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A 57-year-old Japanese man who was able to keep a harem of 10 women, all in their 20s and 30s, announced that the secret to his success came to him in a dream in which he was given a "magic incantation" which would make him irresistible to women. In order to avoid Japan's laws against polygamy, Hirohito Shibuya married and divorced all 10 women in rapid succession but kept them all living in his home and working in local shops while he avoided work due to a supposed heart condition. Police were alerted to his unique living arrangements after a woman complained that Shibuya threatened to turn her into mincemeat if she didn't join his harem. Police believe that the man must have used some kind of mind control technique to keep the young women under his spell, but Shibuya claimed he has been irresistible to women ever since he had the dream that taught him the magic phrase. Unfortunately, Shibuya refused to share his secret with the world, but he told investigators that "if you chant it, even unattractive men find themselves popular with women." (Times Online)


Here's a new word for you: psittalinguist, a person who interprets the speech of budgies. What's that, you say? Budgies don't speak.Wrong again ... According to Ryan Reynolds, founder of The Budgie Research Group, his late budgie, Victor, had a vocabulary of 1,000 words. Since Victor's death in 1999, Reynolds has spent thousands of hours slowing down and deconstructing recordings of talking budgies and attracted over 1,000 psittalinguist researchers from across the world to his strange pursuit. "I don't claim to be 100 percent accurate, but other people do hear what I hear. It's not my imagination," Reynolds says. Most surprising of all, budgies aren't content with idle chit-chat either, but spend their time talking about deep philosophical issues and even make predictions about the future. "This is going to sound crazy, but they talk about spiritual things: God, the afterlife, a better world for them," said Reynolds, who claimed that Victor predicted the tsunami in Asia and also warned of a coming super-volcano. Victor also told Ryan that God was coming to take him away just a few weeks before his death. Reynolds has posted extensive budgie recordings at the Web site

BEST PROOF of sanity

A study released in September found 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)


The letters in the words "United States of America" can be rearranged to spell "dine out, taste a Mac, fries."


A variety of reports were released in August about the psychological benefits of magic mushrooms. It appears that researchers have finally discovered what experimental teenagers have known all along, that shrooms have the potential to make you very, very happy. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that over 60 percent of volunteers who took capsules of psilocybin derived from mushrooms reported having a "full mystical experience," with a third reporting that the experience was the single most spiritually significant event of their lifetimes. Even two months after the experiment, 79 percent of the volunteers said they felt an increased sense of well-being or life satisfaction thanks to the miraculous little mushroom. (Reuters)


A Japanese company has created a bed for elderly or slightly disabled people, which is deliberately uncomfortable in order to get them out of bed in the morning. According to the company's sales pitch, normal beds make people too comfortable, causing them to spend too much time lying around which causes their muscles to degenerate even more and makes them permanently bedridden. (Nikkei Weekly Japan)

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