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February 17, 2015

The worlds’ most valuable body parts

(image: Source)

When it comes to the worlds’ most valuable body parts, there are some surprising results. You’d expect celebrities and sport stars to be well-represented, but what if your job relies on an anatomical talent?

Sometimes the amazing insurance amounts for the bodies of the rich and famous cover bits you wouldn’t expect. And it runs from million dollar fingers to billion dollar legs, and absolutely everything in between. It’s no surprise the people on this list put a premium on their bodies, but would you agree with the valuations?

Some stars didn’t want to single out a body part. Actor Daniel Craig took out $9.5 million of insurance for his whole body before performing many of his own stunts in the James Bond franchise. Meanwhile UK TV presenters Ant & Dec decided to take out cover worth £2 million – on each other.

Heads:

There aren’t many top premiums for brain power or genius. But comedian Rich Hall has insured his sense of humour for £1 million. So he’ll be laughing, even when we aren’t.

Australian cricketer Merv Hughes insured his trademark handlebar moustache for £200,000, but facial cover goes all the way back to the early entertainers. Silent film comedian Ben Turpin invested $25,000 in the 1920s against his trademark crossed eyes ever uncrossing. And amounts soon grew, with Jimmy ‘the Schnozzle’ Durante insuring his large nose for $140,000 in the 1930s.

Mouths:

The mouth is so important to many careers that it deserves a special mention. For singers, it makes sense to protect your most valuable asset. Bruce Springsteen insured his vocal chords for $6 million back in the 1980s, but recent stars have upped the ante. American Idol runner-up and Queen collaborator Adam Lambert has insured his vocal chords for $48.5 million. Rock Star Gene Simmons wasn’t known for his singing voice, but having been known for showing his tongue with the rock band KISS, he insured it for $1 million.

One of the most famous smiles in Hollywood belongs to ‘Pretty Woman’ Julia Roberts, who put a premium of $30 million on her smile lighting up cinema screens. But ‘Ugly Betty’ star America Ferrara also has a $10 million smile after she removed her braces to become the face of toothpaste brand Aquafresh. And at the other end of the smile spectrum is British comedian Ken Dodd, who actually insured his buck teeth for £4 million, including the risk of accidentally having them fixed.

But it’s not just celebrities with valuable mouths. In the 1960s, food critic Egon Ronay insured his taste buds for $330,000, and chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson followed suit for £500,000. But the otherwise ordinary tastes for big food and drink brands are the real stars. Tetley tea blender Sebastien Michaelis has tastebuds insured for £1 million, rather less than the $10 million for the tongue of Costa Coffee’s ‘Italian Master of Coffee’, Gennaro Pelliccia. Somerfield wine taster Angela Mount had her tastebuds insured for £10 million in 2003, after the chain of supermarkets attributed a growth in sales to her palate.

Chests:

You’d expect female assets to top the list, and sadly there are question marks whether legendary Welsh singer Tom Jones ever insured his chest hair for $7 million. But it’s known that such policies have been drawn up on occasion for male models.

Female chests are bigger business, with Playboy model Holly Madison covering her assets for $1 million. Country music star Dolly Parton has protected herself since 1970 with a policy for $600,000. Meanwhile Madonna also insured her chest, for a sum of $2 million.

Hands:

Musicians have a lot to lose, but Keith Richards apparently only valued his middle finger enough for a $1.6 million policy to play guitar and make rude gestures for the Rolling Stones.

Hand model Gemma Howorth sensibly covered all her digits with a £5 million premium. Her hands regularly feature in adverts for washing-up liquid, chocolate and make-up, justifying the investment.

Buttocks:

Buttock coverage is a largely female dominated area of insurance. Children’s TV fox puppet Basil Brush had his trademark tail insured for £1 million, but the big money is insuring the bottoms of pop stars Kylie Minogue and Jennifer Lopez.

While Australian former soap star Kylie propelled her pop career back into the top ten with the help of gold hotpants, her backside is protected for just $5 million.  That compares to the curvier Jennifer Lopez, who values her bottom with $300 million of insurance.

Reproduction:

It turns out men don’t value their sex appeal quite as much. Former Van Halen singer and rock star David Lee Roth made the headlines when he insured his sperm for $1 million to protect the future of 80’s rock.

That compares with British male stripper Frankie Jakeman, who insured his main asset in 1987 for £1.2 million.

Legs:

Football is a big money game around the world. With big wages for the top players, it’s not surprising that former Man Utd and England star David Beckham has $70 million of insurance for his legs, or that Real Madrid and Portugal’s Christiano Ronaldo has a $144 million policy.

Other famous male celebrities to have insured their fancy footwork include Charlie Chaplin, whose trademark walk was covered for £100,000. More recently, dancer Michael Flatley took out a $40 million policy following his success in Irish dance shows Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.

Since Betty Grable became the first woman to walk on ‘million dollar legs’ in the 1940s, it’s become fairly normal for actresses and models to take out insurance, such as Jamie Lee Curtis ($2.8 million) and Heidi Klum ($2 million)

But the most experience legs, and the worlds’ most valuable body parts belong to a singer. And it’s not an artist known for her dance moves, such as Rihanna ($1 million) or Tina Turner ($3.2 million).

In fact, the most expensive cover for part of the body belongs to Mariah Carey, who insured her legs for a whopping $1 billion after becoming the star of a shaving campaign.

All images licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Horse racing’s tales of the unexpected

It’s usually the stories behind the achievements that are the most interesting. And that’s certainly true in horse racing. Here are some of the events and personalities that have captured our imagination.

Frankie Dettori’s Magnificent Seven

Frankie Dettori’s odds-defying triumph in every single race on the Ascot card was his Magnificent Seven; a seemingly impossible achievement that catapulted him into sporting and celebrity legend.

Dettori’s record-breaking day in September 1996 has been likened to a racing car driver winning every Grand Prix or a golfer at The Open hitting birdies the entire round before finishing up with a hole in one.

The accumulative odds of 25,000/1 reflect just how extraordinary Dettori was that day. The BBC even delayed the scheduled Saturday news bulletin to capture history in the making.

But not everyone was cheering as Frankie’s now trademark flying dismounts began to stack up. Bookmakers were ruined with total losses on the day estimated at around £40 million. One lucky punter alone enjoyed a payout of £500,000.

Tony McCoy’s cold streak

Champion jump jockey Tony McCoy is best known for his insatiable hunger for winning and his incredible physical strength.

He turned to cryogenics after a serious fall in 2008 which should have taken four months to heal. But he was back in the saddle in half that time after enduring temperatures of -148C in an effort to speed up his recovery.

He’s won more than 4,000 races. And he’ll be trying to repeat his 2012 success at Cheltenham aboard Synchronised when he rides in this year’s Gold Cup in March. It’s likely he’ll ride for trainer Jonjo O’Neill, with the JP McManus-owned horse Shutthefrontdoor currently expected to be his likely mount.

 

by  Paolo Camera 

Grand National chaos

The 1993 Grand National has gone down in history as one of the greatest sporting shambles of all time.

An estimated 300 million people around the world were glued to their television sets to watch the race when 30 of the 39 riders headed off round the track unaware that a false start had been called.

The crowd at Aintree, where the race is run, frantically shouted and waved while officials tried to flag down the riders. But the oblivious jockeys carried on round the gruelling four-and-a-half mile Liverpool course. And punters could do nothing but watch in agony as the humiliating saga unfolded.

Esha Ness, a 50-1 outsider ridden by John White, crossed the line first. But the Jockey Club declared the Grand National void and White has become known as the winner of the race that never was.

Red Rum struts his stuff

The BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year has become known as something of a sporting Oscars. The country’s finest athletes gather on one glittering night every year to toast the best of the best.

In 1977 there was an unusual attendee. Red Rum, the three time Grand National winner, rocked up to the studio to massive applause and adulation.

He seemed to take the attention in his stride, despite suffering the indignity of being crammed into a lift to make it into the Sports Personality Studio at all.

Red Rum, like Desert Orchid, Kauto Star and Frankel, won the hearts of the nation. Earlier that year he was given the honour of switching on the illuminations in Blackpool and he became a media favourite with appearances on This is Your Life, The Generation Game and Blue Peter.

For the record, Red Rum won the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977. And in ’75 and ’76 he came a not-too-shabby second.

Grand National – history on the hoof

The Grand National steeplechase is an annual horse race that takes place at the Aintree racecourse in Liverpool, England. The description ‘steeplechase’ derives from the historical racing of horses from one church (hence steeple) to another. In the process, competitors would be obliged to leap over countryside fences and hedges and, in recognition of this legacy, steeplechase events are run over jumps. The name Aintree owes its origins to ancient Saxon English where ‘Antree’ meant ‘lone tree’. Horse racing has been recorded in the Liverpool area from as early as 1576.


by  stacey.cavanagh 

First run in 1839 the Grand National is said to be the most famous horse race in the world. With a first prize fund of over £1 million, it is Europe’s most-valuable equine contest. The race distance is officially four miles and three-and-a-half furlongs. A furlong measures one eighth of a mile and takes its name from the Old English words furh (furrow) and lang (long). Dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, the measure originally referred to the mean length of a furrow in a ploughed open field.

In recent years, the race has been synonymous with misadventure. Repeated false starts, interruptions by protesters against animal cruelty and an enforced postponement as a result of an IRA bomb scare have all affected the race. The IRA are an Irish republican movement whose declared aim is to remove Northern Ireland from British administration. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, they were responsible for a series of bombs across the British mainland.

The race attracted adverse publicity owing to the high casualty and fatality rate suffered by the horses involved. The unusually high attrition rate was explained in part by the extended distance of the race (see above) in combination with the height and spread of the jumps which were amongst the most challenging anywhere in British racing – The Chair and Beecher’s Brook being the most famous. Beecher’s Brook is said to be the most (in)famous, measuring 4ft 10 inches with a 5ft 6 inch brook (stream bed) on the landing side. The fence is named after one Captain Beecher who fell and died attempting the jump in 1839.

In recent years, the fences have been made smaller in the interests of safety, however, a consequent increase in the speed of the runners has largely mitigated against this attempt to make the race less dangerous.

It is customary to immediately put down racehorses if they suffer a serious injury from which they are unlikely to be able to recover. The riders or ‘jockeys’ are treated more humanely. The word ‘Jockey’ first attested use was in 1529. The word is said to derive from the Scottish Jock and was used as a generic term for a boy. Jockeys are famously small i.e. boyish in stature.

Red Rum is the most famous winner of the Grand National. Victor of the race in the years 1973, 1974 and 1977, the gelding also finished second in the two intervening years. A gelding is a male horse which has been neutered. The word derives from old Norse, gelda, ‘to castrate’. Red Rum remains a national icon and there is a life-size statue in his honour at the gates of the Aintree course.

The Grand National is one of the most bet on sporting events in the British sporting calendar. As much as £150 million is now regularly invested with bookmakers. The difficulty in completing the course safely means it is notoriously difficult to predict the winner. It is on this basis the race is held up as an opportunity for racing aficionados to compete with the ordinary public in a wholly democratic and egalitarian manner. The Grand National is widely televised around the world.

London’s housing crisis sees garage go for half a million

The shortage of housing in London appeared to reach new levels this week when a garage measuring just 11ft by 7ft was sold at auction for more than a half a million pounds.

The auctioneer responsible – bet he loved his commission – described the garage as being in “reasonable state, but there are quite a few cracks in the walls.”

The ‘property’ has no planning permission for any redevelopment but due to its location in the middle of Chelsea, one of London’s wealthiest areas, it was clearly viewed as a very desirable move for investment.

The garage had only been on the market for two weeks after being valued at £200k by the auctioneers.

To give some perspective, the buyer paid £7,143 per square foot and has just about enough space to park a car.

The London housing crisis means there are jackpots at the end of rainbows… or in this case an old garage!

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by  August Brill 

Ways you could afford to spend £550k on a London garage

For most of us, the idea of spending more than half a million pounds on a dilapidated garage that you couldn’t swing a cat in is absurd. Some ideas to gather the funds…

  • 1: Play for Chelsea FC – if you’re going to buy a place in the area, why not work locally too. Stamford Bridge is just around the corner and if you can work your way into José Mourinho’s first team squad you will earn the sort of wages required to spend big.
  • 2: Become Prime Minister – David Cameron earns £142,000 per year, so by the time you’ve completed your term at No10 Downing Street you should have enough to partly finance a nice garage. You could always bring on board some fellow MPs to club together for the money – just don’t expect there to be enough living space for everyone at the new digs!
  • 3: Win the cash – try some online casino play at http://www.ziggycasino.com. Perhaps the progressive slots jackpots will land the $1m dollar prize needed for a London garage and enough cash left over for a nice holiday.
  • 4: Become a YouTube sensation – if you can become the star of the next internet sensation, the dollar signs will follow! YouTube advertisements will make you earn $2 per 1,000 views. If your YouTube channel becomes famous you can score endorsement deals and earn millions!

Get yourself a job playing for Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge and you could soon be affording some property in the area.


by  Matt From London 

Combining Two Guns Into One Awesome Gun

A gun is a normally tubular weapon or another device designed to discharge projectiles or other materials. The projectile may be solid, liquid, gas or energy and even may be free, as with bullets and artillery shells, or captive as with Taser probes and whaling harpoons.

The means of projection varies according to design but is usually affected by the action of gas pressure, either produced through the rapid combustion of a propellant or compressed and stored by mechanical means, operating on the projectile inside an open-ended tube in the fashion of a piston. The confined gas accelerates the projectile down the length of the tube imparting sufficient velocity to sustain the projectile’s travel once the action of the gas ceases at the end of the tube or muzzle. Alternatively, acceleration via electromagnetic field generation may be employed in which case the tube may be dispensed with and a guide rail substituted.

The first devices identified as guns appeared in China around 1000AD, and by the 12th century the technology was spreading through the rest of Asia, and into Europe by the 13th century. The origin of the English word gun is presently considered to derive from the name given to a particular historical weapon.

Domina Gunilda was the name given to a remarkably large ballista, a mechanical bolt throwing weapon of huge size, mounted at Windsor Castle during the 14th century. This name in turn may have derived from the Old Norse woman’s proper name Gunnhildr which combines two Norse words referring to battle.

In any case the term gonne or gunne was applied to early hand-held firearms by the late 14th century or early 15th century.

A Smashing Cosplay Of Nigel Thornberry

The Wild Thornberrys is an American animated TV series that aired on Nickelodeon. It was a rerun in the United States on Nickelodeon and occasionally Nicktoons until 2007.

The show returned to The ’90s Are All That for one night, and aired on March 21, 2013. The show aired on Nicktoonsters in the UK. Following Shout! Factory acquisition of the title in February 2011, all 5 series have been released on DVD.

The series focuses around a nomadic family of documentary filmmakers known as the Thornberrys, who are famous for their televised wildlife studies.

It primarily centers on the family’s younger daughter Eliza, who has a secret gift to communicate with animals, bestowed upon her after having rescued a shaman masquerading as a trapped wild animal and thus enabling her to talk to the Thornberrys’ adopted pet chimpanzee Darwin.

Together, the pair frequently ventures through the wilderness, befriending endless species of wild animals along the way or making realizations of vital morals through either their experiences or a particular animal species’ lifestyle, or simply assisting the creatures with which they become acquainted in their difficulties.

The Wild Thornberrys was produced by Klasky Csupo for Nickelodeon. It premiered in September 1998, and was the first Nicktoon to exclusively use 22-minute stories (episodes of other Nicktoons usually featured two 10 – 11-minute stories, using 22-minute stories only on occasion).

Quite An Unusual Thing To See While Whale Watching

Whale is commonly used for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to the suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales).

This suborder includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale.

The other Cetacean suborder, Mysticeti (baleen whales), comprises filter feeders that eat small organisms caught by straining seawater through a comb like structure found in the mouth called baleen.

This suborder includes the blue whale, the humpback whale, the bowhead whale and the minke whale. All cetaceans have forelimbs modified as fins, a tail with horizontal flukes, and nasal openings (known as blowholes) on top of the head.

Whales range in many different sizes from the blue whale, the largest animal known to have ever existed at 30 m and 180 tons, to pygmy species such as the pygmy sperm whale at 3.5 m.

Whales inhabit all the world’s oceans and number in the millions, with annual population growth rate estimates for various species ranging from 3% to 13%.

Whales are long-lived, humpback whales living for up to 77 years, while bowhead whales may live for over a century.

Food Network Brings Back Season 5 of The Great Food Truck Race

Food Network,  the best channel for food shows and learning new recipes,  is allowing one of their most anticipated shows return for another season this August. Season 5 of The Great Food Truck Race has more challenges, new competitors, and more yummy treats in store. The grand prize winner will garner $50,000 to let their food truck business commence as well as allowance of keeping their customized food truck.  This show is getting much approval and excitement, especially from Food Network supporters. “The food truck industry has become a very viable way to enter the culinary world, and we love giving the winner the keys to their new career,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network.

The fifth season will be featuring eight teams, each with three competitors ready to show their cooking prowess. The eight trios are: Military Moms (Fort Drum, N.Y.), Beach Cruiser (Venice, Calif.), Lone Star Chuck Wagon (Houston, TX), Middle Feast (Los Angeles, Calif.), Chatty Chicken Truck (Chattanooga, TN), Madres Mexican Meals (Norwalk, Calif.), Gourmet Graduates (Providence, R.I.), and Let There Be Bacon (Cleveland, OH). Who will ride off on the season finale with $50,000? Find out on Sunday, August 17th at 9PM ET/PT on Food Network.

This post was sponsored, but opinions are my own

Train Wreck Of A Train That Carried Airplane Parts

A train wreck or train crash is a disaster that can involving one or more trains. The most common result of a train wreck is miscommunication, as when a moving train meets another train on the same track; or an accident, such as when a train wheel jumps off a track in a derailment; or when a boiler explosion occurs.

Train wrecks have often been widely covered in popular media and in folklore.

Because train wrecks usually cause huge property damage as well as injury or death, the intentional wrecking of a train in regular service is often treated as an extremely serious crime.

An example of this, in the U.S. state of California, the penalty for intentionally causing a non-fatal train wreck is life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. For a fatal train wreck, the possible sentences are either life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or death.

The unusual harshness of California’s train wrecking statute has been expressly recognized by its appellate courts. The Supreme Court of California explained in 1972 that train wrecking is one of only eight crimes in the California Codes for which a capital sentence is authorized.

The California Court of Appeal pointed out the next year that (at that time) train wrecking was the only other crime besides aggravated kidnapping in the Penal Code for which the Legislature had expressly established the punishment of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

This Is What Happens When A Woodpecker Decorates Your House

The woodpeckers, piculets, wrynecks, and sapsuckers are a family, Picidae, of near-passerine birds. Members of this family can be found worldwide, except for Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Madagascar, and the extreme Polar Regions.

Most species live in forests or woodland ecosystems, although a few species are known to live in treeless areas, such as rocky hillsides and deserts.

The Picidae are just one of the eight living families in the order Piciformes. Members of the order Piciformes, such as the jacamars, puffbirds, barbets, toucans, and honeyguides, have traditionally been thought to be very closely related to the woodpeckers, piculets, wrynecks, and sapsuckers. More recently, DNA sequence analyses have confirmed this view.

There are about 200 species and about 30 genera in this family. Many species are threatened or endangered due to loss of habitat or habitat fragmentation. Two species of woodpeckers, the Ivory-billed Woodpeckerand the Imperial Woodpecker, have been considered extinct for about 30 years.

The woodpeckers range from highly antisocial solitary species that are aggressive toward other members of their species, to species that live in groups. Group-living species tend to be communal group breeders. In addition to these species, a number of species may join mixed-species feeding flocks with other insectivorous birds, although they tend to stay at the edges of these groups.

Joining these flocks allows woodpeckers to decrease anti-predator vigilance and increase their feeding rate. Woodpeckers are diurnal, roosting at night inside holes. In most species the roost will become the nest during the breeding season.

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