Curious Times 

EITHER TV MAKES YOU

STUPID OR STUPID PEOPLE WATCH MORE TV

Three separate studies have recently been completed and all three point to the conclusion that the more television you watched as a child, the less intelligent you probably are (at least in terms of academic achievement). The longest-running study was carried out at the University of Otago in New Zealand and monitored 1,000 children from the age of 5 to 15, comparing them again at the age of 26. The research found that the children who watched the least TV between the ages of 5 and 11 were most likely to graduate from university, while those who watched the most TV between the ages of 13 and 15 were most likely to drop out of high school. Two other studies from the United States reached similar conclusions, finding that third-grade pupils with televisions in their bedrooms consistently scored lower on standardized tests and children who started watching TV before the age of three had lower math and reading scores. (news.com.au)

AT LEAST WE THINK IT'S A DOG

It has to be seen to be believed ... go to CuriousTimes.com and check out a photo of Sam the dog, who took his third consecutive championship title at the World's Ugliest Dog competition down in California last week. "He's so ugly, even the judges recoiled when he was placed on the judging table," gushed Sam's owner. (Santa Barbara News Press)

WE ONLY TELL YOU WHAT WE WANT YOU TO HEAR

By now I hope you take every new scientific study you read with a ton of salt, considering that most research these days is funded by corporations entirely uninterested in objective science. And if that isn't bad enough, the first ever large-scale survey of several thousand American scientists found that one third of them admit to having carried out dishonest research practices. The study found that 6 percent of researchers had failed to present data which contradicted their conclusions, 15 percent ignored data based on a gut feeling that it was wrong, and 15.5 percent had changed the design, methodology or results of a study due to pressure from a funding source. (Nature)

A MONSTER OF AN

INSURANCE POLICY

The organizers of Scotland's largest triathlon have taken out insurance to protect the athletes from the Loch Ness Monster in next week's competition. The £1 million insurance policy will be paid out if Nessie bites or attacks any of the athletes during the swimming portion of the event, which will be held in Loch Ness's Urquhart Bay, the location of many of the most famous sightings of the sea serpent. "With so many top athletes in the water of Loch Ness at one time, we couldn't take the risk of one of them being attacked by Nessie," said one of the organizers of the event. The competitors will all be very psyched up and very driven, so there's going to be a lot of noise and a lot of splashing going on, just the sort of thing that might annoy a prehistoric lake monster. Or even worse, give it an appetite. However, the geeks over at the Loch Ness Monster Fan Club weren't impressed with the news. "Everyone knows she is friendly; she has been present in the loch for centuries and never hurt a soul in all that time," said the club's chairman Gary Campbell. (The Guardian)

OF COURSE, IT'S NOT A

SECRET IF IT'S SLAPPED UP ON A WEB SITE

If you're hiding a deep dark secret which you desperately would like to share with someone (or better yet, if you want to read other people's deep dark secrets), there is a brilliant Web site where thousands of people have sent in postcards expressing one of their long-hidden secrets. Not only is this an interesting peek into the psyches of those around you, but the postcards themselves are each quite unique works of art. Check it out at www.postsecrets.com.

HOT DOG!

World hot dog eating champion and world record holder Takeru Koyayashi won his fifth consecutive Mustard Yellow Belt at the infamous Coney Island hot dog eating championships held every Fourth of July. The five-foot-seven, 144-pound dynamo beat competitors twice his size by polishing off 49 frankfurters in 12 minutes, just a few dogs shy of his world record mark of 53.5 hot dogs which he set at last year's competition. (sky.com)

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