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Is that really Kate? Princess-to-be graces coin

Morning Radar: Three things we're talking about this morning

How cool would it be to have your face on a coin? For Kate Middleton, it's not at all. A commemorative coin released by Britain's Royal Mint shows a puffy-faced, baggy-eyed representation of Prince William's bride-to-be, which looks nothing like the perky, fresh-faced 28-year-old. The Mint's facsimile of the prince is no better. According to the Associated Press, some critics claim he looks like Al Gore. Ouch.

Lucky for us commoners, our worst-face scenario is likely limited to a bad Facebook photo.

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Tell us what you think of the Mint's rendition of the happy royal couple in the comments section.

Festive baby names: Sure, Santa Claus is a popular, loveable guy. But would you name your child after him? The U.K.-based parenting web site has compiled a list of registered baby names influenced by the holiday season. While many parents chose religious names like Joseph, Nicholas, Gabriel and Jesus, others picked Christmas references like Angel, Mary and Star. Still others named their children Noel, Hope, Happy, Sparkle, Joy, Rudolph and scores of parents were even inspired by their festive beverages, namely Brandy and Sherry. And yes, a few holiday-loving parents named their babies Santa and Claus.

Queue angst: You're buying last-minute gifts, and the lines next to you seem to be going much faster. Why do you always pick the wrong line?

Bill Hammack, also known as the Engineer Guy, has the answer. Dr. Hammack, a professor at the University of Illinois, explains in a YouTube video that it's all chance and perception. People tend to arrive at the cash register in clusters, not at evenly spaced intervals, he says, so at any given time, there are not enough cashiers to handle them, causing traffic jams.

When a store is set up to have one single line feeding three cashiers, you're likely to get out of there three times faster. That's because when you have multiple lines, any delay, like a price check, will stop the line completely. In a single line scenario, however, chances are a delay will hold up only one cashier, while the flow to the other two will continue.

"Most stores don't do this though, because it bothers customers psychologically," Dr. Hammack says.

In all likelihood, when you have separate lines, delays are spread among the cashiers, so there's little point stressing over which line to pick. Sometimes other lines will move faster, and sometimes yours will.

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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