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Friday, March 18, 2005 

Friday 6-pack

1. Sex Doll Sparks Bomb Alert at Postoffice BERLIN (Reuters) - A blow-up sex doll sparked a bomb alert in a German post office after it started to vibrate inside a package awaiting delivery, police said Wednesday.

"Order was restored after the sender removed the doll's batteries so the defective product could be returned"
2. "If I could speak English, I would..." An ad for a language school in Japan asks would-be students to complete the sentence, "If I could speak English, I would..." Ads with quotes from "real people" in Japan are often written by copywriters, but even if these aren't actual answers, the responses provide a glimpse into the process of a Japanese company selling English to possible customers. Here is a translation of several responses:
  • I would go by myself to buy in London antique shops
  • I would lecture the loud foreigners on the train.
  • I would raise my children in America: one artist, one computer programmer.
  • I would watch DVDs without subtitles.
  • I would do a satisfying amount of experiments at an American company that provided research money.
  • I would make all my subordinates Americans and start a hamburger joint with great atmosphere.
  • I would live in a house where I could wake up and dive right into the pool
  • 3. The Vatican vs. Dan Brown VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The cardinal leading the Vatican's charge against The Da Vinci Code urged Catholics on Wednesday to shun it like rotten food and branded the bestseller "a sack full of lies" insulting the Christian faith. In an interview with Reuters inside the Vatican, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone also said Catholic bookstores should take the thriller off their shelves and accused U.S. author Dan Brown of "deplorable" behavior. 4. UK shoe dumping mystery Pairs of shoes are being left in mysterious circumstances outside a remote farmhouse in Lincolnshire. Jason and Claire Foster, who live near Market Rasen, do not know who is doing it or why they have left as many as four pairs of shoes at one time. 5. KFC sells southern fried toxic dye to Chinese consumers The front page of today's Beijing News dedicates the headline and photo to KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). The company has openly admitted that the presence of Sudan I - a red, chemical dye which is thought to contribute to cancer - has been discovered in two products sold on the Chinese market: the 'New Orleans Roast Chicken Wings' and the 'New Orleans Roast Chicken Legs'. As of yesterday, these two Southern chickens will not be seen around the Capital for some time. Together with articles commenting on the news, the newspaper published the official letter issued by the Pepsi China Corporation - proprietor of the KF 6. Butler rewrites Google pages and adds functionality Mark Pilgrim has released an amazing browser enhancer called "Butler" (requires Firefox and Greasemonkey) that adds loads of functionality to Google:
    # removes ads on most Google pages #fixes fonts on most Google pages #Google web search:
  • adds links to other search sites ("Try your search on...")
  • in news results, adds links to other news sites
  • in movie results, adds links to other movie sites
  • in weather results, adds links to other weather sites
  • in product results, adds links to other product sites
  • # Google image search:
  • adds links to other image/photo/art sites
  • # Google News:
  • adds links to other news sites
  • # Froogle:
  • adds links to other product sites
  • # Google Print:
  • Removes image copying restrictions
  • adds links to other book sites
  • # Google Toolbar Firefox page:
  • adds links to other Firefox-friendly toolbars
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