Diamonds just icing on Japanese cake

Staff Reporter

In the mood for an extra-rich dessert after Christmas dinner? A Japanese department store is offering a cake layered with 100 diamonds -- for a cool 100 million yen ($850 000). The chocolate cake, whose diamonds weigh a combined 50 carats, is on display at the Takashimaya department store in the western city of Osaka.

Laughter may well be the best medicine

Shingo Ito

It's been said laughter is the best medicine, but no one has yet proved it. Now a Japanese scientist is unlocking the secrets of the funny bone, which he believes can cheer up people's genes. Geneticist Kazuo Murakami has teamed up on the study with an unlikely research partner: stand-up comedians.

After conquering Earth, instant noodles head to space

Staff Reporter

After conquering Earth, instant noodles have now headed into space with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who brought a new zero-gravity version aboard the United States space shuttle Discovery. Nissin Food, which invented instant noodles, developed a special ball-shaped noodle that space-travellers can eat with a fork.

Headless and speechless, but agile

Yuri Kageyama

If you're the kind of person who spends hours on build-it-yourself radio-controlled models, you'll love the Robovie-M walking robot. For the rest of us, well, it seems like more of a chore. I thought robots were supposed to be labour-saving devices. Not this one.

Boland javelin star ready for world final

Staff Reporter

Young Boland javelin thrower Robert Oosthuizen will have the time of his life in Sunday's javelin final at the 11th World Athletics Championships in Osaka. It took only two throws for the 20-year-old to secure a place alongside the big guns he used to watch on television with his father.

Gay joins exclusive three-gold club

Martin Parry

Tyson Gay joined an exclusive club on Saturday in Osaka, Japan, by becoming only the third man ever to win three gold medals at a single world championships, overshadowing Meseret Defar's 5 000m victory. Only fellow Americans Carl Lewis (1983 and 1987) and Maurice Greene (1999) have achieved the feat before.

Gay lands historic sprint double

Martin Parry

Tyson Gay romped to the 200m world title on Thursday, giving him a rare sprint double at the World Athletics Championships. He joined an exclusive club that includes fellow Americans Maurice Greene and the disgraced Justin Gatlin as the only men to win both the 100m and 200m crowns.

No luck for SA sprinters in Osaka

Staff Reporter

South Africa's woes continued on Tuesday at the 11th World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, when sprinters Morne Nagel and Christiaan Krone failed to get past the first round. A poor first 30m put paid to Krone's debut at world-championship level, but the Tukkies athlete went out with his pride intact.

Powell admits giving up in 100m final

Gene Cherry

Jamaican world record holder Asafa Powell admitted on Monday that he gave up during his world 100m final showdown with new champion Tyson Gay. "When I saw I wasn't in gold medal contention, I gave up. I just stopped running," Powell told Reuters in an interview on Monday, less than 24 hours after he lost to the American.

Kenya's Kibet wins World Championship marathon

Staff Reporter

Luke Kibet of Kenya won the marathon in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 59 seconds on Saturday, claiming the first gold medal of the 2007 track and field World Championships. Mubarak Hassan Shami of Qatar was second in 2:17,18, and fast-finishing Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland was third in 2:17,25.

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