Meet Mr. Happy Face, the World’s Ugliest Dog with the ‘sweetest soul’

A Chihuahua-Chinese crested mix, rescued from neglect and hoarding, takes home top prize at annual contest.

Mr. Happy Face won the World’s Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, Calif., on June 24. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

When Jeneda Benally registered Mr. Happy Face for the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, she didn’t think he could possibly win because he’s “too beautiful.”

But the rescued 17-year-old Chihuahua-Chinese crested mix with a protruding tongue, tilted head and white mohawk came out on top.

“I describe Mr. Happy Face as having the ears of a bat, the tufted hair like Robert Smith from The Cure, a tongue longer than Gene Simmons quite possibly, a snarl just as cool as Billy Idol, and he’s got eyes that are filled with so much love.”

The idea is to promote adoption and rescue, especially for pooches that might otherwise be overlooked. The winner gets a $1,500 US ($1,930 Cdn) prize and a trip to New York City to appear on the Today show.

“Many of the contestant dogs have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills, to find loving homes in the hands of those willing to adopt,” the organizers wrote.

A woman with clear pinkish sunglasses, smiling with mouth agape, holds up a small dog in her hands. He's a gray Chihuahua-Chinese crested mix with a bald body and a tuft of mohawk-style white hair on his head. His his is titled to one side, and his pink tongue is producing from his wrinkly black lips. The way he's being held shows his pink, bald belly.
Jeneda Benally holds up Mr. Happy Face as she reacts to the news that he’d been crowned World’s Ugliest Dog. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Mr. Happy Face exemplifies that mission perfectly.

“He’s getting a lot of extra attention, and I think that’s pretty fabulous for him. I mean, considering that when I adopted him from the shelter just 10 months ago, he was considered to be probably the most unadoptable dog there,” Benally said.

That’s not just because of his unusual esthetic. He also has tumours and neurological issues that require lifelong medicine and medical care.

Three people in sunglasses stand side by side holding small, wrinkly dogs.

Benally, centre, holds up Mr. Happy Face. On the right is Ann Lewis of Coos Bay, Ore., with her dog Wild Thing, the second-place winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest. On the left is Scotch Haley of Pleasant Hill, Calif., with his dog Monkey, the third place winner. (D. Ross Cameron/The Associated Press)

As a survivor of neglect and hoarding, he’s also got some psychological wounds.

“When I adopted him, he was afraid of human touch,” Benally said. “It took three months until I was allowed to touch Mr. Happy Face’s face.”

Benally says that when she adopted Mr. Happy Face, she was told he only had an estimated six weeks to live at the most. She took him home anyway, hoping to provide some love and comfort in his final days.

Ten months later, he’s going strong.

“So it definitely shows what love and caring and nurturing can do to someone’s life,” she said.

A woman in pinkish orange sunglasses, jeans, and a T-shirt that reads 'Old dogs rock,' smiles and squats on stage next to a small Chihuahua-Chinese crested dog mix with a bald gray body, a white tuft of hair, a head that tilts sideways, and a pick tongue that protrudes from the side of his wrinkly mouth.

Benally on stage with Mr. Happy Face on stage during the World’s Ugliest Dog competition. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Nowadays, Benally says Mr. Happy Face is thriving and spreading joy wherever he goes. She’s a musician and plans to take the pooch on tour with her this summer, and host meet and greets with him before and after each show. She’s also hoping to set up some visitations with children’s hospitals.

“Even though I named him Mr. Happy Face because I thought his face was happy, I have seen the joy and the happiness, the smiles, that he brings to other people’s faces,” she said.

“So I kind of feel like, well, maybe I named him because it’s the effect that he has on people. And maybe I just didn’t know that yet.”

Benally supports the contest’s mission to promote adoption. As a Navajo woman, she says she wants to use Mr. Happy Face’s newfound fame to promote organizations that help “rez dogs” — stray dogs that live in First Nations or Native American reservations — including the Blackhat Humane Society, Mountain Girl Rescue and the Tuba City Humane Society.

After all, she says doing something kind is the best way to honour Mr. Happy Face — a dog who, despite his “Ugliest” title, brings beauty to the world.

“He is the sweetest soul that one could ever hope to encounter in their life,” she said.

Florida nabs largest python ever found in state

The giant snake

Her last meal was an entire white-tailed deer, and she was on her way to a rendezvous with a male snake when the largest python ever found in Florida met her demise.

Weighing in at 215lbs (98kg) and nearly 18ft long (5m), the female Burmese python was caught after researchers used a male “scout” to find her.

She wrestled with biologists for 20 minutes before she was “subdued”, they said Wednesday.

Pythons have become pests in Florida as invasive snakes with no major predators,  out-competing native species.

The serpents have been periodically found in the state since irresponsible pet owners released or allowed pet pythons to escape years ago, with many then going on to thrive in Florida’s subtropical climate.

The record-setting Burmese female killed by researchers from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida was about the height of a giraffe if stretched out vertically, according to state biologist Ian Bartoszek.

She had been slithering around the Florida Everglades forest when biologists, using a male python named Dionysus outfitted with a radio transmitter, found her.

He stopped at a spot in the western part of the forest. “We knew he was there for a reason, and the team found him with the largest female we have seen to date,” Mr Bartoszek said. She was also discovered to have been pregnant with an astonishing 122 eggs.

The largest male ever found there was 16ft and 140lbs.

It is estimated that she was up to 20 years old when caught.

Researchers have been hunting pythons in Florida for over 10 years in an effort to protect native species in the region’s ecosystem.

Since being established in 2013, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s python programme has removed over 1,000 pythons from around 100 sq miles in southwest Florida.

Florida also runs an annual contest asking the public for help with hunting pythons. The “Python Challenge” will run from 5 to 14 August and is expected to draw around 600 participants from 25 different states.

Prizes include $2,500 (£2,050) for most snakes captured, and $1,500 for the longest snake caught.

Last year’s winner captured 223 pythons, while the longest snake was 15 feet long. All snakes must be killed humanely.

BBC

Thomas Barbey: Photo Manipulation Artist before Photoshop

Thomas Barbèy grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, across the street from the “Caran D’ache” factory, the largest manufacturer of art supplies. He started drawing seriously at the age of 13, using black “encre de Chine” and gouaches for color. His influences were Philippe Druillet, Roger Dean and H.R. Giger.

After living in Geneva for 17 years and designing posters for musical bands, he decided to move to Italy. Thomas lived in Milan for 15 years making a living as a successful recording artist, lyricist and fashion photographer. Today, he resides in Las Vegas and travels the world, taking his camera wherever he goes.

Thomas has been a photographer for over twenty years now and prefers to use his old Canon AE1s when he shoots in 35mm or his RB67 when he shoots in medium format. More recently, he has been doing Black and White Photomontages for the sole purpose of doing Fine Art, without working for a specific client.

He’s combined several images taken over a period of twenty years to create surreal situations with the help of the enlarger in a dark room. His work has a specific style and is very characteristic. He only works with Black and White, including Sepia toning at times. Thomas exhibits in galleries throughout the world and is included in many private collections. 

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Animated Art

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The Graphics Interchange Format (better known by its acronym GIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.

The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel for each image, allowing a single image to reference its own palette of up to 256 different colors chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of up to 256 colors for each frame. These palette limitations make the GIF format less suitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color.

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Toddler helps his twin brother who is in trouble  

A two-year-old boy in Utah is being hailed as a hero after he somehow summoned the strength to move a dresser that had toppled over and trapped his twin brother.

The incredible incident occurred last week when the two rambunctious toddlers, Bodie and Brock Shoff, were climbing on top of the set of drawers and their combined weight caused it to fall to the floor.

In the process, Brock became dangerously wedged under the dresser, much to the consternation of his brother Bodie.

Rather than run and get help, the level-headed youngster simply regains his bearings from the fall, assesses the situation, and then sets about rescuing his brother.

Although the first few attempts prove futile, eventually Bodie seems to muster a miraculous level of force and actually moves the dresser from atop the struggling Brock, allowing him to squirrel out from the predicament.

Amazingly, the boys’ parents were completely unaware of what had happened until they spotted the downed dresser on the nanny cam monitor and rushed into the room.

Initially uneasy about sharing the video with the world, the Shoff’s ultimately concluded that the frightening scene should be seen so that other parents could be more aware of such dangers in the home.

Fortunately, in this instance, young Brock was up and running moments after being freed from the dresser, seemingly no worse for wear from the jaw-dropping misadventure.

NASA launches study seeking clues about UFOs

The effort is scientific in nature and isn’t related to a Pentagon task force also investigating the phenomena.

Clouds are seen behind the NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center.

Clouds are seen behind the NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center on February 7, 2008 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

NASA announced Thursday that it’s launching a scientific study of reported sightings of UFOs, the latest in a wave of federal agencies trying to understand the nature of a series of unidentified aircraft flying in protected airspace in recent years.

The goal of the study, which is due to be wrapped up in nine months, is meant to improve aircraft safety while gaining a better overall understanding of the aircraft, which the government refers to as “unmanned aerial phenomena,” or UAPs.

“NASA is uniquely positioned to address UAPs,” said Daniel Evans, the agency’s assistant deputy associate administrator for research. “Who other than us can use the power of data and science to look at what’s happening in our skies?”

NASA plans to recruit some of the nation’s leading scientists and aeronautics experts to participate in the study.

“There are phenomena we don’t understand,” said David Spergal, leader of the study and president of the Simons Foundation, a New York-based academic organization. “How do we start to make progress on a very limited set of observations? We start by trying to figure out what data is out there.”

The project is separate from the Pentagon’s effort, which is gathering information from a host of federal intelligence agencies on the phenomena over the past few years. NASA plans to share its findings publicly once the study is complete.

“It’s extremely important to us that this remains a fully-transparent, open and therefore unclassified study,” Evans said. “We’re going to have public meetings about this, too.”

NASA stressed the project will be conducted no differently than any other scientific investigation the space agency undertakes, and will cost no more than $100,000.

The announcement comes amid soaring interest in UFOs by Congress, the administration and the American public. In May, Defense Department officials testified before a House Intelligence subcommittee on the progress of the Pentagon’s Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.

Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, testified that the group has received more than 400 UAP reports, noting that the stigma for reporting incidents has been reduced.

Bray also testified that the Pentagon observed an increasing number of UAP sightings since the early 2000s, a fact that has puzzled lawmakers as questions emerge whether the phenomena present a national security threat by a potential adversary.

Like the Pentagon, NASA also hopes its efforts will help reduce the stigma associated with reporting UAPs. While the findings may also help in the agency’s search for alien life, more data likely will be needed to draw those conclusions as the organization has no evidence UAPs are extraterrestrial in origin.

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science, said he believes the possibility of the sightings representing extraterrestrial life is a high bar to reach and that a better understanding lies in the data used in the study, some of which already exists in public archives.

“We have demonstrated over the past years our interest in the overall question of finding life elsewhere and also finding intelligent life elsewhere using the tools of science,” Zurbuchen said.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has already made public comments about the sightings, emphasizing their mystery may be cause for concern.

“We hope it’s not an adversary here on Earth that has that kind of technology,” Nelson said at an October virtual discussion at the University of Virginia. “But it’s something.”

Politico.com

Funny Wrestler Names 

The Crusher, Mad Dog, Macho Man, Grizzly Smith, Man Mountain Mike and The Brooklyn Brawler are all typical names for wrestlers.  But some names are just hilarious.  Hopefully some of the names below will make others chuckle.

Billy Jean Beanblossom

Dick ‘The Eliminator’ Trickle

Scott ‘The Canadian Genius’ McMurray

‘Trucker Norm’

‘El Gigante’

‘Tazmaniac’

‘Cryme Tyme’

‘Johnny B. Badd’

‘Scotty 2 Hotty’

‘The Headshrinkers’

‘Psycho Sid’

‘Psicosis’

‘Chainsaw Charlie’

‘Pain Stewart’

‘Battle Kat’

‘Krusher Kruschev’

‘El Phantasmo’

‘Ruffy Silverstein’

‘Stupefied’

‘Franky The Mobster’

‘Ron Killings’

‘Dylan Postl’

Midget Wrestlers names

‘Sky Low Low’

‘Little Beaver’

‘Lord Littlebrook’

‘Fuzzy Cupid’

‘Bam Bam Bigelow’

‘Dink The Clown’

‘Short Sleeve Sampson’

‘Max Mini’

‘Little Guido’