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BIRDS THAT ARE SMARTER THAN YOU•TAKE TWO ANAL PROBES AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING•BUT STILL LESS FRIGHTENING THAN SATAN THE SURGEON•A BOOK YOU CAN'T PUT DOWN BECAUSE IT STICKS TO THE ROOF OF YOUR HANDS•I SEE

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BIRDS THAT ARE SMARTER THAN YOU

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 his budgie 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 ParrotResearch.com and is writing a book about his experiences, tentatively titled The Prophecies of Parrots: The Story of Victor the Budgie. (Toronto Star)

TAKE TWO ANAL PROBES AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING

Mary Rodwell, author of a book called Awakening: How Extraterrestrial Contact Can Transform Your Life, claims that alien anal probes may not be such a bad thing after all. Despite the fear associated with being abducted by aliens, Rodwell claims the evidence shows that the experience is actually beneficial for abductees. The dreaded anal probe, for example, may actually be good for your health. Rodwell says that there are hundreds of cases in which people suffering from chronic ailments before being abducted were completely cured after receiving an anal probe. (Wireless Flash)

BUT STILL LESS FRIGHTENING THAN SATAN THE SURGEON

A nurse named Jesus working at a hospital in Sweden has been asked to change his name as his bosses were concerned that patients might freak out if they were told that Jesus would be taking care of them. "If they thought that Jesus was coming they might believe that they were already dead," said Jesus, who has agreed to begin using his middle name, Manuel.

A BOOK YOU CAN'T PUT DOWN BECAUSE IT STICKS TO THE ROOF OF YOUR HANDS

A few weeks ago we learned of the winner of 2005's Oddest Book Title of the Year Award, which went to a book called People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It. This week I have found a book which should easily win next year's competition, a German science book, which you can order at Amazon.com, called The Effects of Peanut Butter on the Rotation of the Earth.

I SEE A really EXPENSIVE ORGASM IN YOUR FUTURE

A Japanese woman is making some pretty good cash reading the fortune of men by performing sexual acts on them. "Kaho," who works in a brothel in Nagoya, claims that she has foreseen future events for over 1,000 men in the past year, and has even helped one man win a huge amount of money at the racetrack. For the women in Japan, another psychic reads their futures by studying their breasts. (Mainichi Daily News)

TO: GOD@HEAVEN

For all you lazy sinners out there, be aware that the Roman Catholic bishops in the Philippines have ruled that confessions must be carried out in person in order to be forgiven. Despite a huge increase in the popularity of confessions sent by e-mail, fax or text messaging, Catholic officials say these time-saving initiatives are unacceptable. (Philippine Star)

PROOFREADER WANTED

A disabled grandmother in Britain has become a target of a hate campaign after a classified ad she was running in the newspaper carried a misprint claiming she was seeking a "white person" as a tenant, when she had meant the ad to read "quiet person." Since that time, she has been inundated with phone calls protesting her racism and a local group has demanded a police investigation of her under the Race Discrimination Act. (Reuters)