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Balloonist abandons Atlantic crossing

A daredevil aviator has had to give up his ambitious attempt to cross the Atlantic dangling from dozens of helium-filled balloons.

Jonathan Trappe, 39, was lifted into the air by 370 giant balloons at Caribou, Maine in the US to begin his planned 2,500 mile solo journey.

But an update on his website says: “Sadly Jonathan has been forced to abandon his quest early after experiencing technical difficulties over Newfoundland. However, we are happy to report he is safe and well.”

In an attempt reminiscent of the hit Pixar movie Up, Trappe hoped to float across the Atlantic Ocean and land somewhere in Europe within three to five days.

Just before lift off, he said: “Weather is absolutely the most dangerous factor. “But it’s a double-edged sword. It’s the only thing that will carry me across, but bad conditions could also ruin the attempt or endanger my life.”

A successful crossing would have seen Mr Trappe fly into the history books as the first person ever to scale the ocean in a flight of this type.

Snake preserved in wine bites woman

A woman in northern China was rushed to hospital after she was bitten by a snake that had been pickled in wine for three months.

The surprise attack happened after Liu, from Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang Province, opened the bottle to add more alcohol, reports the Global Times.

The snake jumped out and bit her on the hand. Liu made a full recovery after she was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Liu had bought the snake live in June and put it into a bottle of wine to create snake wine to treat her rheumatism.

Alcohols containing preserved snakes boasting medicinal properties are common in China.

Guinness recognises tightrope-walking dog

A tightrope-walking dog and a vacuum-cleaner collector are among British entries featured in this year’s Guinness Book of World Records.

Four-year-old Osbert Humperdinck Pumpernickle – Ozzy for short – walked across a 3.5m rope in just 18.22 seconds to achieve the Fastest Crossing of a Tightrope by a Dog.

The border collie/kelpie crossbreed lives with owner, Nick Johnson, 51, in Norwich, who said he had had no training experience and had picked it all up from the internet.

“As Ozzy’s parents are working sheepdogs on a farm, it’s in his blood to want to work closely with me,” Johnson said.

“Ozzy is most happy when he’s working on the tricks that we do and regards it as a game.”

Another Briton to take away one of the prestigious accolades is James Brown – for owning 322 vacuum cleaners, enough to open his own museum.

The 33-year-old from Hucknall in Nottingham began collecting the cleaning devices as an eight-year-old when his parents bought him his first one.

When asked if he will celebrate his position in Guinness World Records with a sweep around the house, he said: “I won’t be cleaning. I don’t enjoy house work.”

The new edition of the book also has a whole host of worldwide accomplishments including a skateboarding goat.

Happie, a Nigerian dwarf-cross goat from Florida, skated 118ft in one go – the furthest distance ever skateboarded by a goat.

Girl ages decades in five minutes

A New York film-maker has made a stunning video showing a girl ageing a lifetime in less than five minutes.

Anthony Cerniello’s film, entitled Danielle, starts with a young Asian girl gazing into the camera as she slowly matures and gets older.

Her face becomes longer, her bone structure more defined, her skin sags and her hair goes grey. Cerniello, a music video and commercial editor, said: “I was thinking a lot about death, having panic attacks for a while and I wanted to explore that, I guess.

“The idea was that something is happening but you can’t see it but you can feel it, like aging itself.”

Cerniello said that the video was based around a friend, Danielle, and photographs of her cousins and relatives.

Attending Danielle’s family reunion, he and a still photographer, Keith Sirchio, took portraits of her relatives of all ages.

Cerniello created a slow morph of these, and animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle added in blinks, mouth and neck gestures.

Post published in: World News

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