Will you take this bride, in sickness and with surgery?

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Mix the dramas leading up to a wedding with extreme plastic surgery and what do you get? A bridal reality TV show in which the final surprise is saved for at the altar.

Cable network E! has announced a new show “Bridalplasty” in which 12 engaged women live in a mansion together and compete in “wedding-themed” challenges to win plastic surgery procedures from each bride’s wish list.

Each week one bride-to-be will be voted off until the winning bride reveals her post-op body to her groom at the altar in the finale of the 10-episode series hosted by former Playboy model Shanna Moakler.

“Viewers will witness his emotional and possibly shocked reaction as they stand at the altar and he lifts her veil to see her for the first time following her extreme plastic surgery,” the network said of the series that premieres on Nov 28.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Dean Goodman)

Moses the camel rescued from a sinkhole

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The 107-stone animal fell into the two metre deep hole in the United States, and was unable to free himself from the mud.

The owners – who have several camels and run a children’s ministry in Oregon City – had tried to get the camel out themselves but failed.

“It was a little bit different than your typical cat in the tree,” said Lt. Jed Wachlin, a fireman from Clackamas.

“Nobody really believed it until we showed up.”

The rescuers were concerned Moses would break his legs if he’d try to free himself while still partially buried.

The firemen had to carefully shovel mud for several hours to free the animal, as the ground was not firm enough to bring heavy lifting equipment.

“It could have been our kids,” said Kim Dilworth, the camel’s owner, told Fox 12 Oregon.

“And Moses is [like] our child.”

A vet inspected the camel when he was released, and said it looked unhurt.

“We’re very fortunate to know that Moses was a part of their family here and we’re all about helping families get back together,” Lt Wachlin said.

Woman bags 1,025-pound alligator in SC lake (AP)

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – A Massachusetts woman has a remarkable souvenir from South Carolina. Maryellen Mara-Christian bagged a 13 1/2-foot, 1,025-pound alligator in Lake Moultrie. Mara-Christian said Friday that she is an experienced hunter, but this was her first gator.

The 48-year-old former bank marketing officer from Fitchburg, Mass., was hunting Wednesday with her husband, who is a firefighter and a part-time hunting guide. It took about two hours to secure the gator before they could shoot it.

The .22-caliber gun they used wasn’t powerful enough to put the animal down, so Mara-Christian used a knife to sever the alligator’s spinal cord.

Meat processor Steve Drummond said the gator had so much fat that only about 40 pounds was usable meat. He will stuff the animal for Mara-Christian to display.

High-tech cow earrings mark new path for Brazil (Reuters)

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PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (Reuters) – Years after India broke into the hi-tech business with information technology and China by way of manufacturing, Brazil may find its entrance in an unusual place — a cow’s ear.

The South American giant is preparing to use its first locally-designed microchip in cattle earrings, a device that could eventually help authorities crack down on destruction of the Amazon rain forest caused by roaming herds.

Produced by state-funded firm Ceitec, the “Chip do Boi” or “Cow Chip” is part of home-grown innovation efforts that Brazil hopes will help it overcome challenges in its sprawling economy and over time make it an exporter of niche technology.

While commodity exports and increasingly affluent consumers have made Brazil’s economy an emerging-markets darling alongside China and India in recent years, it trails those nations in the high-value areas of technology and science.

“Brazil has competitive advantages in areas like agriculture and clean energy, and it makes sense for the country to maintain those advantages through technological innovation,” said Ceitec chief executive Cylon Silva, a theoretical physicist with a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

“There’s no way that a country of Brazil’s size and influence can go without an electronics industry.”

The company opened in 2008 with a 500 million reais (320 million pounds) investment from the government, which Silva says was crucial because private investors would have seen the first-time venture as too risky.

Engineers at Ceitec don space-age looking sanitary outfits known as “bunny suits” complete with face masks to keep dust and particles out of specialized labs filled with high-tech machinery that slice silicon wafers with molecular precision.

The cattle trackers can help ranchers demonstrate their cows have not been exposed to illnesses and may be crucial for creating a database of cattle showing which animals grazed on recently deforested land.

Brazil’s state development bank said last year it will begin requiring the ranchers it finances to show where their cattle have grazed, possibly using such devices.


But cows are just the start. Ceitec is also eying innovations of new chips with “track and trace” functions such as finding stolen cars and or sorting biomedical products.

With major growth prospects for industries such as biofuels, oil and mining, Brazil hopes having a foothold in the semiconductor business can help ensure access to new technologies while creating new jobs at home.

Electronics could be crucial for a range of potential innovations such as devices to help state oil company Petrobras produce billions of barrels of crude in ultra-deep waters.

Brazil’s high-tech sector still faces challenges including weak and unequal education systems, notorious government bureaucracy, and chronic delays in project execution.

Ceitec has already fallen victim to the last of those — its first full-scale production of cattle trackers is a year behind schedule because it had to resume construction on the factory following problems with key machinery.

The company’s first chief executive Eduard Weichselbaumer, a German electrical engineer and Silicone Valley microchip pioneer, left the company earlier this year amid local media reports that he had complained that heavy bureaucracy was stifling the company.

Ceitec said Weichselbaumer left to be closer to his son in California.

In 2009, Brazil filed for 480 international patents compared to some 8,000 requests from China and around 800 from India, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a specialized agency of United Nations.

“If recent trends continue, Brazil would continue to be mainly a supplier of primary commodities in world markets and an exporter of manufactured goods to other Latin American countries,” said a World Bank researchers in a 2008 report on Brazilian innovation.

The country is working to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The number of scientific research papers that include a Brazilian author roughly doubled between 1998 and 2007, according to a Thomson Reuters study on science in Brazil.

The science and technology ministry this year plans to invest a modest 100 million reais ($58 million) in a group of technology parks meant to spur innovation in electronics, software, oil and renewable energy.

Global companies, itching for a foothold in Brazil to take advantage of its growing consumer market, are likely to do the heavy lifting in research and development.

General Electric Co, oil services company Schlumberger, and technology giant IBM have in

the last year announced investments in Brazil-based facilities to develop technology for areas ranging from biofuels and oil to logistics for Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic Games.

Possible new Ceitec products include chips embedded in cars that could alert authorities that a driver has outstanding parking tickets or that the vehicle has been reported stolen.

Ceitec has signed an agreement with state run biotech firm Hemobras to develop radio frequency IDs for bags of blood plasma products that can help reduce sorting errors.

Silva says it will take decades for the country to be competitive in global chip markets but that the success of firms with high-technology products such as Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer shows Brazil can produce much more than just commodities.

“I think there is a real opportunity for a country with the resources that Brazil has to become a player in this market,” said Silva. “If we can manufacture planes, why not think that we can manufacture integrated circuits?”

(Editing by Kieran Murray)

Machine which ‘recycles’ noise wins award

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David Prior and Frances Crow have won ?50,000 in prize money for their idea called the Organ Of Corti David Prior and Frances Crow have won ?50,000 in prize money for their idea called the Organ Of Corti Photo: PA

The New Music Award and £50,000 in prize money were given to liminal, which is made up of composer David Prior and architect Frances Crow.

Their idea, called the Organ Of Corti, collects sounds and filters them out through a machine which looks like a fairground organ.

Charlotte Higgins, chairman of the judging panel, said: ”After a long, sometimes difficult, and always stimulating debate, it was the judges’ eventual – and unanimous – decision to award the prize to the Organ Of Corti.

”The judges admired the quiet beauty of the idea of ‘recycling’ sound in a world saturated by noise and overwhelmed by music.

”In a world obsessed by the glitz and glamour of large-scale, bells-and-whistles events, the thoughtful, discreet and gentle idea of the Organ Of Corti utterly caught their imagination.”

The award, which recognises groundbreaking ideas in music, was handed out at a ceremony at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in central London.