Queen Elizabeth goes 3D for Olympics tribute

Updated 24 December 2012
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Queen Elizabeth goes 3D for Olympics tribute

LONDON: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will use her traditional Christmas Day message, filmed in 3D for the first time, to pay tribute to the world’s athletes for delivering a “splendid summer of sport” at the London Olympics. In her personal address to the nation, the monarch will pay tribute to the competitors’ “skill, dedication, training and teamwork,” her office said yesterday.
The 86-year-old head of state provided an Olympic highlight when she made a surprise comic turn with James Bond actor Daniel Craig in a short film for the opening ceremony. “In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama,” she will say, according to advance extracts.
Queen Elizabeth missed a church service at her country retreat on Sunday due to a cold, Buckingham Palace said. Her message was pre-recorded and will go out as expected. It comes at the end of a landmark year for the royal family. Queen Elizabeth marked 60 years on the throne with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and her grandson Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting their first baby.


Fuzzy crab, shiny-eyed shrimp discovered on Java expedition

Updated 12 min 21 sec ago
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Fuzzy crab, shiny-eyed shrimp discovered on Java expedition

SINGAPORE: A hermit crab, a shiny-eyed shrimp and a crab with fuzzy spines are among over a dozen new species discovered in a deep-sea expedition off the Indonesian island of Java, scientists said.
The team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) carried out the expedition for 14 days between March and early April.
The area covered included a long stretch of the Indian Ocean off Java’s southern coast as well as the Sunda Strait that separates the island from Sumatra.
“This is a part of the Indian Ocean that has been never been sampled for deep-sea animals so we really didn’t know what to find,” said Peter Ng, a crab expert and head of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at NUS.
“We were very surprised by the findings,” he said on Thursday, adding that the team had expected to discover creatures from the Indian Ocean and the surrounding areas already known to scientists.
But the discovery of species entirely new to science “tells us that there are things happening in that part of Indonesia that we don’t know,” said Ng, who co-led the expedition.
The researchers examined 63 sites as they sailed from Jakarta to Cilacap town in southern Java and back.
Three new species of spider crabs were discovered during the expedition, the scientists said in a statement.
One of them had a plate protecting its eyes which resembled oversized ears while another was bright orange in color.
Another discovery was a new species of hermit crab with bright green eyes, according to Indonesian scientist Dwi Listyo Rahayu, also a crab expert and the expedition’s co-leader.
One new species of shrimp had shiny eyes that reflect light, the scientists said.
Ng, the NUS professor, said the scientists will carry out a detailed study of the more than 12,000 creatures from 800 species they had picked up on the expedition and publish their findings in 2020.
They expect to discover more new species as they go along, he said.
The reason they immediately identified the new species of crabs, prawns and lobsters is that the scientists involved are experts in this field, he added.