The Cyberdyne Corporation of Japan has begun mass production of a robot suit designed to help older people or those with disabilities to walk or lift heavy objects. The HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) Suit is a motor-driven metal "exoskeleton" that straps to the legs and upper body in order to power-assist the body's movements. "It's like riding on a robot, rather than wearing one," says the suit's developer Yoshiyuki Sankai, who envisions the suit being used for medical rehabilitation, industrial uses, disaster rescue and entertainment. The company plans an annual production of 400 units at a cost of approximately $4,200 each. (cyberdyne.jp)
TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW
A new study claims that men actually gossip more than women, averaging 76 minutes a day gossiping with friends and co-workers compared to 52 minutes for women. The study discovered the most popular topics for men are talking about their drunk friends' antics or the hottest woman in the office, while women like to complain about other women or discuss which of their friends are gaining weight. (KUTV.com)
TIME TO RUN AWAY AND HIDE
A Swiss watch company has teamed up with Indian fortune tellers in order to create the world's first watch that will warn you if you're about to be hit by misfortune. The watch features an indicator that, they say, "will turn brown when dark astral forces are about to strike and will not clear up until the bad omens have passed." They hope to sell the limited edition timepieces for more than $3,000 each. (China Daily)
A Norwegian inventor has won the Financial Times Climate Change Challenge with a simple cardboard box transformed into a solar oven powerful enough to cook food, bake bread and boil water. The "Kyoto Box" consists of two cardboard boxes—one box painted black inside another box covered in silver foil—topped with an acrylic cover to trap the sun's rays inside the box. "This took me about a weekend, and it worked on the first try," said John Bohmer. The solar oven could alleviate the need for firewood for up to 3 million people around the world and save millions of children from deaths caused by unboiled water. (CNN)
WHO WANTS TO BE A BILLIONAIRE?
Forbes magazine has surveyed 657 self-made billionaires and compiled some helpful advice for anyone with plans to earn a billion dollars in the future. First, make sure that you are born in the fall (ideally September, when most billionaires are born, but not December, when very few billionaires are born) and make sure that your parents are engineers, accountants or small business owners with a high aptitude for mathematics. Then, drop out of college if you want to make your fortune in technology, but make sure you get a Master's Degree from an Ivy League school if you want to make your fortune in finance. While you're in university, it won't hurt to join the Skull and Bones and after graduation try to get a job at Goldman Sachs. Lastly, after you start trying to earn your fortune, make sure that your first company is a massive failure so that you can learn all the things that you shouldn't do in order to earn your first billion dollars. Good luck.
HOW TO KEEP SHEEP HAPPY
In a study carried out at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, stress levels in sheep were monitored while the sheep were kept in a darkened barn and shown various pictures. According to the researchers, the sheep became noticeably less stressed and showed fewer signs of agitation when they were shown photographs of the faces of familiar sheep. "Seeing a face picture of a friend or family member would be the most effective way of reducing separation anxiety," said Professor Keith Kendrick, who also explained that sheep are able to recognize at least 50 sheep faces and 10 human faces. (The Telegraph)
LIFE CAN BE SHITTY
Authorities in Rome have found more than 100 immigrants—including at least 24 children—living in the sewers underneath a train station. The children ranged in age from 10 to 15 years old and arrived in Italy as stowaways on trucks and were sleeping in the sewers in order to stay warm at night. (BBC)
INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK
Genghis Khan has 16 million living descendants.
Get way more bizarro news at curioustimes.com.