A 'monster' great white shark measuring up to 20 ft long is on the prowl off a popular Queensland beach, according to officials.

Swimmers were warned to stay out of the water off Stradbroke Island after the shark mauled another smaller great white which had been hooked on a baited drum line.

The 10-foot great white was almost bitten in half.

The fictional shark at the centre of the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Jaws was estimated to be just five feet longer.

'It certainly opened up my eyes. I mean the shark that was caught is a substantial shark in itself,' says Jeff Krause of Queensland Fisheries.

The great white, the most dangerous creature in the sea, was still alive when hauled onto a boat near Deadman's Beach off north Stradbroke island.

News of the shocking attack on the smaller shark has sent jitters along the Queensland coast from Stradbroke Island, near Brisbane, to the Sunshine Coast further north down to the tourist mecca of Surfers Paradise, south of Brisbane.

'Whatever attacked and took chunks out of this big shark must be massive,' said 19-year-old surfer Ashton Smith. 'I've heard about the big one that's lurking out there somewhere.

'We're all being very, very cautious.'

Mr John Gooding, who operates a charter fishing boat, said sharks were everywhere, although there appeared to be no specific reason for an increase in the number.

'Some days you struggle to get a fish on to the boat before the sharks take them,' he told the Courier Mail newspaper.

Many of the popular beaches in Queensland are protected by nets and what are known as drumlines - a series of baited hooks that hang from buoys placed in a line about 500 yards from beaches.

Since the net and drumline programme was introduced in Queensland there has been only one fatal attack on a protected beach.

The relatively recent attack occurred when 21-year-old student Sarah Whiley was killed off Stradbroke Island three years ago.

The Queensland State Government has been under pressure in recent weeks to scale down the shark net and drumline programme because environmentalists say that whales and other big fish are becoming trapped in the nets.

But Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin said the capture of the badly injured 10ft shark - and the indication of a much larger one being in the area - showed the necessity to keep the nets and drumlines in place.

Darren Kindleysides, director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said the nets were working but at huge cost to whales, dolphins and turtles.

And Vic Hislop, an internationally-recognised authority on sharks, also believes the nets should be removed and other methods explored to scare away the predators.

Spies may soon be bugging conversations using actual insects, thanks to research funded by the US military.

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has spent years developing a whole host of cyborg critters, in the hopes of creating the ultimate 'fly on the wall'.
Now a team of researchers led by Hirotaka Sato have created cyborg beetles which are guided wirelessly via a laptop.

Using implants, they worked out how to control a beetle's take-off, flight and landing by stimulating the brain to work the wings.
They controlled turns through stimulating the basilar muscles on one side or the other to make the wings on that side flap harder.
The embedded system uses nerve and muscle stimulators, a microbattery and a microcontroller with transceiver.

They were implanted in the beetles when they were at the pupal stage.
Three types of large beetles from Cameroon were used in the experiments at the University of California in Berkeley. The smallest was 2cm long, while the largest was 20cm.

According to Professor Noel Sharkey, an international expert on artificial intelligence and robotics from Sheffield University, there have been attempts in the past to control insects such as cockroaches, but this is the first time the flight of insects has been controlled remotely.
Professor Sharkey questioned the ultimate military application of remotely controlled beetles as you would also need to implant a GPS transmitter and a camera too.
This would be too heavy for even the largest beetle to carry.

The Berkeley researchers suggested the 'cyborg' beetles - part beetle, part machine - could serve as models for micro air vehicles.

Sato and colleagues also said the beetles could serve as couriers to inaccessible locations. The Berkeley team is also experimenting on dragonflies, flies and moths because of their 'unmatched flight capabilities'.
DARPA's ultimate aim is to create cyborg insects that can fly more than 300ft to their target and then stay put until commanded to buzz off again.

Meet the real-life Harry Potter, the young man who claims his life has been made a misery by the famous wizard.

Harry Potter, 20, is forced to endure taunts from the public, police, phone companies and even one football referee because of his magical moniker.
When he was born in 1989, his mother Tracey Shaw had thought little of the name she had picked for her first child.

But eight years later when J K Rowling released Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone in 1997, his life was to be changed forever.

Now he suffers daily grief caused by people's reaction to his name and even had to show his girlfriend his passport so she believed him when they first met.
A bus company refused to issue him with a pass because they didn't believe he was telling them the truth when he tried to sign up.

And he has even got a scar on his forehead like the famous wizard, picked up when he ran into a lamppost aged fifteen.
In the series of seven books Harry gets his mark from arch enemy Lord Voldemort as the 'Dark Lord' tries to kill him.

Harry, from Portsmouth, Hampshire, said he wished author J K Rowling had never used his name for her books.
He said: 'My life has changed completely since the books were written. At first I thought it might be quite a good thing to have the same name.

'But now it is like someone has cast a bad spell on me. The reactions I get from people range from making fun to plain aggressive.
'Sometimes I wish J K Rowling had never used my name...
'People seem to forget that I was Harry Potter before the character. I was nine when the books first came out.
'I never imagined when my mum first brought the book home that it would take off like this.
'Whenever I was playing up at school, the teachers would make some joke about my name, which soon shut me up.
'After 12 years of it I couldn't count the amount of times I've heard "You're a wizard Harry". It does wear a bit thin after a while.
'And I've heard all the puns about my wand.'

Harry is desperate to try and live a normal life and has a less glamorous job than his namesake.
Harry's mother, Tracey Shaw, 47, an accountant from Portsmouth said: 'I named him Harry simply because I liked the name.

'People used to assume that he was named after Prince Harry, and that was his nickname when he was very young - we called him Prince Harry.
"Harry's biological father's surname was Potter and that's how Harry got his famous name.
'There was no such thing as Harry Potter at the time so I didn't have a clue the name would become so famous.'

Unlike his magical counterpart, he has shunned the Hogwarts School of Wizardry for the more mundane surroundings of Lloyds TSB.
And now he and girlfriend Philippa Hall, 18, are hoping to settle down properly and are currently trying to buy their first house together.
The seven Harry Potter novels shot British author J K Rowling to stardom, with his adventures being snapped up by 400million eager fans.

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor that plays the title character in the films, was recently revealed to have bought his third property in New York - a townhouse worth almost £4million.

Since the books were released they have spawned blockbuster films and spin-off merchandise, making the brand worth an estimated £15billion.
But the fortune made by the wizard with the same name as him, provides little comfort to Harry.

He said: 'No one ever believes that I'm telling the truth about my name. I had to show my girlfriend my passport, my bank card, and my driving license to convince her that I wasn't lying.
'I wasn't even able to get a Facebook account in my name as apparently the rights are owned by the Potter brand.
'I had similar problems getting a bus pass, and gave up in the end. They just refused to believe me.
'I'm constantly asked to send off my ID so I can prove that I am telling the truth. I think a lot of people just think I'm a smart-arse.
'Someone called me once and asked if I was Harry Potter. When I said I was, I heard a whole office full of people laughing, and then they hung up.
'I called the number back and found it was a well-known phone company.
'I was even stopped by the cops about a month ago when I drove through a red light.
'They couldn't believe it when they saw my driving license. They thought it was hilarious, but still gave me points on my license and a fine.'
'I was playing in my Sunday League team once and the referee accused me of giving him a false name, after I made a minor foul on another player.
'He asked me for my name to book me, but thought I was just playing up. He asked if I wanted to be sent off.
'You can get banned from the league for giving a fake name so it was quite worrying...

It’s always a lot of fun for us — and hopefully for you, the readers — any time we can run wild with pictures, news, and even reviews of an unannounced handset. Today, however, RIM spoiled our fun and formally announced the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Things like carriers, release dates and pricing have been withheld for the time being, but RIM has made a statement saying that we should all expect to see the BlackBerry 9700 go on sale “around the world beginning in November.” Spec wise, nothing has changed since our pre-release review, but just in case some of you forgot or weren’t paying a whole lot of attention, here’s a quick refresher on the critical specs:
  • BlackBerry OS 5.0
  • 624MHz CPU
  • 256MB flash memory and support for microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Quad-band UMTS/HSDPA (800/850/1900/2100 MHz) or tri-band UMTS/HSDPA (900/1700/2100 MHz)
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g with UMA support (carrier dependent)
  • A-GPS
  • 2.44″ HVGA+ display
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • Optical trackpad
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP/AVCRP
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • 6 hours of talk time and 17 days of standby (3G)
  • 109mm x 60mm x 14.1mm, 122g

In short, this is the BlackBerry device of your dreams. We’re expecting pretty much every single major GSM carrier on the planet to pick up the 9700 sooner or later, so we’ll be sure to keep the updates coming. As always, high res pics and a few other odds and ends are available after the jump.

Something tells us the marketers of this lake’s recreational resorts are having an insane time trying to find customers...

(click on picture to enlarge)

In light of all the recent seismic activity and sub-sequent tsunami , we thought we would go back and give a look at what scientists think the top 5 natural disasters would be for the United States. Government officials are evaluating and revising disaster plans around the United States since Katrina, and now with this new series of events. So, what would be the worst of the worst be? We're talking "**** hits the fan" kinda bad.

Top 5 Natural Disaster Fears

  • Asteroid Impact wiping out a city or entire state

Of course scientists can't predict when the next devastating asteroid impact will occur - and especially not WHERE. The odds of it happening are remote, but in terms of history - people vs the planet, the planet has stomped us. Impacts have happened before and will happen LONG after we're gone.

Recent Example : Tunguska Event.

On the date of June 30th, 1908, at about a quarter after 7:00 a.m., a very mysterious explosion occurred in the skies over Tunguska, Siberia, located in Russia. This explosion happened at anywhere between six-to-eight kilometers from ground zero, and the resultant action in this was to lay waste to a vast region of pine forest of 2,150 square kilometers, felling more than 60 million trees. This was seen as a brilliant burst of light from the inhabitants of the region of 50 kilometers around. Witnesses claim that the explosion was so loud and powerful as to blow-out windows, temporarily blind and knock people to the ground, and sounded like a deafening roar.

Suppose it had happened of a major US city - It would be utter destruction.

  • Future Pacific Northwest Megathrust Earthquake

Ok - if that gibberish makes no sense, we can all just keep calling it "the big one".

All geologists know it is just a matter of time before a 9.0 or larger earthquake strikes somewhere between California and Canada. The shaking would be locally cataclysmic, but the biggest threat is the tsunami that would ensue from a fault line that is nearly identical to the one that caused the deadly 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.

A megathrust earthquake is an inter-plate earthquake where one tectonic plate slips beneath (sub-ducts) another.Just in case you were wondering how it differs from regular earthquakes :)

Some examples of megathrust earthquakes are:

1700 Cascadia Earthquake (magnitude 9.0) — Juan de Fuca Plate subducting under the North American Plate, slip length 1000 km (625 mi)

1737 Kamchatka earthquake (magnitude 9-9.3) — Pacific Plate sub-ducting beneath the Okhotsk Plate, duration 15 minutes, depth 40 km

1755 Lisbon earthquake (magnitude ~9) — believed to be part of a young subduction zone

1952 Kamchatka earthquake (magnitude 9.0) — Pacific Plate subducting beneath the Okhotsk Plate, depth 30 km

1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake (magnitude 8.6) — Pacific Plate subducting under the North American Plate

1960 Great Chilean Earthquake (magnitude 9.5) — Nazca Plate subducting under the South American Plate, depth 33 km, slip length 1000 km (625 mi), slip width 200 km (125 mi), slip motion 20 m (60 ft)

1964 Good Friday Earthquake (magnitude 9.2) — Pacific Plate sub-ducting under the North American Plate, duration 4–5 minutes, depth 25 km, slip length 800 km (500 mi), slip motion 23 m (69 ft)

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (magnitude 9.3) — India Plate sub-ducting under the Burma Plate, duration 8 - 10 minutes, slip length 1600 km (994 mi), slip motion 35 m (108 ft)

  • Strong Hurricane Reaches New York

Major hurricanes have made direct hits New York before, but the interval between them is so long that people seemingly forget the risk of living on the coast. Some Officials fear people might not take evacuation orders seriously and the obvious larger prolem : It would take likely more than 24 hours to make a proper evacuation of New York City, even that is without panic, traffic jams and if "everything goes to plan". Any size hurricane reaching New York presently would be quite destructive.

When was New York last hiy by a hurricane?

1893: A category 1 hurricane destroyed Hog Island, a resort island off the Rockaways in southern Queens.

1960: Hurricane Donna created an 11-foot storm tide in the New York Harbor that caused extensive pier damage. Forced 300 families to evacuate Long Island.

1999: Floyd, weakened to a tropical storm, brought sustained 60 mph winds and dumped 10-15 inches of rain on upstate New Jersey and New York State.

2004: The remains of Hurricane Frances in September flooded city subways, stranding some passengers aboard trains that had to be stopped by flooded tracks.

  • East or West Coast Tsunami / Megatsunami

An earthquake fault joff of California (discussed above) could generate a major earthquake and a tsunami threat that would strike so fast - most coastal residents would not have any time to escape.The fault a deadly "1,2" punch, first the earthquake would level parts of the coast - and then with little to no time to act - the tsunami would already be there.

The United States faces a potential tsunami threat that mirrors the catastrophic Indonesia tsunami of 2004 - if not worse.

Another offbeat scenario would be to have a large meteor or asteroid hit in the ocean off either coast...

  • The Yellowstone Super Volcano

It probably won't happen for hundreds or possibly even millions of years - but there is one little scary fact : It's long overdue.

A supervolcano refers to a volcano that produces the largest and most voluminous kinds of eruptions on earth. The actual explosivity of these eruptions varies, but the sheer volume of extruded magma is immense enough to radically alter the landscape and severely impact global climate for years, with a cataclysmic effect on life . The term was originally coined by the producers of a BBC Popular Science programme in 2002 to refer to these types of eruptions.

Scientist have discovered that the ground in Yellowstone is over 70cm higher than in was in 1923 - indicating a massive swelling underneath the park. The reservoir is filling with magma at a staggering rate. The volcano erupts with a calendar-like cycle of every 600,000-650,000 years. The last eruption was more than 640,000 years ago - we are running late.

If Yellowstone were to erupt full blast - some estimates say half the country would be covered in ash... up to 3 feet deep.