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UP, UP, AND A-WAY TOO EXPENSIVE • THE C-WORD • SELF-MEDICATE WITH JUNK • KEEP YOUR SPIT • TODAY IS JUST MILDLY DEPRESSING, WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF ANGST • YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO LIVE THERE • HOW TO

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UP, UP, AND A-WAY TOO EXPENSIVE

There's good news and bad news for everyone who wants to avoid rush hour by strapping on a jetpack and zipping off to work each morning. The good news is that a consumer version of the personal jetpack is finally a reality. The U.S. company Thunderbolt Aerosystems has spent the last 10 years perfecting the rocket-fuel-powered gadget, and you'll be able to order your very own next May at Thunderman.net. The bad news is that this gadget is really just a toy for the extremely wealthy. While the jetpack can reach the sweet speed of 75 miles per hour, it only flies for just over a minute and costs over $90,000.

THE C-WORD

A fable from Internet lore has inched closer to truth with a report published by the National Post, which claims that the word "Canadian" has replaced the unutterable word "nigger" in America's deep South. According to the report, a few instances have been documented in which racists have been heard to utter the derogatory phrase "Canadian" when referring to blacks. Another unverifiable tale from the Internet claims that waitresses in Kansas use the phrase as slang for inner-city black families who don't leave tips as in: "Hey, we have a table of Canadians ... They're all yours."

SELF-MEDICATE WITH junk

Scientists in Australia have finally discovered what we all already knew: Eating junk food relieves stress. No kidding! The tests done on rats found that those given a low-fat diet had double the stress levels of rats that were fed a high sugar and high fat diet. (ABC)

KEEP YOUR SPIT

Still on the topic of scientists vs. junk food, intrepid young undergraduates have finally tackled the science behind Seinfeld's classic "double dipping" scene, in which Timmy argues that dipping a chip more than once is "like putting your whole mouth right in the dip!" Turns out Timmy was right. Experiments showed that "double dipping" transfers an average of 50 to 100 bacteria from one mouth to another with every bite. "Before you have some dip at a party," warned Professor Dawson, who assigned the project to his students, "look around and ask yourself, would I be willing to kiss everyone here? Because you don't know who might be double dipping, and those who do are sharing their saliva with you." (NY Times)

TODAY IS JUST MILDLY DEPRESSING, WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF ANGST

Congratulations! The fact that you're reading this means that you've survived the most depressing day of the year. This is according to psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnalls from Cardiff University, who devised a highly scientific formula in order to discover that January 24 was the most depressing day of the year. The equation, [W+(D-d)]xTQ MxNA, analyzes factors including the crappy weather (W), leftover debt from Christmas shopping (D) and the amount of time that has passed since you failed to quit a bad habit (Q). (BBC)

you WOULDN'T WANT TO LIVE THERE

Bonus points for surviving the most depressing day of the year if you also live in one of America's most miserable cities as compiled by Forbes Magazine. Their first-ever list of America's Most Miserable Cities charted the rates of unemployment, personal tax rates, commute times, weather, crime and vicinity to toxic waste sites. The list ranked Detroit at the very top as America's most miserable place to live. Second place went to Stockton, Calif., and Flint, Mich., came in third. Also in the top 10 were three of America's largest cities, New York (4), Chicago (6) and Los Angeles (7).

HOW TO WASTE BEER

So your New Year's resolution was to stop drinking so much, but you still have a basement full of home-brewed beer? What to do, what to do? Well, according to the interwebs, there are at least nine useful things you can do with beer besides drinking it: marinate meat in it, help grass grow, kill slugs and snails, kill mice, calm a stomach ache, polish gold, bathe in it, polish wood furniture and cook with it. Or just dump it over the head of the next idiot who tries to waste beer with any of the above methods. (Gomestic.com)

I-READ-IT-ON-THE-INTERNET-SO-IT-MUST-BE-TRUE FACT OF THE WEEK

Millions of Atari video games that couldn't be sold are buried in the New Mexico desert.

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