January 5, 2005 


Let's forget the insane death and destruction of the past couple of weeks and focus on a bit of bizarre news resulting from the tragedy. Wildlife officials in India and Sri Lanka have been shocked by an unusual lack of animal deaths from the recent tsunami, reinforcing the belief that animals may have a sixth sense which alerts them to danger in their environment. For example, at Yala National Park, Sri Lanka's largest wildlife reserve, officials were shocked to not find a single animal corpse despite two miles of flooding on the reserve. "No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit. I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening," said H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of Sri Lanka's Wildlife Department. An Associated Press photographer who flew over the park in the days after the disaster reported the same news, that despite seeing hundreds of elephants, buffalo, deer and leopards, he could not spot a single large mammal corpse from the helicopter. (Yahoo News / AP)


As usual, this year Curious World will continue to keep you up to date with the ever-shifting date of the end of the world. The latest news comes from an article in the India Daily which claims that Buddhist monks in Tibet have mastered the art of remote viewing (using psychic powers to see distant events in time and space) and have seen an incredible series of planetary events culminating in the year 2012. The monks have made the not-surprising prediction that regional wars and terrorism will escalate for the rest of the decade, with the world powers threatening to destroy each other around the date 2010. By 2012, the monks claim we will plunge into a massive nuclear war, but then, they promise, extraterrestrial powers will intervene to stop the destruction of our planet. The monks also claim that we are being watched and taken care of by an alien race who will not allow us to bring doomsday to Earth. (India Daily)


So maybe you're not superstitious, but Friday the 13th may just be the day a flippin' huge asteroid takes out your neighborhood. Luckily we have 23 years to prepare thanks to the astronomy nerds at NASA who discovered that a 1,300-foot-long asteroid has a pretty good shot at striking Earth on Friday, April 13, 2029. For now the odds against this bit of destruction sit at about 300 to one, and the scientists believe the asteroid will glide past our planet without much hub-bub. "We can't yet rule out an Earth impact," said a NASA spokesperson. "But the impact probability, as we call it, is 300 to 1 against an impact." (Tuscon Citizen)


Astronomer Charles Lineweaver of the University of New South Wales speculates that the reason aliens haven't contacted us is that Earthlings are just too boring. He estimates that Earth-like planets around other stars would be on average 1.8 billion years older than Earth, so any intelligent beings on those planets would be so advanced that they would think of us as nothing more than bacteria. (New Scientist)


According to surveys compiled by The Oregonian, 21 percent of Americans report being "regularly bored out of my mind"; 8 percent of Americans would let a reality-based TV show film them having sex; 19 percent of men wouldn't mind being stupid if they had a perfect body; and, according to the Weekly World News, 33 percent of prayers are "intercepted or jammed" by Satan.


The separated parents of a five-year-old boy in Italy who couldn't agree on who should have custody of the child on Christmas Day decided to take their dispute to family court. To their surprise, justice was a bit lazier than expected, as Judge Carlo Alberto Agnoli decided that there wasn't enough time to make a proper decision so he flipped a coin in order to make the call. "I did it in the interest of the child," said the judge, "I certainly couldn't do like Solomon and divide the child. So I trusted to luck." And luck decided that the boy would spend Christmas with his mom. (Yahoo News)


To celebrate the publication of his new book, Adult Origami, Nick Robinson has created the world's largest origami penis. The mega phallus stands a full 10 feet, 7 inches. (Ananova)

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