According to news sources, Lebedev Studio, which was founded in 1995 by Artemy Lebedev, lives by its motto, “design will save the world”. All of its creations are beautiful and unique both in concept and execution, and now Lebedev Studio has tackled the issue of personal security in a very creative and attractive way. The Lebedev Defendius Door Chain Lock stands out from all others of its ilk, defying entry because it is a door chain with a labyrinth, which is only long enough to reach the end of it. Personal security and a few fun moments seem to be the message here, and it works!

If you are not fond of labyrinths and are often in a hurry, this isn’t likely to the thief-resistant gadget of your dreams. It does take time to open a door with this type of lock on it, but according to many, it is quality time. The Lebedev Defendius Door Chain is constructed of 100% titanium alloy and its makers claim that it has proven to be resistant to approximately 700 pounds of force (equivalent to two and one half and possibly three obese burglars).

Nowadays, "people" is almost always the right choice when you are talking about more than one person. Some dictionaries don't even include "persons" as the plural of "person" anymore, and the few dictionaries that do include "persons" note that it is uncommon, archaic, or going out of style.

Traditionally, "people" was proper when referring to a mass of people:

John couldn't believe how many people were at the wrestling match.

"Persons" was proper when referring to a distinct number of individuals:

John noted that eight persons showed up for the book club meeting.

Grammar Girl
In a stunning result, the winner of the third annual TIME 100 poll and new owner of the title World's Most Influential Person is moot. The 21-year-old college student and founder of the online community, whose real name is Christopher Poole, received 16,794,368 votes and an average influence rating of 90 (out of a possible 100) to handily beat the likes of Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Oprah Winfrey. To put the magnitude of the upset in perspective, it's worth noting that everyone moot beat out actually has a job.

Since moot launched in 2003, the site has given birth to Internet memes as diverse as Lolcats and Rickrolling. 4chan averages 13 million page views a day and 5.6 million visitors a month; by some estimates it is the second largest bulletin board in the world.

See the TIME 100 finalists

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Scientists of the University of California in Los Angeles made the list of most useful drinks in the world. The list is based on the content of antioxidants in beverages.

Antioxidants can protect people against dangerous diseases (including cancer, arthritis, heart and ulcer ailments, etc) and even the process of aging. Vitamins A, C, E and such elements and zinc, selenium, glutathione and some others are categorized as antioxidants. Scientists used this guideline in their work to make the list of world’s most useful beverages

1. Pomegranate juice. In addition to the elements mentioned above, it contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and natrium. It is highly beneficial to the cardiovascular system. This juice is not recommended to those suffering from ulcers or acidity.

2. Red wine. This beverage is known for its abilities to prevent the development of cancer diseases. Many dietitians recommend taking about 30 grams of red wine every day with food.

3. Grapefruit juice. Contains many group B vitamins, which are very good for hair and nails, as well as ascorbic acid, which fights microbes. In addition, grapefruit juice allows to keep good memory, fights breast cancer and maintains skin resilience.

4. Blackberry juice. Blackberry is known for its ability to enhance eyesight and fight diarrhea. This berry also fights diabetes, prevents the development of gum diseases and preserves the youth of the entire body.

5. Cherry juice. Contains vitamin A necessary for teeth and eyes, iron and vitamin C (fights infections). It also cuts the risk of developing many types of cancer.

6. Acai juice. This fruit contains special herbal pigments that moisturize skin and prevent its aging. The fruit also has many fatty acids required for the normal work of the brain and the nervous system.

7. Cranberry juice. Produces antipyretic action and helps during common cold. The juice also relieves the body of toxins, produces a strong diuretic action and does not wash potassium out.

8. Orange juice. Increases the body resistance to flu, removes fatigue, activates brain functions and strengthens blood vessels.

9. Tea. The sort does not matter, although it should not be bottled tea available in grocery stores. This is an invigorating beverage that fights heart diseases and various infections.

10. Apple juice. Can be used during atherosclerosis, liver, urinary bladder and kidney diseases.
In the time it takes to brew a cappuccino, this machine can print off any book that is not in stock from a vast computer database.

The innovation, launched by book chain Blackwell yesterday, removes the need to order a hard-to-find novel, or the wait to buy one that has sold out.

Even out-of-print works can be printed off in minutes.

The Espresso Book Machine will also benefit aspiring novelists who can walk in to a shop with a CD of their work and have their book professionally printed in minutes.

The cost of buying a book will be generally the same as if it were in stock.

Currently there are 400,000 books ready to be be downloaded. Blackwell hopes that by summer, one million will be available.

It has bought one of the machines for its store on Charing Cross Road in Central London, but if it is a success then more could appear at shops across the country.

The machine, which resembles an industrial photocopier and printer, prints 105 pages a minute, or one book every five minutes or so.

Blackwell's aim is that the customer will be able to browse a catalogue in a kiosk next to the machine then press 'Make Book' and watch as their novel is created.

First the cover is run off, then the pages are printed and collated.

The pages are then clamped and glue applied to the spine. In the final stage, the pages are stuck to the cover before being trimmed to size from A4. The completed book then pops out of a slot in the side of the machine.

'With the Espresso Book Machine you can order it and have it in your hand within a few minutes. Having books printed on-demand also reduces the carbon footprint and cuts down on the number that are pulped or sent back.'

Out-of-copyright books will be sold at 10p a page, meaning a 300-page book would be £30, although Mr Hutchings hopes the cost will come down.

All other books will cost the same as if they were bought off the shelf.

A novel idea: The machine that can print off any book for you in minutes

Sure, we’ve all heard of the common phobias such as claustrophobia, the fear of closed-in places, or acrophobia, the fear of heights. In fact, we all have fears; some people have more fears than others and some are severe while others are mild.

Some fears are completely unjustified,but if you say you don’t have any fears, then perhaps one thing you’re afraid of is telling the truth!

So, we’ve established that fears are normal; however, there are some individuals that are afraid of some not-so-normal things. Sure, there are some strange phobias out there, but none stranger than that of things that don’t exist.

1. Spectrophobia: Fear of ghosts (Boo!)
It’s true that some people truly believe in ghosts and some don’t so this is certainly up to your interpretation.

Most people that have spectrophobia (the fear of ghosts) realize that this is an irrational fear and that there’s truly nothing to be afraid of. These people may be afraid to be in old, empty houses, dark places, or quiet woods, especially at night; even though the logical side of them says that nothing will happen.

2. Ambulothanatophobia: Fear of zombies
Ambulothanatophobia is fear of the walking dead, or zombies. It’s a long name for something so irrational.

This is a genuine fear in which it can be argued that Hollywood is somewhat responsible for with movies such as the Resident Evil movies and Dawn of the Dead. Though most people realize that zombies aren’t real, individuals with this fear let their imaginations get the best of them.

3. Demonophobia (also called Daemonophobia): Fear of demons
Demons are said to be evil spiritual beings. Individuals with this fear take the fear to the extreme and often realize that it’s irrational. Like people with spectrophobia (mentioned above), people suffering from demonophobia would most likely be afraid to go into an old, dark house, or be alone in the woods.

4. Pneumatiphobia: Fear of spirits
Pneumatiphobia, the fear of spirits, is very similar to spectrophobia and demonophobia. This fear however is more broad and open to all supposed forms of spirit life. Because some people believe that there are spirits all around us, this can be a truly dehabilitating, though the individuals who suffer from it do realize how silly it is.

5. Wiccaphobia: Fear of witches
These days, we have people who openly practice witchcraft and it’s perfectly lawful in the United States for them to do so. However, if you have wiccaphobia, this could be very disturbing.

6. Sanguivoriphobia: Fear of vampires
The literal translation of sanguivoriphobia is “the fear of blood eaters”, or quite simply put, the fear of vampires. Again, with all of the vampire movies out, some individuals are bound to go a little overboard and take things a bit too literally.

7. Teratophobia: Fear of monsters
Though not a very common fear in people over the age of ten years old, teratophobia (the fear of monsters) does indeed exist. Though for the most part, we all suffered from it as a child for at least a short amount of time.

8. Phagophobia: Fear of eating, or being eaten
Perhaps phagophobia should be a fear in farm animals or wild game animals, but it’s definitely an unreasonable fear for a human to have. Though there have been some gruesome real stories over the years of true cannibalism, the chances of you really getting eaten aren’t very good.

9. Spakafobia: Fear of aliens
Do you believe in aliens? Maybe, maybe not. Do you believe that people on Earth have ever been abducted by aliens. Whether you believe in aliens or alien abductions or not, most of us can agree that the chances of you getting abducted are slim to none. However, some people suffer from this fear so badly that they may even be afraid to leave their house.

10. Capgras Syndrome: Fear of an individual being replaced by an imposter
Capgras Syndrome is actually a condition, but the condition is a fear. Individuals with this condition fear that a person or people normally a spouse or immediate family member, has been abducted and replaced by an imposter that looks exactly the same.

Can you imagine trying to convince someone that you really are you? If they truly believe that you’re not, they will only get more paranoid and defensive against you for trying to convince them otherwise.

11. Ornithoscelidaphobia: Fear of dinosaurs
Individuals who suffer from ornithoscelidaphobia perhaps watched the Jurassic Park movies a little too much. As any rational person can see, the fear of dinosaurs is a truly illegitimate fear since these animals have been extinct for a long time. It’s quite possible that people suffering from this fear also realize that it’s irrational, but they can’t help it.

12. Automatonophobia: Fear of wax statues, ventriloquist dummies
The fear of wax statues and ventriloquist dummies, or automatonophobia, is caused by people thinking that these inanimate objects will come alive. While it’s true that the items these people are afraid of exist, the fear of what they believe may happen isn’t real. Of course movies such as Child’s Play harbor that fear in people. Remember Chuckie?

13. Gnomophobia: Fear of gnomes
Gnomophobia is the fear of garden gnomes. Of course no one is afraid of a garden gnome if they realize that it’s an inanimate object. However, some people are afraid that the gnome may come to life and attack them. Perhaps this is a childhood fear that some people never grew out of.

14. Santaphobia: Fear of Santa Clause
When you were a child, you may have suffered from Santaphobia, the fear of Santa Clause. Why not? Your parents try to teach you not to talk to strangers and then they put you on some fat guy’s lap. The guy is covered in hair and red clothing. What are you supposed to feel? Seriously, there are some children that have the fear for longer than a season or two.

15. Bogyphobia: Fear of the boogieman
Seriously, this is a true phobia. Sure, you may have feared the boogieman when you were a child, but some people don’t outgrow it. Some individuals have been known to have full blown anxiety attacks from fearing that the boogieman will get them.

Afraid of What!? Strange Fears of Things that Don’t Even Exist

They're giving these glasses away at the Rotterdam Zoo after a woman was attacked by a gorilla she made eye contact with. These could also be marketed towards the perpetually shy, or those with crazy-eye envy.

Scientists have discovered true love. Brain scans have proved that a small number of couples can respond with as much passion after 20 years as most people exhibit only in the first flush of love.

The findings overturn the conventional view that love and sexual desire peak at the start of a relationship and then decline as the years pass.

A team from Stony Brook University in New York scanned the brains of couples who had been together for 20 years and compared them with those of new lovers. They found that about one in 10 of the mature couples exhibited (identified on MRI brain scans) the same chemical reactions when shown photographs of their loved ones as people commonly do in the early stages of a relationship.

Previous research suggested that the first stages of romantic love, a rollercoaster ride of mood swings and obsessions that psychologists call limerence, start to fade within 15 months. After 10 years the chemical tide has ebbed away.

The scans of some of the long-term couples, however, revealed that elements of limerence mature, enabling them to enjoy what a new report calls “intensive companionship and sexual liveliness”.

The researchers nicknamed the couples “swans” because they have similar mental “love maps” to animals that mate for life such as swans, voles and grey foxes.

Scientists discover true love

Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company, has presented a new program to citizens. There are currently 250 individuals expecting to fly into space. A ticket to near space is not cheap - $200,000. This is a lot less than a trip to the International Space Station. However, the new trip pales in comparison with a flight to the orbit.

The company promises to organize a flight above Earth’s surface at the height of 100 kilometers.

Virgin Galactic has already started to accept payments from space passengers. The company promises to launch its flights already in 2010. The date of the first flight has not been exposed yet. Nevertheless, the number of people willing to fly into space is quite impressive – 85,000. Two hundred and fifty would-be passengers have already made their payments, either partially or in full.

Commercial space flights will be conducted from a private space port in New Mexico, the USA. SpaceShip Two will be taken to the orbit on board carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo, which has the wingspan of 42 meters.

The spaceship is designed to carry six passengers and two members of the crew. Four powerful engines Pratt and Whitney PW308A installed on the carrier aircraft will take SpaceShip Two at the height of ten kilometers and subsequently undock from the craft. Afterwards, the ship will continue its flight to upper layers of the atmosphere where it will cross the line between space and the atmosphere.

SpaceShip Two will be able to perform two flights a day. Aerospace pioneer Bart Rutan, the head of the company that designed the tourist spacecraft, said that the company would be able to operate 40 spaceships and 15 carriers for 12 years.

The interior of SpaceShip Two is reminiscent to that of Golfstream, a business class airplane. The program of every flight also includes several minutes of weightlessness. Passengers will be able to watch their flight through wide (46 cm) windows.

Every day should be Earth Day in spirit, but April 22 really is, so why not kick up your green heels a little bit? Celebrate the environmental acts you've already done and learn about new stuff you can do.

Happy Earth Day, everyone. Get out there and party for the planet by cleaning up, chilling out, or getting a deal. And then celebrate the earth every day by keepin' green.

Five Fun Things to Do For Earth Day

How to Celebrate Earth Day

Parties for the planet

For a growing cohort of Japanese men, women just aren't worth the effort. Instead, these guys have decided to entrust their affections to the increasingly realistic sex dolls manufactured by Orient Industry of Tokyo.

Orient Industry Co. now makes 80 dolls a month in an eastern Tokyo factory to nine designs that sell for between $850 and $5,500 each. The more expensive models are made of silicon and have 35 movable joints. While initially marketed to handicapped or deformed men, they are finding an audience among the merely awkward or socially introverted.

Orient Industry President Hideo Tsuchiya suggests that his product's success is due to the fact that "nowadays, women are sometimes more dominant than men in the real world, and they don't always pay attention to men."

Nearly all of the people who buy these dolls are single men and about 60 percent of them are over the age of 40, a company official said.

In a similar vein, pseudonymous 40-something doll owner "Ta Bo" points out that while "a human girl can cheat on you or betray you," the dolls will never do such a thing (due to being inanimate objects).

It's not a wife or girlfriend who await Ta-bo when he gets home to his apartment, but a row of dolls lined up neatly on his sofa.

Each has a name. Ta-Bo often watches television with his toys before bathing them, powdering them so that their skin feels more human, dressing them in lingerie and then taking them to bed.

Read the full story on Reuters.
'Love dolls' woo Japanese men (VIDEO)

Body-Laptop Wooly Jumper offers privacy, warmth and a big bucket of ridicule.

The Body Laptop Wooly Jumper is a homemade, knitted fashion for the profoundly paranoid.

It is meant to be a wearable privacy screen, while offering warmth, comfort, and the protection of prying eyes all at the same time. With a balaclava style head covering, this weird and wacky fashion keeps your whole upper body and head warm, and offers a tunnel-like component which offers a view to your laptop, or feasibly another media device which it also encases.

Since naturally, everybody takes their laptop to blog in below zero locations, the ludicrous Body Laptop Wooly Jumper even has section to keep your hands warm, and protect your keyboard from prying eyes so no one can decipher what you're typing by following the movements of your fingers on the keys.

Thankfully, these designs are only concepts at this point.


Basically it’s a plastic bag to go to the bathroom in, but this simple little bag employs some sophisticated sustainable solutions and solves some pretty daunting problems.

In the developing world clean water and sanitation are very scarce. This is due to over population and lack of infrastructure and poses a serious health risk to the affected populations. In these parts of the world not only do they lack the infrastructure to attain clean water, they also lack the infrastructure needed to deal with all their waste, so they end up contaminating the little water they have. Around the world, one child dies every 15 seconds from to contaminated water.

The Peepoo bag is the solution. It is a very inexpensive and easily deployable.

How It Works…The Peepoo bag is a long thin bag (14 x 38 cm) with a guaze liner, and coated on the inside by a thin film of Urea. Urea is the most common fertiliser in the world and is a non-hazardous chemical. When the urea comes into contact with faeces or urine, an enzymatic breakdown takes place into ammonia and carbonate, driven by enzymes which are naturally occurring in faeces. As the urea is broken down, the pH value of the material increases and hygienisation begins. Waste born pathogens (viruses, bacteria and parasites) are killed over a period of a couple hours to a few weeks.

The Peepoo bags are biodegradable, and when the bags degrade in the soil, the ammonia byproduct acts as a harmless fertiliser taken up by the plants. So not only does the Peepoo bag help them get rid of hazardous waste, it provides a valuable agricultural resource.

An added benefit is that the Peepoo bags provide a sanitation while conserving one of their most valuable resources, water. The system doesn’t require any water, other than to wash your hands after use.

To learn more check out their site at


This is an especially fun tip to write; it was specially designed for your enjoyment. Does that help you see the difference between "especially" and "specially"?

"Especially" usually means "particularly."

* This market is especially tough on retirees.
* Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, was Squiggly's weakness.

"Specially" usually means "in a special or careful manner" or "specifically."

* Aardvark delivered the specially minted commemorative coins.
* The cake had been specially prepared for the occasion.

Grammar girl

Surgeons have been astonished by the medical rarity of a 26-year-old man trapped in the body of a two-year-old toddler.

Jerly Lyngdoh - who lives with his farmer parents in Meghalaya, northern India - looks like any other tot with his tiny head and delicate 2ft 9ins long body.

But it's only when he opens his mouth to reveal a full set of adult teeth that the truth about the world's oldest baby is revealed.

Experts believe glands which secrete growth hormones may be damaged in the 22 lbs medical miracle.

'Jerly's infantile features are remarkable, and the only thing he shares with an adult are his teeth,' said paediatrician Dr J. Ryndong.

'We think this is a case of pan-hypo pituitarism leading to poor secretion of growth hormones from the pituitary gland. He is a genuine rarity,' he added.

Jerly - who is still dressed in baby clothes by his parents - measures up at just four inches taller than China's He Pingping, officially the world's smallest man.
Sisters spread happiness while brothers breed distress, experts believe.

Researchers quizzed 571 people aged 17 to 25 about their lives and found those who grew up with sisters were more likely to be happy and balanced.

The University of Ulster said having daughters made a family more open and willing to discuss feelings.

They said the influence of girls was particularly important after distressing family events such as marital break-ups.

During the study, participants filled in psychological questionnaires which researchers used to assess a range of issues, including whether they had a positive outlook and any mental health problems.

Lead researcher Professor Tony Cassidy said: "Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families. However, brothers seemed to have the alternative effect. Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families."

He said many of the participants had been brought up in families where parents had split and the impact of sisters was even more marked in these circumstances.

Read the full story: Sisters 'make people happy'

Leandro Erlich is known for installations that seem to defy the basic laws of physics and befuddle the viewer, who is introduced into jarring environments that momentarily threaten a sense of balance or space. For this exhibition, Erlich presents one of his most well-known and critically acclaimed pieces, Swimming Pool.

Erlich has constructed a full-size pool, complete with all its trappings, including a deck and a ladder. When approached from the first floor, visitors are confronted with a surreal scene: people, fully clothed, can be seen standing, walking, and breathing beneath the surface of the water. It is only when visitors enter the Duplex gallery from the basement that they recognize that the pool is empty, its construction a visual trick fashioned by the artist. A large, continuous piece of acrylic spans the pool and suspends water above it, creating the illusion of a standard swimming pool that is both disorienting and humorous.

Exhibition currently on at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, United States. From Sunday 19 October 2008 to Monday 05 October 2009.

Read the full story here

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Bandai's new somen-making toy looks like so much fun. It's basically a slide for "nagashi somen," thin somen noodles that are served in a stream of water. The noodles come out of a little house at the top of the slide and end up in a strainer at the bottom. To be released tomorrow, 4/18, in Japan. What's better than a toy you can eat off of?
There are some conversations that don't belong in the workplace. Staying away from discussing the following topics will make your work life a lot easier.

1. Religion
You shouldn't discuss your religious beliefs or your thoughts about other religious beliefs at work. Religion is a very personal issue and people are very sensitive about it. They don't want to hear that you disagree with their religious beliefs or that you believe your religion is the one in which everyone should believe.

2. Politics
This is another sensitive issue, particularly around election time. While you may feel very strongly about your political party or candidate, or have negative views about the opposition, you should not try to win your co-workers over to your point of view.

3. Your Sex Life
Why shouldn't you talk about your sex life? Simply because it's no one's business other than yours and your partner's. Other than that, it makes people uncomfortable. Taken to the extreme, it may even border on sexual harassment.

4. Problems With Your Spouse, Your Children, or Your Parents
When you discuss problems you are having with others, your co-workers and your boss may wonder if those problems are distracting you from doing your job. Talking about your problems with your family will reveal your weaknesses. You don't want to do this, especially if you are in a position of authority.

5. Your Career Aspirations
Talking about how you want to move on to something bigger and better will certainly, for good reason, make your boss and co-workers question your loyalty to your current job. If you are interested in moving up within your current organization, your actions will speak louder than words. Do your job exceptionally well, and of course, let your boss know you want to move up, but don't make it the topic of workplace conversations with anyone who will listen.

6. Your Health Problems
Don't dwell on your health problems at work. If you do, you will give your co-workers and boss reason to wonder if an illness will keep you from doing your job. Of course, serious health issues that will cause you to take time off, must be discussed with your employer. No one, however, needs specific details about your health.
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Prom is a special time for a girl; for many it signifies the transition to adulthood with a little Bow Chicka Wow Wow in a hotel room.

Prom night is the new wedding night. Take note.

So picture it boys. Your hands are clammy with sweat as you approach the door. Before ringing the bell (Get it? Ring the bell?) you wipe those sweaty palms down the legs of your pants.

Your date’s dad comes to the door, shotgun in hand and asks you a million questions, none of which you hear because over dad’s shoulder you see her coming down the stairs. A smile crosses your face because you know tonight’s The Night: you got That Feeling as soon as you saw her in this:

Nothing screams I’m losing my virginity tonight with a horny jock in the front seat of his car like a dress outfitted with LABIA.

There’s a little back story about this one. Apparently it’s gotten back to the original site that THERE’S A VAGINA ON THE FRONT OF THIS PROM DRESS! and they’ve edited the photo to remove the VAGINA.

It’s now changed to this:

Which now clearly shows that the vagina as crawled back up inside - like a snail retreats into its shell when it feels attacked.

Make the room seeth-and-breath. Walls will melt, spoons will bend, and your hand will quiver.

1. Stare at the center for at least ten seconds. Your eyes will want to look away, but focus on the center as intently as you can.

2. Stare at any solid object in your house - e.g. your hand, a book, a friend, and watch it warp!

Author is at

For more on illusions -- see Al Seckel's 2004 TEDTalk

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The next time you are tempted to complain about your job, spare a thought for this guy.

Ramesh Sahu works in the sanitation department of Calcutta, cleaning out the city's sewers.

Thousands of people are employed in the sanitation department through non government agencies.

Despite a rise in the number of deaths of manhole workers every year, workers regularly go into the manholes without any protective gear.

As a result of this, many of them contract deadly diseases and die of unnatural causes.

Deadly gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane can build up in the sewers, not to mention harsh chemicals used in homes and industry.

Government guidelines say that sewer workers must be equipped with protective gear, including helmets, gloves, goggles and instruments to check for poisonous gases. But, clearly, not all contractors follow these guidelines.

telegraph, UK
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Television's most famous cartoon family feature on these stamps unveiled today by the United States Postal Service.

Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie all feature on their own 44-cent stamps, which are due to go on sale in the States on May 7.

People are being urged by the postal service to vote for their favourite in an online poll.

The characters, created by cartoonist Matt Groening, have become US pop culture icons after 20 years on television.

'The Simpsons stamps, which includes known philatelists Bart Simpson, will serve as a great opportunity to interest youngsters into stamp collecting,' said James L. Brooks, executive producer of the show.

The Postal Service has launced a Simpsons-themed site with special products and a poll asking fans to vote for their favorite stamp.

Simpsons stamps unveiled: TV's best-known cartoon family delivered to your letterbox

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Sometimes incredibly intelligent people can off themselves in really dumb ways as well. Here's 10 people who were too smart to have died in outlandish manners, in alphabetical order.

1. AeschylusThe ancient Greek playwright died around 500 BC when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his noggin. Apparently, the eagle mistook the playwright's bald head for a rock.

2. Attila the HunOn his wedding night, he got so drunk he didn't realize that his nose was bleeding profusely. Mrs. Hun awoke the next morning to find the groom dead, drowned in his own blood.

3. Sir Francis BaconTo see if snow would preserve meat, the 17th century philosopher / statesman / scientist killed a chicken and then spent hours trying to stuff the carcass full of snow. When it was all over, there were 2 bodies in the snow.

4. Tycho BraheIn 16th century Denmark, it was considered rude to leave a banquet table before the meal had ended. The heavy drinking astronomer suffered in polite agony rather than excuse himself to heed the call of nature. As a result, his bladder burst and he died a slow and painful death.

5. Jim FixxThe author of the late seventies bestseller The Complete Book of Running touted running and a healthy diet as the key to longevity. He died from a heart attack while jogging. An autopsy revealed massive blockage in three coronary arteries.

6. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick IClanking through the desert of the Holy Land in heavy armor, 12th century Holy Roman Emperor Frederick was so happy when he reached the Saleph River, he jumped in to quench his thirst. Unfortunately, he forgot to take his armor off and therefore sank to the bottom like an anvil.

7. Jean Baptiste LullyDuring a rehearsal of his latest composition, the 17th century composer got so excited he accidentally thrust his conductor's baton deep into his right foot. As a result, Lully subsequently died of blood poisoning.

8. Pope Johann XII

Only 18 years old when he died in AD 963, Pope Johann XII was knocking at the pearly gates after his lover's enraged husband beat him to death.

9. Jerome Irving RodaleThe founder of the organic food movement and the publisher of the Rodale Press told interviewer Dick Cavett in 1971 that he'd live to 100. Moments later, the 72 year old Rodale slumped dead in his chair from a heart attack. This episode of The Dick Cavett Show was never broadcast.

10. Tennessee WilliamsYears of alcohol and drug abuse took a fatal toll on the noted playwright, who choked to death on an aspirin cap while inebriated in 1983.
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The collection of award-winning science-fair projects will make you feel dumb. Each and every one of the projects won their teenage researchers big prizes and hefty scholarships to ensure their future success.

In the category of mathematics, 17-year old Sana Raoof of Jericho High School in Jericho, New York produced this mind-bender to win the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000 scholarship in the 2008 fair in Atlanta. She chose Harvard, which no doubt feels privileged to have won the bidding for this brilliant young mathematician.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, annually provides a forum for more than 1,500 high school students from over 40 countries to showcase their independent research. The Intel ISEF is the premiere science competition in the world exclusively for students in grades 9–12.

Each year, millions of students worldwide compete in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in Intel ISEF-affiliated regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend the Intel ISEF. The Intel ISEF unites these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talent on an international stage, enabling them to submit their work to judging by doctoral level scientists—and providing the opportunity to compete for nearly $4 million in prizes and scholarships.

The Intel ISEF 2009 will be held May 10-16, 2009 in Reno, NV.

10 Winning Science Fair Projects That Will Make You Feel Dumb

When it comes to sex, most of us think we know it all--or at least enough that we don't need further education. But no matter what your background or relationship status, you've probably heard (and believed) a sexual falsehood somewhere along the line. Read on as we uncover the top 10 myths about sex.

Singles have more sex than married people.
Contrary to popular belief, it's married people who have more fun. According to Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher's The Case for Marriage, approximately 40 percent of married people have sex twice a week, compared with only 20 to 25 percent of singles and cohabitating couples.

Men think about sex every seven seconds.
As it turns out, this is fiction, too. According to a 1994 "Sex in America" survey, 54 percent of men think about sex every day or several times a day, 43 percent think about it a few times a week or month, and 4 percent think about it less than once a month.

Women are naturally more monogamous than men.
Although it's difficult to prove or disprove, researchers believe this popular assumption is more a matter of perception and socialization than biology. As they point out, in most mammalian species, both the males and females are highly, and equally, promiscuous.

Pornography is an addictive substance.
Some people view porn as a harmless pastime, while others see it as a health hazard. Either way, most scientists agree that although it's possible to become addicted to pornography, the addiction is behavioral, much like an addiction to gambling. Porn itself is not an addictive substance in the category of heroin or cocaine.

Herbal aphrodisiacs can enhance your sex life.
Ginger, coriander, or cardamom can enhance a host of recipes, but sadly, they won't succeed in spicing up your sex life. A review by the FDA revealed that no purported aphrodisiac has ever been scientifically proven to increase sex drive.

Sex during pregnancy will hurt the baby.
Believe it or not, sex is perfectly safe during the vast majority of pregnancies. In fact, most couples can keep having sex until the woman's water breaks. However, there are cases in which sex should be avoided, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Women can't get pregnant during their period.
Couples who believe this myth may be in for a big surprise. According to a 2000 study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Sciences, at least 2 percent of women enter their fertile period only 4 days into their menstrual cycle, and 17 percent enter it by the seventh day. Sperm can live for up to five days, so this myth has likely resulted in many unplanned pregnancies.

Sex the night before an athletic event will ruin your performance.
Although some coaches and athletes advocate abstinence the night before competitions, scientists point out that there's no evidence to support this myth. In fact, 2000 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness reported that sex had "no detrimental influence on the maximal workload achieved or on the athletes' mental concentration."

Talking to kids about sex will encourage them to have sex.
It might be uncomfortable or a little embarrassing, but talking to children about sex doesn't encourage them to have it. According to the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, open communication helps kids to make healthy and appropriate decisions regarding their sexual behavior.

Men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that men and women can indeed have platonic relationships. The researchers, who tracked 20 pairs of friends, confirmed that "friendship attraction"--a connection devoid of lust--between the genders is a bona-fide bond.

Many of us have heard of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Advice like “be proactive” and “synergize” is all well and good, but at the end of the day, I want to know exactly what great feats these highly effective people have achieved before I adopt their habits.

It’s obvious that genius doesn’t come without a price—namely, mean streaks, cross-dressing, and mind-boggling weirdness.

What follows is three famous geniuses with their weird habits that may inspire you.

1. Leonardo DaVinci
DaVinci has a couple of things in common: vegetarianism and the misfortune of being both perfectionists and terrible procrastinators. However, he did manage to complete masterpieces like Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Some say DaVinci preferred taking small naps throughout the day instead of sleeping for eight hours at night. Maybe that erratic sleep cycle is why he had such trouble paying attention to projects long enough to finish them—in fact, he may be one of the earliest sufferers of attention deficit disorder.

2. Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven was famous among his contemporaries for more than just his hauntingly beautiful compositions. He also had a nasty temper and often alienated his household staff. (Bear in mind he was a musician going deaf—that’s enough to make anyone grumpy.) He fought with everybody, including landlords, relatives, and friends. As a result of his temper tantrums, he had trouble keeping maids and servants because he’d often throw things at them or accuse them of stealing. Supposedly, he also wore dirty clothes and left food out to rot, which perhaps also explains why he never married.

3. Thomas Edison
Edison was another proponent of the power nap, believing that most people sleep far too much and are unproductive as a result. He took pleasure in people seeing him as the hardworking inventor who didn’t need something pedestrian like sleep to be exceptional. He felt similarly about eating, exercising, and spending time with his family—all of which he eschewed for working hours on end. Edison demanded that his employees generate a set amount of ideas for inventions (which he reportedly wasn’t above taking credit for). He refused to hire research assistants if they seasoned soup before tasting it. Having them over for soup was part of his interview process.

The other highly eccentric geniuses

Umbrellas for the Civil but Discontent Man (2008), by Bruce and Stephanie Tharp, manufactured by Kikkerland.

Just because it’s rainy season it doesn’t mean that you have to go without your swords. Here are three such combination of weapon and umbrellas by Bruce and Stephanie Tharp of Materious :

"Sigmund Freud contends that aggressiveness is a fundamental human instinct whose inhibition is a necessary obligation of social life. These umbrellas combine a symbol of gentlemanly refinement–the full-sized, black umbrella–with an element from more manly sword-bearing times. The umbrellas offer brief psychological respite from the dictates of social amiability."

More images + purchase information
Putting on one of the most successful art shows of all-time last year and the highest grossing contemporary living artists of all-time, artist Damien Hirst has brought forth a certain style to his definition of art. Bold and brash, he teams up with Levi’s on the release of a new denim style.

Hardly wearable, the jeans seen here should be considered much more a re-appropriated piece of art than fashion. A multi-colored splatter pattern covers every square inch of a pair of iconic Levi’s denim. The Spin Jeans comprise of only 8 instances worldwide with a suggested retail price of ¥2,625,000 JPY (approximately $27,000 USD).

Picture this: You're trying to buy underwear - a bra or panties. But when you go to the store, all the salespeople are male. They can't measure you for a good fit because touching you is against the law. And you can't try anything on in the store because there are no fitting rooms.

Every lingerie store is like this, not just where you live, but across the country.

That's how maddening it is for women shopping for lingerie in Saudi Arabia. Because physical contact between unmarried men and women in Saudi Arabia is forbidden under strict segregation laws, women can also not be properly measured for their underwear. Although there's a law on the books that says women should be able to staff shops that sell items to women, traditional attitudes discourage females from working at these places.

An administrative clerk at a women's college told the BBC that she doesn't buy lingerie in Saudi Arabia anymore. "It's really embarrassing. They try to give comments -'this might suit you better than that' - it's really not ethical." How frustrating is that to have to leave the country just to be able to purchase a bra and panties?

There's a campaign to get women to work in lingerie shops instead of men. Led by a lecturer at Dar al-Hikma Women's College in Jeddah, the group hopes to organize a boycott of all lingerie shops staffed by men. The full story is at BBC World News America.

Further reading: Lingerie boycott: Saudi women won't buy lingerie until shops employ female clerks

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The "Made in China" and "Bought by us" stickers attached to the two A2 posters reflected the visual language used in mass produced products.

These two posters by Amelia Roberts cleverly illustrates the complex nature of the question “Who’s responsible for global warming?" With stickers adorning each poster that say “Made in China” and “Bought By Us” she points out that our culture of consumption makes us complicit in China’s massive contribution to global warming.

As she explains on her site:

“The West blame China’s carbon emissions as a main cause of Global Warming. Yet the West seem unaware that they are fueling China’s industrial revolution.”
These Chinese architecture stamps look like they'd be a lot of fun for decorative and design projects.

"This stamp set recapitulates the elements of chinese traditional architecture, such as ridge of a roof, lintel of door and ridge animal."

But it's sold out at the main source. You can try your luck on

Funny cartoon of the day

Funny cartoon of the day