CURIOUS TIMES MARCH 18 EDITION 

FAT, DEPRESSED, VIOLENT AND UNEMPLOYED IS NO WAY TO GO THROUGH LIFE, SON

How do you kick America when it's down? Create the "Misery Measure Index" and find the most miserable cities you could possibly live in. That's just what Forbes magazine has done by adding crime, unemployment, inflation and tax rates to other misery makers such as commute times, bad weather and proximity to toxic waste dumps in order to create the inaugural list of America's Most Miserable Cities. Not surprisingly, Detroit leads the list thanks to soaring violent crime and unemployment numbers. Stockton, Calif., is second and Flint, Mich., is third for the same reasons. America's two biggest cities also made the list with New York at fifth due to the longest commute times in the country coupled with the highest tax rates, while Los Angeles grabbed sixth thanks to terrible commutes, horrible air quality, high tax rates and toxic waste dumps just outside its city limits. Meanwhile, over at ABC News, they've compiled similar lists and declared that Portland, Ore., is home to America's unhappiest people and Miami has the country's fattest citizens.

CAFE LACTATE

Proving that there's no better cure for a recession than a couple of naked boobies, a new topless coffee shop in Maine has been flooded with business since they opened a few weeks ago. "I know what people want," bragged owner Donald Crabtree. "People like nudity, and coffee is profitable." (CNN)

THE BLUE PILL OF DEATH

United Kingdom's The Telegraph reports that drug gangs are switching from selling cocaine to selling fake Viagra in order to realize much higher profits and avoid stiffer jail terms for dealing in the cocaine trade. Fake Viagra is made from a cocktail of prescription drugs that can be sold for profit margins of as much as 2,000 times higher than hard drugs and sold to millions of buyers online, making it much less risky to deal. Of course, what's good for the pusher isn't good for the user. The fake Viagra is not only illegal but extremely dangerous as highlighted in a report out of Singapore last month, which claimed that the counterfeit drugs have killed four men and left three others in comas after just five months of taking the drugs.

KILLER PANCAKES

You probably thought pancakes were harmless, but tell that to the Russian man who died last week after winning a pancake-eating contest by downing 43 cream and banana stuffed pancakes before choking on a piece of pancake lodged in his throat. "He had really enjoyed the pancakes, but then he started foaming at the mouth and went down like a sack of stones," said a witness. (The Mirror)

BLISS IS IGNORANCE

Surprising results from experiments carried out at the New South Wales School of Psychology have found that people who are in a bad mood exhibit all-around better thinking skills than people who are happy. Two separate experiments seemed to show that people in bad moods make better eyewitnesses to events and are more effective at creating persuasive arguments. Among the many benefits of being in a bad mood are more reliable memory, better judgment, superior critical thinking and communication skills. "It shows that our recollection of past events are more likely to be contaminated by irrelevant information when we are in a positive mood," said the professor who led the research. "A positive mood is likely to trigger less careful thinking strategies." (medicalnewstoday.com)

EVERYTHING NEW IS OLD AGAIN

According to a cool article titled "11 'Modern' Technologies That Are Way Older Than You Think," the MP3 player was invented in 1979 by two guys who created a portable music player that contained a memory chip that could hold up to three and a half minutes of music; the car was first invented in 1769 when a Frenchman created a steam-engine-powered automobile that drove 2.5 mph; and the world's first video game was not 1973's Pong, but 1948's Cathode Ray Tub Amusement Device, created by physics professor Thomas Goldsmith Jr. (cracked.com)

INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK

More than two-thirds of Americans believe in hell, but only 1 percent believe that they will end up there.

Get way more bizarro news at curioustimes.com.

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