North America is going through something of a renaissance period at the moment, apparently, with the number of murders and general violent crimes dropping by five percent over the last year.

One of the possible explanations for this new era of love? Videogames! Yes, the always-to-blame gaming world earned itself some rare good PR this week, with the New York Times reporting the views of an economist that games are keeping the "young and idle" of the country busy.

And that means they have less free time to spend hanging around outside robbing grandmas at knife-point.

However, it's not all good news for gamers - another ludicrous piece of weird science this week claimed playing a game for two hours produces the "same high as taking a line of cocaine". So we're all staying in, behaving ourselves, and getting high on Red Dead Revolver? Sounds like an ideal utopian future.

"Here's me having a go on some old woman's crown"

Poor old Liz Kendall, the newly elected MP for Leicester West got herself in a bit of trouble this week, thanks to trying to show that's she's just as "into" modern technology as the kids are.

While attending the very serious Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, she whipped out her phone (model unknown, suspect low-end Nokia) and took a photo of the event - and uploaded it to Twitter.

Liz kendall

SMILE YOU MISERABLE OLD COW: She also got one of Dave and Nick giggling about something

Serious people were not particularly amused by Kendall's impromptu modernising of the constitution, what with her attached tweet about taking photos of "diamonds and tiaras" and the way she lowered the tone of the serene event. There's a video of Liz's apology up on the BBC if you want to see a rather uncomfortable clash between the new and old worlds immortalised.

Repellent idea

If you've ever been to the more rural parts of Scotland, you'll know there's one rather awful summer infestation to suffer - midges. The biting pests strike hardest on warm evenings, leaving you looking like a measles victim the next day if you're brave enough to tolerate their bites for more than a few seconds.

Midge

BITE ME: Radar forecast shows several wasps moving in from the south. [Image credit: Pic via APS]

But help, of a sort, is on the way, thanks to the fine work of Advanced Pest Solutions - which is to launch its iPhone Midge App this week. According to the Scottish Sun, the tool will stream in data from the "national midge forecast" service, telling users when they're able to step outside without first having to apply an extremely toxic midge-repellent to their faces, arms and hands. As long as you can get a signal.

Multiple use utility surface

We're not entirely sure there's a need for a product that identifies itself as a "laptop stand" as surely pretty much every desk, and indeed human lap or flat surface in general, also has the inherent ability to operate as a thing to put your precious little computer on?

Laptop

PUT IT DOWN: Also supports EVERYTHING ELSE in the whole world

But the maker of the "Laptop Lilo" has pushed on regardless, creating a heat-proof PVC "inflatable laptop support" that is supposed to help keep your laptop cool, also reducing the extremely minor modern inconvenience that is having a mildly warm thing touching your legs. If having a bit of a warm lap is all you've got left to worry about, we think it's safe to assume you've won at life.

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