Even in Death, Elvis Is Still the King
Elvis Presley, the King of Rock'n' Roll, was crowned top-earning dead celebrity of the past 12 months, according to a list compiled by Forbes.com, the Web site of the popular business magazine, Forbes. Presley earned million from June 2001 to June 2002, according to Forbes.com, which ranked the earnings of the dead and famous for the second year in a row. Coming in second behind Presley was "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Schulz1, who raked in million for the year. Rounding out the top five were Beatle John Lennon, at million; race-car driver Dale Earnhardt2, also at million; and Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel3, at million. Forbes.com said it compiled the list through interviews with family members, lawyers and estate administrators. Elvis Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977 of heart attack at his home in Memphis. He was 42.
1. Charles Schulz(1922-2000)，美国著名漫画家。他于1950年首次发表的“花生”(Peanuts)系列漫画广受欢迎，至今风靡世界各地，其中最深入人心的形象是小狗史努比(Snoopy)。
2. Dale Earnhardt，美国著名赛车手，2001年2月在比赛中车祸身亡。
3.Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel，即Theodor Seuss Geisel(1904-1991)，美国著名儿童作家，Dr. Seuss为其笔名。
Readers Reveal Stuff of Dreams
Pychologists have confirmed what writers have always believed: that books are literally the stuff of dreams. A survey has confirmed that readers of Iris Murdoch1 or JK Rowling2 are more likely to have bizarre dreams than people deepsintosa history of the crusades. People with a taste for fiction experienced dreams that contained more improbable events, and their dreams were more emotionally intense. The survey also found that people who read thrillers were no more likely to have nightmares. But those with a weakness3 for science fiction were rather more likely to wake up suddenly with a cold sweat. The study, according to Mark Blagrove, of the University of Wales, is perhaps the first experiment to determine a link between the waking world and dreams. Dr Blagrove and colleagues distributed 100,000 questionnaires about sleep patterns and literary tastes, and got more than 10,000 replies. They found that 58% of all adults had experienced at least one dream in which they were aware they were dreaming"and that women could recall more dreams than men. Older people seemed to dream less and have fewer nightmares. Around 44% of children said their dreams were affected by the books they had been reading. "Children who report reading scary books have three times the number of nightmares as children who don't," said Dr Blagrove.
The Power of Harry Potter
As if by magic, virtually all British parents have suddenly picked up the habit of reading to their children. A poll commissioned by UK electricity utility Powergen found that Harry Potter, as well as older classics, had created a veritable bedtime reading revolution. Ninety percent of British parents now read to their children, up from only 40 percent in 2000. Powergen claimed the rise was due to the popularity of what it called "kid-ult" books, which appeal to children and adults alike. "With the current revival of children's classics like the Lord of the Rings at the cinema, parents are rediscovering books they read when they were younger or are feeling inspired to read them for the first time," a Powergen statement quoted psychologist Aric Sigman as saying. "Just as both parents and children can enjoy escapism and fantasy, these stories also raise important issues that they can talk about together. This sharing of ideas and opinions is critical to the emotional and creative development of children."
Secrets of the Office Restroom
The restroom may be the most private place in the cubicle-land of today's open-plan offices, but, unlike the characters of Ally McBeal*, few workers use it for emotional breakdowns or to escape a busy day. In fact, 92 percent of U.S. office workers say they use the bathroom only for the plumbing"and then they hightail it back to their desks. Still, a lot of office grunts wouldn't mind a back rub in the lav, or maybe some tunes. A warm seat wouldn't be so bad either, according to a survey conducted for U.S. paper giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. The survey found that just 2 percent of office workers go to the restroom to "hide or get away." Of the 257 adults surveyed, one-third said they think about work assignments while in the restroom. Nevertheless, office drones might be happy to spend more time in bathrooms if employers provided a few perks. More than a quarter of respondents said they'd like magazines and newspapers in their bathroom stalls. The true dreamers, a respectable 12 percent, requested masseuses and manicurists. Another 11 percent asked for stalls outfitted with music and headsets while a few practical folks"9 percent"said heated toilet seats would make bathrooms cozier. When presented with a list of ugly restroom situations, 15 percent said asking someone to share toilet paper was their worst lavatory nightmare, while 13 percent said running out of the stall to get paper and scurrying back was their biggest fear.
*Ally McBeal：《艾莉的异想世界》，1997年首播至今不衰的美国电视系列喜剧，描写一群律师的工作和生活，主角为女律师Ally McBeal。
Man Gets Relief for Lack of Relief
A German desperate to relieve himself for two hours on a packed but toiletless train won compensation for what a court called his torture. A Frankfurt court ordered Deutsche Bahn (Germany Railways) to pay the man, who walked uncomfortably through the modern high-speed train, stumbling over people sitting in the corridors, as he searched in vain for a working WC. All the toilets on the Frankfurt to Dresden train were locked because there was no water for flushing. "The plaintiff had to torture himself with his urgent need for two hours because he could not find a free toilet," the court said in a written ruling. The one working toilet was kept locked. A key witness in the case, a fellow passenger, gained access to it after pressuring a ticket inspector.
Pets May Get Own "Bill of Rights"
Less than two years after European Human Rights1 were incorporatedsintosBritish law, steps are underway to give pets their own "bill of rights" aimed at guaranteeing them a minimum quality of life. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that Elliot Morley, Member of Parliament, will outline proposals to update animal welfare legislation that dates back to 1911. The weekly broadsheet2 said that under the proposed rules, pet owners could be prosecuted if they failed to give dogs, cats and rabbits what they needed"including adequate food and water, enough space and companionship. "We have an obligation to treat animals in the way that a civilized society expects," Morley is quoted as saying. A cartoon accompanying the front-page article depicts a gerbil addressing its human master from inside a cage: "I demand to speak to my lawyer."
Singapore Lovers Told to Do It by the Book
Singapore is handing out booklets to singles with tips on how to plan the perfect date, the Sunday Times said. The eight-page booklet offers practical tips such as: "If you have a dog, why not take a stroll with the pooch...Just make sure that your date is not afraid of dogs." "We aim to empower singles by helping them with basic courtship skills, showing them that it's really a natural process," Tan-Huang Shuo Mei*, director of the government's Social Development Unit (SDU), was quoted as saying. The SDU is one of two bodies the government has set up to encourage marriage in a tiny city state grappling with a low birth rate. "This is so typically Singaporean," the paper quoted one former SDU member as saying. "It seems as though we need people to tell us what to do and how to do it."
No Funerals for Suicide Victims
The Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus said it would not bury people taking their own lives, declaring suicides "the greatest sin." "The church condemns suicide and has banned church burials for those who take their lives," said a spokesman for the Holy Synod, the church ruling body. "It is the ultimate sin which shows disrespect to the will of God." Previously the church, a powerful institution with business interests ranging from real estate to industry and banking, had frowned on suicides but there was not an outright ban. The church said it would only make allowances for people who were mentally disturbed with a medical certificate to prove it. Most parish priests now turn a blind eye to the circumstances of a death to perform a funeral service. The church ruling changes that.
"More Ads, Please" Say Bored Viewers
Italian television could never be accused of being highbrow, but now it's apparently become so tacky that most Italians would rather watch commercials, according to a new survey. Almost two-thirds of Italians say ads "are among the most entertaining things on TV" and a third say they would be "sad" if there were no adverts, a survey of 980 viewers aged between 25 and 55 showed. The survey was conducted on behalf of mediasgroupsStarcom MediaVest at the annual Cannes festival of advertising. Respondents said adverts did much more than regular programming to create TV personalities and excitement, particularly those commercials that develop a story over time.