The Incredible Sliding house that changes shape at the touch of a button

It gives new meaning to the phrase 'moving house.'

At first glance, Ross Russell's Suffolk home looks like a traditional East Anglian barn. But with one push of a button the house begins to change shape.

In just six minutes the steel and wooden shell that covers the building can slide forward as a canopy, retract back to cover the annexe and yard but leave the bathroom open, or stop halfway covering the bathroom but revealing the conservatory.

The 20 ton mobile roof and wall enclosure is moved using four electric motors powered only by standard car batteries. It measures 52ft long, 20ft wide and 23ft high

'In the winter we will have the roof pulled over to keep up warm,' Mr Russell, 48, said.

'But on a summer evening it is a magical experience to be able to pull the roof back and sit in the sunshine.'

Mr Russell, who had a successful business in the City decided he wanted to build a countryside home with his wife Sally that was a little different.

'We put at the top of the brief, "We are prepared to be radical,"' he said.

As he had never built a house before he contacted an old school friend Alex de Rijke who was now part of DRMM architects, and put his idea of a moving house to him.

Mr Rijke was enthusiastic and it took them 12 months for the house to be designed and built.

'Sliding House offers radically variable spaces, extent of shelter, sunlight and insulation,' Mr Rijke said.

'It is about the ability to vary the overall building composition and character according to season, weather, or a remote-controlled desire to delight.'

The door openings are spaced so there is always an exit, at any point along the travel path, in case the mechanism jams.

The distinctive red timber cladding was designed to look like a Monopoly hotel and works to insulate the building in winter.

But on brighter days Mr Russell takes the opportunity to slide back the shell to reveal the beautiful views of the surrounding countrywide.

'We were only ever going to build one house in our lives, so it had to be special and it had to be beautiful,' he said.

16-year-old schoolgirl who survived SEVENTEEN heart operations

Sarah Haselgrove is just 16, but she has already undergone a shocking seventeen heart operations.

The teenager is the longest living youngster in Britain with so many complex cardiac problems.

But despite spending more than half her life in hospital, she is just a year behind at school and will sit her GCSEs next year.

The schoolgirl from Kent, was not expected to live a week and underwent five heart operations in her first year of life.

She was in and out of hospital throughout primary school and has faced three major surgeries in the last six years.

But Sarah has battled on to live a normal life, and even competes at carriage racing at Windsor Castle every year.

She said: 'There are lots of things I can't do, so I just concentrate on things I'm good at.

'I've had a lot of time spent in hospital beds, but I'm fine now, as long as don't overdo things.'

Sarah, who lives with her mother Nicky, 45, father Steve, 51, a nuclear power engineer, sister Holly, 13 and brother Stuart, 18, was born five weeks prematurely with a catalogue of problems including Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Children with the rare condition do not often survive beyond infancy and only a few have survived into their teens.

Less than half of Sarah's heart was working properly and just hours after birth, weighing just 4lbs 4oz, she was rushed to The Royal Brompton Hospital in London for her first operation.

At just three days old, Sarah had surgery for coarctation of the aorta, where the main artery is narrowed and repaired using part of an artery from the left arm.

Mother Nicky, an ex legal secretary, said: 'She was so small the tubes and machines completely swamped her.

'We were told it was unlikely she'd survive but somehow Sarah battled through.'

But at just three months old, she was rushed back into hospital again for her second emergency surgery to close a hole in her atrium.

Nicky said: 'Sarah's heart had other holes, and was like a piece of Swiss cheese.

'She was so weak her little body would not cope without major work. There was little hope she would survive but we had to try.'

Amazingly Sarah pulled through the operation, but her first year of life was a constant battle and she underwent three more surgeries, to fit a cardiac catheter, repair her mitral valve, and carry out work on her right diaphragm.

The following year, she faced five more operations, including three sets of heart and lung echoes, surgery to replace her faulty mitral valve, and to drain excess pericardial fluid.

Doctors also fought to save her life after her diaphragm became paralysed and she was unable to breathe. Sarah was also constantly vomiting and had to be fed via a nasal gastric tube.

Sarah kept battling on but at the age of six, after she'd already spent most of her life in hospital, she faced her eleventh heart operation, another cardiac catheter.

Six months later, she had her twelfth and most complicated procedure to date, to remove an obstruction on her aortic valve and close holes between the ventricles.

Nicky said: 'It seemed never ending. She'd also endured stomach operations and treatment for numerous chest infections, pneumonia and bronchitis.

'I used to look at clothes for little girls and think, will she ever live to wear those?'

But despite her family's fears, Sarah, who remembers the operation, never doubted herself.

'I got a little nervous before each operation but I always knew I would come out the other side,' she said.

'It never really worried me. I suppose it's like a gut instinct.'

Finally Sarah was allowed home to her family but was still not strong enough to attend school, and between the ages of eight and nine she faced two more surgeries.

The thirteenth involved fitting a new cardiac catheter and her fourteenth involved a cardio echo which confirmed she had an irregular heart rhythm.

A month later she was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital for her fifteenth procedure, to have a pacemaker fitted.

Nicky said: 'It is a dangerous operation for a child as young as Sarah was.

'She was very badly bruised after this surgery and looked so frail.'

In September that year Sarah underwent her sixteenth surgery, to replace her mechanical mitral valve with an upside down aortic valve, which was larger and would continue working as she grew.

She recovered well, despite doctors' concerns numerous scar tissue would restrict their access to her heart.

Sarah was finally well enough to go to mainstream school, where she did brilliantly to catch up on four years of work.

She started a normal life with her friends, meeting up after school and going shopping at weekends, although she was not allowed to do any sports.

It was not until she was 13 that Sarah needed her final and seventeeth surgery to replace her existing pacemaker with a larger biventricular one.

Nicky said: 'It was a long operation and difficult, due to the blocked and narrow arteries. But it needed to be done, as the previous one wasn't working properly.'

Sarah has been trouble-free for almost three years, although she undergoes six monthly checks at Great Ormond Street and recently has been referred for further tests at Kings College Hospital for a possible neurological problem.

The teenager said: 'I still have to take warfarin every day to thin my blood so it can travel through my valves.

'I have to be very careful not to cut myself as it can cause heavy bleeding. But other than that I feel great.'

The ambitious schoolgirl hopes to become a dietician because she remembers how much help she received after stomach surgery.

Sarah said: 'I had my stomach stapled to stop the food coming up and flooding my lungs.

'That meant I couldn't eat much, so I was all small and skinny.

'But the dietician gave me an eating plan and lots of high-fat milkshakes so now I look normal for my age.

'That got me really interested in nutrition.'

Sarah also loves cooking and is taking her food technology GCSE.

'My chocolate eclairs always go down pretty well,' she added.

Suzie Hutchinson, chief executive of the charity Little Heart Matters, said: 'Sarah is a reflection of the wonders of modern medicine.

'The way new surgeries and techniques have emerged means many more children may be able to grow up and lead full and happy lives with this condition.

'Every day is a challenge for Sarah, not only because of her ever-changing medical condition but her need to move towards an independent adult life.

'She is the most wonderful role model.'

Nicky now runs a helpline for the charity and the family often hold fundraising events to help other youngsters.

'I wanted to give something back and I hope Sarah's story will give other parents some hope and encouragement,' she said.

'It is possible to defy the odds and pull through.'

Introducing the world's first aqua-bus

For those holidaymakers who think they've seen it all, here is a coach trip with a difference.

A company AmphiCoach have built a 50-seat aqua-bus in Malta that can drive from the road into the ocean with barely a gear-change.

The brainchild of Scotsman George Smith, the aluminum vehicle can glide on fresh or seawater. The metal has a corrosion barrier and the company said the bus could withstand 3,500 hours of constant use without any adverse effects.

Clients can choose between a two or four-wheel drive on land and the specially developed engine can achieve 8 knots on water. The coach was recently put through its paces in Maraxlokk Bay, Malta.

The brightly coloured vehicles are already attracting interest, with 10 orders for the new vehicle-vessels from countries including Germany and Hungary.

Each of the vehicles costs £280,000 and Amphicoach say they can build 12 ship-shape roadsters every year.

As the pictures show, the bus is sea-worthy and customers have already paid their fare or swiped their Oyster cards for a trip into the deep blue.

The Amphicoach company claim this is the first true amphibious passenger coach, which is built under strict supervision by Lloyd's Register.

The founders, who've spent six years bringing their fishy dream to life, see a big market for tourists wanting to take the usual city bus-tour and then sail into the nearest Thames, Seine or Hudson for a riverside view.

A spokesman said: 'We have reworked and reinvented the amphibious tourist vehicle as everyone knows it. By creating a unique and exciting vehicle that is going to transform the world of city and harbour tours.

'Soon people will no longer be satisfied with just a city coach tour, they will want the complete package, a city coach tour with a water cruise built in.'

The coach has been designed to pass all E.U. legislation and is likely to become a fixture in cities over the next few years.

Just don't forget to pay your fare, as this is one bus you don't want to get chucked off.

World's biggest train set present by Twin brothers

It looks like night has fallen at a busy train station.

Row upon row of carriages wait for the passengers who mill about on platforms or buying last-minute snacks at kiosks.

But this is actually just part of the world's biggest train set which twin brothers have worked on for nine years and spent ?8million on.

The 'Miniatur Wunderland' has six regions including America, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Germany and the Austrian Alps.

In the U.S. section you'll find intricate models of the Rocky Mountains, the Everglades, Cape Canaveral and the Grand Canyon.

While in Switzerland the mighty Matterhorn mountain rises 6m from the set.

Twin brothers Gerrit and Frederik Braun, 41, from Hamburg decided to make the model so lifelike that they even added 4,000 moving cars, 160,000 figures as well as other forms of transport.

A music festival in Switzerland is also shown as well as police carrying out an arrest.

The Gerrit brothers say their project is yet unfinished and are aiming to complete their masterpiece by 2014.

'It isn't just a model, but a world that invites visitors to dream,' Frederick said.

His brother Gerrit added: 'Our idea was to build a world that men, woman, and children can be equally astonished and amazed in.

'One of our fundamentals has always been to meet every challenge, no matter how hopeless it seems to be in the beginning.

'With this attitude we managed to create technology which amaze our visitors.'

Stretching for a staggering six miles the track winds its way around some of the world's most famous landmarks, from the mountains of Switzerland to the hotels and casinos of Las Vegas.
'And the world continues growing. In Wunderland you can experience in only a few hours many days and nights in different regions of this earth.

'It isn't just a model railway, but a world which invites the visitors in different ways to dream and discover.

"It reflects a diversity of opinion and enables the observer to regard parts of our world from a totally different perspective.'

The Miniatur Wunderland is located next to the River Elbe in the Speicherstadt area of Hamburg, Germany.

Is this woman really as old as the LIGHT BULB? 'Oldest person in the world' set to celebrate her 130th birthday

Officials in Kazakhstan say they have a found a woman who will this week celebrate her 130th birthday, making her 16 years older than the oldest known human currently living.

Sakhan Dosova - a mother of ten - says she has never visited a doctor nor eaten sweets. She is addicted to cottage cheese and puts her longevity down to her sense of humour.

Her remarkable age came to light during a census in Karaganda in northern Kazakhstan. Demographers were astonished to find that she was also on Stalin's first census of the region in 1926 when her age was given as 47.

Her date of birth is said to be 27 March 1879, and it is clearly shown on her documents including her Soviet era passport and independent Kazakhstan identity card.

Until the recent census, however, her fame did not extend beyond her far-flung city.

While some Kazakh officials are pressing for more detailed checks on her claim, fearing the country could face ridicule if it is shown to be false, she has no doubts and is basking in her new found fame.

'I don't have any special secret,' she said. 'I've never taken pills and if I was ill, I used granny's remedies to cure me.

'I have never eaten sweets, I don't like them. But I love kurt (a salty dried cottage cheese) and talkan (ground wheat).'

Gaukhar Kanieva, 42, her grand-daughter, said: 'She is a very cheerful woman. We think laughter and her good mood helped her live so long.'

Nailya Dosayeva, head of social and demographical department of Karaganga regional statistics bureau, said there is no doubt that her claim is authentic.

'Sakhan Dosova was found during our census held in February and March. She has an old passport and documents which are genuine, and based on these we can judge her age as being correct.'

The local mayor Islam Togaybayev went to visit her 'to personally congratulate her on such an achievement and show his respect', said his spokesman.

If Sakhan's year of birth is accurate, it means she was born when Queen Victoria still had 22 more years to rule in Britain and Disraeli was prime minister.

It was the year that Stalin and Einstein were born, the Anglo-Zulu war started, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published his first story.

The year 1879 also saw Edison present his new invention - the light bulb - while the ill-fated last tsar of Russia was just 11 years old.

She was ten when Hitler was born, 38 when Lenin led the Russian Revolution, and reached retirement age, 60, the year the Second World War began.

The old woman lives in poor conditions in an overcrowded flat with one of her granddaughters, though she is said to be in good health apart from some problems with her hearing.

According to one account of her life, twice-married Sarkan was widowed at the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War. Only three of her children remain alive.

Officially, the oldest living person in the world is American Edna Parker of the US at 114.

Some Kazakh bureaucrats want more checks to be done to ascertain the accuracy of her claim, pointing out that birth records in Kazakhstan in the 19th century are notoriously unreliable.

'We can see that this is turning into a big story and for the sake of our country, we need to be sure her claim is correct,' said one official.

According to one version of her life, she must have given birth to several children over the age of 60, he said.

'There is no doubt she is very old. But is she really 130? Or was there a white lie long ago which was never corrected? We need to find out.'

The central Asian state is only now recovering from damage to its reputation caused by Sacha Baron Cohen's film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Senior state statistician Lyudmila Kolesova said: 'We're checking the authenticity of the data on her case.'

Edgy? No, we're quite relaxed perched atop at 530ft drop

Much closer to the edge of the crumbling chalk cliffs at Beachy Head and these four friends would not have enjoyed a great deal more of yesterday's sunshine.

They sat perched at the top of the 530ft drop relaxing and enjoying the views as the nation basked in glorious weather during the first official weekend of spring.

In the South of England temperatures topped 16C (60F) – even higher than the Spanish coasts.

Beachy Head is derived from the French words meaning 'beautiful headland' and the name has been applied to the stretch of coast in East Sussex since the 16th century.

But the beauty spot has also had a rather grim reputation as a suicide location since the 17th century.

Around 20 people die each year by jumping from the cliffs.

A chaplaincy team regularly patrols along the top while the Samaritans charity has installed a telephone box to their call centre there.

Spanish police seize 42-piece dinner set... made entirely of cocaine

A 42-piece crockery set made entirely of compressed cocaine has been seized by Spanish police.

Forty-five pounds of the drug were sculpted into a cheerful set of plates, cups, pots and saucers - painted blue and decorated with sunflowers

It was sent by recorded delivery from Venezuela to Barcelona via London.

Now police have arrested a 35-year-old Spanish man, known only as JVLL, who is believed to have received the crockery in the mail, after an international investigation.

They believe JVLL was forced into the deal by Venezuelan drug lords. The dealers had hoped to treat the drug and then sell it in Catalonia, police said.

Spain has the second-highest level of cocaine consumption in Europe after Britain.

The Internet sensation dinner-party painting with 103 historical guests - how many can you spot?

They are perhaps the ultimate dinner party guests. Stalin engages Leonardo da Vinci in conversation, Beethoven serenades Audrey Hepburn on the piano and Shakespeare is sandwiched between Elvis and Mozart. Bill Clinton raises a glass in cheer, while Churchill smokes a cigar and Margaret Thatcher looks on.

And surrounding them all are images of some of Man's defining creations - Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the car.

This extraordinary painting by little-known-Taiwanese artists Dai Dudu, Li Tiezi and Zhang An (who appear in the top right of the picture), which also features some Chinese communist leaders and poets little known outside Asia, has become the latest internet hit - with people fascinated by the challenge of trying to identify all 103 figures.

Completed in 2006, it is titled Discussing The Divine Comedy With Dante and seems to be a metaphor for our celebrity-obsessed world. So how many can you recognise? - Answers below!

Are you in there, Bindi? The 10ft snake that swallowed a 14lb pet terrier... WHOLE

If this snake looks a little out of shape, there's a very good reason for its swollen tummy.

It's just swallowed a pet dog, together with its collar and name tag.

Owner Patty Buntine was mystified when her three-year-old Maltese terrier cross Bindi disappeared from her home in Katherine, in Australia's northern territory.

But a quick maths calculation by a professional snake catcher soon provided the answer.

The 10-foot long olive python with the enormously bulging tummy weighed 35lb. Usually it would weigh about 21lb, meaning that whatever it had swallowed weighed 14lb - roughly the size of poor little Bindi.

There is one more piece of compelling evidence. Since the snake showed up in Ms Buntine's back yard Bindi hasn't been seen.

'She didn't show up for her routine breakfast at 7am and because she was always there I got worried and went to look for her,' Ms Buntine told the Sunday Territorian newspaper.

'I went around the side of the house and that's when I found the snake. It couldn't move and had its head up in a striking position.

'Its belly was bulging - it looked like a great big coconut was inside it. I knew straight away that it had ate Bindi.

'I felt terrible - it's not very nice at all to think my little dog went that way.'

She described her dog as 'a little smarty pants, darting all over the place.'

In fact Bindi was so good at escaping bathtime that Ms Buntine is still trying to understand how she didn't know the snake was slithering up towards her.

Snake catcher David Reed agreed that Bindi was in the snake's stomach.

'I've had a lot of calls about dogs that have been bitten by snakes and I have even had an olive python that had eaten some new-born puppies, but never one like this,' he said.

He said the olive python - a species which are harmless to humans - had consumed 60 per cent of its body weight in a single meal.

'It is really amazing. It's equivalent to a 220lb man eating a 132lb steak.'

Once the snake has digested its canine meal, it will be released back into the wild - a long way from houses that have small pet dogs.

Our wedding ring baby: 30oz boy was so tiny that his father's gold band fitted over his arm

The odds were stacked against Ethan Currill from birth.

Arriving at 24 weeks, he weighed just 1lb 14oz, with a brain haemorrhage and an open duct in his heart.

He was so tiny that his father Edward was able to slip his wedding band over his arm.

But Ethan never gave up fighting - and fourth months later he has finally been allowed to go home.

His mother Catherine, 21, a post office assistant manager, said: 'It is amazing to finally have Ethan home after all he has been through.

'He was so tiny when he was born that we couldn't believe that anything that small could possibly survive.

'He just looked like a baby bird. His skin was translucent and his head wasn't that much bigger than a tennis ball.

'None of our family and friends could believe it when we told them how small he was, so that's when Edward slipped his wedding ring on to Ethan's arm to show them.'

When Mrs Currill became pregnant in May last year, everything progressed well until November.

She said: 'I'd been on bed rest for three weeks as I'd hurt my back at work, then when I was 24 weeks' pregnant my waters suddenly broke.

'My mother and Edward took me in to the Worcester Royal Hospital and they told me the baby was on its way. They told me that he only had a 50 per cent chance of survival, and that if he did survive his chances of being born with severe disabilities were the same.

'They asked me whether I wanted him resuscitated when he was born and we said that we did.'

Mrs Currill was transferred to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport as her local hospital didn't have the facilities for premature babies.

Tiny Ethan was born two days later after a 21-hour labour. He had to be resuscitated immediately after his birth, and then he was put on to a ventilator.

The couple were allowed to see their son for the first time four hours later.

Mrs Currill said: 'He was covered in tubes and wires, which was so frightening.'

The next 48 hours were critical for Ethan as he battled for survival. He had a brain haemorrhage, but he managed to hang on.

Then, when he was just three weeks old, he had to have a lifesaving operation to close a duct in his heart.

Mrs Currill said: 'It had been a miracle that he had managed to get through the first 48 hours, then we had to watch him being taken down for an operation. It was a terrible wait, waiting for him to come back.'

Luckily the operation was a success and since then Ethan has come on in leaps and bounds.

He has chronic lung disease, but doctors are hoping that he will recover as he grows.

Mrs Currill added: 'He's getting stronger day by day, and each morning I look at him and can't believe that he's finally home with us - he really is a little fighter.'

Room for one more on top? How to get a seat in rush hour

Room for one more at the back?

Only if you can push your way into the throng of 100 or so workers on a journey home from work which makes commuting on Britain's much-maligned transport network seem like luxury.

Shoehorned onto the back of a lorry, they are crossing the Sahara Desert in temperatures of up to 35c in the shade. The hellish trip can last two to three weeks.

This is the way an army of migrant workers from some of Africa's poorest states get home from oil-rich Libya.

The lorries follow ancient spice caravan routes over hundreds of miles to Niger and Mali, braving dust storms and giant potholes.

The workers, who do menial jobs shunned by Libyans, have some time with their families - then their desert commute starts all over again.

Is this the world's only PINK dolphin?

These are the stunning pictures of a rare pink bottlenose dolphin spotted swimming in a Louisiana lake.

The mammal was pictured by local charter boat captain Erik Rue, who has been studying the dolphin since it first surfaced in Lake Calcasieu, an inland saltwater estuary, north of the Gulf of Mexico in Southwestern USA.

Since it was spotted with its pod of normal coloured dolphins last year the animal has been wowing visitors on the lake.

Capt Rue, 42, originally saw the dolphin, which also has reddish eyes, swimming with a pod of four other dolphins, with one appearing to be its mother which never left its side.

'I just happened to see a little pod of dolphins, and I noticed one that was a little lighter. It was absolutely stunningly pink', he said.

'I had never seen anything like it. It's the same colour throughout the whole body and it looks like it just came out of a paint booth. The dolphin appears to be healthy and normal other than its colouration, which is quite beautiful.

'The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating it's albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws. I have spotted it about 40 to 50 times in the time since the original sighting as it has apparently taken up residence with its family in the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

As time has passed he has grown and sometimes ventures away from its mother to feed and play but always remains in the vicinity of the pod.

'Surprisingly, it does not appear to be drastically affected by the environment or sunlight as might be expected considering its condition, although it tends to remain below the surface a little more than the others in the pod.'

Capt Rue added: 'I feel very fortunate to have seen this incredible mammal and lucky to be able to work and live in the area where such a fantastic creature frequents.

'Our guests are always thrilled at the opportunity to spot such a unique mammal and we look forward to it being around for some time to come.'

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, senior biologist, with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, called the dolphin 'truly beautiful'.

'I have never seen a dolphin coloured in this way in all my career', she said.

'While this animal looks pink, it is an albino which you can notice in the pink eyes. Albinism is a genetic trait and it unclear as to the type of albinism this animal inherited.

'It is a truly beautiful dolphin but people should be careful, as with any dolphins, to respect it. Observe from a distance, limit their time watching, don't chase or harass it.