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CURIOUS TIMES APRIL 30 EDITION

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BUT NOW I BARK LIKE A DOG EVERY TIME THE PHONE RINGS

A hypnotherapist in Britain underwent surgery without anaesthetic last week and felt absolutely no pain thanks to the hypnotic trance he had put himself under. Surgeons used a saw to cut open his arm and a hammer and chisel to remove a walnut-sized chunk of bone from his wrist, but Alex Lenkei felt nothing and even asked the surgeon how everything was going about halfway through the procedure. "It took me about 30 seconds to put myself under," said Lenkei. "I could feel the surgeon pulling and manipulating me—then I heard the cracking of bones ... I would have certainly told them if I was in pain—I told them to zap me straight away if I cried out." (Daily Mail)

GROW YOUR OWN FOOD

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans to award a $1 million-prize to the first person who can create edible meat in a laboratory. The prize money is an attempt to speed up a slowly growing field of research that promises to one day feed us all the meat we can eat without ever killing another animal. Experiments at NASA have already grown pieces of fish, which they claim are edible, but researchers admit that growing meat tasty enough to eat is a dream for the far-off future. "Right now, it would be possible to produce something like spam at an incredibly high cost," said one scientist. So PETA's money is probably safe as the rules of their challenge insist upon producing chicken meat that can be sold commercially at a competitive price in at least 10 states by 2012. (PETA.org)

HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN

On the heels of Barack Obama's comment about bitter Americans clinging to their guns, the Wall Street Journal dug up some statistics from 2006 that show gun owners are actually happier and wealthier than people who don't own weapons. According to the research, 36 percent of gun owners claim to be "very happy" compared with 30 percent of people without guns. The study also revealed that gun owners have the same level of education as non-gun owners and earn an average of 32 percent more per year. Last but certainly not least, in 1996, gun owners spent about 15 percent less of their time feeling "outraged at something somebody had done."

THE BOOB TUBE

This week's full supply of irony comes from Venezuela, where the state-controlled broadcaster has pulled The Simpsons off the air due to its bad influence on children. The morning time slot normally reserved for children's programming is now showing reruns of Baywatch. (Reuters)

LET ME MAKE YOU HAPPY

The medical journal Archives of Sexual Behavior has published some remarkable findings from researchers at New York University that seem to indicate that a man's sperm contains anti-depressant chemicals and hormones which make women happier. The study logged the sexual activities of 300 women and found that women who had sex without condoms were happier than women who had sex with condoms or women who didn't have sex. The study also found that women who have unprotected sex were less likely to commit suicide, but became increasingly depressed the longer they went without sex.

GREENWICH MEAN TIME

Muslim scientists and clerics have decided that we should replace Greenwich Mean Time with Mecca Time because Mecca is the true center of the Earth. At a conference in Qatar titled, "Mecca, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice," geologists claimed that Mecca was in perfect alignment with the magnetic north pole and should be used as the baseline for our future system of time. Another presenter unveiled the invention of a Mecca watch, which rotates counter-clockwise and is designed to help Muslims determine the direction of Mecca from any point on the planet. (BBC)

CHEESY CONTEST

The "Grilled Cheese Invitationals" is a series of cook-offs which have been held in various cities across America. Unfortunately you just missed the last one down in Los Angeles, but perfect your recipe now and go to GrilledCheeseInvitational.com to check out the rules and enter the next round of cheesy goodness.

INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK

31,000 people in the United States are injured by their grooming devices each year.

More bizarro news at CuriousTimes.com.