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November 3, 2004

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WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, SUPPRESS THE GENE THAT MAKES THE CAT PISS ON YOUR BED

From the Hollywood sci-fi school of scientific developments comes word that a biotechnology firm from Los Angeles is now marketing the world's first hypoallergenic cat. ALLERCA Inc. announced last week that their new product will be ready for consumers in 2007. Their patented technology suppresses the allergen-producing gene in cats, producing a genetically modified animal for people who have never been able to own a pet cat due to allergies. (allerca.com)

LIKE FINDING A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK

While the rest of the world might consider the phrase "beautiful German words" as an oxymoron, the language nerds from the Goethe Institute, the German Language Council and the German Language Society have released the results of a competition that asked German speakers to vote for the greatest word in their language. After receiving 22,838 entries, the judges ruled that the word Habseligkeiten (possessions) was the most beautiful, followed by Geborgenhiet (security) and lieben (love). The judges said that Habseligkeiten was unique in it's attempt to unite two opposites--the twin human desires of obtaining possessions and of obtaining utter bliss, happiness or salvation. Other winning words include Rhabarbermarmelade (rhubarb jam), which was voted Germany's coolest word, and Libelle (dragonfly), which was voted the loveliest word for children. (expatica.com)

THE FUTURE IS IN YOUR CROTCH

Last week we learned about the supposed ancient art of phallomancy, in which you read a man's personality by analyzing the shape and size of his penis. Now it turns out that there is an equally bizarre method of divination for women. A Japanese author has written a book in which he claims that the fortunes and character traits of women can be read by studying the shape of their pubic hair. Kosai Jumon, 70, author of the book Tamashi Yura Ageman (Rising Fortunes of the Soul), says he started studying the pubic hair of woman as a young man when he realized that the sexual prowess of his partners differed depending on their "pubic hairdo." Jumon calls the area "The Zone," which he analyzes in five categories--endurance, attachment, action, emotion, and receptivity--in order to read each woman's sexual persona. In this way he claims to be able to determine whether a woman will make a good wife or make her husband's life miserable. For example, he points out that "it's not rare for women with elongated pubic hair to be the types who fall in love at first sight and soon become passionate. They're not the types who are happy shut up in the home." He also explains his idea of the perfect wife, who has "a clearly defined endurance sub-zone and slight traits of a receptivity sub-zone." Put simply, he says "hair like this would indicate a good wife during the day who turns into a whore at night." (Mainichi Daily News)

MIDDLE EARTH IS JUST EAST OF JAVA

Australian archeologists have discovered the remains of a bizarre species of hobbit-sized humans who lived on the island of Flores, Indonesia about 18,000 years ago. So far scientists have dug up seven partial skeletons of a species of human which was about one meter (3 feet) tall, had a brain the size of a chimpanzee, walked upright and used tools. The hobbit-like humans shared the island with miniature elephants and Komodo dragons. Bert Roberts, one of the authors of the report published in Nature magazine, said that the race existed "over a time range that now extends from as long ago as 95,000 years to as recently as 13,000 years ago--a population of hobbits that seemed to disappear at about the same time as the pygmy elephants that they hunted." (CNN)

FOR THE LITERATE JUNKIE

The Dutch government has produced a glossy magazine entitled Mainline Lady, aimed at "improving the health and quality of life of female drug addicts." The glossy mag offers an extremely specialized brand of fashion, beauty, sex, and health advice. Editor Jasperine Schupp says, "female users are not just skinny hags. They have lots of interests, and that's what we wanted to reflect in the magazine." My personal favorites would have to be the "addict makeover" and the horoscopes section that includes lines like "your dope will taste better than usual." (www.mainline.org) :

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