Scientific types in Austria, or somewhere, are one step closer to tapping the vast store of energy locked away in curly hair. It was first discovered as long ago as two o'clock last Wednesday that curly hair contains a phenomenal store of energy, bound up in its atomic matrix. In fact, the average head of curly hair contains energy equivalent to a ten-megaton hydrogen bomb. Even slightly wavy hair can harbour considerable amounts of power. And people with very tightly curled locks might literally be walking time bombs.
This might explain the behaviour of some of our more 'outlandish' personalities. Many people believe the proximity of such enormous power reserves to the brain can lead to all sorts of mental imbalances, and there is some evidence for this. Who can forget the childish tantrums of frizzy headed tennis player, John McEnroe? Or what about the sly, Machiavellian Art Garfunkle who tried to take over the world in 1976, from his secret underwater base in the Indian Ocean? And then there's Winston Churchill, who boasted a splendid head of ginger curls as a child, and was famously loony until he went bald at the age of ten.
The problem facing many scientists and atomic hairdressers is how to find an effective way of straightening hair, thus releasing its energy reserves. Previously it has been thought that this would only be possible under extreme conditions, such as in the heart of a supernova, or on really scary roller-coasters. But an increasing number of barbers now believe that it is possible to straighten hair artificially: so called 'cold flattening'.
Proponents of cold flattening point to a small but persuasive number of anecdotal cases in which spontaneous straightening has apparently occurred under normal conditions. One of the best documented took place in 1842, and concerns an insurance agent called Marcus Length, who was visiting clients in Gloucester. The only survivor of the incident, Rita Tibble - who was employed as a maid at the residence - recalled that Mr Length had seemed uncomfortable throughout the whole meeting, fidgeting restlessly in his chair and scratching his head. She thought nothing of it at the time, putting his obvious discomfort down to wind or some kind of nervous twitch. However, near the end of the meeting, Length suddenly adopted a curiously strained expression. In a statement she gave at the inquest, Miss Tibble reports clearly seeing Length's wiry, black curls 'beginning to unfurl'. Moments later there was a terrifying explosion which removed the upper two floors of the building and deposited bits of its tenants in several nearby towns. Of Marcus Length himself, only the tip of his right index finger was found, perched on the picture rail in an adjoining room.
The exact causes of such spontaneous straightening are uncertain. Suggestions have included magnetic fields, wind speed and certain hair gels, but we are really no closer to the truth. Nevertheless, research beauticians the world over are racing to uncover the secret, experimenting with hairdryers, crimping irons and squashing tongs. And with good reason, for the prize is a fantastic source of practically limitless, clean, low cost energy. Cheaper power for everyone.
But there are, inevitably, darker implications. Rumours are rife that several powers - the USA, China and Japan included - are attempting to produce a super weapon based on the uncurling of hair - the so called 'Perm Bomb'. And it is indeed terrifying to contemplate the destructive power of such a device, when you consider that the energy contained in just 2mm of pubic hair is enough to blow your balls off.
A right load of dodgy villains, and no mistake
The anatomy of a jazz particle
See the monks in their natural habitat
As of February 2012 The University of the Bleeding Obvious comprised over 300 pages. We realise this might make the site a little difficult to navigate, so here's some suggestions to help you get around.
Mouse over the graphic to select a section index, or use the drop down box.