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Sat, 23 Oct 2021
The World for People who Think

Don't Panic! Lighten Up!

Black Cat

Oscar the cat predicts patients' deaths

Providence, Rhode Island - Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.

Oscar, the furry reaper.


Is this the proof that spirits DO exist?

At first, it seemed no more than a curious coincidence. Professor Klaus Heinemann, a researcher for NASA, the U.S. space agency, was studying a collection of photographs his wife had taken at a gathering of spiritual healers when he noticed that many of them featured the same pale but clearly defined circle of light, like a miniature moon, hovering above some of the subjects.


Vivoleum - It's new, it's disgusting! And it fooled an oil industry group

Sometimes you can't make it up any weirder than it actually is. That definitely was the case on June 14, when a pair of environmental pranksters managed to promote themselves as keynote speakers at the Gas and Oil Exposition - aka GO-EXPO 2007 - in Calgary.

Better Earth

Search for Britain's most remarkable epitaph

Some choose their own. Others think it too morbid. Some boast of achievement. Others want to be modest.

They can be witty or doom-laden, long or short, informative or tell you very little that's useful. Epitaphs, from the ancient Greek literally meaning "on the gravestone" and the text that honours the deceased commonly inscribed on a tombstone, come in many forms.

But in Britain they have one thing in common - they are in danger of being lost for ever. So serious is the situation that today a campaign is being launched to try to record as many as possible before it is too late.

Each year in England 25,000 gravestones are lost and with them the important historical information they contain.


"People want nice tidy churchyards and don't want to mow around higgledy, piggledy gravestones so they move them and they break, or they lay them face down and they get forgotten then broken up for paving stones," said Richard Stuart, the director of the National Archive of Memorial Inscriptions who has made it his mission to record details of as many as possible.

Better Earth

Hungary approves referendum on introducing siesta, but struck down referendum on serving free beer

"Do you agree that the Parliament of the Republic of Hungary should make a law about introducing the siesta?"

Hungary's eight million voters may soon be asked to answer that question after the National Election Committee ruled late on Monday that it was fit for a referendum.

Citizens suffering in the record heat this month will however have to keep paying for their refreshments as the committee earlier struck down a referendum proposal about making beer free in restaurants, saying it would have distorted the market.


Shocking! Teacher punishes girls with pond squats

Malaysia - A Malaysian teacher has defended her move to punish 170 teenage girls by making them squat neck-deep in a fish pond, in a case that has sparked concerns about abuse in schools, a report said Monday.

Magic Wand

Victim and Thief Meet Again at Bookstore

PRESCOTT, Ariz. - A woman whose purse was stolen and the thief who took it inadvertently stood next to each other at a Prescott bookstore _ she to complain about the unauthorized use of her credit card, he to get some cash.

Bizarro Earth

270 Smuggled Crocodiles Seized in China

Chinese police tracking a suspicious vessel on a border river in southwest China got a shock when they found 270 crocodiles, a state news agency reported Monday.

Xinhua News Agency said the seizure was the largest this year in Guangxi region, where 25 illegally captured crocodiles were discovered in the first six months.

Border police noticed the boat trying to land on the Chinese side of the Beilun River, which marks the border with Vietnam, early on Sunday.

Xinhua said four people carried bags off the boat, but jumped into the river and swam away when they saw the police.


Cheese Wars: Swiss govt wants EU to register Gruyere as protected designation of origin

The Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture said it will apply to the EU to have Gruyere registered as a term of controlled provenance, after French attempts to have its own Gruyere-style cheese registered in the EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) register.

Dairy farmers in the French border region have been making similar cheese under the same name for some time and several agreements say Swiss and French producers may share the name.


Satire: Black Holes Renamed 'Super High Gravity Locations'

The International Space Nomenclature Council today adopted the term 'emplacements de hauts gravité super' - or 'super high gravity locations' - as the official replacement name for black holes. Originally named in reference to the fact that light cannot escape their intense gravity, the term 'black hole' was increasingly criticized as being insensitive to African-Americans and African-Europeans.

"We're glad the council finally took action on this issue." said Isaiah Herman, Chairman of the National African-American Coalition of People. "The unimaginable destructive power of these super high gravity locations was giving the word 'black' a negative connotation throughout the universe."

Super high gravity locations are the remnants of giant stars that collapse into a substance so dense that it has a gravitational pull that consumes all matter that comes near it. "They're the bad boys of the cosmos." says Nokidi Imsure, Professor of Astronomic Anthropology at Howyflyl University. "You would definitely want to cross the street if you saw one coming."