WHO TURNED UP THE HEAT
Yes, it seems as if human activity is driving climate change, but what if it isn't? What's the point of blowing trillions of dollars trying to make the weather conform to our preferences if climate change is simply the result of a natural warming cycle of the Earth over many thousands of years? Or what if it's caused the solar output of the sun? How are we going to change that? Or what if, as Danish weather scientist Henrick Svensmark believes, high-energy cosmic rays originating from stars billions of miles away are causing the warming of our planet? The theory is outlined in his new book, The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, and claims that fluctuations in the number of cosmic rays that hit our atmosphere directly affect the amount of cloud cover over our planet. Thanks to fewer cosmic rays in the past few years, fewer high level clouds are reflecting sunlight back into space, and so the Earth is naturally experiencing a period of warming. "Humans are having an effect on climate change," says Svensmark, "but by not including the cosmic ray effect in models, it means the results are inaccurate. The size of man's impact may be much smaller, and so the man-made change is happening slower than predicted." (The Telegraph)
DON'T GO TO SLEEP HIGH
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the sleeping pill Stilnox has been causing extremely unusual behavior in Australians since the drug came to market in 2000. The Federal Health Department in that country has received 104 reports of hallucinations, 62 reports of amnesia and 16 reports of random strangeness, including a woman who woke up to find that she had been painting the house during her sleep, a woman who gained 23 kilograms (50 pounds) over seven months because she had been binge eating during her sleep and two patients who went for a drive while still asleep after taking the drug.
ALL YOU CAN EAt ... and then some
Japan's newest competitive eating superstar is Natsuko Sone, a tiny 21-year-old woman who stands just 5-foot-4-inches and weighs only 95 pounds, but can eat up to 20 pounds of food in one sitting. She rose to fame in 2005 when she beat out all the other female competitors on the "Gluttonous King" TV show. Check out the video at YouTube where she eats a bowl of food the size of a wheelbarrow and gains over 15 pounds in one meal. (Wired.com)
LOST IN TRANSLATION
A 76-year-old Malaysian woman who got on the wrong bus 25 years ago and ended up homeless over 2,000 km away has finally been reunited with her family. In 1982 the woman hopped on a bus, which she thought was going to a Malay-speaking Muslim province in southern Thailand. Instead, she ended up 1,200 km away in Bangkok. She then boarded another bus, which she thought would take her back south only to end up another 700 km away in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. Speaking not a word of Thai, the woman lived as a beggar for five years before being arrested and sent to a homeless centre. Twenty years later the truth of her origins were discovered when Malay-speaking social workers happened to discover the misplaced woman and sent her home to her eight children, who had been told that their mother had been run over by a train. (Reuters)
A Consumer Reports taste test of fast-food coffees claims that McDonald's sells the best cup of java. With its cheap cup of "decent and moderately strong" coffee, McD's beat out Dunkin' Donuts ("weak, watery and pricier"), Burger King ("looked like coffee but tasted more like hot water") and even heavyweight Starbucks, which was rated as too expensive and, according to the judges, "burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water." (Seattle Times)
1982 all over again
Oh, and if your New Year's Resolution was to finally figure out how to solve the Rubik's Cube, there are handy instructions at ChessAndPoker.com/rubiks-cube-solution.html.
I-READ-IT-ON-THE-INTERNET-SO-IT-MUST-BE-TRUE FACT OF THE WEEK
Americans eat an average of 18 acres of pizza every day. :
Get way more bizarro news at CuriousTimes.com.