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Despite What That Crazy Voice in my head says...

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DESPITE WHAT THAT VOICE IN MY HEAD SAYS, I'M NOT CRAZY AFTER ALL

Psychological researchers from Manchester University in the UK now claim that hearing voices inside your head is far more common than previously thought and is not necessarily a sign of mental illness. The new research suggests that as many as one in 25 people regularly hear voices inside their heads and that for more than half of those people, the voices actually have a positive impact on their lives. The researchers concluded that hearing voices is only disturbing to people who are struggling to overcome a trauma or who are suffering from extremely low self-esteem. On the other hand, the voices often serve to comfort and inspire otherwise "normal" and "psychologically healthy" people. (BBC)

"YOU SAFETY IS OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY" IS JUST A MEANINGLESS SLOGAN?

Here's something you don't want to hear if you ever fly on planes. Last February, a British Airways pilot decided to continue a flight from Los Angeles to London even though one of the plane's engines was on fire. According to a transcript obtained by the Wall Street Journal, the air traffic controllers advised the pilot to turn around and come back to Los Angeles after they saw flames coming out of one of the engines on the Boeing 747. Instead, the pilot decided to simply shut down the engine and "get as far as we can." The plane eventually made it as far as Manchester before concerns about low fuel levels forced the pilot to finally land. (The Guardian)

FINALLY AN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION "WAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?"

Thanks to the hundreds of dismembered soldiers returning from war in Iraq without all of their arms or legs, the American military agency DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has funded research to figure out how humans might one day regrow their limbs. DARPA has given two competing groups of scientists $7.6 million in grants with the promise of more research money if preliminary trials are successful. For a start, scientists are trying to isolate the genes and molecular signals which enable regenerative abilities in many amphibians. "There are actually more species on this globe that can replace lost structures during regeneration than there are animals who can't," said one scientist, who went out on a limb by guessing that the next big breakthrough could come next year or 20 years from now. (Wired)

IF THEY WERE PAJAMA-WEARING DEATHSQUADS I WOULD BE CONCERNED

Usually you associate the negatives of living in a big city with things like noise pollution, extreme smells, killer traffic and high rates of criminal activity. But not for the spoiled-rotten citizens of Shanghai. A recent survey has revealed that the most irritating aspect of living in that massive city is people wearing pajamas in public. Other top irritants for the hard-done-by citizens of Shanghai include aggressive pets and unhelpful neighbors. (Reuters)

HO-HUM

Leading a backlash against everything that is exciting, unusual, and extreme, sociologists have launched The Journal of Mundane Behavior. Available at MundaneBehavior.org, the journal celebrates everyday banal and tedious conduct around the world. The inaugural issue includes intellectual ruminations on shaving, searching for a library book and interactions in elevators. Founding editor Scott Schafer claims that people are yearning for tedium to break up the monotony of excitement.

HOURS OF AIRPORt Fun

On the other hand, if your day-to-day routine has gotten a bit stale, you might want to drum up some excitement by carrying around the "Suspicious Looking Device" as seen at JunkFunnel.com. The SLD is a bright orange box with a countdown timer on the top. If you touch it, it lets out a loud siren and then scoots away on a set of hidden wheels. "The only function of the Suspicious Looking Device is to appear as suspicious as possible, whether carried in hand or placed indiscriminately in public places," boasts the artist who created it.

I-READ-IT-ON-THE-INTERNET-SO-IT-MUST-BE-TRUE FACT OF THE WEEK

In Tasmania, a widow is required to wear her dead husband's penis around her neck for a period of time after his death.

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