Sorry to disappoint you

Call them all wet, if you like, but the folks at the BBC have concluded that there is no such thing as the Loch Ness monster. Researchers working for the TV/radio network trawled the Scottish lake "from shoreline to shoreline," using 600 sonar beams and satellite navigation technology that, they hoped, would at least pick up signals from the air in "Nessie's" lungs. Alas, their most remarkable finding turned out to be ... a buoy. As if that weren't enough, while reported sightings suggest that "Nessie" most closely resembles a plesiosaur, fossil records indicate that that marine reptile became extinct 65 million years ago. Loch Ness, meanwhile, is only 10,000 years old.

That's a bit steep, I'm afraid

The Harry Potter phenomenon may finally have run into an obstacle even it can't surmount. Last week, the house used by the Dursley family in the Potter movies, 4 Privet Drive, failed to sell at auction. The seller of the dwelling in Bracknell, England, instructed that it be taken off the block if the bidding didn't reach $375,000. So it was.

Surprise! Famous brands also score best with buyers

Consumers in the US picked Japanese electronics giant Sony - maker of TV sets, VCRs, and PlayStations, among other gadgets - as the No. 1 brand in an annual survey by pollster Harris Interactive. It's Sony's fourth straight year topping the list. Microsoft and Kellogg's made return appearances, while Procter & Gamble was a newcomer. Results are based on an online poll of 879 adults, who were asked to name the three brands they consider to be the best. The top 10 from the survey:

1. Sony
2. Kraft
3. Dell
4. General Motors
5. Microsoft
6. Ford
7. Coca-Cola
8. Procter & Gamble
9. Kellogg's
10. General Electric
(tie) Pepsi Cola - PR Newswire

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