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JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF INSANITY • DUST IS GO OD FOOD • DID WE SAY APHRODISIAC OR APPETIZER? • EAT, LIKE, A PIG • DO YOU SLEEP IN YOUR UNDERWEAR, OR SOM

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JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF INSANITY

A few months ago, I reported on the 2007 North Pole Inner Earth Expedition, which had hoped to cruise up to the Arctic in order to find out if there is another civilization living inside the Hollow Earth. Well, if you missed your chance to spend that extra $20,000 you have lying around on a ticket aboard the vessel, there is good news, as the trip has been postponed until the summer of 2008. This time next year, Kentucky-based physicist and futurist Brooks Agnew will be taking a gang of believers and a documentary film crew aboard the Russian icebreaker Yamil in order to search for whatever beings live inside our planet. And to warm you up for your summer adventure, check out a book called World Top Secret: Our Earth is Hollow! in which the author claims that the hollow Earth is home to the Lost Tribes of Israel who live for hundreds of years and protect their hidden world with flying saucers. Fun! Learn more than you ever wanted to know at OurHollowEarth.com.

DUST IS GOOD FOOD

Another year, another round of college students testing the urban legend of the five-second rule, which claims that food dropped on the ground is safe to eat if picked up within five seconds. This time, it was two biology students at Connecticut College who discovered that it takes at least a full minute for food to pick up any germs at all, and some food takes up to five minutes to pick up bacteria from the ground. So go ahead and eat that slop on the ground. (The Virginian-Pilot)

DID WE SAY APHRODISIAC OR APPETIZER?

A survey of Italian women found that salami was their favorite aphrodisiac, followed closely by a good piece of cheese. (UPI)

CHEAP GAS IS GONE, CHEAP BOOZE IS NEXT

I guess it's a good thing that alternative fuels are finally being developed, but are we really willing to give up our cheap beer and tequila in order to help the environment? Two separate reports this week claim that the growing popularity of ethanol and biodiesel will bring increased alcohol prices as farmers convert fields to grow the more profitable crop. In Mexico, farmers have been torching their blue agave fields (agave is the cactus-like plant used to make tequila) in order to replant them with corn to supply the growing demand for ethanol in the United States. The expected shortfall of agave will mean increasing tequila prices in the near future. Meanwhile in Germany, farmers are abandoning barley—the raw material for beer—in order to grow subsidized crops to produce biofuels. This has led to the price of barley doubling in the past two years and the price of beer beginning to creep upwards, causing a mild panic among Germans. "Beer prices are a very emotional issue in Germany—people expect it to be as inexpensive as other basic staples like eggs, bread and milk," said one brewer who plans on sticking with the more traditional crop. (MSNBC.com)

EAT, LIKE, A PIG

Perennial extreme-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi has seen one of his world records go down in flames as young up-and-comer Joey Chestnut, 23, managed to force down 59 and a half hot dogs during an eating championship in Arizona last week. And if that fact doesn't make the vomit rise up in your throat, maybe it's time for you to join the International Federation of Competitive Eating and finally fulfill your lifelong dream of eating your way to fame and fortune. Check out the Major League Eating circuit at IFOCE.com.

DO YOU SLEEP IN YOUR UNDERWEAR, OR SOMEONE ELSE'S?

A Japanese man was arrested last week after stealing over 8,000 pieces of women's clothing (including over 2,000 pieces of lingerie) so that he could sleep buried in them. The man confessed to the crime, telling police officers that he liked the smell and got a thrill out of sleeping in a massive hill of panties. (TV3.co.nz)

MEOW, HACK, GAG, MEOW

In what I suppose must be the first study done on the effects of secondhand smoke on cats, Dr. Antony Moore of Tufts University in Massachusetts found that cats exposed to secondhand smoke had more than double the risk of acquiring feline lymphoma (cat cancer) than cats not exposed to smoke. The risk quadrupled in two-smoker households. (BBC)

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