Friday, May 30, 2008

Fisherman nets one heck of a halibut - record-breaker weighs in at 30 stone

As a fully paid-up monster of the deep, it should have swatted aside any angler with the temerity to try to catch it with a mere rod and line.

But this record-breaking Atlantic halibut bit off more than it could chew when it took on heroic Soren Beck.

As it fought to escape, Mr Beck's small boat had to chase it across the Arctic waters off Norway to prevent either rod or line snapping.

Once the energy-sapping fight was over it took three men to haul the 30-stoner aboard. Back on land, they found it measured 8ft 1in in length, 6ft 4in around the middle and weighed in at 443lb, 24lb more than the previous record for a line-caught halibut.

And if Mr Beck had managed to get it to a British market it would have made around £2,200.

The Dane, who was on holiday, was angling in waters which have given up some giant halibut in recent years.

The biggest, caught by a commercial fisherman, was 63st. Halibut typically reach maturity at ten years and average 3ft 4in in length.

A halibut big enough for Jehovah? Proud angler Soren Beck stands next to the enormous 8ft 1in Halibut he caught after a titanic struggle off the Norwegian coast

When the fight was over, it took three men to haul the whopping flatfish on board their boat with the use of a hook on the end of a pole.

The giant fish then fought for his life for an amazing half an hour after he was pulled out of the Arctic circle waters.

The 31st monster smashed the line as it was pulled in by three fishermen and weighed a record 24 lbs

Cato Bekkevold, an expert from the region, said: 'The area where he caught it is famed for cod and coalfish, but last year the Wildwater Camps brought up 80 halibut.

'These halibut can be caught by a variety of methods, but drifting with coalfish or big shad-jigs [a type of hook] baited with a worm have caught the majority.

'There have been some monsters caught by commercial fishermen, with one recently off Norway weighing 314.5kg.

Soren would have made £2,200 if he had sold the fish at a market in the UK

'The biggest in recent times was 329kg caught in the late 90s, and the biggest ever recorded is around 400 kg.

'It is painted in full size at the Halibut museum on the island of Senja.'

Halibut don't recover from over-fishing as fell as other flatfish, and Atlantic halibut are often tagged then released when caught.

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Being Tired Is Not a Status Symbol

Some people think telling everyone how exhausted they are makes them seem important. But flaunting your fatigue only makes you insufferable.

-By Greg Williams
-Photograph by Jonathan Kambouris


There was a time not so long ago that when you asked a colleague how he was doing he'd likely reply, "I'm good, thanks." He might not actually have been good at all, but he would have kept that to himself.

Now, in the age of the mortgage meltdown and mass layoffs, he'll probably offer the answer that's become the default comeback for white-collar guys who want to demonstrate they've got it all—the career on an upward curve, the remodeled townhouse, the hot wife, and the privately educated kids. He'll say, "I'm so tired."

"It's the first thing that comes out of someone's mouth when you ask them how they're doing," says Matthew Moss, 34, a creative director at a marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. "'Oh, I'm exhausted.' The first thing you think is 'Oh, this guy is tired, which means he's probably been working really hard.' Or 'They're full of shit.'"

Mostly, it's the second one. When you walk into a colleague's office and he's sitting there rubbing his eyes and stifling yawns, dropping a Venti latte cup into a wastebasket and hollering at his assistant to bring him another Red Bull, do you think, Wow, what an overachiever!? No. Because he's the guy who puts on the same show at meetings, trying to bleed extra credit from an average performance—Can you believe I pulled this off despite my obvious exhaustion?

"I think people use tiredness as a defense mechanism," says Paul (who asked that his last name not be used), 30, a vice president at an investment bank in Manhattan. "If you're staying till three in the morning you must be doing something very important, right?"

It doesn't actually matter what you're doing. No one believes you—much less cares. The three-day stubble, the slack jaw, the really . . . long . . . pauses . . . between words—to observers it's all white-noise whining. Mr. I'm So Tired thinks his cartoonish fatigue is demonstrating his dauntingly high station in life. It isn't.

"People use tiredness as a proxy for effort," says Steve Gravenkemper, an organizational psychologist at Plante & Moran, a consulting and accounting firm based in Detroit. "They say, 'Gee, I tried real hard even though I didn't get the result, and you can see that by my exhaustion.'"

Andy (not his real name), a 27-year-old analyst at a hedge fund in Manhattan, says the long hours that he and his colleagues work mean that there's low tolerance for status tiredness, because everyone is fatigued.

"It's like, 'Yeah, I popped two Lunes last night at 4 a.m.—and I was in at the office at six,'" he says. "It's really absurd."

Maybe it's that other symbols of social standing—the summer house, the SUV—are now so commonplace that they've lost their value. Or it could just be that to use tiredness as an emblem of status is to enter the realm of the intangible. No one knows what you did after you left the office, or whether you actually feel the way you're behaving. And the significance of the fatigued act is lost on them anyway. They're too tired to care.

Does bragging about how tired you are get under your skin too? Tell us your best "I'm so overworked" story in the comment section below.

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Alien Video To Be Revealed To Media Tomorrow, Man Claims

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that tomorrow the world might actually see who else is out there. A man, named Jeff Peckman, claims he will reveal video of live alien to the news media Friday. Brace yourselves. Below are some key excerpts from the story:
A video that purportedly shows a living, breathing space alien will be shown to the news media Friday in Denver.

"It shows an extraterrestrial's head popping up outside of a window at night, looking in the window, that's visible through an infrared camera," he said. The alien is about 4 feet tall and can be seen blinking, Peckman said earlier this month.

An instructor at the Colorado Film School in Denver scrutinized the video "very carefully" and determined it was authentic, Peckman said.

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Viewing E.T. film, expert is a believer

The Colorado Film School instructor who analyzed a video that purportedly shows a space alien swears the footage is real.

"There is no doubt in my mind that (Stan Romanek, a Colorado native who has reported UFO sightings,) did not post-produce this material. In other words, it's not a trick done in special effects," Jerry Hofmann, a professional film editor with more than 30 years of experience, said Thursday. "I have equipment that will test to see if that shot was recorded originally on that tape, which it was," he said.

However, Hofmann said there's no way for him to know whether or not the little gray alien, which was videotaped peeping through a window, is the real thing.

But Hofmann thinks it is.

"The chances are that we are not alone," he said. "That's the conclusion I've come to."

Hofmann, a Colorado Springs native who used to work in the Los Angeles film industry, said Romanek doesn't have the resources to videotape something so elaborate.

"He kept the camera handy, and he saw this little gray (alien) running around his house. He saw it, so he got the camera out," Hofmann said. "The thing is about 4 feet tall. The only thing that shows up in the video is his head. It pops up from underneath a window. But his eyes blink. His cheeks move. He turns his head side-to-side. This would be a very elaborate puppet."

Hofmann said people who work in Hollywood animatronics have seen the video, and he said that such an elaborate puppet would cost around $50,000.

"The guy (Romanek) lives on a freaking government pension," Hofmann said. "He's got a wife and three kids. He doesn't have money. I just don't think he faked this. I think what we got here is the real thing."

Hofmann said he had never heard about Romanek until he was approached last July to analyze the video. Hofmann, 57, who has been married for 35 years to his college sweetheart and has two grown children, said he used to be a skeptic about space aliens.

"My whole view has totally changed," he said. "There's something going on." or 303-954-5099

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