October 26, 2005 

I READ SOME GOOD NEWS ABOUT POT ... I JUST CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS

While America's drug war tries to keep ganja out of human hands, lab rats are scoring copious amounts of medicinal-grade marijuana. And it's good news for the rest of us stoneheads ... the latest round of research carried out at the University of Saskatchewan has found that pot may actually stimulate the growth of new brain cells and reduce depression and anxiety. The experiments injected the rats with high doses of the artificial cannabinoid HU210 and discovered that the drug caused neurons to regenerate in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that regulates moods and emotions. The effect was similar to the drug Prozac, with the rats becoming less anxious and more willing to eat in environments that would normally frighten them. The researchers also stated that their experiments seem to back up previous studies, which showed that marijuana helps ease the effects of pain, nausea, tumors, epilepsy, stroke and a variety of other medical disorders. Cannabinoids are the only illicit drug which has been shown to regenerate brain cells. All other drugs, including alcohol, heroin, cocaine and nicotine, destroy nerve cells in the hippocampus. (New Scientist)

THEY'LL BE ON THE STREET BEGGING FOR NUTS THIS WINTER

While lab rats enjoy the quality-controlled highs of science, squirrels in Britain and America are getting hooked on crack. Crack squirrels are supposedly common in New York and Washington, D.C., where they live in parks frequented by addicts and root out rocks of crack which dealers hide in the park. The phenomena has now spread to Brixton, England, where a recent crackdown on dealers has moved the drugs from the city core to more residential neighborhoods, and squirrels have been spotted hunting for stashes that have been hidden in the front lawns and gardens of unsuspecting residents. (South London Press)

THAT BULGE IN MY PANTS IS A FAT WALLET

I can't really come out and condone learning how to embezzle large sums of money from your company, but you have to admit it's an effective way to score chicks after you're way over the hill. Like the recent news out of Japan, where a 56-year-old balding, pudgy, married grandfather managed to keep a harem of 17 mistresses thanks to the 1.9 billion yen he funnelled from his company's coffers over the past 30 years. Masaki Matsubayashi has been dubbed "Cashanova" by the Japanese press after his exploits were discovered by tax investigators. After his arrest he expressed no remorse, telling police, "I wanted as many sex partners as I could get ... I want more new women ... Sex pleases me more than anything else in the whole world. It's what I live for. I don't feel guilty at all." (Mainichi Daily News)

ONE LESS WAY TO DIE

Here's some useful survival knowledge for the next time you find yourself trapped in quicksand. According to scientists, quicksand cannot actually kill you by pulling you all the way under. According to lab experiments done by experts in soil mechanics (a dream job if I ever heard of one), the possibility of begin sucked under are exactly nil. "The real danger of quicksand is that you can get stuck in it when the high tides come up," said one of the researchers, claiming that if you wait long enough, the sand particles will settle beneath you and push you back out. Of course, these lab geeks haven't mustered up the courage to actually try this out in the jungle with a real human, so we'll have to take their word on it for now. (Nature)

THE WORLD'S LEAST SEXY RECORD

The age-old question of why men have nipples has finally been answered. It's so they can break disgusting records like the one for the world's longest nipple hair. Tyler Ing of London now holds this dubious honor after the fine folks from Guinness came to measure his unruly growth and found that his 8.89 centimeter nipple hair was enough to take down all other contenders. (London Free Press)

"I READ IT ON THE INTERNET SO IT MUST BE TRUE" FACT OF THE WEEK

The fear of the number 666 is called Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.

Get waaaay more bizarro news at www.curioustimes.com.

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