A Texan woman had a Valentine’s Day surprise when she gave birth to four boys. Not quadruplets but two sets of twins. Identical at that. Tressa Montalvo, 36, of Houston, said she and husband Manuel, 43, have been going for a brother or sister for firstborn son Memphis for more than two years, but got substantially more than they bargained for.
And they’re not stopping until they get a girl, according to Manuel. In a masterpiece of “you don’t have to tell us” news, online news agencies report that all four were born by Caesarean section on the same day. As if it’s likely for some to be delivered vaginally and others by C-section, and on different days at that. Two sets of identical twins happen when ova split twice before implanting in the uterus, and share two placentas.
What are the odds of that?!
Actually, scientists know. The odds of a woman giving birth to non-identical twins are one in 80. Identical twins are bit rarer, with odds of one in every 240 cases. However, two sets of identical twins happen only once every 70 million births. Multiply that by 365 if the birth has to happen on Valentine’s Day.
The lucky couple has named the four boys Ace, Blaine, Cash and Dylan. “We tried to stick to the A-B-C-D theme when naming them,” Tressa Montalvo said in a statement.
In related news, former Philippine president, former actor, now Manila mayoral candidate, and well-known womanizer, Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada has admitted that he has three sets of firstborn sons. That he knows of.
These three sons are Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Ejercito with wife, former First Lady and Senator Luisa Ejercito; congressman Joseph Victor Ejercito with First Mistress (and now San Juan City mayor) Guia Gomez; and Jojo Ejercito with former model Joy Rowena. “We tried to stick to the J-O theme when naming them,” Erap says.
Pope Benedict XVI announced that he is resigning as head of the Catholic Church. The 85-year-old pontiff cited age (too much) and physical strength (too little) as the reasons for giving up the papacy.
The news was met with shock and disbelief from the faithful, since popes usually serve until they die (John Paul II), or are killed (John Paul I – just kidding, lighten up non-conspiracy theorists). The last papal resignation occurred in the 15th century, as the joke goes, when Joseph Ratzinger was still in short pants.
Many leaders of the Vatican hierarchy were caught off guard, with Cardinal Angelo Sodano saying the announcement came “like a lightning bolt in a clear blue sky.” Coincidentally, a photo taken during a rainstorm the night of the announcement (February 11) showed just that (news item).
In related news, Satan released photos of Hell when Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, 89,
resigned declared the post of senate president vacant during the height of the “Christmas bonus” scandal a few weeks ago.
Senator Enrile, is of course, still Senate President at this time. When asked for comment about the Pope’s resignation, JPE reportedly said “Talaga? Bata pa yun ah!” (“Really? But he’s still young!”)
Cats seem to be lording it over the Internet these days, but this dog certainly went viral. Tonik, a Shih Tzu–poodle mix, avoided being put to sleep by having a face that to some, resembles a human.
Because of his new found fame, Tonik has 350 people willing to pay $250 to adopt him. Homeward Bound (the dog halfway house where Tonik is being kept) owner Jen Schwartz, said that the dog was very reserved and might not be a good fit for families with children. Well, you would be shy too if you were a dog looking like a human.
Or not. This human who
is a dog looks like a dog, is a very outgoing and popular child.
The world’s hairiest girl (as certified by Guinness), 11-year old Supatra Sasuphan, is one of just 50 known sufferers of Ambras Syndrome. Other than thick hair growing on her face, back, arms and legs, the Thai seems like any child her age, enjoying swimming, dancing, TV, and playing with friends.
She is not up for adoption anytime soon.
Even though there is a move by some scientific sectors to create a Philippine space agency, the notion of a Filipino astronaut seems like a pipe dream. But it may happen as early as 2014. Axe, the deodorant brand, will be sending 22 humans to space in the Lynx suborbital space ship, and one of them will be a Filipino.
“The program we’ve launched is an opportunity for our great nation to join the global community in taking the next big leap. We’re very excited to meet the first Pinoy astronaut. It could be anyone,” said the Philippine Axe brand manager.
I initially thought the whole thing was a joke, particularly because the marketing campaign was named the “Axe Apollo Space Academy” (AASA), as in “AASA ka pa ” (“In your dreams”). And Axe? Really? Until I realized astronauts don’t really take showers during space missions, so it may actually make sense. The Axe contest is promoting a new fragrance line called Apollo, and even hired the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, as spokesman. Neil Armstrong is most definitely spinning in his grave.
From the first 10,000 Pinoy applicants, two candidates will be chosen for astronaut training at the Axe Apollo Global Space Camp in Orlando, Florida. One of them will eventually take the $95,000 space ride for free.
More space news. Advances in ultrasound technology will allow NASA’s scientists to see more clearly what happens to astronauts’ spines under zero-gravity conditions. It has been known for a long time (probably since the Skylab missions) that astronauts can grow by a few inches during space travel due to a lengthening of the spine from lack of the Earth’s gravity pull. The vertebrae basically just relax and expand. The ultrasound device will be used for research in the next mission to the International Space Station.
In related news, spokesmen for Vice-President Jejomar Binay (height 5’2″) and former president Gloria Arroyo (height 4’11”) deny rumors that the two were among the first applicants in the search for the Philippine Axe astronaut.
The BBC biopic “Neil Armstrong – First Man on the Moon, ” will be aired soon. In it, Neil’s
snitch brother Dean Armstrong reveals that he was shown the famous quote some time before the astronaut left for the blast-off site. This destroys the illusion that Neil said the lines spontaneously upon stepping on the lunar surface for the first time.
It is of course very reasonable to expect Armstrong to prepare well ahead for his historic first few words on the Moon. In his biography published in 2005, however, he said that the quote evolved over the course of the flight mission. He may clarify that by saying that the entire mission took months anyway (except that he’s dead now), so technically he was correct.
Coincidentally, a just published NASA-funded study revealed that astronauts exposed to Galactic Cosmic Radiation may develop Alzheimer’s disease. Highly charged iron particles in space, thrown off by exploding stars, pass through space ship walls and can hit the astronauts, causing the disease. Laboratory animals exposed to the space radiation developed forgetfulness, as well as the histopathologic markers of Alzheimer’s disease.
This may explain one of the most famous grammatical errors in history, when radio transmissions indicated that Armstrong uttered “That’s one small step for man.” Neil Armstrong has always maintained that he said it with an “a” before “man.” Dean confirmed in the biopic that the astronaut had really written “one small step for a man” when he originally showed him the quote.
In related news, Neil’s bum and drunkard
snitch brother-in-law Dave Headweak, will soon reveal in the tabloids that the moon landing was faked and shot in a sound stage in Los Angeles.
Fairly boring life, isn’t it?