Humans can turn ears off

HUMANS CAN TURN OFF THEIR EARS, scientists at University College London discovered. Tests led by Professor Nilli Lavie concluded that humans can opt to deflect unwanted sounds, just like they can close their eyes if they don’t want to see something.

This news was passed on to me by reader Harry Blixer, who said: “CLEARLY this professor is not married.”

I had to agree. If Professor Lavie was married, she would know that ALL husbands turn their ears on and off several times a day, depending on:

a) whether conversations are interrupting sport on TV;

b) whether the subject being discussed is beneficial (“Have you fixed the toilet yet?” being an example of a non-beneficial topic), or:

c) whether the question is one of those unsafe-to-answer female ones, such as “Tell me honestly, am I sexier than Megan Fox frolicking on a beach with Jessica Alba?”

Once again, scientists have wasted millions discovering what the rest of us already know.

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DID YOU you see Colonel Gaddafi’s statement of defiance last week? “We will not surrender: we are not WOMEN,” he sneered. May I give you some friendly advice, Muammar? Standing up to NATO is one thing. But picking a fight with the female population of planet Earth? You’re TOAST, mate.

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ONE IN in 25 corporate executives has the personality of a psychopath, or serial killer, researchers in the UK reported last week. Shocking! Only one in 25? Clearly they missed the famously vicious commodity broker Glencore off the survey. Or perhaps they left off the word “not”? One in 25 corporate executives does NOT have the personality of a serial killer. That I could believe.

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AN ULTRA-CUTE theme park is being built in the small town of Anji, near Shanghai, devoted to Hello Kitty. The design theme throughout the US$200m park is “sweetness”. Meanwhile, an explosion of diabetes has started to radiate across China, Bloomberg reported last week. Coincidence? I think NOT.

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ODDEST announcement of the year comes from McDonald’s, which says it is changing the recipe of its grilled chicken burger to give it “a more neutral flavor profile”. Does that mean they found that one of their products actually tasted of something so stepped in to bring it in line?

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MICE HAVE a powerful sense of smell and can be used in airport searches, scientists said. Great. That should put an end to the biggest problem facing humanity at the moment, the international cheese-smuggling cartels.

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ACTIVISTS IN San Francisco are trying to ban circumcision anywhere within the city limits, with a hearing coming up next month, the press says. I guess they can use the city’s theme song as evidence: “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. No other body parts mentioned, see?

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A MOTHER and three kids lived in a railway station in Russia for nine years, according to UK Daily Mirror item shown to me by shocked reader Jaya Wickrama. Have you ever been on the railways in Russia, Jaya? They were probably just waiting for their train. Nine years is NORMAL.

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Gotta go. I am scheduled to give a three-hour lecture on creativity this a.m. I mean, who feels creative on a Monday morning?! Sigh.Let's talk tomorrow.

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(Ilustration is "Coach Potato 2" by New York artist Sasha Silverstein)