World's smallest snake
Scientists have identified the world's smallest snake - a reptile about 10 centimetres long and as thin as spaghetti, that was found lurking under a rock on the Caribbean island of Barbados.
The new species, named Leptotyphlops carlae, is smaller than any of the other 3,100 previously known snake species, according to Pennsylvania State University biologist Blair Hedges, who also had helped find the world's smallest frog and lizard.
It is one of about 300 different species of threadsnake and is a dark brownish gray with two yellow stripes. It was determined to be a newly identified species due to genetic differences from other snakes and its unique colour pattern and scales. The snake, which is not venomous, eats termites and termite larvae but little is known about its behaviour, including whether it is nocturnal. It was found in 2006 in a forest on the eastern side of Barbados.
Snakes have lived since the time of the dinosaurs. The oldest known fossil snakes date from around 100 million years ago. The first snakes - thought to have evolved from lizards - actually had very small limbs.
Chinglish is alive and well at the Beijing Olympics according to linguists.
With the eyes of the world on Beijing, Chinese authorities have tried to eradicate from menus and road signs many nonsensical translations from Chinese to English such as 'exploding shrimp' and signposts to the 'Garden with Curled Poo'.
But the Texas-based Global Language Monitor, which analyses word usage trends, said Beijing was fighting a losing battle.
"Chinglish will persist and even thrive far after the Games have ended." The Chinese authorities set up a hotline for the public to report strangled language but the US institute has picked some of its own personal favourites to celebrate the inter-mingling:
• If you are stolen, call the police
• Do not climb the rocketry (rock wall)
• Deformed man toilet (rest-room for handicapped).
Beheader stays silent
A 40-year-old man charged with second degree murder after a fellow passenger was stabbed to death and beheaded aboard a bus in Canada, has decided to remain silent.
Vince Weiguang Li of Edmonton, Alberta, has been charged with second degree murder but he looked down during his first court appearance, nodding his head when asked whether he was using his right to remain silent.
Witnesses have said that the killer, did not appear to know the 22-year-old sleeping victim and the attack began without warning. If evidence shows the attacker was mentally ill and did not understand what he was doing, criminal charges may not stand up.
Lost in translation?
The Mary Rose, pride of Henry VIII's fleet, may have sunk because of poor communication between its English officers and foreign crew members.
The sinking of the 16th century warship is one of the biggest puzzles of British naval history, with many theories put forward to explain its sudden loss during a battle against French invaders in July 1545. One leading theory says it sank after it dipped its side low in the water during a tight turn, allowing water to flood in through unsecured gun ports. But now researchers have come up with a new explanation for the failure to close the covers: There was a crucial delay between the order being given by English-speaking officers and it being understood by foreign crew members.
New forensic tests on the teeth of 18 crewmen suggest up to 60 per cent of the crew may not have been British. They were more likely to have come from southern Europe. When the ship was attempting to make a quick manoeuvre, the order to close the gun port lids may not have been understood!
A Swiss motorcycle courier on a gourmet tour of the world's best restaurants has not been seen since he disappeared from the renowned "El Bulli" near Barcelona, Spain, seven weeks ago.
"He got up from the table to look for some business cards and did not come back," El Bulli manager Juli Soler told El Pais newspaper.
Spanish police have mounted a search for Henry Pascal, 46, but a spokesman said, "The restaurant informed us of what happened and we later heard through Interpol that he was a missing person."
Mr Soler, however, doubted Mr Pascal had fled as he left behind a notebook with a menu hand-written by each of the three-star chefs who had served him. "If you're writing a book, you don't leave that behind," Mr Soler said.