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  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • Trolls worse than zombies, says 'Walking Dead' star

      SINGAPORE — If there is one thing The Walking Dead star Josh McDermitt hates, it is haters.

      The 38-year-old, who plays Dr Eugene Porter on the popular American TV show, was recently in the news for speaking out on behalf of co-star Alanna Masterson. She received brutal online criticism in November about her weight after being seen in the show’s new season, having returned to shooting her role as Tara Chambler after giving birth to her first daughter in 2015.

      McDermitt responded to the criticism, saying that weight gain was part of the natural and beautiful process of childbirth.

      “There’s a bigger issue here. It’s not just about body shaming. It’s more about the Internet and how there are no consequences on social media,” he said in an interview with TODAY. “That’s a problem because we’re breeding a lot of people who spew hatred. It’s sad that our society is headed in that direction.”

      Irresponsible Internet trolls are why McDermitt thinks many public figures, including himself, hold back from sharing their lives on social media: There is just too much negativity.

      “I’ll be honest: I don’t get on social media as much as I used to, because I see a lot of bad things there and it drags me down. I get negative,” he said.

      “When people say, ‘I hate Eugene’ — you’re entitled to your opinion and I get that he’s not going to be everyone’s favourite character, but do you have to send that message to me? Have some manners. I’m not saying you have to like him, but you don’t have to throw that in my face.

      “That’s why I’ve kind of pulled back from social media; I think that’s why other people do too ... And at the end of the day, the people who then suffer are the fans of the show.”

      McDermitt was in town last week for the first time to promote the show, which has begun airing part two of its seventh season.

      One thing that you cannot escape talking about with McDermitt is his mullet. His character is so known for this distinctive hairstyle that it even led to the star commenting on how Singapore is somewhat similar to Atlanta, Georgia, where many scenes for The Walking Dead are filmed.

      “It’s very hot, very humid,” McDermitt said of Singapore, noting that Atlanta can be the same.

      “The humidity (here) is taking its toll on the mullet,” McDermitt deadpanned.

      Asked whether he minds having to wear that particular style for the show, he says that “the mullet is iconic. I don’t know that many people having the mullet these days, and so it’s nice to represent that sect of society”.

      Does that sect of society write to him to thank him for being their champion?

      “I don’t think people who have a mullet know how to write. Unfortunately, they’re so busy maintaining their mullets, they’re not literate,” he quipped.

      On a show where every character’s fate hangs in the balance (fan favourites like Abraham Ford, played by Michael Cudlitz and Glenn Rhee, played by Steven Yeun, have been killed off), something as insignificant as an actor’s hairstyle can be a spoiler.

      “A lot of fans say, ‘Oh, you still have the mullet, therefore you’re still alive (on the show)’. I want to caution them on that,” McDermitt said.

      “Just because I have the mullet doesn’t mean anything. You could be talking to a dead man right now, and you don’t even know it.”

      Ask him about how Eugene would really do in a real-life zombie apocalypse, and McDermitt chuckles.

      “I think Eugene represents what many people would be like in the apocalypse: Someone who is scared, maybe a bit of a coward, hoping someone else protects them.

      “If the apocalypse started tomorrow, I think we would see a lot of Eugenes out there. Unfortunately, a lot of people would die,” he said.

  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • VIENNA: On a wintry afternoon, tourists huddle around their guide outside Vienna's central train station.

      But instead of exploring glitzy palaces, tour guide Barbara will take them around night shelters and soup kitchens as part of a new initiative aimed at helping homeless people like herself get back on their feet.

      Vienna is ranked as one of the world's most liveable cities with an excellent social security system, but thousands of people nonetheless fall through the cracks.

      VIENNA: On a wintry afternoon, tourists huddle around their guide outside Vienna's central train station.

      But instead of exploring glitzy palaces, tour guide Barbara will take them around night shelters and soup kitchens as part of a new initiative aimed at helping homeless people like herself get back on their feet.

      Vienna is ranked as one of the world's most liveable cities with an excellent social security system, but thousands of people nonetheless fall through the cracks.

      "I'm happy because my hair is long again and I'm totally healthy," she told her tour group.

      "I'm confident that I'll soon have my own place again, not least because of this," she added, referring to her new job at Shades Tours.

      Launched last year, the social start-up is part of a growing European trend that sees the needy hired as city guides as a way to help them reintegrate.

      While they show tourists in Paris around famous landmarks, the Vienna concept goes a step further to peel off the stigma attached to homelessness.

      "I wanted (the tours) to be more educational," explained Shades Tours' creator Perrine Schober, a 33-year-old tourism management graduate.

      "We (see) homelessness on a daily basis but we have no idea what it is actually about, so I guess that's the reason people look away instead of trying to help," the French-Austrian told AFP.

      Shades Tours was initially aimed at Austrians, drawing hundreds of school children, social workers and companies last year, with a selection of tours costing 15 euros (S$22.70) that range from a couple of hours to all day.

      "Our guides are in a unique position to explain Vienna's complex social system and its challenges. They provide children with an emotional lesson they can't get in a classroom," said Ms Schober.

      The organisation now employs three full-time guides, two of whom have already been able to move from their shelter into private housing.

      Boosted by the success, Ms Schober recently broadened the offering to include English-language tours for international tourists.

      Barbara, who declined to give her surname, switches effortlessly from German to English and French as she explains why the central station is a "hot spot" for the homeless.

      "It's warm, it's open 24 hours a day and you can be anonymous here," she tells the visitors after they enter the huge glass structure.

      Multilingual social workers, recognisable by their red jackets, walk around the station handing out information to homeless people on where to get help.

      "What's the worst part about being homeless?" asked one of the tour group.

      The isolation, Barbara replied. "Nobody from my former life knows where I am now and I have no family," she said.

      Vienna, a city of 1.7 million, has a solid network of public institutions and not-for-profit organisations helping those in need.

      In winter, around 700 beds are added to the 300 available all year round to prevent people from freezing to death, particularly in the current cold snap gripping Europe.

      But it is not enough to meet the high demand, made worse because Vienna also draws the homeless from other European cities like Budapest, Hungary, where conditions are even tougher.

      For two euros a day, you can sleep, eat, shower, and use the Internet at the men-only VinziPort shelter, the last leg of Barbara's tour.

      At the end, participants thank Barbara for sharing her story, including Bulgarian Steliana Kokonova, 29.

      "One major thing that will stay with me is that we now have more information about how to direct homeless people towards useful institutions," she said. - AFP

  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • This Walking Dead star hopes he is killed off in a blaze of glory

      t is not often someone tells you he is looking forward to his death. But not everyone is on hit television zombie drama The Walking Dead, either.

      Josh McDermitt is excited about the prospect of his demise - on screen, that is.

      The 38-year-old US actor, who plays the less-than-gung-ho survivor Eugene Porter, told The  Sun News: "I hope he goes out like a hero."

      In town as part of the show's Asian press tour, the Arizona native said: "He has lived his life in the shadows of cowardice, and I hope he goes out in a blaze of glory, saving people.

      "It will be an epic death because they do not just kill people - you have your guts ripped out and your head smashed in. I am looking forward to it."

      Not that he wants out. Before he was cast in the show, he was - and remains - a huge fan.

      "I just hope it is like three, four, five, six, 10 years down the road," he joked.

      While the series, now in its seventh season, maintains a central group of protagonists led by ex-cop Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), it has no qualms about suddenly killing off beloved characters.

      The current season opened with fan favourites Glenn Rhee (played by Steven Yeun) and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) meeting gory ends.

      McDermitt, who joined the show with Cudlitz in the fourth season, was affected by their on-screen deaths.

      "They are the two I was closest to, Michael especially. He is like a big brother to me," he said.

      "I still get a little emotional when I think about not going to work with him."

      An occupational hazard of being on such a popular show is the spoilers.

      McDermitt admitted to lying to his family and friends, saying: "There is a level of protectiveness (the cast members) all have when talking to anybody, whether it is a journalist or a fan.

      "Some cast members have bigger mouths than others. I have watched some stuff get spoiled right in front of my face, and they do not even realise they are saying it."

      He said the tightly-knit cast generally keeps things light.

      "If Danai Gurira (who plays Michonne) has a heavy and emotional scene, we are not going to be running up to her and goofing off. We want to give her space so that she can do that," he said.

      "But because the elements are so challenging, we do try and keep it light. We hang out as often as we can to build up that sense of family and friendship.

      "It makes the challenging parts easier because you realise you are not doing this alone."

      What would he change about the show?

      "The worst thing about working on the show is Andrew Lincoln. He is a jerk... I am kidding. You can print that, he will not care. He loves it!"

  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • Valentine was hardly more than a kitten when he was dropped off at a Los Angeles shelter missing his claws.

      Even worse, the surgery was so brutally botched, it left Valentine in searing pain. His paws were so infected, the staff wasn't sure if he would even survive.

      "He was in so much pain, he was acting out," Jennifer Conrad, a veterinarian and founder of The Paw Project, tells The Do. "He was biting. He was terrified."

      Valentine's apparent aggression led him to being put on the shelter's euthanasia list

      And if his picture hadn't found his way to Aurelie Vanderhoek, founder of Zoey Place Rescue, Valentine would not have been long for this world.

      "I saw the picture and my heart dropped," Vanderhoek tells The Dodo. "The incisions the vet had made were not even stitched. They were left open to bleed.

      "I said, 'I don't care how we're going to do this. He's coming with me.'"

      Freed from his shelter cage, Valentine was brought to the Animal Healthcare Centre in Eagle Rock, where veterinarian Lisa Hsuan worked to ease the pain in his festering paws.

      And a week later?

      "Now, he's in my bathroom," Vanderhoek says with a laugh.

      It took a few days, understandably, for Valentine to warm up to her.

      "All I did was sit next to him," Vanderhoek recalls. "I gave him a small room to get control over. And I just let him come to me. And within three days, he was purring and playing."

      Plenty of care also poured in from a community that had heard of the cat's plight.

      Jackson Galaxy even donated calming remedies to soothe those troubled paws.

      Perhaps most importantly, The Paw Project's program, is covering the bills for Valentine's spiraling medical expenses.

      "We take animals who were going to lose their lives because they were declawed — and we rehabilitate them," Conrad says. "We've had a 100 percent success rate in finding these animals homes once they've been taken out of pain and the infection in their paws has been taken away."

      And Vanderhoek took it upon herself to soothe Valentine's troubled mind — which is proving the easiest job of all.

      "He gets startled very easily with loud noises. I think he was abused because he has very, very sharp triggers," she says. "He's playful. All he wants right now is to be held. He just wants to cuddle.

      "This is a cat who just needs a nice, quiet environment and he'll be fine."

      Vanderhoek credits an entire community of animal rescuers for coming together to give Valentine a real chance at a life — an opportunity that's all too often not given to declawed cats.

      While some people think taking away a cat's claws makes them easier to deal with.

      "There's no doubt that a declawed cat bites more often and bites harder because they've been robbed of their primary defense," Conrad explains. "Anytime you have a behavioral problem, you should treat it with behavioral management. Not with surgery.

      Instead, she suggests simple alternatives like a scratching post or a toy. Because kittens will be kittens.

      "That's what kittens do," Conrad says. "They attack each other. They attack toys. They go crazy doing their little kitten stuff. But that's because they're babies."

      And now, thanks to an entire community's efforts, Valentine will get to be the kitten he was meant to be.

  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • Beneath the surface of Japan's Tateyama Bay stands a shrine called a torii, sacred to the Shinto religion. But more than being a place of spiritual importance, the underwater site is host to something else that's remarkable — a unique friendship between a man and a fish.

      For more than two decades, a local diver named Hiroyuki Arakawa has been entrusted with overseeing the shrine and being a guide to others who wish to visit it. In that time, he's become well-acquainted with the local marine animals who live in the area — including one friendly Asian sheepshead wrasse named Yoriko.

      Over the course of 25 years, the pair have forged an incredible bond based on trust and respect.

      Perhaps the sweetest testament to their friendship can be seen in Arakawa's custom of greeting Yoriko with a kiss.

      Although fish may not be commonly considered particularly feeling sorts of creatures, that's a notion based more on misconception than reality. In fact, a recent study found that fish are smarter and more social than previously thought — and one only need look at Arakawa and Yoriko's quarter-century-long relationship for proof.

  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • The orange crocodile was spotted in the pond city of Hanahan in North Carolina (USA). Reptile forced the citizens to beg the question: albino, or whether it is just an animal, covered with dry clay?

      The second option was popular among users of Facebook, who enthusiastically commented on the post about the crocodile with bright color. This is even more likely that the surroundings of the city of Hanahan abound in clay.

      The most witty put forward even more incredible hypothesis.
      “I bet he used too much bronzer,” wrote one commenter.

      Crocodile is noticed in the first test on Tuesday. By the evening of Thursday the orange coloration of reptiles began to fade.

      Kent Vliet, specialist in biology from the University of Florida, believes that the color of the animal is the result of genetic anomalies. “I have no doubt that the animal is somewhere dirty, the scientist said. Is the color of rust”.
      Albinos or crocodiles with laicismo is white. Other colors such as reddish-orange, are possible, but are typically in the form of spots. The rest of the crocodile’s body has a normal color.

      Over time, painted crocodile skin will return to normal color, if the animal will not return to the place where turned orange.

      But if paint still will not go, the crocodile will just take off the skin, assured Vliet.

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    8,242 posts since May '05
    • (Nigeria)

      A Danish aid worker who rescued a young boy abandoned in Nigeria has celebrated the boy's first week at school on the anniversary of his rescue.

      The two-year-old boy was ostracised and left to die in the streets last year because his family believed he was a "witch".

      After hearing about the boy left on his own, Anja Ringgren Loven launched a rescue mission to find him last January.

      Photographs of the little boy, known as Hope, were shared around the world after Ms Loven uploaded them to her Facebook page.

      Hope was in ill-health and required an operation a few months after he was found.

      But a year on, Hope is now attending school and, from a series of Facebook post shared last week, appears to be happy, healthy and surrounded by loving friends and family.

      In an update on her Facebook page earlier last month, Ms Loven wrote that Hope was "growing with speed".

      "He is such a handsome, healthy and very happy young boy because of the tremendous love and care he receive[s] everyday from our staff and all our children," it read.

      Ms Loven, the co-founder of the African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF), told the Huffington Post last year that it was a common practice in some Nigerian communities to shun children accused of witchcraft.

      "Being rejected by your own family must be the loneliest feeling a child can experience, and I don't believe that anyone can imagine how that must feel like," she said.

      The charity is specifically dedicated to rescuing children who have been abandoned or tortured and ensuring that they have the opportunity to go to school.

      "The children receive plenty of care, medical treatment, food/lodging and schooling, which combined to make children strong and independent citizens," the organisation's Facebook page states.

      Ms Loven was also named the "most inspiring person of the year" in 2016 by Germany's OOOM Magazine, beating out former US president Barack Obama — who came in second — to secure the top spot.

  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • A photo of an "unbelievaly white rainbow captured in the Scottish mountains has taken social media by storm.

      Melvin Nicholson, a professional landscape photographer, captured the picture of a lifetime while exploring in the Scottish mountains.

      The 44-year-old said the white rainbow, also known as a fog bow, was an “amazing” sight to witness on Rannoch Moor, located in the west of Scotland, on November 20.

      Fog bows, usually colourless, are created from the small droplets inside fog or cloud, according to website Earth Sky.

      "I have never seen a fog bow before and understand that it is very rare," he explained.

      "It was an amazing thing to witness and can generally only be seen if the sun is behind you when you are looking at it."

      He told the BBC that the fog bow was “unbelievably beautiful” and “an amazing thing to witness”.

  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • After an electric shock caused a cat's front paws and tail to drop off, the persevering feline gets around by roaming on his hind legs like a T-Rex. 

      Brown and white moggy 'Able' moves just like the frightening dinosaur after he lost his front paws from a massive electric shock from loose wires in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

      The brave kitten was nursed back to health and doesn't let his missing paws stop him from being a normal cat. 

      Able was just a one-year-old kitten when a bang so loud went off, neighbours thought a bomb had exploded. 

      Hundreds of volts surged through the cat's body, frying his tail and two front paws - leaving him helpless on the ground.

      Resident Walai Sriboonvorakul , 49, found Able, now three years old, stranded in an alley some seven days after the accident.

      She nursed him back to health and two years later he has made a full recovery - having learned how to negotiate flights of stairs, chase other cats and jump up walls by 'bouncing like a kangaroo'.

        

      Ms Sriboonvorakul said: 'Able is a beautiful cat. We called him "Able" because he can do everything just like the other animals.

      'He was electrocuted by wires. There was a loud bang and it sounded like a bomb. The electricity was so powerful his legs and tail dropped off. 


      Able struggled at first and his wounds were sore. But he adapted very quickly and he can stand and balance on his hind legs.

      'He is really strong and he can walk up and down stairs and play chase with other cats by bouncing like a little mini kangaroo. He can jump high up walls and ledges, too'



      The sick cat was lavished with love and food after being taken in to the family home.

      Ms Sriboonvorakul and son Copter, 26, said that they let Able roam freely around the garden and outside.

      But when he strayed too far the other stray dogs and cats that live outside ganged up on him and he would come hopping back.

      The family now keep him inside their two storey home and Able's favourite thing is running up to 'big brother' Copter's bedroom to wake him up every morning.

      Copter said: 'Able is one of the family. I'm like his big brother. He runs up the stairs to my bedroom to wake me up.

      'We play all the normal games with him. He is a pampered cat who has a good life now. He lost his legs but he found a loving home.'


  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
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    8,242 posts since May '05
    • Lukas Graham - 7 years

      Metallica - Now we are dead

      Snowy White - Midnight blue

      Nickelback - Everyone care

      Disturbed - Sound of silence

      Teri Kelly - Hollow

      Gnash - I hate U I love U

      Alassia Cara - Scars to your beautiful

      Usher - Love in this club

      Lingyin - Sticky leaves

      Isabel - Fences

      Rag n Bone Man - Human

      Aurora - Conqueror

       

      No Musc No Lfe

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    • Panda cub falls from stage as 23 baby bears make their debut in China

      A giant-panda breeding program has seen 23 cubs born in 2016, giving hope to the survival of the vulnerable species.

      The bears made their public debut at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China.

      However, it appeared one curious cub was not content with being on display and attempted to make a run for it.

      The photo opportunity has attracted global attention and is highlighting the conservation efforts of the research base.

      The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) downgraded the species from endangered to vulnerable in September this year.

      "The improved status confirms that the Chinese Government's efforts to conserve this species are effective," the IUCN said.

      The Chengdu Research Base has developed the world's largest artificial breeding population of captive giant pandas, recording 113 in existence, as a result of 20 years of conversation.

      However, habitat loss remains the major threat faced by the giant panda.

  • NeverSayGoodBye's Avatar
    8,242 posts since May '05
    • Temperatures in the single digits did not stop New Yorkers from joining the No Pants Subway Ride, an annual prank that saw plenty of straphangers shedding bottom layers.

      Participants — more than 1,000 locals were expected, organizers said — met up at seven locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, then rode together, sans pants. The global event, which originated in NYC in 2001, hit 32 cities this year.

       

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    • A massive Australian fur seal that turned up on a suburban street in Tasmania, 50 kilometres from the ocean, and sat on a parked car is on its way back to the wild.

      Dubbed "Lou-seal" by police, the wayward animal wandered into Penquite Road in the Launceston suburb of Newstead in the early hours of Boxing Day.

      The adult male, estimated to weigh 200 kilograms, was first spotted about 5:45am in the middle of a road.

      It scrambled onto a car parked in a driveway and then jumped on to another car parked behind it.

      The seal was cordoned off by police while waiting for Parks and Wildlife officers to arrive, with people inside the house unable to leave for several hours.

      William Gregory was staying at the Newstead home.

      "We got up and there was this great big seal on the roof of the car which is definitely not what you'd expect on Boxing Day," he said.

      "You kind of wake up and you wonder, is this really happening, am I really seeing this or am I still dreaming?

      "It did this spectacular manoeuvre where it slid down the back of the first car and jumped onto bonnet of the second car and scrambled over the top of that."

      Mr Gregory said Lou-seal caused only minor damage to both cars.

      "We'll replace the windscreen and pop a few dents out, they're just old cars so it doesn't really matter. It's worth it," he said.

      It was not the first time seals had been spotted in the area.

      "A couple of long-term locals told me that it's happened a couple of times over the years," Mr Gregory said.

      "There is a little estuary right behind our house so I imagine he's just swam out there ... and found himself out on the street."

      Food, curiosity, hormones all prompt seals to roam

      Parks and Wildlife staff tranquilised the hefty creature before moving it onto a trailer.

      Wildlife biologist Rachel Alderman was not surprised Lou-Seal was out and about, given the large population of Australian fur seals in Tasmania.

      "At this time of year, it's not unusual for us to locate fur seals in rather strange locations," she said.

      "Most of the breeding colonies are up in Bass Strait ... so at this time of the year, all the seals are sort of congregating up in that neck of the woods.

      Ms Alderman said it was unclear what the mammal was looking for.

      "Seals are inquisitive and could have been following food," she said.

      "In the past we've found seals in a range of unusual locations from paddocks to car parks to even last year we had to retrieve one from a toilet block in a cemetery."

      Lou-Seal is sleeping off the sedative and will be released later at a beach in Tasmania's north-west.

      Hopes insurer will give claim 'seal of approval'

      Social media was quick to embrace Lou-seal, declared by one person on ABC 936's Facebook page to be an interesting hood ornament.

      Others were contemplating the insurance claim.

      "Hope the insurance gives their seal of approval for the claim," said Rachel Zavier d'Leon.

      "Your bonnet got dents how?" said Kris Carr.

      "I've seen some unusual bonnet ornaments but that one's ridiculous," Matt Lello posted.

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