The Dead Zone

Dying to know when you're gonna kick the bucket? Just ask your computer!

After providing a few simple facts, will tell you exactly when you're going to expire — and provides a ticker to help you count down the minutes (assuming you've got nothing better to do with the rest of your life).

And if you're really unlucky, it might just say: "I'm sorry, but your time has expired! Have a nice day."

Not happy with your date of death? No problem. Users of "the Internet's friendly reminder that life is slipping away" can influence their fate by switching the clock into pessimistic, sadistic or optimistic modes, Reuters reports.

Wondering what kind of ghoul would come up with a site like this? The author remains anonymous, but offers this explanation:

"The Death Clock makes money and helps ensure I don't run out of Pepsi One and video games … I believe in God, very strongly, but I don't believe that talking about Death would offend the big cheese."

If the Death Clock doesn't satisfy your morbid curiosity, you could always look for a second opinion from the Death Meter at or take the life expectancy quiz at (which will not only tell you when you'll croak, but where and how).

And if you haven't personally expired but you've got the insatiable desire to have the last word with someone who beat you to the punch, so to speak, the Internet can help you there too. Just visit, which claims your message will be memorized by a terminally ill volunteer, who will then pass it on to your buddy on the other side.

"With the help of terminally ill volunteers, our service is sending telegrams to people who have passed away," the site reads. "Since we can not guarantee delivery nor prove that a message has been delivered successfully, our customers do not pay for 'deliveries'. They pay for 'delivery attempts.'"

And You Thought This Stuff Only Happens on TV

CARLTON, Ore. (AP) — In February of 2003 Emily Streight put a message in a bottle, sealed it with duct tape and dropped it into Panther Creek eight miles from her home in Carlton.

She figured it got stuck in the brush along the creek. She was 12 at the time.

But last week she got a letter from a 16-year-old Honolulu boy named Keoni, who found it on a Hawaiian beach following a luau.

He wrote back and enclosed the original.

She mentally traced the currents that carried the bottle.

It went down Panther Creek, the North Yamhill River, the Yamhill River, the Willamette River and the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, then across to the Hawaiian Islands.

Keoni sent a one-page typed note saying his ancestry was a mix of Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese, that he likes to surf, kayak and skateboard, and that he plays wide receiver on the football team.

This Just in From the Fun With Fowl Department

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A city councilman drew guffaws and cackles by striding into the council chambers in a yellow chicken costume moments before the council discussed an ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens within city limits.

Councilman Steve Volan's chicken suit led to a string of jokes before the serious business of chicken-keeping got under way Wednesday evening.

During the discussion, 21 audience members spoke in favor of allowing city residents to raise egg-laying chickens and four spoke against the ordinance.

Volan joined the 5-1 council majority in voting to recommend the ordinance for final approval on Nov. 1. Three council members abstained from voting.

Lucille Bertuccio, president of the Center for Sustainable Living, said that when people grow their own food and raise their own chickens, they actually contribute to public health.

"When you buy eggs from factory farms, they contain antibiotics, pesticides, hormones you should not be eating those eggs," Bertuccio said.

Opponents of chicken-keeping said they fear that neighbors with chickens would impact property values, and threaten the public health.

"Poultry in city limits is not a good idea," said Bob Schmidt of the Monroe County Health Department, citing risks of salmonella contamination and illnesses.

Talk About a Sweet Deal

MIDDLETON, Wis. (AP) — A Middleton dentist is offering money for Halloween candy.

Why? Because he knows how damaging candy can be to children's teeth.

The day after Halloween, dentist Chris Kammer will give kids a dollar a pound for candy. They'll also receive a glowing electric toothbrush.

Kammer, a 1981 Marquette Dental School graduate, says he hopes kids will pick out a few favorite pieces and turn in the rest.

The candy will be shipped to American troops overseas.

When 15 Minutes of Fun Just Isn't Cutting the Mustard ...

MELROSE, Mass. (AP) — Some elementary school kids in Melrose say 15 minutes for recess just isn't enough. So they're petitioning for a little less study time and a little more play time.

The fifth-graders say more than 100 of their classmates have signed the petition calling for a doubling of recess time. They say recess has been cut back so more time can be spent studying for the standardized M-CAS exams.

Caroline Kerwin, 11, tells the Melrose Free Press that kids are "stressed out" and need time to relax.

Another student, Alexandra Lloyd, says recess isn't all fooling around. She says sometimes kids play thinking games, like trying to figure out how to cross an imaginary river filled with alligators.

The students plan to deliver the petition to the Melrose School Committee and State Education Commissioner David Driscoll.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We would like to know about it. Send an e-mail with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things) to