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The first Miss America contestant to visibly display tattoos, Miss Kansas Theresa Vail, shows off her inked Serenity Prayer at a preliminary round of the pageant in Atlantic City. (CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)
The first Miss America contestant to visibly display tattoos, Miss Kansas Theresa Vail, shows off her inked Serenity Prayer at a preliminary round of the pageant in Atlantic City. (CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)

Talking Points: Tattooed Miss America contestant; ugly blobfish; orangutan travel Add to ...

SPACE RAT BOB

Bob Geldof will boldly go where no pop star has gone before. BBC tells us that the former Boomtown Rats frontman and human-rights activist has booked passage on a commercial space flight slated for liftoff next year. The Space Expedition Corporation plans to launch 100 people on the mission, which will travel 100 kilometres into space on the privately-built Lynx X2 spacecraft after launching from Curacao. Each ticket runs $100,000, and Geldof’s fellow passengers will include celebrity DJ Armin van Buuren and Victoria’s Secret model Doutzen Kroes. The Dublin-born Geldof is pumped for the trip, “Being the first Irishman in space is not only a fantastic honour, but pretty mind-blowing,” he told BBC. “The first rock astronaut space rat!”

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THE UNLAMENTED BLOBFISH

Little wonder the blobfish looks so mournful. Not only is the gelatinous creature on the endangered species list; it was also recently voted the most hideous creature found in nature. As reported by The Telegraph, the blobfish was awarded the dubious honour in a poll conducted on YouTube by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, which exists to heighten awareness of creatures whose impending demise is ignored because they’re not “cuddly” enough. The blobfish is currently under threat of extinction from trawling off the coast of Australia, where it resides at depths of 600 to 1,200 metres. Finishing in second place in the poll was the kakapo, described as a “rubbish parrot” found in New Zealand. Also in the top five: a Mexican salamander called the axolotl and an Amazonian amphibian known informally as the “scrotum frog.”

MONKEY TRIPADVISOR

Need help planning your next road trip? Call an orangutan. CTV News reports on a new study that documented the daily routine of 15 male orangutans in the forests of Sumatra over the course of a year. The study revealed the lumbering apes regularly plotted out where they were going the next day and even shared the news with friends and neighbours. Researchers routinely observed orangutans turning to face the direction they planned to take, then loudly whooping, sometimes for up to four minutes, to share their travel plans with others in the vicinity. The ape would then sleep for 12 hours, and upon waking would immediately set off on their pre-discussed path. “The guy basically thinks ahead,” said Carel van Schaik, director of the Anthropological Institute at the University of Zurich. “They’re continuously updating their Google Maps, so to speak.”

THOUGHT DU JOUR

“I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.”

Steven Wright, comedian

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