That’s no energy drink

31 08 2009

Please tell me this was made up for the Russian Tabloid.

A 14-year-old Chinese boy in Szechuan Province thought that the best way to be like his idolized transformer heroes was to start drinking petrol every day for five years.

A 14-year-old boy, from the town of Yibin in Sichuan, first saw the animated saga about robots from outer space – able to transform into vehicles, electronic items or weapons – when he was nine years old.

The youngster was so impressed that he began drinking fuel on a daily basis to “obtain energy” and become a mighty warrior like the Transformers.

He started out with lighter fuel, then upgraded to siphoning gas from his parent’s motorcycle. When his parents locked that up, he started stealing from neighbours.

Sadly (but not unsurprising), the young boy did not develop the superpowers he was looking for, and instead appears to have damaged his brain.

Honestly, does this make any sense? I don’t remember transformers actually requiring fuel? I thought they  ran on sunlight, or nuclear, or the energy released during the reduction of children into mindless consumers.


Tampons: It’s what’s for dinner

11 05 2009

Do you really want to follow the link to the story at Weird Asia News?

Where do people come up with the idea that something like menstrual blood has magical healing properties – in what context is that even close to reality?

But this story raises another issue: is there some sort of subtextual misogyny behind the allegation that menstrual blood is unclean or a “poison[ous], destructive, or noxious substance [administered] with intent to injure”.

Menstrual taboos and “menophobia” are a common theme in many world superstitions, not just the Abrahamic tradition. Would Indra be facing similar charges if she’d been adding blood from her fingertip (maybe as “blood of a virgin”)?

Still, when it’s being added to my food, I reserve my right to say menstrual blood is gross.

But can it play mp3s?

2 03 2009

Could people please stop stealing my awesome ideas… (I swear I thought of them first, stop reading my mind!)

Christie has found someone has started making personal genomics art.

Now I also read in the paper that China has started producing electronic smoke-less cigarettes, “e-cigs”. While the UK is letting them through without much regulation (if any?). Australia and the US have said no, for now. Why?

These are medical devices. Much like a ventolin inhaler. They deliver a drug, nicotine, to your body’s organ systems. While perhaps not the most carcinogenic substance in cigarette, nicotine is far from harmless. This is why certain nicotine replacement products are only available through prescription.

I suppose some consolation is the fact that the e-cig allows satisfaction of oral cravings while limiting substance abuse to the consumer alone. Placing it in the murky waters of other legal addictive recreational products like alcohol and caffeine.

An interesting thought thought:

Could the e-cig technology be adapted for delivery of therapeutic drugs (asthma medication), or even non-medical compounds (say fruit flavoured).

Physical harassment panda

23 11 2008

via Greg Laden

Unlike koalas, pandas are actually bears (Family Ursidae) – which mean they are equipped with sharp teeth and claws (but so are koalas, so I’m not sure where I’m going with this…)

Anyway, some poor guy breaks into a panda enclosure for a “cuddle”. The bear bit him several times and was sent to hospital.

Panda’s obviously aren’t going to be the mascot for the next “Free Hugs” campaign.

Not the same attack, but shows you that a panda doesn’t need to know kung fu to beat you up:

The Oh-no-lympics

14 10 2008

The ever reliable Fortean Times has bent over backwards to demonstrate the inanity that can be spawned by the dynamic combination of pessimism and spirituality.

All that effort of numerologists to ensure the success of China’s 08-08-08 Olympics were outdone – because the Beijing marketing team inadvertantly produced five imp-ish mascots that did their best to wreak havoc at the games.

Their powers?

Read the rest of this entry »

Obliging cute Asian girl post

22 09 2008

Unofficial Apple Weblog has the pictures

A cute smiling Chinese factory worker became “internet-famous” after her cheery face and oh-so-cute “V” fingers in latex gloves were found on some British guys iPhone.

Apparently taking photos with the camera is part of standard procedure to ensure it is working properly. Which may explain this other story coming out Cairns, or not. A student found 49 amatuer porn snaps on their new phone. Consumers are outraged at Dick Smiths, why didn’t they get free porn too?

Killer cornflakes, nothing to laugh at

20 09 2008

via small dead animals

Sometimes it’s unclear where the media-hype and the real dangers collide.

Serious dangers are emerging for Australia (and other parts of the world) that are well beyond what people would expect. No one was certainly planning on the Murray-Darling drying up (well no one who had any actual power to do anything about it).

A news report from earlier this year warned that arid conditions could trigger fungal outbreaks amongst food products that could lead to serious food poisoning hazards. CQU actually made the news by warning of “mass hallucinations, manic depression, gangrene, abortions, reduced fertility and painful, convulsive death”.

You might think that standard food safety standards should mandate alerts if any food source gets contaminated, right? However, these symptons aren’t caused by a single heavy dose of mycotoxin, but several small doses over an extended time period. It all adds up if you consider the amount of foodstuff you eat on a regular basis made from cereal crops (unless you’re allergic to gluten or something).

Small dead animals appears to be a right-wing climate change skeptic, and the comments certainly are full of grand ridicule of environmental health as a profession and the idea of killer cornflakes.

However I can’t help but consider the recent food poison scares emerging from China (melamine in milk) and Japan (pesticides and mycotoxins in rice/sake). Not necessarily directly caused by global warming – but definitely shows that food poisoning is a serious risk. And also consider, more fungal outbreaks will mean more reliance on (over)using chemical fungicides on crops.