Oddly Enough

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The Independent Online
Dicing with Death: Dan Sullivan, a 34-year-old American lab supervisor, has developed Infection, a board game of skill, luck and virulent diseases. Players start with five cards representing such perils as the common cold and anthrax. Players can leave diseases in squares marked "public restroom" or "community swim center". If you land on one of the squares, you get the disease. Sullivan, who has a doctorate in chemistry, has sold 70 of the $28 games since October.

Sauces for courses: Most British universities already give an excellent education in beer drinking. But now Warwick University has gone one better by introducing a course aimed at improving practical knowledge. "The Demon Drink - A Social History of the English Public House" is a 10-week open studies course available to the public as well as students.

Topics include strange pub names, pub grub and, disturbingly, where to find the country's strongest beer. Students will learn the difference between taverns, pubs and inns, understand why ale and beer are different, and learn why angry drinkers ran riot in the Middle Ages when hops were added to their favourite brews.

One module will cover the rare pub pastime of "dwyle flanking" - a bizarre game in which drinkers dressed as scarecrows dodge mops soaked in beer.

Colombians play safe: Revelers at an annual fair had to step aside when a giant inflated contraceptive snaked through downtown Cali, Colombia's third-largest city. The Guinness Book of Records has recognised the condom, which stretched over half a mile and weighed about 1,350kg, as the largest ever made. A project organiser said: "The idea is to show people that Aids is a huge problem - much bigger than this condom." The condom took two months to build at a cost of pounds 8,000 and was paid for by Santiago de Cali University and a condom manufacturer.