Sex, wires and videotapes do not lie well together, according to Merlina Merton, a Filipina expert on the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui - the art of arranging the objects in a room in harmony with the intended function of the room itself. In her forum on "How to Make a Wedding and Undo a Marriage," Ms Merton has produced a set of advice for honeymooners that includes making sure the bathroom door does not open towards the bed, not having the TV set facing you if you want to have good sex, and not having electrical wires trailing on the floor, any of which may upset the energy field of the bed and interfere with activities therein.
Where was the Antichrist on 6 June? There were reports of mass hysteria in Colombia last week because it was the sixth day of the sixth month of a year ending in a six - all of which suggested 666, the Mark of Satan referred to in the Book of Revelation. Thousands of mass baptisms took place throughout the country, in the belief that the Antichrist would appear on that date and claim all children who had not been baptised. The date itself, however, passed without particular incident and no reported sightings of the Antichrist.
There's nothing wrong with fibbing. Everybody does it according to a study at the University of Virginia. A detailed analysis of the behaviour of 77 university students and 70 local non-university residents revealed that undergraduates lied in one third of all their social interactions, while the locals told fibs in one in five. Most lies, however, are devices to enhance self-esteem rather than to mislead. "I can go as far as saying it would be a disaster if everyone tried to tell the truth all the time," said psychology professor Bella DePaulo. "If you tell the whole truth, you start alienating people. You'd have to go back and apologize because you've made a mess of your interpersonal relationships." But she didn't say whether she was telling the truth.
What's in a name? A double "ph" in the case of nine-year-old Christophpher Agergaard of Copenhagen. His mother Pia has been fighting since he was born for the right to give him the unusual spelling, against a series of court rulings, and government-imposed fines totalling almost pounds 3,000. Under Danish law, parents may give children only names approved by the state and the church. In 1995, the Court of Ecclesiastic Affairs ruled that the name was illegal: a double "f" was fine, but Mrs Agergaard"s spelling was a ph too far. Now the Minister of Ecclesiastic Affairs has acknowledged that the law "maybe was a little too tight".
It's cholesterol-free and very tasty. But you need very high fences to stop it escaping. The paakantyi-Dareton tribe of Australian aborigines have been hunting the red kangaroo for its meat for centuries and now want to set up the country's first kangaroo ranch - with tall fences - to enable them to add to the growing export trade. A spokesman for the tribe said: "The elders look on red kangaroos the same way as you and I look on a cow." Which may not be as good news for the export trade as he seems to think.
Knee transplants are now available in Bavaria. The first such operation was performed by surgeons in Southern germany on 12 June on a 17-year- old victim of a motorcycle accident. In a 14-hour operation, they replaced the shattered knee with a donor knee.
Phrase books are not what they used to be. New editions of the Marco Polo Guides have dropped such useful expressions as "Where is the post office?" and "How do I get to the beach?" in favour of "I would like to sleep with you" and "Do you have a condom?" The essentially moral stance of the guides is, however, preserved with the inclusion of "Stop at once."
Worried because you are so short? According to new research, it may be the other way round: if you are below average height, it could be because you have an anxious nature. Studies in New York have shown that anxious girls are about twice as likely as non-anxious girls to be under 5ft 4in (1.6m). The link between anxiety and stature was found in children who were not particularly short at the outset, and it was found only in girls. The research supports a theory that anxiety inhibits the development of growth hormone.
Gunshot weddings may be on the increase. Particularly after a spectacularly unsuccessful Mother's Day promotion in North Carolina where a chain of jewellery stores offered afree .22 calibre rifle with the purchase of anydiamond ring. The offer was dropped after adeluge of complaints. "We've offended some of our older female customers," said the manager of the stores.
Rags to riches? It's unlikely now in Honduras, following a decision to drop a proposed tax increase of imported second-hand clothes. Officials had raised the tariff on such goods from 50 cents per pound weight to 90 cents per pound in an attempt to protect the local clothes manufacturing industry. The tax office, however, has abandoned the plans after protests from the poor, who said it would leave them naked.
Organising a family get-together? Then spare a thought for Wu Yundi, 99, and her husband, Yan Wuben, 97, of Jiangying township in China, the oldest member's of their country's largest family, all 160 members of whom live together in the township. There are five generations of the family and Wu and Yan attribute their longevity to "their love and to the harmony among the family members". They also take a tipple of rice wine every day.Reuse content