2001: a chronometric oddity: A clock was set in motion this week in the market square of Krakow in Poland to count down the number of days until 1 January 2001 - the true start of the third millennium. The clock has a red electronic display on a white face which registers only days (997 today), not hours or minutes.

Holy tooth: A tooth believed to have been Buddha's is waiting at a secret location in Thailand, where it will be picked up by monks who will bring it to Taiwan. Ageing Tibetan monks who have looked after the tooth since the Seventies fear that they can no longer keep it safe from vandalism. Taiwanese politicians have said they hope the tooth could bring peace to Taiwan, after a string of corruption scandals and aviation disasters that have killed more than 200 people this year. Two more of Buddha's teeth are in Sri Lanka and Beijing.

Hold your breath: A survey at a Harley Street clinic specialising in halitosis revealed that 68 per cent of those seeking treatment do so because of damage to their sex lives.

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