No Smoking or Off to Jail

Well, both my parents died from Cancer, so I can relate to a country that wants to completely ban cigarette smoking but this Buddhist monk could face five years in prison after becoming the first casualty of a stringent anti-smoking law in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, which vows to become the first smoke-free nation.

The monk has been charged with consuming and smuggling contraband tobacco under a law that came into force this month, the newspaper Kuensel reported Friday, having been caught in possession of 72 packets of chewing tobacco.

Bhutan, where smoking is considered bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. But with a thriving smuggling operation from neighboring India, the ban failed to make much of an impact.

The new law has granted police powers to enter homes, threatening jail for shopkeepers selling tobacco and smokers who fail to provide customs receipts for imported cigarettes.

“He can be charged with smuggling of controlled substances, which is a fourth degree felony,” a police official from the Narcotic Drug and Law enforcement Unit of Bhutan, who did not want to be identified, told the Bhutan Today newspaper.

A fourth degree felony can carry a sentence of five years.

Smoking in private is not illegal, but as the sale of cigarettes is banned, smokers are restricted to 200 cigarettes or 150 grams of other tobacco products a month that can be legally imported. They must provide a customs receipt when challenged by police.

A student at a 400-year-old monastic school, the monk has not been publicly identified. He bought the tobacco from the Indian border town of Jaigoan, 170 km (110 miles) south of the capital Thimphu and said it was for personal use.

The 24-year-old said he was unaware of the new law, according to local media. He was carrying no tax receipt from the customs department.

Bhutanese have been compliant with the new laws amid much grumbling. The legislation has hit the formerly thriving black market for tobacco products, as it is now cheaper to pay taxes and obtain a receipt than to pay black market prices.

Illegal cigarette sales — previously a major source of income for small shops — have almost stopped as shopkeepers say it will be difficult to hide tobacco from a sniffer dog. This might be taking it a bit too far.

Super Carb Overload

Hope this guy does not walk away a diabetic after this 60 day carb extravaganza! Sticking to an all-potato diet for 60 days has earned Chris Voigt the National Potato Council’s Potato Man of the Year honor.

The Columbia Basin Herald reports the award was presented to the Pasco man last weekend at the council’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. The award goes to someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty to represent the potato industry.  Voigt is head of the Washington Potato Commission. He ate nothing but potato dishes for a 60-day stretch last fall to demonstrate they are healthy and not junk food.  He evens claims to have lost 21 pounds during this spud-fest.  I don’t think it had anything to do with his diet exactly, I think he was just sick of eating potatoes so he was not eating much.

Gay Birds Eat Mercury

Researchers in Florida and Sri Lanka studied the effect of the metal in white ibises’ diets to find out why breeding was down.

They found the higher the dose of mercury in the wading birds’ food pellets, the more likely a male bird was to pair with another male.

Dr Peter Frederick from the University of Florida, who led the study, said: “We knew mercury could depress their testosterone levels but we didn’t expect this.

“We’re seeing very large reproductive effects at very low concentrations of mercury so we really need to be paying more attention to this.”

The team fed the birds on food pellets which contained concentrations of mercury equivalent to those in the shrimp and crayfish that make up their wetland diet.

As Seinfeld would say, “Not that there is anything wrong with that.”

Yogi Does Not Eat or Drink

And I don’t mean the cartoon character Yogi the Bear!  We are talking about the other kind of Yogi but this is obviously BS, or I think it is?  Prahlad Jani, an 82-year-old Indian yogi, is making headlines by claims that for the past 70 years he has had nothing — not one calorie — to eat and not one drop of liquid to drink. To test his claims, Indian military doctors put him under round-the-clock observation during a two-week hospital stay that ended last week, news reports say. During that time he didn’t ingest any food or water – and remained perfectly healthy, the researchers said.

But that’s simply impossible, said Dr. Michael Van Rooyen an emergency physician at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an associate professor at the medical school, and the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative – which focuses on aid to displaced populations who lack food and water.

Van Rooyen says that depending on climate conditions like temperature and humidity, a human could survive five or six days without water, maybe a day or two longer in extraordinary circumstances. We can go much longer without food – even up to three months if that person is taking liquids fortified with vitamins and electrolytes.

Bobby Sands, an Irish Republican convicted of firearms possession and imprisoned by the British, died in 1981 on the 66th day of his hunger strike. Gandhi was also known to go long stretches without food, including a 21-day hunger strike in 1932.

Jani, dubbed “the starving yogi” by some, did have limited contact with water while gargling and periodically bathing, reported the news wire service AFP. While researchers said they measured what he spit out, Van Rooyen said he’s clearly getting fluid somehow.

“You can hold a lot of water in those yogi beards. A sneaky yogi for certain,” he said. “He MUST take in water. The human body cannot survive without it.” The effects of food and water deprivation are profound, Van Rooyen explained. “Ultimately, instead of metabolizing sugar and glycogen [the body’s energy sources] you start to metabolize fat and then cause muscle breakdown. Without food, your body chemistry changes. Profoundly malnourished people autodigest, they consume their own body’s resources. You get liver failure, tachycardia, heart strain. You fall apart.”

The yogi, though, would already be dead from lack of hydration. If he really went without any liquids at all, his cardiovascular system would have collapsed. “You lose about a liter or two of water per day just by breathing,” Van Rooyen said. You don’t have to sweat, which the yogi claims he never does. That water loss results in thicker blood and a drop in blood pressure.

Dying Sucks but How About Twice?

An 88-year-old Brazilian woman has died just two days she woke up in a coffin after being pronounced dead.

The woman was pronounced dead at 4:50 p.m. on Dec. 22 and sent to a funeral home, the O Globo newspaper reported. But when the woman woke up at 8:30 p.m., she was rushed back to the intensive care unit at the hospital in Ipatinga, located 550 km north of Rio de Janeiro.

The woman, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, hypertension, and vascular disease, died Friday.  Nothing like a 100 mile drive to cure all your ills.

Boob Squeezer Arrested

I guess what she was doing was pretty bad but how drunk were the women in the bars that let her give them breast exams?

An Idaho judge has set bond at $100,000 for a Boise woman police say posed as a physician and duped at least two other women into having their breasts examined by her at Boise-area nightclubs.

Kristina Ross, 37, remains in Ada County Jail in Boise on two felony counts of practicing medicine without a license.

Police say Ross introduced herself to victims — one at a downtown Boise bar and the other at a nightclub in a Boise suburb — as a plastic surgeon named Berlyn Aussieahshowna, a name that turned out to be bogus.

The two women told Boise officers they believed Ross was a physician because of her apparent medical knowledge, and they agreed to undergo what they thought were breast exams, which happened at the bars.

As part of her ruse, Ross gave the women the telephone number of a real licensed plastic surgeon in Boise, the state capital, authorities said.

Staff at that medical office became alarmed at the number of calls they received from women in recent weeks attempting to confirm appointments or surgeries with a Berlyn Aussieahshowna, according to charging documents.

Medical workers on Tuesday alerted Boise police about the pattern, and they later arrested Ross.

The suspect’s gender is unclear. Idaho court records show that Ross was arrested for petty theft in the spring and that the arrest warrant was issued to a Kristoffer Jon Ross.

The Idaho Statesman website reported that Ross has a previous criminal record as a man but identifies herself as a woman and was booked into Ada County Jail as a female.

Cosmetic surgical procedures Ross discussed with victims after she touched their breasts under the guise of a medical evaluation included breast augmentation and liposuction.

The court on Wednesday found Ross was eligible for a public defender and set a preliminary hearing on the two felony charges for Dec. 1. If convicted, Ross could face a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for each count.

Get that Knife out of my Head

I find this really hard to believe, is this guy stupid or what? A 29-year-old tire repairman from northeastern Brazil is recovering after doctors removed a 10-centimetre blade that has been stuck in the front of his head for three years after a bar fight.

Edeilson Nascimento told the local Terra news agency that doctors previously told him not to take the knife out because it could cause further damage including lesions in the brain stem which could result in death. “In three years I felt bad headaches every day of my life from the time I woke up until bedtime,” he told Terra news. “So I stopped working.”

A team of seven people, including three neurosurgeons, from the hospital at the Federal University of Pernambuco removed the knife without causing further harm over the course of a three-hour surgery on Tuesday. Nascimento is expected to be released from Recife hospital next week.

Weird News Headlines

– If I was teaching first graders I think this would make the job much easier! A teacher in Cape Breton, N.S., was disciplined after she allegedly taped a first-grader to a chair during class.  Lorne Greene, chairman of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, confirmed the teacher had been disciplined and said he personally apologized to the girl’s mother.

–  Only in British Columbia, police were called to a Victoria, B.C., apartment Monday night to deal with a fight over who got the bigger piece of meat at dinnertime.  The officers who arrived on the scene found that two brothers, ages 17 and 22, had gotten into an argument about who got to eat a bigger piece of steak. The teen had cooked the meal only to have his older brother grab the biggest piece, police said.

– Well dentist’s need love too, but I think there is better ways to get it!  A 37-year-old British woman is speaking out after her dentist offered to give her a discount on two root canal operations if she slept with him.  Milan Shah, 43, is no longer practicing dentistry after Chammelle Courtney accused him of bombarding her with propositions over the phone from 2007 to 2009.

Buy a Heart Attack in a Box

Just in time for your Christmas hate list!!  Buy that special someone a heart attack in a box, chocolate covered bacon!!  You heard me right, this delicious treat can be had for $9 a box, in dark or milk chocolate!

chocolate covered bacon

Teen with Sleep Disorder Can Sleep for Two Weeks At-a-Time

This is just plain weird!  I hope she grows out of it because this is a crappy way to live life.  Louisa Ball does not even know about her prolonged sleeps, which began in 2008 as she recovered from flu, were initially thought to be hormonal until she was diagnosed with Kleine-Levin Syndrome last year.

sleep disorder

People who develop the condition, also known as Sleeping Beauty Disease, are prone to falling into extended periods of deep sleep that can stretch to weeks.

Miss Ball’s mother Lottie, 45, told a national newspaper: “She was exhausted and didn’t seem to be getting any better. She started to fall asleep at school and was rambling about things that didn’t make sense – just like she was talking in her sleep.

“It really scared us, we didn’t know what to do. It just didn’t seem like Louisa was the daughter we used to know – she was like a different person.”

Doctors at Worthing General Hospital were baffled by her symptoms, and suggested the problem could be to do with hormones.

Miss Ball’s sleeping episodes began to stretch to ten days at a time, during which time her parents would wake her once a day to feed her and take her to the bathroom, before she succumbed to sleep again. Wow, just amazing.