It won't appear on your maps of North America but micro-nation the Republic of Zaqistan is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Named apparently for its president (and founding father), New Yorker Zaq Landsberg, Zaqistan, the nation was founded on two acres of land in the US state of Utah which Landsberg bought in an online auction back in 2005. Described by Landsberg as a "harsh and desolate" place, landmarks include the recently erected Decennial Monument - commemorating its 10 year existence, a border post and a Victory Arch, erected in 2009 as a monument to an "unspecified victory". Landsberg recently told local news organisation KSL that while he wanted it to "become a real country", he accepted "that goal is not going to happen". "It's impossible, but going through the motions, (I'm) trying to make that happen."

It's been the bane of good guys throughout the galaxy - getting caught in the enemy's "tractor beam" and being pulled aboard their ship as was the case in the opening scenes of the original Star Wars film. Until now the subject of science fiction (the tractor beam also makes appearances in Star Trek), a group of UK scientists has brought the concept into the real world, laying claim to creating the world's first "beam" able to capture objects and move them. The technique - which is detailed in the journal Nature Photonics - has so far only been applied to a particle five microns wide and sadly, it is reported, can't be scaled up to space-ship size (the laser required would apparently be too big). But it could still have some real-world applications in the areas of medicine or intricate engineering work.

Don't throw out that plastic bag just yet - it could be worth something. The introduction of a 5p plastic bag tax in England has got people all over the country scouring their cupboards to see what treasures lie within as would-be entrepreneurs hit online auction sites to hock their plastic bag collections to the highest bidder. While some are offering 100 bags for the cut price figure of £2.50, others are looking for a more discerning buyer for their "vintage" (think Asda, 1994) or top-shelf branded plastic bags (think Harrods) - priced at a modest couple of pounds, while another (presumably joke) listing on eBay is offering five "random plastic bags" for £1,000.