SCIENCE AGREES—YOUR CRUMMY LIFE REALLY IS YOUR PARENTS' FAULT
Strange research into the effect that your name has on your life choices found that people unconsciously make decisions based on their names or initials. Studies carried out by psychologists in marketing at Yale and the University of California found that people are disproportionately likely to live in states or cities resembling their names, have careers that resemble their names and marry those whose surnames begin with the same letter as their own. Even more bizarre, the "name-letter effect" applies more to negative things than to positive. For example, students whose names begin with a C or a D generally get lower grades than those whose names begin with an A or a B. "We found that our own-name liking sabotages success for people whose initials match negative performance labels," said a report published in the journal Psychological Science. A study from a few years ago also found that people with "good" monograms such as GOD, ACE or WOW, lived over seven years longer than people whose monograms spelled words such as PIG, RAT, DUD or ILL. (USA Today)
QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY
If ever there was a Web site you don't want to have your picture posted on, it's got to be one called "Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians." Check out the disturbing photos of guys like Roy Orbison, Lou Reed, Bruce Cockburn, David Hasselhoff and Kim Jong-il at MenWhoLookLikeOldLesbians.blogspot.com.
LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DRUGS
Researchers who studied references to drugs and alcohol in Top 40 music found that one-third of all songs favored by teenagers includes a reference to some kind of illicit substance. The study looked at 279 bestselling songs from 2005 in five genres considered popular with kids—rap, country, R&B/hip-hop, rock and pop—and found that rap music easily led the way with references to substance abuse in 77 percent of songs. Country music followed up with 37 percent, R&B/hip-hop songs came in at 20 percent, rock music was at 14 percent, and a mere 9 percent of pop songs dealt with drugs or alcohol. (Health Day News)
OLD TIMER'S DISEASE
A German man forgot his car at a gas station last week after filling it up and paying for his purchase. "He just forgot about it and walked off home," said the station attendant, who called the police after noticing that the car had been blocking a pump for about an hour. (Reuters)
The editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary have announced their choice for 2007 Word of the Year: "locavore." A locavore is a person who grows his or her own food or buys it as locally as possible, preferably directly from the farmer or at farmers' markets. Other words in contention this year included bacn (e-mail that is considered more desirable than spam); upcycling (transforming garbage into something useful); and mumblecore (an independent film movement featuring low-budget production, non-professional actors and largely improvised dialogue). (Oxford University Press)
YOU CAN JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
In a sort of similar vein, check out The New York Times Books blog, where you can vote for 2007's best book cover. My vote goes to a book called "Like You'd Understand, Anyway." Go judge a book by its cover at NYTimesBooks.blogspot.com.
ANYTHING BUT CHRISTMAS
If you're looking for something less predictable than Christmas to celebrate this month, check out these supposed holidays: Dec. 4 is Wear Brown Shoes Day, Dec. 8 is Take It In The Ear Day, Dec. 16 is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day, Dec. 21 is Look At The Bright Side Day, Dec. 26 is National Whiners Day, and, of course, on Dec. 30 you can celebrate the Festival Of Enormous Changes At The Last Minute. Cheers!
I-READ-IT-ON-THE-INTERNET-SO-IT-MUST-BE-TRUE FACT OF THE WEEK
In New York City, approximately 1,600 people are bitten by other humans annually.
Get way more bizarro news at CuriousTimes.com.