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Bright Ideas

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Among the notable offerings at the International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland, in April were beer-flavored jelly (non-alcoholic) to spread on biscuits, and artificial, removable nose hair (swabs of pipe cleaner for the nostrils to block pollen and dust). ("Most people do not have enough nose hair," inventor Gensheng Sun told The Associated Press.) Italian engineer Enrico Berruti said it was his personal laziness that led him to develop a bed that makes itself, with automatic sheet-shaking and straightening. Diane Cheong Lee Mei of China swore that her novel computer software employed algorithms sophisticated enough to enable the user to detect the gender of any e-mail writer.

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