Mathematician Turns Down $1 Million Prize

Posted By Ben Goulding, 26 March, 2010 | permalink

A reclusive Russian mathematician has rejected a $1 million award for solving a problem that has baffled some of the finest brains for a century.

Said to be the world’s cleverest man, Dr Grigory Perelman, 44, lives as a recluse in a bare cockroach-infested flat in St Petersburg. He said to The Daily Mail through his closed door: ‘I have all I want.’

Perelman has a history of not accepting awards for his work. Four years ago, the maths genius failed to turn up to receive his prestigious Fields Medal from the International Mathematical Union for solving the problem.

At the time he stated: ‘I’m not interested in money or fame. I don’t want to be on display like an animal in a zoo. I’m not a hero of mathematics. I’m not even that successful, that is why I don’t want to have everybody looking at me.’

Interested in what he actually solved? It’s called “Poincaré conjecture”. Try getting you head around this:

(Youtube Link)


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Europe’s Worst Tippers Revealed

Posted By Ben Goulding, 26 March, 2010 | permalink

A new study by TripAdvisor has revealed that Spanish tourists are the least generous tippers in Europe.

80% of Spanish travellers who were questioned said that they do not always tip when they visit other countries. They were closely followed by 78% of Italians and 76% of French tourists.

Commenting on the study, Emyr Thomas, director of concierge and lifestyle management company Bon Vivant, said: “Tipping can be socially awkward and can cause endless embarrassment, especially on holiday when we are unfamiliar with local customs.

“In some countries it is considered rude not to tip, so you might need to justify yourself, just as in others, such as Japan, it is often considered rude to tip at all.”

2 Comments | Posted in: Lifestyle
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Top 5 Internet Millionaire Kids

Posted By Ben Goulding, 16 March, 2010 | permalink

#1 – Catherine and David Cook

Age at startup: 15 & 17
Company: My Year Book
Net Worth: $10 million

Bio: Catherine Cook, 15, and her brother David, 17, were looking through their high school year book when they came up with the idea to create a free interactive version online.

Catherine persuaded their older brother, Geoff, who was a budding internet entrepreneur at the time, to invest $250,000 in their idea. The site was launched in April 2005 and 950,000 members joined in the first year.

Fast forward 5 years, and the site has a net worth of around $10 million.


13 Comments | Posted in: Business | Internet
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Top 20 Passwords To Use Online (Updated)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 12 March, 2010 | permalink

Online fraud is a growing problem around the world, with criminals stealing the personal data of innocent individuals and then using it to exploit those individuals so that they will gain something, be it money, ID etc.

One of the biggest problems though, is a flaw in the most basic of security checks that we all do – password strength.

Security expert, Imperva found that a third of people choose passwords made up of six or fewer characters, while 60% opt for passwords from a limited set of alpha-numeric characters.

Nearly 50% of users used names, slang words, dictionary words or trivial passwords such as consecutive digits, or adjacent keyboard keys.

With around 50% of people also using the same (or very similar) password for all the websites they use, there are concerns that they are unwittingly leaving themselves at risk of online fraud.

Here are the top 10 most common online passwords:

  • 123456
  • 12345
  • 123456789
  • Password
  • iloveyou
  • princess
  • rockyou
  • 1234567
  • 12345678
  • abc123

Update – Here are the most popular passwords ranked 11th – 20th.

  • Nicole
  • Daniel
  • babygirl
  • monkey
  • Jessica
  • Lovely
  • michael
  • Ashley
  • 654321
  • Qwerty

As well as ensuring that you don’t use any of these passwords, Imperva has a lot more detail on how to keep your passwords secure, so you are safe online. Click the link for more info.


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Mexican Billionaire Is New World’s Richest Man

Posted By Ben Goulding, 11 March, 2010 | permalink

Carlos Slim Helu has been declared the richest man in the world – the first time a non-American has held the title for 16 years.

Slim Helu is a telecoms tycoon who controls a number of companies, including Telmex and America Movil. His net worth is a staggering $53.5bn.

Meanwhile, American investor, Warren Buffett fell to third place with a net worth of $47bn, Indian businessman, Mukesh Ambani takes fourth with a net worth of $29bn, and Indian steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal is close behind, with $28.7bn.

Bill Gates was knocked off the top spot for only a second time since 1995, despite gaining $13bn in the past year. I’m sure he won’t lose too much sleep over it.

Forbes’ 24th list of the world’s richest people sees the number of billionaires rise from 793 last year to 1,011 now. In 2008 the total was 1,125.


1 Comment | Posted in: Business | News
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Top 10 Most Valuable Comic Books In The World

Posted By Ben Goulding, 25 February, 2010 | permalink

#10 Amazing Fantasy No.15

Best known as the title that introduced the popular superhero character Spider-Man in 1962. It was published by Marvel Comics.

Approximate value in mint condition: $210,000

#9 Flash Comics #1

Published in 1940, and featuring the Flash, this comic is so rare, as it was only produced in very small quantities and issue number 2 was re-named “Whiz Comics”.

Approximate value in mint condition: $290,000

#8 More Fun Comics No.52

The Spectre first appeared in the issue dated February 1940. More Fun Comics was the first publication of the company that would become DC Comics. It was also the first comic book series to feature solely original material rather than reprints of newspaper strips.

Approximate value in mint condition: $300,000


17 Comments | Posted in: Entertainment | Sci/Tech
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General Manager of the Chilean Mint Spells ‘Chile’ Wrong

Posted By Ben Goulding, 17 February, 2010 | permalink

The general manager of the Chilean mint has been fired after he misspelt ‘Chile’ and issued thousands of coins with a howling error.

On the 2008 batch of 50 peso coins, the country’s name was misspelt. Instead of C-H-I-L-E, the coins had C-H-I-I-E stamped on them, but worse of all, no one noticed the spelling mistake until late 2009.

The coins have since become collectors’ items in the hope they will rise in value and the mint says it has no plans to take them out of circulation.

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Man Gives Away Every Penny of His £3 million Fortune As It Made Him Miserable

Posted By Ben Goulding, 16 February, 2010 | permalink

Karl RabederAustrian born, Karl Rabeder dreamt of being rich and awed at the comfort money would bring ever since he was a young boy. However, once Karl had made his £3 million fortune, he decided to give it all away because it didn’t make him happy.

My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “Money is counterproductive – it prevents happiness to come.”

Instead, he will move out of his luxury Alpine retreat into a small wooden hut in the mountains or a simple bedsit in Innsbruck.
His entire proceeds are going to charities he set up in Central and Latin America, but he will not even take a salary from these.

“For a long time I believed that more wealth and luxury automatically meant more happiness,” he said. “I come from a very poor family where the rules were to work more to achieve more material things, and I applied this for many years,” said Mr Rabeder.

But over time, he had another, conflicting feeling.
“More and more I heard the words: ‘Stop what you are doing now – all this luxury and consumerism – and start your real life’,” he said. “I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need.


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Making Cash From Trash: Recycled Art

Posted By Ben Goulding, 5 November, 2009 | permalink

Recycled Art

Times are hard, but there is potential for making money right under your nose – in your trash can!

Clare Graham creates his art forms by re-energising discarded materials, transforming simple objects, such as bottle tops or tin cans into objects of wonder, aiding our perspective to be shifted from their once lowly state. Clare really is testament to the belief that ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’.

Graham’s art takes various forms, including such stunning pieces as chandeliers and contemporary furniture, and you can do it too! Okay, we may not be as skilled as Clare, but we can make a difference, not only to the environment, but to our pockets by seeing potential in garbage.

For more of Clare’s art, click the link.

Link (Thanks Andy!)

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PepsiCo Misses Court Date, Costs Them $1.26 Billion In Default Judgement

Posted By Ben Goulding, 29 October, 2009 | permalink

pepsicoThis has got to be the most expensive legal secretary PepsiCo ever employed – she cost them $1.26 billion. How? Well, she forgot to deal with a lawsuit noticed that was put on her desk. Consequently, PepsiCo’s lawyers didn’t show up to court, so the judge handed down a $1.26 billion judgement against the company.

In court papers, PepsiCo claims it first received a legal document related to the case from the North Carolina agent on Sept. 15 when a copy of a co-defendant’s letter was forwarded to Deputy General Counsel Tom Tamoney in PepsiCo’s law department. Tamoney’s secretary, Kathy Henry, put the letter aside and didn’t tell anyone about it because she was “so busy preparing for a board meeting,” PepsiCo said in its Oct. 13 motion to vacate.


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How Much Is Your Twitter Account Worth?

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 October, 2009 | permalink

New Twitter Homepage

The massive growth of Twitter has opened up a whole new advertising platform for businesses and individuals all around the world. The degree to which Twitter can be a successful advertising platform, however, depends on how many followers you have, your reputation amongst your followers and how focussed your follower group is.

With the recent news that Drew Carey will donate $1 million to Livestrong if his account @drewfromtv reaches 1 million followers by the end of the year, it got me thinking, how much is my Twitter account worth? It turns out mine’s worth just $551, which is more than I thought. How about you? How much is your Twitter account worth? Click the link to find out.


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Top CEO Compensation Ladder

Posted By Ben Goulding, 7 October, 2009 | permalink

top ceo compensations

Don’t be fooled – those aren’t phone numbers.

Via Digg

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eBay Bans Schoolgirl From Selling Her Grandmother

Posted By Ben Goulding, 30 September, 2009 | permalink


Internet auction site eBay has banned a 10-year-old girl from selling her grandmother, claiming it breeched regulations on human trafficking.

Zoe Pemberton, from England, advertised her grandmother, 61, as ”annoying” but ”cuddly” in her joke listing, but it was removed by eBay.

”Obviously we have rules about the selling of people,” said an eBay spokeswoman.

”We had to take it down but it was quite amusing and there were a number of offers.

”The little girl had described her grandmother as ‘annoying’ but had gone on to say she liked crosswords and was ‘cuddly’ and there were quite a few offers.”

The spokeswoman added: ”The advert was obviously light-hearted and had been done with the full knowledge of grandma – we do get these kind of things from time to time.”


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Mark Eaton Celebrity Classic Million Dollar Hole In One

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 September, 2009 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

There’s nothing sweeter to a golfer than a hole-in-one. However, the chances of that happening are about one-in-30,000. So it seemed like a pretty safe bet to hold a contest: Get a hole-in-one, win $1 million!

However, luck was on Jason Hargett’s side this week at a golf charity tournament in Utah. He initially said he didn’t plan to play, but then changed his mind — a decision that would change his life.


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Super Grandpa Tackles Bank Robber

Posted By Ben Goulding, 21 September, 2009 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

I’m sure this masked criminal wasn’t expecting what he came up against when he decided to rob one bank in Wisconsin. Watch extra close to see the lady kicking him whilst he’s down.

And that’s how they do it in the badger state, ladies and gentlemen. Nice work!

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The Value of United States Currency in Circulation

Posted By Ben Goulding, 31 August, 2009 | permalink

Money Circulation

Visual Economics have put together this graph to show the value of currency in the United States, the value of different bills and their life expectancies. I was quite surprised to see that there are practically the same number of $20 bills floating around as there are $100 bills, and also the lack of $10 bills.


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Real-Time Cost Of The War

Posted By Ben Goulding, 27 August, 2009 | permalink

Cost Of War

I came across and was astonished by the rate of increase of the cost of the war.

You can redefine the cost for the entire U.S, per household, per person and per taxpayer as well as the cost for your state.

Watching those numbers going up is making me dizzy.

Check it out at

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Patricia Heaton Fails At Math On Who Wants to be a Millionaire

Posted By Ben Goulding, 19 August, 2009 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

At least she got there in the end!

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90% Of All U.S. Money Contains Traces Of Cocaine

Posted By Ben Goulding, 17 August, 2009 | permalink

Money Contains CocaineA new study has found that almost 90% of all paper money in the United States has traces of cocaine on it.

The study tested banknotes from 30 big cities in five countries – United States, Canada, Brazil, China, and Japan and the results were “alarming”.

U.S. and Canadian currency had the highest cocaine contamination rates of between 85 and 90 percent, while Chinese and Japanese currency had the lowest, between 12 and 20 percent contamination.

“Scientists have known for years that paper money can become contaminated with cocaine during drug deals and directly through drug use, such as snorting cocaine through rolled bills. Contamination can also spread to banknotes not involved in the illicit drug culture, because bills are processed in banks’ currency-counting machines.”

So that’s why receiving money makes me happy!

2 Comments | Posted in: Health | Lifestyle | Sci/Tech
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Dog flies business class for $32,000

Posted By Ben Goulding, 11 August, 2009 | permalink

An Israeli woman paid $32,000 so that her dog could travel with her in business class from Paris to Tel Aviv.

The woman, named Rivkah, 60, booked the entire business-class cabin to carry her, her boxer “Orchuk” and a vet on the four-hour flight. Airline El Al had to remove several seats to make room for Or’s cage.

I didn’t think for a minute to leave Or, my little Orchuk, with the cargo,” said Rivkah. “I’ve been raising him for eight years and four months in France.”

“He is my child, not a dog. And he deserves the best,” she said.

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