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Curious Times

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LOW BUDGET HINT: PLATFORM SHOES AND A MOHAWK WILL ADD 10 INCHES TO YOUR HEIGHT

A belief that being taller will help you get jobs and lovers has sparked a national craze in China, where thousands are lining up to be surgically stretched or to buy torture rack-like stretching machines in order to increase their height. Safety concerns have China's Ministry of Health trying to figure out how to regulate surgeons who offer painful and lengthy surgical procedures which claim to add 15 percent to bone length. The surgery involves breaking patients' legs and attaching metal pins to the separated bones. Patients then spends six months gradually encouraging the bones to heal together at a greater length by separating the bones with a daily twist of a knob attached to the metal pegs in their legs. A slightly less radical method has also become hugely popular in the form of stretching machines which resemble medieval torture racks. With this gadget, users simply strap themselves in by the head and feet and turn a crank to stretch out their bodies. According to a Chinese television commercial, the body stretch and exercise machine can stretch human cartilage and boost young people's height. (local6.com)

I DREAM OF GENIUS

Great news for those of us who don't want to haul our asses out of bed in the morning (that's everyone, isn't it?). Researchers now suggest that sleeping in late and having long afternoon naps does wonders for our ability to come up with new ideas and creative solutions to problems. Research carried out by psychology professor Dr. Richard Wiseman found that most of the great ideas people have come to them either while lazing around in bed or in their dreams. In our dreams, we produce unusual combinations of ideas that can seem surreal, but every once in a while result in an amazingly creative solution to an important problem, concluded Wiseman. By the way, you'll need that extra creativity to find a new job when you start showing up for work three hours late. (BBC)

THOSE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS

A Russian man has survived nailing a five-inch-long (12.2 cm) nail into his own forehead. Yuri Dedov, 37, was rushed to the hospital after being found by his mother, and a successful operation managed to remove the nail with no permanent damage. If its trajectory had been 15 degrees different, he would have died immediately, said neurosurgeon Yuri Tanvel. As it is, no vital function was violated. The main thing is the nail did not reach the brain. After his recovery, Dedov said that he had been hearing voices in his head urging him to take a hammer and do it. (Moscow News)

PLAYING WITH BALLS

Germany is expecting an influx of over 40,000 foreign prostitutes next summer to service the needs of hundreds of thousands of soccer fans ready to descend on the nation for next year's World Cup. In preparation, German politicians are developing a plan to erect love shacks near soccer stadiums in order to keep the business at least a little bit private. The boxes would certainly be a better alternative to prostitutes offering their services on the streets, in parks or in local zoos, said the member of parliament who proposed the idea (hmmm ... sex with a hooker in a zoo ... try not to picture it). The city of Dortmund, where six World Ccup matches will be played, has already approved the idea. If hundreds of foreign women join the 380 prostitutes already on Dortmund's strips near the stadium, we'll be bursting at the seams, said the city's Public Affairs Office. We have to prepare now, or it will turn into Sodom and Gomorrah. (Ananova)

WE'VE GOT THE BALLS, BUT WE CAN'T FIND OUR STEROIDS

A baseball coach for a prestigious private school in Florida was forced to resign after his team lost a game, after which he dropped his pants, pointed to his dick and balls, and asked his team if they had a set of these or were they equipped with a vagina? (local10.com)

STILL LIVING IN THE DARK AGES

A zoo in the southern German city of Augsburg is facing heavy criticism after unveiling its plan to put African tribesmen inside their exotic animal exhibition in order to display elephants and rhinos in their natural environment with genuine exotic ambience. The display will be called "Discover the Dark Continent" and plans to include grass-skirted black men in mud huts carrying out traditional tribal activities such as basket-weaving, woodwork and tribal dancing. (The Scotsman)

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