WIN A PRIZE IN LITERATURE
The folks who bring us the annual World's Oddest Book Title competition have celebrated the 30th anniversary of the prize by choosing the oddest book title of the past 30 years. And the winner is Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, a thrilling tome that carefully records all of Greece's postmen and postal routes. Somehow that title beat out competition from books like People Who Don't Know They're Dead, How to Avoid Huge Ships, How to Bombproof Your Horse and my personal favorite Cheese Problems Solved. The prize was originally created as a joke 30 years ago in order to avoid boredom at the 1978 Frankfurt Book Fair. (thebookseller.com)
WHY DOESN'T GOD Just STOP DISEASE IN ITS EARLY STAGES?
Medical science has come a long way, baby, but it still can't convince a dying patient that God won't save him. A survey of 1,000 randomly surveyed Americans found that 57 percent believe that divine intervention can reverse a terminal illness even if physicians declare that treatment would be useless. Surprisingly, the survey also asked 774 medical professionals the same question and found that 20 percent of doctors, nurses and medical workers believe that God can revive a dying patient. (MSNBC)
CRIMINALS - GUNS = DEAD CRIMINALS
Time for another kidnapping lesson. Step one: don't put down your gun or you may just end up dead. Like the kidnappers in Florida who forced their victim into a car last week and started to drive to their hideout. Along the way, one of the abductors in the back seat of the car put his gun in his lap in order to send a text message. At that moment, the would-be victim grabbed the gun, shot the two men in the back seat with him, then pointed the gun at the head of the driver and forced him to stop, at which point he called 911 and finished the ordeal. (Tampa Bay Online)
WHAT HE MEANT TO SAY WAS "STOP KILLING US"
Japanese marine biologists claim to have trained a 23-year-old Beluga whale to say three words. Nack the whale uses different noises to express the words bucket, diving goggles and diving fins. Professor Takashi Murayam of Tokai University says this breakthrough is the first of its kind and expressed hope that humans and whales will communicate with each other someday in the future. (The Telegraph)
GROSS IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
The publishers of the Guinness Book of World Records have released The Best Gross World Records, a book chock full of challenges for the readers of this column. Try getting your name in the record books by attempting some of these charming antics: Most Worms Eaten in 30 seconds; Most Feet and Armpits Sniffed; Loudest Burp; Most Worms Removed From a Human Stomach; Longest Ear Hair; Most Big Macs Consumed; and Farthest Marshmallow Nose Blow. The record book also lists a Brazilian woman as holding the record for most body piercings with 1,903, over 500 of which are in her genitalia. She plans on continuing to gather more piercings until she breaks the 2,000 barrier. "I love pain," she explained.
STRIKE "BEING BURIED ALIVE" OFF YOUR LIST OF FEARS
A cemetery in Santiago, Chile, will be the first to offer coffins installed with panic buttons in case you are buried alive. "We want to be pioneers and avoid catalepsy cases, in which a person gets completely paralyzed for a few hours and ends up buried as if they were dead," said a spokesperson for the Camino a Canaan cemetery. Their new coffin design includes built-in motion detectors so you can be rescued from a premature burial. (Fortean Times)
DRIVEN TO IMPOTENCE
Scientists in Germany now warn that heated car seats may toast a man's nuts just enough to damage his sperm production. The latest research backs up a previous study that found couples take longer to conceive if the man drives for more than three hours a day due to the pressure of the car seat on the poor guy's dingly-danglies. (New Scientist)
INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK
Fourteen percent of American dogs suffer from separation anxiety.
More bizarro news at CuriousTimes.com.