Outside Edge (04/07/10)

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The Independent Online

Two british army doctors have become the first men to row non-stop and unsupported around mainland Britain.

Captains Nick Dennison and Hamish Reid spent 50 days and five hours at sea, doing alternate two-hour stints for 20 hours a day in aid of Help For Heroes, a charity for the wounded in current campaigns, and the Army Benevolent Fund. Now six British Military Fitness Instructors will try to break a 63-hour record for a triathlon that stetches from London to Paris, also in aid of Help For Heroes. They must run 84 miles to Dover, then swim a minimum of 22 miles across the Channel before pedalling 184 miles to Paris – presumably without the extra burden of a string of onions.


Pairs of pants worn by 10-year-old Jack Singer of Warwick in New York State, breaking the record of 211 set by Gary Craig of South Tyneside in April. He said: "I feel the most excited in my life." Good job he had so many pants on.

Brainwaves of the week

One for the casebook, or textbook: Dr Malcolm Findlay, founder of a rather watered down degree course in surf science at Plymouth University, saved the life of a 16-year-old boy off Challaborough Beach in Devon last week after he stopped breathing twice – and helped to save two girls who had drifted out to sea. Meanwhile Shane Wilmott on Australia's Gold Coast has spent the last 25 years teaching mice to surf. The boat builder carves them tiny, handmade boards and starts them off in the bath, then tows them around his swimming pool using a remote-controlled boat before they hit the beach. They wanted to use the cheeseboard but there were just too many holes in the gruyère.

Good week for

Manny Pacquiao, boxing world champion is sworn in as congressman for Sarangani province in the Philippines... Nathan Cleverly, Welsh boxer passes maths degree at Cardiff University... and parents at school sports days, can take photos of their children competing, according to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Bad week for

John Howard, former Australian prime minister is turned down in his attempt to become vice-president of the International Cricket Council... Yvonne Mayer, Cape Town resident ruptured her windpipe while blowing a vuvuzela... and Russians (or eight per cent of them in a survey of 1,600) who still think their national team can win the 2010 World Cup – they did not qualify for the tournament.

Deep thinkers of the week

To continue this week's aquatic theme, a dachshund called Boniface has been fitted out with a wetsuit and mask so that he can join his master Sergei Gorbunov, director of diving at Vladivostok Maritime College. Apparently he gets really upset whenever Gorbunov goes under. They should change his name to Scuba Doo. And there is an octopus at the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen who has been correctly predicting all of Germany's World Cup results. This psychic cephalopod, rather unimaginatively named Paul, has two boxes in his tank which bear the national flags. A mussel is placed in each box, and whichever one he grabs is the winner. Next week: Germany field an eight-footed player.