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Curious Times

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IN LOVE OR INSANE?

New research with brain scans carried out at the University of Pennsylvania has discovered that the brain activity of people who are falling in love is nearly identical to those suffering from mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. In the study, Dr. Andrew Newberg found that the exact same areas of the brain are stimulated by falling in love as by addictions to food or drugs. He concluded his report by calling love "life's greatest addiction," noting that people can get so addicted to love that they will commit suicide if they are dumped, but that drug addicts rarely kill themselves if they don't get their drugs. (newsnet5.com)

WORK IS FOR SUCKERS (IN ASIA)

If you notice my spelling getting progressively worse and my grammar reduced to the level of a slightly retarded 8-year-old in the next few weeks, it's because I've come across a cunning plan to outsource the writing of this column to some desperate schmoe somewhere in Asia. This idea comes from the Weekly World News, where a news story under the headline "Outsource Your Own Job! Then Goof Off All Day And Still Get Paid," suggests beating your boss to the punch by outsourcing your own job to a worker in Pakistan who will do your job for about 10 percent of what you get paid. Then you can kick back, relax and spend all day chatting with pals on-line, playing video games, cruising the net for porn or whatever suits your fancy-while your clueless boss thinks you're slaving away in your cubicle. Brilliant ...

ONE MAN'S TRASH IS ANOTHER MAN'S EBAY LISTING

The crap you can buy on eBay keeps getting more pointless. For example, last week $200 would have bought you what may turn out to be the world's longest french fry. The 8-inch-long mutant fry sold for $197.50 after a bartender in Iowa found the fry on an unfinished plate of food. "I can't believe it didn't break," said the shocked mother of two, who has contacted the folks at the Guinness Book of Records for possible inclusion in the record books. The current record for world's longest fry stands at a limp 6-3/4 inches. (gazetteonline.com)

PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED, ORIGINAL OWNER, HIGH MILEAGE

Speaking of 6-3/4 inch-long things for sale, a Romanian man says he has decided to sell his penis because he needs the money more than he needs to ever have sex again. "I saw on TV that a doctor cut a patient's penis by mistake and I thought that man might be interested to buy mine," said 33-year-old Constantin Dugulan. "I am not sure this operation is possible but if it is I am ready to give up my penis for a better life." (Gazeta Sud newspaper)

EVER GET THE FEELING YOU'RE JUST A BRAIN IN A LAB SOMEWHERE?

A partnership of mad scientists from IBM and a Swiss University has begun building the world's first computer simulation of an entire human brain. The Blue Brain project was started last Monday and hopes to recreate a human brain down to the molecular level over the next 10 years. The virtual brain will be used to allow scientists to observe the electrical code which our brains use to interpret the world. They hope that this knowledge will give them some insight into the mysteries of human perception, memory and consciousness, and hope the knowledge gained from observing the virtual brain will help them cure psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and depression. (New Scientist)

WHILE WEARING PINK IS GROUNDS FOR AUTOMATIC DISQUALIFICATION

Sports teams whose uniforms are predominantly red may have an advantage in competitions, according to new research from Durham University in the UK. After studying results in four Olympic sports where athletes were randomly assigned red or blue uniforms (boxing, taekwondo and wrestling) the researchers found that the athlete wearing red won in 62 percent of the matches. Further research found that in Euro 2004 soccer tournament teams with mostly red uniforms scored an average of one extra goal per game. The only theory the scientists have come up with so far is that wearing red might boost testosterone levels in athletes, or facing an opponent wearing red might subconsciously create a more submissive attitude in an athlete. (New Scientist)