1.) The most positively viewed nation in the world is not the United States, at least not according to the Country Ratings Poll done by the BBC World Service. After surveying more than 26,000 people internationally, Germany came out on top, with 59% rating it positively. The Germans replaced Japan at the top of the list as the Japanese fell to 4th, behind Canada and the United Kingdom. The United States ranked 8th, with 45% giving us a positive rating. Iran was the country view most negatively in the survey.
2.) In Elbow Lake, Minnesota, David Gonzalez bought an abandoned home for about $10,000 with plans to remodel it. In the walls of the home, stuck in with newspaper used as insulation, he found a comic book – Action Comics # 1, the first appearance of Superman. When he invited his in-laws to see his find, his wife’s aunt grabbed the comic. Gonzalez grabbed it back, tearing off the back cover, which was an expense tear. The auction house, which is selling the comic book, believes the tear took about $75,000 off the price of the comic book, which has a current bid of over $100,000. Pristine copies of Action Comics # 1 have sold for more than $2 million dollars.
3.) Which age group is the least likely to wash their hands after sneezing into them? It’s men between 18 and 39 years of age, at least according to a new survey by Kleenex. Women over 50 are most likely to wash their hands in that situation. Also in this survey, 67% of people don't always cover their mouth when they sneeze. 37% of people wipe their nose with their hands or clothes. And 11% of people don't wash their hands after they sneeze into them.
1.) Here’s another reason for you to keep your dog on a short lease – dog bites accounted for more than 1/3rd of homeowner’s insurance liability claims paid in 2011. According to the Insurance Information Institute, that added up to a cost of nearly $479 million. Property casualty insurers pay out far more in claims for property damage to homes, but when it comes to liability, the cost of dog bite claims has risen 48% since 2003, even though the number of dog bites has remained roughly flat. High payouts are happening because more people own dogs, they live closer to one another, and parents are more likely to get advanced medical care for their children after a bite.
2.) Last week, Mary Jane Hart of Doniphan, Missouri started a new job as a part-time cashier at a gas station. Saturday, playing her favorite NASCAR drivers numbers, she sold herself a Powerball ticket. She matched all five numbers, missing only the Powerball, as no NASCAR driver uses the number 52, and scored a quick one million dollars. Amazingly, it was her second win of the week, having won $500 dollars on the Wednesday Powerball drawing. And, she says she’s keeping her job at the gas station.
3.) The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 50th anniversary with their current concert tour. Along with starting the band 50 years ago, guitarist Keith Richards was also spending time at the library a half century ago. And the Rolling Stones member is admitting he still owes fines on books that he borrowed from his local public library in Dartford, Kent. 50 years later, those fines could add up to more than $30,000. But, for a Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame member with an estimated personal fortune of more than $250 million, he shouldn’t have much trouble settling his account.
1.) Thanks to a lot of Mountain Dew, and meals from restaurants like Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, Clinton Shepherd is a Guinness World Record holder. He’s a manager at Chicago’s Navy Pier, who rode the tourist spot’s Ferris wheel, for 48 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds. And, he was awake the entire time. Shepherd was allowed a five minute break every hour, and stayed awake by playing video games and watching movies on the gondola’s big screen TV. He brings the world record to the birthplace of the Ferris Wheel, the first having been built in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition.
2.) What’s the price of the most expensive house that’s ever gone on sale in U.S. history? A single family home in Greenwich, Connecticut is being listed at $190 million dollars. The 13,519-square-foot house is spread across 50 acres on two islands on the Long Island Sound. It has 12 bedrooms, nine bathrooms, six garages, a 75-foot pool with spa, a tennis court, an elevator and a lot of bragging rights. This property hasn't been on sale since 1904 and has had only two owners in its history. The firm that's selling the house says appraisals came out around $200 million, so you’re actually getting a bargain
3.) A few drops of Mahatma Gandhi's blood are on sale at an auction of historical goods in London today. Reuters reports the blood samples, taken when the Indian nationalist leader was recovering from an appendectomy in 1924, are expected to fetch around $20,000. Gandhi fans will also have the chance to buy his sandals, shawl, and rice bowl. The auction also includes some Hitler-related items, including a marble block from his bunker and a signed 1936 Christmas card from Berlin.
1.) In Croatia, there is believed to be more than 450 square miles of land filled with unexploded mines from the Balkan wars, and an estimated 2,500 people have died since in explosions. Now, a team of Croatian researchers is training something to sniff-out these mines. But unlike dogs, these won’t step on a mine and set it off. This helper has an excellent sense of smell, which is used to find food. So researchers are reprogrammed honeybees by adding the smell of TNT to their food supply. Once the bees are trained, they’ll be released in mine areas and tracked by heat-seeking cameras to complete the clearing of mines from these fields.
2.) Apparently not everyone on Facebook has an actual face. Quartz is reporting a new analysis of Facebook user data has found that of the site's much-boasted-about 1 billion users, only 889.3 million of them are actual people. The other 100 million are most likely brands, pets, parodies and kitchen appliances. Facebook still includes these accounts in its "active monthly user" figures, which they now claim to have hit 1.1 billion.
3.) Makeup isn't just for ladies anymore. A new trend in stealth makeup, or "grooming," has men's cosmetics sales climbing—to the tune of more than $5 billion that American guys dropped last year on skin care and cosmetics. That compares to the $2.4 billion spent just 15 years ago. Part of the trend can be attributed to more men's cosmetics lines, androgynous packaging, grooming blogs, as well as a certain image-conscious class of man.
1.) You work hard all your life hoping that you’ll be able to enjoy your retirement. The problem is retirement is harmful to your health. At least that’s the conclusion of a study from the Institute of Economic Affairs, a British think tank. Their study found that retirement results in a "drastic decline in health" in the medium and long term, and suggests people should work for longer for health as well as economic reasons. Retirement is found to increase the chances of suffering from clinical depression by 40%, while you are 60% more likely to suffer from a physical condition. And, the effect is the same for both men and women.
2.) Before you repaint your bedroom, you may want to consider how the color you choose affects your sleep. People with blue walls get the most sleep according to a new study, averaging almost 8 hours a night. Blue isn't just calming . . . the color blue triggers special receptors in our eyes that aid our body's natural sleep rhythms. Purple walls are the worst for sleep, at five hours and 56 minutes. Purple is a stimulating color that makes it tougher for your brain to shut down. Here are all 10 bedroom colors, ranked from most sleep to least sleep: Blue, yellow, green, silver, orange, red, gold, gray, brown, and purple.
3.) Before you dive into a public swimming pool to cool off this summer, consider this. The CDC sampled 161 public swimming pools in the Atlanta area and discovered 58% of them had fecal contamination. Plus, 59% contained a type of bacteria that causes rashes and ear infections. Researchers chalked it up to swimmers' hygiene, either because they were unclean when they got in the water or they had an accident. And, while the pools were all in Atlanta, a CDC official says the findings would almost certainly apply to any city.