Chef in China killed by decapitated cobra

A chef preparing a dish made from cobra flesh died after the snake bit his hand – 20 minutes after he had severed it from its body.

five-head-cobra-3Peng Fan from Foshan, Guangdong province, southern China, had been preparing a special dish made from Indochinese spitting cobra, a rare delicacy.

It was as he went to chuck the cobra’s head in the bin that it bit him, injecting Mr Peng with its flesh-killing, neurotoxic venom.

The snake was being diced up to be made into snake soup, which is a delicacy in Guangdong and a much sought after dish in the province’s high-end restaurants.

Restaurant guest Lin Sun, 44, who was in the restaurant with his wife Su at the time said: “We were in the restaurant having a meal for my wife’s birthday when suddenly there was a lot of commotion.

Victims of the Indochinese spitting cobra generally asphyxiate after the neurotoxin paralyses their respiratory system.

Lost in translation? Pizza Hut in Japan is now totally being run by cats and they’re understandably terrible at it

The latest treat from Japan is a website announcing the grand opening of Pizza Cat!, a Pizza Hut restaurant apparently run entirely by cats. The campaign is rolling out as tiny “episodes” of each “employee” cat doing jobs like delivering pizzas, cleaning the floors and managing the money.

We’re not quite sure of the actual point of it all, but according to the translation of the YouTube page, “Pizza Cat! Store is a fictional store.” 

A chocolate toilet? A $133,000 bathroom suite made out of Belgian chocolate

When I think chocolate toilet, I’m thinking of some 50-something digestive issue that explodes way too fast.

la-chocolate-bathroom-suite-20140820-photos-001Bathrooms.com, a bathroom furniture retail site, and U.K.-based chocolatiers Choccywoccydoodah have gotten together to create a bathroom furnished with Belgian chocolate. The set is being advertised on Bathroomsweets.com, a site Bathrooms.com Chief Executive Ian Monk decided to create after seeing people frequently mispell suite as sweet.

“We realized that over a million British people searching for new bathrooms were popping ‘bathroom sweets,’ rather than ‘bathroom suites’ into their preferred search engines,” said Monk in a statement on Bathroomsweets.com. “The simple mistake caught our imagination, what if we created a bathroom suite, out of something sweet?”

The Maderno Sweet bathroom set includes a 210,000-calorie chocolate bidet, a 210,000-calorie chocolate sink, an 8 million-calorie chocolate tub and a 980,000-calorie chocolate toilet. The entire set has 9.4 million calories and is listed for sale on the site for $133,040. Or you can purchase the pieces individually. Everything is made fresh, so you can expect a two- to three-month wait time.

eaten, can be kept at room temperature for years. And you can add a layer of varnish if you’d like to preserve your sweet suite even longer.

Don’t eat dog poop, and don’t run around with sharp objects in your ear

Oh, the Brits.

don't.eat.dog.poopTheir science-based food safety agency won’t say, use a thermometer, but a local council tells kids not to eat dog poop.

Upon seeing this image, you tell yourself that this park can’t possibly be warning kids not to eat dog feces. As if it could ever possibly be a real issue. But then upon reading the sign, you find out you are wrong: the park is warning kids not to eat turds left by dogs because dog turds cause blindness.

Pee-cycling? Vermont effort to piss on farms

A small group of environmentalists in Vermont are collecting urine with special toilets that separate no. 1 and no. 2.

no.pee.urinate.signEliza Barclay of NPR – The Salt writes, then they’re pooling the urine of the 170 volunteers in their pilot project (a quart or so, per person, daily) and eventually giving it to a farmer, who’s putting it on her hay fields in place of synthetic fertilizer. The goal is to collect 6,000 gallons this year.

The logic driving this avant-garde project of the Rich Earth Institute, based in Brattleboro, Vt., is that it’s foolish and wasteful to part with the precious nitrogen and phosphorus that moves from the food we eat right through us — especially when farmers have to buy fertilizer at great expense to put those very same nutrients back into the soil.

What’s more, founders Abraham Noe-Hays and Kim Nace tell The Salt, once our urine enters the wastewater system, drinking water carries it to a treatment facility, where the nutrients become pollutants that can contaminate waterways and cause algal blooms, among other issues.

The idea of “pee-cycling” has much in common with the “night soil” tradition, as well as the newer practice of using biosolids, or sewage sludge that’s been transformed into soil amendment for farmers. Several wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. have been making and donating biosolids, which are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, to farmers for years. But the practice is controversial because some activists claim that even certified biosolids could contain harmful chemicals.d

Junk science: Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to faithfully ensure his meals aren’t poisoned

As a genetics student in the early 1980s, we were taught about the silliness of Trorfim Lysenko, who set back Russian agricultural production by hundreds of years.

food.tasterToday’s current Russian leader, Vladamir Putin, wants to go further back to the dark ages, and apparently has a professional food taster on his full-time staff.

Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian, but didn’t take any chances that some assassin might toxify his favourite dish of asparagus, peppers and cauliflower. A woman called Margot Woelk was brought a plate of food to test, at noon every morning of his last two years alive. If she didn’t fall ill, the food was packed up in cartons and delivered to his military HQ.

Food tasters have been used for thousands of years to sorta protect those in power from the many poisons out there. Doesn’t work so well with microorganisms like Listeria that may take six weeks to incubate, but other procedures have been developed.

There’s recurrent stories of U.S. Presidential food tasters, that are always denied, but the Food and Drug Administration does takes an active role in food prep for the President.

There are plenty of bacteria that would take days to develop into symptoms.

Nice science, Vlad.

Veterinarian and pork producers president-elect arrested for trying to take gun in to DC meetings

Capitol Police confiscated a 9mm Ruger handgun from the bag of Camden, S.C., resident Ronald William Prestage shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning at the Cannon House Office Building. Prestage, 59, was arrested and cannongun-01charged with carrying a pistol without a license, a District of Columbia offense that carries up to five years in prison.

Records indicate he has a concealed carry permit in South Carolina. Prestage is a veterinarian and farm operator, and is president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council. He may have been on the Hill to lobby on agriculture issues.

Lizard found in egg puff, 3rd in a month in India

 The city police have registered a case against owner of the New Ragam Bakery at Ammankoil near Sivanandapuram after one of the customers found a dead lizard in an egg puff on Friday evening. The customer was rushed to a nearby hospital after he started vomiting in the bakery. A similar incident was reported last month after a man found a dead lizard in an egg puff bought from a bakery near Town Hall.

Egg PuffsfinalA Balachandran, 29, a car driver, P Rameshkumar, 31, an electrician, and their friend T Rajendran, 32, a coconut seller from Chinnavedampatti had gone to New Ragam Bakery near Sivanandapuram on Friday evening.

“I ordered two vegetable puffs and one egg puff for my friend Rameshkumar. He took a few bites and saw the dead lizard inside the egg puff. He started vomiting and felt giddy. I took him to a private clinic at Sivanandapuram and lodged a complaint against the bakery with Saravanampatti police station,” said Balachandran.

He added that they were regular customers at the bakery for the last eight years. “After seeing the dead lizard in the egg puff, we have decided to stop eating puffs altogether,” said Balachandran.

Montana pool closed after intentional poop incident

Who poops in a pool? On purpose?

Bogert Pool was closed Thursday after fecal matter was found in the pool that morning.

caddyshack.pool.poop-1“To us it appears someone was in the facility overnight,” said Elizabeth Hill, the city’s interim aquatics manager. “It was something that would have been done sometime between us closing last night and opening this morning.”

Staff members discovered “a decent amount” of fecal matter intentionally placed in the pool when they removed covers from the surface, Hill said.

The pool was closed while it was cleaned and more chlorine was added. It is expected to reopen this morning.

“We just follow the standard procedure of letting chlorine do its work in filtering through the system for 24 hours,” Hill said. “Our first priority and concern is just getting the matter out of the water and letting the chlorine start to work.”

Poop beer from Iceland

In this week’s do-not-miss world of beer news, it appears the Icelandic brewery Borg Brugghús has created a beer that gets its unique taste characteristics from, yes indeed, sheep dung.

Borg BrugghúsThe malted barley that goes into their Fenrir Nr. 26 is smoked over burning Icelandic sheep excrement for several hours, resulting in a brew that is, according to brewmaster Sturlaugur Jon Björnsson, “Þetta er í raun léttur IPA bjór með sítruslegt og ferskt bragð og lykt frá humlunum. Síðan kemur svolítið þyngri, taðreyktur fílingur í þetta en þetta gengur allt saman upp.”

For the non-Icelandic among us, that more or less translates as “It’s a lightweight IPA with fresh citrus and hop notes, then comes a bit heavier taste from the…” Well. You get the idea.

This sort of madness isn’t exactly new—witness Beer Geek Brunch Weasel beer from Denmark craft beer superstar Mikeller, which derived some of its flavor from Vietnamese ca phe chon coffee (beans harvested from civet cat poop). But, you know, it’s still not exactly mainstream.