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Archive for Thursday, April 8, 1999

WEIRD NEWS

April 8, 1999

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Drop the hatch

According to a recent issue of the Indian Journal of Orthopaedics, a majority of arthritis patients in a study showed a reduction in pain and an increase in hand-grip strength after a regimen of "autohemotherapy." About 3/4 cup of blood was withdrawn from patients' veins, mixed in a copper bowl with 1/4 cup each of honey and lemon juice, stirred for several minutes, and then taken orally.

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According to a January Chicago Sun-Times report, a 1998 National Institutes of Health surgery trial at the University of Colorado experimented with 40 Parkinson's disease patients, 20 of whom received fetal tissue implanted in their brains and 20 of whom had four holes drilled in their heads as placebos but nothing implanted. Some medical ethicists draw a distinction between giving patients placebo sugar pills and drilling holes in their heads, but apparently none of the 20 was adversely affected. However, the trial was delayed when a couple of the real-implant patients died.

Music mayhem

In February, an upscale housing development north of West Palm Beach, Fla., was denied a restraining order against pig farmer Paul Thompson, who blares country and western music from loudspeakers in order to soothe his hogs and improve their appetites. And a March Associated Press report from Fort Lupton, Colo., detailed municipal judge Paul Sacco's punishments for violators of the town's boombox noise ordinance: They must report to court weekly to listen to selections ranging from Roger Whitaker standards to bagpipes to Navajo flute music to Judge Sacco's own guitar compositions. (Several violators interviewed by the AP admitted they were scared straight by the music.)

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