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7

The Dogs of War

Dogs have been working in combat roles alongside American soldiers for more than 100 years. In fact, they have been alongside soldiers since antiquity. But only in 1942 were dogs officially inducted into the U.S. Army.

Dogs have played a central part in more recent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan where about 2,700 dogs were serving worldwide, according to the U.S. Defense Department. It was the largest deployment of canines in the world.

These “war dogs” are used on patrols, in drug and explosives detection, and on specialized missions, like the Navy SEAL raid that took down Osama bin Laden. They quickly learn and understand their role and bond with their handler and his unit such that they give new meaning to the term 'dogface'. These aren't just dogs; they are fellow soldiers. See an assortment of contemporary war dog photos here.


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8

Much Larger Dog Tries to Steal Small Dog, & Almost Succeeds

This is amazing, & had to be shared. The hilarious clip was shared by Twitter user @chaeronaea, who said she came across on it on Reddit.

It shows a Golden Retriever grabbing the leash of a much smaller Pomeranian, and then trying to walk away with it. At first it looks like the Pomeranian is into it, at last before the poor little thing begins to get dragged a little as the owner desperately chases them both.


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7

Behind the Scenes of Filming 1980's The Shining

In 1980 movie goers got to see The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s gripping take on Stephen King’s novel of madness in an isolated hotel in the Colorado Rockies off-season.

Kubrick went his own way, ignoring Stephen King's screenplay and suggestions. Whether or not he made the right decision is still a point of contention, but The Shining is one of the most frightening films of the 1980's, mainly because it featured Jack Nicholson in the role he was born to play.

Read about the making of this film and how Jack Nicholson got himself into character here.

In readiness for the full fly-on-the-wall feature, heeeeeere’s Jack getting pumped for the big scene:

Pre-CGI special effects.

The most iconic scene from The Shining.


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9

Elephant Vs. Canadian Goose

A ruckus recently occurred at the Hogle Zoo in Utah between a wild Canadian goose and a young elephant named Zuri, and the goose does not back down.

And as someone who regularly vacationed around Canadian geese, this does not surprise me at all. They are terrifying.

Via Boing Boing


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7

Long-Lost Disney 'Oswald' Film Found in Japan after 70 Years

Before Mickey and Mortimer were conceived, there was one other character that Disney had in the works and even had its first series. This guy's name was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But there were some intellectual property disputes that happened with Universal Studios over the character so Disney gave birth to Mickey.

However, what happened to Oswald? Recently, there have been some film of Oswald being found in different parts of the world. Learn more about how Oswald came to Japan. - via BBC

(Photo credit: Kobe Planet Film Archive)


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6

Dead Man Skinned to Preserve Tattoos

When we die, we often want to leave some kind of legacy behind us or something that we can pass on to the next generation. For this Canadian tattoo artist, his passion was his legacy and he wanted his tattoos to outlive him.

Before his last days, Chris Wenzel had hoped his children would get to appreciate the work he has done:

"He fell in love with art and had such a passion for tattoos," his wife, Cheryl Wenzel, told the Canadian Press. "He would say he was a slave to the needle because he loved to tattoo so much."

Check out this article from The Guardian to know how Chris' dying wish was fulfilled.

(Photo credit: Chris Wenzel)


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11

How I Killed the Best Burger Place in America

Kevin Alexander once wrote an article for Thrillist ranking the top burgers in America. He named the restaurant Stanich’s in Portland, Oregon, as the home the best cheeseburger in America. That was last May. Stanich's was not ready for the fallout of the article or the video about the honor.

Apparently, after my story came out, crowds of people started coming in the restaurant, people in from out of town, or from the suburbs, basically just non-regulars. And as the lines started to build up, his employees -- who were mainly family members -- got stressed out, and the stress would cause them to not be as friendly as they should be, or to shout out crazy long wait times for burgers in an attempt to maybe convince people to leave, and as this started happening, things fell by the wayside. Dishes weren’t cleared quickly, and these new people weren’t having the proper Stanich’s experience, and Steve would spend his entire day going around apologizing and trying to fix things. They might pay him lip service to his face, but they were never coming back so they had no problem going on Yelp or Facebook and denouncing the restaurant and saying that the burgers were bad. And then the health department came in and suggested they do some deep cleaning (he still got a 97 rating, he told me), and the combination of all of these factors led Stanich to close down the restaurant for what he genuinely thought would be two weeks.

Stanich's has been closed since January. It's like that old tale about the fisherman who only worked until noon, although he could have started a great business by working all day. Why should he, when life is good already? But the story goes deeper than that, as Alexander uses the story of Stanich's restaurant to look at the power of the internet in setting trends that spin out of control in a hurry. -via Kottke

(Image credit: Emiliano Ponzi/Thrillist)


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14

Originally, Tires Were White, So What Happened?

Nobody really thinks about why certain things are the way they are, we mostly just accept them as we know them today. However, there is a little bit of history when it comes to car tires. Originally, they were off white in color and then they became bright white.

So how come are they black now? Read more about this article by David Tracy on Jalopnik.

(Photo credit: David Tracy)


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10

Stunning NASA Photo of Jupiter Sparks Twitter's Imagination

This photo of Jupiter was taken on Oct. 29 by NASA's Juno Cam and was enhanced by two citizen scientists Gerald Eichstadt and Sean Doran. When NASA JPL posted it on Twitter, several people shared their thoughts on the incredibly awe-inspiring photo.

Noel Blaney (@LividLFC) wrote: "I saw a Squid," putting the photo side by side with an uncanny resemblance to the sea creature.

Another user, Paula (@cantwell14) said she saw the Virgin Mary with a diplodocus:

Other users also joined in the fun. Wonder of Science (@wonderofscience) pointed out its resemblance to Van Gogh's A Starry Night while others such as Astro Yuki (@AstroYuki) drew lines to show the image of a dragon breathing fire through its nostrils:

To see more photos of Jupiter, check out the Mission Juno website.

(Credits to: @NASAJPL, @LividLFC, @cantwell14, @wonderofscience, and @AstroYuki)


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9

How Color Changes Our Taste Experience

We all know why big brands in the food industry use a lot of certain colors in their logos like red and yellow because those colors stimulate our brain to think about delicious food which would in turn influence our actions.

But what happens when food which we have associated with a certain color would be changed into a different color? Would adding more of a certain color or reducing it really make food more or less delicious?

Tom Vanderbilt wrote this article on Nautilus explaining the science behind our perception of food based on their color:

"In a 1980 study, subjects were blindfolded and asked to tell whether the beverage they were drinking was flavored orange. Only one in five could. But when they were allowed to see what they were drinking, each of them identified the orange flavor. And when a lime-flavored drink was colored orange, nearly half of respondents thought it was flavored orange—none did when it was green."

(Photo courtesy of: Mathery Studio)


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11

This Super Hot Chemical Destroys Nerve Endings But It Can Help You

If you think eating pepper is very agonizing to do especially if you have a low tolerance to hot, spicy things, you probably shouldn't go near this cactus-like plant. Its active ingredient is 10,000 times hotter than the world's hottest pepper.

However, what if this chemical has the property of blocking out your sense of pain? And it can do this without affecting other nerves in your system. So it effectively targets only the nerves that react to pain. That could make this chemical possibly one of the most potent painkillers which can be used in a variety of situations.

Learn more about it from The Wired.

(Photo courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons)


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9

Running the gruelling Sahara Marathon - are you up to it?

Marathon of the Sands, also known as Sahara Marathon - or as it is better known, Marathon des Sables, or MdS is a 6 day, 250 km (156 mi) ultramarathon (equating to the distance of six normal marathons). The first race started in 1986 after being initiated by French concert promoter Patrick Bauer. In 2009, the longest single stage was 91 km (57 mi) long. This race is held every year in the southern Moroccon section of the Sahara Desert. It is no surprise to note that Moroccan men won most of the races (Men's division) with Lahcen Ahansal winning from 1999 to 2007, his brother Mohammad winning from 2008 to 2010, then again in 2013 and Rachid El Morabity, winning in 2011 and then consecutively from 2013 to 2018. From 1986 to 1991 the race was dominated by French males and females.


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9

Paarl Rock - second largest granite outcrop in the world

Paarl Rock. This huge granite rock is formed by three rounded outcrops (also known as a batholiths) that make up Paarl Mountain, which is a granite mountain situated above the town of Paarl in the Western Cape, South Africa. It is the second largest granite outcrop in the world, with Yosemite, USA being the largest.

Granite is an igneous rock, that is, it formed (and still forms) below the surface of the earth by crystallisation of a molten rock, known as magma. The Paarl variety of granite belongs to a group classified as Cape Granite, known to have intruded into the crust of the earth between about 548 million years ago. Cape Granite is distributed from Saldanha Bay in the west to the town of George in the east.

Several separate granites make up Paarl Mountain - of which five varieties have been recognised. The most common variety is known as Bretagne Granite. Laborie Granite, which is mined at the De Hoop granite quarry (located on the southern slopes of Paarl Mountain). Bethel Dam Granite, that occurs only near the western shores of Bethel Dam. Montvue Granite, occurs mostly along the northeastern and northern parts of Paarl Mountain. The fifth granite type is simply known as "quartz porphyry".


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9

Once Upon A Deadpool



Deadpool is back, and he's had his mouth washed out with soap. The movie Deadpool 2 has been cleaned up enough to get a PG-13 rating just in time for a Christmas re-release. Now, children between 13 and 16 (yeah, who are we kidding) have the chance to be introduced to Deadpool in Deadpool 2 while they are on Christmas break. The movie will be in theaters December 12. While this may seem like a quick cash grab for the holidays, it is also a long-term scheme to whet a child's appetite to see Deadpool and, of course, Deadpool 3 when it arrives. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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8

MerBy's Calendar

If you are searching for an eye-catching, conversation-starting 2019 calendar, you would do well to check out MerBy's Calendar from the Newfoundland & Labrador Beard and Moustache Club. Each month features a gorgeous photograph of men in beards and mermaid tails. The calendar was first produced last year and raised over $300,000 for the club's local mental health organization. This year, the production values are higher, but proceeds will still go to a good cause.

Violence Prevention Newfoundland & Labrador will be the main recipient of the funds we raise this year. We wanted to help them continue their very important work of changing attitudes and breaking down stereotypes. Their goal is to challenge negative attitudes of masculinity, and empower men to become meaningfully engaged in violence prevention.

The MerBy's Calendar is one of several quirky 2019 calendars featured in a list at Boing Boing. 

(Image credit: NL Beard and Moustache Club)


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10

More Companies Are Chipping Their Workers Like Pets

When we implant microchips into our pets, it's to find them if they become lost, because dogs and cats are unable to tell someone their address. Chipping humans, on the other hand, opens up an entirely different can of worms. Implanting an ID chip under an employee's skin is becoming more and more common among tech companies. The chips can control door locks, time logs, and even vending machine purchases. A worker will never forget her work ID, but neither can she go anywhere without it.  

Yet the first US company to inject workers with tracking chips was a Cincinnati surveillance firm in 2006, which required all employees working in its secure data center to have RFIDs implanted in their triceps. Coming from a spying company, it's almost like asking if you'd like your Orwell with a little Orwell on top. California in 2007 swiftly moved to block companies from being able to make RFID implants mandatory, as well as blocking the chipping of students in the state.

Don't get me wrong: becoming a cyborg sounds pretty awesome. It's a fairly popular pastime for DEF CON attendees who like their hackery edge-play to get a souvenir implant while at the conference. But those people are hackers, and they know what they're getting into. And I'm just that annoying person worried about normal people not knowing how they can get pwned, and who has a few irritating questions about personal security and privacy.

What could possibly go wrong? The indications are that chipped employees are fine with it, citing convenience, but that's a self-selected group that opted into those programs. Pets don't have to worry about data skimmers finding their employee IDs or direct deposit information, or stalkers finding their home address. Read about employee chip programs at Engadget. -via Digg 

(Image credit: Koren Shadmi)


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8

Pika Mercury



A pika is a lagomorph cousin of the rabbit, with shorter ears, not to be confused with a pooka or a pickachu. This particular pika has the voice of an opera singer and the ability to hold a crowd in the palm of his hand. -via reddit


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9

Giving Thanks: Jefferson Airplane Guitarist Sheds the Rock-Star Mask to Tell His Truth

Possibly the best way to get an unvarnished understanding of the rock 'n' roll hippie culture of the 1960s is from an insider, who's had decades to process and understand that era himself. Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist for Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane, offers that kind of retrospective in his new autobiography Been So Long: My Life and Music. Kaukonen's life has taken quite a few turns.    

Most rock stars have unlikely origin stories, and Kaukonen is no exception. To put his journey in context, consider the case of one of his contemporaries, Janis Joplin, about whom Kaukonen writes, “The first time I met Janis, I realized that I was in the presence of greatness.” No disrespect, but it’s a safe bet Joplin was not thinking the same thing about Kaukonen when they performed together in 1962, with Steve Talbott on harmonica, at the Folk Theater in San Jose, California. Five years before her breakthrough with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Joplin was already a full-time musician at age 19, the product of a troubled childhood in the oil-refinery town of Port Arthur, Texas. A budding drug habit would round out the dues she’d eventually pay to sing the blues.

In contrast, in 1962, Kaukonen was an indifferent student at a small, private, Jesuit university, still learning how to fingerpick, although he, too, was developing what would become an impressive drug habit, or several. Kaukonen’s parents, Jorma Sr. and Beatrice, were only a generation removed from Finland and Russia. Kaukonen himself grew up in Washington, D.C., the son of a diplomat whose career occasionally relocated the family to places like the Philippines and Pakistan, where servants waited on their every need. Kaukonen, in short, took the small stage at the Folk Theater as a bona-fide member of the privileged class, a self-described “Foreign Service brat”—the dues he’d pay would be entirely self-inflicted.

Read more about Kaukonen and his stories of San Francisco during the Summer of Love at Collectors Weekly.


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12

The Carnival Attraction That Saved Thousands of Premature Babies

Martin Couney displayed his incubators for the first time - with live infants - at the Berlin Exposition in 1896. And in 1903 he settled in New York to run his babies-in-incubators summertime sideshow in Coney Island, a successful attraction that continued until the early 1940s.

At the time incubator use was not common among hospitals, and Couneys sideshow where visitors could view babies in the incubators for 25 cents, was often the only option to save a premature babies life - and at no cost to the parents. The admission fees covered all associated costs to care for the infants.

By one estimate, Couney's sideshow saved the lives of 6,500 infants under his care.

Read more on Atlas Obscura & The Smithsonian Magazine

Image Credit, Top to Bottom & Left to Right; NPR, Atlas Obscura


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15

Man Tries To Take Off Hoodie On Treadmill & Fails

This not so bright man tried to take off his hoodie while running on a treadmill, and he failed hard. Via Boing Boing


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8

Sleep Apnea CPAP Machine Hacker Saves Lives

One Australian developer & hacker named Mark Watkins has made a difference in thousands of people's lives by hacking sleep apnea CPAP machines. His free, open-source, not FDA-approved software is the product of thousands of hours of hacking and development, and has helped thousands of sleep apnea patients take back control of their treatment from underinvested and overburdened physicians.

Modern CPAP machines create tons of data while being used - tracking things like average use per night, air pressure, leak rates, and other statistics tracking a patients quality of sleep. But according to SleepyHead users many Doctors only take a passing glance at this data before sending patients home. This software puts the power back into patients hands, and even lets them modify their own treatment.

Read more on Motherboard


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16

The Bedazzled Pigeon

Found: one pigeon, wearing a rhinestone vest. If this is your pigeon, contact Fallen Feathers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jody Kieran, the owner of the Arizona-based bird rescue and rehabilitation center Fallen Feathers, tells Gizmodo that the male pigeon came into her care about last Sunday after someone in her community contacted her about a bird outside of their home with something odd on it. Kieran told the caller to catch the bird and bring it on over. When they showed up with “the pigeon wearing the thing,” Kieran said she wasn’t sure what to expect.

“I said, ‘Okay we’ve got to see this.’ I kind of rolled my eyes.” she says. “I open it up, and there he is, wearing a flight suit.”

Flight suits are used to capture bird poop while the bird is out of its cage. They’re basically bird diapers, but more stylish, as is evident by this pigeon’s rhinestone-adorned vest. And assuming it didn’t bedazzle its own flight suit, it’s clear it belonged to someone who probably cared about it.

A week later, no one has claimed the pigeon, which Kieran says has a great personality and loves Westerns. Read more about her new feathered fashionista friend at Gizmodo.

(Image credit: Fallen Feathers at Facebook)


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10

Shrek Retold



Remember Star Wars Uncut, the crowdsourced remake where each contributor provided 15 seconds of footage to remake the original Star Wars movie? Now 3GI Industries presents a project somewhat like that, to remake the movie Shrek. Over 200 artists and Shrek fans contributed to the feature-length remake that will be debuted on the 3GI website on November 29th. For a taste of the insanity to come, here's the trailer for Shrek Retold. -via io9


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12

Life and Times of Whales Told Through Their Earwax

Would it be an incredible feat to tell a person's life story just by looking at their earwax? Well, that's not possible for humans however, it is different for certain species of whales.

The ear is the window to a whale's soul. So much can be known about these whales just by looking at their earwax and in a new study, researchers used this to track whales' stress levels and how their bodies responded to all the changes happening in their marine ecosystem.

Over the course of a whale’s life, the waxy material is deposited in its ear canal, leaving a roughly foot-long structure that can be recovered after the animal’s death. Much like a tree’s rings, the layers in the wax can tell a story about the whale’s life. With a layer being deposited every six months, it’s possible to work out how old the whale is and get some clues about the experiences it faced throughout its history.

Read more about it at Ars Technica

(Image: Nature Communications)


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15

The Lethal Lunch That Shook Scotland

In 1922, several guests at the Loch Maree Hotel in Scotland woke up ill on the same day. Their symptoms began with nausea, dizziness, and double vision, then over several days proceeded to paralysis, inability to breathe, and death. Six guests and two employees were affected.

With the arrival of police, newspaper reporters, four more doctors and several coffins, a shell-shocked Mr. Robertson watched most of his 30-odd healthy guests speedily check out. The stately Loch Maree Hotel, formerly renowned for a brief visit by Queen Victoria in 1877, now faced infamy.

“The spirit of tragedy broods in the glens and haunts the hills,” reported one paper as word spread. Within a day, headlines of the incident were sowing panic across Britain. As the Scotsman delicately put it, “Scotland so rarely experiences so painful a sensation.” Shuddering over the running tally of deaths, near-recoveries, and relapses, readers everywhere agonized over one central question: What or who was responsible?

As you can guess from the title, it was the lunch all eight victims ate, specifically the potted meat. Read how they determined the cause of death and the aftermath of the incident at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Gairloch Heritage Museum)


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11

The Bloody History of the Barber Pole



Many businesses have symbols that act as advertising for people who don't read, going back to the time when most people couldn't read. The barber pole is one of those symbols that has an interesting history of its own. To explain the evolution of the barber pole, Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out goes through the entire history of the changing occupation of the barber. After a minute-long ad in the middle, we get bonus facts about the meaning of "Rx" as in prescriptions, and how Jack's haircut in Titanic caused a sensation in Afghanistan.


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15

South America May Not Be Where You Think It Is

How much do we really know about our geography? How accurate do you think your mental map of the world is? Would you be surprised to know that countries and continents in the world are not exactly the way you think they are?

For instance, we all know that South America is south of North America, of course. But you may be surprised by the fact that virtually the entire South American continent is east of Florida. "There are lots of possible reasons for geographical misconceptions like this one", says cartographer John Nelson.

Check out other geographical misconceptions you may have on this article by Betsy Mason at the National Geographic.

(Image from: David Rumsey Map Collection)


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13

Darts Competition? More Like Farts Competition!

The audio in this Tweet might be NSFW. Darts champions Gary Anderson of Scotland and Wesley Harms of Netherlands were pitted against each other in the Grand Slam of Darts. Anderson won 10-2, but the match was followed by a very public argument over who was responsible for the air quality.

...in a post-match interview Harms said his poor form was due to Anderson breaking wind on stage and leaving a “fragrant smell”.

He went further while speaking to Dutch TV station RTL7L: “It’ll take me two nights to lose this smell from my nose.”

When Anderson in turn laid the blame at Harms’s door, the Dutchman responded: “If the boy [Anderson] thinks I’ve farted he’s 1010% wrong. I swear on my children’s lives that it was not my fault. I had a bad stomach once on stage before and admitted it. So I’m not going to lie about farting on stage.”

Like they say, "He who smelt it, dealt it." Or conversely, "He who denied it, supplied it." A good time was had by all. -via Metafilter. The title of this post is from Mefite GenjiandProust.


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14

Diary of a Tomb Raider

Alfred Percival Maudslay was a British diplomat, archeologist, and explorer who studied Maya ruins in the late 19th century. In other words, he was a real-life Indiana Jones. For 13 years, he traveled through Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico identifying and trying his best to preserve the remains of the ancient Maya civilization.

He pioneered the archaeological practice of working alongside plasterers, technicians and artists to make casts and impressions of the carvings and statues before their inevitable disturbance that would see them end up on display in museums around the world– or worse, destroyed to make gravel fill for roads. In 2015, an ancient Mayan pyramid in Belize that stood for 2300 years, constructed with hand-made limestone bricks, and once the centre of a settlement of 40,000 people, was torn down and turned into gravel used to repair roads. The company responsible was only fined $24,000.

Best of all, Maudslay photographed his work on glass plates. Because of this, ancient carvings that were eventually destroyed could be deciphered many years later. And he took pictures of not only the artifacts and the sites, but also the people who worked on them. See some of those images at Messy Nessy Chic.


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12

"Human Spider" Climbed Another Skyscraper

Alain Robert pulled the stunt of climbing the 662 ft Heron Tower in London without any safety gear and was arrested once he reached the top. Due to alerting emergency services, he was sentenced and charged for his adventure:

The 56-year-old grandfather ... reached the top in around 45 minutes, to cheers from the crowd which had formed below, and immediately handed waiting police officers his passport and the number of his lawyer.
Before the stunt, Robert told Sky News his targets when climbing a building are "going to the top" and "to stay alive".
"When you are climbing, as I'm not using any safety devices, when life is at stake, I guarantee that you are focused," he said.

Read the rest of the story and view the nerve-wrecking video clip over at Sky News


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