Venus the two-faced cat is currently the most famous feline on the planet.
The three-year-old tortoiseshell has her own Facebook page and a YouTube video that's been viewed over a million times, and appeared on the Today Show last week. (Watch National Geographic cat videos.)
One look at this cat and you can understand why: One half is solid black with a green eye\the other half has typical orange tabby stripes and a blue eye.
How does a cat end up looking like that? Leslie Lyons, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies the genetics of domestic cats said she's never seen a cat exactly like Venus.
"She is extremely, extremely rare," Lyons said. "But you can explain it and you can understand it."
(See "House Cat Origin Traced to Middle Eastern Wildcat Ancestor.")
Is Venus a Chimera?
Many reports about Venus refer to the cat as a "chimera." In mythology, a chimera is a mishmash monster made up of parts of different animals. A feline chimera is a cat whose cells contain two types of DNA, caused when two embryos fuse together.
Among cats, "chimeras are really not all that rare," Lyons said. In fact, most male tortoiseshell cats are chimeras. The distinctively mottled orange and black coat is a sign that the cat has an extra X chromosome.
But female cats, said Lyons, already have two X chromosomes so they can sport that coat without the extra X. That means Venus is not necessarily a chimera.
To find out would require genetic testing, said Lyons. With samples of skin from each side of the cat, "we can do a DNA fingerprint\just like on CSI\and the DNA from one side of the body should be different than the other."
(Also see picture: "Lobster Caught 'Half Cooked' in Maine.")
Cat's Blue Eye Another Mystery
If Venus isn't actually a chimera, then what would explain her amazing face?
"Absolute luck," Lyons said. One theory: perhaps the black coloration was randomly activated in all the cells on one side of her face, while the orange coloration was activated on the other, and the two patches met at the midline of her body as she developed.
Cat fanciers who are transfixed by Venus's split face may be missing the real story: her single blue eye. Cat eyes are typically green or yellow, not blue. (Take a cat quiz.)
A blue-eyed cat is typically a Siamese or else a cat with "a lot of white on them," she explained.
Venus appears to have only a white patch on her chest, which to Lyons is not enough to explain the blue eye.
Joined: 26 Mar 2007 Posts: 2034 Location: Melbourne Country:
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:51 am Post subject:
Hot dog server's family wins lotto three times
Good fortune and having children just seem to go together for Norwegian mother Hege Jeanette Oksnes.
Each time the 29-year-old petrol station attendant from tiny Austevoll island off Norway's west coast gives birth, someone in her family wins the national lottery.
"This is completely insane... we don't even play the lottery that often," Ms Oksnes said only days after the family collected 12.2 million crowns ($2.12 million) with their third lottery win in six years.
Ms Oksnes, who serves hot dogs at a petrol station, gave birth to her first child in 2006 just one day after her father Leif won 4.2 million crowns on the national lottery.
Three years later, Ms Oksnes herself won, claiming 8.2 million crowns one day before giving birth to her second child.
To complete the hat-trick, Ms Oksnes' 18-year-old brother Tord won the very same lottery this weekend, just months after she gave birth to her third child.
After three children though, it may be time to call it quits.
"My husband thinks we have enough money now," she said.
Ms Oksnes bought new cars with her winnings and did a bit of travelling, but has put most of the money in the bank, hoping to find a dream property to build a new house.
Frontline soldier gives birth in Afghanistan
A British soldier who has given birth in Afghanistan says she did not know she was pregnant.
Britain's defence ministry says the woman who is serving on the front line gave birth on Tuesday at a NATO base, days after it came under attack from the Taliban.
The mother and baby boy are in a stable condition and are waiting for a specialist medical team from a hospital in Oxford, in south-east England, to fly them home.
According to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper the woman only discovered she was pregnant when she went to medics complaining of severe stomach pains and was told she was about to give birth.
The baby was born five weeks premature.
A ministry of defence spokesman said it is not military policy to allow service women to deploy on operations if they are pregnant.
Joined: 13 Apr 2007 Posts: 11795 Location: The real world, no alternative facts Country:
Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:40 pm Post subject:
A Mormon Samurai???
Samurai sword wielding Mormon bishop comes to the rescue
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop helped a neighbor woman escape a Tuesday morning attack by a man who had been stalking her.
Kent Hendrix woke up Tuesday to his teenage son pounding on his bedroom door and telling him somebody was being mugged in front of their house. The 47-year-old father of six rushed out the door and grabbed the weapon closest to him — a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword.
He came upon what he describes as a melee between a woman and a man. His son stayed inside to call 911 while he approached the man along with other neighbors who came to help. The martial arts instructor didn't hesitate in drawing the sword and yelling at him to get on the ground.
"His eyes got as big as saucers and he kind of gasped and jumped back," Hendrix said by phone Tuesday afternoon. "He's probably never had anyone draw a sword on him before."
The man ran down the street with the barefoot Hendrix and others in pursuit. Hendrix said he couldn't catch the man before he fled in his car, but he memorized his license plate.
"I yelled at him, 'I've got your license plate: You are so done,'" Hendrix said.
The suspect, 37-year-old Grant Eggersten, turned himself in to police an hour later, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. He was booked on charges of robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction.
Hendrix, a pharmaceutical statistician, was one of several neighbors who came to the woman's aid after she began yelling for help, Hoyal said.
The incident began just after 7 a.m. when the 35-year-old woman came out of her front door, Hoyal said. Eggersten was hiding behind her carport and attacked her, knocking her to the ground, Hoyal said.
He took her keys and tried to open the door into her house, Hoyal said. That's when the woman ran down the street calling for help.
The woman did the right thing by fighting back and calling for help, Hoyal said. She suffered minor injuries.
Hendrix, a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it was the first time in 30 years of practicing martial arts that he's used the sword. He didn't swing it at the man, only showing him he had it.
He said he's proud of his 14-year-old son for alerting him and quickly calling 911. He said the family is still abuzz about the events.
"That kind of thing doesn't happen every day," Hendrix said. "Our neighborhood is a pretty quiet place."
A fourth-degree black belt in the Kishindo form of martial arts, Hendrix owns a collection of swords and weapons that he trains with, said his wife, Suzanne Hendrix. He has trained with the sword he used Tuesday for 20 years and keeps it by his bed.
"Some people have bats they go to," said Hendrix. "I have my sword."
Joined: 18 Jan 2004 Posts: 851 Location: USA Country:
Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:50 am Post subject:
True story. Cross my heart,
I was sitting in my armchair watching tennis on TV. Had my feet up on the ottoman. I was wide awake since I love tennis and I love watching the guys play.
Suddenly there was a woman standing right where my feet were up on the ottoman. She was about forty and was wearing an apron..one of those bib type aprons. She had a small tray and was about to place a shallow bowl down which would have landed on my legs. She was three dimensional. Where she stood her legs were partly within the actual ottoman. I was not asleep. I looked at her with surprise and she looked at me with a very startled expression. I would guess this lasted about twenty or thirty seconds. This is quite a long time in this case I think. We obviously saw each other. Then she vanished. I was glad not to have the dish on my lap or wherever it was about to be placed. I wondered where she was and who she had been offering the food. I think she was more startled than I. It was most interesting because the tennis match was going on and continued after she left.
?another dimension ? or just once of those time continuum things. She was not Asian. Not a very modern looking woman.
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