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The News Hole

What a Wonderful World

Posted 8/30/2006

Anil Mahaju and Diya Kashyap recently traded vows in a small ceremony in Kathmandu. Their wedding is the first public gay marriage in Nepal, where homosexuality is a crime punishable by up to a year in jail. (IndiaeNews.com)

Conservative French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is trying some radical methods to get his UMP party name in front of voters. His campaign is distributing condoms and flip-flops sporting the party logo and has hired planes to tow banners over resort beaches. (The Guardian/United Kingdom)

A currency changeover has provoked spending sprees and angry consumers in Zimbabwe. After rushing to spend or trade in old bank notes before the Aug. 21 deadline, many citizens afterward found themselves unable to get change for purchases due to a shortage of smaller bills. (News24.com/South Africa)

A Taiwanese fishing vessel recently picked up three Mexican men afloat in the South Pacific in a 25-foot boat. According to the men, they had set out from the Mexican coast nine months earlier on a shark-fishing expedition and drifted after developing engine trouble. Two of the original group allegedly died because they couldn't adapt to a diet of raw fish and seabirds. (BBC)

Pollution has begun shrinking the size of polar bear genitalia, a Danish study has found. Elevated levels of certain industrial pollutants correlated with smaller testicles and penis bones in a population of bears studied in Greenland. (LiveScience.com)

Scientists theorize than global warming may lead to a resurgence of bubonic plague. Milder winters and warmer, wetter summers increase populations of fleas, the vector that helped the bacteria kill a third of Europe's population in the 14th century.


Hey, Eff You, Pal

In a revelation sure to shock anyone who's lived here more than a week, those do-gooders at Men's Health magazine--the same jokers who recently declared us the seventh-worst city in the country just 'cause we're a bunch of polluted fatties--rank Baltimore as the fourth-angriest city in the country. Just the fourth angriest? Something doesn't seem right here.

The magazine collected data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (high blood pressure), the FBI (aggravated assaults), the Bureau of Labor (workplace deaths), the Texas Transportation Institute (traffic congestion), and the Governors Highway Safety Association (speeding citations). What its researchers learned is that Baltimoreans (or at least Baltimore's men) are a bunch of speeding, disgruntled jerks who are gonna drop dead of a heart attack right after they beat a guy in traffic while waiting to get through the tunnel during Friday rush hour. To which we say: Well, duh.

Perhaps surprisingly, the "winner" of Men's Health's poll is the happiest place on Earth, Orlando, Fla., a city full of ticking time bombs in Mickey Mouse costumes. The whole state of Florida fares pretty badly, with a whopping four cities in the Top 10. The least angry city in the country is Manchester, N.H., a quiet little burg of 107,006 people that looks so cute on its little web site that we just wanna puke.

So is that all there is then--an early, stress-related death, but not before taking as many people with us as humanly possible? Well, Men's Health recommends a multivitamin, which has been shown to chill people out and reduce the risk of heart disease. They also suggest that you don't go to bed mad because you'll wake up still mad the next day. And, yeah, exercise will help, so climb on that stairmaster, you slob.

We'd also just like to take a moment to point out that the No. 1 and No. 3 spots on the Men's Health list are home to our sister papers Orlando Weekly and the Detroit Metro-Times. Surely this is no coincidence.

The Top 10

1. Orlando, Fla.
2. St. Petersburg, Fla. 3. Detroit
4. Baltimore
5. Nashville, Tenn.
6. Wilmington, Del.
7. Miami
8. Memphis, Tenn.
9. Jacksonville, Fla.
10. St. Louis

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