Hooray! Top Gear Is Back for Season 21

Top Gear, series 21, episode 1 review

Gerard O’Donovan reviews the first episode of the new series of Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May’s motoring show

4 4 out of 5 stars
James May, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May Photo: BBC

Turning 21 has never been any guarantee of maturity (alcohol-induced   infantilism is more common, in my experience). So it was no surprise that,   to celebrate the start of Top   Gear’s 21st season, the presenting trio of Jeremy Clarkson (53),   Richard Hammond (44) and James May (51) preferred not to embrace the wisdom   of age but, instead, to revisit lost youth – with a show that revelled in   the gloriously adolescent belief that the root of all entertainment lies in   high speed, low humour and massive explosions. In other words, for Top Gear   it was business as usual.  read more

3,000-Year-Old Inscription Found

A small fragment of ancient pottery researchers believe shows the first wine label could prove that the reigns of King Solomon and King David actually occurred.

The 10th century BC ‘Ophel Inscription’ was unearthed last year, and scientists were initially baffled by the bizarre language that was inscribed on the remains of a jug.

A new translation reveals the contents of a jar was ‘lousy’ plonk intended for slaves – and sheds new light on society at the time.

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The label dates from second half of the 10th Century BC and was discovered in the Ophel area of Jerusalem, south of Temple Mount

The label dates from second half of the 10th Century BC and was discovered in the Ophel area of Jerusalem, south of Temple Mount

 

The word on the pitcher reads 'yayin' or wine and he believes it should read 'in the year [¿ ]M, wine, part, m[¿]' in a form of ancient Hebrew, according to professor Galil

The word on the pitcher reads ‘yayin’ or wine and he believes it should read ‘in the year [¿ ]M, wine, part, m[¿]’ in a form of ancient Hebrew, according to professor Galil read more

Back to the Moon

America is to pay the moon a visit for the first time since Apollo 17 touched down there more than 40 years ago.

The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals.

The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing.

 
MX-1: The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing
MX-1: The unmanned spacecraft, unveiled last night at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas, will scoop up rock and dust samples from the lunar surface to be ferried back to Earth for testing
 
 
Moon mine: The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals
Moon mine: The privately-owned MX-1 will blast off in 2015 on a reconnaissance mission ahead of plans to mine the moon for minerals read more

New Chinese Airport Opens – Destination Nowhere

 

It’s been hailed as an architectural masterstroke and symbol of China’s explosion onto the world stage of global travel.

But Shenzhen International Airport’s brand-new terminal has a problem: nobody seems to want to go there.

The £612million ($1 billion) travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia.

Smiling staff handed out commemorative model planes to passengers on the flight as dozens of golf carts circulated the lounge to give free rides for anyone in need.

But despite claims on its website that tourists can be spirited away to far-flung locations including Sydney, Dubai and Cologne, no airlines actually appear to offer services to or from any of these cities, The Independent reported.

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Vast: The £612million travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia
Vast: The £612million ($1 billion) travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia read more

Til Death Do Us Part

 

 

It’s known as a ‘Tyrolean traverse’ and it’s  only for the most experienced and prepared rock climber, let alone a brushing  bride.

But as ‘extreme weddings’ continue to be the  biggest nuptial trend of the now, one couple have managed to set a dangerous  precedent for any thrill-seeking lovebirds looking to tie the knot somewhere  terrifically terrifying, walking down the aisle some 3,000 feet in the  air.

While without the pressure of having your  closest friends and family staring at you intently, this woman in white had  plenty of reasons for pre-wedding jitters.

Her and her husband-to-be spent their big day  conquering the famous Lost Arrow Spire Highline in California’s Yosemite  National Park.

The Bride does the tyrolian traverse to Lost Arrow Spire in a wedding dress
The lengths you’ll go for love: A bride spends her big  day dangling 3,000 feet in the air at the notorious Lost Arrow Spire in the  Yosemite National Park in California read more

Mystery Fish Caught Off Borneo

A mystery fish with terrifying tusk-like  spikes near its mouth and spines along its body has been caught off the coast of  Borneo.

The discovery has baffled fisherman in the  area and the authorities are also scrabbling to identify the foot-long  species.

Locals have temporarily named it the Armour  Fish, courtesy of its sharp spines on the  top and bottom of its body, which gets progressively smaller towards the  tail.

Anyone for supper? This frightening fish, complete with tusk-like spikes and spines along its body has been caught in the South China Sea off Borneo
Anyone for supper? This frightening fish, complete with  tusk-like spikes and spines along its body has been caught in the South China  Sea off Borneo read more

Nightscapes

Shanghai, China, 2011

German photographer Jakob   Wagner has photographed many cities around the world at night. He scouts   each city location for a perfect vantage point before setting up his tripod   and capturing long-exposure photos of the cityscape. Shanghai, China, 2011

 

The Freedom Tower construction site in New York, USA, 2012

He says: “I think the most important thing is to be in the right spot at the   right time. I was lucky to work as an assistant for a few renowned   photographers while they were working all around the globe.” The Freedom Tower construction site in New York, USA, 2012

Picture: JAKOB WAGNER / CATERS NEWS read more

Sea Monster Found

A marine science instructor snorkeling off the Southern California coast spotted something out of a fantasy novel: the silvery carcass of an 18-foot-long, serpent-like oarfish.

Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute needed more than 15 helpers to drag the giant sea creature with eyes the size of half dollars to shore on Sunday.

Staffers at the institute are calling it the discovery of a lifetime.

 
The 18-foot-long oarfish found dead in the water off Catalina Island near Los Angeles
This is the 18-foot-long oarfish found dead in the water off Catalina Island near Los Angeles. The picture, released by the Catalina Island Marine Institute and taken on Sunday October 13 shows the crew of sailing school vessel Tole Mour and Catalina Island Marine Institute instructors holding the giant fish found in the waters off Toyon Bay on Santa Catalina Island, California. Oarfish dive 3000 feet deep read more

Death-Defying Goats

Using moves that would make any rock climber jealous, these death-defying goats expertly make their way up an almost vertical dam.

Photographer Paolo Seimandi, 34, captured the amusing moment the herd of alpine ibexes decided to scale the brick wall in the Gran Paradiso National Park in Northern Italy.

And they aren’t doing it just to show off – it is thought the goats are actually grazing, licking the stones for their salts and minerals. 

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Head for heights:
Head for heights: These incredible pictures show the moment a herd of sure-footed mountain goats climbed up an almost vertical dam in search of salt read more

Worlds Oldest Sundial Found

A carved slab discovered in the Ukraine is thought to be the earliest example of a stone sundial ever found.

Thought to date back to 13th Century BC when the Late Bronze Age Srubna culture would have inhabited the area, the sundial may even have been a maker for a sacrificial grave, or used as a message to the gods.

Larisa Vodolazhskaya from the Russian Archaeoastronomical Research Centre proved it was a sundial after studying the the size and geometry of the stone and the position of its carvings.

 
The carved stone, pictured, was found in the Ukraine and is believed to date back to 13th century BC.
The carved stone, pictured, was found in the Ukraine and is believed to date back to 13th century BC. It is thought the sundial was used to mark the location of a sacrificial grave, or as a message to the gods or ancestors of the Late Bronze Age Russian Srubna culture read more