Watercooler Stories

Nov. 15, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Five porn sites among Top 100 in Egypt

CAIRO, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A company tracking online traffic patterns said Egypt's 100 most-frequently visited websites include five porn sites.

Alexa, a division of Amazon.com, released the list amid an order last week by Egypt's prosecutor general for the ministries of telecommunications, interior and information to begin enforcing a ban on Internet pornography, al-Arabiya reported Wednesday.

The company said the porn sites rank at numbers 15, 23, 29, 67 and 83 on the list of the 100 most visited sites in the country.

Meanwhile, Alexa revealed seven porn sites appear in the Top 100 in Tunisia and five sites appear on the list for Lebanon.

Clean cash spent faster than dirty bills

GUELPH, Ontario, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- People tend to spend crisp, new paper money before old, dirty and crumpled bills, Canadian researchers said in studies published Wednesday.

Further, the majority of people will hide their "dirty" money and use fresh bills to impress someone else, the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found.

Professor Theodore Noseworthy of the University of Guelph, northwest of Toronto, and Professor Fabrizio Di Muro of the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba conducted the overall study in five phases, in which subjects were either given well-worn bills or new ones with instructions to go shopping.

Observers noted the subjects were more likely to spend more of their new-looking currency, even if it meant using four fresh $5 bills rather than one crumpled $20 bill.

"It's the 'ick' factor," Noseworthy said. "The idea of touching something that others also handled: People want to rid themselves of worn currency because they are disgusted by the contamination from others."

The professor said the studies showed a curious consumer association between products and what's used to acquire them.

"We tend to regard currency as a means to consumption and not a product itself," he said. "In other words, it should not matter if it's dirty or worn because it has the same value regardless."

Handwriting returning to British schools

LONDON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A draft copy of Britain's new English curriculum revealed handwriting lessons will return to middle schools, officials said.

The new secondary curriculum for English drafted by education officials states "Stage Three" pupils, ages 11-14, should be taught to "write accurately, frequently and at length, with increasing fluency and sophistication" through "personal and business letters using the correct form" in addition to stories, poems and essays, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The draft calls for "Key Stage Four" students, ages 14-16, to "increase the range of their writing" and use "accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar."

The draft came amid a report by the British Office of Communications, a telecommunications watchdog, stating text messaging is on the rise among teenagers, with teens sending an average 193 messages per day.

Upside-down flag irks neighbors

PALM BAY, Fla., Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Residents of a Florida neighborhood are complaining about a U.S. flag being flown upside-down at a Palm Bay home.

Palm Bay residents Shirley and Thomas Moore said they were shocked to see the flag upside-down outside of a neighbor's home during the Veteran's Day weekend, Florida Today reported Wednesday.

"We served for the right of people to express themselves," said Thomas Moore, 62, a Navy veteran.

Moore said he disagreed with the gesture.

"It is a disrespect to the flag," he said.

Florida Today said the residents of the home did not respond to calls for comment, but a notice posted on the door explains the inverted flag is a sign of distress.

"As a result of the many traitors and enemies we as a free people have, both foreign and domestic, as a result of unconstitutional acts, legislation and atrocities passed and/or committed against the US citizens and their life, liberty and property, and as a result of policies that have allowed (and continues to allow) enemies of this nation to enter in large numbers through porous border policy, I believe the life, liberty and property of U.S. citizens are in dire danger and distress," the sign read.

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