CURIOUS TIMES FEB. 25 EDITION 

EAT SHIT AND LIVE

The Food and Drug Administration actually has specific limits for the amount of "natural contaminants" in your food as laid out in their scintillating booklet "The Food Defect Action Levels: Levels of Natural or Unavoidable Defects in Foods That Present No Health Hazards for Humans." This helpful manual sets acceptable levels of filth in the food supply, which allows an average of 30 fly eggs in a can of tomato paste, 20 maggots in a can of mushrooms, 100 bug bits per 25 grams of curry powder, 20 rodent hairs in a shaker of cinnamon and 145 bug parts in a jar of peanut butter. The FDA also claims that humans eat between one and two pounds of flies, maggots and mites each year in their food. (New York Times)

BUGS FOR DINNER

So if we're eating bugs anyway, why not take it to its logical conclusion and do something good for the world at the same time? That's the thinking of people within a growing movement that believes we should use insects as a way to help feed the world. Sites such as food-insects.com claim that bugs are as healthy as traditional livestock, but don't have all the negative environmental impacts of farming animals for food. According to the author of a book called The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, grasshoppers are surprisingly tasty, filling, and taste "something like popcorn," crickets are incredibly high in calcium and potassium, roasted grubs make a fat-filled protein snack, earthworms make a very nutritious flour and raw ant eggs taste like couscous.

JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS TITLE

It's time to vote for the Oddest Book Title of the Year over at thebookseller.com. This year's shortlist includes such classics as Baboon Metaphysics, Curbside Consultation of the Colon, The Large Sieve and its Applications, Strip and Knit with Style, Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring, and The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais. Somehow these finalists beat out equally odd titles such as All Dogs Have ADHD, The Industrial Vagina and Excrement in the Middle Ages.

VOTE FOR A BIG DICK

The mayor of Mexico City has implemented a great vote-garnering trick leading up to the elections in July by offering free Viagra to poor men over the age of 60. "Everyone has the right to be happy," said Mayor Marcelo Ebrad. "And a society that doesn't care for its senior citizens has no dignity." But this isn't the first time this scheme has been attempted. Two years ago, the mayor of a small Brazilian town began the same program, which he called Pinto Alegre (Happy Penis), but the plan kind of backfired when the town experienced a sharp increase in extramarital affairs as the old men weren't keen to use their new powers on their old wives. Eventually, the plan was modified so that the free stimulants were given out to the wives instead. (New York Times)

MAGIC eight-BALL

An insurance company in Austria has faced charges of discrimination after placing an ad seeking only employees who were born under the signs of Capricorn, Taurus, Aquarius, Aries or Leo. After protests from equal-rights groups, an investigation by Austria's anti-discrimination authorities found no existing laws making it illegal to choose employees based on zodiac signs. The company explained that its hiring technique was based on science and not superstition. "A statistical study indicated that almost all of our best employees across Austria have one of the five star signs," explained a spokesperson for the Salzburg insurance company. "We only decided to continue with that system and hire the best workers." (Daily Mail)

NAILED HER

The current world record holder of the world's longest fingernails had her insanely long fingernails destroyed in a car accident last week. Lee Redmond, 67, suffered only minor physical injuries but was dealt a major psychological trauma as her prized fingernails were torn from her fingers. She had been growing her nails since 1979, and by 2008, had reached an official measurement of a total length of 28 feet with the longest single fingernail measuring an absurd 35 inches long. Redmond once turned down a $10,000 offer from a Japanese television show to let them film her cutting her nails. (Ananova)

INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK

A 4-year-old asks an average of 437 questions per day.

More bizarro news at curioustimes.com.

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