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October 5, 2005

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HALF-MAN, HALF-MACHINE

Popular Science magazine has compiled a great collection of predictions that gauge how long it will take various strange new technologies to enter the human body. The article asks, "Will We Merge With Machines?" and offers some of the more likely ways in which technology will enter and change our bodies within the next 15 years or so. Among the goodies to look forward to are a cell phone implanted into your jawbone, a "bionic ear" surgically attached to your inner ear, microchips implanted on your hippocampus in order to enhance your memory and reverse the effects of Alzheimer's, and microchips implanted in the motor cortex to enable you to control electronic devices with your thoughts. The tech-geeks also promise to make dieting easier than ever with a device that has helped test subjects lose 25 to 40 percent of their body fat by delivering mild shocks to the stomach in order to make the brain believe you are already full. (Popular Science)

IT'S A WILD WORLD

It was only a matter of time before the wild animals of the world ran out of natural prey and began eating humans. Just keep your weapon loaded and be grateful you don't live in Ethiopia, where 20 villagers were killed and eaten last week by a hungry pride of lions which had run out of food in the jungle. The attacks have forced over 1,000 people from their homes while authorities try to figure out a way to stop nature's power shift. "The lions are coming from the bush seeking food," said a police spokesperson, who added that more lion attacks can be expected in areas where wild prey have been reduced by over-hunting, deforestation and human encroachment into wild areas. (CNN)

HOW TO BE A SARCASTIC PRICK WITHOUT SAYING A WORD

If you're just learning to sign, don't forget to complete your education with The Big Book of Sign Language, a dictionary of contemporary American sign language, originally posted at gapingmaw.com, but removed due to lawsuit threats from Random House (hint: there's a link at www.CuriousTimes.com). Among the much-needed signs you can learn are these gems: "You've got the biggest melons I've ever seen"; "Who's up for some fisting?"; "I'm an idiot"; "I had an abortion for Christmas"; "Woo-hoo! Metallica rules!" and "Your mouth's a-flappin but I'm not a-listening."

ROBOTS WHO KILL

South Korea has announced plans to develop an army of eight-legged armed robots to help patrol the demilitarized zone along the North Korean border. The 33 billion Won investment plans to create knee-high robots equipped with weapons and sporting as many as eight legs for scrambling around on uneven terrain. The robots will initially take over duties now performed by dogs, such as sniffing out explosives or catching intruders, but South Korea's Defense Ministry hopes that eventually the robots--along with other high-tech weapons systems--will allow them to reduce the number of troops in the DMZ by about 25 percent over the next 15 years. (Reuters)

MY BLOODY HOLIDAY

And now a Curious Times travel advisory. If you're looking to get stabbed on your next holiday, you might consider booking a tour of Scotland, which was recently tagged with the dubious honor of being the most violent country in the developed world. The United Nations report claimed that you are more than three times as likely to be assaulted in Scotland than in America, with knife attacks being the most popular form of violence upon the more than 2,000 Scots who are attacked each week. (The Times UK)

THIS IS YOUR WEB SITE ON DRUGS

You know how they say you should do what you love? Well, if you love doing psychedelic drugs there is a great opportunity to build an Internet empire with a list of 55 drug-related domain names that failed to sell on eBay last week. The asking price was an insane $225,000, which explains the lack of interested buyers, but perhaps you could negotiate with the seller to grab these for a more reasonable fee. Among the potential money farms are the domain names shrooms.com, psychedelic.com, marijuana101.com and psilocybins.com.

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

Seventy percent of Americans sign their pets' names on greeting cards.

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