The 2009 Wacky Warning Label Contest results are in!

To the joy of connoisseurs everywhere, the winners of the annual Wacky Warning Label Contest have just been announced. A toilet seat that attaches to a trailer hitch has gained national recognition — for a warning label that says you’d better not use it while the vehicle is moving. “The Original Off-Road Commode” won this year’s “Wacky Warning Labels” contest, organizers announced Wednesday. The contest, now in its 12th year, is intended to highlight claims that frivolous lawsuits have distorted the U.S. civil justice system. Steve Shiflett of Hampton, Ga., won $500 for submitting the toilet seat’s warning that it’s

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Are the Internet’s ‘tubes’ clogging up?

Former Senator Ted Stevens famously described the Internet as ‘a series of tubes‘. Whilst his comments were greeted with a hailstorm of derision, the analogy isn’t always inappropriate: and, according to the Sunday Times, those tubes are getting clogged. Internet users face regular “brownouts” that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace, according to research to be published later this year. Experts predict that consumer demand, already growing at 60 per cent a year, will start to exceed supply from as early as next year because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry

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Sooner or later, out it comes!

A drug smuggler is lucky to be alive after ingesting almost two pounds of cocaine and trying to walk through a customs inspection. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say it took a suspected Toronto drug mule three weeks to excrete 76 tampon-sized packets of cocaine into a bedpan. Hatim Gulamhusein, 48, was arrested April 7 at Toronto’s international airport after arriving on a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina, RCMP Cpl. Cathy McCrory told the National Post. She said border agents are “very good” at spotting people who have swallowed drug packages or secreted them in their bodies. Once in custody,

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A major step forward for the disabled

Being partly disabled, and working with disabled and handicapped people as I do, I’m excited about this report from England. Scientists have developed a wheelchair controlled by the power of thought. The robotic chair could revolutionise life for those with severe disabilities who are unable to use a conventional joystick. It works by creating a three-dimensional picture of the area around it, with a laser scanner. This is displayed on a screen in front of the user. To steer the chair, the user simply concentrates their thoughts on the part of the display where they want to go. Electrodes in

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A pie in the face!

Readers in other parts of the world may not realize how deep-seated is the rivalry between English counties (also known as shires). In many cases it dates back centuries, and whilst good-natured today, in the past actual battles were fought over local disputes. The county of Cornwall is at the south-western tip of England, with the county of Devon (also known as Devonshire) its neighbor to the east. Rivalry between them has been long and intense. Now, to the utter fury of many Cornish people, a pie contest has been won by an ‘interloper’ from their neighboring county. It’s re-ignited

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Saigon falls: April 30th, 1975

This is a somber anniversary. On April 30th, 1975, the city of Saigon and the Republic of South Vietnam fell to the advancing North Vietnamese Army. In the days prior to the collapse of South Vietnam, a flawed evacuation, Operation Frequent Wind, was conducted to get US personnel and many of their South Vietnamese collaborators out of the country. They were flown by helicopter to US Navy ships offshore. Many more were flown out by Vietnamese helicopters. There was no room aboard the US ships for so many aircraft. Many had to be pushed overboard after landing to make room

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Doofus Of The Day #200

Our double centenary Doofus is from Italy. A furious fiancee dumped her boyfriend after catching him fondling another girl’s boobs on Facebook just days before their wedding. The angry fiancee, named only as Valeria A. by Italian media, plastered posters all over the Italian capital Rome when she saw snaps of her husband-to-be, identified only as Antonio M. by Italian media, embracing another woman on the social networking website. She and a pal printed and stuck up hundreds of posters at train stations and office blocks around the city where her fiance and their friends work. A picture – taken

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Economy comes at a price

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has just conducted a series of tests designed to see how smaller cars fared when in collision with mid-size vehicles. The results were most interesting. From their press release: “There are good reasons people buy minicars,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “They’re more affordable, and they use less gas. But the safety trade-offs are clear from our new tests. Equally clear are the implications when it comes to fuel economy. If automakers downsize cars so their fleets use less fuel, occupant safety will be compromised. However, there are ways to serve fuel economy

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A baby’s mind is far more complex than it seems

I’m astonished by some of the latest theories concerning a baby’s mind. The Boston Globe has a very long and interesting article about it. Here’s an excerpt. … scientists have begun to dramatically revise their concept of a baby’s mind. By using new research techniques and tools, they’ve revealed that the baby brain is abuzz with activity, capable of learning astonishing amounts of information in a relatively short time. Unlike the adult mind, which restricts itself to a narrow slice of reality, babies can take in a much wider spectrum of sensation – they are, in an important sense, more

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