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World's youngest yoga teacher

At just six, Shruti Pandey is the youngest yoga trainer in the world.

The bendy youngster has been teaching adults at an ashram, in northern India, for the last two years.

Her trainer, Hari Chetan, 67, set up the ashram 35 years ago and as soon as little Shruti became one of his students, as a tiny four-year old, he spotted her talents.


Now she starts her classes at 5.30am every morning, at Brahmanand Saraswati Dham, in the Jhunsi town, dressed in white leggings and a red t-shirt surrounded by 30 eager pupils ranging from businessmen, teachers, housewives to pensioners.

Shruti said: 'It feels good when people follow my instructions, I feel like a real teacher.
'I got interested in yoga after seeing my brother do it. I tried picking it up myself but it was too hard. So I asked my parents to send me to yoga classes.'


Her brother, Harsh Kumar, now 11-years-old, made the Limca Book of Records at the tender age of five by learning all 84 yoga positions - but he's never been interested in being a teacher like his sister.

Hari, who Shruti also calls her grandfather, think she's a miracle.

'She's a fast learner and a perfectionist. She grasps techniques quickly unlike kids her own age, who get bored with something as patience consuming as yoga.

'Within just six months of her training, she surprised everyone by doing the toughest positions with ease and perfection. She's a natural.'




Shruti can manage some of yoga's most challenging positions. She can easily hold her entire body on the strength of her little arms and hang her legs right over her head backwards.

One of Shruti's fans, 90-year-old Swami Bhanu, a retired teacher, said: 'The best thing about Shruti is she tries to provide an alternative position for the complicated ones that are difficult for an older person like me to do. She's very patient.'

Businessman Lokendra Pal Singh, 48, has been attending Shruti's classes for three months and said, 'I have noticed a positive change in my life. I used to be short-tempered, but now I'm able to control my anger to quite an extent and it's all thanks to a little six-year old.'

80 Years Old Hairdryer Made in Britain

It was built in the days when ‘Made In Britain’ still meant something. And having breezed through countless hairstyles since it was purchased in the Thirties, this blow-dryer is a tangible reminder of when things were built to last.

It remains in perfect working order and, according to its owner, retired insurance company director John Wilcox, it has never broken down or even needed a service.

The machine has no serial or model number but carries a metal plate stamped ‘Siemens Electric Lamps and Supplies Ltd. MADE IN ENGLAND Siemens 230-250V 2.2 AMP AC or DC.’



Though Siemens is a German firm, according to the engineering history website Grace’s Guide, it established Siemens Electric Lamps and Supplies Ltd in Britain in 1931 to manufacture domestic appliances such as this dryer.

The brown Bakelite item’s only concession to technological advances has been a new plug – and only then because its original round-pin type became obsolete.

Mr Wilcox, 83, from Paignton, Devon, recalls watching his mother Florrie use it at the family home in Birmingham, 70 years ago. Portraits of Florrie, spanning five decades, show her sporting a variety of hairstyles.

They progress from an unfettered look in her teens to a more structured cut.

Florrie died in 1988 and with no purchase receipt Mr Wilcox has never been able to establish precisely when it was bought.

But his wife Kay, 73, who is a hairstylist, says the portraits indicate when the machine arrived in the household.

‘Having an electric hairdryer in the Thirties was still a luxury for women,’ said Mrs Wilcox.

‘Having got hold of it you can be pretty sure she used it regularly. You can see in her later portraits how a dryer has been used to style and hold her hair in place.’

Weighing a hefty 2lb the dryer’s only controls are on/off and hot/cold. It came with a Bakelite carry-case – now slightly cracked – complete with a vanity mirror.

A spokesman for Guinness World Records said: ‘There is no category for the oldest working electric hairdryer. However, we would be very interested in establishing one if it could be proved when this machine was produced.’

Penguins With double jointed necks

There are times when we would all like to hide our heads in shame.

But our impossible dream is a daily reality for these two King Penguins on the South Atlantic island of South Georgia.

Thanks to their double-jointed necks, the 'headless' pair merrily go about their business.




When a penguin fancies a scratch or two, he simply bends his head completely over and attacks the area that is bothering him with his beak.

Such a manoeuvre guarantees there is no such thing as a 'hard-to-reach spot'... and makes for an amusing natural image.

The King Penguin is the second largest species of penguin, second only to the Emperor Penguin.

Mainly found in the South Atlantic and the northernmost waters of the northern Antarctic, there are believed to be around 2.23million King Penguins and their numbers are increasing.

Miraculous escape for pilot after he crash lands on a MAIN ROAD and walks away without a scratch

A lucky pilot escaped with 'not a mark on him' after making an emergency landing on a main road during early rush hour.

Emergency workers raced to the scene after the light aircraft came down on the A429 in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, at 3.30pm yesterday.

But they were astonished to find that the pilot, a man in his 40s, had walked away uninjured.



Martyn Scott, senior paramedic from the West Midlands Ambulance Service, said:'The pilot got up and walked away. There was not a mark on him. He was totally uninjured.'

The pilot was the only person on board the Piper Cherokee when it crashed.

The road near Walton Hall was closed for several hours and all traffic diverted.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has been informed.

China is the most powerful economy in the world'Most Americans believe'

The majority of Americans think the United States is No.2 in the world behind China and is likely to stay that way, a poll has revealed.

Just one in five Americans said they have the strongest economy, compared to nearly half who chose Beijing’s.

Asked which nation will have the be in the strongest economic position in 20 years, 34% picked the United States, compared with 37% who chose China and 6% who named Japan.

The gloomy findings come as the U.S. struggles with a record debt and a weakened president who is still recovering from the ‘shellacking’ he received during the mid-term elections.



On the diplomatic stage Barack Obama has come off second best in the ‘currency wars’, with the Chinese openly condemning him for pumping trillions into the U.S. economy and lowering the value of the dollar.

Beijing has also amassed an enormous surplus in its international accounts while accumulating huge amounts of U.S. government debt, putting it in a position to call the shots on world affairs.

The poll by U.S. magazine The National Journal of 1,200 people found the traditional American optimism clouded by uncertainty and anxiety over the future.

Some two thirds of those surveyed said they do not expect the U.S. to return to the position it enjoyed last century any time soon.

A huge 58% said they agreed it is ‘inevitable that Americans’ incomes will grow more slowly’ in coming years because of competition from lower-paid workers around the world.

In addition, only one in four believe their children will have better opportunities than themselves.



A major part of the uneasiness was the shift away from manufacturing to a service industry.

When asked if the nation should allow that trend to continue without taking steps to reverse it, just one-third said yes; three-fifths said they wanted action.

The National Journal said that housewife Dana Rigby, from Kirksville, Montana, was typical of those who responded to the survey.

‘I’m trying to get my kids on the right path; who doesn’t want that?

But I don’t know if there’s going to be enough out there for all the young kids to have good jobs,’ she said.

World's oldest Christmas tree

Families all over the country follow the same annual tradition of getting the artificial Christmas tree out of its box when the time comes to put up the decorations.

But the Parker family has been doing it longer than any other because they are still using a tree they first bought in 1886.

Complete with the original baubles and tinsel, their 14 inch tree is in its 124th year and has been authenticated as the world's oldest imitation Christmas tree.



It cost six pence when it was bought in the mid-Victorian era but was last valued at £1,000 by experts at the Antiques Road Show in 2005.

Owner Paul Parker received the delicate ornament after his mother, Janet, passed away at the age of 69 in 2008, and is the third generation of his family to enjoy it.

Displaying the tree for the first time since his mother's death, Mr Parker is delighted to be carrying on the family tradition.

'I will proudly be displaying the tree this year,' said Mr Parker, 45, a mathematician from Bath.

'My mother treasured it when she was alive and my father Grahame is comforted that I will be carrying on the family tradition.

'It may not look like much but it has been part of our Christmas celebrations for so many years.



'It was one of those things the we just grew up with.

'But everything changed when mum saw an advert in the local paper asking for the oldest decorations.

'She thought that our old Christmas tree could be important - and she was right.'

The ornamental tree was first bought by Mr Parker's great-great aunt Lou in 1886.

Aunt Lou passed the tree to her favourite grandniece, Janet, when she just a child in the 1940's.

It was taken out of its original box by Janet every year since then and son Paul has vowed to continue the tradition.

The tree is made of green raffia, stands 14 inches tall and has a base featuring the traditional Christmas icons of cherubs, the Virgin Mary and Jesus.

The tree was first authenticated by Christie's auction house in London and then the Guinness Book of Records confirmed that the distinguished-looking ornament was indeed the oldest known artificial Christmas tree in the world.

'It was never meant as a replacement tree, it's ornamental,' said Mr Parker, who was given the tree by his 88-year-old father.

'Christmas really took off for the Victorians because of the influence of Prince Albert and the German tradition of the Tannenbaum Christmas tree.

'This little tree would have been produced for the same reason ornaments of nativity scenes were made, as a Christmas symbol for the family.'

The tree cost only six pence when it was bought in the mid-Victorian era.

By the time it was seen by experts at the Antiques Road Show in 2005 it was valued at £1,000.

'But putting a price to this kind of object is ridiculous,' said Mr Parker.

'As the oldest Christmas tree in history it has no peers.

'There really is nothing to compare to it.

'If two Christmas obsessives were bidding against each other they might very well carry on till next Christmas.'

On Christmas day 2010 the aged tree will be on display on the mantle piece of Mr Parker home as he shares a turkey dinner and glass of wine with his father.