SOMEDAY SCIENCE WILL SAVE THE WORLD ...
The 18th Annual Ig Noble Awards were handed out last week to honor some of the most bizarre scientific research of the year. The big winners for 2008 include the prize in economics that went to the psychologists who discovered that strippers earn better tips while they are ovulating; the prize in biology for researchers who discovered that fleas who live on dogs are better jumpers than fleas who live on cats; the prize for literature went to a study of mean co-workers called, "You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation Within Organizations"; the prize in medicine went to the doctors who found that expensive fake medicine works better than cheap fake medicine; and the prize in chemistry was shared by a team of American researchers who found that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide and a team from Taiwan who found that it is not. The complete list of winners is at improbable.com where they claim that the awards were created to "celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative—and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology."
THIS IS GONNA HURT
Every year, we get at least one story about a dentist who snaps. This year, our horror story comes from the town of Neu-Ulm, Germany, where a dentist made a special house call to a patient whose insurance company didn't pay for her dental work. According to police reports, the dentist arrived at her house with his equipment, forced her into the living room, tied her hands and forced open her mouth in order to remove two dental bridges worth about $650. According to the victim, he never said a single word the entire time. (The Telegraph)
ARE you REALLY AS SMART AS YOU THINK YOU ARE?
If you've got an idea that might change the world but you don't have any cash to implement it, check out Google's new project, which is offering $10 million for the best ideas that will "change the world by helping as many people as possible." All the info you need is at project10tothe100.com where you can submit your big idea online until Oct. 20. Categories include community, energy, environment, health, education, shelter and "everything else."
DON'T LET A MAN WITH A KNIFE NEAR YOUR PENIS
As traumatic as dental revenge might be, that's still nothing compared to the Tennessee man who has taken his surgeons to court for amputating his penis without his permission. Philip Seaton, 61, went into the operating room for a circumcision but when the doctors thought they discovered a life-threatening cancer on his willy, they decided to take the drastic step of amputation in order to save the man's life. Now Seaton is suing for mental anguish, pain and his loss of enjoyment for life itself. (Ananova)
ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS
The new Maoist government of Nepal has appointed 6-year-old Shreeya Bajracharya as that country's latest "living goddess," a position that keeps the girl isolated in the temple town of Bhaktapur where she will be worshiped by Nepal's Hindus and Buddhists. The girl was chosen for possessing the 32 beautiful physical attributes required for the position, including having "eyelashes like a cow" and a "voice as soft and clear as a duck." The girl will live a life of privilege until the onset of menstruation when she loses her status as a living goddess and is forced into an early retirement. (BBC)
COVER YOUR CHEATIN' ASS
A Russian company is doing brisk business creating elaborate excuses for men and women who are trying to cover up their indiscretions. The company, Alibi, will arrange a wide variety of intricate plots to help their clients, from helping a wife or husband cover up an affair to creating fake weddings for women who need to satisfy their family. Although the firm charges between $500 and $1,000 for each alibi, director Dmitri Petrov claims that he and his partners are only in this for the fun and excitement of the game. Surprisingly, the majority of his clients are women who need to cover up an affair. "It's not a one-night stand alibi they usually want," says Petrov, "but a full-blown week in Turkey." (BBC)
INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK
Ninety-one percent of adults pick their noses on a regular basis and 8 percent of those people eat their pickings.
More bizarro news at curioustimes.com.