March 15, 2006 


The Nigerian government has launched an educational campaign urging people not to panic during the upcoming solar eclipse that will darken some parts of that country on March 29. An eclipse five years ago sparked riots in the northern Nigerian state of Borno with many blaming "evil people" for the darkening of the skies. The government advises that citizens may feel "psychological discomfort" during the eclipse but assures them that no real damage will be done. (Yahoo News)


A couple in Massachusetts has lost their lawsuit asking for compensation due to "loss of companionship" after a neighbor's dog killed their seven pet sheep. The judge ruled that the legal definition of "companionship" only referred to humans, but the couple argued that the sheep were their "babies." According to court testimony, the husband and wife team spent six to seven hours a day with their sheep, gave them names, celebrated their birthdays with special food and balloons, baked snacks for them, bottle-fed them and let them live in their house whenever the sheep got bored of the backyard. (Springfield Union-News)


India's Uttar Predesh Cow Protection Commission has advised people that holy cow dung may be able to help protect them from the effects of radiation burn and nuclear fallout in the event of a nuclear war with Pakistan. The commission, which normally focuses on preventing the eating of India's holy cows and promoting the use of cow dung and urine as medicinal agents, has now included protection from nuclear war on its list of magical powers that cow shit possesses. "Even if the enemy carries out the threat to bomb us with nukes, we don't have to panic. You can fully protect yourselves by covering the roof with cow dung. Applying cow dung paste to the body from head to toe will serve as an extra shield," promises a spokesman from the group. (Eightball Magazine)


A computer programmer in Thailand has created an incredibly popular piece of software that repels mosquitoes by emitting sound waves through the computer speakers to annoy pests. The original software was so popular, being downloaded over 50,000 times in the first three days, that he decided to upgrade the software to also repel cockroaches and rats. The upgraded software is called Anti-Mal 2.0, and can be downloaded at Despite some complaints from users that the original software caused headaches, he claims that the frequencies used on the new program for rats and cockroaches are undetectable by humans and dogs. (CNN)


A Spanish inventor claims to have deciphered the screams of babies and has created an electronic device that will tell parents why their child is crying. Pedro Monaga says he has studied over 100 babies, including his own, and has identified five distinct types of crying, indicating whether a baby is hungry, bored, tired, stressed or uncomfortable. His gadget, called "Why Cry," will begin selling in Spain this month for about $93. (Reuters)


The Pentagon has launched a bizarre series of medical experiments in its effort to find ways to keep soldiers and pilots awake and alert for up to five days at a time. Along with the much-publicized "go pills" (amphetamines) that are already routinely given to Army and Air Force personnel, the mission to create an "Extended Performance War Fighter" includes employing advanced genetics and neurological science to keep fighters awake. One of the strangest technologies in development is an electromagnetic "zapper," which could keep a human brain awake. Research at Columbia University in New York has found that there is a small area of the brain above the left ear that can be zapped with electromagnetic energy in order to keep a person awake and alert. Before and during missions, pilots and soldiers could simply be zapped, and their need for sleep would be greatly diminished. (The Telegraph)


In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an "Honorary Harlem Globetrotter."

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