THE DARK AGES CONTINUE
England's tabloid newspaper The Sun reports that a strain of the Black Plague has killed at least 40 members of al-Qaida and forced the closure of a training camp in Algeria. "It spreads quickly and kills within hours," said an unnamed terrorism expert. "Most of the terrorists do not have the basic medical supplies needed to treat the disease." While the idea of killing terrorists with the plague sounds pretty cool, the truth is probably much more disturbing. United States intelligence officials, speaking anonymously, suggested that the terrorists probably killed themselves by accident while trying to develop new weapons and confirmed that the United States intercepted an al-Qaida communication in early January that the Algerian training area had been abandoned and sealed off due to a leak of a chemical or biological substance. (National Post)
TODAY IS JUST MILDLY DEPRESSING, WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF ANGST
Congratulations. The fact that you're reading this means that you've survived "Blue Monday"—the most depressing day of the year. This is according to psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnalls from Cardiff University in Britain, who devised a highly scientific formula in order to discover that Monday, Jan. 26, was the most depressing day of the year. The equation, [W+(D-d)]xTQ MxNA, analyzes factors including the crappy weather (W), leftover debt from Xmas shopping (D), and the amount of time that has passed since you failed to quit a bad habit (Q). (BBC)
FINGERED FOR SUCCESS
A new study has found the longer your ring finger is in comparison to your index finger, the more money you're likely to make. In a study of financial traders in London, the research found that subjects with longer ring fingers earned 11 times more money than those with the shortest ring fingers. Previous studies also found that people with longer ring fingers exhibit more confidence, higher risk taking, faster reaction times and increased success in competitive sports such as soccer and basketball. On the other hand, people with longer index fingers have been found to have much greater success in math, science and engineering. (AP)
THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT YOUR CAR WILL LOOK LIKE A PIECE OF GARBAGE
If you want to convert your car to run on garbage, head over to instructables.com and search for a video called "Convert Your Honda Accord to Run on Trash," in which they explain how to build a "gasifier"—a contraption that can turn almost any solid dry organic matter into a clean burnable gaseous fuel. Of course that might be a bit too tough of a project for most, so you might want to tackle a slightly less involved task from this site, such as "How to Make a Duct Tape Wallet" or "How to Paralyze a Chicken for a Little While."
CREATE YOUR OWN TRAFFIC OBSTRUCTION
Or if you've already made the switch to pedal power, you should be looking forward to the production of the LightLane—a funky little gadget that surrounds your bike with a an entire virtual bike lane by projecting a laser beam boundary around your bike onto the city streets. Check out the cool photo of how this works at curioustimes.com.
HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE DIRTY MINDS OF MEN
A German entrepreneur has built the world's first Disneyland for dudes, an amusement park where men can play with giant toys like a 29-ton Liebhem backhoe or a 32-ton Komatsu front-end loader. The Mannerspielplatz ("men's playground") started as a corporate retreat but was so popular that Alexander Bammer bought 17 acres of land in order to fulfill men's dirty fantasies for about $280 a pop. (Wired)
EVERY DAY SHOULD BE A HOLIDAY
So what are we supposed to celebrate if we don't like stupid pink hearts full of crap chocolate? Mark your calendar now so you don't miss Spunky Old Broads Day (Feb. 1), Dump Your Significant Jerk Day (Feb. 7), Blame Someone Else Day (Feb. 13), Do a Grouch a Favor Day (Feb. 16), Curling is Cool Day (Feb. 23) and Public Sleeping Day (Feb. 28.)
INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK
Devout Orthodox Jews are three times as likely to jaywalk as other people.
More bizarro news at curioustimes.com.