Floating strip club in Alaska got in trouble for dumping poop in the water

A strip club housed in an old crab fishing boat docked off the coast of Alaska is in trouble for allegedly dumping all their waste into the ocean.

strip.club.poop.alaska.fb.15The owners of The Wild Alaskan, Darren Byler and Kimberly Riedel-Byler, are pleading not guilty to their charges, which include breaking the federal Refuse Act.

The two have been in trouble before for going over capacity on the ship, and they recently had their liquor license revoked.

You see a lizard, I see foodborne illness: 36 students vomit after eating dish in India

As many as 36 students of a government school in Ulupakkudi area complained of nausea after eating ‘paniyaram’ from a roadside eatery which had parts of lizard in it, police said.

kuzhi-paniyaram-recipe-1Paniyaram is a fried dish available both in sweet and spicy form.

The students from class 1 to 8 complained of vomiting after consuming the dish, sold by a woman outside the school.

Could that purple thing be replaced with a tip-sensitive digital thermometer?

Oliver Sacks on learning he has terminal cancer: How We Die and A Gentle Death

Oliver Sacks, a professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine, the author of many books, including “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” has revealed he is dying, via the N.Y. Times.

oliver.sacks“My luck has run out,” is how Sacks, 81, announced to the world Thursday that he has terminal cancer.

The neurologist and author — his autobiography comes out this spring, and he has “several other books nearly finished — revealed his condition in an op-ed in Thursday’s New York Times that was soon being widely shared, and admired, online.

Here are five of the most frequently quoted words of wisdom from the column:

  1. Self-assessment: “I cannot say (nor would anyone who knows me say) that I am a man of mild dispositions. I am a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasms, and extreme immoderation in all my passions.”
  2. Detachment: “I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future.”
  3. Gratitude: “I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return.”
  4. Focus: “There is no time for anything inessential.”
  5. Inimitability: “When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”

This is what I wrote in Toronto’s Globe and Mail book review section in 1994, about my grandmother, who ended her own life in 1983.

After five years of painstaking care for her husband, who was slowly deteriorating from the cerebral ravages of Alzheimer’s disease, she decided that a sixth was not worth facing.

Her death was quick and without warning. One moment we were saying goodbye before a routine trip to the store, the next I was transferring her from car to wheelchair at the hospital emergency ward. Within 30 minutes she was officially deceased, the result of a major pharmaceutical overdose.

Looking back, I’ve often wondered what I would say to her, given the chance. Don’t do it, life is really okay. You are not alone. Things will get better.

But in reality, life is often harsh, she was often alone, and the prospects of yet another winter, trekking to the hospital each day to watch the person she had spent the vast majority of her life with become even more unfamiliar, meant that things certainly were not about to get better; at least not in any foreseeable future.

Humans have created powerful myths and rituals to accompany death, writes Sherwin Nuland in How We Die, but perhaps none more bizarre than the modern hospital, “where it can be hidden, cleansed of its organic blight, and finally packaged for modern burial. We can now deny the power not only of death but of nature itself. We hide our faces from its face, but still we spread our fingers just a bit, because there is something in us that cannot resist a peek.”

Dr. Nuland, a physician who has authored several books about the medical profession and continues to teach surgery and the history of medicine at Yale University, says this book was written to demythologize the process of dying, to present it in its biological and clinical realities. The changes at a cellular and organ-level that accompany heart attacks, stroke and cancer are presented in detail that may be intimidating to the uninitiated. Then again, any person who is faced with life-threatening disease can quite rapidly assimilate the medical jargon — they have to. Physicians capable of talking in clear, simple language are rare.

Marilynne Seguin’s A Gentle Death is an attempt to help ease that journey for patients and their families. Sequin, a registered nurse for over 30 years as well as a founding member and executive director of the Toronto-based Dying With Dignity tells how she, like Nuland, was trained to prolong life at all costs. Experience has taught her to question prevailing attitudes of the medical establishment and she stresses that patients must become informed and responsible for the medical decisions that affects their lives.

In presenting the many examples of people approaching death who Sequin has cared for, a common theme emerges. Rather than a passive silence, many approaching death wish to be at home, surrounded by the noise of children — the noise of life — rather than the sobering silence of loneliness.

Both books try to dispel the hero myth, the one where the nurse or physician is never to allow the patient to lose hope. Yet hope and wishing for miracles get in the way of true discussion; it robs people of their death.

Nuland writes we are currently in the vitamin era, following previous attempts to prolong life through the pseudoscience of monkey glands, mother’s milk, and, as King David tried, sleeping between two virgins. Coming soon will be expanded attempts to prolong life through the mass availability of human growth hormone, derived by genetic engineering, and gene therapy. Only “accurate knowledge of how a disease kills,” writes Nuland, “serves to free us from unnecessary terrors of what we might be fated to endure when we die. We may thus be better prepared to recognize the stations at which it is appropriate to ask for relief, or perhaps to begin contemplating whether to end the journey altogether.”

Which leads to the hotly debated topic of physician-assisted suicide and the right of rational individuals to decide how and when to end their lives. At this point the two books differ strongly. Nuland approves of Living Wills and other advanced care directives, instructing physicians what treatments to withhold in the face of terminal illness, but he strongly disapproves of physician-assisted suicide. Seguin, whoever, sees no distinction. Much of her book is devoted to a frank discussion of the practical advantages and limitations of such approaches.

Nuland, however, fails to come clean on the topic, when he mentions in passing that, “Like so many of my colleagues, I have more than once broken the law to ease a patient’s going, because my promise, spoken or implied, could not be kept unless I did so.” Seguin states quite clearly that many physicians have engaged in such activity, so why not create clear, legally-binding rules, as has been done in the Netherlands.

One Dutch physician who supports the new law says society needs a counterweight for the enormous technology of modern medicine. But more importantly he says, it gives the patient a chance to take leave openly of his children, his grandchildren, and others.

That openness seems crucial to further public discussion of death and dying. I still wonder what I would say to someone who is about to leave this earth on their own accord. Both books provide unique and moving insight into such conversations. Perhaps I now know what I might have said to my grandmother.

Facebook increasingly used to sell homemade food

There’s a new form of entertainment in our house – reading random posts from a closed Facebook page, Wake Forest Community Information. Between crazy requests (‘Is there such a device in case the power goes out, that you can heat your home’ which garnered ‘fire’ an answer) and crowdsourcing medical information (‘Any dentists on here? What is this?’ with a picture of an abscess) are food safety related posts.

Weekly someone posts about getting sick at a local restaurant or getting some physical hazard in their food. And then there are I-make-food-at-home-and-want-to-sell-it posts.facebook-food-art

Facebook as a food sales vehicle is, according to friend of barfblog Linda Harris, not just a North Carolina phenomenon.

In October, KCRA 3 revealed how people were selling lumpia and cheesecakes from homes and street corners. There were even tamales being sold that had been cooked in a garage.

Three months later, there are more users than ever. The “916 Food Spot” group alone has doubled to more than 2,200 members.

They’ve added more entrees to their menus, including ham and cheese dishes.

“It’s like a fast-food restaurant and you go online,” said Linda Harris, at the UC Davis Food Safety Facility.

Harris said many of the offered items don’t fall under the state’s cottage food laws, which allow some nonperishable foods to be sold from home. 

Harris said selling foods on Facebook is a lot different than cooking for your husband and kids.

“When you’re cooking food in your home for your family, that’s one thing,” Harris told KCRA 3. “When you’re taking money in exchange for that food, I believe you have a much higher level of responsibility.”

KCRA 3 brought the Facebook food groups to the attention of the environmental health departments in Sacramento and San Joaquin counties.

San Joaquin County officials have asked their district attorney’s office to help them look into the cases — because they don’t have the staff to do it themselves.

Food inspectors said they still haven’t received a single complaint of a food-borne illness from someone who bought a dish through Facebook.

Baylen Linnekin is an activist who has been pushing to ensure people have freedom to eat the foods they want.

“They are not making a million dollars,” Linnekin said. “It’s not like they are suddenly becoming this baron of underground food in California. They are making a little bit here and a little bit there.”

But Harris said there are legitimate reasons the food safety laws were enacted in the first place.

“Almost every one of our food laws is a response to one or more outbreaks where there was public outcry — actual pushback on the regulators to say, ‘Why aren’t we doing more?'” Harris said.    


Why I let my kids watch South Park: Vaginas, for steaming and yogurt

It was bad enough when ex-Coldplay fan Gwyneth Paltrow hawked the vaginal steam (“The real golden ticket here is the Mugworth V-Steam: You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al … It is an energetic release — not just a steam douche — that balances female hormone levels. If you’re in L.A., you have to do it”).

FFN_RIJ_IRON_MAN3_042413_51078055-1Now, Cecilia Westbrook, an MD/PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has decided to see if it was possible to make yogurt from vaginal bacteria.

Westbrook noted that the most common bacteria found in a healthy vagina was lactobacillus, the same bacteria commonly found in yogurt. She figured she could easily whip up a batch of yogurt just by extracting some of her vagina’s bacteria with a wooden spoon.

Homemade yogurt is traditionally made by mixing a small amount of a yogurt starter culture with some milk and heating it.

However, Westbrook discovered there was not much information on making yogurt with vaginal bacteria — or much information on vaginal bacteria at all, according to an interview she gave to Jezebel.

“I was actually surprised to know that we really don’t know a lot about vaginal flora, There’s really been only one or maybe two big studies and, interestingly, most of the information that we do know about is from white women, which suggests that there might be some indication that people from different ethnic backgrounds might have different flora. I was surprised about how much we didn’t know.”

To do the experiment, Westbrook used three bowls: One with yogurt made with a traditional starter culture, one with just plain milk, one with just milk and her own bodily contribution.

Westbrook left out the batches overnight and awoke to find a decent amount of yogurt in that third bowl, according to Westbrook’s friend, Janet Jay, who wrote the VICE article on the experiment.

Jay said Westbrook’s experiment was done on her own time and not connected with any class assignments. The two attended Carnegie Mellon together a few years ago, but the vagina yogurt experiment has its roots in conversations that started last summer.

“It just started with us riffing on vagina puns, pretty much,” Jay told HuffPost. “It was just a cool weird little experiment for us all to giggle at.”

Theresa Eisenman, press officer at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told VICE that “vaginal secretions are not considered ‘food’, and they may transmit human disease, a food product that contains vaginal secretions or other bodily fluids is considered adulterated.”

Cow poop is no joke

A southeast Iowa couple who were sent cow manure in the mail have sued the woman who acknowledges that she paid to have the poop sent.

imagesMary Eipert and Steven Rowland want a judge to order Kimberly Capdevila and her husband, Carlos, to stop their dog from barking all day and night. The lawsuit filed Monday seeks compensatory and monetary damages for the barking and for what the lawsuit says is harassment by the Capdevilas.

The two couples are neighbors who have been squabbling over the barking dog. Fifty-one-year-old Kimberly Capdevila has said she had the manure sent as a practical joke. She has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of harassment. She’s due back in court on April 7 for pretrial conference.

Couple kicked out of Wisconsin McDonald’s for bringing in kangaroo

On Friday, Diana and Larry Moyer brought one of their five pet kangaroos to a McDonald’s in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, prompting a customer to call the police, reports WISN.

kangaroo-800“He’s just a little guy, but you can touch him and pet him,” Larry says of Jimmy the kangaroo.

The couple often brings the smaller marsupial with them on errands to keep Diana, who is battling cancer, company. Jimmy isn’t a licensed service animal, but the kangaroo is a therapy pet.

The Moyers – who’ve owned kangaroos for five years – say the animals often turn heads in public, but rarely do they cause problems, so the couple was shocked when a customer at McDonald’s felt the need to call the police and complain.

Since kangaroos are not protected by disability laws, the Moyers and Jimmy were asked to leave by the restaurant. The group left without incident at the same time authorities arrived at the scene.

McLovin (not): McDonald’s customer finds human teeth in her food in Japan

A customer who bought a Big Mac meal in Japan was shocked to discover a human tooth in the fries – in the latest food safety scandal that has led to plummeting sales in the country this year. 

mclovinJapanese officials apologized to the customer for the incident, which occurred in August last year, and said none of the employees at the branch in question had lost a tooth.

They added there were no signs the tooth had been fried – and said they are investigating how it came to be in the fries.

Senior executive Takehiko Aoki said: ‘To make such cases zero is our goal. We are doing our utmost to tackle them, one by one.’

He added: ‘I will eat McNuggets. I will feed McNuggets to my children. I have no doubts.’

McDonald’s is extremely popular in Japan with more than 3,000 restaurants. 

But a series of recent scares, including customers finding fillings and plastic in chicken nuggets, has led to the company reporting its first annual operating loss in Japan.

Sales for January fell by a record 39%, and over the course of 2014, losses totaled 6.7billion yen – or $57 million. This is compared with an operating profit of 11.5billion yen a year earlier.

Canadian backpacker dies after ‘drinking tea in Peru shaman ceremony that caused her to vomit until she passed out’

A 32-year-old Canadian woman died as she drank tea at a Peru shaman ceremony. 

255C1D4400000578-2941085-image-a-1_1423143920090Jennifer Logan of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was backpacking through the country when she had a fatal medical reaction as she drank tea designed to make people vomit, purge and cleanse the body at a rainforest retreat on January 17.

She had to be taken by motorcycle and then boat to the nearest hospital, but she could not be revived by doctors, who say the woman died of a pulmonary edema.

Amy Logan, the victim’s youngest sister who recently traveled to Peru with her mother to retrieve her sister’s remains, told CBC; ‘We suspect the tea had a role.’

Officers have examined the cup Ms. Logan drank out of and the jug while also conducting interviews with staff  as they investigate the death.

Ms. Logan’s sister explained that the participants at the two week long all-female retreat at the Canto Luz Centre outside Puerto Maldonado were each given tea to drink.

Australian restaurant owner ignored cockroach issue because of vegetarianism

Dani was a vegetarian for a while; but she was pretty good at killing pests in the basement apartment we had in college. We collectively addressed a mouse problem with a mix of bait and traps and saved our pantry.

According to the Canberra Times, a vegetarian restaurant owner cited moral issues with “killing little insects” as a reason for a cockroach infestation.

Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant was on Thursday fined $16,000 for eight food safety breaches.7372_10152201579715906_8614767365661662283_n

Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant owner Khanh Hoang was originally charged with 12 breaches of the Food Act. He pleaded guilty to eight offences and appeared for sentence in the ACT

Court documents said the northside eatery – which specialises in vegetarian cuisine – had been granted an operation certificate in December 2012. Inspectors raided the restaurant four months later after a public tip-off to discover the breaches, which included a cockroach infestation, incorrect food storage, a dirty kitchen and equipment and obstructed and faulty handwashing facilities.

Court documents said: “The presence of insects is a key indicator that surfaces are unclean and food is left unattended.”

The toilet did not have an air-lock or self-closing door, which meant it opened directly into the kitchen.

Food had been stored in uncovered containers inside the dishwasher and freezer.

Surfaces and equipment – such as stove top and dirty pots, pans and trays – had been left uncleansed, and covered in dirt, food waste and debris.

Mr Hoang attended an interview with the Health Protection Service in June 2013, where he admitted he had been aware of the cockroach infestation but did not carry out pest control measures as it involved “killing”.

The lawyer said his client had passionate vegan values but accepted, in hindsight, that his morals had been misguided.

Mr Hoang now brought in a pest control team on a regular basis, has since won awards, and appointed a food safety supervisor.

I wonder what part of vegetarian morals storing food in a dishwasher and failing to clean and sanitize food contact surfaces falls into.