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Bytes of horror

London, Nov 22 (Reuters): Laptops have always been a hot item but a 50-year-old scientist didn’t realise to what extent until he burned his penis.

The previously healthy father of two remembered feeling a burning sensation after he had been writing a report at home for about an hour with the computer on his lap.

He noticed a redness and irritation the following day but it wasn’t until he was examined by a doctor that he realised how much damage had been done. “The ventral part of his scrotal skin had turned red, and there was a blister with a diameter of about 2 cm,” Claes-Gorn Ostenson, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said.

Ostenson noted that the computer manual did warn against operating it directly on exposed skin but said the patient had lap burns even though he had been wearing trousers and underpants.

Frida lines

Mexico City (Reuters): Frida, the Hollywood film about the bohemian cult painter Frida Kahlo got a broad thumbs up on its debut in her Mexican homeland, although the fact it was in English ruffled some nationalists. Frida was released on Wednesday, a holiday commemorating the 1910-17 Mexican revolution — a fitting debut date, given Kahlo’s passion for all things Mexican, especially history and folklore. Starring Mexican heartthrob and former soap star Salma Hayek in the title role, the film about Kahlo’s marriage to philandering muralist Diego Rivera and her lifelong struggle with illness drew long lines on its opening. “I really liked the fact that Mexican folklore — our painting, food, music and tequila — is getting an international airing, although I didn’t like Salma’s characterisation at all. Her Frida was flat,” Marlon Trevino, 24, a communications student, said. The Mexican public was bound to be among the most demanding, given that Kahlo and Rivera are icons here and everyone has their own interpretation of the artists' story

More gossip

London (Reuters): Britons spend more than 90 minutes a day gossiping, e-mailing friends and flirting in and outside the office, according to a survey published on Friday. In a typical working day, staff spend 54 minutes gossiping, 16 minutes flirting, 14 minutes surfing the Internet, nine minutes e-mailing friends and family and three minutes shopping online, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported. Contrary to the popular belief that women indulge more in idle chit-chat than men, the survey of 2,000 people by Halifax Share Dealings showed that both sexes spent almost the same amount of time gossiping.

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