Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S

Magic Wand

Scientists calculate how much money it costs to buy happiness

It is one of the most pondered questions of all time - can money buy happiness?

The answer, according to a study, is yes - but so can friendships and successful relationships.

Researchers have been trying to calculate what effect our finances and lifestyle have on our emotions.

Their main source was a survey of 10,000 Britons, who were asked to rate their level of happiness and answer questions on their wealth, health and social relations.

The team, from the University of London, then placed all these people on a "life satisfaction scale" of one (utterly miserable) to seven (euphoric).


Randy sniffer dogs have been fired for sexually harassing female passengers

Two Thai street mutts who became ace sniffer dogs at an airport near the notorious "Golden Triangle" opium-producing region have been fired for urinating on luggage and sexually harassing female passengers.

The pair, Mok and Lai, had been plucked from obscurity under a program initiated by King Bhumibol Adulyadej to turn strays into police dogs, the Bangkok Post said on Sunday.

Although they won plaudits from police for their work in sniffing out drugs at northern Thailand's Chiang Rai airport, near the border with Laos and Myanmar, so many passengers complained about their behavior they had to be fired.

"He liked to pee on luggage while searching for drugs inside," Mok's former handler, Police Lieutenant Colonel Jakapop Kamhon, said. "He also liked to hold on to women's legs."

Life Preserver

Roller Coaster Riders Left Hanging upside down!

A dozen riders on an Arkansas roller coaster spent half an hour hanging upside down - 150 feet above the ground - after a power outage shut down the attraction.

It took about 30 minutes for the city Fire Department to rescue the riders using a ladder truck Saturday evening, said Aundrea Crary, spokeswoman for the Springs & Crystal Falls amusement park.

An amusement park visitor took this picture of the X-Coaster at Magic Springs when the ride froze, leaving 12 riders hanging upside down.

Life Preserver

Congo rangers treat rare gorilla orphaned in shooting

KINSHASA - National park rangers in the
Democratic Republic of Congo are battling to save a 2-month-old gorilla found clinging to its dead mother, who was shot dead through the back of the head, conservationists said on Sunday.

File photo shows a mountain Gorilla named Baby Ndeze resting on her mother's lap in Mikeno sector, north of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, February 17, 2007.


McDonald's to pay Chinese student 147 pounds for rat bite

The world's largest restaurant chain, McDonald's Corp., has been ordered to pay a student some 2,200 yuan (147 pounds) after a rat bit her at one of its outlets in northeastern China, media reported on Sunday.

A local court in Shenyang city in Liaoning province ordered the payment -- covering costs that included $130 for psychological injury -- for the incident last year, the China Merchant Morning Post said.

The woman, whose name was not disclosed, said a rat had climbed up her leg and bit her on the thigh while she was eating a meal at the restaurant.


French Citizens Rename Capital City To Distance Themselves From American Heiress (a parody)

Green Acres, France (Formerly known as Paris) - In a highly mobilized effort to save face for France's multi-billion dollar tourism industry, French telecommunication corporations, national internet providers and everyday common citizens joined forces yesterday, to fight for the reputation and dignity of it's most historic and beloved city.


Hungarians reclaim world record for kissing

Hungarians broke the world record for simultaneous kissing on Saturday when more than 6,400 couples joined lips for a few seconds at a party outside the country's parliament, the organizers said.

Hungary has been engaged in a kissing duel with the Philippines since 2004, when 5,327 couples kissed in Manila, followed by new records in Budapest in 2005 and 6,124 couples in Manila again this February.


Brace yourself!

The struggle between yes and no
©Dmitry Astakhov

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G8 summit.

Magic Wand

Archaeologists discover Iron Age Mickey Mouse

Swedish archaeologists have uncovered signs of a Viking precursor to Mickey Mouse. Among the objects found during excavations at Uppåkra in southern Sweden is an iron age figure bearing a strong resemblance to the classic cartoon character.



Want to phone a glacier in Iceland?

A unique work of art, unveiled today, invites viewers to phone a glacier in Iceland - and listen to its death throes, live, through a microphone submerged deep in the bitterly cold lagoon which relays the splashes, creaks and groans as great masses of melting ice sheer off and crash into the water.

The dying glacier sounds clearer than the snuffly artist, Katie Paterson, who has been camping out in torrential rain and bitter cold installing the piece.