Counter Intelligence: Golden Sewers, Pot, & Blue No. 2

Check out our daily list of must-read articles that will have you chatting at the lunch counter, over instant message or wherever people actually talk these days.

  • The ocean floor will be mapped for the first time. Google Earth already lets users view landscapes in 3D but a new upgrade to the software will give users a 3D look at the world's underwater topography. Google Ocean -- which may use underwater photography to allow users search for famous wrecks or reefs -- is slated to launch next week.
  • There is gold in the sewers of Japan. Though the country has plunged into a worsening recession, the amount of gold extracted from the sludge at a sewer treatment facility in Japan has rivaled production levels at some of the world's best mines. A high concentration of precision equipment manufacturers using precious metal in the region is what individuals believe is the cause.
  • Olympic champion Michael Phelps' endorsement deals may be hanging in the balance now that he admitted to smoking pot, Ad Age reported. Phelps, a shill for Kellogg, has been a somewhat problem endorser and was caught on CNN with a box of General Mills' Honey Nut Cheerios and professed his love for McDonald's cheeseburgers after making a deal with Subway.
  • Poo-to-pump may be the future. Human waste will fuel 80 municipal buses in Oslo as part of the city's approach to cutting CO2 emissions and to meet Norway's plan to become carbon-neutral by 2050. The buses will run on biomethane, which is captured when sewage is broken down.
  • Blue No. 2 is commonly found in M&Ms and is one of seven colors approved by the FDA for use in food. It also comes from the same chemical that is in blue jeans. Ingidotine is a synthetic counterpart to the organic, plant-based indigo and has proved to be relatively safe despite some evidence that indicates artificial colorings may be linked to attention deficit disorder.  Also, red dye comes from bug carcasses.
  • If you've survived the fallout from layoffs at work, you may be suffering from something else: survivor's guilt. The number of workers experiencing this type of guilt has increased as jobs across the country have been axed. How does it feel to still have a job? "It's depressing," a market researcher told Time magazine.
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