Jockstrip: The world as we know it

By United Press International  |  Dec. 6, 2004 at 6:00 AM
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Big John toilet seat ideal for Santa

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Santa is known for giving gifts, but the U.S. maker of the Big John toilet seat thinks its bigger and better seat will be on Santa's own list this year.

The brainchild of Aitan Levy and Gary Morgan, the Big John toilet seat has a stylish ergonomic design, larger opening and luxuriously contoured sitting surface that's said to be roomier than any other seat on the market.

The new seat comes with a lifetime guarantee not to break and its large stabilizing rubber bumpers and durable stainless steel hinges ensure smooth sailing for even the mightiest rumps, according to Levy and Morgan.

No longer do big men and women have to perch on under-sized seats designed 100 years ago for pint-sized posteriors, said Morgan.

The seat starts at a special introductory rate of $88 and can be ordered via the Web site

Obese U.S. tourists blamed for broken chairs

LONDON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The French supplier of chairs to the Queen Mary II, the world's most luxurious cruise ship, is replacing seats because of obese passengers.

"There are some things that need to be changed or replaced -- for instance, there are some problems with the chairs because some of our passengers are heavier than we imagined," a spokesman for Alstom Chantiers told the Sunday Telegraph.

"It's not an English problem; it's probably more American," he added

The Queen Mary II set sail from Southampton, England, on her maiden voyage in January of this year -- so the chairs being replaced are less than a year old.

The Queen Mary II, which cost $971 to build, provides passage for 2,620 passengers and 1,250 crew.

Gamblers using laser can keep money

LONDON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Several gamblers who used laser technology to win nearly $2 million at London's Ritz Casino have been allowed by police to keep the money.

The Hungarian woman and two Serbian men were arrested last March for allegedly using a computerized laser scanner to judge the speed of the ball on a roulette wheel.

The three used the data to determine the number most likely to come up, the BBC reported Sunday. The Sunday Times said the gamblers were able to compute the calculations swiftly enough to place their best as required before the roulette wheel had gone around three times.

But detectives subsequently determined no laws had been broken. The case has been closed, with no charges filed.

The Times reported the three gamblers won almost $200,000 the first night they tried their system, and on the second night took in $2,332,620.

Graphologists analyze historical handwriting

LONDON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Graphologists have reportedly concluded Charles Dickens was arrogant, Winston Churchill was pigheaded and Karl Marx refused to listen during an argument.

The graphologists -- experts in interpreting handwriting -- exhibited various documents written by politicians, monarchs and philosophers from documents exhibited by The National Archives in London, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

"All handwriting is a compromise between speed of thought and slowness of the hand and it is how individuals address this compromise by reinterpreting the rules of writing that provides the most fruitful grounds for analysis," Diane Simpson, a handwriting consultant who researched The National Archive exhibit, told the Telegraph.

Charles Dickens, the 19th century author of "David Copperfield" displayed his self-importance with a large signature he underlined with a flourish.

Karl Marx, who co-wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848, had a tendency to run words together -- evidence of his determination to go his own way. And the experts said Churchill's small, hasty script demonstrates the former British prime minister's willfulness and determination not to live by the rules.

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