HAVE A NICE DAY
While Chinese athletes practice for the summer Olympics, Chinese meteorologists are practicing their weather modification techniques in order to make sure it doesn't rain on their Olympic parade. The Chinese government has the world's largest weather modification program in the world, consisting of 30 aircraft, 4,000 rocket launchers, 7,000 anti-aircraft guns and a massive reserve army of 37,000 people. Usually, this branch of the government is responsible for seeding clouds in order to bring rain to drought-stricken areas of the country, but for the Olympics, they will be challenged to do the reverse—ensure that the skies over Beijing are clear during the opening ceremonies on August 8. To this end, they claim to have perfected a technique in which they fire substances into the clouds that shrink the size of the raindrops, thereby letting the cloud float harmlessly overhead until it dumps its load somewhere else. (LA Times)
I'M DUMPING YOU FOR A THREE-DAY WEEKEND
While the spirit of Valentine's Day is still in the air, it might be a good time to ask your boss to implement a system set up by a Japanese company that now gives paid time off after a breakup. The "heartache leave" is a new concept from Tokyo's Hime & Company, which offers one day off for staff members under 24 years of age, two days off for those 25 to 29 years old and three days off for staff 30 or older. "Women in their 20s can find their next love quickly, but it's tougher for women in their 30s, and their breakups tend to be more serious," explained CEO Miki Hiradate. "Not everyone needs to take maternity leave, but with heartbreak, everyone needs time off, just like when you get sick." (Reuters)
... BUT NOT AS BEAUTIFUL
According to an article at TimesOnline.com about how to meet women around the world, one of the best pickup lines in Germany is, "Your eyes are the same color as my Porsche."
STARVE TO DEATH TRYING TO FIND THE CAN OPENER
The makers of the world-famous Swiss Army knife have created the world's largest Swiss Army knife, a two-pound, 11-ounce monstrosity that includes every tool the company has ever slapped on a knife, for a total of 87 different gadgets with 115 different uses. Along with over a dozen blades, saws and cutters and another dozen or so screwdrivers, the "knife" also includes a laser pointer, a flashlight, several gardening blades, cigar-cutting scissors, a tire-tread gauge, a wrench for the spikes on a golf shoe, a special tool to open the case of a watch and a screwdriver specifically for gunsights. The knife also includes the standard toothpick, key ring, magnifier and nail files. "Basically, they took every implement they ever put in a Swiss Army knife and combined them in this one piece," said company spokeswoman Jennifer Voss. Get yours for a mere $1,200 at Wengerna.com
New research from the University of Warwick has unveiled the science behind the mid-life crisis. An analysis of 2 million people in 80 countries found that depression universally hits its peak at the age of 44. "It happens to men and women, to single and married people, to rich and poor, and to those with and without children," said Professor Andrew Oswald. The study also found that the United States was the only country that recorded a difference based on gender. In the United States, unhappiness hits a peak at the age of 40 for women and 50 for men. (BBC)
GOD IS GREAT, AND SO IS THE WELFARE STATE
I've got a great money-making scam for you: Embrace Islam (Allahu Akbar!), move to a country that will allow you to marry four wives, then take them to England where the government will give you free money, help pay your rent and give you tax benefits for your harem. Indeed, the British government has changed its laws to allow husbands living with multiple wives to receive state benefits for each of their partners. Despite the fact that bigamy is illegal in Britain and punishable by up to seven years in prison, the government has now ruled that if the polygamous marriage took place in a country where it is legal, the state will pay up to £10,000 (about $19,500) a year in income support alone. (Daily Mail)
INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK
47 percent of British men would give up sex for six months in return for a 50-inch plasma TV.
More bizarro news at CuriousTimes.com.