FDA says, keep lilies away from your cats

The white, trumpet-shaped Easter lily symbolizes Easter and spring for many people, and is a popular decoration in homes at this time of year.

If you have cats, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind you that these particular flowers, as well as Tiger, Asiatic, Day, and Japanese Show lilies, are a safety threat to your feline friends.

easter.lilyEating small amounts of plants or grass may be normal for cats. But the entire lily plant (leaf, pollen, and flower) is poisonous to them, according to Melanie McLean, a veterinarian at FDA. Even if they just eat a couple of leaves or lick a few pollen grains off their fur, cats can suffer acute kidney failure within a very short period of time.

McLean says that if your cat has eaten part of a lily, the first thing you’ll see is vomiting soon afterwards. That may gradually lessen over two to four hours. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start to urinate frequently. Then, if kidney failure sets in, the cat will stop urinating because the kidneys stop being able to produce urine. Untreated, she says, a cat will die within four to seven days of eating a lily.

Man arrested at NY airport for smuggling cocaine in frozen meat

Many years ago when I was a teenager, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (Canada), some friends went to Jamacia, and came back with a wooden owl – filled with ganga.

johnny-depp-blowThings haven’t changed much.

From the frozen meat files, a man who was flying from Trinidad to JFK Airport tried to smuggle more than 7 pounds of cocaine hidden in three packages of frozen meat last month.

When Yudishtir Maharaj arrived in New York on March 20, U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspected the packages they found in his luggage. 

They discovered white powder inside the meat, which tested positive for cocaine, authorities said.

Maharaj, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, was charged with importing a controlled substance, according to customs officials.

Medieval poop found: still stinks

I’ve always been a fan of the raspberries.

A number of Medieval wooden barrels have been uncovered in Denmark, revealing their less- than-glamorous contents.

Originally built to transport goods and store fish, the barrels were converted into latrines — still filled with their original contents.

medevial.poop“We are talking about 700-year-old latrines. And yes, they still smell bad,” Maria Elisabeth Lauridsen, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation, told Discovery News.

Unearthed in the center of the Medieval town of Odense, the birthplace of the fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, the barrels are believed to have served a toilet area.

“Preliminary results of analysis show that raspberries were popular in Odense in the 1300s. The contents also contain small pieces of moss, leather and fabric which were used as toilet paper,” Lauridsen said.

A Montreal cafe that won’t let you poop

This past weekend Sprudge.com editors Zachary Carlsen and Jordan Michelman traveled to Montreal, Quebec as speakers at the first Barista Nation event of 2014. And discovered a cafe policy so shocking, so out of the ordinary that it demands sharing with the wider world. Because there in Montreal, Michelman and Carlsen stumbled upon a cafe with a very strict ordinance.

A cafe that won’t let its patrons poop.

“Numero Un Seulement”, reads the sign on the door at Cafe Aux Marron, a small, intimate shop serving a variety of Canadian and American roasters, no.poop.cafelocated on a snowy sidestreet just a few rue from the McGill University campus in downtown Montreal.

Roughly translated, the sign means “Number #1 Only”, a slang colloquialism that Marron likely picked up from its American transplant clientele. The bathroom itself is a one door petite unisex affair, located directly adjacent to the cafe’s small seating area and coffee bar.

The reasoning behind the policy? “Logique“, says Marque Montpellier, the propriétaire at Marron, who would not allow himself to be photographed for this article. He went on to explain in French (and translated by Amy):

We sample coffee every day in this café. The clients’ odors are a serious problem. No perfume, no cologne, and no bowel movements are allowed in this café. It’s a strict policy. We are professional coffee tasters; we have to restrict all unpleasant odors in the café. Thank you for respecting this policy.

And what about his staff? Banning a normal, healthy bodily function must be an unpleasant policy for baristas working 8 hour shifts. “Notre personnel ne défèquent pas” Montpellier told Sprudge, which translated roughly means “our staff does not poop.”

Personnel retention is a challenge, concedes Montpellier, but it’s worth it in the name of pursuing his vision for Cafe Aux Marron. “Nous souffrons du café,” Montpellier said, evoking the wider sense of suffering for quality familiar to all service professionals.

Montpellier, who was unwilling to give a statement to Sprudge in English, closed our interview by declaring “Sans numero deux, notre politique nous libere completement.” In the name of fair reporting, we later heard him flirting in perfect English with a young American McGill student.

Parents baffled by doll that literally poops rainbows

As a father of five daughters, I’ve always tried to introduce some activity into their routine to balance all the girly stuff.

Sure Sorenne wears a pink sweater, but she plays hockey.

sorenne.hockeyShe’s also really into human anatomy videos on youtube, so maybe the Moxie Girls are for her.

TM, the brand that owns Bratz and Bratzillas, tells girls what it means to have moxie and the tagline “Be True, Be You.”

The Moxie Girls’ pet unicorns actually poop. But not just any poop, rainbow poop.

One commentator said “I suppose a doll with a pooping pet has some sort of educational value (might encourage potty training), but really, I think they could have done more. After all, it’s a UNICORN. Pooping rainbows is one thing, but if it doesn’t also fart moonbeams and sunshine, then really, it’s only half a unicorn.”


SC Taco Bell patron assaulted for not saying ‘excuse me’ after burping

Sorenne can burp and fart all she likes. As long as she says, excuse me.

Our walks home from school are usually populated with, “excuse me, I terrance.phillip.fartfarted.”

It’s that manners thing (and she is part Canadian, like Terence and Phillip).

According to The Braiser, 20-year-old Isaiah Morris was chilling in a South Carolina Taco Bell booth, eating with a friend, when an unknown male came up and asked if he “had just belched and not said excuse me.”

Morris then asked the man to repeat what he had just said, and the guy (allegedly) threw a chair at him, (allegedly) started choking him, and (allegedly) tried to head-butt him.

At that point a seventeen year old girl working behind the counter broke up the fight and got the aggressor to back off. He drove away, the police got only first-hand reports, and the security cameras probably didn’t capture the altercation.

I can’t embed the video, but the belching contest from 1984′s Revenge of the Nerds is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDdbg_Q-LMI. Wasn’t John Goodman cute?

Albania’s food safety boss sacked over moonshine arrest

Albania’s prime minister sacked the country’s food safety chief on Wednesday after it emerged that he had been arrested in 2012 for selling illicit home-made alcohol.

Aleksander Kalemaj was never prosecuted, but his arrest for involvement borat.drinkin a ‘moonshine’ operation has embarrassed Prime Minister Edi Rama.

“After checks requested by the prime minister, employee Aleksander Kalemaj has been relieved of his duties and no longer serves as Head of the Food Sector at the Risk Management Department of the National Food Authority,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

Rama was forced to act after Albanian media revealed Kalemaj had been caught by police in October 2012 in possession of more than 500 litres of illicit alcohol including brandy and beer.

Rat droppings found in Doritos in Canada?

Tammy McLachlan and her son Connor usually never think twice about putting their hands into a bag of chips but an incident on March 8 has changed that perception forever.

The Whitby (Ontario) mother said she and her son were watching television in the dark and sharing a bag of Doritos tortilla chips when they doritosnoticed something odd.

McLachlan said her son immediately ran into the bathroom and started to throw up.

“I threw up three times, it’s just disgusting. I kept thinking about it,” Connor said.

Due to the objects’ size, the McLachlan’s allege the substance were mouse droppings.

“Mouse poop. Just by looking at it, because it’s small. I’ve seen what mouse poop looks like, that was my first reaction,” she said.

The McLachlan’s wanted an explanation and telephoned PepsiCo Foods Canada, the owner of Frito Lay and the makers of Doritos, but say they didn’t receive a satisfactory response after failed attempts to email pictures of the alleged mouse droppings.

It was later revealed that the email address was incorrect and bounced back.

McLachlan contacted Global News over her concerns and the mystery substance was then sent to an independent lab at the University of Guelph for further forensic testing.

The examination was paid for by Global News.

After a week, the results revealed the bag’s leftover contents contained three “distinct types of foreign materials” including “rodent droppings, paper” and “larger lumps of dark material” appearing to be “burnt or overheated product.”

Animals hairs were also discovered under microscopic tests “that were consistent with rodent hairs.”

The final report also noted there was “no damage consistent with rodent chewing or tears” on the package itself.  The lab could not determine how the foreign materials got into the bag.  The McLachlan family insists they did not leave the chips unattended after opening the package.

When Global News contacted PepsiCo Foods Canada over the test results, the company did not ask for a copy but instead forwarded this written statement:

“We take our customers’ feedback, including complaints, seriously and we’re currently investigating the claim.”

“We have reached out to the CFIA and have reviewed our rigorous pest control protocols at the facility and are confident that they were in place and adequate. However, we cannot, nor can any packaged goods company, speak to what may happen to products that leave our facilities and our control. We haven’t received any other complaints of this nature and will continue to work with the customer to resolve the issue.”

Poop cruise passengers suing Carnival for $5000 a month for life

After a crisis like an outbreak companies have to balance between rebuilding the brand and pragmatism. In 2013, passengers of the Carnival Triumph, affectionately known as the Poop Cruise, were stuck at sea for 5 days with no power, little food and lots of public health risks. Folks reported sewage running down the walls and floors and being asked to defecate in bags and urinate in showers due to a lack of functioning toilets.
In damage control mode, Carnival offered discounts, some cash and complementary bathrobes.
Some cruisers felt Carnival didn’t go far enough to make up for the experience and have sued the cruise line.
A lawsuit brought by 33 passengers of the ill-fated 2013 voyage could change how cruise lines insulate themselves from legal actions, according to maritime legal experts.
The Miami lawsuit is the first from the Triumph incident to go to trial, with others in preparation, according maritime lawyers.
In a statement, Carnival Corp said that while it recognizes its guests experienced uncomfortable conditions, everyone returned safely and were provided with a full refund, a free future cruise and an additional $500 per person.
“This is an opportunistic lawsuit brought by plaintiff’s counsel and plaintiffs who seek to make a money grab,” a company spokeswoman said.
One of the plaintiffs, Debra Oubre, 59, said she has experienced panic and anxiety attacks since the cruise, and also blames the experience for a urinary tract infection. 
“It was chaotic. People were in dire need of help,” said Oubre. “We were standing in line for food for five hours.”
Cruise lines like Carnival have successfully inoculated themselves against passenger lawsuits by printing stringent terms on their tickets that require passengers to waive their right to a class-action lawsuit. 

Contaminated Skittles sold at Indiana store; 2 treated for burning throats, diarrhea

I’ve always been a Smarties type, but for some of my kids, who maybe watched the South Park movie at an impressionable age, Skittles brings them to hysterical laughter.

Not so much fun for the two people who ate from a package of contaminated Skittles required hospital treatment for burning throats, cramping and diarrhea, Indiana authorities big_gay_als_big_gay_boat_ridesaid Wednesday night.

The Indiana State Department of Health said in a news release that preliminary tests showed that packages of Skittles sold at a Marathon Food Mart in Richmond had some kind of chemical substances, though what exactly those substances were has yet to be confirmed.

Investigators also don’t yet know if the package of candy was tampered with, but Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have joined the investigation, Health Department spokesman Amy Reel said.

Authorities are advising people who purchased Skittles with the lot numbers 08JUL14 023 or 01DEC14 023 not to consume the candy but to place the package in an envelope, hold it in a secure location and contact Indiana State Police.