Issue # 457 (12)
15 May to 21 May 2012
Sex toys fast becoming world's favourite gadget as sales soar towards 400 million
Smartphones have long been a must-have accessory, but sex toys are quickly becoming one of the world's most popular gadgets. Experts believe the willingness of stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jane Fonda to divulge their bedroom secrets are behind a recent surge in the sales of 'pleasure goods'.
While the UK sex toy business is now worth £250 million a year, global sales of erotic accessories are to set to rise to 400 million. While some of Hollywood's most famous leading ladies have opened up about their sex lives in the new TV series, The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet - the UK is following suit in a Channel
4 documentary 'More Sex Please, We're British'. The hour- long fly on-the-wall set to air on Tuesday, focuses on Britain's biggest online sex toy retailer, lovehoney.co.uk
. Originally founded in 2002 by Neal Slateford and Richard Longhurst, Lovehoney the company, which offers an array of goods from adult toys and sexy lingerie, to erotic literature and games, has seen its sales increase each year to a current total of £16 millon. Co-owner Mr Slateford, a former record producer for Kylie Minogue, stated that celebrities opening up about their sex lives had been a key sales driver. He said: 'A famous celebrity will give a big interview about their sex life or their love of sex toys and
We will be living on the moon in 70 years
A leading space expert who has directed and produced a host of critically acclaimed astronomy documentaries has said the average man on the street will be able to move to the moon within the next 70 years, as the commercialisation of spaceflight continues. Speaking to Yahoo! News, Dr Christopher Riley, who has written thirty articles and books on astronomy and planetary science, claimed President Obama "didn't get" NASA and the decision to cut back funding for missions to the moon was a "great shame". "In the 1970s we were living on the moon," he said. "Human beings were going there for three days at a time, they were driving vehicles around on the surface and carrying out experiments. "Of course we should attempt to colonise the moon because it is a precious gift of luck that has thrown this curveball our way. Why would you drop the ball and give up?"
The first manned moon landing in 1969 thrilled the world, but five successive missions to the lunar surface
we will see a flurry of sales afterwards. 'It all started with Sex In The City - which was incredibly liberating for women, especially after Charlotte became a virtual recluse after buying a rabbit vibrator at New York's famous Pleasure Chest sex story. 'Suddenly ordinary women weren't afraid to talk about their sex lives and their use of sex toys.' Lovehoney estimate that nearly half the nation owns a sex toy, while global sales of vibrators and other sex toys soared to £5.5billion-a-year and are to set to rise to £40billion by 2020 - matching those of smartphones. In light of this, a number of high street retailers such as Boots, Tesco and
Superdrug now stock erotic goods. Mr Slateford added: 'It's great that celebrities are being more honest about their sex lives. There has been such a
huge change in people's attitudes over the last 10 years. 'Now mainstream retailers like Boots, Tesco and Superdrug sell sex toys.
Stradivarius cello worth $20 MILLION broken When it slipped off a table during a photo shoot
saw interest decline and a lack of funds eventually spelled an end to the Apollo space program. Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt were the last men to walk on the moon in December 1972. "In engineering and scientific terms it is certainly possible to utilise the moon," Dr Riley said. "Whether we choose to do it in both political and social terms is another matter however. I think given the economic downturn and the impotence of governments, it will be a huge challenge."
Mitt Romney rejects same-sex marriage
WASHINGTON: Mitt Romney, the likely Republican candidate in this year's US presidential election, has rejected the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, BBC reported. "Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman," Romney told graduates at Liberty University, a Christian college in Lynchburg, Virginia. Romney, a Mormon by religion, was given a standing ovation. President Barack Obama, fighting for re- election in November, announced his support for gay marriage earlier this week. Addressing the graduation ceremony, Romney avoided talking about his own faith but stressed the importance of Christian values in American society. "There is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action," he said. While Romney opposed gay marriage, he said same-sex couples should have some rights, including the ability to adopt children.
It's a musuem curator's worst nightmare - a priceless antique falls off a table and breaks. But that's what happened at the Spanish Royal Palace in Madrid where an extremely rare Stradivarius cello is reported to have broken while it was being handled by experts during a photoshoot. An official at the palace has confirmed that the hand-crafted instrument, which is thought to be worth in excess of $20million (roughly £13million) has been damaged. However they refused to expand further on a report about the unfortunate incident which was printed in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. The newspaper said the instrument fell off a table during a photo session about three weeks ago, but exactly how it happened is yet to be confirmed. But some of the details about
the damage the instrument sustained have been revealed. A piece which joins the neck of the 17th century cello to its body broke and fell off. The broken piece was not original but rather a replacement installed in the 19th century. The official said the cello can and will be repaired, but the cost of this work and the breakage's impact on the instrument's value is not clear. The official said it was part of a set of instruments which also included two violins and a viola which are together known as 'The Quartet'. The cello is one of five antique instruments made by Italian Antonio Stradivari, renowned for the exquisite sound of his instruments, that were acquired by king Felipe V who ruled Spain at the turn of the 18th century.
instruments were given the
quartet name because they were commissioned at the same time. Tim Ingles, head of the musical instrument department at Sotheby's auction house in London, placed the $20 million price tag on the instrument. Of the approximately 1100 legendary stringed instruments Stradivari made, only around 650 remain, including an estimated nine violas and 50 cellos. Only the best musicians have had the honour of playing them.
Obama cabinet member comes out in support of gay marriage
One day after Joe Biden claimed to be 'absolutely comfortable' with it
Another member of Barack Obama's cabinet has outed himself as a supporter of same- sex marriage - just a day after Vice President Joe Biden made comments seemingly backing gay marriage. Education Secretary Arne Duncan openly supporting gay marriage puts him in possible conflict with Obama, who says his position on the matter is evolving. In an interview Monday on MSNBC, Duncan was asked if he believes same-sex couples should be able to legally marry. He responded: 'Yes, I do.' Duncan's revelation follows Biden's assertion this weekend that he is 'absolutely
comfortable' with same-sex married couples getting the same rights at heterosexual married couples. Gay rights advocates interpreted Biden's words as an endorsement of gay marriage, while the White House insisted the vice president had not broken ranks with the president. Biden told NBC's 'Meet the Press' that marriage should be about being loyal to someone you love, whether that marriage is between a man and a woman, two men or two women. Biden also is making a distinction between his personal views and President Barack Obama's role as his administration's policymaker. Obama opposes gay marriage
but says his views on the issue are 'evolving'. The president's campaign strategist David Axelrod took to Twitter denying that the two men differed on the subject. 'What VP said - that all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights - is precisely POTUS's (the president's) position,' he posted. As Obama officially launched his re-election campaign trail in Ohio and Virginia yesterday, he reminded supporters of his record on gay rights, specifically getting rid of the 'Don't ask, Don't' policy where members of the armed forces were encouraged to hide their sexuality. Biden's comments indicate that the White House is moving towards officially supporting same-sex marriage.
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