MAY OR MAY NOT BE A CHEESY PUBLICITY STUNT • 

MAY OR MAY NOT BE A CHEESY PUBLICITY STUNT

Here's a quick update on last week's story about the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich that was up for auction on eBay. An Internet casino walked away with the "prize" for the whopping sum of $28,000. Goldenplace.com said that they would take the sandwich on a world tour and then sell it and give the money to charity. "We believe that everyone should be able to see it and learn of its mystical power for themselves," said CEO Richard Rowe, apparently with a straight face. After the immense publicity of this bizarre auction, one quick-thinking entrepreneur has started selling a "Virgin Mary" sandwich toaster, the item's description includes the caveat "may or may not reproduce the Virgin Mary image." (BBC)

FOLLOWED BY A RECORD-BREAKING

World hot dog-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi, who has smashed the world record each of the last four years at Coney Island's famous annual challenge (his record now sits at 53 hot dogs in 12 minutes), has silenced the critics who said that he was "just a hot dog eater" by easily winning the Krystal World Hamburger Eating contest last week. Kobayashi left all comers in the dust by hoovering 69 hamburgers in eight minutes. (NY Post)

AS FAR FROM THE TOP 40 AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY GET

If you're into weird music you have to check out the 365 Days Project at www.ubu.com. Kind of like an online museum of bizarro tunes, the folks at the 365 Days Project posted one very strange MP3 every day for all of 2003. This collection includes all kinds of crazy amusements, everything from Cambodian yodellers to creepy extreme Christians to seriously bad street musicians to poorly executed home recordings and even a taping of a radio program that deciphers the rantings of Satan when you listen to "Stairway to Heaven" backwards. And, as they say, much, much more. Turn up your speakers and point your browser to www.ubu.com.

THE UGLY TRUTH

A University of Alberta professor is trying to spread a branch of psychoanalysis called Lacanian theory, which postulates that the ego is a creation of the unconscious mind, and that we organize our lives and thoughts in order to protect the ego from the reality that we are not nearly as intelligent or attractive as we think we are. In a presentation titled "Half the People in This Room are Homelier Than Average", Professor Doug Aoki explained that most of us are living under the illusion that we are good looking and reasonably smart, when, in fact (and by definition), most of us are merely average. Aoki, who admits that he is only a mediocre scholar, has drawn flack from his colleagues for his insistence that even the academic world is full of self-important egomaniacs. "Everyone [in the university] has got a PhD," he explains, "you know damn well there are brilliant people and there are idiots who have PhDs." (Edmonton Journal)

INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE

The folks at the Time Travel Institute have set up a Time Travel Fund in which you can invest 10 bucks in order to be "retrieved" by people in the future after time travel is perfected. The Time Travel Institute will add your cash to their trust fund, which they say will grow into an enormous chunk of cash thanks to compound interest over hundreds of years. Then, the future custodians of the fund will come back to the early 2000s and bring you to their future. On their Web site they promise that this is not a joke, a scam or a cult. "If it were a scam we would be asking for a lot more than ten bucks," they claim. Of course, if it were a scam they would tell you it was a scam, right? Go blow your cash at www.timetravelfund.com.

ABNORMALLY LARGE PROBLEM

"Do you have an abnormally large male genital? Have you been injured by one in the recent past?" So begins the homepage of the Large Penis Support Group at www.lpsg.org. Did you know that 1.5 percent of home accidents are caused by "large penis related incidents?" Use your imagination, if you must. "A large penis is a friend as well as a foe. Treat it as such," they add, and offer group support for "owners, users, and spectators of large penises." But before you zip over there, be warned that this site is sorely lacking in helpful graphics. :

Get more bizarre news at www.curioustimes.com.

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