Curious Times May 12, 2004 

YOU CAN NOW STRIKE

"BEING BURIED ALIVE" OFF YOUR LIST OF FEARS

A cemetery in Santiago, Chile, will be the first to offer coffins installed with panic buttons in case you are buried alive. "We want to be pioneers and avoid catalepsy cases, in which a person gets completely paralyzed for a few hours and ends up buried as if they were dead," said a spokesperson for the Camino a Canaan cemetery. Their new coffin design includes built in motion detectors so you can be rescued from a premature burial. Of course, they made no mention of who will pay for the lifelong therapy you'll need to recover from the trauma. (Fortean Times)

OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!

A bizarre construction site accident which lodged six nails in a man's head ended miraculously when neurosurgeons managed to remove all six nails and announced that the worker would make a full recovery. Isidro Mejia, 39, somehow managed to shoot himself in the head six times with a nail gun set on "automatic," and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. After five days of operations, the surgeons managed to remove the last of the six nails. "With injuries like that, he should have been dead," announced a hospital spokesperson. "He has been taken out of intensive care and although still groggy and on medication is expected to make a full recovery." A police investigation of the incident ruled out foul play, and described the event as a "bizarre accident." (BBC)

GROWING PAINS

A Russian man who won't stop growing is set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest man, and if he continues to grow, will soon hold the record as the tallest man in history. Unfortunately, Leonid Stadnik, 33, is not the least bit excited by his freakish genetic victory. Stadnik, who is now 8 feet 4 inches tall, has suffered his entire life with his affliction. Isolated in a small Ukrainian village, Stadnik refuses to take the bus, saying that it would be like a normal person traveling in the trunk of a car. His weight of 440 pounds means that his knees are in constant pain, and he once suffered from frostbitten feet because nobody makes 17-inch-long shoes. "My height is God's punishment," he says. "My life has no sense." Despite his age, Stadnik has not stopped growing since having a brain operation at age 14, which doctors believe stimulated his pituitary gland to keep him growing. (USA Today)

MASTURBATING IN YOUR CAR SHOULDN'T COUNT

A new survey from the German magazine Men's Car found that BMW drivers get more sex than any other car owners. The survey of 2,253 motorists aged between 20 and 50 found that BMW drivers have sex an average of 2.2 times per week. Audi drivers followed a close second with 2.1 times per week, then Volkswagon (1.9), Ford (1.7) and Mercedes (1.6). Porsche drivers fared the worst with a measly 1.4 sex sessions per week. (Reuters)

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO SYNTHETIC TOOTH IMPLANTS

We may soon be able to regrow missing teeth if experiments in Britain are successful. Scientists at the Dental Institute of King's College in London have finished tests in mice that were able to create new teeth from stem cells. "There's no reason why it shouldn't work in humans, the principles are the same," said Professor Paul Sharpe. The procedure would involve implanting stem cells where the missing teeth once were, and genetically programming those cells to grow into full adult teeth. The surgery would be relatively minor and the teeth would grow in about two months. The scientists predict the procedure will be perfected within five years, and will cost upwards of $2,000 per synthetic implant. (newsfromrussia.com)

PORK FAT FOR LONG LIFE

A woman in Belarus may be the world's oldest living woman, having just celebrated her 116th birthday last Wednesday. Hanna Barysevich was born on May 5, 1888, and worked on a collective farm her entire life before retiring at the ripe old age of 95. "From my early childhood I didn't know anything but physical labor," she says. Her diet consists mainly of homemade sausages, pork fat, milk and bread. A 114-year-old woman in Puerto Rico is listed as the world's oldest living woman in the Guinness Book of World Records, but only because Barysevich hasn't bothered to fill out the paper work to get listed. (AP)

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