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March 16, 2005

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AM I HALLUCINATING OR IS THIS CHEESEBURGER CRYING?

New research out of Bristol University in England has found that farm animals are far more intelligent and emotional than we ever thought. Testing carried out on cows, pigs, goats and chickens found that all of these animals are remarkably similar to humans when it comes to socialization, and all have complex mental lives which include the ability to nurture long-term friendships and become excited by intellectual challenges. For example, they found that cows actually form cliques with their friends and are able to bear a grudge against another cow for several years. All of these animals are also capable of feeling strong emotions such as pain, fear and anxiety about the future. On the other hand, cows express great happiness when cared for in the proper conditions. "Remarkable cognitive abilities and cultural innovations have been revealed, said Christine Nicol, professor of animal welfare at Bristol University. "Our challenge is to teach others that every animal we intend to eat or use is a complex individual and to adjust our farming culture accordingly." (news.com.au)

THIS MEDICINE LOOKS, SMELLS AND TASTES LIKE COW DUNG ... GOOD THING WE DIDN'T STEP IN IT

Great to see that the ancient art of snake oil sales is alive and well. Entrepreneurs in India are cashing in on the latest hot item on the streets of New Delhi -- health cures made out of cow urine and dung. "You won't believe how quickly some of the products sold out," says Manoj Kumar, who sells a wide variety of cure-alls, including a "multi-utility pill" to cure anything from diabetes to piles to "ladies' diseases," and a liquid medicine to battle cancer, hysteria and irregular periods. Along with the medicines made from cow dung and cow urine, a wide range of health products are also gaining popularity, including cow dung toothpaste, detergents, a skin-whitening cream, baldness and obesity cures, soap and a cow urine antiseptic aftershave. And from the "Gee, your hair smells atrocious" department, the inventor of the cow-dung detergent next hopes to create a cream which will help stop hair loss. (MSNBC)

STILL NO CURE FOR CANCER, BUT AT LEAST YOU CAN GET SMASHED AND FORGET YOUR TROUBLES

The Russian scientists who last year brought us the pill to help cure hangovers have now gone one step better by creating a pill which will help you get drunk with less alcohol, and keep you drunk for longer. The new pill, called RU-21 Red, is based upon a grapevine extract which supposedly slows down the oxidation of alcohol and, according to its creator Emil Chaibery, "prolongs drunkenness and enhances intoxication." While his hangover pill is now sold in the U.S. and Britain under the category of "natural dietary supplement," Chiabery claims the new drug will not be made available to the general public. "I'm not sure I'm going to market it in the U.S.A. I don't want it to become a party drug. We are for responsible drinking," Chiabery said. (Daily Telegraph)

OVERCOMPENSATING FOR THE SIZE OF THEIR CARS

Eight sculptors in Taiwan have finally completed work on what they hope will be recognized by Guinness as the world's largest penis. The 8.5-metre (25-foot) long wooden sculpture weighs 12 ton and took six months to complete. (Asian Post)

OR BUY AN ECONOMY CAR AND A TON OF GOLDFISH

For reasons entirely unclear, a pet insurer in Britain has crunched the numbers and found that the cost of owning a dog is higher than the price tag for a brand new luxury car or a cruise around the world. Pet insurer Churchill, in their annual "Cost of a Dog" report, found that it costs an average of $38,000 to own a dog over the course of its lifetime. The most expensive dog to own is a Great Dane, weighing in at $50,000 over an average 10-year lifespan, while the cheapest is a Jack Russell Terrier, which can be kept alive for a "mere" $25,000. In comparison, you can get yourself a Jaguar X-type, Saab 9-5, or Volkswagen Passat the same price as an "average" dog, or take an around-the-world cruise on the Queen Elizabeth II. (AFP)

Get waaaay more bizarre news at www.curioustimes.com.

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