What’s your type?

December 29, 2008 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Bizarre News | 3 Comments

I’ve always been fascinated by the different attempts made throughout history to explain human behavior and the human psyche based upon biological (or pseudo-biological) factors. I actually remember writing a paper in junior high about the theory of the four humours and someday hope to own a ceramic phrenology head.

A while back I read an article that reminded me of the four humours. I have to admit that I was somewhat surprised to read about this coming from a country with a fairly modern scientific bent. Apparently the Japanese are a bit obsessed with understanding the meaning of blood types. Three of the top five best-selling books in Japan in 2008 were about the meaning of blood types. According to this article, blood type mania is widespread.

Daytime TV shows offer “blood horoscopes”, while on sale are all manner of items supposedly tailored to each of the four blood groups, anything from chewing gum to condoms to bath salts – a relaxing, blue concoction for the sensitive type A.

Companies have been known to appoint employees to jobs based on their blood type, while dating agencies rank this genetic nugget alongside education and salary in recommending a male suitor.

Blood type-mania has a darker side. It has been blamed for bullying among kindergarten children, denying jobs to otherwise ideal candidates and ending happy relationships, all because of an imagined haematic mismatch.

I don’t know about you, but I had no idea blood type is this important! Lucky for me, I seem to have a pretty good blood type (O -). Depending on the source you reference, I am either: “Decisive, self-confident, curious, and ideal for sport” or “Trendsetting, passionate, vain, self-confident, loyal”. I hit the jackpot with this one!

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Disco could save your life!

October 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm | Posted in Bizarre News | 5 Comments

There is a surprisingly large amount of “out there” research in scientific circles. Sometimes you have to try strange things for groundbreaking findings. Even so, who would fund this?

20- Somethings out to change the world

October 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Bizarre News | Leave a comment

I’ve heard it said that innovation often results from reflection on personal experience and challenges.  I wish I knew the stories the Google software engineers who developed this have to say. Maybe the next Gmail blog will detail the break-up version allowing you to select email addresses for extra levels of send security.  I could have used that a time or two.

Deadly Countertops?

July 27, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Posted in Bizarre News | 5 Comments

I’m posting this in the “Bizarre News” category even though it’s a little bit different than what I would normally place in BN. I just don’t know where else to put it!

Apparently a Physics Professor at Rice University (W.J. Llope) has some unpublished data indicating that granite countertops pose a radiation risk.

Using a Rice University spectrometer, Llope has examined 55 stones, representing about 25 varieties of granite purchased from Houston-area dealers. Some, he said, could expose homeowners to 100 millirems of radiation — the annual exposure limit set by the Department of Energy for visitors to nuclear labs — in just a few months.

Llope, who said he plans to publish his findings in a peer-reviewed journal, declined to name the most hazardous varieties of granite he has thus far examined. But he said dangerously radioactive varieties include striated granites from Brazil and Namibia.

As many as 1,600 varieties of granite from 64 countries are sold for household use in the United States. None of them is routinely tested for radioactivity.

While this could be good news for the makers of Corian, it’s also somewhat unsettling. Granite countertops are becoming more and more common. What’s even more alarming is the response to this research by an industry group.

Continue Reading Deadly Countertops?…

It’s been a while. . .

July 10, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Posted in Bizarre News | Leave a comment

. . . since I posted any bizarre news stories. I read two tonight that made me shake my head. The first because I still can’t believe the mother actually suggested this as a money-making scheme for her pre-teen daughter and friend. The second because I could have sworn the saying goes “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.

One Smart Bird

May 21, 2008 at 8:30 am | Posted in Bizarre News, Family | 4 Comments

There have been a number of really funny bizarre/offbeat news stories recently. I haven’t been posting them here because Gunner stops by and reads every once in a while and it would ruin the surprise when he receives the printed copies in the mail. I have a decent number printed up and ready to mail out, so I decided to go ahead and post this one here.

I don’t know if many of you know much about parrots. I’m certainly not an expert. However, my brother and sister-in-law have a blue and gold macaw and I’ve spent a fair amount of time around them. It’s actually kind of funny to listen to the words, phrases and sounds they pick up. With my brother and SIL’s bird, certain words and phrases sound just like her while others were clearly learned from my brother. The funniest thing though has to be a sound that he picked up.

At one point my SIL had a bad cold and was sneezing a lot. I guess the bird picked up on the fact that each time she would sneeze my brother would “pay attention” to her (e.g. respond with “Gesundheit”, “God Bless You”, etc.). The bird really likes attention and will actively seek attention from the people around him. I’m sure it sounds absurd, but it is truly funny to hear and watch a parrot “sneezing” until his people his talk to him. The first few times I didn’t believe it was him- it sounded just like a human sneeze!

The bird in the story I found learned something much more useful than how to sneeze like a human.

Continue Reading One Smart Bird…

Update on “Witches, clowns and sirens day”

May 10, 2008 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Bizarre News, Flowers, Military | 1 Comment

I posted yesterday about Code Pink’s weeklong protest “theme” for the Berkeley Marine recruiting station. LT. Nixon picked up on the story and had an interesting idea for a Code Pink/ Manowar Metal Death Match. It’s an interesting way to fight, but hey, he is a sailor after all. I was actually rather amazed that he posted on it as the original story was published online by Fox News.

Yesterday they (Fox News) also had an updated post with pictures from the protest. Fort hose of you who don’t wish to go the FN website to see them, here is what the cauldron filled with flowers looked like:

(Photo from Fox News, more here)

They apparently did manage to get a little bit of a response. Move America Forward decided to play along with the shenanigans.

Members of the pro-troops group Move Forward America came armed with packages of salt, which they spread around the recruiting station to keep the Marines safe from spells.

However, their protester count didn’t see the big jump this week they were undoubtedly hoping for.

Code Pink’s protest capped a Mother’s Day week’s worth of themed protests, which included days to galvanize grannies and bring-your-daughter-to-protest. The planned events appear to have done little to boost the protesters’ flagging numbers.

A FOX News camera, which has a 24/7 live shot of the recruiting center’s front door, recorded little action, and the gatherings have, until this point, been ill-attended.

That sounds like good news to me.

Now Code Pink is Begging for Attention?

May 8, 2008 at 11:33 pm | Posted in Bizarre News, Military | 5 Comments

I was minding my own business surfing around news sites on the web this afternoon when I stumbled upon this story. Apparently the Code Pink Protesters in Berkeley have had a special series of “themes” for their protests this week in what Fox News called an “homage” to Mother’s Day. For example, Monday was dedicated to grandmothers and Wednesday was “Bring your daughter to the protest day”. I guess most of them don’t have jobs to take their daughters to for “Take your daughter to work day” and attending a protest is some kind of a substitute.

Tomorrow is going to have the best theme of the week. It will be “Witches, clowns and sirens day”. I’ve seen enough pictures of the Code Pink protesters to know they don’t mean Sirens like in mythology. At least I hope they don’t…that would be some serious delusional thought. You don’t believe me? Check these Pinkos out:

Continue Reading Now Code Pink is Begging for Attention?…

It’s Amazing What People Will Pay For

May 6, 2008 at 7:39 am | Posted in Bizarre News | 1 Comment

I somehow managed to stumble upon this article today. I guess being 130 million years old means it is “antique”, but this still seems ridiculous. Almost $1,000 for dinosaur poop? At least the buyer seems to have a semi-rational reason for the purchase.

The buyer was Steve Tsengas of Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The 71-year-old owns OurPets, a company that sells products to treat dog and cat waste.

Tsengas bought the dung in hopes of motivating his employees and using it as a marketing tool by displaying it at the company’s booth at trade shows, he said.

“Poop,” he said, “is a big business in the pet industry.”

Speaking of strange purchases, you can buy fresh cow, elephant or gorilla poop for yourself or that special someone. The site does stress the anonymity of the purchases though, so I think most people choose to send it to someone else. The site even has testimonials from satisfied purchasers (and not so happy recipients).  The prices are much more reasonable than for the dinosaur poop too.

I am so glad I don’t live there

April 25, 2008 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Bizarre News | 3 Comments

Stories like this are why it is a good thing I don’t live in Alabama. Individual craziness I can deal with, but societal/widespread craziness I have a harder time with. Here is a little excerpt from this “special” story:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Struggling to confront a worsening homicide rate, the mayor of Birmingham asked pastors and citizens Friday to don burlap sacks and ashes Friday in an Old Testament-style sign of biblical repentance.

Mayor Larry Langford said his “sackcloth and ashes” rally at Boutwell Auditorium was inspired by the Book of Jonah, where residents of the ancient city of Ninevah wore rough fabric and ashes as a sign of turning away from sin.

A pastor who helped organize the rally said Langford purchased 2,000 burlap bags that will be handed out at the event.

This isn’t the first time a Birmingham mayor has called on the city to use prayer to solve problems of violence either. I have to admit though, this is one of those situations where I am both disturbed and amused at the same time (plus relieved to be far, far away). I just might have to search for photos from the event tomorrow.

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