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Erik’s View: Alex Ferguson, Jelly Wrestling & the Importance of Sleep

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. Today he looks at Alex Ferguson retiring, the importance of sleep and jelly wrestling at Cambridge. 

Fergie Retiring

Alex Ferguson retired after 26 years as manager of Manchester United yesterday.

"In the world of professional football, Sir Alex Ferguson is a synonym for longevity and permanence.

Yesterday I was walking in Westfield and came across an exhibition of photographs, capturing the most important moments in the history of the UEFA Champions League. Right in the entrance I was almost run over Liverpool players celebrating their triumph in 2005. Alongside that, I could not overlook the unforgettable Manchester United triumph from 1999, with David Beckham's blonde hair hidden behind the much bigger stars of that era.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly visible. His connection with Man Utd is even bigger than Paolo Maldini and AC Milan, who is also seen hoisting the trophy in the photo from 2003.

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Erik's View: Student Cocaine Study & Work Stress

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. This week, he takes a look at a university cocaine study and the 'revelation' that work is stressful.

A Cocaine Study on Students

It was revealed this week that King's College London university had asked its students to participate in a study on cocaine, where they got paid to take the drug.

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King Richard III’s Skeleton Discovered in Car Park

There was some unusual royal news in Britain yesterday, as a 600-year-old skeleton was found to be the remains of King Richard III. The University of Leicester led the project to find the lost bones and eventually narrowed them down to the most royal of settings- a nearby car park.

Richard III became king of England in 1483, but his reign was tumultuous and short-lived, and he was killed in battle just two years later in 1485. The skeleton shows the extent of the injuries that killed him, with 10 in total found, including eight injuries to the skull. On top of that, the spine has also been found to be badly curved, confirming reports from Tudor historians that Richard had a severely hunched back.

On the Trail of Richard's Body

For a team of historians, scientists and archaeologists this marks the successful end to the search for Richard's body that's been going on for years. They started armed simply with the knowledge that he had been buried underneath the church of Greyfriars in the centre of Leicester. After being demolished in the 16th century, the exact location of the church had been forgotten, but the team was able to gradually narrow it down to a probable area.

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Listen to the Whale ‘Talking’ Like a Human

An amazing new sound recording has been made of a beluga whale making noises that sound eerily similar to human speech. Researches were shocked when they recorded the animal at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in California and even mistook its noises for one of their colleagues.

Previously, dolphins have been taught to mimic the sounds a human voice makes, but never before has an animal done it spontaneously of its own free will. The researchers first discovered it when a diver surfaced from the whale's pool asking, "Who told me to get out?".

At first they couldn't work out where the noises were coming from, but after narrowing down the possibilities, there was only one option left: it was the nine-year-old whale named NOC. After realising this, they were able to train him to perform the noises on command and recorded the results.

Amazingly, it not only lowered its normal calls by several octaves, but it also released them in short bursts with pauses in between- just like a human conversation.

Sam Ridgway, president of the National Marine Mammal Foundation, was left with little doubt: "The sounds we heard were clearly an example of vocal learning by the white whale."

Have a listen for yourself to the astonishing recording below.

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Watch Skydiver Jump from the Edge of Space

History was made yesterday as Austrian adventurer Felix Baumgartner jumped from a greater height and reached faster speeds than any other human ever has before. In a specially made helium balloon he rose to a height of 39km, on the edge of space, before jumping off.

The stunt was the culmination of seven years work and had already been put off several times in the past week after adverse weather conditions. Even when Baumgartner finally did get the chance to get off the ground the mission didn't go completely smoothly.

As the balloon made its slow ascent higher and higher above New Mexico the tension was palpable. Finally, after over two hours and at 128,100 foot above sea level, it reached its peak and Baumgartner was led through a number of pre-jump checks. It was only then that he discovered that a heater in his helmet wasn't working and his visor kept steaming up. Despite emphasising "this is very serious" over his radio, the team as a whole decided to continue with the jump.

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