The invisible Superyacht.

Plans for an ‘invisible’ superyacht which blends into the sea and makes those on board feel like they are ‘floating on air’ have been unveiled.

The 106-metre Mirage, which could cost as much as £200million, will be completely clad in specially mirrored glass which reflects the image of the sea back to onlookers.

This will make it look as if the 4,200-tonne vessel has ‘vanished’ to people from as little as 50 metres away – though any radar will still detect the yacht with plenty of time to manoeuvre. Meanwhile, the yacht’s own radar can also look out for smaller boats on a collision course, giving the captain time to take any evasive action.

'Invisible' superyacht: Mirage has been designed to 'vanish' into the sea and give its billionaire owner some privacy

 

‘Invisible’ superyacht: Mirage has been designed to ‘vanish’ into the sea and give its billionaire owner some privacy

 

Mirage will be completely clad in specially mirrored glass which reflects the image of the sea back to onlookers, making it invisible from 50 metres away

 

Designed to be the ultimate purchase for privacy-hungry billionaires, Mirage comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema.

The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots.

It was developed by Italian boatbuilders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs to ‘disappear between water and sky’ and ‘blend into the horizon’.

Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct.

The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots

 

The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots

 

One of the 4,200-tonne vessel's stunning decks with luxurious steps leading between levels and striking glass fittings

One of the 4,200-tonne vessel’s stunning decks with luxurious steps leading between levels and striking glass fittings

 

A dining area on one of the superyacht's spacious decks with room to accommodate dozens of guests for parties

A dining area on one of the superyacht’s spacious decks with room to accommodate dozens of guests for parties

 

Mirage comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema. Pictured: The designers' vision of one of the six decks

Mirage comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema. Pictured: The designers’ vision of one of the six decks

‘The longest part was researching the reflective glass and how it would be built,’ he said.

‘The main reason in designing this yacht was to make something that belonged to its environment.

‘Most yachts nowadays stand out and break the horizon or the landscape, in a way, we have tried to minimise this effect.

A luxurious swimming pool area on the 'invisible' superyacht surrounded by satellites of sun loungers inches from the ocean

A luxurious swimming pool area on the ‘invisible’ superyacht surrounded by satellites of sun loungers inches from the ocean

 

The £200million vessel has steps leading down into the sea so its billionaire owner can take a dip from one of the lower decks

The £200million vessel has steps leading down into the sea so its billionaire owner can take a dip from one of the lower decks

‘The colour variable mirrored glass is developed by a German glass manufacturer, which has never been used on yachts before.

‘All the vertical panels on the yacht will have this finish. If you were on the water it would probably be invisible from over 50 metres away.

‘If you are on the yacht itself the mirror will project the yacht’s surroundings, so in a way, it will give you a floating on air effect when onboard.’

The 106-metre vessel was developed by Italian boatbuilders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs to 'disappear between water and sky' and 'blend into the horizon'

The 106-metre vessel was developed by Italian boatbuilders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs to ‘disappear between water and sky’ and ‘blend into the horizon’

 

Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct

Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct

Mr Van Geest declined to put a price on the Mirage, but maritime experts suggested £200million would be reasonable for such a unique, luxury vessel.

If that was an accurate price tag it would place Mirage in the top 10 of the world’s most expensive yachts.

The list is currently topped by the £4billion History Supreme, which is made of solid gold and owned by Malaysia’s richest man, Robert Knok.

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Forget ‘survival of the fittest’ – the laziest will inherit the earth

Species which use the most energy in their daily lives die out quicker than less energetic animals, say evolutionary biologists

A study of over 300 species of molluscs that have lived and died in the Atlantic over the past five million years found that those with high metabolisms were the most likely to be extinct.
A study of over 300 species of molluscs that have lived and died in the Atlantic over the past five million years found that those with high metabolisms were the most likely to be extinct.

It is the perfect comeback for those who are admonished for not pulling their weight. Never mind that work is piling up, being lazy is a winning evolutionary strategy that postpones the extinction of the species.

That, at least, is one interpretation. Researchers who studied nearly 300 forms of mollusc that lived and died in the Atlantic over the past five million years found that a high metabolism predicted which species had gone the way of the dodo.

The sea snails, sea slugs, mussels and scallops which burned the most energy in their daily lives were more likely to have died out than their less energetic cousins, especially when they lived in small ocean habitats, the scientists found.

While the causes of extinction are varied and complex, the work points to a new link between the rate at which animals use energy to grow and maintain their body tissues and the length of time the species has on Earth.

“The lower the metabolic rate, the more likely the species you belong to will survive,” said Bruce Lieberman, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology who led the research at Kansas University. “Instead of ‘survival of the fittest’, maybe a better metaphor for the history of life is ‘survival of the laziest’, or at least ‘survival of the sluggish’.”

The scientists examined 299 species of gastropods, such as snails and slugs, and bivalves, including mussels and scallops, that lived in the Western Atlantic Ocean any time from the Pliocene more than five million years ago to the present day. When the researchers calculated resting metabolic rates for each species, they found that energy use differed markedly for the 178 species that had gone extinct compared with those that live on today. The work is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“The probable explanation is that things that were more sluggish or lazy had lower energy or food requirements and thus could make do with little when times were bad,” said Lieberman.

The work could help conservationists to better forecast which species are likely to die out first as global climate change hinders food production. The next step is to find out whether metabolism plays a role in the extinction rates of other animals, including those that live on land.

“This result doesn’t necessarily mean that lazy people are the fittest, because alas sometimes those lazy people are the ones that consume the most resources,” Lieberman added. “Humanity’s laziness, when it comes to trying to arrest the changes to the planet we are causing, may be the biggest peril our own species faces.

“But in a nutshell our work indicates that being sluggish can make you more likely to survive. So, here’s to a nap, after we solve our planet’s environmental crisis.”

The menacing looking superyacht ‘Black Swan

 

The’Black Swan’ boat features hidden balconies, an arrow-shaped tip and a pool that fades towards the sea

  • Called Black Swan, the concept yacht would be a floating palace for any billionaire who is bold enough to build it 
  • Stunning vessel features a multi-level pool, spacious sun deck, helipad and hidden balconies with sunloungers 
  • A helicopter platform on the top deck is accessed via a concealed lift, providing quick access to an airport or villa
The Sinister and Sleek Black Swan superyacht is said to be one of the most innovative designers of his generation, Timur Bozca has created a yacht concept made for the Bond villain in you.

The exterior includes a helicopter platform on the top deck, an extensive beach club and a pool. For the interior, a master suite and six guest suites accommodate up to 12 guests.The helicopter platform includes a concealed elevator that will bring guests to the aft deck where they can enjoy the extended beach club.

Two forward balconies are protected by glass railings, offering unobstructed views of the sea or sights in places such as the French Riviera or Caribbean.

A helicopter platform on the top deck is accessed via a concealed lift, allowing the owner and his or her guests to travel between the yacht and the airport or their villa without getting stuck in traffic.

Inside, a master suite and six guest cabins can accommodate 12 people.

Four engines give this superyacht an impressive horsepower rating of 23,172, and allow Black Swan to reach speeds up to 28 knots. At over 200 feet long, this eye-catching vessel is sure to make a statement on the open ocean.

The Real-Life Goodfellas: The Story Behind The Movie

These are the stories behind the real men and women whose lives were depicted in the movie Goodfellas.

Real Life Goodfellas

Few would deny that Goodfellas has become a classic, and Martin Scorsese, in making it, arguably produced the ultimate gangster picture and set the bar pretty high. But Goodfellas is so much more than just a mob movie. It is also one of the best satires of the American dream, a rise-and-fall movie, a tragedy, and a comedy.

One of the aspects of Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas that has elevated the film to the classic status it holds today is the intense realism of its depictions of the life in the Mafia. This realism largely stems from the fact that, unlike films such as The Godfather and Once Upon A Time In America, Goodfellas is based on a true story of one gangster, his associates, and one of the most daring heists in American history.

The story comes courtesy of the 1986 nonfiction bestseller Wiseguy that detailed the life of Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill, as well as his comrades like James “Jimmy The Gent” Burke and Thomas DeSimone, and their involvement in the infamous Lufthansa heist.

This was, at the time, the largest robbery ever committed on U.S. soil. Eleven mobsters, mainly associates of the Lucchese crime family, stole $5.875 million (more than $20 million today) in cash and jewels from a vault at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Here are the true stories of the people who carried out this heist as well as countless other crimes that helped make Goodfellas the crime classic it is today.

Henry Hill

Henry Hill Mugshot

Henry Hill, the central character in Goodfellas (played by Ray Liotta), was born in 1943 to an Irish-American father and a Sicilian-American mother in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York.

It was a neighborhood filled with Mafiosos and Hill admired them all from a young age. At just 14, Hill dropped out of school to start working for Paul Vario, a capo in the Lucchese crime family, and thus became a member of the infamous Vario crew. Hill started out just picking up money from local rackets and bringing them to the boss, but his responsibilities quickly escalated.

He began to get involved in arson, assault, and credit card fraud. After returning from a short military stint in the early 1960s, Hill returned to a life of crime. Though his Irish blood meant that he could never be a made man, he nevertheless became a highly active associate of the Lucchese family.

Among Hill’s closest compatriots at this time was fellow Lucchese family associate and friend of Paul Vario, James Burke. After years of truck hijacking, arson, and other crimes (including extortion, for which he served time in the 1970s), Hill and Burke played major roles in orchestrating the Lufthansa heist in 1978.

At the same time, Hill was involved in a point-shaving racket with the 1978-79 Boston College basketball team and ran a major narcotics operation in which he sold marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and quaaludes wholesale.

It was the drugs that brought Hill’s downfall when he was arrested on trafficking charges in April 1980. Initially, he wouldn’t fold to police interrogators, but amid growing suspicions that some of his own associates were planning to kill him in fear that he might put them in legal trouble, Hill began to talk.

In fact, it was Hill’s testimony about the Lufthansa heist that brought the arrests of many of the other men involved — and became the basis for Wiseguy, and thus Goodfellas.

After testifying, Hill was placed in the Witness Protection Program but was kicked out of after repeatedly revealing his true identity to others. He was, nonetheless, never tracked down and killed by his former associates, but instead died of complications related to heart disease on June 12, 2012, the day after his 69th birthday.

 

James Burke a.k.a. “Jimmy The Gent”

Jimmy The Gent

James Burke, played by Robert De Niro as “Jimmy Conway” in the film, was the principal architect of the Lufthansa heist.

Soon after he was born — in 1931, to an Irish immigrant single mother in New York — Burke was placed into foster care and shifted from orphanages to foster homes and back throughout his childhood. He suffered sexual and physical abuse from these caretakers, with one of his foster fathers even dying in a car crash because he was reaching back to hit Burke. The man’s widow blamed Burke for the accident and beat him for it until the child was moved on to his next stop.

Like Henry Hill, Burke’s Irish-American heritage made it impossible for him to become a “made man,” but by the 1950s, he had become a major player in the South Ozone Park and East New York criminal underworld with Paul Vario’s crew, earning his nickname “Jimmy The Gent” for his practice of tipping the drivers of the trucks that he stole.

Despite his nickname, Burke was known for his extreme violence. In 1962, for example, his fiancée told him that she was being harassed by an ex-boyfriend. On the wedding day, the police found the remains of the man cut up in a dozen pieces in his own car.

Burke is also thought to be the one who ordered, and possibly carried out, the murders of most of the men involved in the Lufthansa heist.

Soon after, following Henry Hill’s testimony in 1982, Burke was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for his involvement in the 1978–79 Boston College basketball point shaving scandal. While in prison, Burke was convicted of a previous murder he had committed and received another life sentence. He died in prison due to lung cancer in 1996.

Karen Hill

Karen Hill

Karen Hill — Henry’s wife, played by Lorraine Bracco in the film — was born Karen Friedman in New York City in 1946. Soon after her birth, her family moved to Long Island where she was raised in the Five Towns area.

She first met Henry through mutual friends while she was working at a dental office in New York. The pair’s first meeting — at the Villa Capra, a restaurant owned by notorious mobster “Frankie The Wop” — was a double date involving Paul Vario’s son, Paul Jr. (not Thomas DeSimone, as depicted in the film).

At first, Karen said that the date was disastrous and that Henry even stood her up on her second date, only further lowering her opinion of him. However, following a number of lavish dates after these initial fiascos, the two became a couple.

Karen and Henry eloped to North Carolina in 1965 when she was just 19, but eventually had a large Jewish ceremony back home to appease her parents. Soon after, they had two children, Gregg and Gina, and lived together with Karen’s parents before moving into their own place as Henry’s status rose within Vario’s crew.

But things turned sour when Henry went to prison on extortion charges in the 1970s. In his memoirs, Henry claims that, during this time, Karen was sleeping with Vario. When Henry faced prison again, on drug charges in 1980, he instead testified for the government, entered the Witness Protection Program, and took Karen and their kids along with him.

Eventually, however, Karen and Henry divorced in 1989, though it was not finalized until 2001.

Since then, she has remarried and lived under an alias due to the exposure from Wiseguy and Goodfellas.

Thomas DeSimone

Tommyd Henry Hill

Perhaps the most likable character in Goodfellas and unquestionably one of the most famous villains in film history is Tommy DeVito (played by Joe Pesci). In real life, he was known by the name Thomas DeSimone. Nicknamed “Two-Gun Tommy” or “Tommy D,”however, DeSimone was an imposing man who stood 6’2″ and weighed 225 pounds. DeSimone too stepped into the world of crime early in his life, joining Paul Vario’s crew in 1965, and according to Henry Hill, he committed his first murder two years later, when he was only 17 years old.however, His courage and determination were widely known in Mafia circles, but it was his short temper that would bring him a lot of trouble throughout his life. He was a “pure psychopath,” according to Henry Hill.

Joe Pesci portrayed Tommy DeVito (based on Thomas DeSimone) in “Goodfellas.”

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1950 to a deeply-rooted Mafia family, DeSimone soon after moved to New York City with his family.

DeSimone’s extended family included feared mobsters like a grandfather and an uncle who were both bosses of a Los Angeles crime family in the 1920s and 1950s, respectively. DeSimone also had two brothers that were associates of the powerful Gambino crime family in New York, one of which was murdered by the family for allegedly cooperating with authorities.

The weight of his brother’s reputation left DeSimone with something to prove, causing him to frequently lash out at others with violence. Finally, his sister, Phyllis, was a mistress of Jimmy Burke. Through this connection, Burke brought DeSimone on as a member of the Vario crew.

In the testimony used for the book Wiseguy, Henry Hill recalls that when he first met DeSimone, he was “a skinny kid who was wearing a wiseguy suit and a pencil mustache.” But at the age of 17, DeSimone committed his first murder. He shot a random pedestrian walking past him and Hill. He reportedly told Hill, “Hey, Henry, watch this.” before shooting the man in the head with a .38 pistol.

According to Hill, DeSimone relished the idea of killing people, his murderous tendencies aided by the fact that he was very often high on cocaine.

Perhaps DeSimone’s most brutal murder came in 1970, during a welcome home party for formerly imprisoned William “Billy Batts” Bentvena, a made man in the Gambino family. DeSimone became enraged over a snide comment that Bentvena made about DeSimone having once been a shoeshine boy. A couple of weeks later, because of the shoeshine comment as well as the fact that Burke had taken over Bentvena’s loan shark operation while the latter was in prison and didn’t want to relinquish it, Burke and DeSimone plotted to kill Bentvena.

Burke invited Bentvena to a bar owned by Hill for a night of drinking with the Vario crew. Burke got Bentvena drunk and then held him down while DeSimone beat him with a pistol. Thinking he was dead, Burke, Hill, and DeSimone placed him in the trunk of their car and drove away. After hearing sounds from the trunk, DeSimone and Burke realized that he was not yet dead, then beat and stabbed him to death before burying his body under a dog kennel.

Eight years later, during the Lufthansa heist, DeSimone acted as one of the key gunmen who collected the money. Then, following the robbery, he also carried out the killing of Parnell “Stacks” Edwards, a criminal associate that the thieves had hired to dispose of the truck used in the heist, but who had failed to do so.

DeSimone’s efforts were about to pay off in 1979 as he was told he was about to become a made man of the Lucchese Family. However, instead of becoming a made man, he got a bullet in the head after the Gambino family and Lucchese family decided to liquidate him because he had killed Billy Batts of the Gambino family, a made man.

In 1979, almost a year after the heist, DeSimone was declared missing.Hill further alleged that DeSimone was handed over to the Gambinos by Vario, who had learned that DeSimone had attempted to rape Karen Hill, Henry’s wife and Vario’s mistress.

Paul Vario

Paul Vario Mugshot

At the head of the operation responsible for many of the crimes committed by Thomas DeSimone, Henry Hill, and James Burke was Paul Vario, renamed “Paul Cicero” and played by Paul Sorvino in Goodfellas.

Vario was born in New York City in 1914 and began getting himself into legal trouble from an early age. By the time he was an adult, Vario was an experienced criminal, and at 6’3″, an imposing figure. His involvement in racketeering and loan-sharking led him into the Lucchese crime family, with which he became a made man and eventually a crew leader (“capo”).

With this crew and other associates, Vario gained control of most organized crime in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, near what is now known as John F. Kennedy International Airport, a major source of income for Vario’s crew.

Vario would rob the airport, extort its employees, and use his union connections to block federal investigators. And when Jimmy Burke came to Vario with the plans for the Lufthansa heist at the airport, it was ultimately Vario who had to approve it.

Not merely a boss who approved criminal activities without getting his own hands dirty, Vario himself was known to be a violent man. When a waiter accidentally spilled wine on his wife at a restaurant, for example, Vario sent men with baseball bats to beat the restaurant’s staff later that night.

In the end, Vario was arrested based on Hill’s testimony that Vario had defrauded the government by creating a fictitious job that would ensure Hill’s release from prison. Vario died in prison of a heart attack in 1988.

William Bentvena a.k.a. “Billy Batts”

Billy Batts Henry Hill

William “Billy Batts” Bentvena was born in 1921 in New York City and was raised in the same part of east Brooklyn as Henry Hill. In Goodfellas, Bentvena is only referred to by his nickname and is played by Frank Vincent.

Like his compatriots in the neighborhood, Bentvena became involved in crime at a young age, and by 1951 he was an associate of the Gambino crime family.

Unlike Henry Hill, Bentvena was a full-blooded Italian-American, and as such was able to become a made man. He reached this rank in 1961 and began carrying out hits as a street soldier with infamous mobster John Gotti.

He was arrested in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1964 while conducting a drug deal for the Gambino family and was sentenced to six years in prison. While Bentvena was in prison, Burke took over his loanshark operation.

Upon Bentvena’s release, Burke and DeSimone murdered him rather than give back the loanshark operation.

 

Structure of the Mafia

Each regional Mafia is made up of various Families or gangs. The no. may range from a few to over a 100 depending upon the region. Each Family has separate business dealings and tend to stay out of each other’s way. But sometimes their business enterprises may intermingle with each other to a very large extent, depending upon their proximity to each other and the nature of the business.

The Mafia had a very effective structure. It prevented the higher-ranked members of the Families to be responsible for the criminal enterprises. And any lower-ranked Mafioso could easily be bailed out of jail by cleaning his record and bribing the judges. The cops were also generally of the Mafia’s payroll and “looked the other way” whenever the Mafia were involved.


The picture displays a typical structure of the Mafia. Most of the Families had similar structures but there may have been slight differences.

The leader of each Mafia Family was known as the Boss or Don. He made all the major decisions and all the Mafia income ultimately came to him. His authority was required to control the Mafia members and to resolve any disputes.

Beneath the Don is the Underboss. The Underboss is the second-in-command but the power he had varied with different Mafia Families. In some cases he wielded enormous power and in some he wielded relatively much less. Some Underbosses were trained to succeed the Don on the event of his death or retirement.

There is a position between the Don and the Underboss too – The Consigliere. He acts like an adviser to the Don and is supposed to make impartial decisions based upon fairness and for the good of the Mafia, rather thank on personal vendettas. This p[position is generally appointed by the Don but sometimes it is also elected by members of the Mafia. The Consigliere also acts like the mouth of the Don often and commands huge respect just like the Don. He is, however, not directly involved with the criminal enterprises of the Mafia.

Just below the Underboss are the Capos. The number of Capos varied between the Families and depended upon the overall size of the Mafia Family. A Capo acts like a lieutenant or captain, leading his own section of the Family. He operates specific activities of the Mafia. A Capo is regarded to be successful only if he earns a huge amount of money for the Mafia. He keeps some of his earnings and the rest are passed up to the Underboss and ultimately the Don.

Below the Capo’s are the made-men and soldiers. Made-men are the ultimate enforcers of the Family who have proved themselves and command respect from their fellow Mafioso. Soldier’s are the lowest Mafia members. They do all the “dirty work” and as such are generally the ones arrested by the police. Soldiers command little respect and make relatively less money. The number of soldiers and made-men belonging to a Capo may vary tremendously.

The Mafia also use Associates. Associates are not actual members of the  mafia but are people involved with the criminal enterprises. The Mafia works through them. They may be drug-dealers, burglars, assassins, lawyers, or even police and politicians who are on the Mafia’s payroll.


Terminology of the Mafia ranks

Traditional terminology
1. Capo di tuttu capi (the “Boss of All Bosses”)
2. Capo di Capi Re (a title of respect given to a senior or retired member, equivalent to being a member emeritus, literally, “King Boss of Bosses”)
3. Capo Crimine (“Crime Boss”, known as a Don – the head of a crime family)
4. Capo Bastone (“Club Head”, known as the “Underboss” is second in command to the Capo Crimine)
5. Consigliere(an advisor)6. Caporegime(“Regime head”, a captain who commands a “crew” of around twenty or more Sgarriste or “soldiers”)
7. Sgarrista or Soldato (“Soldier”, made members of the Mafia who serve primarily as foot soldiers)
8. Picciotto (“Little man”, a low ranking member who serves as an “enforcer”)
9. Giovane D’Onore (an associate member, usually someone not of Italian ancestry)

Italian Mafia structure Capofamiglia –
Capofamiglia – (Don/Boss)
Consigliere – (Counselor/Advisor/Right-hand man)
Sotto Capo – (Underboss/Second-in-command)
Capodecina – (Captain/Capo)
Uomini D’onore – (“Men of Honor”/Made men/Soldiers


Do Men with beer bellies get more women and live longer?

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Researchers conclude: Men with beer bellies get more women and live longer

With it being the height of summer, it’s no wonder so many people are spending so much time at the beach.

For some, this presents a chance to regret the copious amounts of beer they drank during winter …

It turns out women prefer men with more stomach, as opposed to those who are well defined or muscly.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, researchers at Yale University have proven as much in a new study, according to British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

A man’s attractiveness can also be enhanced if he’s a bit older and has children, as per the same study. The researchers say this has nothing to do with an underlying ‘daddy complex’ and more to do with evolution.

What women want

The findings suggest that men already having children indicates to women that they are fertile, which increases their natural appeal. In addition, other studies have shown that men with decreasing testosterone levels (and therefore potentially increased fat mass) are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and prostate cancer.

The very same study appears to point towards the fact that more body fat means a man will focus more on his family. As a direct result of this combination, the chances of him finding another woman and subsequently leaving is lowered.

Becoming fatter after fatherhood due to decreasing testosterone levels may not fit the “macho” ideal, but it actually prolongs lives and strengthens immune systems, according to Richard Bribiescas, professor of anthropology and deputy provost at Yale University.

There is evidence that these men are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and prostate cancer, while a study in 2008 found that men with high metabolisms were around 50 per cent more likely to die in a given year than those whose bodies burned up less energy at rest.

Among the celebrities who have fathered children later in life is Robert De Niro
Among those to father children later in life are Robert De Niro, who had a child at 68, and Rod Stewart, who was 66 when his eighth child was born.

“Macho makes you sick,” said Prof Bribiescas. “The Hollywood image of the swaggering, dashing man dispatching bad guys and carrying the day conjures up a perception of indestructibility.

“While men are on average larger and physically stronger than women, men have a considerable weakness.

“We have a harder time fighting off infections and illness compared with women, and… men simply do not take care of themselves.

“This has a significant negative impact on the pace at which men age.”

Prof Bribiescas also argues that becoming more podgy makes dads more likely to invest their time in their children rather than looking for other women, while the increased levels of fat could make them more attractive to women.

“[One] effect of lower testosterone levels is loss of muscle mass and increases in fat mass,” Prof Bribiescas writes in his book How Men Age: What Evolution Reveals About Male Health and Mortality.

“This change in body composition not only causes men to shop for more comfortable trousers but also facilitates increased survivorship and, hypothetically, a hormonal milieu that would more effectively promote and support paternal investment.”

The research follows the “dad bod” trend, in which middle-aged men were praised for their doughy physiques.

However, a Cambridge University study last year found that women searching for a father for their children should choose long-distance runners, who traditionally have very low levels of fat, because they are more likely to have stronger sex drives and higher sperm counts.

This Is The Real Story Behind The Great Escape From Alcatraz

Alcatraz is known worldwide for being the most secure prison on the face of the earth. It was deemed impossible to escape from since its opening in 1868. Over the years, around 36 inmates had attempted to escape in the past, but none had actually survived the venture. However, this all changed on June 1962, when a group of three men plunged into the Watters of the San Fransisco Bay on their route to escape a prison referred to as, “The Rock”. Here’s how this seemingly impossible task occurred and here are the three masterminds behind the escape. You’ll be surprised to find some facts that were left out by the film based on this occurrence.

1.Frank Lee Morris

Frank Lee Morris was known as a mastermind. He can only be described as cunning, skilled, and highly intelligent. He was orphaned by the age of 11, and so he jumped from foster home to foster home and learned to be independent and take care of himself. Along with those skills, Morris was also known to be a troublemaker, being convicted of his first crime at the age of 13. It seemed that he had been destined for greatness, but not in the way everyone expected. His name went down in history for being the ringleader of the Great Escape from Alcatraz.

2.Not His First Rodeo

As an adult, Frank Lee Morris served prison time in multiple states, and he eventually landed in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as “Alcatraz of the South.” Although the name sounds daunting, it seems that Morris wasn’t frightened of this nickname in the least, in fact Morris had something quite impressive in store for them. Frank lee Morris was serving 10 years in prison for bank robbery and then did the unimaginable, he managed to escape! Morris was on the run for a year until he was caught while committing robbery…..again. It was decided that the crook would be sent to a prison with higher security, Alcatraz.

3.The Brothers

With any good escape or plan, you need a team. While in Alcatraz, Frank Lee Morris found a team. The team consisted of two brothers named John and Clarence Anglin, and a man known as Allen West. The brothers had been born in Georgia and their family had moved to Florida for work. The parents of the brothers were seasonal farm workers, going wherever they were needed. Every June, the entire family made up of 13 children would go north for cherry picking.

4.The Anglin Brothers Bond

John and Clarence Anglin were described to be “thick as thieves” while growing up, and even more so as they got older. Their family would go north for cherry-picking season, occasionally going as far north as Michigan. It was during these times that the brothers would swim in the waters of Lake Michigan and were described to be very skilled swimmers. Looks like this skill would certainly come in handy for the duo. As adults, they began robbing banks together until they were finally caught and arrested for robbery in 1956.

5. The Group Forms

During their time at Atlanta Penitentiary, the Anglin brothers tried to escape prison numerous times, resulting in them being sent to Alcatraz. It was there that they met Frank Lee Morris, described as the mastermind behind the group. Together, along with another inmate named Allen West, the group of four had amassed a lot of experience in escaping prison. It was from there that they began hatching a plan to pull off the impossible feat of escaping from “The Rock.”

6. The Plan

The escape plan was simple, but the means to do it seemed impossible and it required the coordination of an entire team to pull off. It wasn’t the first time prisoners had attempted to escape from Alcatraz before, but this would be different. None of the other inmates had successfully pulled off the plans, and out of the dozens that attempted to escape, 23 were caught, six were shot, two drowned and another two are listed as “missing or presumed drowned.”

7. It Begins

All four of the members of the group had served time at the Atlanta Penitentiary, so it might be possible that all of them knew each other from there. It is known that John and Clarence Anglin knew Frank Lee Morris from Atlanta. The four men had cells right near each other during their time in Alcatraz, and they had plenty of time to devise a master plan to get out of Dodge. The plan would take all the courage the members could muster along with any resource they could get their hands on.

8. Collecting The Resources

Luckily enough, Alcatraz wasn’t just a prison, it was a factory as well. The inmates worked and so there was a substantial amount of resources around. The prison served the US military to make furniture, clothes and shoes. The group of four was also lucky because they were among the very few criminals in Alcatraz that were incarcerated for non-violent crimes. This meant that they were a bit more under the radar and the prison guards didn’t pay much attention to them.

9. The Items

The gang began to put their plan into action. The plan was extremely complex and even ingenious. Not only were they going to escape and do the impossible, they were also going to leave behind human-like dummies. They would also have to think of a way to get off the island once they were out of the prison and avoid any guards. Any attempt to escape would be met with bullets.

10. The Decoys

The team members were all in charge of their own responsibilities. The Anglin brothers were in charge of making dummy heads to leave behind in the gang’s empty beds. They created these heads out of soap wax, toilet paper, and real human hair that was stolen from the barber shop in Alcatraz. Morris was in charge of creating an accordion-like-vessel to inflate the raft and life vests.

11. The Dig

The team had to make tools to dig out of their cells and unscrew the bolts on the vents. They were able to make picks and wrenches out of items such as spoons from the cafeteria and wood from the workshop. From 5:30 PM until 9 PM everyday they would work at chipping away holes large enough to crawl through. They took out the vents in their cells, and then used the picks to chisel the holes larger.

12. Good News

Luckily for the gang, the prison was already old and crumbling in many ways. Saltwater ran through the pipes for showering and washing dishes which ended up destroying the pipes and leaked into the prison walls. Over time, the salt water eroded the cement, making it crumble. The water was also a bit warm so that the prisoners wouldn’t get used to the freezing water like the kind in the San Francisco Bay.

13. The Noise

Morris would play the accordion when possible and the noise was enough to cover up the sound of chipping away at cement. Behind the cells, was an unguarded utility corridor with pipes running up and down.

14. A Jungle Gym

The utility corridor can basically be described as an unguarded jungle gym. If they could get their cells wide enough, they would be able to climb up three floors to the roof. Once they get to the top, they would have to get one of the large shafts open to get onto the roof. They found that many of the shafts were cemented shut, but they eventually were able to get one open using their wrench.

15. The Big Squeeze

By the time May of 1962 came around, both of the Anglin brothers and Morris had broken through the walls in their cells.The holes were big enough for them to squeeze their bodies through, which was all they needed. They made a raft and life vests by gluing and stitching raincoats together. They used over 50 raincoats to create the items, which were absolutely necessary.

16. The Signal

Since everything was ready, all they needed to wait for was Allen West to finish his escape hole and the entire gang would be ready to go at any moment. However, when the signal came, the plan didn’t exactly work out as they thought.On June 11th, 1962, Allen West gave the signal to the other members that he had dug his hole large enough to make through.

17. The Plan Sets Into Action

After lights out that same day, the gang set their plan to escape into action. There was concern whether any of them would make it out alive. They were prepared to do anything to get out, even if it meant risking their lives. After the light went out that night, they moved their decoys and get out of their cells.

18. The Plan Goes Awry

Although the Anglin brothers and Morris got out of their cells easily, it seemed that Allen West was having some difficulty. Although he informed the group that his hole was big enough to get out, he seemed to misjudge the size and ease of making the hole bigger. Although Frank Lee Morris tried to help West, the cement didn’t seem to budge. At 9:30 PM, Morris asked for West to pass him a glass of water. They then came to the conclusion that West had to be left behind.

19. One Left Behind

Although leaving a member behind was not an easy decision, the group wasn’t left with many options. They couldn’t make too much noise trying to widen the hole in West’s cell, because it would have drawn attention of the guards. It also might’ve helped since with one less person, the raft would’ve been significantly lighter. The group of three men then started their climb up 30 feet of plumbing in the utility corridor.

20.Downward

The three made it to the cell house roof rather easily and they continued to cross at least 100 feet of rooftop and then started their descent. The three climbed down 50 feet of piping on the side of the building to the ground.They landed on the ground close to the shower area and were able to sneak past the guards. They managed to outsmart the guards and made their way to shore where they stopped to inflate their raft and vests.

21. The Alarm

This was thee last time anyone ever saw Frank Lee Morris, John or Clarence Anglin again. They set off on their raft at 11:30 at night and weren’t discovered to be missing until the next morning. The next morning, the residents of Alcatraz were woken up to blaring sirens, and many of them were confused.

22. Finally Free

Allen West had been left behind, but he hadn’t given up. He continued to work on getting the hole in his cell large enough to squeeze through, and once he did he went on to follow the other three. He climbed to the rooftop but when he got there, the others had already left. He had a decision whether to swim to safety, which could kill him, or go back to his cell.

23. Conclusion

Allen West returned to his cell and waited until the morning. West cooperated with the authorities and told them everything that had happened. According to him, the others were headed to Angel Island and once there they planned on stealing a car, some clothes and then separating.

24. The Issue

The issue with this statement was that no such car robbery had been reported in the area. They figured the three had either landed somewhere else, or Morris and the brothers never made it. West also told authorities that the whole scheme had been his idea and that he was the mastermind behind the escape. The FBI was called in and a formal investigation was opened up.

25. Freezing Waters

After searching the waters, no bodies were ever found, although personal belongings were found floating in the waters the next day. The temperature of the waters during the night got to be 50 to 54 degrees. Experts say that a human male could have survived around 20 minutes in the cold waters before body functions would begin to deteriorate.

26. A Cold Case

The FBI investigation closed in 1979, 17 years after the escape. The results were that the inmates likely drowned in the in the San Francisco Bay. Back in 2009, the Deputy US Marshal told NPR that, “there’s an active warrant, and the Marshals Service doesn’t give up looking for people.” Luckily enough, there was more to be heard from the people who managed to escape Alcatraz.

27. Calculating The Currents

About a month after the escape, a Norwegian freighter reported seeing a body 17 miles from the famous Golden Gate Bridge. It was said that the body had been wearing similar clothing to that of an Alcatraz prisoner. Unfortunately the report was filed late and the body was never found. In 2014, researches began to calculate that if they had left at midnight that night, the water currents would’ve actually worked in their favor, and they probably survived.

28. Christmas Card

In 2015, the History Channel created a documentary that presented audiences with more evidence that the brothers had successfully escaped. The family had received signed Christmas cards and the handwriting was confirmed to belong to the Anglin brothers. However, the date of delivery could not be determined. the Anlgin family also had a photograph of the two brothers taken I Brazil in 1975. When forensic experts analyzed the photo, they concluded that it was likely the brothers.

29.Close Contact

Another piece of evidence about the escape was a deathbed confession by one of the Anglin siblings, Robert. He confessed that he had been in contact with his two brothers from 1963 to 1987, but eventually lost contact with them.Members of the Anglin family have not tried to search for their missing siblings in Brazil because the case still remains an open investigation. If they were found, the punishment would be very severe.

30. Final Hint

To this day, it’s uncertain whether Frank Lee Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin survived the escape from Alcatraz but many seem to believe it is possible.In January 2018, the FBI was forced to reopen the investigation after the San Francisco Police Department received a letter. The letter said, “My name is John Anglin. I escaped from Alcatraz in June 1962 with my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I’m 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely!

Can gin really ease hayfever symptoms?

gin-tonic-hayfever

For many, summer and drinking go hand-in-hand – it’s the season for pints in beer gardens and wine in the park.

The problem is, a lot of us are stuck ‘enjoying’ these drinks with red, puffy eyes and our noses streaming into our glasses, thanks to the ultimate killjoy, hay fever.

The seasoned hay fever sufferer will make sure they’re stocked up on anti-histamines way before pollen starts to fill the spring breeze, but what you might not know is how alcohol can affect hay fever, and which types are best for it.

How does alcohol affect hay fever?

It’s not actually the alcohol itself that affects your allergies, but rather different substances found in alcoholic drinks, containing histamine and sulphites, which cause the symptoms of hay fever.

According to Livestrong, histamine tightens lung muscles, relaxes muscles in blood vessels and speeds up muscle movement in the intestines, while also increasing mucus production and causing inflammation. Sound familiar?

High levels of histamine tend to be found in darker, fermented alcoholic drinks, like wine and beer, which means that for some sufferers as much as a few sips can bring on these symptoms.

Stay in the clear

While no alcohol is going to make your hay fever actively better, Asthma UK say there are drinks you can choose which will stop you from suffering more, namely clear alcohols like gin and vodka.

Gin does not naturally  contain any sulphites, and many vodkas are also clear of them, meaning a G&T or a vodka lemonade might be your best bet for a rooftop tipple. Given gin and tonic is practically the perfect summer drink, we can’t really complain.

Conversely, beer and wine both develop high levels of histamine in the fermentation process. A 2001 study conducted by the Auckland Allergy Clinic found that 22 out of 28 participants developed allergy-like symptoms after drinking a glass of wine.

Which drinks are particularly bad?

If you’re a champagne-loving hay fever sufferer, we’ve got some very bad news for you – there’s nothing as bad for your allergies in the world of food and drink than a glass of bubbly.

Champagne contains around 84mg of histamine per 125ml glass. When you compare that with the next worst, red wine, at 15mg for a large glass, you’ve got a pretty strong argument for saving the Moët for the winter months.

Beer varies significantly by type, but a typical lager is around 14mg, while white is significantly better for you.

Champagne is unfortunately the worse type of booze for hay fever sufferers
Champagne is unfortunately the worst type of booze for hay fever sufferers 

Will food affect my hay fever too?

Unfortunately the answer here is yes. Tofu, sauerkraut and cured meats are all particularly high in histamine, as well as blue cheese and parmesan.

Canned fish, aubergine, citrus fruits and ketchup are also all worth avoiding if you’re a particularly bad sufferer.

How’s the pollen count this year?

Not to bombard you with yet more bad news but, well, here’s some more bad news: Professor Stephen Durham, a professor of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College London told LBC earlier today that we can expect a particularly rough year when it comes to sneezing our brains out through our noses.

“The tree pollen season is starting later this season after the cold spring delayed germination. The warm weather is going to bring on high pollen counts,” he said.

“It seems that there’s been a sudden burst due to the warm weather and we get this late germination and pollen release at once.”

The foods that can ease hayfever symptoms

If you’re looking for foods and drinks that can actually help to soothe hayfever symptoms, then you’re in luck, as there are several – just not gin unfortunately!

Rather than simply being low in histamine, some foods are actually rich in antihistamines, which help to block or disrupt histamine receptors – this is why many people take antihistamine tablets for hayfever. Foods that are rich in flavonoids such as quercetin, vitamin C or beta-carotene can help to block histamine and reduce inflammation.

Our top anti-histamine foods include:

Garlic – this is a rich source of quercitin and helps to support the immune system

Ginger – this is a popular choice for reducing hayfever symptoms, whether as a tea or added to foods and smoothies

Onions – these are another good source of quercetin and vitamin C

Blueberries – this superfood is packed full of vitamin Cand quercetin

Nettle – you can buy this as a powder to add to smoothies or you could try nettle tea

A smoothie is a great way to get more of these natural anti-histamine foods into your diet. Try a delicious hayfever-blasting smoothie, containing blueberries, strawberries, honey and ginger.