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"Wanted: Shopaholic nosey parker with excellent observational skills, a good ear and flexible attitude to part-time work. Anyone can apply. Work available in all areas. Must be prepared to eat free meals, enjoy shopping discounts and visit pubs - and be paid for it."

Believe it or not, the above job advertisement is not as far fetched as it sounds. If you love shopping, you'll be pleased to hear that it's possible to shop for a living. In fact, it's a multi-million pound industry for market research companies who employ "mystery shoppers" to shop up and down the country - all in the name of customer service and research.

There are a number of mystery shopping companies who organise whole armies of professional shoppers on behalf of retailers, pubs, restaurants, banks and other service industries. Their mission? To mingle in, look inconspicuous and file a report on anything from customer service to cleanliness in the restrooms.

If you visit one or two pubs in a night, you'll get your food and drink paid for, travel expenses and you'll be paid anything from £6.00 to £8.00 up for each visit.

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Archived Science Articles in the Media

Education: Science: Science graduates live long and prosper. Science and medicine students go on to live longer and healthier lives than those studying other subjects, according to a survey of men attending university between 1948 and 1968 ...More from NewScientist.com

Light bulbs being replaced by microchips. How many scientists does it take to change the lightbulb? It is not a joke. The ubiquitous lightbulb is quietly on its way to becoming as quaint a relic as the gas lanterns it replaced more than a century ago ...More from the San Francisco Chronicle

China: Paleontologist unveils fossils of four-winged dinosaurs. The discovery represents a remarkable posthumous vindication for the legendary American naturalist William Beebe," says The Guardian's science correspondent, James Meek, "who in 1915 proposed that today's flying birds evolved through a stage of gliding dinosaurs with feathers on all four limbs" ...More from What The Papers Say

Internet helps write the book of life. A hugely ambitious project to find and name every species on Earth within the next 25 years has been launched by scientists. The internet and the development of DNA sequencing technology make the goal achievable, they say ...More from the BBC

Science for 11-year-olds: trigger a bomb. A UK government briefing document, which tells science teachers how to engage pupils' interest, includes the suggestion that they "use ball-bearings to make tilt switches for bombs" ...More from The Times

Dead but awake: Is it possible? Two British scientists are seeking £165,000 ($256,000) to carry out a large-scale study to discover if clinically dead people really have out-of-body experiences ...More from Wired News

Real Time. The pace of living quickens continuously, yet a full understanding of things temporal still eludes us. More than 200 years ago Benjamin Franklin coined the now famous dictum that equated passing minutes and hours with shillings and pounds. The new millennium--and the decades leading up to it--has given his words their real meaning ...More from Scientific American

Was Einstein Wrong? A team of Australian scientists proposes an idea that could unseat one of the most cherished laws of modern physics -- Einstein's theory of relativity ...More from Wired News

Chemist Prof Robin Clark says $24 million "Vinland" map is a fake. A document thought to be proof of Norse explorers charting North America before Columbus has been denounced as an elaborate 20th century forgery, says The Telegraph ...More from What The Papers Say

Boeing research anti-gravity propulsion system. The "Phantom Works" research centre is following up controversial claims by Russian scientist Evgeny Podkletnov who says he "shielded an area of space from gravity" in 1992, says The Telegraph ...More from What The Papers Say

What Buddhists Know About Science. Tibetan Buddhists described advanced neurological concepts 2,000 years before science had the technology to discover them ...More from Wired News

Scientists testing psychics' powers to predict the future. Psychics are taking part in an experiment to find out if some people really can predict the future. Edinburgh University researchers are testing 140 volunteers who claim they've had psychic experiences ...More from Ananova

Scientists identify 'the spark of life'. British scientists have discovered the gene that provides the spark of life in research that promises dramatic advances in fertility treatment and stem cell experiments ...More from the Times

Scientists estimate 30 billion Earths. Astronomers say there could be billions of Earths in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Their assessment comes after the discovery of the 100th exoplanet - a planet that circles a star other than our own ...More from the BBC

15 Answers to "creationist nonsense" from the editor in chief of Scientific American. Opponents of evolution want to make a place for creationism by tearing down real science, but their arguments don't hold up says John Rennie ...More from Scientific American

Has time run out on Einstein's theory? Atomic clocks on the space station might reveal truth. Experiments with high-precision clocks in space could help shed light on whether Einstein's theory of relativity is ... well, relative ...More from CNN

Software shows uniqueness of handwriting. A new study using handwriting recognition software claims to show that everyone's handwriting is unique and that using such evidence in court is therefore scientifically justifiable. Handwriting experts have had a tough time in US courts since a 1993 supreme court decision that attempted to clamp down on junk science ...More from the New Scientist

Probability of alien life rises. The latest attempt to work out how much alien life is out there suggests there may be a lot more than most people thought. According to a new statistical analysis based on how quickly life got going on Earth, life will start on at least a third of Earth-like planets within a billion years of them developing suitable conditions ...More from the New Scientist

Should the moon be developed? Lunar golf courses, largescale industrialization under debate. A dispute over prohibiting development on the moon is causing rising tides of controversy on earth. In the vanguard of one side is Rick Steiner, a fisheries professor at the University of Alaska and environmental activist, who proposes that the United Nations designate the moon one of its World Heritage Sites, reserved for peaceful and scientific purposes ...More from MSNBC

Scientist probes UFO ‘conspiracy’. A leading scientist has questioned one of the biggest UFO conspiracy theories of all time. Professor Don Kurtz, an astrophysicist from the University of Central Lancashire, argues that the so-called Roswell incident was triggered by a downed American spy balloon, rather than a crashed flying saucer ...More from the Edinburgh Evening News

Jellies: Art, Science and Om. A new scientific art exhibit about jellyfish may be a lot more entertaining than educational, but that's the point ...More from Wired News

'Silence machine' zaps unwanted noise. You will soon be able to silence the deafening racket of a road drill or the thumping beat from a nightclub without blocking the sounds you want to hear, according to Selwyn Wright, an engineer at the University of Huddersfield in Yorkshire, UK ...More from the New Scientist

'Creationism' in UK schools attacked. Religious fundamentalism should not be allowed to damage science teaching, says the Liberal Democrat education spokesman ...More from the BBC

The Whole Critter Catalog. A group of tech gurus and scientists have launched an ambitious project to catalog every living species on Earth in the next 25 years ...More from Wired News

The Worth, and Mirth, of Furth. Harold Furth, the father of thermonuclear fusion, was committed to constructive science. Despite his "mad scientist" demeanor, he also had an artistic flair ...More from Wired News

Space probe to test Einstein's views on gravity, time and space. What may be the single most expensive scientific experiment in history, at a cost of $650 million and counting, is about ready to start after 40 years of preparation at Stanford University. It is been canceled and revived seven times, praised for its technological brilliance and reviled for its high cost ...More from the Mercury News

Science Museum gets snotty, spotty exhibition. London's Science Museum is preparing an exhibition about snot, burps and spots. Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body is aimed at families wanting to learn about the disgusting side of life ...More from Ananova

Outcry over plans to drop science and languages. British pupils might be able to drop science and languages at 14 under plans to shake-up secondary schools and bring in a baccalaureate ...More from the BBC

Europe's Scientists Discover Gold. The ivory tower of European basic science is under siege from venture capitalists scouring the academic world for marketable ideas, just like they've been doing in the cash-conscious United States for decades. Daithí Ó hAnluain reports from Ireland ...More from Wired News

Filling In Answers to Black Holes. Thanks to the information released in two scientific papers, all the secrets of the universe can now be revealed. OK, not quite. But some theories are simply not testable ...More from Wired News

From Chimp to Chatterbox: Was language ability a leap or a hop in human evolution? Talking is a uniquely human trait. But scientists have long debated how sophisticated human language grew out of the primitive vocalizations of our ape-like ancestors. The most common theory has been that a dramatic evolutionary leap in brain design bestowed linguistic savvy ...More from Discover.com

Future Technology: Really Special Forces. Lamont Drechsel is a mild-mannered mechanical engineer, but right now he looks like the violent offspring of G.I. Jane and Robocop. Clad in camouflage fatigues, he is strapped into a Plexiglas framework hinged at his elbows, hips, and other joints to follow his movements. He kneels, stretches, and casts menacing glances around a machine shop ...More from Discover.com

Resource wars" ignite around the world. A favourite prediction of environmentalism has bitten the dust - too many natural resources, rather than too few, are the cause of an increasing numbers of wars in the 21st century ...More from the New Scientist

Japan scientists 'grow artificial eyeball'. Japanese scientists have succeeded in growing artificial eyeballs for the first time in the world. The Kyodo news agency said a group of researchers led by Makoto Asashima, biology professor at Tokyo University, succeeded in growing eyeballs in tadpoles using cells taken from frog embryos ...More from CNN

Weird science. David Cohen salutes the weird and wonderful in the world of international scholarly research. There are two competing versions of the newsworthy milestones reached by researchers around the world ...More from the Guardian

Team Has 2 Words: Plastic Magnet. Thirteen years after setting out to prove it can work, scientists have produced a non-metal magnet ...More from Wired News

Your Thoughts Are IT's Commands. Dean Kamen's world-changing new invention definitely isn't what people thought it would be. IT, as it turns out, is still pretty cool ...More from Wired News

Star Trek Tech Is Not So Bold. Star Trek is set three centuries in the future, but today's scientists are already working on technologies more advanced than the science portrayed in the show. ...More from Wired News

Promise of touch technologies. The surgery of the future could be done using intelligent scalpels that allow surgeons to feel their way through an operation. Scientists in Japan are developing tools designed to enable people to feel the shape and texture of objects using haptics or touch technologies ...More from the BBC | The BBC Store at Amazon UK

Physicist Dr Sidney Nagel cracks mystery of the "Brazil-nut effect". Have you ever wondered why the nuts in a bowl of muesli rise to the top? No? Then you might be surprised to discover that The Independent, Telegraph and BBC are taking very seriously Dr Nagel's challenge to a long-standing theory espoused by, among others, the Institute for Food Research in Norwich ...More from What The Papers Say

Pork Chops on the First Mars Menu. They say the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach. It turns out the best way to the moon (and now Mars) is through a pork chop ...More from Cosmiverse

Shower Curtain Rises on Ig Nobels. All you Einsteins pulling your hair out because you don't know why a shower curtain billows inward will be happy to know that David Schmidt has solved the mystery. No wonder he won the Ig Nobel prize in physics ...More from Wired News

How we lost our sense of smell. We are assaulted by chemical scents from all sides and can no longer trust our own noses. Imagine a modern room. Its magic window is open on another world where once the hearth used to be, with its wood smoke, or its smell of hot coal with a ghost of tar ...More from the Guardian

Scientist says he can create meat without killing animals. A Dutch scientist says he can create artificial meat in laboratories without killing animals. Wiete Westerhof, from the University of Amsterdam, plans to use the same method used to produce artificial skin ...More from Ananova

Design choice for towers saved lives. Each tower was struck by a passenger aeroplane, hijacked by suicidal terrorists, but remained upright for nearly an hour. Eventually raging fires melted the supporting steel struts, but the time delay allowed hundreds of people to escape. "Most buildings would have come down immediately," says the principal engineer in the company that provided engineering advice when the World Trade Center was designed ...More from the New Scientist...Red Cross Donations

Robot brain surgeon unveiled. A robot that performs brain surgery has been developed by British scientists ...More from Wired News

Japan's Central Research Institute of Electrical Power Industry develops miniature home nuclear reactor. At 20ft by 6ft 6in, the reactor will be small enough to "sit in the basement of blocks of flats to provide electricity," says The Times. Engineers are using technology "originally intended for colonies on the Moon" More from What The Papers Say

Planetary Pile-Up Created Moon. A long, long time ago in a galaxy not too far away, a planet the size of Mars smashed into the Earth. The cosmic collision created the moon and the 24-hour day. C'mon inside and view the spectacular images ...More from Wired News

When Robots Attack: 'Igniting Fear With Flying Metal'. The Survival Research Laboratories are a loosely assembled group of half-mad scientists who build big robots and then blow them up ...More from Wired News

When Galaxies Collide. The Hubble telescope has captured the mating ritual of two giant galaxies. They shake their edges together and young stars are born ...More from Wired News

Indonesian hunters discovered "extinct" species... and then ate it. A species of turkey last seen alive over 60 years ago was only identified by its discarded head, reports The Telegraph. "Two scientists from Holland mounted a painstaking, three-day search, but there were no further sightings of the bird" ...More from What The Papers Say

Space toilet key to conquering final frontier. The European Space Agency has started building a recycling system that will convert astronauts' waste into food, oxygen and water ...More from New Scientist

Teachers vie to be Mr. Wizard. Science teachers battle to build the best on-the-spot experiment at the San Francisco Exploratorium Iron Science Teacher competition. Also: Teachers meet to discuss how to improve math education ...More from Wired News

Students studying effects of parasites on animals by chasing dyed squirrels on campus. Squirrels that scamper across the Gonzaga University campus have an even wilder look about them these days. With their fur dyed black, red and green and their sometimes reckless behavior, the arboreal rodents could be compared to some freshmen who live in the residence halls. But the squirrels' punk hairdos, and a stuffed bobcat that roams the campus on a motorized cart, are all in the name of science ...More from NJ.com

Quantum Mechanics' New Horizons. Microscopic robots, atomic lasers and the 100 billion neurons in your brain will be among the topics discussed at the Quantum Applications Symposium. Hey, we're talking the future of technology here ...More from Wired News

Net Experience Is Best Teacher. Students learn better when challenged to find the answers themselves, say creators of a technology-rich science curricula ...More from Wired News

New Dinosaur Species Found. In New Mexico, scientists find remains of two new species of dinosaurs, including a bizarre one they believe sprang from the same lineage as super carnivore Tyrannosaurus Rex ...More from Wired News

U.S. Wooing Student Hackers. The National Science Foundation will award scholarship money to computer security students who take government jobs upon graduation. Reactions are mixed ...More from Wired News

The Blind Physicist Who May Find ET. Kent Cullers, who has been blind since birth, has never glimpsed the Milky Way or witnessed a full moon on a clear summer night. But the 51-year-old physicist is no stranger to star-gazing ...More from Business Week

Robotic plane aids polar research. Scientists in the United States have unveiled a new tool for research in the Arctic: a robotic plane that can swoop beneath the clouds and gather scientific data. The unmanned aircraft could also prove useful for helping carry out search-and-rescue operations in dangerous weather conditions ...More from the BBC

Time Twister. Ronald Mallett thinks he has found a practical way to make a time machine. Mallett isn't mad. None of the known laws of physics forbids time travel, and in theory, shunting matter back and forth through time shouldn't be that difficult ...More from New Scientist

Students Stand Up to State Tests. Two hundred students in Scarsdale, New York have protested a state-mandated science exam by walking out on the test. Also: A University of Virginia professor who wrote a plagiarism software program chalks up more than 100 copycats ...More from Wired News Radio (8 Min)

Project Skyhook. A "smart" material that transforms from a liquid to solid state on cue is beginning to show up in prosthetics, automobiles and other applications ...More from Scientific American

Mozart 'can cut epilepsy'. Music, particularly Mozart, could have a therapeutic effect on epilepsy, say scientists. Short bursts of Mozart's Sonata K448 have been found to decrease epileptic attacks ...More from the BBC

Mill Hill Observatory, London says "sun bursts" will disrupt satellite signals and power grids. "Two 'coronal mass ejections', containing as much energy as thousands of atomic bombs, exploded from the surface of the Sun", reports The Independent. The resulting sun bursts "could knock out sensitive electromagnetic systems orbiting the Earth" as well as radio waves in the ionosphere and power grids on the ground ....More from What The Papers Say

Scientists find elusive quasar. An astronomical missing link that will shed light on black holes and galaxy formation has been discovered... More from the Times

Girls Into Science, Not Computers. A new study shows that girls are outnumbering boys in basic math and science courses, but they still lag behind in key subject areas such as computer science... More from Wired News

MIT Winner Thinks Out of the Bag. Brian Hubert, winner of the 2001 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for Inventiveness, is more than a part-time concert pianist and composer. From potato chip bags as computer memory to gene chips as a diagnostic method, Hubert's ideas are on the cutting edge of scientific research... More from Wired News

What Makes a Snowflake Unique? Some people like to train spot, others are into bird watching. For Kenneth Libbrecht, professor of physics at California Institute of Technology, his kick is snowflake watching... More from Wired News

Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics slows down a beam of light to a standstill. Scientists "claim they brought a ray of light to a dead stop in a laboratory experiment," writes The Guardian's science editor, Tim Radford, describing it as a "baffling achievement, beyond the wildest dreams of Star Trek scriptwriters"... More from What The Papers Say

Up in the Sky: It is Plutino! A minor planet called 2000 EB173 -- some say 'planetoid,' some say 'plutino' (we say tomato?) -- is discovered orbiting in the Solar System between Pluto and Neptune... More from Wired News

British Rocket enthusiast Ben Jarvis breaks amateur rocket record with 35,000ft ascent. "It accelerated to twice the speed of sound in a couple of seconds and we were worried it was all going to come apart. But we are astounded by how well it went. Our only disappointment was that it didn't go to 50,000ft." - The Express... More from What The Papers Say

Regs Wreak Research Havoc. Top universities are protesting a US State Department regulation that prevents foreign-born scientists from working on projects related to space technology... More from Wired News




Science Resources

  • Academy for The Advancement of Science and Technology Bergen NJ
  • Academy of Environmental Science Secondary School New York NY
  • Alabama School of Mathematics and Science Mobile AL
  • Ann's World of Microbes. Microbiology, Biotechnology, Cave Microbes, Resources, and more.
  • ASE Association of Science Education
  • Atmosphere, Climate & Environment Information Programme MMU UK
  • BBC Science
  • British Trees
  • Bronx High School of Science Bronx NY
  • Central VA Governor's School for Science and Tech Lynchburg VA
  • CERN European Laboratory for Particle Physics Switzerland
  • Cheshire Center of Science and Technology Keene NH
  • Children's science questions answered
  • Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School Science South Yarmouth MA
  • Doc Brown's Chemistry Clinic
  • Exploratorium
  • Exploratory 'Hands on' Science Centre
  • Explorer - Science and Math
  • Family Science
  • High School for Science and Engineering Professions at Dunbar Fort Worth TX
  • Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Aurora IL
  • Indiana Academy for Science Math and Humanities Muncie IN
  • International Mathematics and Science Academy Kakinada India IN
  • Louisiana School for Math Science and the Arts Natchitoches LA
  • Magnet High School for Science Math and Technology Scotch Plains NJ
  • Manhattan Center for Science and Math New York NY
  • Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science Worcester MA
  • Mississippi School For Math and Science Columbus MS
  • Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science Monterey CA
  • Myers Briggs Test
  • NASA
  • Natural History Museum UK
  • Newscientist.com
  • North Carolina School of Science and Math Durham NC
  • Oklahoma School of Science and Math Oklahoma City OK
  • Oregon Health Sciences University Consumer Health Resources
  • Periodic Table Web-Elements
  • Physics - Internal Link
  • Projectile Motion - Illustrate the path of a projectile
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew UK
  • Royal Observatory Edinburgh
  • Science 2000 science festival
  • Science Net UK
  • Scientific American
  • Sea and Sky
  • Southwest Science and Math Magnet High School Kansas City MO
  • Space Telescope Science Institute
  • TechEncyclopedia
  • The Bronx High School of Science New York NY
  • The Earth Pages
  • The Minnesota Academy of Math and Science Winona MN
  • The Science Academy Mercedes TX
  • The Universe
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Alexandria VA
  • Treasure Trove of Science
  • University of Cincinnati Environmental Engineering and Science Program
  • University of Washington Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Vector Mechanics - Vector addition and levers
  • Virtual Human Body Interactive
  • Weights and Measures
  • Weisstein's Math World US
  • Yoyo simple energy

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