Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S

Penis Pump

For the (dead) Chinese man who has everything: cars and Viagra

At Wang Sufang's shop on the outskirts of Beijing, you can buy a red Mercedes, a two-storey modern villa and a small horse, all for less than £40.

The only catch is that to enjoy them, you have to be dead.

The luxuries that Miss Wang sells are paper versions, traditionally burnt by Chinese as offerings to the dead in the hope that their presence will ease the travails of the afterlife.

In the old days, all that the dead could hope for was paper "heaven money", or perhaps a bit of food. But with economic growth, variety and quality are matching the ambitions of China's new rich.

Magic Wand

Money to burn! £4m ticket left in ashtray.

They were smiling yesterday at their £4.2million National Lottery luck, but their winning ticket nearly went up in smoke after these four road workers left it in their van's ashtray overnight.

The four - who scooped the roll-over just five weeks after being told they'd have to be made redundant - stopped on the way home to buy five Lucky Dip entries.

Trevor Kimber, 47, stuffed the ticket for safekeeping overnight in the ashtray of their Ford Transit.

Next morning he and workmates David Brock, 46, Tony Fitt, 56, and David Edwards, 63, realised they were winners.
Syndicate leader Mr Brock, who bought the winner in Downham Market, Norfolk, said: "One of us normally looks after the ticket. Trevor put it in the ashtray. I know it does not sound a very safe place.

Bizarro Earth

Pampers are not an invention of the devil

The world's biggest manufacturer of household and grooming products voiced hopes yesterday that an urban myth linking it to Satanism was being crushed after four men were ordered to pay almost $20 million (£10 million) in damages for spreading the rumour.

At the end of a 12-year legal case in Salt Lake City, Utah, a US District Court jury found against a group of distributors from a rival company who had left voicemail messages alleging that part of Procter & Gamble's profits went to devil-worshipping cults.

P&G - which owns brands such as Pampers, Gillette, Head & Shoulders and Ariel - has long been in despair over the stubborn refusal of such claims to go away.


What is the most annoying phrase in the English language?

The clumsy phrases you basically like, hate

Like some Crufts for ugly mongrels, hundreds of linguistic pet hates were sent in by readers yesterday. It started with a criticism by Noel Pepperall on Thursday's Letters page of draw down applied to withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Chief among the breeds you loathe are empty speech-markers, equivalent to er, such as, basically, you know and I mean. Tudor Gwilliam-Rees counted Tony Blair saying "Y'know" 40 times during a Today radio interview.


The true beauty of Lady Jane Grey

The miniature that Dr Starkey believes is of Lady Jane Grey

Bizarro Earth

13-year-old girl is rotten sneakers queen

Thirteen-year-old Katharine Tuck's sneakers smell as bad as they look. Now, at least, the Utah seventh-grader can afford some new ones.

On Tuesday, she out-ranked six other children to win $2,500 in the 32nd annual National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest, stinking up the joint with a pair of well-worn 1½-year-old Nikes so noxious they had the judges wincing.

"I'm so proud of the little stinker," said her mother, Paula Tuck.

Ah, the foul smell of success.

Katharine has used the sneakers to play soccer and basketball, hiked in them, even waded into the Great Salt Lake, where they were infiltrated by brine shrimp.

The contest, founded in 1975 as a sporting goods store promotion and now sponsored by the manufacturer of anti-foot odor products, pits children from around the United States who have won state-level competitions for the generally cruddy condition of their footwear.

Bizarro Earth

'Spiderman' arrested climbing Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers again

Police arrested a French urban climber who calls himself "Spiderman" as he attempted to scale Malaysia's 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers with his bare hands Tuesday for the second time in 10 years.

Alain Robert was detained as he made it to the 60th floor of Tower 2, where he unfurled a Malaysian flag to a cheering crowd below before being led away by authorities, Fire Department spokesman Christopher Chong said.

"We asked him to stop, he said OK," Chong said. "He tried to climb further, but we told him no."

A decade ago, Robert was also stopped on the same floor, where there is a ledge for officials to climb onto, and was charged with trespassing.

It was not immediately clear whether he will be charged this time, and police were not immediately available for comment.

Bizarro Earth

McDonald's seeks to redefine 'McJob'

McDonald's, home to the McMuffin and the McNugget, is fed up with being home to the McJob.

The UK arm of the fast food chain is starting a campaign to get British dictionary publishers to revise their definitions of the word "McJob", a term the Oxford English Dictionary describes as "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector".


The Final Upgrade: Airline Moves Dead Body to 1st Class

LONDON - A first-class passenger on a flight from Delhi to London awoke find the corpse of a woman who had died in the economy cabin being placed in a seat next to him, British Airways said Monday.

The economy section of the flight was full, and the cabin crew needed to move the woman and her grieving family out of that compartment to give them some privacy, the airline said.


Explicit Love Letters of Russian czar on sale in Germany

Cologne- Seven hand-written letters in which Czar Alexander II of Russia and his mistress, Princess Ekaterina Dolgorukaya, explicitly describe sex are to be auctioned this Friday in the German city of Cologne.