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01 October 2023

Best of web: Shweta wins Bigg Boss...

By Staff & Agencies

Shweta Tiwari wins Bigg Boss


Shweta Tiwari has won Bigg Boss, the Indian version of the Big Brother realty TV show.

After fights and quarrels, and some good and bad moments, controversies and melodrama, Bigg Boss Season 4 comes to a grand end. With only four contestants remaining in the house Ashmit Patel, Shweta Tiwari, Dolly Bindra and the great Khali, just who was going to be the coveted winner of Bigg Boss, was the big question.

Well, Shweta Tiwari seems to have won the hearts of the public. Her straightforward nature worked well for her. So how will Shweta celebrate? It looks like a party is surely on the cards. And all the contestants who participated in this season's Bigg Boss will be invited.

This is the first time a female contestant has won Bigg Boss.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Shweta, unable to speak much.

But she's the one who is going to laugh all the way to the bank as a Rs 10 million booty awaits her.

Man bids to turn aircraft carrier into school


A Hong Kong businessman has offered to pay about $7.7 million for the British aircraft carrier HMS Invincible so he can turn it into an international school in China, a report said Friday.

The South China Morning Post reported that Lam Kin-bong made the bid at an online auction for the decommissioned ship, which played a key role in the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict between Argentina and Britain.

Lam, who operates the popular Wing Wah chain of Chinese restaurants in Britain, offered to pay five million pounds ($7.7 million) in the auction, which stopped taking bids Wednesday, the paper said.

If he wins the auction, Lam plans to tow the 22,000-tonne Invincible to the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, near Hong Kong and Macau, and turn it into a school "to help foster communication and cultural ties between China and Britain", the report said.

Lam could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The entrepreneur told the Post that he had no plans to use the ship for military purposes, amid US concerns about Beijing's military build-up.

"My intentions are purely commercial and have nothing to do with the military," Lam was quoted as saying.

Lam said another option is to berth the vessel in the English city of Liverpool and turn it into "a school to boost the understanding of China and the Chinese in Britain".

A British defence ministry spokeswoman told the Post that the vessel would be stripped of all its components.

"In effect, whoever buys equipment like this is buying a shell", she added.

Man cruises down in highway with a wheelchair


Don't try this at home.

Motorists on I-95 in Fairfield, Conn. may have noticed a strange sight Thursday afternoon as a man in an electric wheelchair buzzed down the highway.

The elderly man was spotted around Noon in the southbound breakdown lane.

DOT traffic cameras followed him as he got off the highway at Exit 22.

Police believe he did get on the highway in his wheelchair. He was not issued a ticket, but police do say it is illegal to travel on the highway in an electric wheelchair or scooter.

'App' beats 'nom' to win word of the year

The tech slang "app" was voted the 2010 "Word of the Year" Friday by the American Dialect Society, beating out Cookie Monster's "nom, nom, nom, nom."

The shortened slang term for a computer or smart phone application was picked by the linguists group as the word that best sums up the country's preoccupation last year.

"Nom" - a chat-, tweet-, and text-friendly syllable that connotes "yummy food" - was the runner-up. It derives from the Sesame Street character's sound as he devours his favorite food.

The vote came at a Pittsburgh hotel ballroom during the national conference of the Linguistic Society of America, an umbrella group that includes the Dialect Society. About 120 of the 1,000 conference attendees voted in the "competition", with neither side entirely satisfied.

Critics of "app" said the word was somewhat stale, while proponents said 2010 was the year the word became omnipresent - with one arguing that her elderly mother knows the term, even though the woman doesn't have any apps.

"Nom" supporters simply liked its cheeriness.

"Some years there's a very clear choice," said Allan Metcalf, the Dialect Society's executive secretary.

In 2001, for instance, the Word of the Year was 9/11.

"I think this past year there wasn't anything clearly dominant," Metcalf said. "But there's no question 'app' is a very powerful word."

Though the Word Of The Year is perhaps the best known item on the national conference agenda, it's hardly the most serious. The program includes discussion of such subjects as school curriculum and raising education standards.

And that's one reason Metcalf said the Word Of The Year isn't universally popular among the conferees.

"But, on the other hand, it attracts a lot of attention to our work," he said.

Anyone could nominate a Word of the Year by email or Twitter, using links on americandialect.com.

"Tweet" and "Google" were last year's Word of the Year and Word of the Decade.

As with app, tech terms have been among the most popular since the group started the competition in 1990. Some previous winners include "millennium bug" (1997), "information superhighway" (1993), and "web" (word of the 1990s).

Web words are so popular that even the techie prefix "e" - as in email - won in 1998.

When the internet doesn't hold sway, current events or politics tend to dominate. Listed among nominees on the group's website were "tea bagger", "Palinism" and the Palinism "refudiate". On Friday, voters chose to nix political terms altogether, including "Obamacare" and "mama grizzly" - yes, yet another Palinism, referring to conservative women who are protective of their families.

The inaugural winner, in 1990, was Bushlips, defined as "insincere political rhetoric" an apparent reference to President George H.W. Bush's broken "Read my lips, no new taxes!" promise. Chad, as in "hanging", was 2000's word after the contested victory by Bush's son, and 2002's winner was also taken from a pair of Bush lips: WMD, as in "weapons of mass destruction".

BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico spawned many 2010 nominees, but none made the final cut, not even "spillion," defined as an immeasurable number, in reference to the billions of gallons of oil that spilled into the waters.

Penguin in German zoo strolls into lions' den


A resourceful baby penguin took advantage of Germany's wintry weather to give her minders the slip and embark on a tour of the zoo before waddling into the lions' den.

A visitor spotted the African penguin, born in September, taking a stroll in the lion enclosure but the animal was lucky as the lions were asleep inside rather than braving the icy weather outside, Muenster zoo said on its website.

It took keepers a day to get the penguin out of the den, luring her out with a trail of herrings, the statement said.

The escape gave the penguin, up to then only known as number 459, a name. Her minder now calls her Leona, the zoo said.

Indonesia calls for planting chillies to avoid hot inflation


Indonesia's president called on households to plant food in their gardens in an effort to head off inflation, with the country's trade minister leading the way by chilli farming at home.

"I have 200 chilli plants in flower pots," said Mari Pangestu at a briefing on Thursday. "The agriculture ministry is informing farmers how to take care of the plant, and also encouraging consumers to plant chilli in their own yard."

Chilli prices surged five-fold in Indonesia in the past year to around 100,000 rupiah (7 pounds) a kilo, more than beef, hurting households fond of spicy cuisine in an archipelago where logistical problems and wet weather often add to costs.

Together with rising rice prices, red chillies helped lead annual inflation to a 20-month high in December near 7 percent

"Households should be creative to plant plants," said President Susilo Yudhoyono Bambang at a cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss stabilising food prices.

Global food prices hit a record last month, outstripping levels that prompted riots in 2008, and key grains could climb even further as weather patterns give cause for concern, the United Nations food agency said on Wednesday.

The Indonesian government has already decided to import 1.3 million tonnes of rice from Thailand and Vietnam ahead of the local harvest in February, after not importing it in the past two years, but policymakers fret about the cost of spicing up the staple.

"You can't eat without fresh ground chillies," said Rusman Heriawan, the head of the state's statistics agency that measures monthly inflation. "We need to improve the supply." ($1 = 8984 Rupiah)

Flood victims told 'beware of crocodiles'


A crocodile farmer from Rockhampton in central Queensland says people should keep an eye out for saltwater crocs in floodwaters.

John Lever says the reptiles swim over land in search of food during big wets because their traditional feeding grounds are wiped out by freshwater floods.

He says crocodiles caught in a prolonged flood can become very hungry and can also find their way into popular swimming holes.

"I think this is where the real danger comes into play - there is a lot more danger after the waters recede," he said.

"You have land-locked crocodiles in waterholes, kids want to go play in them to keep cool and [have] never known of a crocodile there before and all of a sudden there is one in there."