RIP, little dude! 15kg cat dies and FB fans from M'sia to Taiwan grieve

At 15kg, "Little Dude" made headlines for his girth and became an Internet sensation.

In life, he's bigger than his cat-peers.

At 15kg, super-sized kitty “Little Dude” made headlines.

Now in death, the Internet sensation is still drawing eyeballs - through his Facebook memorial page.

Little Dude died in an animal hospital on Saturday, from pneumonia-related complications, said Angela Jackson-Brunning. She had been fostering him at her home in California.

He was 10. Sadly, he never hung on long enough to find new owners.

“I do a lot of fostering,” she said Sunday through tears. “But there was something special about him.”

Little Dude first arrived at WAGS Pet Adoption in Westminster about two weeks ago, when his owners claimed they couldn’t afford pet rent that their landlord enforced. She began fostering him on Thursday.

One look at a picture of the super-size cat, she said, was all that it took to draw her in.

“There was an immediate bond,” she said. “He was such a doll.”

Efforts to get Little Dude back to a healthy weight were underway, including placing him on a diet and feeding him through a tube to make certain his vital organs got essential nutrients.

His girth limited his ability to walk more than a few steps - and his heartbeat was barely audible through his layers of fat.

But Little Dude’s health problems captured caring hearts of thousands.

By Sunday, a Facebook page created for the feline by Jackson-Brunning had earned nearly 2,000 likes. His admirers also donated about US$600 (about S$750) toward his medical expenses, which were growing as he received more and more treatment.

When news of his death reached social media, dozens posted condolences on the Facebook page.

“It’s so amazing that his story touched so many people worldwide,” Jackson-Brunning said. “People as far away as Malaysia, France and Taiwan.”

While heartbroken, Jackson-Brunning said she has no plans to stop fostering animals.

“Even though there are very hard things to deal with, it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do,” she said.

Sources: Orange County Register, Facebook

Tags: cat, Fat, fans and super-sized

Man killed by shark at Byron Bay, a popular Australian beach holiday spot

 A man was killed on Tuesday in a suspected shark attack at a popular Australian beach after being bitten on the leg while swimming, officials said.

The man, in his 40s, was in the water at Byron Bay on the New South Wales north coast, a popular tourist destination, when he was spotted floating with a wound to his leg.

“Others swimmers pulled him onto the beach with a very serious bite to his leg,” a NSW ambulance spokeswoman told AFP. “It is suspected to be from a shark.”

A doctor was on a beach in the area at the time and tried to save the man but he was pronounced dead soon after.

Experts say attacks by sharks, which are common in Australian waters, are increasing as the population rises and water sports become more popular.

Before Tuesday’s incident, the last fatal shark was in April at Tathra Beach about 350 kilometres south of Sydney.

Only the swimming cap and goggles of the woman who was taken were recovered. - AFP

Soon, you can buy stuff directly from Twitter


Twitter on Monday began testing “buy buttons” that let people make purchases directly from marketing posts fired off at the globally popular one-to-many messaging service.

The move comes as Twitter works to ramp up its appeal to people curious about what is happening at any given moment and to advertisers eager to connect with them.

“This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun,” group product manager Tarun Jain said in an online post.

“In our test, the entire purchase can be completed in just a few taps.”


The test was limited to a small group of Twitter users in the United States who access the service from mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software, according to Jain.

Users will have the option of having payment and shipping information encrypted and stored to speed up future purchases.

“We’ll be starting the test with a group of artists, brands and nonprofit organizations, so follow them now and look out for great products over the coming weeks,” Jain said.

The list of launch partners included Home Depot, Burberry, The Nature Conservancy, Soundgarden and Twenty One Pilots.

Advertisers will be able to pay to “promote” Twitter messages featuring buy buttons the same way other marketing tweets can be more prominently displayed.

Source: Reuters

Tags: twitter, tech and e-commerce

Ride and fight: Duelling cyclists disqualified as Alberto Contador win

Cyclists Ivan Rovny and Gianluca Brambilla engaging in a bit of combat during the race.

Professional cyclists have been known to get quite competitive while on the saddle, but this video shows that sometimes, the heat of competition can result in outright violence.

Russian Ivan Rovny and Italian Gianluca Brambilla came to blows during the 16th stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Spain on Monday (Sept 8).

The two riders were seen swinging wildly at each other during an early breakaway up a slope during the 160.5 km-long mountain stage, reported British media The Guardian. 

This happened after team Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Brambilla apparently became annoyed with Rovny (riding for team Tinkoff-Saxo) for changing pace during the break, reported The Independent. 

Unsurprisingly, both cyclists fell off the pace as the group they were in pulled away - while they engaged in mortal combat. 

Even more unsurprising was the fact that officials later disqualified the pair.

The fight overshadowed team Alberto Contador's win. Rovny's team-mate extended his overall lead over Chris Froome by 1 minute and 36 seconds.

There are five stages to go, with the last day of racing slated for Sunday (Sept 14).

Sources: The Independent, The Guardian, Cycling news, Reuters

Tags: cycling and fighting

M'sia woman reportedly the brains behind love scam

Love scam: Conmen targeted victims looking for love online.

She targets women and cheats them out of millions.

A Malaysian woman, in her 30s, is believed to be behind the online “love scam” syndicate. Her name was not released.

Authorities arrested five Nigerians linked to the syndicate on Friday and Saturday.

Sungai Buloh OCPD Supt Junaidi Bujang said that all the suspects were in their 30s.

“The syndicate looks out for lonely victims within or outside of the country via Facebook," he said. “After getting to know the victims, who are mostly women, they will start to send romantic messages to them.”

Supt Junaidi said among the victims who had been duped by the syndicate was a bank manager, who lost RM223,000 (S$88,000).

As many as 1,750 Malaysians have fallen prey to Internet “love scams” since Jan 2013 and have been cheated of RM68.3 million, Harian Metro reported.

Most victims were women.

Sources: Star Online, Harian Metro

WATCH how Germany beat the Scots... in scissors, paper, stone

Scotland's Morrison calls on the power of scissors, paper, stone against German player Kramer. Who won?

It's not enough that Scotland went down 2-1 defeat to World Cup winners Germany.

To add insult to injury, the Tartan Army had to endure a second defeat in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday night (Monday Singapore time).

While German player Marco Reus received treatment on an injury, Scotland's James Morrison seemed to challenge Christoph Kramer to a battle of "Scissors’, Paper, Stone" before the match resumed.

We're not sure about the reason.

But the German midfielder – who famously suffered a nasty concussion during the World Cup final on 13 July – decided scissors would be his weapon of choice.

What did Morrison show? His hand was obscured by the German medical team. Still, the smile on Kramer’s face suggested it was another win for the world champions.

Morrison appeared to lay down the challenge as an aerial view showed the West Brom midfielder making the universal gesture for a game, which Kramer accepted.

The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, who is on loan this season with Bundesliga rivals Borussia Monchengladbach, was seen chuckling to himself after.

He wasn’t the only one: The video has gone viral on social media, getting over 3 million loops.

It’s assumed that the battle decided which team would regain possession once play has resumed.

Result aside, the moment provided a comical moment in what was a tense 2-0 affair.

Thomas Muller has put Germany ahead within 20 minutes. Hope of a Scottish upset was restored in the 66th minute. But it wasn’t to be as Muller struck again just four minutes later to give Joachim Low’s side a winning start.

Scotland sit second bottom of Group D.

Sources: YouTube, Independent, Vine


Giant white rabbit wows Taiwan

This 25.3-meter-tall giant rabbit, made of plastic and wood and designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, is being displayed during an art exhibition in Taoyuan county.

The Dutch artist whose huge inflatable yellow duck caused a sensation in Asia has now drawn more than one million visitors with a giant white rabbit on show in Taiwan, organisers said Monday.

Florentijn Hofman’s creation, made of waterproof paper material, wood and polystyrene, stands 25 m tall.

The beaming bunny drew 350,000 admirers on Monday alone as Taiwanese celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival, bringing to 1,004,000 the total number of visits over five days to the exhibition in the northern city of Taoyuan, the local government said.

PHOTO: Reuters

The creation, an official said, was inspired by ancient Chinese folklore about a goddess who lived on the moon and her companion – a rabbit which constantly pounded the elixir of life for her.

“Hofman said he felt the rabbit might need to take a break after working on the moon for thousands of years,” the official said, speaking of why he posed the rabbit reclining against a bunker at a former naval air base.

The official said the artwork would remain in Taiwan after the festival, which also features installation and performance artists from China and Taiwan, closes on Sunday.

Other 'giants'

Hofman’s yellow ducks drew millions of visitors when they were on display in three Taiwanese cities last year. 

The "Rubber Duck" by Hofman rolling into Los Angeles harbour to open the Tall Ships Festival on Aug 20. PHOTOS: AFP

Since 2007 the original duck designed by Hofman – which was 16.5 metres tall – has travelled to 19 cities in 11 countries, including Brazil, Australia, the United States and Hong Kong, on its journey around the world.

Over in London, Hofman's 'HippopoThames', a 20.7-metre-long sculpture, is floating in the River Thames for the next few weeks. 


In an interview with CNN, Hofman said the hippo idea came after he studied the history of the area, and found out that the animals used to hang around the area, hundreds of thousands of years ago. 

He said: "I wanted to use the hippo to get people out of their homes, away from the Internet and the TV, and to explore London with a new perspective."

Source: AFP

Implant a (micro) chip in hand, to welcome iPhone 6

As big as a grain of rice: Tech enthusiast Ben Slater has a micro chip implant in hand. He's hoping the new iPhone 6 - likely unveiled tomorrow - will be able to read such technology.

Want to get your hands on the iPhone 6?

Die-hard fans are queueing up two weeks ahead of Apple unveiling the latest model tomorrow (Sept 9, American time).

But Australian Ben Slater is showing his love for the gadget another way.

The Brisbane man implanted a microchip under his skin so he can control electronic devices with just a wave of a hand.

A tattooist in Melbourne injected the radio-frequency identification microchip into Slater's left hand through a syringe two weeks ago.

Implanted in the webbing between his fingers, the chip is the size of a grain of rice.

Never mind that iPhones cannot read such technology - yet.

The advertising director's hoping the new generation of Apple's smart phone will have the capability to do so.

Meanwhile, the new addition means Mr Slater can swing his front door open, switch on his lights and store personal information with the flick of his hand.

"The most obvious thing the chip allows me to do is store my contact information on it, so that I can just touch a phone and pass my information to their phone. That is a great party trick," he told Daily Mail Australia.

It can also trigger his phone to turn the house lights off, open a secure door which is set to recognise the chip or rev up the car.

"I wanted to get the chip implanted to generate discussion," he said. "It intrigues me that we live in an age where this type of activity is even possible..."

Mr Slater said the procedure to implant the microchip was painful, but over quickly.

While new to Australian shores, microchip technology has become a growing trend in the United States.

It was introduced in 2004, when the Food and Drug Administration there gave the green light for its use to carry information about people's medical conditions, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The iPhone 6 is expected to be the largest phone Apple has produced, with a 5.5-inch screen.

The handset is thought to be so large that it will come with a special "one-handed" mode to make it easier for people to use it.

Sources: Daily Mail, YouTube, Buzz60

Cilic routs Nishikori to win US Open

Marin Cilic of Croatia reacts after defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan in straight sets to win the men's singles final match at the 2014 US Open.

Kei Nishikori from Japan had blown away those who stood in his way.

So hopes for an Asian win at a major tennis championship were high. Alas, it was not to be. 

Kei Nishikori of Japan reacts after losing against Marin Cilic of Croatia. Photo: AFP

The 24-year-old Nishikori was comfortably beaten in straight sets by Croatian Marin Cilic in the US Open final on Tuesday (Sept 9, Singapore time)  

14th seed Cilic, 25, clinched his first Grand Slam with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory in the US Open final - the first major final without big names like Djokovic, Federer or Nadal since the 2005 Australian Open. 

Cilic kissing the trophy. Photo: AFP

Cilic, playing in his 28th Grand Slam event, is the lowest-ranked champion since Pete Sampras (Then ranked17th in the world, Sampras claimed the 2002 title in New York).

But victory was well-deserved with Cilic saving eight of nine break points.

He fired 17 aces and 38 winners past a weary-looking Nishikori, who had defeated three top five players  – Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka and world number one Novak Djokovic – to make his maiden major final.

The big Croat’s 11 winners to the Japanese’s two illustrated the one-sided nature of the contest. 

 Once he had saved a break point in the first game, Cilic was comfortably the dominant player breaking for 4-2 and claiming the opening set in 33 low-key minutes when Nishikori, on the defensive and pinned behind the baseline, patted a meek backhand into the net. 

Kei Nishikori of Japan returns a shot. Photo: AFP

The winner of 20 of the previous 21 men’s finals in New York had claimed the first set. 

That statistic proved prophetic when Cilic claimed the title after one hour 54 minutes with a sweet backhand crosscourt in the third set of the game.

Source: AFP


Tags: US Open, tennis and Japan

WATCH: 1D announces new album, offers song free for 24 hours

UK-Irish boy band One Direction revealed on Monday (Sept 8) that its new album, Four, will drop Nov 17.

In just over two months, we'll be listening to One Direction's newest album titled Four, because, well, it's the band's fourth studio album.

"We've worked incredibly hard writing and recording it whilst we've been on the road and we couldn't have done it without your support," the group said in a statement, reported E! Online. 

Because Niall Horan, 20, Zayn Malik, 21, Liam Payne, 21 Harry Styles, 20, and Louis Tomlinson, 22, love their fans so much, the quintet are giving away a song for free.

Yes, Fireproof, a single from the upcoming new production, is available for free on their official website but only for 24 hours. 

Check out what One Direction had to say in this latest message to their fans:

Now, who's excited for the new album?

Sources: E! Online and YouTube