Thursday, 28 June 2012


Doctor Brown: Here comes I old Doctor Brown
                         The best old doctor in the town.
Anon:               Well doctor what can you cure?
Doctor Brown: I can cure the plague, within, without,
                         Also the palsy and the gout,
                         Bring me an old woman, three score and ten
                         The knuckle joint of a big toe broke,
                         I'll take it off and put it on again.
Anon:               Well done doctor. What is your medicine?
Doctor Brown: A wee bottle in my waistcoat pocket called:
                         Hens pens, peezy weezy,
                         Bumbie's bacon, donkey's treacle,
                         Sap of the poker, juice of the tongs,
                         Three turkey's eggs, nine miles long.
                         Put that in a mouse's blather,
                         Stir it up with a wild pig's feather.
                         Put three drops in Jack's ear
                         And he'll get up and sing a song!
Jack:                 Once I was dead but now I'm alive,
                         God bless the old doctor who made me survive.

Or, in another version:
MC:                  And what can you cure, Doctor?
Doctor Broon:  I can cure all sorts.
MC:                  And what kind o all sorts.
Doctor Broon:  Liquorice allsorts. I've got a little bottle
                         here of inksy pinksy parleyvous, all covered
                         over wi cats' feathers and midges' ribs.
                         I shall put a little on his nose.
                         I shall put a little on his toes.
                         Rise up Jack and sing a song ...

from Galoshins Remembered, ed. Emily Lyle (Edinburgh: NMS, 2011)

Friday, 15 June 2012

Woman orally impregnated by octopus

A 63-year-old woman became 'pregnant' with 12 baby squid after eating calamari, according to a claim in a bio-tech report.

The real-life 'octo-mum', from South Korea, was eating a portion of cooked whole squid when she felt a sharp pain in her mouth.

The bizarre claim has been made in a scientific paper from the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland.

The lady told doctors that she could feel something in her mouth which they described as 'bug-like organisms'.

When examined, the doctors found 'baby cephalopods' attached to her mouth. These are small pods, covered in a cement-like material to make them stick.

Inside the pods is an 'ejaculatory apparatus' and sperm - with the apparatus expelling the sperm quite forcefully.

After the victim of the 'attack' was hospitalised, doctors removed the baby cephalopods from her gums, tongue and cheek. It was only then that the pods were formally identified as 'squid spermatophores.'

The Center's paper says: 'She did not swallow the portion, but spat it out immediately. She complained of a pricking and foreign-body sensation in the oral cavity.

'Twelve small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms stuck in the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheek, and gingiva [gums] were completely removed, along with the affected mucosa. 

'On the basis of their morphology and the presence of the sperm bag, the foreign bodies were identified as squid spermatophores.'

According to Science 2.0, a spermatophore is similar to a cup of semen.

The site adds that there is still mystery around how spermatophores are implanted into the skin.

A similar case was reported in December last year when a woman in Japan suffered severe pains in her mouth after eating raw squid.

She took the remaining piece of squid with her to the Tosei General Hospital, the NCBI reports, and sperm bags were removed.

Incidents involving the impregnation of human mouths appear to be confined to the Far East where, generally, more raw fish is eaten.

When squid is prepared in the west, internal organs are removed meaning there is no risk of eating spermatophores.

Danna Staaf, a squid enthusiast from Science 2.0, said: 'The skin on your hands, and most of the rest of your body, is much too thick to get stuck.

'I've probably had hundreds of spermatophores ejaculate on my fingers and never felt a sting.' [...]

Fireworks and tinned peaches to save children from Heaven's revenge for earthquakes

BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- A rumour spread in recent days saying that people need to set off firecrackers and eat canned peaches to save their children. […]

The rumour originated in Cangzhou city, Hebei province, at the end of May and spread across the region, even to the suburbs of Beijing. It came after a 4.8-magnitude earthquake on May 28 jolted north China's Tangshan, the city 200 km northeast of Beijing in which 240,000 people were killed in a 7.8-magnitude quake in 1976.

Locals heard that some of their renowned temples had been damaged or destroyed during the small quake. Some were urged to believe that Heaven will take away their children in compensation for the loss of the sacred buildings. The belief came about that only fireworks and packaged fruit could save their youngsters from this vengeance.

Soon, many rural and urban families in Hebei and the southern outskirts of Beijing were filling the air with the distinctive sound of firecrackers, and canned yellow peaches were snapped up at markets.

The press office of Hebei provincial government responded several days later on its microblog account that there was no damage to any temples or pagodas, urging the public not to believe or disseminate the rumour. […]

Base metal into gold

KARACHI/TURBAT: Thousands of old one-rupee coins were sold for millions of rupees in the Makran region on Tu
esday in what became a ‘gold rush’ in the area. Throughout the day, people spent their time looking for the humble golden-coloured coin which was being sold for as much as Rs1,000 in some cases -- though no one quite knew why. It was rumoured later in the day that it was being smuggled to Iran which was buying it because “it contained uranium”. Regardless of whether or not there was any truth in the story, the frenzy persisted all day.

“I had heard another rumour in the morning that jewellers are buying it because it’s full of gold,” said Murad Baloch, a beggar in Turbat. “I don’t care about rumours. I sold 150 for Rs45,000 and bought myself a new motorbike.” He thinks he has earned it for he has been begging for coins all his life. [...]

[…] “At least seven people have asked me for the old coins since the morning,” said Ahmed, a paan-shop owner on Tuesday. “I don’t understand what the deal is.” A man offered up to Rs. 1,000 for a single coin to Ahmed, who finds it anything but believable. And he is not alone. Many paanwalas and shopkeepers told the News about being piqued by people asking for the all-but-worthless copper coin that the State Bank stopped issuing about a year ago. There were also reports that the asking price for a coin had reached Rs 2,500 on Wednesday. […] Syed Wasimuddin, chief spokesperson for the State Bank of Pakistan, said that he first found out about the rumour from a regional Sindhi newspaper which called him for his version. “It started in the interior of Sindh. The rumour is that the government has inadvertently mixed gold in the making of the ‘brown’ old coins which it soon realised and immediately stopped issuing.” 

Source: The News International, 7 June 2012

Subsequent follow-up reports in the Express Tribune, The News International, the Telegraph and Forbes.

Menstrual blood as weapon of class war

Maid who spiked coffee with menstrual blood jailed

SINGAPORE: The Indonesian maid who served her former employer coffee spiked with menstrual blood has been sentenced to a month's jail.

24-year-old Jumiah, who goes by one name, admitted to spiking her then-employer's coffee with her discharge on August 31, 2011 at about 6.30am.

Court documents showed that Jumiah said the victim's mother was "very demanding" and she was made to re-do her work if it fell below expectations.

Jumiah, who had worked in the household since July last year, requested for a change of employer but was rejected.

So the maid resorted to mixing her menstrual discharge with her employer's coffee as she remembered being told by a friend that the mixture would make a person nicer.

She stored her discharge in a plastic bottle for 5 days before serving it to the victim.

The bottle was discovered by the victim's mother on the day of the incident.

Jumiah was confronted thrice before admitting to have done so.

In submissions, assistant public prosecutor Lim Yu Hui asked for a deterrent sentence as the act was pre-meditated.

APP Lim added that Jumiah abused her position of trust and lied to cover up her deed when confronted.

She said that there was no ill conduct on the part of the employer and his family and that the act has caused much anguish to them.

In mitigation, Jumiah told the court through a translator that she's "very remorseful" and has" apologised over the foolish act".

She pleaded for leniency so she can go back home for Hari Raya.

In sentencing, district judge said fortunately no serious harm was done, but he agreed that a deterrent message must be sent to domestic helpers and ordered Jumiah to be jailed for a month.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

The deeds of heroes

1,383 teeth extracted 'by the same hand'