How to Star in Your OWN SCI-FI Horror Flick
Brain scientists continue to get into more and more freaky experiments. Last year, we learned of work on a "trauma pill," which would erase bad memories from your mind. The latest experiments have successfully used drugs to erase single memories from the brains of rats while leaving other memories intact. Scientists hope these drugs will eventually be able to "cure" people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Meanwhile, scientists in Germany, Britain and Japan have successfully figured out how to read minds by using computers to decipher brain scans of the subjects. When given the option of thinking about addition or subtraction, scientists were able to figure out what the subjects were thinking 70 percent of the time. And, finally, a new study found that zapping your brain with electric currents while you are dreaming can boost your memory by 8 percent. Of course, it will probably also shrivel up your genitals, but hey, that's the price of progress. (BBC/Nature/New Scientist)
BLAME THE MOON An article in UK's Independent rounded up over 50 research papers that studied the effect of the moon on human behavior and concluded that, for reasons entirely inexplicable, the phases of the moon do indeed wield an influence over us. Among the findings are these stats: Visits to doctors go up by 3.6 percent during a full moon; gout and asthma attacks peak during new and full moons; the birthrate climbs every 29.53 days (the length of the lunar cycle) with human fertility peaking in the week before a full moon; aggravated assaults and other crime rates rise around the period of a full moon; car accidents are lowest on a full-moon day but rise during the waxing and waning periods; and people eat an average of 8 percent more food during a full moon as compared to a new moon, but drink 26 percent less alcohol. Researchers also found links between moon cycles and heart and bladder problems, spontaneous abortions and thyroid disease.
WHY DIE NORMAL?
If you're going to die anyway, you might as well go out with such bizarre style that you make it onto the "Strangest Deaths in History" list. Need ideas? Check out Neatorama.com for some fun tales of expiration, such as death by beard, death by dessert, death by robot, death on the toilet, death by cactus, death by bottle cap, death from holding pee in, death by giant umbrellas and death by drowning at a lifeguards' party. Top that!
what's next? COFFEE WITHOUT CAFFEINE?
A European company has created what it hopes will be the next-generation cigarette, a smokeless plastic contraption that vaporizes tobacco instead of burning it in order to loophole around public smoking laws. The NicStic claims to have enough nicotine to give you your buzz without the tar, arsenic, cadmium and formaldehyde in whatever you're smoking now. Unfortunately, it's tough to properly re-create a sensual habit. One tester said the NicStic was "without any taste" and had "no kick whatsoever." (NicStic.com)
POINTs FOR VEGETARIANISM
New Scientist magazine reports that the Food and Drug Administration has approved spraying a cocktail of six live viruses onto pre-packaged meat as a food additive. The viruses will, hopefully, kill a type of bacteria which sometimes grows on cold meat and can cause food poisoning and death. However, the report doesn't sound entirely convincing, claiming only that the viruses "should" be safe for humans. Sounds delicious ...
is the cure UP YOUR ASS?
I don't claim to have the answers to your psychological problems, but I'm quite sure that being sexually assaulted with a toilet brush isn't going to solve them. But I guess I don't know what Dr. Juan Ernesto Tejeda Rosario knows. He's a 63-year-old psychiatrist who has been banished from ever practicing his bizarre style of therapy again after several charges of sexual assault were brought against him by two male patients. And yes, unfortunately, the toilet brush incident was one of them. Sorry to plant that image in your brain, but that's the risk you take when you choose to read this column. (CBC)
I-READ-IT-ON-THE-INTERNET-SO-IT-MUST-BE-TRUE FACT OF THE WEEK
People who drink coffee are less likely to commit suicide than people who don't. :
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