Sherpa climbs Everest twice in a week, setting record 24 ascents


Kami Rita Sherpa pictured at the top during his 23rd summit

A Nepalese Sherpa has set a new Mount Everest record, making it to the top for the 24th time – with his second summit in only seven days.

Kami Rita Sherpa, 49, successfully scaled the world’s tallest mountain on Tuesday morning.

It was his second record in seven days, having reached the summit for the 23rd time on 15 May.

He says he has no plans to retire, and hopes to clock up more ascents in the years to come.

“I can climb for a few more years,” he told the BBC before the 23rd attempt one week ago. “I am healthy – I can keep going until I am 60 years old. With oxygen it’s no big deal.”

He first climbed Everest in 1994 and is a guide for international companies that organise climbing expeditions.

“I never thought about making records,” he said. “I actually never knew that you could make a record. Had I known, I would have made a lot more summits earlier.”

Foreign mountaineers usually climb Everest with the help of experienced Sherpas who work as guides preparing the route, fixing ropes and carrying supplies and oxygen.


“Sherpas fix ropes all the way to the top,” Kami Rita explained. “So the Sherpas make their way fixing the ropes and the foreigners give interviews saying Everest is easier, or talk about their courage.

“But they forget the contribution of the Sherpa. Sherpas have struggled a lot to make it happen. We suffer.”

He added: “In every mountain there is a goddess. It’s our responsibly to keep the goddess happy. Months before I start an ascent I start worshipping and ask for forgiveness because I will have to put my feet on her body.”


On the list of the highest number of Everest ascents, Kami Rita Sherpa is trailed by three climbers who all have 21 successful ascents each.

Two of them have retired from mountaineering, while the third, 39-year old Ngima Nuru Sherpa, is attempting his 22nd summit from the Chinese side of the mountain this season.

Upstate NY man plays around with 1,500 pound bear




After a video was posted to Facebook that showed a man attempting to cuddle with a Kodiak bear, over 11 million people had a logical response: Click.

Presumably, because human-bear encounters are not known for ending well, these millions of viewers wanted to see what happened next. Whatever they were expecting, it was probably not a love fest between 59-year-old Jim Kowalczik and a 22-year-old bear that Mr. Kowalczik raised from an injured cub into a 1,500-pound, 9-foot-tall pet.

In the video, the bear, named Jimbo, licks Mr. Kowalczik’s face while giving him a literal bear hug. Mr. Kowalczik reciprocates with a loving back rub. As you do.


This video and several others were posted by the Orphaned Wildlife Center, a rehabilitation center in Otisville, N.Y., that Mr. Kowalczik, a retired corrections officer, and his wife, Susan, 57, formally started as a nonprofit in 2015. The footage posted by the group provides a rare and intimate glimpse at an animal that is best viewed at a distance.

Jimbo, also called Jimmy, is one of 11 bears that live at the 100-acre facility about two hours north of New York City. Jimbo and the others were brought in as cubs suffering from injuries that rendered them unable to survive in the wild, Kerry Clair, a director for Orphaned Wildlife, said in an interview on Tuesday. Along with bears, the group rehabilitates horses, deer and squirrels. But this is not a zoo: Since the main goal is to rehabilitate the animals, the public can’t visit, Ms. Clair said.

The bears that remain on the grounds are as friendly as Jimbo, she said, because they were raised by humans from an early age. The downside is that once they become close to humans, they cannot return to the wild.


In many ways, the scene at Orphaned Wildlife goes against nature. First of all, it is a rare communal living situation for an animal that normally travels alone. The males and females are separated, but the members of the group, comprising Kodiak bears, brown bears, Syrian brown bears and a black bear named Frankie, all roam near one another.



Falcons on a Plane

Falconry has been popular for many centuries around the world. Falconry is the use of Falcons to hunt other creatures. It is especially popular in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the Middle East.

The sport of falconry began over 5,000 years ago in Iran, and spread over the centuries to East and West. The sport was introduced to Qatar through Bedouin tribes who used the birds as a tool for hunting. They discovered that it was much easier to allow the raptors to take down birds migrating across the Arabian Peninsula than it was to shoot them down themselves. This Bedouin method of falconry set the basis for the modern version of the sport practiced in Qatar.






Although, over the centuries, falconry has virtually disappeared from the European continent, the sport lives on in the Middle East. In Qatar, you can still purchase falcons in downtown Doha at falcon souqs or through private dealers. The best raptors can cost thousands of dollars and may even be issued their own Qatari passports to ensue they are not stolen or taken out of the country without the owner’s permission. Due to these elaborate methods of theft prevention, it is not uncommon for you to be seated beside a full-grown falcon when travelling on a Middle Eastern airliner.


In a Qatar Airways economy cabin of a flight between Baku, Azerbaijan, and Doha, Qatar, a group of Qatari men sit on the plane with their treasured birds. The men practise the art of falconry and to escape the heat of Qatar flew for a week to the cooler weathers of Azerbaijan to let the birds fly. The birds cost over US$10,000 each, have micro-chips in their legs so they can find them if they fly off and documents allowing them to travel abroad.


In a Qatar Airways economy cabin of a flight between Baku, Azerbaijan, and Doha, Qatar, a group of Qatari men sit on the plane with their treasured birds. The men practise the art of falconry and to escape the heat of Qatar flew for a week to the cooler weathers of Azerbaijan to let the birds fly. The birds cost over US$10,000 each, have micro-chips in their legs so they can find them if they fly off and documents allowing them to travel abroad.







From Airport Guide Traveller:

Live animal facility

All pets travelling via Hamad International Airport enjoy the comfort of our dedicated live animal facility while they wait for their connecting or departing flights. This is a secure and climate-controlled environment that is supervised by trained animal handlers.

Collecting your pet

An airline representative in  the baggage claim area will deliver your pet to you in person. Please contact the Airline Baggage Service office near Belt 1  (map) if you need any assistance. Once you’ve collected the rest of your checked baggage please proceed to Customs where your pet’s travel documents will be inspected.

Things to remember

  • Please inform your airline well in advance to finalize travel arrangements and documentation for your pet.
  • Please make sure your pet is secured in a suitable container and has access to food and water.


Some airlines, such as Qatar Airways, will allow your falcon to travel with you in the passenger cabin (only in Economy Class). Other airlines may accept your falcon for travel but only as checked baggage. Before starting your journey please consult your airline for guidance.


An amazing specimen from Kazakhstan:



Pentagon Confirms Interest in UFOs

The Department of Defense has confirmed what many in the world of UFO research have long suspected: that the government investigates UFOs. The remarkable revelation came by way of a statement provided to the New York Post by DoD spokesperson Christopher Sherwood in response to an inquiry about the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) which came to light back in December of 2017. Concerning the work that had been done by the program, he conceded that AATIP “did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena,” meaning, in a traditional sense, UFOs.

While, on the face of it, this may sound like common sense to UFO enthusiasts who have argued for decades that the government was interested in the phenomenon and simply did not want the public to know, the very fact that a Pentagon official admitted as much is being seen as quite significant to those who study the mystery. Former UFO investigator of the UK’s Ministry of Defense, Nick Pope, called the DoD statement a “bombshell” because, until now, the Pentagon had largely “left the door open to the possibility that AATIP was simply concerned with next-generation aviation threats.” However, he mused, “this new admission makes it clear that they really did study what the public would call ‘UFOs.'”


Pope’s opinion on the surprising nature of the statement was echoed by indefatigable archivist of strange and unusual government documents, John Greenewald, who told the Post that he was “shocked they said it that way, and the reason is, is they’ve seemingly worked very hard not to say that.” He went on to note that the revelation from the DoD constitutes “actual evidence” that AATIP did, indeed, investigate UFOs. Observing that “we’re one step closer to the truth,” Greenwald expressed hope that the Pentagon will reveal more details about AATIP at some point in the not too distant future.

Beyond the insight concerning AATIP, one particularly compelling aspect of the Pentagon statement is that the DoD said that they “will continue to investigate, through normal procedures, reports of unidentified aircraft encountered by US military aviators.” This would appear to indicate that investigation of UFOs is an ongoing concern and not something that ended when AATIP was said to have been shuttered in 2012. It is also in keeping with a statement made last month by the U.S. Navy concerning a change to UFO reporting guidelines in which the service revealed that they have investigated unidentified aircraft sightings “in recent years.”

Taken together, the two statements would certainly seem to suggest that the government is not only keenly aware of the UFO phenomenon, but is, in some instances, actively trying to investigate the mystery. It remains to be seen whether or not we’ll ever find out what, if anything, they’ve determined about the enigmatic anomalies so often seen in our skies. That said, UFO enthusiasts should be optimistic in the sense that at least the government is finally willing to acknowledge the phenomenon which has, for the most part, been verboten until recently.


Hand Painted Movie Posters From Ghana that are Far Out!

When the first video cassette recorders reached Ghana in the 1980s and gradually a rental structure arose for homegrown movies, in the urbane centers of Accra and Kumasi a host of mobile movie theaters started taking shape. Mobile cinema operators would travel the country hooking TVs and VCRs up to portable generators to create impromptu theaters. All they needed was a wall for screening and a couple of benches and chairs.

In order to promote these showings, artists were hired to paint large posters of the films usually on used flour sacks that acted as the canvas. The artists were given the freedom to paint the posters as they desired – often adding elements that weren’t in the actual films, or without even having seen the movies. Many of the representations are dramatically exaggerated. When the posters were finished they were rolled up and folded and taken on the road.

Although “mobile cinema” began to decline in the mid-nineties due to greater availability of television and video, hand painted movie posters continued to exist. Like India, hand-painted advertising boards for hairdresser salons, take-aways, or native healers are still very much a normal part of street life in sub-Saharan Africa.




“Who Was In My Room Last Night?”

I’m flying…
I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, flying away, I’m flying away
I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying
I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying, I’m flying

All night long, my body burned
The sheets were wet and cold
The lights were on, my eyes were gone
And any second lose control

The pounding on my window’s
Just the pounding in my head
I wonder who was in my room last night
Who the hell was in my bed?

There must have been a body there
I swear I felt some flesh
It took a little time, but I figured they were mine
There were fingers going down my chest

My mouth went through the ceiling
And my body fell to the floor
I couldn’t find a key ’cause there was no hole I could see
And someone had moved the door

The cops, the priest, the crisis line
And no one really had a clue
No one to tell us who was touchin’ me
Or exactly what I could do

My throat was dry, my hopes were high
But nothing really ever got said
But who was in my room last night?
Who the hell was in my bed?