‘Crayfish Mansion’ in eastern China bears remarkable resemblance to London’s Gherkin

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This iconic building will be a familiar sight for anyone who has gazed at London’s skyline.

But the distinctive sky-scraper pictured is not the world-renowned Gherkin, but the Crayfish Mansion in eastern China.

The tapered, glass Crayfish looks almost exactly the same as the English landmark – and it even shares a bizarre name.

Spot the difference: Chaina’s Crayfish, left, looks just like the 180m-high Gherkin, but reaches only 99m

The Crayfish is to become the epicentre of the crayfish industry in Xuyi county, Jiangsu province – an area famous for its production of the crustacean.

Xuyi Crayfish Group began building in March 2010 and have spent around $19million on the gleaming 20,000-square-metre structure.

It is unclear if it was flattery or a desire to save money on an architect that prompted the company to emulate the Gherkin’s diagonally striped, diamond-effect design.

The City of London office block, which is officially named 30 St Mary Axe, was designed by Ken Shuttleworth for Sir Norman Foster’s firm.

It opened in 2004, and would tower over China’s 99m-high imitation at 180m tall – more than three times the height of Niagara Falls.

But the Gherkin’s unique design has attracted its fair share of criticism, and even designer Mr Shuttleworth admitted later that the days of ‘crazy shapes, silly profiles and double curves’ were over.

China’s creation has already been nicknamed ‘The Giant Egg’. Let’s hope it escapes an identical fate.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080396/Hang-looks-bit-familiar-Crayfish-Mansion-eastern-China-bears-remarkable-resemblance-London-s-Gherkin.html#ixzz1i8Z87yyr

Voice teacher accused of persuading student to strip to sing better

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A former community college instructor in Tacoma faces accusations that he  convinced a student that she could improve her vocal range by getting naking or  touching herself sexually.

The  News Tribune says Kevin Gausepohl,  37, is charged with seven counts of   communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and one count of  obstructing a  law enforcement officer. The charges he faces are midemeanors.

He is a former music instructor at Tacoma Community College. He is accused of  telling a Gig Harbor student — a 17-year-old girl attending college as part of  the Running Start program — that he was studying how sexual arousal could  change vocal range.

The newspaper says court records show that the girl complied to some of his  requests to strip or touch herself during private voice lessons.

The teacher resigned in October and has said he did nothing wrong.

Other students said Gausepohl asked them to be part of his study, they told  investigators. They declined.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Vocal-teacher-accused-of-persuading-student-to-2432792.php#ixzz1i8YbArQs

If cats eat your hamburger, don’t call 911: Chatham police

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CHATHAM, Ont. — Hamburger-eating cats, video game disputes and not being allowed into a bar are not emergencies.

That may seem obvious, but those are just three of the many 911 calls made in the Chatham, Ont., area this year.

Chatham-Kent police have released their third annual list of “Top 10 Silly Calls” of the year in an effort to remind people to call 911 only if they need emergency assistance.

Among the calls deemed not an emergency was one dispatchers received from a woman whose cats ate her hamburger — she wanted another one.

Also not an emergency was a couple’s video-game argument in which the man wanted to play Xbox and the woman wanted to play Nintendo Wii.

Const. Michael Pearce says he suspects alcohol was a factor in some of the top 10 calls.

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20111229/Top-10-Silly-Calls-Chatham-111229/#ixzz1i8Y2hZrH

Free crack pipes handed out to Vancouver addicts

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VANCOUVER — Crack addicts in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside have started  receiving free crack pipes as part of a Vancouver Coastal Health Authority harm  reduction strategy aimed at curbing the spread of disease.

Part of a $60,000 trial project first announced in August, the pipes are just  one piece of drug paraphernalia found inside kits that have been distributed to  users in the troubled neighbourhood since the beginning of the month.

The glass pipes are heat-resistant and shatterproof, which experts say should  reduce injury to the users’ lips and mouth — wounds that can make them more  susceptible to diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

Also included are mouthpieces, filters, alcohol swabs, screens and push  sticks.

While harm reduction tools such as these have been made available to addicts  in the past, this marks the first time that they have been combined in a single  kit, said Trudi Beutel, a spokesperson for the health authority.

In total, 60,000 kits are expected to be distributed at five locations during  an eight-month trial period.

“What this boils down to is it’s about disease prevention,” said Beutel.  “It’s about preventing more communicable diseases which land these people in  hospital on a frequent basis and clog up emergency rooms.”

Beutel said the project, which comes at a time when crack is enjoying a local  surge in popularity, also will allow health officials to determine if the  distribution of the kits is an effective way to engage users and steer them  toward detox services.

It will also help them quantify the number of crack smokers in Vancouver and  provide insight into crack addiction, she added.

Hugh Lampkin, the president of VANDU, estimated that his organization, which  puts the kits together before distributing them to the four other centres, is  handing out an average of 70 to 90 kits a day.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/health/Free+crack+pipes+handed+Vancouver+addicts/5929293/story.html#ixzz1i8WFrRCI

Teenagers admit going too far sexually while drunk

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Alcohol is fuelling an epidemic of ‘risky sex’ among teenagers, senior  doctors warned yesterday.

Many youngsters admit going ‘further than intended’ while drunk, according to the Royal College of Physicians.

In a report, the college said excessive drinking and sex was a ‘cocktail’ for teenage pregnancies and infections.

It urged GPs and nurses to ask teenagers about their drinking habits when they turn up to sexual health clinics for contraception or the morning-after pill.

The organisation highlighted research showing that a fifth of 14- and 15-year-old girls said they did more sexually than they wanted to while drunk.

And more than 80 per cent of 16- to 30-year-olds said they drank before sexual activity.

The college said one million teenagers attend sexual health clinics every year to get free contraception, the morning-after pill or to undergo tests and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

It said this provides doctors and nurses with a ‘key opportunity’ to find out about youngsters’ drinking habits and warn them about the dangers of going overboard.

Dr Simon Barton, chair of the RCP’s Alcohol and Sexual Health Working Party, said: ‘The links between alcohol use and poor sexual health have been recognised for some time, yet the services available do not reflect this clear association.

‘Failing to discuss alcohol consumption with a patient accessing sexual health services is a missed opportunity.

Doctors want to warn young people about going overboard with alcoholDoctors want to warn young people about going overboard with alcohol

‘Although services that aim to tackle this problem cannot be effective in isolation, there is a real opportunity for sexual health services to support people both in identifying their behavioural risks and in empowering them to take action.’

Dr Janet Wilson, president-elect of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, who helped write the report, added: ‘A sexual health check-up is the ideal time to broach the subject, to find the one in five young people attending our clinics who are at most risk and give them structured advice around alcohol consumption, referring to alcohol services where appropriate.’

The report looked at a survey carried out on 14- and 15-year-old girls in Rochdale in 2004 which found a fifth had gone further than intended when drunk.

And a separate study of 2,000 15- and 16-year-olds from 1991 found that 11 per cent regretted having sex after drinking. Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘Nurses are often the first point of contact when dealing with sexual health issues.

‘Robust regulation on the sale of alcohol, along with sensible minimum pricing and educational campaigns, is also desperately needed.’

Yesterday it was revealed that teenagers were responsible for a quarter of abortions in Britain. The figures compiled by the EU showed that more teenagers have abortions in this country than almost anywhere else in Europe.  Only Belgium was found to have a higher rate.

Britain also has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe, although the numbers have at last begun to fall in the past few years.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2080503/Teenagers-admit-going-far-sexually-drunk.html#ixzz1i8VAApX1

California girl killed after running onto freeway to retrieve clothes

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MIRA LOMA, Calif. — Authorities say a 12-year-old girl was struck and killed  on a Southern California freeway as she ran through traffic while attempting to  retrieve clothing from the roadway.

The California Highway Patrol tells the Los Angeles Times  (http://lat.ms/uMHq3H) that Eunice Flores was hit at about 11 p.m. Sunday on  State Route 60 in Mira Loma, about 45 miles east of Los Angeles.

The patrol says suitcases had fallen from the roof rack of the car that  Flores was traveling in, scattering the clothes.

John Sullivan was driving about 70 mph when he saw the girl, but it was too  late to avoid the collision. The 74-year-old wasn’t injured or arrested.

Flores was pronounced dead at the scene.

Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/12/26/20111226california-girl-killed-after-running-onto-freeway.html#ixzz1i8Uew1pH