Outside Edge (15/08/10)

Another week, another extraordinary feat of endurance. Former British Army captain Ed Stafford, 34, of Hallaton in Leicestershire has become the first man to walk the entire length of the Amazon river, some 6,000 miles from Mount Mismi in Peru to Belem in Brazil. It took 859 days – and, he says, 50,000 mosquito bites – during which time he was imprisoned for murder, chased by Ashaninka Indians and had his mouth filled with concrete by locals who thought he was prospecting for oil. But even he didn't have to face the peril that Walter Kaiser, a 59-year-old Austrian, endured while climbing the Hochkesslekopf. He tumbled 50ft after being hit by a falling goat. He felt a bit sheepish.

£7,278

The amount bequeathed by cricketer W G Grace, the most famous sportsman of the Victorian age, when he died in 1915 (£617,000 in modern money). Karl Marx's legacy was £250 (£9,000), Charles Darwin's £146,911 (£13m). Well left!

Crafty punts of the week

From one record-breaking river journey to another. Four students have broken the "world" record for punting from Cambridge to Oxford, completing the 204-mile odyssey in 12 days. But messing about on the river can be dangerous. Last year, three "punt police" were deployed to patrol the River Cam at a cost of £10,000 after turf wars broke out between rival operators which caused 151 clashes over a three-year period including knife attacks – with one tourist suffering a broken hip. It's a lucrative business, a 12-seater craft bringing in up to £150 an hour. And trouble returned to Mill Pond last week as two punts worth £10,000 were sunk with concrete. You wonder if it was worth a punt.

Good week for

Andy Burnham, MP and Everton fan's Labour leadership bid was kickstarted by a donation of £10,000 from Liverpool's Jamie Carragher... Hollie Walcott, sister of Arsenal and England footballer Theo, qualified for the British Bodybuilder Championships... and Jay Stally, hit three holes-in-one inside six days at West Hove golf club in Sussex having taken up the sport 18 months ago.

Bad week for

Benni McCarthy, West Ham striker must lose 1kg in weight within seven days or be fined a week's wages (£38,000)... Laszlo Lovas, Hungarian winger with Boston Town was arrested for hiding his true identity as Romanian Lorand Borbely for six years... and Mike and Carol Russell, pensioners were refused admission to Colwyn Bay for a cricket match between Glamorgan and Lancashire because they had metal spoons in their bag.

Stunted growth of the week

They're big guys, American footballers, so it's no surprise they have to train hard to keep in trim. But Brian Cushing's excuse for failing a drugs test really takes the biscuit. The Houston Texans linebacker, the NFL defensive rookie of the year, insists he tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin – often used to restore testicular size after steroid abuse – because he had "overtrained athlete syndrome" which caused a hormone surplus. The same may have affected David File, a New Zealand lawn bowler who was banned for 10 years after exposing himself at a tournament. He said he was just telling his team they were "playing like dicks". He didn't knock one off with his wood.

a.tong@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch