When police in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, received reports of a baby trapped in a car on a sweltering day, they rushed to scene to rescue it.  As the car was locked, the cops had no choice but to smash a window to rescue the baby for fears that the baby would die in the suffocating heat.  And they ended up red-faced when they realized that the baby was in fact a toy.

'Baby' in car

Chanel Cristofis, five, left the doll called Sam in her dad Anastasi’s Vauxhall Zafira when he dropped her off at school. He then went to work at the fish and chip shop he owns.

But a passer-by in the car park spotted the eerily lifelike Ł100 Reborn doll and called the police.

Anastasi, 37, said: “I couldn’t believe it when the police turned up holding the doll and told me what had happened. The officer told me not to leave it in the car again.”

The detail-packed lifelike dolls like Sam are a hit with little girls. Artists work painstakingly to make them lifelike, with the skin painted in multiple layers in a mottled effect and even giving them birthmarks and anatomically correct tiny veins. They are weighted similarly to that of real newborns – and the hair and eyelashes are often rooted with mohair.

While the dolls are sometimes used like a regular toy, they can also serve a more serious purpose: to help a parent grieving the loss of a child or in incidents involving police work.

Reborns first started to appear in the early 1990s when toy enthusiasts wanted to create more realistic dolls.

Mother-of-three Victoria Cristofis lives with partner Anastasi and their three children – Paris, seven, five-year-old Chanel and Jayden, two. She bought the ‘Reborn’ doll for her daughter Chanel’s birthday in June.

But within a month the doll – which looks and even smells almost exactly like a real baby – has caused all manner of confusion in Worksop.

Victoria Cristofis with the 'baby' Sam

Victoria, 25, said: “‘Chanel is absolutely inseparable from this doll, she takes it everywhere and in just a month it’s caused all sorts of problems. It’s becoming a bit of a celebrity in Worksop.

“A woman in a supermarket saw Chanel shaking it and was horrified. She asked what sort of mother I thought I was to allow my baby to be treated like that. I can see why the police did it. If it had been real, everyone would be thanking them.”

“I had to explain to her that it wasn’t real. She didn’t believe me at first then she inspected it and realised it was a doll. We ended up having a laugh about it.

“Sometimes Chanel carries the doll around in a little Moses basket and swings the basket around like kids do. We will be walking down the street and people will look on in horror.

“It is amazing, there’s no detail left out. It’s not just the way it looks, although it’s so realistic it even has veins. When you pick it up it flops a bit just like a real baby, and they even make it smell like a real baby.

“Anastasi wasn’t too happy with the state of his car afterwards and was worried the police wouldn’t pay for the damage, although eventually they said they would.

“Now we are just laughing about it really, it’s a good tale to tell our family and friends. I can’t separate Chanel from Sam but I am a bit worried about what’s going to happen next. She’s only had her a month and already the police have been involved, I’m just wondering what’s next.”

Police are to pay for more than Ł200 damage done to the car. Sgt Robert Holmes said: “The call was made in good faith. Drivers need to think about what they leave on view in their cars.”

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China’s popular actress and microblogging queen Yao Chen has more than 10 million followers on China’s microblogging site Sina Weibo. She has got more microblog followers than Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter.  With China’s huge population and an ever-increasing broadband penetration, Yao will soon outrank Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber as having the most microblogging followers.

Yao Chen

Sina.com.cn crowned Yao as the “queen of microblog” when her microblog at t.sina.com.cn/yaochen  garnered more than five million followers in January. Her engagement with current world events, addressing social and political issues in Weibo, has won her the huge number of followers.

Yao Chen was born on 5 October 1979 in Shishi City, Quanzhou, Fujian province, China to a middle-class family. She first studied Chinese folk dance at the Beijing Dance Academy from 1993 to 1997, before moving on to study at the Beijing Film Academy from 1999 to 2003.

Yao Chen in Vogue China

The charismatic actress shot to fame in 2006 for her acting debut role as the daughter of a powerful martial artist in popular 1995 sitcom “My Own Swordsmen”.  Following this, in 2008, she played the part of an iconic guerilla leader in the series Undercover. Her first stage appearance was as a white-collar heroine in A Story of Lala’s Promotion (2009). She has since appeared as Mango in Feng Xiaogang’s If You Are the One 2 (2010), in Chen Yili’s Colour Me Love (2010) and in Shang Jing’s My Own Swordsman (2011). She won the Golden Eagle Award for Best Actress in 2010.

In 2004 Yao Chen married the Chinese actor Ling Xiao Su, but they divorced in January 2011.

Yao Chen and her ex-hubby Ling Xiaosu

In 2011 Yao Chen visited Mae La refugee camp in northern Thailand as UNHCR’s Honorary Patron for China. The number of followers of her microblogging during this visit increased dramatically, won over by her sincere, fearless communication and her honest engagement with current world events. As she left Mae La she said, “I hope to spend part of every year with refugees.”

Yao is the first non-Twitter microblogger among the world’s 10 most followed microbloggers. Sina said, “Her charisma is attributed to the honesty expressed in her postings, which are like text messages sent between old friends.”

Yao Chen...China's microblogging queen

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Nine-year-old Rachel Beckwith did not want presents for her June 12 birthday. All she wanted were donations to the non-profit Charity Water. Her wish was to raise $300 for the charity that funds projects in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

On a website set up by Rachel and her mother before her birthday, she explained the inspiration for her project.

“I found out that millions of people don’t live to see their 5th birthday,” Rachel wrote. “And why? Because they didn’t have access to clean, safe water so I’m celebrating my birthday like never before. I’m asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday. Every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater projects in developing nations.”

Rachel had only raised $220 by her June 12 birthday, so she closed the page.

On July 20, Rachel sustained serious spinal and head injuries in a massive 13-car pileup on Interstate 90 in Bellevue, Washington. She was traveling in a Lexus Sedan with her 2-year-old sister Sienna while with her mother Samantha Paul on the steering wheel. Rachel was on life support after the accident but sadly, on July 23, she was taken off life support. Her mother and 2-year-old sister were also in the car, but survived.

RIP, little angel Rachel Beckwith

Rachel’s pastor at Eastlake Community Church, Ryan Meeks, asked the charity to re-activate her fundraising page for anyone who wished to donate in her honor.

As news of Rachel’s cause spread, more and more people donated to Rachel’s page, touched by her selflessness.

Donations to her cause have swelled since her death to more than $520,000as I am writing this post, with gifts pouring in from almost 15,000 people, many in gifts of $9 each.

Donors wrote on Rachel’s page that they were touched and humbled by her generosity, calling her an angel.

“What great things can be accomplished by the wish of a little girl,” wrote a donor who identified herself as Leann Groby.

On Monday, Rachel’s mom, Samantha Paul, who was also injured in the accident, thanked donors on Rachel’s online charity page for their generosity.

“I am in awe of the overwhelming love to take my daughter’s dream and make it a reality. In the face of unexplainable pain you have provided undeniable hope,” Paul wrote. “I know Rachel is smiling!”

Rachel’s fundraising campaign has quickly become the largest in the history of “charity: water,” which raises the bulk of its money through pages like the one Rachel created, where a person asks their friends and family to donate for a special event or in their honor, said spokeswoman Sarah Cohen. A number of donors were inspired to start their own “charity: water” pages.

The charity says each $20 donation is enough to give one person access to safe, clean water for 20 years. In the past five years, the New York-based charity has raised $48 million and supported 3,962 water projects.

“We’ve all been so deeply moved by Rachel’s unselfishness,” said “charity:water” founder Scott Harrison, who used his own 34th and 35th birthdays to raise money to bring clean drinking water to Africa. Rachel had been inspired to support the charity after Harrison spoke at her church.

If you wish to do your part in Rachel’s honor, go to her donation site here.

What a gift from God Rachel’s charity will be for so many people who will never know her.

You are an angel and an inspiration to the whole world. You have shown the world what a single person can do. RIP, little angel!

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You can go ahead and say that I am a katak di bawah tempurung (frog living under a coconut shell) but I am not afraid to admit that I only got to know about this group on YouTube when my son posted their ‘Price Tag’ video on Facebook and I instantly fell in love with their heavenly and harmonious voices.

Jayesslee

Jayesslee is a pair of 24-year-old twins from Australia by the name of Janice and Sonia. They were born to Korean parents and raised in Sydney, Australia.

The twins during their childhood days

Both have a passion for singing and for them, just knowing that a single person is blessed through their music is enough to keep them going.

They are truly YouTube stars. They are so popular that they are often stopped in the middle of a shopping mall for photos and autographs.

As of 2010 their full-time vocation has been recording, touring and performing. Prior to this, they had part-time jobs where Sonia worked at a juice bar and Janice was scooping ice cream. It got to a point where they didn’t have time or flexibility to commit to everything, so luckily for us, they decided to make music their lives.

They have also dedicated their lives to serve God and were recently in Singapore where they performed at the City Harvest Church. Quite a number of their YouTube videos feature Christian songs such as this one ‘It’s Your Love.’

YouTube sensation Jayesslee Live in Singapore

This is one of their most popular videos on YouTube in which they sing ‘Officially Missing You.”

Of course, it would not be complete if they don’t sing a Korean song. So here is their rendition of the Wonder Girls’ ‘Nobody But You.’

If you want to get to know them better, here are some of their links:

http://www.facebook.com/jayesslee

http://www.twitter.com/jayessleemusic

http://www.youtube.com/Jayesslee

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The very talented but troubled pop star Amy Winehouse was been found dead yesterday afternoon at her flat in Camden, north London, after a suspected drug overdose at the age of just 27.

Amy Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was an English singer-songwriter, known for her powerful contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul, and jazz.

After the wayward star collapsed at her flat, friends called the London Ambulance Service immediately but she died though help arrived in under 5 minutes. One friend said the singer, who had spent years battling heroin and alcohol addiction, had been taking ecstacy.

Amy's body removed from her home

Amy’s distraught father Mitch Winehouse, a taxi driver and part-time singer, had predicted his daughter would die if she didn’t quit booze and drugs.

The weeping father said: “This isn’t real… I’m completely devastated. I’m coming home. I have to be with Amy. I can’t crack up for her sake.”

Amy Winehouse with her father Mitch

Amy’s death has been described as “unexplained” by the police. But the singer, who had the world at her feet after her massively successful 2006 album Back to Black, had been battling alcohol and drug addiction.

Her death has been met with shock among the music world and an outpouring of grief from fans worldwide.

Tribute near Amy Winehouse's home in North London

Her pal Kelly Osbourne tweeted: “i cant even breath right my now im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you!”

Ex Premier Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah said on Twitter: “Sad, sad news of Amy Winehouse – great talent, extraordinary voice, and tragic death. Condolences to her family.”

Four days ago the singer, brought up in nearby Southgate by mum Janis, had appeared alongside her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield at the iTunes festival at the Camden Roudhouse where she urged the crowd to buy the young singer's album . Fans were delighted to see Amy, who stormed on stage and danced with the young artist. They said she seemed in great spirits.

Amy Winehouse with goddaughter Dionne Bromfield

That public appearance came after a string of incidents that alarmed friends. In May she admitted herself to The Priory clinic in South-West London and was pictured swigging a bottle of vodka ­moments before she arrived.

Weeks later her European tour was cancelled after a shambolic performance in Belgrade, Serbia, where she staggered on stage an hour late, appearing drunk and incoherent. Her 'performance' was booed by 20,000 irate fans - some who paid a week's salary to see her. Scores walked out in disgust. Then she told friends ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, blamed for getting her hooked on hard drugs, was the only one who could save her.

An intoxicated Amy in Belgrade, Serbia

She acknowledged struggling with eating disorders and told a newspaper that she had been diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to take medication. She became more famous for her erratic behaviour, cancelled concerts and drink-and-drug-fuelled nights than her music. Amy also appeared unhealthily thin, with scabs on her face and marks on her arms, wearing scruffy clothes. Her distinctive jet-black beehive hairstyle, thick eye make-up and many tattoos were her trademark.

She wed Blake Fielder-Civil in May 2007 in Miami. It is alleged that he introduced the Back to Black star to heroin and crack cocaine. The two were also known to be violent with each other when intoxicated. They divorced in August 2009.

Amy Winehouse with Blake Fielder-Civil

The star had a troubled on-off relationship with Libertines singer Pete Doherty. The pair posted embarrassing videos on the internet, one of them playing with newborn mice.

Amy Winehouse with former boyfriend Pete Doherty

Recently Amy found love with horror film director Reg Traviss — and promised to come up with her long-awaited third album this year.

Amy Winehouse with Reg Traviss

Just hours before her death by her management team released a statement saying: “Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances.”

Amy joins the notorious '27 Club' of musicians who have died at that age after struggling to cope with fame.

Other famous singers who all died at the same age of 27 include Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who shot himself in 1994, Rolling Stones star Brian Jones, who drowned in a swimming pool in 1969, guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who choked to death in 1970 after mixing wine with sleeping pills, Doors star Jim Morrison, who died of heart failure in 1971, and singer Janis Joplin, who suffered a suspected heroin overdose in 1969.

Amy is survived by her father, Mitchell, mother, Janis, and older brother, Alex.

In her short lifetime, Amy Winehouse too often made headlines because of drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, destructive relationships and abortive performances. Her small but powerful body of recorded music will be her legacy.

RIP, Amy!

RIP, Amy!

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The diver in the photo was almost sucked into the mouth of a massive whale shark as it fed on plankton off Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

The diver was almost sucked into the mouth of a massive whale shark (Photo: Mauricio Handler/ Handlerphoto.com/solent)

This photo immediately brings to mind the story of Jonah in the Book of Jonah.

Ordered by God to go to the city of Nineveh to prophesy against it “for their great wickedness is come up before me.” Jonah seeks instead to flee from “the presence of the Lord” by going to Jaffa and sailing to Tarshish, which, geographically, is 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

A huge storm arises and the sailors, realizing this is no ordinary storm, cast lots and learn that Jonah is to blame. Jonah admits this and states that if he is thrown overboard the storm will cease.

The sailors try to dump as much cargo as possible before giving up, but feel forced to throw him overboard, at which point the sea calms. The inspired sailors then offer sacrifices to Yahweh.

Jonah is miraculously saved by being swallowed by a large fish specially prepared by God where he spent three days and three nights.

While in the great fish, Jonah prays to God in his affliction and commits to thanksgiving and to paying what he has vowed. God commands the fish to vomit Jonah out.

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A video clip of two twin brothers dancing to Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ on a Wii video game has gone viral.

Hey Ya!

Watching these adorable kids dancing is one sure way to unwind and relax:

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If the story about this yacht built for a mystery Malaysian businessman for a stunning Ł3 billion ($4.8 billion) is true, it will truly be the epitome of Malaysia Boleh.

Tongues have been wagging as to the identity of this mysterious Malaysian. Is he Robert Kuok, the richest man in Malaysia? Or Ananda Krishnan, the second richest Malaysian? However it is highly unlikely to be either of them as they are both shrewd businessmen who won’t splash such a substantial portion of their wealth on a single toy.

Hmmm…that would mean this mystery man could be a politician. Who can it be? I really don’t know. Try asking the Sarawakians.

The yacht, named History Supreme or Baia 100 Supreme, is the creation of renowned luxury goods designer Stuart Hughes. Stuart is the creator of the famous Ł5million diamond-wrapped iPhone.

The cost of the 100 feet long History Supreme even eclipses that of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s swanky 533 feet yacht Eclipse (cost Ł750million)  which is the world’s biggest private yacht.

Roman Abramovich's ECLIPSE (Photo image by ship and yacht photographer Klaus Kehrls)

History Supreme is made of 100,000 kilograms of solid gold and platinum and took over three years to be completed. It has a deck, dining area, rails, anchor, all crafted from precious metals. The base of the vessel is wrapped with solid gold, while the main sleeping quarter sports platinum accents with walls set in meteoric stone, that boasts of a genuine Tyrannosaurus Rex bone shaved in from the raptor T – REX.

History Supreme

Plush bedroom on History Supreme

Luxury dining room with surround views

Stunning gold and platinum-covered deck of History Supreme

Stuart Hughes said: “I was commissioned for the “History Supreme” project by an anonymous Malaysian business man who wanted something really special.”

“It was probably the most mammoth task I have undertaken so far, there was three years of planning and it was very difficult to get right.”

“The project uses 100,000 kilograms of solid gold and platinum and all features including the deck,” he said.

“It was probably the most mammoth task ever. I’ve covered all sorts of things in gold but this has got to be my most ambitious project yet. This will never be topped.

“The businessman just approached us and asked us whether we could do it. He wanted a plane doing as well, but the thing would never take off if we did.

“So he said, ‘Can you do the yacht?’ and I said, ‘We’ll give it a crack.’ Then it was pretty much a case of can you make this gold, can you make that gold?

“We just did what we were told and are delighted with the result.”

The yacht was built in Italy and completed in Malaysia two weeks ago.

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Marilyn Monroe has been immortalized in a 26ft high statue – in her classic skirt-billowing pose from Billy Wilder’s 1955 movie The Seven Year Itch, in which Marilyn Monroe is standing on a subway grate as her dress is blown up.

Forever Marilyn (Photo Credit Flickr User niXerKG)

View of Forever Marilyn from the backside

The long-awaited 26-foot stainless steel and aluminum sculpture ‘Forever Marilyn’ by J. Seward Johnson was unveiled Saturday at 401 N. Michigan Avenue in Pioneer Plaza on Magnificent Mile in Chicago, raising more than a few eyebrows due to its risqué appearance. It will remain on display through the spring of 2012 unless public outcry sends Marilyn packing. It will then go to its owner, The Sculpture Foundation, a non-profit making organisation promoting public access to art.

Forever Marilyn (Photo Credit Flickr User niXerKG)

Seward’s unerring eye means that there is attention to detail in every respect. The statue stands on a platform in the shape of a subway grate. Seward Johnson, famous for his hyperrealistic sculptures, specialises in bronzes, which he paints and turns into “trompe-l’oeil.” Forever Marylin, his latest creation, is part of his ICONS REVISITED series.

Newly-wed looking at Forever Marilyn sculpture (Pic Getty)

Visitors to statue have a choice – to peek or not to peek. No prize for guessing what a large number chose to do! Many headed directly underneath for what must have been an eye-watering view and to take rather lewd novelty pics. It comes as no surprise that most of the people with cameras seem to be men…and many men have been spotted gawping. Anyone expecting naughty underwear may be disappointed.  As in the movie, Forever Marilyn is wearing a pair of perfectly proper white lace panties.

Forever Marilyn is wearing a pair of perfectly proper white lace panties (Image Credit Flickr User Proxy Indian)

There’s no doubt that the “Seven-Year Itch” iconic scene is a part of the American imagination — the white halter dress Monroe wore in the scene sold at auction for no less than $5.6 million.

“To some, the iconic dress-flapping pose in Seward Johnson’s sculpture Forever Marilyn stands as testament to a classic American beauty,” the Chicago Tribune remarks diplomatically. “To others, the installation on Michigan Avenue is a shameful exercise in caveman misogyny.”

The Sun Times has a less judgmental take on “Forever Marilyn”: “Even worse than the sculpture itself is the photo-op behavior it’s inspiring. Men (and women) licking Marilyn’s leg, gawking up her skirt, pointing at her giant panties as they leer and laugh.”

Man, what are you looking at? (Getty Images)

Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich gave the sculpture a scathing review. She called it “as tawdry as a peep show,” and complained about the men walking by who were seen “shooting photos of her crotch while one stuck out his tongue to mime a lick.”

“The original image (from ‘The Seven Year Itch’) is coy,” Schmich wrote. “Marilyn on the Mag Mile is crude.”

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Matt Whitehurst,  a 16-year-old school boy from Papcastle in Britain, rode his bike on the 75-feet deep Lake Buttermere in Cumbria to raise funds for victims of the 2009 floods in the area. Everybody was stunned to see Matt performing the miraculous gravity-defying stunt. Matt insists the feat is not counterfeit and the pictures are real but refused to reveal the secret of his amazing feat.

British teenager bikes on top of water

He performed the stunt to publicise an upcoming cycling charity cycle ride through towns affected by the devastating Cumbria floods which ripped through the district two years ago. The charity ride is aimed at raising money for the Cumbria Community Foundation, a charity active in the local area. “I can’t and won’t say how I did it, but plenty of people saw me and they’ll confirm it wasn’t a camera trick,” Matt said. “The photos are real.”

Matt Whitehurst cycles across 75ft deep lake in gravity-defying stunt

Many theories have been put forward as to how Matt’s feat was carried out. He could have been dragged along and then released, continuing under his own momentum. Or he could have attached a flotation device to the underside of his bike. Maybe he could have found a natural means of support, just under the surface of the lake.

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