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Health/Medicine
The About.com urban legends forum has a thread going about auto-urine therapy, which translates into 'drinking your own urine'. Is there really a thriving urine-drinking subculture? Well, yes. As the poster points out, all you have to do is google 'drinking your own urine' and you get all kinds of hits. The reason urine-drinking has so many fans is that it's supposed to offer numerous health benefits, including improving the immune system, giving you nice skin, acting great as a gargle if you have gum disease, and having very powerful anti-aging properties. I think I've mentioned before somewhere on my site that I have personal experience with this urine-drinking subculture. NOT that I've ever drunk the stuff myself (and I definitely never plan to). But I do have a relative who, according to family scuttlebutt, used to do it. She was into all the new-age, alternative medicine stuff like that. In her defense I have to say that she's now approaching 90 and is still in excellent health. In fact, she could probably pass for a sixty-year old. So maybe there's something to it (though I've still got no plans to try it out). I'm actually going to her house on Christmas day for dinner. I don't plan to sample the apple juice in her fridge.
Categories: Food, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Sat Dec 18, 2004
Comments (72)
According to this press release from Career Builder, over one-third of U.S. workers take fake sickies (sick days when they're not really sick). Personally I think that number is too low. The real number should be closer to 90 or 100 percent, because I don't know anyone who hasn't taken a fake sick day at some point. But then again, maybe all my friends and family members are slackers. The same press release also offers the 15 most bizarre reasons that people have offered for taking a sick day:

  • "I was sprayed by a skunk."

  • "I tripped over my dog and was knocked unconscious."

  • "My bus broke down and was held up by robbers."

  • "I was arrested as a result of mistaken identity."

  • "I forgot to come back to work after lunch."

  • "I couldn't find my shoes."

  • "I hurt myself bowling."

  • "I was spit on by a venomous snake."

  • "I totaled my wife's jeep in a collision with a cow."

  • "A hitman was looking for me."

  • "My curlers burned my hair and I had to go to the hairdresser."

  • "I eloped."

  • "My cat unplugged my alarm clock."

  • "I had to be there for my husband's grand jury trial."

  • "I had to ship my grandmother's bones to India." (note: she had passed away 20 years ago)


Categories: Business/Finance, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Wed Oct 20, 2004
Comments (11)
A week or so ago reports that trace amounts of Prozac had been found in the UK's drinking water got a lot of coverage in the blogosphere. No wonder. The idea that Prozac poppers were excreting the drug into the sewers and thereby contributing to the mass medication of the entire population was creepy, to say the least. But it turns out the reports aren't quite true. It's more a case of something that theoretically could happen, rather than something that actually is happening. In a follow-up report the Guardian notes that the Environment Agency, to which the prozac-in-the-water report was originally attributed, now says that it never studied the issue, and the Drinking Water Inspectorate insists that "There is no research that shows Prozac is in water. There's no analytical data at all." (via Apothecary's Drawer)
Categories: Food, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 17, 2004
Comments (6)
image Malaysian farmer Tan Kok Thai claims that he's a human magnet. Anything will stick to him including plastic bottles, bananas, biscuits, books, remote controls, knives, tubes of toothpaste, and rocks. The pictures of him showing off of his ability are quite amusing, especially this one of him with a giant boulder stuck to his chest. It looks to me as if he's leaning quite far back, which alone could explain why the objects aren't falling to the ground. Friction could explain the rest of this mysterious phenomenon. But those are the boring explanations. I'm sure Tan Kok Thai is having far more fun by chalking it up to his inner magnetism. (via The Anomalist)
Categories: Body Manipulation, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 16, 2004
Comments (11)
image Ear Candling is an ancient home remedy in which wax and other impurities are supposedly drawn out of a person's ear canal by sticking a burning hollow candle in their ear. The theory is that the hollow candle creates a vacuum that sucks everything out.
Butt Candling, by extension, is the same procedure, only with the candle placed... well, you can guess where it's placed. As the ButtCandle site (which is safe for work) puts it: "In length and diameter, [the butt candle is] similiar to common candles. However, a hollow channel is cut from bottom to top which causes air to be drawn from the base to the top. In practice, this creates a vacuum at the base which, when inserted in the rectum, gently dislodges intestinal and rectal blockage."
Ear Candling is a real treatment, though don't expect it to work. As QuackWatch says: "Since wax is sticky, the negative pressure needed to pull wax from the canal would have to be so powerful that it would rupture the eardrum in the process."
Butt Candling, by contrast, is just a joke. Though the guy who made the site is selling ButtCandle thongs and mugs on CafeShops. Yeah, that's just what I want to sip my coffee from in the morning: a ButtCandle mug. (Thanks to Jim Terr for the link)
Categories: Health/Medicine, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 28, 2004
Comments (19)
Perhaps the worst possible pick-up line has to be 'I've got AIDS!' Especially if you don't actually have AIDS. Yet apparently many young men in Malawi are boasting that they have the disease, even though they're uninfected. They think having AIDS is a sign of sexual prowess. Kind of sad, really. I was especially interested in this story because my sister has been living in Malawi for the past year, helping design an AIDS education program there. I'm planning to visit her there next year, if I can scrape together the money for the outrageously expensive airfare. This year I chose Loch Ness over Malawi (I'll be searching for Nessie in September).
Categories: Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 22, 2004
Comments (4)
Here's a strange medical case from China. It seems a bit odd, but it's in the Shenzhen Daily, so I guess it must be true. Why make something like this up? Doctors treated a man whose sweat had turned green. As the article describes: "On the evening of May 28, he noticed green stains on his shirt. At first he thought the stains had probably come from some dye he had accidentally touched. However, when he was helping a friend move furniture Sunday morning, he was shocked to see green sweat streaming down his arms and soaking his shirt." Thankfully the patient's name is Zhou. If it was Bruce Banner the doctors would have had legitimate cause for concern.
Categories: Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 30, 2004
Comments (23)
image Karl Marx did say that religion is the opium of the masses. Well, now it's also a direct supplier of Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Zoloft. Yes, you can get all this and more over at JesusChristRx.com. You can even order up a whole bunch of cheap Viagra from the Son of God himself, if that's your thing. I really don't know what to make of the site. It appears to be a genuine online pharmacy. The Presurfer (whose site I found the link at) notes that it's some kind of knock-off of ChicagoRx.biz. If you click on the About Us link, it even describes itself as Chicago Rx. I suspect JesusChristRx is simply yet another attempt to doll up a business for the Fundamentalist crowd by slapping a Christian label on it... even if the business has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Kind of like the Christian Debt Removers site I stumbled upon last week.
Categories: Health/Medicine, Religion
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 07, 2004
Comments (2)
What would you be willing to do for a brief shot at fame? Would you embarrass yourself on national TV? Of course, who wouldn't nowadays. But would you lock yourself in a lab and allow yourself to be exposed to all manner of infectious diseases? That sounds a bit dodgy, but this was the premise of the new reality TV show, Quarantine, recently advertised in the Daily Mirror. Remarkably, hundreds of people applied to be on it, and the applications are still rolling in. Thankfully the whole thing was a hoax, an experiment "to discover just how far people will go in their pursuit of fame." (Thanks, 'Ed the doc').
Categories: Entertainment, Health/Medicine, Journalism
Posted by Alex on Tue May 11, 2004
Comments (1)
imageNatasha Demkina, a young girl living in Saransk, Russia, began to receive a lot of media attention around the middle of last month. It started with an article in Pravda, which hailed her as the 'Girl with X-ray vision'. You see, Natasha possesses the unusual ability to peer through human flesh and spot diseases and injuries that are lurking unseen within people's bodies. Or, at least, this is what Pravda claimed. It didn't take long for more newspapers to catch onto the story. The British Sun has been the most relentless about pursuing it. They've actually flown Natasha to London and are now parading her around like some kind of weird curiosity. Does Natasha really have x-ray eyes? Well, I doubt it. But I'm sure The Sun is going to milk this for all it's worth.
Categories: Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 03, 2004
Comments (710)
image This UK website offers you the chance to buy cannabis online. No seeds. No hydroponics. Just cannabis itself, delivered to you by a special courier. Sounds like a stoner's dream. But if you actually try to place an order, it's all revealed to be a joke. (Thanks to Paul Farrington for the link).
Categories: Health/Medicine, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 03, 2004
Comments (2)
The RYT Hospital-Dwayne Medical Center has been on the forefront of recent medical advances. They've developed a transgenic mouse with the cognitive abilities of a human. They've helped a man give birth. They've even developed nano-robots to deliver gene therapies and repair tissue. Pretty amazing stuff. And they've got a very slick website. Too bad none of it is real. (Thanks to Ross Harvey for the link).
Categories: Health/Medicine, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 19, 2004
Comments (24)
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