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Friday, October 27, 2006

Surviving Instincts

Pompeii's erotic past revealed
BBC News

Each fresco reveals a different sex sceneHundreds of tourists have been queuing in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, Italy, to gain entry to one of the city's most extravagant brothels.

The 2,000-year-old building, featuring erotic fresco paintings, has been re-opened after a costly restoration. The erotic frescoes painted above each door of the two-storey brothel are believed to suggest the prostitute's speciality.

The Lupanare - from the Latin word "lupa" for prostitute - is regarded as one of Pompeii's main attractions.

The town, by the slopes of Mount Vesuvius near Naples, was destroyed by a catastrophic eruption in AD79.

The eruption helped preserve the city, allowing insights into life under the Romans.

In those times, prostitution was not illegal. Sex workers were often slaves, and many came from Greece.

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British TV in animals' survival fight show
Source: PA

Animal populations across the world have declined by a third in total since 1970, according to wildlife campaigners.

Land-based species decreased by 31%, freshwater species by 28% and marine species by 27% in the 33 years between 1970 to 2003, the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Living Planet Report revealed.

To raise awareness of the declining figures, a prime time show, called Extinct on British TV channel ITV will find out more about the world's most endangered animals. Animals featuring in the programme include the mountain gorilla, leatherback turtle, Bengal tiger and polar bear.

It is thought the project will be the first "carbon neutral" terrestrial TV programme.

In a bid to offset the effects of carbon dioxide emitted during production, ITV has committed funds towards carbon reduction schemes.

ITV director of television Simon Shaps said: "We've worked closely with the WWF to ensure that as well highlighting the problems facing rare species in an entertaining and informative way, we are also mindful of our responsibilities as programme makers.

"I am really pleased that we've invested in carbon reduction schemes to offset the carbon dioxide we have produced when making the programme."

The WWF's biennial Living Planet Report also shows that humans are currently using the planet's resources far faster than they can be renewed, with natural ecosystems being degraded at a rate unprecedented in human history.

Picture courtesy of BBC News online.

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