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Man blames health drink for unwanted erection (Bebelicious)
New Yorker Christopher Woods underwent surgery in 2004 for severe priapism – an erection that would not subside. Now he’s suing pharmaceutical company Novartis AG, claiming that their nutritional drink, Boost Plus, was the cause of his condition.

Can’t remember the name of a song? Try tapping it on your keyboard! (DJ_Canada)
This programme allows you to tap the melody of a song using your space bar to try to identify it. Results appear to be user-submitted, so they're a little hit and miss. No pun intended.

Yahoo’s list of sunscreen myths (Dily)
A Yahoo writer, Leslie Baumann, M.D., has posted a short list of common mistakes people make when considering protection from the sun.

Woman arrested for making faces at a dog (Slender Loris)
Charges have been dropped against Jayna Hutchinson from Lebanon after she was arrested for "staring at [the police dog] in a taunting/harassing manner."
Categories: Animals, Entertainment, Health/Medicine, Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Flora on Fri Jun 08, 2007
Comments (10)
Botched Fax Prompts “Terrorism” Scare (MadCarlotta)
Police shut down a strip mall in Boston on Wednesday after a branch of Bank of America received a faulty fax. The fax, which had been sent out by the bank's corporate office, had left off some of the text, leaving some dubious clip art. The plaza was evacuated for around three hours.

Roswell Theme Park (Madmouse)
Roswell city officials plan a UFO-themed amusement park that could open as early as 2010. Local shopkeepers base a large proportion of their trade around the UFO craze, and believe that the theme park would give tourists more to do whilst visiting.

Dutch Reality Show: Win This Person’s Kidney! (Slender Loris)
Earlier this week, Dutch TV station BNN announced their latest reality show. The premise was that a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour would choose which of three contestants to donate a kidney to before she died. The Big Donor Show immediately sparked international furore, with mixed attitudes towards the show's concept. Today, it was revealed that the show was a hoax. Whilst it still aired, the woman playing the potential donor was perfectly healthy and, although the three contestants were in need of replacement kidneys, they were fully aware of the show's real premise. The show was aired and advertised as it was to draw attention to the shortage of donor organs in the Netherlands. Judging from the international coverage, they succeeded.

Japanese Ghost Girl (Boo)
Youtube hosts yet another unconvincing 'ghost' video. Look for the point where the special effects kick in.

Car made of cake (Nettie)
Photos of a Skoda advertisement wherein they make a whole car from cake.

An intriguing and mysterious website (Beasjt's number is 669)
Can you decipher the code?
Way back when -- almost four years ago -- I posted a brief entry about a doctor who was providing people with fake doctor notes. I titled the entry "Fake Doctor Notes," and soon, for some reason, that post became the number one result on google for the keywords "fake doctor notes." As a result, the comments began to fill with people asking me to provide them with fake notes. This went on for years. I'm sure the moderators remember it well. It only ended when we finally disabled commenting for that post, after the comments had grown to 46 pages and 911 comments in total.

I assumed that it would be illegal to actually provide people with fake doctor notes, but here's a site that's doing exactly that: The site claims that, for only $24.95, it will provide you with a fake excuse saying that you've been at a doctor or a dentist's appointment, been to the emergency room, had jury duty, or been at a funeral. (I wonder who the note comes from in the case of a funeral? From the funeral director?) It looks like what you get for this money is a Word template formatted to look like an official note. For that amount of money, I think it would be a lot easier simply to create your own fake note in Word.

The site blatantly states that you can use these notes to get out of work or school, but then at the bottom of the page, in very small print, it says "For Entertainment Use Only." I'm guessing this is their legal cover for an otherwise shady operation. has an article about a woman from New Jersey who tried to use an excuse provided by to explain why she failed to show up for traffic court. The court spotted the note as a fake, and is now considering filing contempt charges against her.
Categories: Business/Finance, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Thu May 31, 2007
Comments (21)
Belly Dancer Has Half Her Bottom Removed
German belly dancer Julia 'Cleopatra' Meyer went to a private clinic to get liposuction on her thighs. Unfortunately, the surgeon removed fat from her right buttock instead. She was awarded the equivalent of £12,000 - twice what she had asked for in compensation.
(Thanks, Sophie.)

Imposter at Stanford
For eight months, Azia Kim lived on campus, studied with friends, and ate in the cafeteria. Trouble is, she wasn't actually a student there.

Swedish TV Apologises to Prime Minister Over Water Prank
STV have announced that they "deeply apologise" after one of their reporters sprayed the Swedish Prime Minister with water from a fake microphone at the premiere of the Pirates of the Caribbean film.
Categories: Health/Medicine, Identity/Imposters, Pranks
Posted by Flora on Tue May 29, 2007
Comments (5)
image A couple out in Arizona, Richard and Monica Chapin, have built a moonlight magnifier (or, as they call it, an "interstellar light collector"). Exposure to concentrated lunar rays, they claim, can have all kinds of positive medical benefits. They hope it may even heal cancer. It cost them over $2 million to build the thing. According to their website,, here's how the machine works:
The Interstellar Light Collector rotates a full 360 degrees, and can be aligned with the position of the moon to 1/10,000 of an inch in accuracy. With a collection surface of 3,000 square feet, the collected light can be focused into an area as large as 10 by ten feet or as small as 1mm that can pulsated or applied as a laser and transmitted directly into the accompanying research facility.
The Arizona Republic recently published an article about this device. They describe in a bit more detail exactly what happens during a therapeutic session:
Visitors receive "moonstones," or rocks purified by sunlight, before they enter the basking zone in twos and threes. They are instructed to soak them with lunar rays for a personally sanctifying energy.
The Chapins don't charge money for this, but they do encourage visitors to make $10 donations and are seeking investors.

I'm willing to accept that light therapy has positive benefits, but I'm skeptical that moonlight has healing powers any different or greater than those of sunlight. Why would it, since it's just reflected sunlight? The Chapins claim that moonlight can't burn us like sunlight (right, because it's a lot less bright) and that moonlight "presents a distinctive spectrum composed of more reds and yellows, and possesses a different frequency than sunlight. This specific light spectrum has never been artificially duplicated." They admit that the healing benefits of moonlight have never been scientifically tested, but they're gathering anecdotal evidence to build their case.

I actually think it would be kind of cool to experience this thing. Would it be possible to get a moon tan? But I wouldn't look on it as anything more than an entertaining novelty, and I wouldn't expect any medical benefits from it beyond those gained from light therapy in general.
Categories: Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Sat May 12, 2007
Comments (18)
Why do people fall for stuff like this?
A woman is suing a Tokyo-based chiropractor over pricey but ineffective treatments that involved spinning her in a centrifugal device to make her taller... The chiropractic center told her the treatments using centrifugal force would make her taller at a cost of 1.05 million yen per 1 centimeter gained... According to the suit, the center said her leg bones had grown by a little over 3 cm, showing X-rays taken before and after the treatments. The woman argues the center allegedly manipulated the X-rays and that its explanations lack medical credibility.
I think 1.05 million yen is around $9000. It would have been a lot cheaper for her to have found a centrifuge ride at an amusement park. Of course, the chiropractor can defend himself by claiming that he was just pulling her leg.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Mon Apr 16, 2007
Comments (6) is a pharmaceutical website touting a solution to Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD). Havidol (avafynetyme HCI) comes in both tablet and suppository form, and should be taken indefinitely.

The site is very well made and, frankly, looks more professional than some legitimate websites.
Whilst the names of the drug are the first sign that this site shouldn't be taken seriously, there are other signs scattered throughout the site. For example:

Side effects may include mood changes, muscle strain, extraordinary thinking, dermal gloss, impulsivity induced consumption, excessive salivation, hair growth, markedly delayed sexual climax, inter-species communication, taste perversion, terminal smile, and oral inflammation.

When one goes to the 'shop' page, the only actually purchasable item is a t-shirt (ever the sign of a fake website). Clicking any of the other items opens up the webpage for the New York Daneyal Mahmood gallery, which is currently showing an exhibition based around the concept of Havidol by artist Justine Cooper.

(Thanks, Thierry.)
Categories: Advertising, Art, Health/Medicine, Websites
Posted by Flora on Mon Mar 05, 2007
Comments (6)
image102-year-old Saleh Talib Saleh says he had had dreams when he was younger of growing horns from his head.
At the age of 77, he started noticing a hard patch on his scalp. It wasn’t really bothering him and, since at the time there were no local medical facilities, he just ignored it.
Gradually, the hard patch grew into what looked like a horn. The growth reached 1.6 feet before the stress on it, due to everyday life, caused it to weaken and fall off.

Almost immediately, a second ‘horn’ began growing in the place of the first. Many people from around the Gulf countries have travelled to visit Saleh in order to view what he considers to be a ‘gift from Allah’.

So, is this story true?
Well, I haven’t been able to track down much coverage of it (these aren’t the easiest search terms to isolate). Saleh has said he had no local medical facilities when he first grew the horn, but there is no mention of his having been to see a doctor (or a doctor seeing him) in the following twenty-five years. The only photograph I’ve found is the one in the linked article.

(Thanks, Tah.)

Edit: The complete photograph (shown in the article) seems to have some sort of Arabic writing at the bottom. Can anyone translate?
Categories: Health/Medicine, Photos/Videos, Religion
Posted by Flora on Wed Feb 28, 2007
Comments (23)
imageFollowing hot on the heels of the chocolate Virgin Mary (which, as many people pointed out, looked more like the Maltese Falcon) comes: Jesus as seen on an ultrasound picture.

Seven months through her pregnancy, Laura Turner went for a routine ultrasound. She already knew that her son had a cleft lip, and she and her partner had been told there was a possibility of the child having Down's Syndrome. She says that she didn't notice anything particularly odd about the scan until a friend pointed it out once they got home.

'The pregnancy has been fairly difficult so to see a likeness of Jesus in the picture gives me a lot of comfort.

'It's as if someone is watching over Joshua. It's helped make us feel more at ease and although I'm not very religious, seeing the picture does reassure me that things are going to turn out okay and that Joshua will be our little miracle.'

I suppose that, what with the difficult pregnancy, it's a very heartening sign for her.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Health/Medicine, Pareidolia, Photos/Videos, Psychology, Religion
Posted by Flora on Thu Aug 24, 2006
Comments (12)

3D Crop Circle
Seeming to look down on skyscrapers, experts are impressed by what is being touted as the world's first 3D crop circle.

Swiftly followed by:
Pig Circle
A pig-shaped crop circle measuring more than 250m across has been discovered in a field in the English countryside.

Two-faced Kitten
A kitten with two faces has been born in Ohio.

Man Wins Lawsuit Over Decade-long Erection
Charles "Chick" Lennon has won his $400,000 lawsuit after his steel and plastic penis implant went wrong, leaving him with a permanent erection.

Categories: Animals, Body Manipulation, Crop Circles, Health/Medicine, Pranks, Sex/Romance
Posted by Flora on Tue Aug 15, 2006
Comments (6)
Status: Unusual product
image Want some marijuana? Of course, here in America it's illegal to buy the real thing, but you can buy mock marijuana... lifelike marijuana plants made out of silk and wood. It would be a pretty cool conversation piece to have sitting in the corner, especially if the police ever show up unexpectedly. The mock marijuana is sold by New Image Plants, operated by pro-pot activist Joseph White. It's a small business. Most of his customers, ironically, are law-enforcement agencies. But he did just sell $40,000 worth of his plants to the set director of Weeds, a Showtime series about a marijuana-dealing suburbanite soccer mom. White notes that he does have some customers who seem to think he's selling the real stuff, but he notes that: "We cannot be held liable for stupid people smoking our plants."

Actually I did once hear that while it's illegal to buy and sell marijuana plants, it's legal to buy the seeds. I thought this was an urban legend (if not, it's a strange loophole in the law), but a quick google search reveals that there are quite a few internet sites offering to sell marijuana seeds. Personally, I'd be very cautious about giving money to these sites (not that I was planning on doing so, mind you). I'd be worried that they would take the money and run.
Categories: Health/Medicine, Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 25, 2006
Comments (24)
Status: Beauty Product Scam
image Chinese women are reportedly flocking to buy Bolibao ('Stay Fit' in English), a pill that, according to its manufacturer, can transfer body fat from a woman's hips to her breasts. Therefore it supposedly slims your hips and boosts your bra size at the same time. It's being heavily marketed on Chinese TV despite the fact that a) it doesn't work, and b) it causes a variety of negative side effects. The brazenness of the scam is pretty remarkable. The Shanghai Daily reports:
A lot of customers were attracted by the advertisements and bought the pills, which cost about 900 yuan (US$113), for one treatment period. But later, hundreds of customers complained to the company because the pills didn't have any effect. A woman, whose alias is Beibei, said she had some acne on her face after using the pills for a month, but her breasts size didn't increase. When she called the company, the salesperson congratulated her and said the acne was a sign that her breasts would soon begin to grow, as a second "growth spurt." The salesperson even persuaded her to buy another box to consolidate the effect. Beibei spent 3,000 yuan in total on the "magic" pills, but it only left her with sore breasts and caused her an internal secretion disorder. Beibei said the models in its advertisements moved her because they had obvious changes after taking the pills. But the study showed that the models were all hired by the company for 30 yuan a day and their images were graphically modified.
The organization Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia further reports that:
The advertising claim is incredible: it will move fat from thighs and stomach to the breasts and thus make them bigger! Unfortunately for consumers who believe this sort of thing, the product does nothing of the sort. In fact, it more likely than not simply leads to vomiting.
You can see an ad (in Chinese) for this stuff here.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 05, 2006
Comments (4)
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