Category Archives: World News

Coconut deaths – The greatest danger on a desert island

For all those who on deciding to go to a desert island ask me questions like: What if a snake gets into my bed?What if a shark bites my leg?…or the best of all….What should I do if I come face to face with a tiger?  And my answer is always:

What you do have to be careful of are the coconuts!

“You’re joking” is what you may be thinking.  NO, I say as tigers don’t live on desert islands – A great relief for all, I’m sure – nor are sharks to be seen in these beautiful waters – least of all those which attack humans – nor do snakes go anyway near people – it’s us who have to go looking for them -.  But, yes, there are coconuts and they make their presence known throughout the day with a resounding thud as they hit the floor. These are the Falling Coconut Deaths – Coconut Falling on Head!!

A green coconut, full grown and with its shell, still on the palm tree, can weigh up to two kilos (41/2 lbs.)  because it’s full of water.  If you take into account that palm trees can grow as high as 30 metres (98 feet) which is about the height of an 8 storey building, the speed with which a coconut falls reaches around 85 km/hr (53 mph). This means that the force of the coconut as it hits the ground is equivalent in weight to a ton.  Or, looking at it a different way, if it did fall, this fruit so highly valued by castaways, would have the same effect as a Austin Mini falling from about a foot and a half above your head. 

There are no reliable records on this subject but it is estimated that every year about 150 people die as a direct cause of this. This number isn’t as high as it could be if it is taken into account that there are millions of people living amongst palm trees but, take note, it’s still ten times higher than the number of people who die each year from shark attacks!

The majority of the people whose deaths were caused by falling coconuts were having a nap under the coconut palm, a ‘siesta’ from which they never awoke.  Of all the different types of accidents from coconut palms, the worst one is if you are caught lying down which is to say that  it’s much better to be standing up when the coconut does a K.O.  If it catches you on the head when you’re lying down it’s mortally dangerous because the head is in direct contact with the floor so the ‘braking distance’ on impact is zero.  The best advice to follow is that if you’re going to get in the way of a falling coconut, make sure you’re standing up!

It may seem a bit of an obsession, but when I’m walking around a desert island I can’t help but look out of the corner of my eye at the tallest palm trees so I can avoid being in ‘target range’.  This means that as I walk along the beach I may look a bit ridiculous or even ‘tipsy’ as I work my way along with zigzag movements.   The main palm tree in the following photo would be, without doubt, the perfect place to zigzag, I would even consider going into the sea to avoid an ‘accident’…

But I wouldn’t ask you to follow my example because the threat isn’t really so real. What is certain, though, is that on uncountable occasions I have seen coconuts fall too close for comfort, and you can hear their peculiar ‘thud’ on the video of the monkey.  Be careful, as there are islands like the one in the following photo where walking along the beach can be ‘risky’ and it could even be advisable to ‘swim’  round the island. The reason, obviously, is that as the statistics say, the chances of being hit by a coconut are ten times greater than being  ‘bit’ by a shark!!

Now you tell me: Have you lived to tell the tale of being hit on the head by a coconut?  Do you zigzag when walking on a desert island, or have you a better way of protecting yourself?  Leave your comments below and we’ll talk about it!

And of course, if you think any of your friends should know the risk they are facing under palmtrees, click on the buttons just here, below, to share it with them. Thanks for your support

Mum ‘lucky to be alive’ after stingray attack in Thailand

HORROR: A mum has told of her panic after she accidentally trod on a stingray

A MUM has told of her horror after she accidentally trod on a stingray on holiday in Thailand.

Dawn North suffered searing pain when her foot was stabbed by the deadly creature’s poisoned barb.

She said: “I thought that I’d been bitten by something and didn’t realise how bad it was until I lifted my leg out and there was blood everywhere.

“I was concerned I’d become shark bait if I stayed bleeding in the water.

“I screamed and shouted to my boyfriend Dave to come get me.

“He managed to swim over and carry me out of the water and dumped me on the sand.”

Full story:

Daily STAR Sunday: 2017-08-05

Photographer Caught Up In ‘Monkey Selfie’ Says It’s Ruined His Life

The photographer who was caught up in the ‘monkey selfie’ legal battle has said that his life has been ruined and he’s been left completely skint after being sued by a monkey.

David Slater, 52, specialises in wildlife photography and was out snapping the endangered crested black macaque to raise awareness of the plight the rare animals face.

While in Sulawesi, Indonesia in 2011, he said he gradually encouraged the monkeys to press the shutter on his camera while looking into it. As a result, he ended up with this amazing photo:

Credit: Caters/David J Slater

Fast forward to 2014, and David was asked by Wikipedia to take down the photo, because it believed the copyright belonged to the monkey. Honestly.

The US Copyright Office then decided that animals can’t own copyright, and that should have been the end of that. Except, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) then sued David in 2015 on behalf of the monkey, Naruto.

Angela Dunning, who represented David, said in court earlier this month: “It is absurd to say a monkey can sue for copyright infringement. Naruto can’t benefit financially from his work. He is a monkey.”

Adding that PETA couldn’t even be sure that Naruto was the correct monkey.

The appeals court seems to be leaning in David favour, with one judge asking why the case shouldn’t be dismissed, adding: “Can you point to a U.S. Supreme Court holding that says “man and monkey are the same?”

Another judge, N. Randy Smith, said: “There’s no loss as to reputation. There’s no even allegation that the copyright could have benefitted somehow Naruto. What financial benefits apply to him? There’s nothing”.

As for David, he told the MailOnline: “Of course it was my copyright! I set the background. I decided where the sun was going to hit the monkey.

“I selected the lens and I processed the images. The creativity was all mine, and it required a lot of perseverance, sweat and anguish.”

David has ended up blowing his life’s saving fighting his case in court, he’s been left so skint he told the Telegraph he might pack in being a photographer and become a dog walker or tennis coach, because he’s had enough.

Despite all he’s been through, David doesn’t regret taking the photo, telling the MailOnline: “Without all the attention, they’d probably be extinct now as a species.

“The locals used to roast them and eat them. Now they love them and call them ‘selfie monkeys’.”

Featured Image Credit: Caters

Woman Found Guilty Of Husband’s Murder After after Parrot ‘Witness’ Repeats ‘Final Words’

A woman has been found guilty for the murder of her husband, after the couple’s pet parrot witnessed the shooting.

Glenna Duram, 49, shot her husband Martin Duram, 46, five times in front of Bud the parrot back in May 2015.

Glenna, from Michigan, suffered a head injury during the incident, which prosecutors said was a failed suicide attempt.

The court heard that, following Martin’s death, the parrot repeatedly mimicked his voice to say ‘don’t shoot!’ This information was provided by his ex-wife, Christina Keller, who took ownership of the parrot after the tragedy.

Glenna will be sentenced next month for the murder and a firearm charge. Credit: Newaygo County Jail

Despite being the only witness to the crime, Bud was not called upon during the trial, but Keller took the stand to say she believed the bird was replaying Martin’s final words.

The jury found Glenna guilty of first-degree murder following a day of deliberations. She will be sentenced next month.

Martin’s parents agreed with Keller, with his dad telling local media: “I personally think [Bud] was there, and he remembers it and he was saying it.”

Lillian Duram, Martin’s mum, added: “That bird picks up everything and anything, and it’s got the filthiest mouth around.”

She told Fox17: “It just isn’t good. Two years is a long time to wait for justice. To sit there and watch her be emotionless… kind of hurt too.

“I feel hurt that both families had to go through this, ’cause we both used to be close and go camping together.”

Glenna’s attorney Mark Miller, says his client is considering appealing the verdict. He told Fox17: “Obviously we respect the decision of the jury, that’s our legal system, we have the greatest legal system in the world.

“It’s not the result that we wanted but we respect the decision of the jury.”

Glenna will be sentenced on 28 August, and could get life in prison.

Sources: Fox;BBC

Featured Image Credit: WoodTV


Kalimantan | An ecologist’s dream to watch orangutans in their natural habitat quickly turned into his worst nightmare after being savagely attacked and raped by a 400-pound orangutan in the jungle of Borneo.

Zack O’Reilly, a young 26-year-old from Ireland, who is presently studying biology at Dublin city University and has been a Greenpeace activist for the past three years, had always dreamed of seeing orangutans in their natural habitat and was a strong advocate against the palm oil industry, which is a great threat to the endangered species.



The young man was quickly brought back to a missionary hospital near Kalimantan where he lay unconscious for many hours and where doctors found traces of internal bleeding.

Kelly O’Reilly, the victim’s mother, says she used to tease him, telling her son he looked like an orangutan, but she never suspected he would be sexually assaulted by one, she told reporters in tears


Kekbek Mahlouiak, one of the tour guides present on the dramatic trip, says he has warned various tourists to be careful around the animals.

“I specifically told him to wear a hat and hide his orange hair, that it could entice the orangutans. I’m not surprised of what has happened, I warned him many times. He did not listen,” he told local reporters.

“It is very dangerous for people with orange hair, the males get very excited. A male followed us deep into the jungle many kilometers, he was very aggressive. There is nothing I could do,” he added.


A spokeswoman for the Borneo Tourism Board said it is the first time an orangutan has physically assaulted a tourist on one of their jungle treks.

“We are deeply horrified and saddened by the whole affair. We have offered the young victim a free tour if he ever wishes to come back again and will provide increased security for our travelers in the future,” she added.

A similar incident was previously reported in a Jakarta zoo in 2014, when a young red-haired woman was hospitalized after an orangutan broke out of its cage and tried to mate with the visitor, resulting in the death of the animal by zoo employees.

Taiwan passes first law in Asia to ban the eating of cats and dogs

People who are repeatedly found guilty of the consumption of the animals can be fined up to £130,000.

Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to pass legislation banning the consumption of cats and dogs.

The ban was included as an amendment to animal protection laws and also covers the selling, purchase and possession or dog or cat carcasses.

Taipei had previously banned the sale of dog meat but in 2011 the Taipei Times published claims by activists that slaughterhouses and dog meat restaurants were escaping prosecution.

And a lamb hotpot restaurant was found last year to be serving dog meat to cut costs.

Under the new legislation, anyone found guilty of eating cat or dog meat can be subject to a fine of between NT$50,000 (£1,300) and NT$250,000 (£6,500), according to the China Post newspaper.

Offenders also face public shaming and those who repeatedly break the law face fines of up to NT$5m (£130,000).

The eating of dog and cat meat is not unusual in parts of Asia, despite objections from international animal rights campaigners.

Breeders sell live dogs for meat in and around Yulin, in China’s Guangxi province annually in June.

Residents in Yulin host small gatherings to consume dog meat and lychees in celebration of the summer solstice.

The new Taiwanese law also includes a clause making it illegal to walk a dog by attaching it to a motor vehicle, the China Post said.

One of the leglislators promoting the law, Chiu Chih-wei said there had been several reports of dogs being injured when forced to run alongside a scooter or car driven by their owners.


Boston, MA | Three members of the so-called ‘Irish mob midgets’, a Boston-based criminal organization composed of people of short stature, have been arrested this morning reports the Boston Chronicle.

Security camera footage show the three suspects during a home break-in in which the intruders entered the house through the pet door.

Authorities also believe the crime organization could be behind 55 other similar break-ins in the region.

According to the Boston Police Department, the perpetrators crawled through pet doors, chimneys and small open windows to burglarize many homes in the area

Although the Irish mob midgets officially describe themselves as a “non-profit motorcycle enthusiast group for small people of the Boston area”, several high-profile members of the organization have been arrested in the past years on charges of drug-trafficking, arson and aggravated assault.

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