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REMIND ME TO WRITE A HEADLINE FOR THIS BLURB •WHO DOESN'T DREAM OF DIVORCE? •COCK-A-DOODLE-ALLAH•OPERATION PERPETUAL WARFARE•FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY•DON'T ANSWER CALLS FROM THE NUMBER "666"

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REMIND ME TO WRITE A HEADLINE FOR THIS BLURB

Scientists at the University of California are baffled by a woman who seems to have perfect memory and is able to recall even minor details about virtually every day of her life. A team of researchers from the fields of psychiatry and neurology have been studying a woman identified only as "AJ" for almost six years now and are left without a single theory as to why she is able to recall such a vast amount of unimportant information. Give AJ any date, say the researchers, and she will be able to tell you how the weather was that day, personal details about what she did that day and any news events which happened that day. The most fascinating thing about AJ is that she is, as they say, a "fully functioning person," unlike some savants who are able to remember every single detail about some subject but are unable to lead normal lives. For now, the condition remains a complete mystery, but at least the researchers have come up with a name for the disorder, calling it "hyperthymestic syndrome," from the Greek words thymesis (remember) and hyper (more than normal). (ABC News)

WHO DOESN'T DREAM OF DIVORCE?

A Muslim man in India has been ordered to leave his wife after he accidentally divorced her in his sleep. Under Islamic law a husband simply needs to say "I divorce you" three times in order to make it official, and this is precisely what Aftab Ansari did, although he was sleeping at the time. His wife heard the words and discussed her worries with her friends, who went and blabbed the gossip to village elders who have declared that the sleepy pronouncement would stick and that the couple must now part for at least 100 days and the wife would have to spend a night with at least one other man and be divorced by him as well before the couple could remarry. For now, the couple has been ostracized for refusing to follow the ruling. "I have not given talaq," said Ansari. "When I uttered talaq three times I had taken medicines to help me sleep." (Yahoo News)

COCK-A-DOODLE-ALLAH

Last week we learned about a talking budgie which predicted its own death. This week a bird saved itself from death by speaking the word "Allah" to his shocked owner. A 2-year-old rooster in Kyrgyzstan who was mere moments away from having his head lobbed off and being prepared for dinner saved itself with loud aggressive crowing which the bird's owner claimed sounded like the bird screaming "Allah, Allah." So, rather than have the bird for dinner, he spared the bird's life, recorded the scream on his mobile phone, and is now making the media circuit in Central Asia. (BBC)

OPERATION PERPETUAL WARFARE

And now, from the "American Military Operation Name Generating Device," comes the Curious Times top five randomly generated operation names for America's next military conflict: 5. Operation Hot Under The Collar Foreign Policy; 4. Operation Combustible Scapegoat; 3. Operation Eternal Gecko; 2. Operation Provoked Frenzy; 1. Operation Outraged Rain of Burning Death. Don't like 'em? Get your own at www.ftrain.com.

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Italian inventor Daniela Mannu has created a board game in which players take on the role of penniless immigrant prostitutes enslaved by the Italian mafia. Puttanopoly, which roughly translates as "Whoresville," is being launched as an educational game by The Committee for Prostitutes Civil Rights in order to help raise awareness of the growing problem of sex slavery. In Puttanopoly, each player begins the game under a "slavery contract" which forces them to pay about 90 percent of their earnings to pimps. The players then try to dig their way out of misery (usually through a fortunate twist of luck), but usually end up in jail in the hospital, or dead. (The Guardian)

DON'T ANSWER CALLS FROM THE NUMBER "666"

Authorities in the eastern Indian state of Orissa are trying to squash an urban myth which claims that "devil calls" from certain phone numbers will either cause your cellphone to explode or curse you with illness and death. While the rumor is causing a minor panic in that state, the police have tried to assure everybody that it is simply a hoax which has gotten out of control. "We investigated and found out that no one was dead nor anybody taken ill. It was all rubbish," promised a spokesperson. (AFP)

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