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Some News You May Have Missed

30 Mar

March 30, 2010

I love the alternative press. Sure, your daily paper reported on the recent Health Care bill, but did it report on the Giant African Snail smugglers? You may have read about the Moscow subway bombing, but did you read about the Holy Temple Toilets of Japan? Or the woman who assaulted a police officer by squirting breast milk at her? I doubt it.

The alternative press is where you learn about exploding hens, Yeti sightings, government cattle mutilation conspiracies, and all sorts of things you may not want to know about genetically altered sea slugs. The snooty New York Times may ignore these legitimate and all too freaky stories, but not me.

So as part of my ongoing attempt to educate the American public to a fifth grade level, here are some stories you may have missed.

Florida’s Agriculture Department, acting on a tip, confiscated Giant African Snails believed to have been smuggled into the country by Charles Stewart of Hialeah, Fla., for use in the religion Ifa Orisha, which encourages followers to drink the snails’ mucus for its supposed healing powers. Actually, said the department (joined in the investigation by two federal agencies), bacteria in the mucus causes frequent violent vomiting, among other symptoms. At press time, Stewart had not been charged with a crime. [Miami Herald, 3-10-10]

Ugh, I’m feeling a little sick right now. I may have had some of that mucus.
Seriously, I get freedom of religion and all that, but any religion that encourages the drinking of snail mucus is seriously screwed up. It is as bad as Scientology but with the added benefit of no Tom Cruise.

Japan’s Mantokuji temple in Gumma province was historically the place where women went to cleanse themselves in divorce, aided by the temple’s iconic toilets, into which the bad spirits from the failed liaisons could be shed and flushed forever. The toilets have been modernized, according to a February Reuters dispatch, and today the temple is used by the faithful to rid themselves of all types of problems. (The upgrades also permitted a solution to a longstanding annoyance at the temple, of visitors mistaking the iconic toilets for regular commodes.) [Reuters, 2-26-10]

Toilets are a fascinating subject (see No Toilet No Bride) because they cross ethnic, racial, religious, political lines. From the youngest to the oldest, no matter where we may have been born of currently live, we all have to take a crap.  I’m “relieved” to know that people no longer confuse the two types of toilets, though even regular toilets can be used to rid people of “bad spirits.” I have personally used the facilities in both Yale University and Harvard (for more on Harvard toilets, click here, and Yale toilets here), so I know whereof I speak.

Toni Tramel, 31, angry at being jailed in Owensboro, Ky., for public intoxication in March, had “assaulting a police officer” added to the charges when, changing into a jail uniform, she allegedly pointed her lactating breast at a female officer and squirted her in the face. [Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, W.Va.), 3-6-10]

Is this an assault? I guess it is, though there are some people who’d pay plenty of money for that in Times Square. Not that I’d know anything about that, no sir, not me. I’m not sure what she could be charged with – assault with a deadly boob? Indecent exposure with an intent to wet? There are some other questions unanswered in this article. How close was the officer? What was the range of the breast milk? Just how close was the female officer to the breast in question and did it lead to any fun like in those late night Cinemax films where women in jail and prison guards mix like peanut butter and KY jelly? Probably not.

Really, though, why waste perfectly good breast milk when you can follow the lead of this New York City couple?

It’s a simple recipe, said A-List New York City chef Daniel Angerer: a cheese derived from the breast milk of his wife, who is nursing the couple’s 3-month-old daughter. As a chef, he said, “you look out for something new and what you can do with it,” and what Angerer could do is make about two quarts of “flavor(ful)” cheese out of two gallons of mother’s milk. “(T)astes just like really sweet cow’s milk.” He posted the recipe, “My Spouse’s Mommy Milk Cheese,” on his blog and invited readers’ participation: “Our baby has plenty (of) back-up mother’s milk in the freezer, so whoever wants to try it is welcome to try it as long as supply lasts (please consider cheese aging time).” [New York, 3-2-10]

If it is a choice between this and licking that Giant African Snail, I may go for the snail.

That’s your news roundup for this week. Check back next time for more news the mainstream media doesn’t want you to know.

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