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Curious Times April 28, 2004 

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON GAS

An extreme case of the munchies cost an Austrian man his toes after a night of sniffing butane gas in order to get high. Police report that the 35-year-old man had been searching his kitchen for food and when he couldn't find anything he grabbed a kitchen knife and cut the toes off his left foot, fried them up, and made himself a couple of toe sandwiches. The man's sister called an ambulance after she walked in on the bizarre scene, and the man graciously offered up some leftovers to the ambulance drivers when they arrived. When asked what brought about his strange meal, he explained that he thought he had more toes than he needed and didn't think he would notice if he got rid of a few. He also added that his toes tasted like chicken. (Ananova)

ROSES ARE RED / VIOLETS ARE BLUE / I'M GONNA DIE / EARLIER THAN YOU

A study published in the Journal of Death Studies has found that poets generally die younger than playwrights, novelists and non-fiction writers. California State University researcher James Kaufman studied the deaths of 1,987 American, Chinese and Turkish writers from the past few centuries. "On average, poets lived 62 years, playwrights 63 years, novelists 66 years and nonfiction writers lived 68 years," said Kaufman, who also discovered that female poets were not only more likely to die earlier, but were also most prone to suffering from mental illness resulting in hospitalization, suicide, or attempted suicide, than any other writers. (extramsn.co.nz)

PAWN SHOP REFUSED HER

Maybe you think your parents sucked, but at least they didn't try to sell you on eBay. A couple of morons in Germany are now under arrest after they decided to put the woman's eight-year-old daughter up for sale on the Internet auction site. The bidding started at a pretty dismal one Euro (US $1.18) and rose to a little over $25 before the auction was shut down and police visited the couple. Despite their claim that they were only testing how eBay works, the couple has been charged with attempted child trafficking. (Reuters)

DOG PISS PERFUME

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh created a doggy perfume that has successfully managed to quiet down noisy dogs at an animal welfare shelter. The researchers created a machine that emits special perfumes which they've called Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP) and found that while the machine was plugged in the dogs at the kennel not only became more calm, but they also became friendlier and showed more interested in strangers who visited the shelter. (Reuters)

IS IT HOT IN HERE, OR IS MY HOUSE ON FIRE?

This week's entry into the "Drunk and Stupid" files comes from New York state, where Thomas Woods, 59, died after lighting a rug on fire and challenging his drunk buddy to see who could stay in the burning house longer. The man won his bet after the fire started to get out of control and his buddy chickened out and ran to the neighbor's house to call 911. But by the time firefighters came to control the blaze, Woods was dead. (Newsday.com)

TO DO: BREAK OUT OF JAIL

Good organization is usually helpful when you're planning a bank robbery. But a would-be bank robber in Kansas City was found guilty on six counts of bank robbery after police found a "to-do" list in his home with "rob bank" as one of the items. This piece of evidence became the main exhibit in helping to bring a guilty verdict against the man. (ABC News)

IT'S NOT THE DESKS MAKING US SICK, IT'S THE WORK

Still looking for an illness to call your own? If you haven't come down with anything and you don't want to be left behind when everyone else is getting sick, tell them you have IDS, or Irritable Desk Syndrome. Yes, researchers have created yet another condition to befall us, this one affecting millions of office workers worldwide. Irritable Desk Syndrome was "discovered" by researchers at NEC-Mitsubishi, makers of computer monitors, who found that long working hours, cluttered desks, and poor posture are making worker's ill. Their research found that 67 percent of workers feel that they are more tied to their desks than they were two years ago, 40 percent are irritated by too much clutter on their desks and 35 percent suffer from back and neck pain due to sitting at their desks in awkward positions. (BBC)

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