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TRAGIC BEAUTY In this NASA image a dying star is throwing a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer. In death, the star's dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core. This object called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius.

VAMPIRE PARROT Pegomastax africanus, which measured less than two feet, lived in southern Africa some 200 million years ago. The newly-described dinosaur resembled a weird combination of parrot, vampire bat and porcupine. Despite having a parrot-like beak and eating plants, it also sported vampire-like pairs of sharp-edged fangs. Most of the dinosaur's body was covered in sharp bristles, or quills.

? PUPILS at a London school have beaten movie director Peter Jackson by releasing their own version of The Hobbit.

Tolkien fans will have to wait until December to see the first film in Jackson's trilogy, one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

But schoolboys from Tower House School have already finished their own feature-length 90 minute version of the classic novel. Seventy boys, aged eight to 13, star in the movie, filmed at various locations around the country.

Although the film was produced on a shoestring, they did splurge some of the budget on a CGI dragon. Joey Whittaker, 13, who played Bilbo Baggins, said: "It was a really great experience."

Paul Geary, the school's head of drama and director of the film, was thrilled with the finished result. It was our ambition to do something totally unique, something no other school has ever done.

"As far as I am aware we are the first prep school to do a full feature-length film."

The film received an official premiere at the Curzon Renoir Cinema in Russell Square.

? A FLOCK of 80 sheep shocked shoppers when they invaded a sports store in an Austrian ski resort.

"We think one of them saw its reflection in a mirror and came in to investigate," said a spokesman for the Intersport shop in St Anton. "And being sheep, of course the rest of them decided to follow."

Lawyers are now negotiating with the flock's owner over damage to stock running into thousands of pounds. A cow which invaded another Austrian branch of the sports store last year became a star when she was featured in their TV ads.

Her owner Hans Schroder had to foot a massive bill for everything she trampled or tried to eat.

? A NEW York photographer has taken a self portrait every day for the last 12-and-a-half years.

Noah Kalina, from Brooklyn, has compiled them all together for a rapid time-lapse video.

And the result, which shows him changing from a fresh-faced teen to a bearded 30-something, has notched up an amazing 3.5 million hits on the video sharing website, You Tube. The montage features an incredible 4,515 photos, starting from when Mr Kalina got his first digital camera at the age of 19.

"I really just thought it would be a good idea," he said. "That, along with my interest in time and the subtleties of the aging process were the reasons for starting the project."

This is the second time he has released a video of his Everyday project. The first version was posted after six years in 2006 and attracted nearly 24 million views.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 11, 2012
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