MOST USELESS PLAN FOR WORLD PEACE
In August, we learned that yogic flyers would bring peace to the Middle East by building a "shield of invincibility" around Israel. This scheme is based upon the mathematics of Transcendental Meditation, which claims that if a number of people equal to the square root of 1 percent of a country's population can all meditate together, they will affect the collective consciousness of the area enough to end all war. Based on that logic, the Israeli contingent of yogic flyers needs about 265 people to build their shield. So far, 20 are on board... Good luck! (Yahoo News)
MOST PROFITABLE DREAM
A British man who placed a sports bet based on a dream he had won £25,000 (almost $45,000) after his dream about a football match came true in February. Back in 2005, Adrian Hayward dreamt in which Liverpool's Xabi Alonso scored a goal from his own half of the field. After the dream, he checked out the odds against such a freaky goal being scored and decided to place a £200 bet with odds of 125-1 that Alonso would score a goal from his own half of the field before the season ended. "I've never placed such a large bet before, but I had a feeling about it," said Hayward, while his bookie told reporters that "when he placed the bet, we thought it was the easiest £200 we had ever made." Not so ... Hayward ended up walking away with the £25,000 after Alonso scored the magical goal during an FA Cup football match. (BBC)
WORST NAME CHANGE
From the "You'll Never Get Laid Again" files came news earlier this year that 19-year-old Chris Garnett, a youth outreach coordinator for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), changed his name to KentuckyFriedCruelty.com. Not surprisingly, his parents still insist on calling him "Chris."
MOST SPOILED CITIZENS
Usually you associate the negatives of living in a big city with things like noise pollution, smells, traffic and higher criminal activity. But not for the citizens of Shanghai. A survey carried out in November revealed that the most irritating aspect of living in that city is people wearing pajamas in public. Other top irritants for the citizens of Shanghai include aggressive pets and unhelpful neighbors. (Reuters)
MOST POINTLESS DOOMSDAY PREDICTION
In November, astronomers from Russia's Academy of Sciences released an absolutely pointless doomsday warning about an asteroid which may or may not hit the Earth in the year 2035. Apparently we won't know for sure for another 20-something years. "We cannot exclude the possibility that the asteroid, which is now orbiting the Sun, will collide with the Earth in 2035," said the observatory's spokesman. "But it will be only in 2028 that we will be able to determine the danger level." (Mosnews.com)
BOOK TITLE OF THE YEAR
2006 saw the publication of a book called "0.1361015212836455566789110512013615..." That title is curious enough, but even better is this short description I found in a book review: "A martial arts instructor by day, not even a science fiction fan, Tyrone Vadas has been receiving strange visits lately from a gargantuan alien with numerous undulating appendages. The alien returns every night attempting to give Tyrone a special gift. But he doesn't want it. Then the numbers begin. They go on and on and never seem to end. Will Tyrone ever accept the alien's gift?
BEST NEWS FOR JAILBIRDS
Great news! You can now scratch "getting raped in prison" off your "things to fear" list. Despite what you've seen in the movies, a government-sponsored study released last January concluded that rape and sexual assault behind bars is rare in real life. When inmates have sex, says the author of the study, "it is usually by choice, and often engaged in as a way to win protection or privileges." After interviewing 564 randomly chosen inmates across the U.S., cultural anthropologist Mark Fleisher says that he never met a single prisoner who claimed to be a victim of sexual violence. (Associated Press)
MOST OBVIOUS NEWSFLASH
People who research these kinds of things claim that the more time you spend surfing the Web, the shorter your attention span gets. They claim that the attention span of heavy Internet users is about nine seconds--the same attention span as that of a goldfish. (BBC)
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