Researchers can accurately estimate a person's economic status just by learning which environmental toxins are in his body, concluded a University of Exeter (England) research team recently, using U.S. data. Although "both rich and poor Americans are walking waste dumps," wrote the website Quartz, reporting the conclusions, poorer people's typical food leaves lead, cadmium and the banned bisphenol-A, whereas richer people more likely accumulate heavy metals (mercury, arsenic, thallium) from aquatic lean protein (and acquire oxybenzone from the active ingredient in sunscreens). Previous research was thought to show that richer Americans ate healthier (for example, eating fruits and vegetables instead of canned foods), but the Exeter research shows they merely house different toxins.
Strange Old World
In May, a Brazilian cancer-fighting foundation, AAPEC, published a series of photos of its new mascot that it hopes will call attention to the dread of testicular cancer, and the initial worldwide reviews demonstrate that, indeed, people may never, ever forget their first glance at "Mr. Balls." AAPEC described its character as a "friendly snowman in the shape of testicles" -- friendly in the sense of a buck-toothed humanoid with a puffy-cheeked smile and the body of a huge scrotal sac dotted with small curly hairs and rough skin. As photos of the genial "Senhor Testiculo" circulated in June, he was variously described as "disturbing," "horrifying," "terrifying" and "a nightmare."
Least Competent Criminals
Recurring Themes: (1) Vade Bradley, 39, was arrested on arson charges in Hayward, Calif., in August after burning down an apartment house carport, totally destroying six vehicles. He was siphoning other people's gasoline in the carport when he decided to light a cigarette. (2) Richard Boudreaux was charged in January with burglarizing Kenney's Seafood (where he previously worked) in Slidell, La., when he became the most recent perp to fail to outflank surveillance cameras. He had thought to wear a bucket over his head as he moved through the store -- except he had waited until well inside (within camera range) before actually putting it on.
A News of the Weird Classic (April 2010)
Computer hardware engineer Toshio Yamamoto, 49, this year (2010) celebrates 15 years' work tasting and cataloguing all the Japanese ramen (instant noodles) he can get his hands on (including the full ingredients list, texture, flavor, price and "star" rating for each), for the massive 4,300-ramen database on his website, expanded recently with "hundreds" of video reviews and with re- reviews of many previously appearing products (in case the taste had changed, he told journalist Lisa Katayama, writing in April (2010) on the popular blog Boing Boing). Yamamoto said he had always eaten ramen for breakfast seven days a week, but cut back recently to five. "I feared that, if I continued at (the seven-day) pace, I would get bored." Thanks This Week to David Swanson and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.