Top Weird Stories of 2001

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In other animal news, Swedish researchers learned that female trout sometimes fake orgasms. Who knew that even fish had egos?

9. Penis Survey Comes Up Short — Here's welcome news for men who fear they don't measure up: Condom makers have found penis size is a bit shorter than given in the Kinsey Report. Why? Well, for one thing, these days scientists don't let the men measure themselves.

10. Prize-Winning Genitalia — Ghosts, gouls and witches are scary. But a 17-year-old boy dressed for a high-school Halloween party as female genitalia was just a little too scary for Ann Arbor, Mich., school officials. He was suspended, even though the anatomically correct costume resembled what's in his biology text book. His mother, a midwife, had made the costume in tribute to her gender. Classmates who voted him first prize in the costume contest said his outfit was less offensive than others who wear outfits that celebrate violence. Wolf Files readers later joined the fray.

Halloween took on a different feeling this year. Many kids dressed in honor of as figherfighters and rescue workers. One of the most popular costume — perhaps always frightening to New York Democrats — was a Rudolph Giuliani mask.

Bonus Spiritual Offering: Indian Woman on U.S. "Hugging Tour" — Thousands of Americans waited on line, many of them for more than three hours, simply to receive a motherly hug from Mata Amritanandamayi, a cherubic Indian woman. In New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington and six other cities, this woman spent up to 18 hours a day embracing those who needed to be embraced. On some days in India, she's hugged 15,000 people. Her followers claim she may have hugged 20 million people worldwide. Now that's the power of love.

Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at The Wolf Files is published Thursdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.