A former milkman has been forced to build a museum in his back garden after his home became too small to hold his collection - of more than 10,000 milk bottles.

Dedicated Paul Luke, 33, saved his first milk bottle when he was just nine years old while earning pocket money as a 'milkman's mate'.

But his collection has swelled to more than 10,000 bottles over the years - with some of the rarest dating back to the 1890s.

Paul's collection grew so large that it wouldn't fit inside his home so he was forced to build a museum in his back garden.

Father-of-one Mr Luke, who edits Milk Bottle News website for fellow fans, admitted that his hobby has 'got a bit out of hand'.

'Some of my bottles are the only ones left in existence, to put a price on the collection is difficult but I don't do it for the monetary value, they're a record of history.'

Mr Luke, who lives in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, with his wife and daughter, collected his first milk bottle in 1987 when he was earning pocket money working as a milkman's mate.

He noticed that different bottles featured various adverts and began a collection on his parent's window sill - before going on to work as a milkman.

He now owns a collection of over 10,000 different milk bottles and is still actively collecting more.

Mr Luke, who now works as a sales rep for a Hertfordshire dairy firm, also owns three old-fashioned milk floats, milk churns and milk measures which preceded bottles.

He added: 'I have milk bottles dating from the 1890s when they were first introduced. The glass was is green because they weren't progressed in making glass.

'Milk used to be ladled into customers jugs out of heavy churns. It was seen to be unhygienic and it was an entrepreneurial move by the dairies to introduce bottles.

'My favourites are the bottles from the 1950s when they had adverts using three or four colours, usually for eggs and butter.

'The adverts by each local dairy are individual, compared say, to the Kellogg's adverts.

'Most of these dairies have disappeared and some of them will have been built on. My collection is a record of the milk industry.

The entire story


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In a far flung corner of northern Afghanistan, Aziza reaches into the dark wooden cupboard, rummages around, and pulls out a small lump of something wrapped in plastic.

She unwraps it, breaking off a small chunk as if it were chocolate, and feeds it to four-year-old son, Omaidullah. It's his breakfast -- a lump of pure opium.

"If I don't give him opium he doesn't sleep," she says. "And he doesn't let me work."

Aziza comes from a poor family of carpet weavers in Balkh province. She has no education, no idea of the health risks involved or that opium is addictive.

"We give the children opium whenever they get sick as well," she says, crouching over her loom.

With no real medical care in these parts and the high cost of medicine, all the families out here know is opium.

It's a cycle of addiction passed on through generations.

The adults take opium to work longer hours and ease their pain.

Aziza's elderly mother-in-law, Rozigul, rolls a small ball in her fingers and pops it into her mouth with a small smile before passing a piece over to her sister.

"I had to work and raise the children, so I started using drugs," she says. "We are very poor people, so I used opium. We don't have anything to eat. That is why we have to work and use drugs to keep our kids quiet."

The entire extended family is addicted.

This part of Afghanistan is famous for its carpets. It's so remote there are no real roads. The dirt ones that exist are often blocked by landslides.

The closest government-run drug rehabilitation center is a four-hour drive away. But it has just 20 beds and a handful of staff to deal with the epidemic.

"Opium is nothing new to our villages or districts. It's an old tradition, something of a religion in some areas," said Dr. Mohamed Daoud Rated, coordinator of the center.

"People use opium as drugs or medicine. If a child cries, they give him opium, if they can't sleep, they use opium, if an infant coughs, they give them opium."

The center is running an outreach program to the areas that are most afflicted.

Most Afghans aren't aware of the health risks of opium and only a few are beginning to understand the hazards of addiction.

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The standard date of dinner and a movie is the same in Japan, but what is considered attractive, how people meet, and get married may be quite different. And in a country where nothing is quite what it appears on the surface, relationships are rarely simple.

Foreigners Dating Japanese: For Him

It’s widely believed that western men are very popular with Japanese women, that a rather average guy from the states comes to Japan and everyone thinks he looks like Tom Cruise. I’m here to tell you this is absolutely true. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a dorky looking westerner with a beautiful Japanese girl on his arm. I guess I fall into this category; lord knows what my wife saw in me. So what’s the attraction? Western men tend to be bigger than Japanese men and blond hair and blue eyes are considered exotic and attractive. Even after many years of marriage, my wife sometimes looks at me, “Oh my gosh, you have blue eyes!” Also, Japan is not a “ladies first” culture, so if a guy treats a Japanese girl with basic good manners like opening doors and such, she tends to be really impressed. Remember, she wants to be treated like a princess. Japan has a lot of social norms on behavior, but for her, the western man is outside the loop. She doesn’t have to pretend with him and be completely herself. Relationships tend to develop faster in Japan and the “heavy stuff”, the deep dark secrets come a lot sooner than expected, even in the first couple of weeks. Japanese Women are more interested in foreign languages and travel than men. A lot of women tend to study English in college and over 50% of students at most language schools are women. Whereas men tend to study English more for their jobs, she studies for a hobby or travel.

This view of western men is not limited to dating. Japanese men, especially employers can be easily impressed with westerners. Even today, all things being equal, a blond haired, blue-eyed western man would be preferred in the office. And there is no cooler Japanese man than the one who can carry on a natural conversation in English with a foreigner. This stereotype was nowhere more apparent than in the hilarious comic strip, “Charisma Man” that ran in English speaking newspapers in Japan. It followed the adventures of a skinny, wimpy Canadian man who when he got off the plane in Japan was transformed into a buffed hunk with amazing powers to attract Japanese women and impress Japanese men. “Charisma Man’s” only nemesis was “Western Woman” who could easily see through his façade.

Foreigners Dating Japanese: For Her

The same is not necessarily true for foreign women. It’s not that they aren’t attracted to Japanese men or don’t think they’re interesting. The number one complaint from foreign women about Japanese men is that they are too passive and don’t take the initiative. She’s frustrated. She see’s her western male co-workers with a different girl every week, but she keeps waiting for the Japanese guy she knows is interested in her to ask her out. She spends many nights alone. In general, Japanese tend to think foreign women are very beautiful. And many Japanese suffer from a chronic lack of self-esteem In his mind, the Japanese man thinks, he’s not good enough or she’s out of his league. For many this can completely turn her off to dating Japanese guys and she goes back to her home country disappointed. On the other hand, I personally know several foreign women who got married to a Japanese and are very happy together.

Another option is working as a hostess. Young pretty foreign girls can have a very good time and make a lot money as hostesses at “snack bars.” Japanese men, usually rich ones will line up to take out such girls. These relationships tend to be shallow and she’s viewed more as a mistress he can brag about to his friends.


“Omiai”, arranged marriages

Arranged marriages are still quite common in Japan. In times long past this was especially common between two wealthy families and the couple concerned had little or nothing to say about it. Americans might cringe at the whole idea and the lack of freedom, but today it’s rarely the case. Today it might be better termed an “arranged meeting” that might result in marriage. The couple concerned are under no obligation to get married. A young man or woman may have several omiai and refuse all. They are often arranged by a professional matchmaker, usually an older woman. Sometimes she may simply be a family friend or relative. The matchmaker takes many practical variables into consideration other than love; job, social standing, compatibility, and children are all carefully considered. Omiai are a good option for people who are shy or too busy to meet people. If successful, these meetings often result in long and happy marriages.

Long before getting married, Japanese have a formal engagement ceremony called “Uino”. This is a meeting and celebration between the two families and is complete with traditional decorations and food.

Marriage to a Foreigner

Getting married to a foreigner in Japan is not particularly difficult, but it does require some special paperwork. Japan has what are known as family registries. These are formal documents kept at city hall that list all the names of members of a particular family. When a woman gets married and takes her husbands name, her name is officially removed from her parent’s registry and added to her husband’s family’s. The problem is, foreigners can’t have family registries. Why?, well I don’t know. This was how it was when I got married. In these cases, they created a new family registry for my wife, now with my last name. And my children were added to this. But, my name does not appear anywhere on this registry. In a sense, I’m a member of my wife’s registry, in another sense, I don’t exist. But Japanese laws regarding foreigners are changing and this may all be different in the not too distant future, along with the Alien Registration Card (ARC) which all foreigners living in Japan must posses. These changes are not being done so much to give foreigners more equal rights and privileges, but to cut down on a mountain of extra paperwork that city halls and government workers must now deal with.

Most Japanese sleep on futons on the floor, which are quite comfortable, though many people sleep in beds, too. It’s quite common in Japan for babies and young children to sleep together in the same futon between the parents. I know what you’re thinking. Does this cut into the couple’s love life, well yes it does. However, there are many practical reasons for this arrangement. There may be a lack of space. But, especially if the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, the mother is already there. Nursing is made easy.

Dating Japanese


The standard date of dinner and a movie is the same in Japan, but what is considered attractive, how people meet, and get married may be quite different. And in a country where nothing is quite what it appears on the surface, relationships are rarely simple.

What Japanese Women want

In the west, women want ,tall dark, and handsome. An athletic build and tanned skin are considered attractive and desirable. Decisive and strong-willed men are sought after. In Japan, it might be a little different. The image of a fresh, young “salary man” is ideal. He has a light, slender build and fair skin. He is courteous, kind, and doesn’t try to impose his will on her. Women really want a man they can talk to and who listens. They want someone they can relax with and be themselves. She wants to be treated like a princess. Japanese women are very fashion conscious and brand name bags and other goods are highly prized. She wants to be given presents and shown a good time. Japanese are generally more conservative than westerners and stability is important. Women love a man in a suit who recently joined a big, established company, or even better, works for the government.

What Japanese Men Want

Based on the mass media, the ideal Japanese woman is cute, sexy, and quiet. He doesn’t really like her to be overly opinionated. In Japan, gender roles are still more clearly defined. He expects a lot and often “tells” her what to do and she accepts this. Even today, many Japanese husbands don’t do housework. If he helps out around the house, the wife is considered lucky.

It’s often reported that many young people in big cities, especially men are tired of the whole dating scene altogether and have nearly given up on relationships. They say that wining and dining a woman takes a lot of time and money. If the relationship doesn’t work out, they have to start the process all over.

“Gokon” Dating Parties:

One popular way Japanese singles meet is through Gokon parties. These are dating parties with equal numbers of men and women. Less formal parties might be organized by friends or co-workers at the office and may only involve a few people. Larger, more formal parties may have dozens of people. They sit at a long table with men and women facing each other. They can talk to the person across from them and exchange contact information, then after a set amount of time, say five minutes, the men all move down one chair and talk to the next person, and so on until everyone has met.

Love Hotels

One problem for Japanese couples is that many young people still live at home with their parents. So, where do couple go to, “do it”? The so called love hotels are the answer. Clean and convenient, these hotels feature large beds, bathtubs, T.V.s, game consoles, mini-bars, and even vending machines with “equipment” like vibrators, all to be paid anonymously into a machine. They aren’t cheap however, and charge by the hour.


What's your sign? Are you sure? According to new scientific discoveries and the trending topic on most social networks, the answer to this casual question may have changed.

Astronomers found that over many many centuries, the Earth's alignment with the sun has changed causing changes in the dates of many zodiac signs. Also they proposed a new sign, the 13th sign: Ophiuchus. Over the years, the Earth and Sun change their positions in orbit and since the signs were created about 3,000 years ago it makes sense that this discovery has arisen. Shocking right? This is leaving everyone skeptical and confused but its actually pure science.

If a new sign has been discovered, is it possible that one day a new month will have to be added too?

Did Your Sign Change?
  • Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16
  • Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11
  • Pisces: March 11- April 18
  • Aries: April 18 - May 13
  • Taurus: May 13 - June 21
  • Gemini: June 21 - July 20
  • Cancer: July 20th - Aug. 10
  • Leo: Aug. 10 - Sept. 16
  • Virgo: Sept. 16 - Oct. 30
  • Libra: Oct. 30 - Nov. 23
  • Scorpio: Nov. 23 - Nov. 29
  • Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 - Dec. 17
  • Sagittarius: Dec. 17 - Jan. 20
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Throughout history there have been some pretty unusual deaths. Attila the Hun is said to have died from a nosebleed. Isadora Duncan, a popular American dancer in the 1920s, was strangled to death after her scarf got caught up in the axle of the car she was riding in. Stanford White, architect of New York's Madison Square Garden, was shot and killed on the roof of the building he designed. And writer Tennessee Williams famously choked on a bottle cap.

Those are odd and ironic ways to go, but they don't hold a candle to the 10 bizarre deaths on the following.

10. Death by Storm Drain

This bizarre and sad death is a good example of tragic bad luck. In 2008, a Canadian man died after attempting to retrieve his stolen wallet from a storm sewer drain. The wallet and some other personal items were stolen after the 57-year-old man left them at a gas station. He called police before finding the wallet in a nearby sewer drain. He tried unsuccessfully to reach it once before the police arrived and cautioned him not to try again. But the man came back later, removed the grate and gave it another shot. When an officer investigating the crime noticed the man's truck had returned, he went to check out the drain and found the man wedged headfirst several feet below the street. The victim was still alive at this point and remained so as firefighters used a tow truck to pull him from the drain. Sadly, he was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

9. Death by Deodorant
In 1998, a 16-year-old boy in England passed away from a heart attack after being exposed to too many deodorant fumes. At the time of his death, the BBC claimed that more than 130 people had died after purposely inhaling aerosol deodorant products since 1971, but the boy's death was the only accidental case on record [source: BBC]. It seems that he was obsessed with personal hygiene and smelling fresh, so he'd spray his entire body with deodorant at least two times per day. It got so bad at times that the family of the boy could taste the fumes downstairs. In spite of this, they never thought he was in any danger. An autopsy revealed that he had 10 times the lethal amount of butane and propane in his bloodstream. It turns out that the boy used the deodorant in a relatively confined space even though warning labels recommend using it in a well-ventilated area.

8. Death by Beard
As of November 2008, a Canadian school teacher named Sarwan Singh holds the Guinness World Record for having the longest beard of any man alive. It hangs an astonishing seven feet, seven-and-three-quarter inches (2.36 meters) from his chin [source: ctv.ca]. But the all-time record for a beard goes to a Norwegian man who grew his beard out to a length of 17.5 feet (5.3 meters). His name was Hans Langseth and he died in 1927. At one point his beard was even on display in the Smithsonian Institute.

Neither one of these men have had much trouble with their beards. The same can't be said for an Austrian man from the mid-1500s. Hans Steininger's beard was a mere 4.5 feet (1.4 meters) long, but that was enough to lead to his untimely death. Hans would keep his beard rolled up in a leather pouch, but failed to do so one day in 1567. A fire broke out in his town that day and he reportedly tripped on his beard while trying to evacuate. There are conflicting reports as to whether Steininger broke his neck or perished in the fire, but either way it was a very bizarre way to go.

7. Death by Hungry Sheep
Sheep are pretty docile creatures. If you visit a sheep farm, you'll likely find the wooly creatures just milling about and munching on some grass. Sadly, in 1999, a woman in England found out that sheep can have an aggressive side as well if they're hungry enough. Betty Stobbs was a farmer's wife and 67 years old at the time of her tragic encounter. She was taking a nice dinner of hay to the family's flock of sheep using a four wheeled all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with a small trailer attached. The sheep were in a field overlooking a quarry. When Stobbs arrived with dinner, the hungry herd charged her and jumped onto the ATV, knocking her off and into the quarry. The sad irony of this tragedy is that she didn't die from the fall itself. She may have even lived through the tumble, but the ATV was knocked off as well and crushed her.

6. Death by Bra
This one wasn't exactly caused by a bra, but the woman's undergarment certainly didn't help the situation for two ladies in London, England, in 1999. These two friends were walking through Hyde Park one day when a bad thunderstorm came through. The pair was believed to have been seeking shelter under a large tree when a massive bolt of lightning struck them both. Apparently the metal wiring in the women's bras acted as conductors, although the coroner believed that they would have died even if they hadn't been wearing the underwire brassieres. Sadly, the women were both killed instantly and their bodies stayed there for 15 hours before anyone approached them. The official cause of death, as listed by coroner Dr. Paul Knapman, was "misadventure."

5. Death by Video Game
A representative of the market research firm The NPD Group made a startling announcement at the video gaming industry's 2009 DICE Summit in Las Vegas. Gaming industry insiders knew that their product was undergoing some serious growth, but the revelation that 6 million new potential customers began playing video games in 2008 came as a welcome surprise. The conference also revealed that online gaming, when gamers play against each other via the Internet, rose two percent in 2008.

All this activity on the gaming front has led to concerns over video game addiction. These concerns were validated in 2005 when a young man from South Korea passed away after a long stint playing the online version of the game Starcraft. The game is popular in South Korea, and popular gamers are revered. The 28-year-old man in this tragic case had been playing the game for nearly 50 hours straight at an Internet café in Taegu, taking only short breaks to nap and use the restroom. He was rushed to a hospital after collapsing, but died shortly thereafter. Police believed that the cause of death was cardiac arrest brought on by severe exhaustion.

4. Death by Molasses

This wasn't one death, but 21 deaths -- all from the same bizarre cause. On a warm day in January 1919 in Boston, a large tank containing about 2.5 million gallons of molasses exploded in a neighborhood in the city's North End. The tank was 50 feet high (15.2 meters), had a diameter of 90 feet (27.4 meters) and was situated on the waterfront in an area populated at the time largely by Italian immigrants. Nobody is sure what caused the massive explosion that sent shrapnel flying as far as 200 feet (61 meters).

Some of the deaths are attributed to the force of the blast itself, and it's impossible to say now exactly how many perished in the aftermath. But we do know that the explosion caused a wall of molasses that was reportedly 25 feet (7.6 meters) high to flow into the neighborhood at an estimated 35 miles per hour (56.3 kph). The sticky wave knocked people over and sucked them in, causing them to drown in the thick, brown liquid.

3. Death by Hollywood Sign
Hollywood has left more than a few dreams of fame and fortune shattered over the years. The most famous of these sad stories is probably that of Peg Entwistle, a young actress from Wales. Enwistle had some success on the stage, even winning roles on Broadway in New York City, but like so many others, she was drawn to the bright lights of Hollywood in central Los Angeles.

Once in California, she found a small measure of success when she played a part in the film "Thirteen Women," but the fame she desired still eluded her. Test screenings of the film went poorly, and much of her work was edited out of the final product. On Sept. 16, 1932, she climbed up to the famous Hollywood sign for her final act. At the time, the sign still read "Hollywoodland" and was merely an advertisement for a new housing development. Entwistle left her belongings, including a suicide note, at the base of the sign and then climbed up and leapt from the top of the letter "H."

Her body lay there for two days before it was spotted and later identified by her uncle, who lived in the hills near the sign. Her suicide note simply said, "I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E." In an ironic twist, a letter arrived for Entwistle the day following her death offering her a part in a movie about a woman on the verge on suicide.

2. Death by Junk Pile
They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure, but it can get out of hand if you become a packrat. Most people have a little bit of this tendency in them, but not to the extent that it would kill you. Sadly, the same can't be said about New York City's Collyer Brothers.

Langley and Homer Collyer moved to the New York neighborhood of Harlem in 1909 when they were in their twenties. Sons of an upper class family, the brothers became increasingly hermitic over the years and began to hoard items. How much stuff did they accumulate? It's estimated that there were 180 tons (163 metric tons) of "junk" in the apartment in the end. Busted chandeliers, broken baby carriages, smashed pianos, cracked clocks and molding furniture was stacked in every corner of their home. Homer went blind in the 1930s and was bedridden because of rheumatism by 1940. His younger brother cared for his every need and even saved hundreds of thousands of newspapers in hopes that Homer would regain his sight.

Oddly, the home was also booby-trapped in places to prevent intruders. This would turn out to be Langley's undoing when he tripped on one of the traps and was buried beneath an avalanche of junk. Unable to help, Homer could only slowly starve to death as his brother lay dead under the pile of refuse. Police reportedly searched Manhattan for weeks before realizing that Langley was buried in his own home.

1. Death by Unexplained Phenomenon
What exactly happened to cause the deaths of nine hikers in the Ural Mountains of Russia on Feb. 2, 1959, remains one of the country's most notorious unsolved mysteries. On Jan. 28, 10 students from the Ural Polytechnic Institute set off for some winter hiking. One member fell ill and was left behind to recuperate in a mountain settlement.

The other nine never made it out of the woods, and what investigators found was both frightening and confusing. Their abandoned tent was found ripped open from the inside, half buried in snow, with the shoes and belongings of the students still inside. The first two bodies were found at the edge of the forest, barefoot and dressed in their underwear. The next three bodies were found nearby in similar condition. Two months later, the last of the bodies were found buried in the snow about 250 feet (75 meters) from the first victims.

These four students had massive internal injuries, broken ribs and crushed skulls. One of them was missing her tongue. One thing that perplexed investigators was the fact that there was no sign of struggle and no external wounds. The final four victims were wearing some of the clothes of the others that were found to have high levels of radiation.


Some people say wasting time on video games is a way to flush your life down the toilet. In Japan, those people would be right.

Sega has just broken the seal on a new style of gaming that brings the action to the bathroom. The gaming company is planning to install above public urinals Toylets that allow restroom users to play four mini-games controlled by their own urine.

Male commuters who stop for a bathroom break at four Tokyo metro stations will be able to challenge themselves by peeing on a pressure sensor, which measures the forcefulness of their urine stream, according to AkihabaraNews.com.

The sensor sends that information to a screen above the porcelain urinal, where users can keep real-time tabs on their bathroom performance.

The games are pretty straightforward:
"Manneken Pis" calculates exactly how much a player peed.

In "Graffiti Eraser," players try to urinate forcefully to blast graffiti off a wall.

In "The North Wind and Her," gamers act as the wind, attempting to lift a woman's dress with powerful blasts.

In "Milk From Nose," players go head to head with the previous urinal user to see who has the strongest flow. The gamers appear as sumo wrestlers who squirt milk from their noses to push their peers out of the ring.

Gamers who are proud of their performance will reportedly be able to download their high scores onto a flash drive.

For Sega, the Toylet could turn out being a chamber pot of gold. By selling advertisements between games, the company hopes to be flush with cash, according to Wired.com.

Television has been full of overly intelligent animals that could easily gain membership into MENSA if they so wished. Of all the animal eggheads out there, here are the seven TV animals that probably have the highest IQs

7 Lassie

A few years back, June Lockhart (actress for the Lassie TV show), described the show as “a fairy tale about people on a farm in which the dog solves all the problems in 22 minutes.” Truly, when an entire family relies on the wits of their pet dog, it’s safe to say that the pooch has a fairly high intelligence. Each week, dumbass Timmy would find a way to get himself into trouble, and Lassie would dash off to tell his parents that he needed help. Apparently, Lassie also retains the highly evolved ability to communicate via telepathy, because she was able to relay the specific scenario Timmy had gotten himself into.

6 Master Splinter – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

You’d be hard pressed to find an animal that is wiser than Master Splinter. Skilled in the way of ninjitsu, he uses his lifetime of experience to somehow teach four mutant turtles how to protect New York City from the foot clan. Despite his vast knowledge, Splinter has just as much heart as he does brains -– a fact that may explain his curious love of soap operas.

5 Simon Seville – Alvin and the Chipmunks

Data suggests that Simon possesses an IQ “just north of Einstein.” If true, this would be one intelligent chipmunk, indeed. Clearly the egghead of the trio, Simon is typically in charge of planning the crazy schemes that Alvin is always getting into. He is also a gifted musician, with the ability to play such varied instruments as the saxophone, tuba, bass guitar, drums and bagpipes.

4 Salem the Cat – Sabrina, the Teenage Witch

As it turns out, Salem the cat is actually a centuries-old warlock trapped in the body of an American Shorthair cat. Given this fact, this little feline possesses an exorbitant amount of human knowledge. The fact that Salem became a cat due to a failed attempt at world domination also suggests he was intelligent and crafty even when compared to the general human population.

3 The Brain – Pinky and the Brain

Speaking of world domination, no animal is better equipped with the knowledge to accomplish such a task than Brain from Pinky and the Brain. As a lab rat, scientific experiments have resulted in Brain being outfitted with an over-sized and highly advanced brain. Educated on such topics as world history and English literature, Brain uses his exceptional intelligence to concoct intricate plans to take over the world. And he likely would have succeeded if it weren’t for that idiotic thorn in his paw – Pinky.

2 Nibbler – Futurama

Though few humans are aware of it, little Lord Nibbler has the super intelligence necessary to properly protect planet Earth. When necessary, he speaks to Leela, Fry and the others via telepathic manipulation. He also is advanced enough to possess the ability to wipe the memories of anyone unfortunate enough to look into the flash of his third eye. As a prime representative from the oldest animal race in the galaxy (the Nibblonians), Nibbler draws on an exceptional amount of accumulated knowledge to help keep the folks of Planet Express safe from harm.

1 Brian Griffin – Family Guy

Compared to most of the characters on Family Guy, Brian the dog is pretty much Einstein. He enjoys a variety of high-intelligence hobbies, including writing various novels and poetry. He also takes an egg-headed interest in politics and finds the majority of humans wholly uneducated and inferior to himself. Add it all up, and it would seem that Brian should be enjoying a cultured career in the field of his choosing rather than eating used bubblegum from the trashcan of the Griffin household.

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The start of a new year represents hope and promise, and many see it as a way to start over, to leave the worries and sad events of the previous year behind and gain a fresh perspective. People all over the world perform good luck rituals to ensure this optimistic outlook, and most revolve around copious amounts of food—the ultimate symbol of prosperity. Because this year was full of hardships for so many of us, it seems even more imperative to make sure that the new year treats us all a little better. Here’s hoping that keeping these good-luck staples on our tables on New Year’s Day will bring about a successful and plentiful new year.

Eating green, leafy vegetables is a good idea year-round, but on January 1, it may bring you more than good health. Because the color and shape of certain greens is similar to money, many consume vegetables like kale, chard, and cabbage in the hopes of a wealthier new year. The color green is also often seen in many countries as epitomizing growth and abundance. Southerners in the U.S. prefer collard greens. In Denmark, a popular New Year’s dish is sweetened kale cooked with cinnamon. People in Germany eat their cabbage in sauerkraut form.

Black-Eyed Peas
Any legume serves as a symbol of good luck for the new year, but black-eyed peas are the bean of choice for people in the southern U.S. This tradition’s origins come from the Civil War days. Vicksburg, a town in Virginia, was thought to be devoid of food during the battles until the people there found the peas. The legume has been considered lucky among Southerners ever since. They eat a dish called Hoppin’ John, which is comprised of black-eyed peas simmered with ham hocks, spicy seasonings, bell peppers, and rice. It’s usually served with collard greens and a side of cornbread, which is also representative of good luck, perhaps because of its golden hue.

Pigs can be symbols of financial success and progress in life for two reasons. First, because they’re rich in fat, so they’re seen as signs of abundance. Secondly, they tend to move forward when scavenging for food, unlike birds and lobsters, both of which are considered unlucky to eat on New Year’s Day. Therefore, the pig is a frequent star at New Year’s feasts. Those in Cuba, Spain, and Hungary roast their pigs and pig’s feet are a popular side dish in Sweden. In Germany, they take sausage form and collards in the U.S. just aren’t the same without some ham hocks thrown in, although eating hog jowls is also believed to ensure good health.

Lentils look like tiny coins, and they expand while cooking, so many believe they represent economic prosperity in the new year. People in Germany must really want to cover their luck bases—they eat lentils, sauerkraut, and pork sausages together on New Year’s Day. That’s a good luck triple bonus! Not to be outdone, those in Italy eat sausage with lentils just after the stroke of midnight. Brazilians start their year with lentils and rice or lentil stew.

The longer the noodle, the longer the life—so goes the belief in Japan, where they eat soba (buckwheat) noodles in soup during their New Year’s parties to ensure a healthy lifespan. The meal is called toshikoshi, which translates to “year-bridging.” However, breaking the noodles while eating them is bad luck, so if you’re making them for your celebration, be sure to slurp them up instead of biting off smaller pieces.

Fresh Fruit
Here in the U.S., we usually toast the new year with cocktails and party poppers. In countries like Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and Peru, citizens eat twelve grapes when the clock strikes twelve instead (twelve representing the months in the new year). This act is rooted in an overwhelmingly large grape harvest in Spain during the early 1900s—harvesters didn’t want the grapes to rot, so they came up with an enticing reason for citizens to consume them. They came up with the notion that the taste of the grape—sweet or bitter—will predict what lies ahead for each month. Not all popular New Year’s fruits foretell the future, though. Those who celebrate Chinese New Year feast on tangerines and oranges, and the Turkish favor pomegranates as symbols of riches.

Because of the way their silvery scales resemble jewelry, fish are thought to represent good fortune. In some parts of China and Europe, they’re also eaten to promote fertility. Pickled herring is on the New Year’s Day menu in Poland and boiled cod is traditional in Denmark. The Japanese eat herring roe (fish eggs) and shrimp, Italians consume dried and salted cod (called baccalà) and in some parts of Germany, people not only eat carp on New Year’s, but they also walk around with fish scales in their pockets or wallets for extra good luck.

Circular Desserts
Many people believe that foods shaped like rings or that are round in form embody the year being properly completed. The Dutch and Hungarians eat donuts; households in Italy and Holland serve balls of fried dough sweetened with sugar and honey on New Year’s Eve. Called ollie bollen in Holland, they are stuffed with sweets like raisins and fruit. Dutch folklore tells of nasty beings that would cut people’s stomachs open during the winter, and if the stomachs contained the special pastries, they were immune to the sword. Sometimes the desserts also have surprises, such as coins or small trinkets, baked on the inside that bring good luck to the person who finds them. Mexican and Greek New Year’s traditions both involve ring-shaped cakes with goodies hidden inside.

Since most New Year’s revelries revolve around consuming lots of delicious food and drink, it makes sense to include dishes that are thought to bring good luck, especially when they are as mouth-watering as ollie bollen or hot lentil soup.

It’s taken a few centuries, but scientists have finally done something useful. They’ve discovered everyday things that are guaranteed to turn on women.

According to actual scientific studies, certain smells, sights, and even sounds can trigger a woman’s sex drive and make you seem more attractive. And it’s not all that hard to create them with everyday stuff. You may have one of these things in your garage (or your Xbox). You probably have a couple in your kitchen. And you assuredly have one in your pants (nope, it’s not what you think).

None of this stuff is as mysterious as pheromones or as complicated as becoming a motorcycle-riding, puppy-rescuing, poetry-writing male model. In fact, harnessing the power of most of these commonplace sensory sex-starters is as easy as reading on. For example, did you know that, according to science, women are turned on by…

As anyone who’s seen the movie Hitch knows, women go for guys who can dance. But it turns out that specific kinds of dance moves — rather than the random spasms you use to spank the planks — have been shown to arouse women more than others. So concentrate on large, varied movements of the neck and trunk, along with rapid movements of the right knee — yes, the right knee. The medical journal Biology Letters confirms that females favor those particular movements, as those areas are where women focus to determine the attractiveness of a dancing male.

The powerful purr of Ferraris and other ridiculously powerful cars have been proven to elevate testosterone levels in women’s saliva, indicating an increase in sexual arousal. Don’t own a Ferrari? You’ve got a few options. You could find a luxury rental car operation, such as Gotham Dream Cars http://www.gothamdreamcars.com/, and sacrifice a month’s salary (or the black market cash equivalent for one of your less popular internal organs) for a few hours of horsepower. Alternatively, buy a $100 set of great speakers and invite her over to play Gran Turismo 5.

No, seriously. Scientists at Northwestern University concluded that heterosexual women become sexually aroused by both male and female erotica. This arousal pattern stems from the fact that the sexual orientation of some women doesn’t necessarily dictate their turn ons. The study also suggests that heterosexual women may be more “flexible” than men when it comes to sexual arousal — meaning they respond to a wider range of sexual stimulants — and that, as a result, the sexual minds of men and women differ significantly. Though they certainly agree about lesbians.

While the ability to telekenetically crush a skeptical general’s larynx is bound to make chicks tingle in the nether regions, the post-pubescent voice of evil Anakin Skywalker is what launches them into hyperspace. A 2007 study by American and Canadian scientists confirmed that men with deep voices are believed to be more dominant, healthier, and masculine than their Beiber-toned brethren. According to a sample of 100 Tanzanian tribesmen and women — with no access to contraceptives, or other influential variables — there is a link between a deep voice and a large family; dudes with deep voices fathered the most children. Case-in-point, the late Barry White, whose timbre helped him father eight children. His poor sons; can you imagine having to seduce women by playing songs sung by your dad?

Sorry, pervert — this phallic vegetable’s power to arouse women has nothing to do with it’s shape — instead, it’s all about the way it smells. The sense of smell is strongly tied to sexual arousal, and the crisp, fresh-with-a-hint-of-sweet-and-bitter smell of cucumbers has been scientifically proven to trigger increased blood flow to a woman’s clitoris*. So, while hiding an actual cucumber in your boxers is ill-advised (she’ll invariably be disappointed come harvest time), you’ve got another reason to give cucumber body wash a fair shot.

* Nope, it’s not a myth.

Women who wear shades of scarlet and crimson are proven to attract more attention from men. Turns out, the reverse is also true — men garbed in red stand a better chance of attracting women. That’s because prolonged viewing of the color causes the body to increase adrenaline secretion and raise blood pressure. Red is also viewed as a dominant color in the wild, indicating power and masculinity, which explains why cardinals and lobsters get all kinds of action.

To signal her readiness to mate, a female rat will arch her back, raise her tail, and stand firm so the male can mount. (We hope to god you didn’t already know that.) Using this ratsex principle, researchers at Rockefeller University isolated the chemical and physical mechanism responsible for the female’s behavior and, long story short, showed a strong connection between sexual arousal and the flow of potassium ions in the brain.

Let those pit faucets flow, because Androstadienone, a chemical compound found in male sweat, boosts hormone levels, increases blood pressure, and raises the rate of breathing in women. Specifically, according to studies conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, male pit sweat has been shown to improve women’s moods and stimulate the secretion of “luteinizing hormone” — a chemical involved in triggering ovulation. So, next time you hit the gym, don’t bother doing laundry — just wring your tank top into a humidifier and prepare to be attacked.


The new, more impersonal way to propose to your special someone! Hopefully she says yes, otherwise, you will have some serious explaining to do.

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Funny cartoon of the day

Funny cartoon of the day