April 6, 2005 

DIRTY DEEDS DONE QUITE EXPENSIVELY

Of course, if you're like me, you probably don't want to get your hands dirty when it's time to off one of your enemies. That's why there are sites like "Hitman Professional Services," at www.hitman.us, where they promise customized contract killings started at about $50,000 per head. "We are the industry leader in innovative killing techniques and manage a network of freelance assassins on five continents," brags the Web site, adding that "a basic contract includes a simple killing that is traditionally accomplished by administering two rounds of ammunition, at close range, into the back of the head, through a silenced .32 caliber pistol. Typically the mark doesn't even feel a thing." That's so sweet... and adding to the feel-good nature of the modern hit, they also offer gift certificates and promise that their services have not been tested on animals.

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME (OR ANYWHERE ELSE, EVER)

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I miss the good old days when a story about a man chopping off his own penis and eating it had some shock value. Sigh... Just for the record then, I'll mention this story out of the Philippines where Ernesto Almonte, 40, is currently recovering and in stable condition after hacking off his penis and making himself a little snack out of it. After his recovery, Almonte is due for some psychiatric evaluations, as one doctor so astutely observed that "if you cut your sex organ and then eat it, then something is wrong with you." Indeed... (Hindustan Times)

HITLER'S BOMB

A German historian has released a new book which claims that Adolf Hitler was far closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon than commonly believed, even testing a "dirty bomb" during the last months of World War II. Rainer Karlsch, author of Hitler's Bomb, claims that a few dozen Nazi scientists built an atomic reactor near Berlin which was functional for a few weeks and was used to create what he describes as "hybrid tactical nuclear weapon" much smaller than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Using documents from Soviet and Western archives, measurements carried out at one of the test sites, and testimony from eyewitnesses who claimed to have lived through the explosions, Karlsch claims that the Nazis detonated at least two bombs, including a test blast on March 3, 1945, which killed several hundred prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates. (BBC)

THE PERFECT ALIBI

The next time you kill someone but don't have a decent alibi, tell your lawyer that you were sleepwalking at the time and are not responsible for your actions. You may think this is a ludicrous excuse, but a man in England has been cleared of murder using just this defense. Despite viciously beating his father to death in a prolonged attack, which produced 90 separate injuries to his father's body, Jules Lowe, 32, was found not guilty by way of insanity after a jury decided that Lowe had sleepwalked through the entire attack and had not acted voluntarily. (The Scotsman)

IF YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DRINK BEER IN CHURCH

If beer is your religion, surf on over to www.beerchurch.com where you can become an ordained minister for 20 bucks. As a Beer Church Minister, says this Web site, you must devote yourself to promoting the goodness of beer with the spirit of unity, peace, goodwill and charity; drink beer and like it; and make the Beer Church proud of you. When you're done there, you can find the world's best beer at www.ohhh.myhead.org, where a bunch of Swedes have taken it upon themselves to judge 6,754 varieties of beer from 144 countries. According to this site, Belgium rules the world as far as brewing beer, as three different Belgian beers hold down the top three spots for tastiest beer in the world.

TEARS IN YOUR BEER CUP

And the steady decline of the world's great traditions continues... News out of Germany finds a Bavarian beer garden owner who is forsaking the classic monster-sized beer steins traditionally associated with Munich's Okterberfest and replacing them with plastic cups. "We cleaned up almost 26 tonnes of broken glass on the floor of my tent at last year's beer festival," said Wiggerl Hagn, adding that the plastic cups weigh a full kilo less than the glass steins, making his waitresses workload much lighter. He plans to test the idea with the customers at his beer garden in Berlin before transporting the radical idea to this year's Oktoberfest. (Herald Sun)

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