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A New Menu for the Olympics

The Beijing Olympics are coming up in August, and Chinese officials have been preparing for it well in advance of the competitions. That includes encouraging restaurateurs to change the way certain foods are listed on restaurant menus. You see, the name of a dish in Chinese (which usually has something to do with its appearance or origin) doesn't always translate well into English. Check out the examples below:

Traditional Chinese name: "Chicken without sexual life"

Alternate proposed by the government: "Steamed pullet" (A pullet is a young chicken that has not produced eggs.)

Traditional Chinese name: "Husband and wife's lung slice"

Alternate proposed by the government: "Beef and ox tripe in chili sauce"

Traditional Chinese name: "Bean curd made by a pock-marked woman"

Alternate proposed by the government: "Mapo tofu"

(Source: CNN)
The Internet Archive

The World Wide Web was a different place back in 1996. Having trouble remembering what your favorite website looked like back then? Check out the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine for a quick glimpse into the past. Simply visit archive.org and enter the site's Web address in the search box. You'll be able to see what the site's homepage looked like from 1996 almost up to the present day.
The World's Tallest Known Tree

In a remote section of California's Redwood National Park stands Hyperion, the world's tallest known tree. At 379 feet, it is 74 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. Discovered by scientists in 2006, the tree's exact location has been kept secret. No, not to protect it from loggers. But rather to keep park visitors from walking around it, which could damage the tree by compressing the soil at its base.

(Source: National Geographic)
How to Measure Things Without a Ruler

When you don't have a ruler handy, use one of the following to estimate sizes:

a credit card (3-3/8" x 1-1/8")
a standard business card (3-1/2" x 2")
a dollar bill (6-1/8" x 2-5/8")
a quarter (approximately 1" in diameter) or a penny (approximately 3/4")
a standard sheet of paper (8-1/2" x 11")
(Source: The New York Public Library Desk Reference)
The Pet Prescription

You love Fido with all your heart. So when he starts getting depressed, it's natural to wonder whether a drug like Prozac will help him feel better. At least, that's the way more and more Americans are starting to think.

Marketing research firm Ipsos estimates that Americans spent at least $15 million on behavior-modification drugs for their pets in 2005. Pet psychiatric drugs include Clomicalm (which treats separation anxiety), Anipryl (which improves memory and cognitive function), and Reconcile (a form of doggy Prozac).

(Source: The New York Times)
Cloning Spot

If you can't bear to live without your pet dog, two competing South Korean labs might be able to help you out when he passes away. For a fee ranging from $50,000 to $100,000, either one will clone the little fella.

So far, the labs' best customer has been the South Korean government, which has commissioned several dogs cloned from a renowned drug-sniffing dog in hopes that the clones will be easier to train. The labs hope to expand into the international pet-cloning market within the next several months.

(Source: Reuters)
The Original Landfill

Garbage collection and disposal has been a concern for mankind since prehistoric times. Archaeologists have found trash heaps containing bones, charcoal, and pottery shards in South Africa dating back 140,000 years. But the first known municipal dump was organized by Athens. In 500 B.C., the city began requiring trash to be taken at least a mile outside its borders.

(Source: Discover Magazine)
Flying Without ID

You get to the airport for your 7:20 a.m. flight to Denver and realize you forgot your driver's license. Don't fret. You can fly within the United States without identification... but you will be subjected to intense scrutiny by the Transportation Security Administration.

There will be a bag search and a thorough once-over by the metal-detecting "wand." And, thanks to a rule that went into effect June 21, agents will also quiz you about personal details that appear in public records, such as your old addresses, when you were married, or your license plate number.

(Source: Wired and Consumerist.com)

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