CURIOUS TIMES DEC. 24 EDITION 

WORST DIET

You wouldn't think you'd have to warn people not to eat parasitic worms in order to lose weight ... but you'd be wrong. Hong Kong health officials were forced to put out just such a warning in February after products containing worm eggs were being promoted as a diet aid on a commercial Web site. Rather than help you lose weight, the health department warned that ingesting parasitic worms would cause pain, vomiting and diarrhea and could prove difficult to get rid of. (AFP)

WORST KIDNAPPERS

The year had its share of stupid criminals including the kidnappers in Florida who forced their victim into a car and started to drive to their hideout. Along the way one of the abductors in the back seat of the car put his gun in his lap in order to send a text message. At that moment the would-be victim grabbed the gun, shot the two men in the back seat with him, then pointed the gun at the head of the driver and forced him to stop, at which point he called 911 and finished the ordeal. (Tampa Bay Online)

MOST USELESS RESEARCH

Special thanks to the genius minds at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine who completed research in July which concluded that taking a midday nap is a good way to beat afternoon sleepiness. Really? The researchers then really went out on a limb by suggesting that caffeine can also help shake off those afternoon cobwebs and might be an easier solution to implement while you're at work. Good work, guys. (sciencenews.org)

WORLD'S WORST TOURISTS

This year America dropped from No. 1 in a lot of categories including its long reign as the world's most obnoxious tourists. A survey of employees in 4,000 European hotels revealed that the Chinese have taken over the No. 1 spot in this category, followed closely by the Indians and French. The Japanese took top honors as the most quiet, polite and tidy tourists, followed by Germans, Brits and Canadians. On the other hand, the Chinese, Indians and French were stereotyped as loud, argumentative and cheap. The French were also reprimanded for their unwillingness to try speaking local languages and their inability to leave a tip. (time.com)

WORST DENTIST

Every year we get at least one story about a dentist who snaps. This year our horror story came from the town of Neu-Ulm, Germany, where a dentist made a special house call to a patient whose insurance company didn't pay for her dental work. According to police reports, the dentist arrived at her house with his equipment, forced her into the living room, tied her hands and forced open her mouth in order to remove two dental bridges worth about $650. According to the victim, he never said a single word the entire time. ( The Telegraph)

BEST NEWS FOR JUNK FOOD JUNKIES

In January, scientists in Australia finally discovered what we all already knew: Eating junk food relieves stress. No kidding. The tests done on rats found those that were given a low-fat diet had double the stress levels of the rats fed a high-sugar and high-fat diet. (ABC)

WORST NEWS FOR YOUR MARRIAGE

Never mind the seven-year-itch, it seems a newly married couple loses that romantic edge precisely two years, six months and 25 days after their wedding day. After this time, husbands no longer bother trying to be thoughtful and wives no longer bother trying to look pretty. By the third year of marriage, according this survey of 5,000 newlywed couples, 83 percent of couples don't even bother to celebrate their anniversary. (Daily Mail)

BEST STEP TOWARD UTOPIA

In June, food engineers at Purdue University discovered that unpopped popcorn has leaky hulls, which prevent the pressure building up in the center of the kernel from reaching the level needed for the popcorn to explode. This may not be exciting to you, but Wendy Rappel of America's Popcorn Board (yes, there is such a thing) foresees a glorious future when popcorn makers breed varieties that eliminate unpopped popcorn. "It's not rocking anyone's world, but our members always like to improve their product," Rappel said. (CNN)

INTERNET FACT OF THE YEAR

Nineteen percent of men wouldn't mind being stupid if they had a perfect body.

More bizarro news at curioustimes.com.

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