about this is that he is an 'experienced' pilot.....

15 December 2009

Octopuses using coconut shells as tools

Octopuses have been captured on camera using coconut shells as disguises and for protection, astonishing the Australian scientists who made the discovery.

Footage shot off Indonesia shows an octopus crawling along the ocean floor with two coconut shell halves suctioned to its underside, behaviour which biologists describe as "bizarre".

The octopus then reassembles the coconut and hides inside it, confirming the species as a tool-carrying animal, according to National Geographic.

Researchers from Melbourne's Museum Victoria filmed 20 veined octopuses carrying the coconut shells that were nearly twice as big as their 8cm bodies.

"We were blown away," biologist Mark Norman said.

"It was hard not to laugh underwater and flood your [scuba] mask."

The discovery comes from a 10-year study filming octopuses off the coast of Sulawesi and Bali.

Tool use by animals is seen as a sign of mental sophistication, with dolphins and chimpanzees also using tools.

Octopuses are considered to be among the smartest animals on Earth.

aap 15 Dec 2009

'Mr Christmas' loses 20kg due to financial crisis

A British man who has eaten a full Christmas dinner every day for the past 15 years has dropped nearly 20kg after being forced to cut his portions during the financial crisis.

Andy Park, dubbed "Mr Christmas" by the UK press, has been forced to cut his yearly dinner and decoration budget from $19,500 to $8900, The Sun newspaper reports.

Mr Park, a 45-year-old divorced electrician, has consumed nearly 118,000 brussel sprouts and about 5000 bottles of Moet champagne since he decided to get into the festive spirit full-time in July 1994, but since January he's had to slash his dinner portions.

"Before the credit crunch I was eating a 14-pound (6.3kg) turkey, now I'm down to a four pounder (1.8kg)," he told The Sun.

Mr Park has also cut down from nine large roast potatoes to four, now eats just 12 mince pies per day instead of 40, has just a tablespoon of peas and makes his bottle of champagne last two days.

He's also cut his sprout and stuffing ball consumption by more than half — leading to the drop in weight from 123kg to 101kg.

The budget cuts have been a boon for Mr Park's fitness: he is now walking every day and even able to complete 50 pushups.

The tight times have also forced the father-of-one to cut down on his use of party poppers and crackers, but he still manages to munch on mince pies and drink sherry for breakfast and a roast-turkey lunch before rewatching the Queen's Christmas speech on video.

Mr Park said he started the bizarre festive fetish when he was "feeling fed up" one July.

"I was bored, so I went home and put the decorations up — suddenly I was happy," he said.

"Since then my routine every day has been to get up and have seven or eight mince pies and a glass of sherry for breakfast —: after that I open my presents I've wrapped for myself."