they did what?: April 2011 Archives

A dare-devil skier has filmed himself flying off a cliff and performing a BASE jump to escape from the avalanche he'd just started.

Matthias Giraud had been traversing his way down a slope in the French Alps with the aim of filming himself building up speed and doing a BASE jump.

But as he made the leap and pulled his parachute, the footage from his head mounted camera shows him realised he's caused an avalanche which had been chasing him down the mountain.

So as the 27-year-old sailed down to safety, followed by pal Stefan Laud, the snow poured over the cliff like a waterfall. In fact the resulting footage is so good it could be used to advertise the head-mounted cameras… oh, it just has.

275x250.jpgA taxi driver in New York has picked up the fare of a lifetime -- after a couple of passengers wanted taking all the way to Los Angeles.

Mohammed Alam charged the duo $5,000 to make the 2,448-mile trip which took six days to complete.

While that might sound pricey - it would have been much faster and cheaper if flying - it's estimated the trip would have cost $17,000 (£10,000) if the meter had been running.

Investment banker John Belitsky and pal Dan Wuebben say they picked up the cab at LaGuardia Airport because they wanted to do something "magical".

And helping the couple achieve this, when they stopped in Las Vegas where they won $2,000… making the trip a snip at $3,000.

275x250.jpg A group of thrill-seeking vicars have braved a series of theme park rides at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, as they competed for the title of Extreme Vicar'.

The dare-devil clergy were auditioning to conduct a special service at the theme parks on Easter Sunday and had to prove they were up to the challenge.

Because the special service will be hosted both on the ground and whilst hurtling around at extreme speeds, the vicars were asked to try reading from the bible as they 'enjoyed' the rides.

A spokesperson for Alton Towers said they were judged on their willingness to hold an alternative service, experience of varied working environments and… their ability to hold mass at 50mph. Quite a test of faith.

275x250.jpgDutch traffic bosses have been left seeing red after someone altered a set of pedestrian lights to show a couple having sex.

Every time the light turns green in the town of Nimwegen, an illuminated image of a couple having sex flashes up, instead of the more traditional person walking.

And apparently the prank has been causing traffic congestion - because people want to see the risque image they're pressing the button, even when they don't want to cross.

Transport officials have now launched an investigation how the images was manipulated, with suspected computer hackery being top of the list.

A Town Hall spokesman said: "We are looking at who had access and opportunity"… presumably that will be cross-referenced with a list of people who have a good sense of humour.

275x250.jpgWe don't normally do 'On this day…' type posts, but it's not too common* for us to be able to say, on this day in 1930, the BBC announced there was no news.

But on April 18, 1930, during what should have been a 6:30pm radio news bulletin, that's exactly what happened.

A BBC presenter announced "Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news." It had been apparently judged that nothing newsworthy had happened.

Piano music was then played instead of the current affairs update for a couple of minutes, before normal scheduling resumed.

* Okay, we would be able to say this once a year, but this is the first time, and we won't do it again next year. Honest.

Police in China say they were shocked to discover a man driving down a busy street on two bumper cars, which we think is understandable.

Bizarre CCTV footage shows the bonkers man driving along road in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, on the bright yellow cars.

He's seen positioned between the two cars - with one foot in each to operate the pedals - as he navigates other traffic and junctions.

When police pulled him over, he told them he was transporting them to a local park and it was the cheapest way of doing it.

Amazingly "because the law doesn't stipulate what punishment a bumper car driver should receive" he was apparently let off with a warning.


The President of the Czech Republic has been left red-faced after a video of him admiring and then pocketing a pen during a press conference, became an online hit.

Vaclav Klaus had been taking part in the news conference with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera when news cameras caught the leader admiring the writing implement.

He was then clearly seen to discreetly slide the pen under the desk before putting it in his pocket to take home from his visit to Chile.

However, while internet commenters have labelled him a pen thief, aides say that he has the right to keep pens given to him on state visits. Yes, free stationary… that's why these people get into politics.


A man has been arrested after being caught on CCTV stealing a judge's gavel from a courtroom... meaning he could be making a quick return for contempt.

When magistrate Chris Cook recently reached for his gavel during a hearing, he realised it had disappeared and ordered a search.

But security footage soon revealed that the small mallet had been swiped the day before, right from his legal bench at Lorain Municipal Court.

While staff didn't recognise the courtroom crook, they noticed that the man with him had appeared in court that day and police were able to locate the gavel grabber.

The magistrate said that if the crook is willing and able to return the gavel, he would be a lot less inclined to bring him back in for contempt… he just loves banging that little mallet you see.


Think about the worst aspect of your job, we bet it's nothing in comparison with this guy. He's in charge of cleaning out this cobra pit… with his hands and a broom.

This video has become a hit online and viewed more than 250,000 times since it was uploaded to YouTube last week.

In the two minute clip the brave worker can be seen grabbing snakes from their sleeping spots and hurling then across the cobra pit so he could clean up their mess, skin and eggs.

And if you can make it to the end of the video, it gets worse, just when you think all of the snakes have been moved the camera pans up to show he's only just beginning.


We've all been there, you've done something like throw a teabag across the kitchen and towards a mug, only for it to land in the target with almost superhero precision.

Well imagine what it would be like if that sort of thing happened to you all the time. Or alternatively click play... because your day might be something like this.

This is a 'best of' video from the good folks at a-normal-day.com who set out to film themselves pulling everyday tricks like throwing bread into a toaster or kicking bottles of water onto a table.

While the video lasts just two minutes, we dread to think how many takes were involved and how long it actually took to film… actually we think you can see Thomas and Sebastian age if you look carefully.


It's a good job Felice Cohen doesn't suffer from claustrophobia, because she lives in what could well be the smallest apartment in the world.

The tiny 12 feet by 7 feet New York home measures under 90 sq ft and is so small that Cohen has to sit sideways to fit on the loo and sleeps inches from her ceiling.

While there's no kitchen and the writer admits she had to discard many of her belongings before moving in, Cohen says her 'microstudio' is ideal for her her style of living.

She says the cramped conditions are worth it because she gets to live in New York's Upper West Side for just $700 a month while her neighbours pay $3,000… admittedly they don't have a panic attack every time they go to bed.


A football goalkeeper who shot to fame after recording a trick shot video of himself earlier this year, is at it again, and this one could be even better.

UNC Asheville keeper Lassi Hurskainen released his first video in February and it showed him kicking with amazing accuracy and making a series of great saves.

In fact many of the 2.5 million people who watched it on YouTube suggested that his accuracy was so good, it must have been digitally manipulated.

So, hoping to prove them wrong Hurskainen has recorded footage of himself performing another equally impressive set of tricks - including kicking a ball into a bucket on the back of a speeding golf-kart.

Other tricks include hitting the crossbar from almost unbelievable distances and making saves over the bonnet of a car… because you'd be surprised how often that comes up in a real match.

A monster truck driver has become the first person to complete a full backflip in one of the big-wheeled vehicles. And it's more impressive than it sounds.

The stunt by Ryan Anderson has become an online hit since he performed it in Las Vegas during the recent Monster Jam World Finals.

Anderson started off by revving the engine of his giant 12-ton truck and driving over a small ramp to help him build up speed.

From there he drove into another ramp which was angled at a wall and as the momentum carried him upwards the truck flipped.

While we've somehow managed to make that sound simple and as though anyone could do it, we're assured it wasn't and they couldn't.

275x250.jpgA man who can rotate his feet to the point that it looks like his legs are on backwards has seen his elastic abilities earn him a place in the record books.

Moses Lanham (aka Mr Elastic) recently gained world records by rotating his legs further than anyone else and being the fastest man to walk 20 metres with his feet turned backwards.

The 49-year-old from Michigan, says he first discovered his hyper flexibility in a PE class at school when he fell over and because of the position of his legs people assumed he was injured.

But he was fine and simply jumped back up… and then started showing off his new-found flexibility to anyone who would watch. Later going on to do a lot of charity work for Children.

Mr Elastic says he has "total flexability" in his lower limbs, but that his upper body is limited by more normal movement, which is probably a good thing... otherwise he could forget which way he is mean to face.




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