March 23, 2005 

PUNCHLINE OF THE YEAR: "I'VE GOT TWO PENISES BUT NO WIFE"

One thing I've learned from writing this column is that it's impossible to tell what's true and what's been made up. I've written about many supposedly valid stories that turned out to be hoaxes, and I've avoided what I've thought were obvious fabrications only to find out they were, indeed, true. So with that in mind, I bring you a story which was supposedly featured in a German television documentary called "The Last Penis Operation." According to this film, a German man who convinced his plastic surgeons to build him a second penis was promptly dumped by his wife after he showed her his little package of double trouble. The story goes that Michael Gruber, 40, after losing his penis in a motorbike accident, had a new penis constructed from a mixture of his skin, bone and muscle tissues. Although his new penis worked well enough for him to impregnate his wife, Gruber wanted his surgeons to build him a larger, "better" organ. However, in order for the surgery to be a success, the doctors had to leave both penises attached to his body for a few days while a proper blood flow was established to his newest member. Gruber took this opportunity to show his two-headed-beast to his wife, who immediately packed her bags in disgust and left. "I've got two penises but no wife," cried Gruber, "but I am hoping when I get rid of one of the penises I will get her back." (iol.co.za)

MY PENIS CAN BEAT UP YOUR PENIS

It's fun learning stupid tricks to amuse your friends, but your friends probably don't want to see you lift heavy weights with your penis. Nevertheless, this is the claim to fame of a Chinese man who has used what is supposedly a Kung Fu skill in order to lift a 165-pound barbell with his penis. Zhan, 55, claims that his father taught him the nifty trick at age 18, starting with small bricks, and gradually adding weight and extending the duration of his lifts. (Yangtsi Evening Post)

THE BORING PREDICTABILITY OF HATE AND VIOLENCE

Two statistical researchers from the University of New Mexico claim that random acts of violence-including terrorist attacks and wars-actually follow very predictable mathematical trends which point to another 9/11-sized terrorist attack in seven years. Aaron Clauset and Maxwell Young wrote a paper about the phenomenon in which they claimed that seemingly random and emotional outbursts of human violence follow mathematical laws which are as "dull and predictable as the laws of gravity." Using an aspect of statistical analysis called "power laws," the researchers then analyzed terrorist attacks worldwide since 1968, and concluded that the next most deadly terrorist attack will occur in about seven years. (www.world-science.net)

FROM THE ANNALS OF FASCINATING DINNER CONVERSATIONS

Yes, the Internet is full of intriguing information... and then there are sites like this one, titled "Why Rats Can't Vomit." Learn more than you ever wanted to know about this topic at www.ratbehavior.org/vomit.htm.

THE ROBOT UPRISING HAS BEEN DELAYED

So what if some computer program can beat humans at chess? If we wanted to we could take a baseball bat to its hard drive and put an end to its smugness. For now, at least, brute force is still the reign of humans, as demonstrated last week at a robotic conference at which three different robotic arms were pitted against a 17-year-old girl in an arm wrestling competition. The high-schooler took two of the three arms down in four seconds, and polished off the third arm in under 30 seconds. Take that, pansy robot arms! (Scientific American)

WHY SPELLING COUNTS

The Sudanese government got a bit riled up last week when they read a report on the U.S. Congress Web site which said that Sudan had been used for nuclear testing between the years of 1962 and 1970. Shocked, Sudan's foreign minister Mustafa Osman demanded an explanation from U.S. officials in Khartoum. After a brief investigation, it was found that the website had a small typo, and that the testing had actually been carried out in Sedan, Nevada. (BBC)

Get waaaay more bizarre news at www.curioustimes.com.

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