QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Comics have psychotic personality traits

QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

ENGLAND: Having an unusual personality structure could be the secret to making other people laugh, scientists said after research showed that comedians have high levels of psychotic personality traits.

In a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers analysed comedians from Australia, Britain, and the US and found they scored significantly higher on four types of psychotic characteristics compared with a control group of people who had non-creative jobs.

The traits included a tendency towards impulsive or anti-social behaviour and a tendency to avoid intimacy.

“The creative elements needed to produce humour are strikingly similar to those characterising the cognitive style of people with psychosis — both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” said Gordon Claridge of the University of Oxford’s department of experimental psychology, who led the study.


GREECE: A disabled man has been charged with robbing a bank in Greece with a shotgun hidden on his crutch.

Police said the man’s first attempt near Thessaloniki failed when he got to a teller without suspicion, but the bank’s safe was on a time delay. Four days later, the ruse worked at a nearby bank and he made off with €12,000.

In both cases, the weapon was strapped to the inside of the one crutch he was using. Police said the 56-year-old suspect, a local baker, said he was heavily in debt during Greece’s economic crisis and used the stolen money to pay his creditors.


USA: A Mexican teenager has died from drinking highly concentrated liquid methamphetamine at a San Diego border crossing in an attempt to persuade inspectors that it was only apple juice.

Cruz Marcelino Velazquez, 16, volunteered to take “a big sip” at the San Ysidro port of entry, US doctors said. He was then handcuffed and taken to a security office, where he began screaming in pain, said something about “the chemicals”, and shouted “my heart! My heart!” in Spanish. He died later from acute methamphetamine intoxication.

San Ysidro, the nation’s busiest border crossing, has emerged as a major corridor for smuggling methamphetamine as Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel has increased its presence. To avoid detection, crystal meth is dissolved in water and disguised in juice bottles, windscreen wiper fluid containers, and petrol tanks. It is later converted into crystals.


ENGLAND: A pub landlord is flushed with success after the gents’ toilet he transformed into a Tardis turned into a tourist attraction for sci-fi fans.

Andrew Mitchell, owner of The White Hart in Dorking, Surrey, installed a replica of the time-travelling police box from BBC TV series Doctor Who in 2007 when the smoking ban meant the toilet had to be moved to make space for people to smoke outside.

Mr Mitchell, 51, said: “From the outside the toilet looks really small but when you go in it is really big. Most residents do not think anything of it as they see it every day but tourists do ask about it. When we get tourists in, they pop in for a drink and take photos.” Commenting on the reaction from regulars, he said: “It’s become known locally as ‘The Turdis’.”


ENGLAND: Burglars who stole a pet turtle from its tank are being hunted by police.

A small safe containing jewellery and cash was also taken from a property in Forest Town, Mansfield.

Detective Constable Andre Bak, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “A turtle is an unusual item to steal and one that might raise a few eyebrows should the offender try to sell it. We are asking anyone who saw the burglary or anything unusual around this time to get in touch with us or Crimestoppers.”

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