CURIOUS TIMES APRIL 29 EDITION 

WORLD RECORDS FOR THE SLIGHTLY INSANE

If you've come to that point in your life where it's time to make your mark, you might want to go after one of the weirdest world records tracked by Guinness. Of course, some records can't be beaten voluntarily, like trying to break the world record for the longest attack of the hiccups (68 years) or the longest time living with a nail stuck in your head (a man in the United Kingdom had a rusty one-inch nail stuck between his ear and eye for 22 years). But there are plenty of world records that can be smashed with just a bit of perseverance and a wallop of insanity. Try one of these: hold your breath for more than 13 minutes, 42 seconds; jump on a pogo-stick 177,738 times; do 125 one-finger push ups; make a balloon dog behind your back in under 9.26 seconds; eat five watches in less than 1 hour, 34 minutes; lie in a bathtub full of maggots for more than an hour and a half; or type the words "one" to "one million" in less than 16 years. Good luck.

THE REAL OCTOMOM

Scientists at Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland have confirmed the world's first case of a person who can see, feel and move a "phantom limb" that her brain recognizes just as if it was a real limb. The woman lost the use of her left arm after a stroke, but her brain seems to have created an illusionary limb that she can even use to scratch an itch on her body. Doctors used an MRI to confirm that her brain was issuing commands to the phantom limb and that her body responds when she touches herself with it. ( Metro UK)

THE NEW ARMS RACE

Speaking of strange limbs, the Pentagon has announced the completion of the first phase of a plan to someday regrow soldiers' missing body parts. Working with a $570,000 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a company called Cellthera Inc. has succeeded in turning a batch of human skin into a mass of undifferentiated cells that can, theoretically, be turned into new body parts. Step two will involve turning the cellular ooze into muscle tissue, and someday, perhaps, they will be able to reach their ultimate goal to "fully restore the function of complex tissue after traumatic injury on the battlefield." (Wired Blog)

MONEY FROM NOTHING

This week's career advice for the recently downsized comes from a small town in northern Sweden, where the relatives of an eccentric dumpster diver were shocked to learn that his estate was worth over $1.4 million after he died last autumn. "Tin-Can Curt" spent every day of the last 30 years of his life cycling around his town collecting empty cans. He combined this work with a good mind for the stock markets and parlayed his modest income into an $8 million mutual fund, $2 million in gold bars, a fully paid-off house and a pile of extra cash in his bank account. (thelocal.se)

BIG HAIRY DEAL

You better stop shaving right now if you want to have any chance at all of winning the World Beard and Moustache Championships being held in Anchorage, Alaska, on May 23. Categories range from the Wild West Moustache to the Fu Manchu partial beard all the way to the freestyle full beard. Check out the bizarre facial monstrosities of past contestants and champions at worldbeardchampionships.com.

TAKING OVER THE BEACHES OF CANCUN

The world's first airline for dogs and cats has launched with flights from $149 between New York, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Created by Dan and Alysa Binder in order to spoil their Jack Russell Terrier, Pet Airways offers first-class travel for "pawsengers" on their fleet of 20 planes. No human passengers are allowed in the planes other than the flight attendants who will make sure your dog or cat flies in style. (petairways.com)

DANCE LIKE A CHICKEN day

Feel free to celebrate No Pants Day (May 1), Stay Up All Night Day (May 6), Eat What You Want Day (May 11) or National Dance Like A Chicken Day (May 14). And if you're not too burned out, don't forget to celebrate the Cookie Monster's birthday on May 25.

INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK

Heavy Internet users have roughly the same attention span as a goldfish—about nine seconds.

More bizarro news at curioustimes.com.

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