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Doctors in Arizona operated on Rosemary Alvarez after she started feeling numbness in her arm and blurred vision. Ms Alvarez went to the emergency room twice and had an x-ray, but everything appeared normal. It was only when doctors took a closer look at a scan that they discovered something very disturbing.
Neurosurgeon Dr Peter Nakaji said: "Once we saw the MRI we realised this is something not good. It's something down in her brain stem which is as deep in the brain as you can be." Ms Alvarez was taken into the operating room where Dr Nakaji and his colleagues were expecting to remove a tumor.
Experts said worms can come from eating undercooked pork or spread by people who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, according to reports. "It only takes one person who is spreading it constantly to get a lot of people exposed and some of those people are going to go on to develop this problem," Dr Nakaji said. Ms Alvarez, who is now healthy, said she hopes people learn lessons from her story. "Wash your hands, wash your hands," she said.
Germany is running out of qualified Santa Clauses and needs to recruit and train them fast, a leading job agency says. Germans are trying to shut out the financial crisis by taking comfort in traditional festivities, and there is an acute shortage of Santas to entertain children at shopping centers, Christmas markets and private parties.
"Being Santa is not an easy job," says Jens Wittenberger, in charge of Santa Claus recruitment at the Jobcafe Munich. The job center wants its Santas to be child-friendly, good organizers, reliable and have acting skills. They also need a clean police record. Recruitment sessions are being held in cities across the country, and while the job may be stressful, it's better than being jobless.
YouTube has switched to a widescreen format as part of its drive to encourage Hollywood studios to release films on the site. The video-sharing website increased the size of its player after years of complaints from users, many of whom have switched to rivals offering bigger screens and higher quality.
The move to widescreen is the latest in a number of recent changes at YouTube, which was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion (£1.07 billion at the current exchange rate) in 2006 but has been unable so far to turn its massive popularity into profits. The website has also been experimenting with high-definition videos.
The "grow-your-own" idea has taken hold in Eindhoven, while Tilburg's city council has said it is considering starting up a "cannabis market garden" of its own to supply local coffee shops. Others are expected to follow suit, as the Dutch government considers nationalising soft drugs production and sales in a bid to decriminalise the industry. Forty mayors met at the weekend, with many in favour of legalising soft drugs, whose consumption is a major tourist draw for Holland.
Lorenzo Amato was rushed to hospital by his father, who feared he was suffering a stroke or brain trauma as the teenager would not respond to his surroundings. At first doctors at Lecce hospital, Southern Italy, thought Lorenzo Amato was suffering from a severe brain disorder. The teenager couldn't speak and didn't seem to understand anything going on around him.
Doctors diagnosed the condition after discovering that Amato had just finished a marathon session on his new PlayStation. Local politician Antonio Buccoliero, who spoke to the doctors, said: "They eventually managed to take care of him once they understood that this was a strange kind of mental detachment connected to his PlayStation."
Atlantis by Numbers
£15 million (US$22.5 million) budget
1,000 serving staff
1.7 metric tonnes/tons of lobster eaten
5,000 sushi canapes
£1.5 million (US$2.25 mil) reported fee for Kylie ($225,000 per song)
One million fireworks, including 100,000 rockets
£25,000 (US$38,000) per night to stay in the Bridge Suite
1.4km of beachfront
2,250 tonnes of marble and stone used in the construction
60,000 trees and shrubs planted in the grounds
68 languages spoken by staff
11 million litre aquarium
65,000 marine animals, including 24 dolphins and a whale shark
100 staff to look after the fish, including a team of chefs
Amy Taylor, 28, said her three-year marriage to David Pollard, 40, came to an end when she twice walked in on him watching his online character, Dave Barmy, having sex with other virtual women. The couple met in an internet chatroom in 2003 and married in real life and in a fantasy tropical setting in Second Life.
However, Taylor always had suspicions about Pollard's online loyalty. At one point she hired a virtual detective to test whether his avatar was cheating on her, after finding him at the computer watching his character having sex with a prostitute.(Link)
The bird, clearly used to getting his own way when looking for dinner, headed confidently into the shoal of fish in Changsha, in China's Hunan Province. But the colourful carp took exception to the intruder and fought back, bunching together into a seething mass to assert their authority. The duck quickly surrendered and fled the scene, doubtless still feeling peckish.
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Medallists at the 2012 London Olympics could be presented with pot plants rather than the traditional bouquets of flowers. Officials are proposing to give athletes home-grown plants, rather than flowers flown in from abroad, due to the hefty carbon footprint such flights would leave.
Tessa Jowell, the minister for the Olympics, has confirmed in parliament that "locally sourced plants" will replace cut flowers as gifts to medal winners, competitors and other visiting dignitaries in 2012. She said the awarding of potted plants was "absolutely" being considered as part of the sustainability agenda, along with English cut flowers.
The organisers are also looking at a carbon-neutral Olympic flame fuelled by waste wood.
An American professor is preparing to market a form of canine gene therapy, which would see dogs injected with substances which switch off the genes that regulate their muscle growth.
Prof Lee Sweeney, from the University of Pennsylvania, has pioneered research into gene transfer technology, a field in which poorly functioning and abnormal genes are manipulated, switched off or replaced. He says experiments on dogs have been so successful that he is preparing to market the treatments to owners of ageing pets across the United States.
He said: "We are now in the final stages of getting all the approvals to offer this through the veterinary hospital as a treatment to try to improve strength in pet dogs. The treatment has passed laboratory trials, but regulatory authorities are now discussing whether the dogs would have to be held in quarantine after treatment, because of possible risks if humans came into contact with their waste after the procedure, Prof Sweeney said.
Scientists hope the same technology could be used in humans, to treat serious genetic diseases such as muscular dystrophy.
As NASA prepared to double the number of astronauts living aboard the International Space Station, nothing did more for crew bonding than a machine being launched aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on Friday. It's a water-recycling device that will process the crew's urine for communal consumption.
"We did blind taste tests of the water," said NASA's Bob Bagdigian, the system's lead engineer. "Nobody had any strong objections. Other than a faint taste of iodine, it is just as refreshing as any other kind of water."
"I've got some in my fridge," he added. "It tastes fine to me."
An Australian holiday resort will hold a month-long, nude "anything goes" party to combat an expected economic downturn, media reports said on Thursday. "Tough economic times call for stiff measures," Tony Fox, the owner of the White Cockatoo resort in Mossman, in tropical Queensland state, told the Courier-Mail newspaper.
"It will be a hedonism resort, where anything goes for a month. It doesn't take rocket science to work out what it means," Fox said, naming March as the risque party month.
Local regional Mayor Val Schier said she was not opposed to the event as long as no laws were broken. "People in tropical north Queensland are extraordinarily creative," Schier said. "It is tough economic times and as long as it is with consenting adults, then there is no problem."