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People use the Net and chat on the phone more in the run-up to a full moon than at any other time of the month, according to the boffins at BT.

They claim there are cyclical troughs and peaks in people's calling behaviour, which builds up to a peak in the week before a full moon.

And they've discovered that these 29-day cycles closely match the phases of the moon.

Stewart Davies, MD of Btexact - the telco's R&D outfit - said: "There is definitely a 29-day cycle in the number of households making calls.

"What we haven't yet discovered is whether the link is pure coincidence or if the moon really does affect the number of households making calls.

"We are working on this to check whether other factors are at work but at the moment it does look as though certain phases of the moon encourage people to pick up the phone for a chat or use the Internet while other phases make us more taciturn," he said.

Roy Gillett, president of the Astrological Association of Great Britain said: "This is very exciting news because it supports what astrologers have been saying for many years: during the time leading to a full moon there is a build up of creative and emotional energy.

"This may well manifest itself in humans as a need to communicate more frequently and for longer periods," he said.

Elsewhere, scientists in Nepal have discovered a correlation between the number of grains of rice that pass through people undigested and teenage pregnancies in London. ®

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