News of the weird

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Penis alert: Canadian researchers have found that about half the alleged aphrodisiacs they tested did not contain the ingredients advertised. Those claiming to contain seal penises had often been made with genitalia from dogs or cows. "They're selling penises under one name and in fact the source is something different," said Professor Bradley White.

No new clowns: Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus have decided to stop offering eight-week beginners' courses at their Clown College. They will be replaced by "Masters of Comedy" master-class workshops, open to the 1,400 trained clowns already in the business.

Delicate jaws: A Mexican company has announced that it expects a large increase in its chicle exports this year. While most chewing-gum is now made from synthetic chicle, the Japanese have shown an increasing fondness for the natural product. "We are exporting almost all our product to Japan, because Japanese jaws are more delicate," said Jorge Fong, the president of Mexitrade.

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