Island of Tonga Space Program Takes Off

The island of Tonga has ambitious plans to launch a space travel industry. And their plans have taken off with an American woman aviation pioneer signing up to be the South Pacific archipelago’s first space tourist.

Wally Funk, a woman who trained with the original Mercury astronauts but never made it into space, has agreed to buy a $2 million ticket for a seven-day stay in polar low-earth orbit, fulfilling her lifetime dream, according to California-based space rocket developer InterOrbital Systems.

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Weird Website of the Week Award – Spam Radio

This site has a new twist on an old annoyance – spam made into a radio show. Spam Radio is streaming audio of spam read real-time by a computer-generated voice above a background of ambient music. The spam can be customized in various categories, including porn spam, get rich quick spam, Nigerian appeals for cash spam, or just “strange junk mail from around the world” spam.
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Chewing Gum Improves Memory

Chewing gum can improve memory, say UK psychologists. They found that people who chewed throughout tests of both long-term and short-term memory produced significantly better scores than people who did not. But gum-chewing did not boost memory-linked reaction times, used as a measure of attention.

One third of the 75 adults tested chewed gum during the 20-minute battery of memory and attention tests. One third mimicked chewing movements, and the remainder did not chew.

The gum-chewers’ scores were 24 per cent higher than the controls’ on tests of immediate word recall, and 36 per cent higher on tests of delayed word recall. They were also more accurate on tests of spatial working memory.

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America’s Best Restroom Award

After almost a year of nominations and online voting, the American people have spoken and declared their choice for the 2001 America’s Best Restroom Award. The contest and the awards are sponsored by the sanis brand of hygiene and well-being services.

So where is America’s best public restroom? In the heart of the country, on a college campus, amid the storied halls of a famous institution. Call it the luck of the Irish, but a facility at the University of Notre Dame was the voters’ choice in 2001.

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Smithsonian to Enshrine Enron Ethics Manual

Enron has turned into a museum quality scandal — the Smithsonian Institution is collecting its memorabilia, including its code of ethics.

A spokeswoman for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on Tuesday said curators have started to collect Enron memorabilia as part of an effort to record one of the nation’s biggest business scandals.

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Florida Man Stabbed with Swordfish in Fight

Reuters reports, “A Florida fisherman was recovering on Friday after being stabbed with the bill of a swordfish during a fight with another man, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

Police arrested Frank Ashmus, 46, and Garth Spacek, 42, on Thursday after the two fishermen allegedly started fighting near a dock in Madeira Beach, a small city on Florida’s Gulf Coast.”

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