Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S

Grey Alien

Aliens tuning in to vintage broadcasts?

Aliens are alive and well - and could be tuning into vintage human radio broadcasts, according to scientists.

Experts involved in the study of alien worlds told the Government they were convinced that life exists elsewhere in the universe.

They gathered at the Department of Trade and Industry in London to meet the Science Minister, Malcolm Wicks, reports the Daily Telegraph.

They told him that there have been remarkable advances in looking for stars with planets and said they are beginning to find Earth-like planets that might have water.


Oy Vey! Israeli diplomats denied non-kosher dining on duty

Israeli diplomats fed up with a protocol requiring they entertain guests at less-than-fancy kosher eateries abroad have asked for the rules to be relaxed, only to be overruled by a religious Jewish cabinet minister.

Trade Minister Eli Yishai, a member of the Orthodox Shas party, persuaded the Foreign Ministry not to accept the appeal by dozens of Israeli envoys to be allowed to hold official functions in non-kosher restaurants, Maariv newspaper said.

"Keeping kosher preserved the people of Israel," the daily quoted Yishai as saying.

According to Maariv, the ambassadors had complained that in many foreign postings, most kosher restaurants are fast-food establishments far below the standards of diplomatic dining.


Mohammed likely to top British boys' names list by year-end

Mohammed will likely become the most popular name for baby boys in Britain by the end of the year, The Times newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing government data.


Paris Hilton in Prison

Three cartoons in honor of Paris Hilton - that fabulously talented social butterfly who is overly abused by a legal system run amok... we're rootin' for ya!


Stomach Upset? Try Eating Live Frogs and Rats

A man in southeast China says 40 years of swallowing tree frogs and rats live has helped him avoid intestinal complaints and made him strong.

Magic Wand

'French Spiderman' expelled from China

An intrepid climber dubbed the "French Spiderman" was expelled from China Tuesday after five days in prison for illegally climbing the country's tallest building, a French official said.

Alain Robert was arrested Thursday after having scaled and descended the 430-metre (1,410 feet) Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, dressed in his trademark Spiderman costume and without any ropes or safety equipment.


Why does foreign money seem like play money?

Why does foreign money often feel like play money to travelers" Just in time for summer vacation season, an important new study from the June issue of the Journal of Consumer Research examines why spending patterns abroad deviate so much from what we spend at home.

Klaus Wertenbroch (INSEAD, France), Dilip Soman (University of Toronto), and Amitava Chattopadhyay (INSEAD, Singapore) argue that problems arise from a fundamental mistake in how people perceive the value of currency, known as money illusion. The numerical value printed on a bill affects our perceptions of its real purchasing power, biasing consumer judgment during periods of inflation or when using foreign currencies. It may also have serious macroeconomic consequences as shown by European consumers' price perceptions during the change in 2002 from national currencies to the euro, the authors point out.

"We examine the psychological processes involved in evaluating transactions in foreign currencies," write Wertenbroch and his coauthors. "Our findings ... explain to marketers how currency denominations affect real spending or private label market shares."


Reality Spelled Out: Londonistan, Gitmo and Beslan made it into English dictionary

The new arrivals provided a snapshot of the way that the English language has thrown up new words to describe the modern world.

A hoodie - a perceived growing menace lurking around Britain's shopping centers - is "a young person who wears a hooded sweatshirt, regarded by some as a potential hooligan," according to the new dictionary.

And wags, the pampered wives and girlfriends spending their partners' cash, take their place after a sterling performance accompanying the England football team at the 2006 World Cup.

From fashion circles, size zero slips into the dictionary, while muffin tops, the flabby bulge over the top of a tight pair of jeans, squeezes in.

Pro-ana, the belief that anorexia is a viable lifestyle choice, also makes it into the dictionary.

Arrow Down

Party whistles go silent! Ethanol boom may fuel shortage of tequila

Mexican farmers are setting ablaze fields of blue agave, the cactus-like plant used to make the fiery spirit tequila, and resowing the land with corn as soaring U.S. ethanol demand pushes up prices.

The switch to corn will contribute to an expected scarcity of agave in coming years, with officials predicting that farmers will plant between 25 percent and 35 percent less agave this year to turn the land over to corn.


UK: Road signs 'lost' on many drivers

Many British motorists are lost when it comes to understanding common road signs, a survey suggests.

Some 67% of the 2,500 people polled did not recognise "no through road" signs, and one-third could not identify the sign for "no motor vehicles".

There was no indication that this sign posed a problem