CURIOUS TIMES SEPT. 3 EDITION 

DON'T DO DRUGS UNLESS YOU'RE SOME KIND OF GENIUS OR SOMETHING

Let's kick things off this week with the "rationalizing the use of illicit drugs" portion of this column, thanks to an article at cracked.com called "The Five Greatest Things Ever Accomplished While High." Counting down from No. 5, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Francis Crick discovers the secrets of DNA while tripping on LSD; Sigmund Freud creates the world's most famous form of psychoanalysis based on what he learned during his love affair with cocaine; pharmacist (and cokehead) John Pemberton invents the world's most popular soft drink, Coca-Cola; baseball pitcher Dock Ellis pitches a rare no-hitter while peaking on acid; and Moses transcribes God's 10 Commandments after eating some magic mushrooms. Admittedly that last one might not be historically accurate, but there is much evidence that the ancient Israelites regularly used two different types of psychoactive plants in their religious ceremonies, so it can't be completely ruled out.

BALLING FOR DOLLARS

The Russian village of Ulyanovsk is preparing for its fourth annual Day of Conception, a day on which couples can get a half day off work in order to go home and make babies. Then, nine months later, any couple who gives birth on Russia's national day, June 12, will receive a variety of prizes for their patriotism. The contest was born four years ago in response to Russia's falling birthrate. So far it seems to have been successful with a 4.5 percent increase this year over last and many more June babies being born each year. Couples who manage to hit the jackpot by pumping out a newborn on the magic day of June 12 stand a chance to win prizes including TVs, video cameras, refrigerators, washing machines and the grand prize of a brand new SUV. Women who give birth to a second or subsequent child also receive certificates worth $10,000. (Fox News)

MOTHER OF ALL HOT DOGS

What if you can't afford all that food in order to practice extreme eating? Well, you can start by heading way down south where you can get yourself a free 15-inch, 3.5-pound hot dog at HillBilly HotDogs in West Virginia. The major catch is that you have to down this beast in under four minutes or it will set you back $14.99 (and take about three years off your life). Bon appetit. (aldenteblog.com)

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)

WRINKLE-FREE CORPSE

Before you head off for your next Botox injection, you might want to know this little tidbit of information: Botulinum Toxin (bo + tox = botox) is one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances on Earth (one microgram is lethal to humans) and eating food contaminated with it will put you in the hospital and might very well kill you. So yeah, go ahead and inject it in your face. (listverse.com)

HOW TO MAKE A ZOMBIE

The Internet is such a great source of information for any of your hair-brained schemes. For example, the next time you want to create your own zombie (apparently you can make good cash by selling them into slavery), just type "how to make a zombie" into your search engine for various recipes. Here's a simple one I found: one freshly, almost dead, person; some human bone and flesh; several varieties of exotic plants; a few reptiles; one type of worm; a centipede; a special type of spider; a puffer fish (for the most important ingredient: a powerful toxin called tetrodotoxin). Good luck.

INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK

Students whose names begin with the letter A or B usually get better grades than students whose names begin with the letters C or D.

More bizarro news at curioustimes.com.

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