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B-List Archive

October 2004

Postings to the B-List.

Subject: B-List: 2004 Ig Nobel Prize Winners
Date: Mon, 4 October 2004 8:30:06 AM

2004 Ig Nobel Prize Winners
   < >

* What are the Ig Nobel Prizes?
   < >
"Every Ig Nobel Prize winner has done something that first makes people LAUGH,
 then makes them THINK."
"The Igs are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and
 spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology."

* This year's winners
   < >
A selection:
Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA and James
Gundlach of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA, for their published
report "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide."
Ramesh Balasubramaniam of the University of Ottawa, and Michael Turvey of the
University of Connecticut and Yale University, for exploring and explaining
the dynamics of hula-hooping.
Jillian Clarke of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and then
Howard University, for investigating the scientific validity of the Five-
Second Rule about whether it's safe to eat food that's been dropped on
the floor.
The Coca-Cola Company of Great Britain, for using advanced technology to convert
liquid from the River Thames into Dasani, a transparent form of water, which
for precautionary reasons has been made unavailable to consumers.
Donald J. Smith and his father, the late Frank J. Smith, of Orlando Florida,
USA, for patenting the combover (U.S. Patent #4,022,227).
Daisuke Inoue of Hyogo, Japan, for inventing karaoke, thereby providing an
entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other.

BTW The Nobel Foundation is in the process of announcing the winners of the
more widely heralded Nobel Prize for 2004.  For details visit
   < >

Subject: B-List: Marital Bliss
Date: Wed, 27 October 2004 8:28:48 PM

The B-List is back after a little break.  For various reasons I decided to cut
back on my online time for a while.  Now that I have broadband access (and I
no longer have to worry about tying up the phone line) I may post a bit more

Today's post lists examples of the joys of matrimony.

1. "Man chops off wife's tongue"
   < >
"Police in eastern India have arrested a man who chopped off his wife's tongue
 to stop her constant nagging"

2. "Wife retaliates for ear-bending with ear-lopping"
   < >
"An Iranian man who gave his martial arts-enthusiast wife an ear-bending over
 her tardy homecoming was given a brutal response when she lopped off his ear
 with a knife"

3. Lock me up, please!
*  "Italian prisoner prefers cell to wife"
   < >
"An Italian prisoner who was given home leave for good behaviour asked to go
 back to his cell after spending less than a day with his wife ... 'We got a
 call from him saying he couldn't stand being with his wife and was it
 possible to go back to his cell. He said he didn't want to spend another
 minute with her'"
*  "Husband chooses jail to escape nagging wife"  [Germany]
   < >
"He said he couldn't stand the constant bickering at home with his wife and
 was looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet in jail"
*  "Man prefers prison to wife, so he claims"  [Philippines]
   < >
"He said he was tired of hearing his wife nag him about his drinking habits
 and lack of a stable job. He said he wanted to be jailed so his wife and
 children could face a good future without him"

4. "Woman may have bitten husband to death?"
   < >
"Modesto police said that Kelli Pratt, 45, attacked her 65-year-old husband
 Arthur on Oct. 7, holding him down and biting him some 20 times after a
 dispute over sex"

5. "Wife's cooking drove man to blow up kitchen"
   < >
"A Romanian man faces charges after he tried to blow up his kitchen because
 his wife was such a lousy cook"

6. "Man makes wife ride on car bonnet"
   <,5478,10566501^1702,00.html >
"A Jordanian man forced his wife to sit on the bonnet of their car and drove
 through the streets of the capital to 'punish' her after they had an

7. "Marine still loves wife despite plot"  [expired link]
   < >
"The U.S. Marine Corps motto of semper fidelis (always faithful) got tested
 Wednesday in U.S. District Court when the victim of a grenade attack stood
 beside his wife even though she is accused of plotting his murder attempt
 with an adulterous lover"

8. "Man sells wife's kidney, then divorces her"
   <,001800080002.htm >
"Ashfaq convinced Zohra to undergo surgery so that the couple could have
 children, but instead had one of her kidneys removed and sold for Rs.200,000.
 Having no further use of her, he also divorced her"

Subject: B-List: Where's the Loot?
Date: Thu, 28 October 2004 3:56:21 PM

1. "Aussie bandits make getaway from gas station robbery with bags of garbage"
   < >
"Police said they have no idea why the men grabbed the trash but assumed they
 thought the bags contained money"

2. "Robbers end up with potato salad instead of cash"
   < >
"But instead of the one stuffed with money, they took another one in which one
 of the post workers had brought his lunch - two helpings of potato salad"

3. "Stickup men make off with lunch, not loot"  [expired link]
   < >
"[T]he pair demanded the night bank deposit bag, grabbed a blue bag from one
 employee and got away. Turns out the bag was the employee's lunch bag, not
 the deposit bag"

4. "Would-be purse stealer grabs Bible, police say"  [expired link]
   < >
"[A] would-be purse-snatcher who tried to strike in an Eastside church parking
 lot Sunday ended up with a Bible instead - and a group from the congregation
 in hot pursuit"

5. "Bag snatcher grabs slippery surprise"
   < >
"'The bag has been described as being made of heavy duty canvas and greyish
 blue in colour and contains a 1.2 metre red bellied black snake which is
 possibly quite cranky by now'"

6. "Security safe stolen from area business"
   < >
"When thieves open the safe they stole from the Chief Taopi Bar Friday night,
 they're going to be mad. There's nothing in the safe but denture adhesive"

7. "Cable snaps; Stolen ATM left behind"
   < >
"Police said a cable used by thieves to drag the money machine from a San
 Antonio City Employees Federal Credit Union off Northwest Loop 410 snapped
 in the middle of the street near the financial institution"

Subject: B-List: Reel 'Em In
Date: Fri, 29 October 2004 11:44:36 AM

People are always on the look out for new ways to attract customers, votes and
support.  Here are some recent examples.  Viewers of last night's Mondo Thingo
would have seen another novel way to swing someone's vote.

1. "Czechs given beers in return for blood donation"
   < >
"Czechs are being offered two beers in return for their blood in an effort to
 recruit blood and bone marrow donors"

2. "Teachers lured by chocolate ploy"
   < >
"An Essex school which advertised for a new teacher who 'must like chocolate'
 has seen a huge increase in applications for the job"

3. "Paris stores try striptease to seduce customers"
   < >
"Hundreds of women were expected to flock to the venerable shopping hub
 yesterday for free striptease lessons. The store has hired two professional
 pole dancers to provide expert advice"

4. "Voters offered free striptease"
   < >
"Ukrainian voters are being offered a free striptease in a bid to win their
 votes for a presidential candidate"

5. "'Vote liberal and I'll strip,' Hungary ad girl says"
   < >
"'Boys, if you vote for the liberals, I'll strip,' a girl in jeans and a
 revealing shirt teases Hungarian voters in a mock advert for the European

6. "Free meals for lasting love"
   < >
"A Chinese restaurant is offering a free meal to dining couples if they come
 back, still together, a year later"

7. "Dinner leftovers become art"
   < >
"A Chilean artist is offering her audience a free dinner as part of her new
 exhibition. The dirty plates, cutlery and leftovers will then make up part
 of the display"

8. "Soccer club to snag more spectators"
   < >
"Bottom-placed Czech first division football club Chmel Blsany has launched
 a new campaign to lure fans to its game, promising free sausages to them
 if the team scores a goal"

9. "Football club's jobs offer"
   < >
"A Brazilian football team is trying to boost crowds by raffling off jobs at


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