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Curious Times: Happy & poor, no penis, and funk


The Bright Side Of Economic Collapse

Conventional wisdom holds that bad economic times are also bad for life expectancy because fewer people can afford proper medical attention and more people succumb to depression and suicide. But the latest research has found that the opposite is true: The health of a population improves slightly when the economy tanks. According to the latest number crunching by Professor Christopher Ruhm of the University of North Carolina, death rates consistently decline during recessions and rise during the boom times. Ruhm found that for every 1 percent rise in unemployment, the death rate falls by about half a percent. Other research has found similar trends during economic downturns in 23 countries between 1960 and 1997. The exact reasons for this are not clear, but researchers suspect that during the lean years, people tend to spend less money on fattening foods, alcohol and tobacco, while the fear of getting fired might help heavy drinkers stay sober. Deaths from car accidents also drop during higher unemployment simply because fewer people are commuting to work, industrial accidents drop because fewer people are working, and even infant deaths drop, presumably because lower industrial output causes a decrease in air pollution. (OregonLive)

Not Having a Penis Indicates You're a Woman

You've definitely heard of palm reading to reveal your future, and you may have heard of face reading, but I'll bet you haven't heard of the ancient art of phallomancy, the divination technique that unveils your personality by analyzing your penis. Whether your flaccid penis is short, long, thick, thin, smooth, bumpy or curved will all tell the penis-reader about you. For example, a long penis indicates an extroverted and inventive lover, while the owner of a short penis always delivers on his promises. Thickness reveals strong imagination, bumps on the penis make a man challenging and unpredictable, and a sharp bend in the penis reveals a lecherous personality. Other tell tale signs include whether the penis has a pointed, blunt or wide tip (wide tips indicate strong sex drive) and whether there are any moles on the penis (a prediction of many children). Finally, even the amount of pubic hair reveals something about your personality, with a heavy bush indicating a strong, competitive demeanor.

What's Unusual About Parasitic Relatives?

A 30-year-old plumber in England gave birth to his twin last week when a lumpy growth forced its way out of his abdomen like some kind of hideous alien. Doctors later confirmed that the lump was the leftovers of an embryonic parasitic twin that was absorbed into the man's body at birth and stayed in his stomach for 30 years before making its dramatic exit. "I feel absolutely fine now, but it has not sunk in yet that I could have had a twin brother," said Gavin Hyatt. "I have him in a jar at home, and I call him little Gav. I haven't told many people. I feel like a bit of a freak." (The Sun)

Nice Try, But You Can't Predict Irrationality

A Denver inventor hopes to help men with their relationships with a new iPhone app that will track your partner's menstrual cycle. The PMS Buddy will send you an e-mail reminder when that special time of the month rolls around. "Just having that awareness, we hope, will lend to fewer arguments," said the app's creator Jordan Eisenberg. His site also advises that "flowers are the kryptonite to PMS." (

Overpowered By Funk

Think twice before you clean out the petri dishes in your office refrigerator. A helpful employee in a San Jose office building sent seven of her co-workers to hospital last week after deciding it was time to clean out the funky mess inside the lunch room fridge. After removing all of the moldy old food containers and then attacking the fridge with cleaning chemicals, the resulting odor was so noxious that the building had to be evacuated while a hazmat crew disposed of the mess. In total, 28 people were sick and nauseated while seven people were hospitalized. Authorities said that the worker who cleaned the fridge wasn't affected because she has no sense of smell. (Yahoo News)

Internet Fact of the Week

There is no Japanese version of The Apprentice because Donald Trump's catch-phrase "you're fired" roughly translates as "off with your head" in Japanese. :

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