Sunday, February 25, 2007
From "Dr. Harmless: Public Service Reporter"
Last night I was part of a conversation that included several GravyHeads, when our good friend Shel told the story of a fish that was feared because it swam into the urethra of male genitalia. She said it was known as the "Vampire Fish". Feeling a sense of duty to my fellow GravyHeads, I decided to investigate this vampire fish, and follow up with a report here to warn you, our loyal public.
What I have uncovered may shock and horrify you. It will certainly prevent you from going skinny dipping in certain parts of our planet (if you had ANY common sense!). Most of all, it will make you think twice before underestimating something that might be on the small side, because even something small can be quite potent!!
The Vampire Fish is officially known as the Candiru or Canero (Vandellia cirrhosa), and is a freshwater fish that is a member of the catfish group. It only grows to a size of 1-2 inches in length and 4-5 millimeters, or a little less than an inch, wide (10 mm=2.5 inches), although it has grown to a size of 6 inches. It is shaped like an eel, and is translucent, making it near impossible to see in the water. It is a fast and powerful swimmer. It is slimy and smooth, with sharp teeth and backward pointing spines on its gill. The Vampire fish is found primarily in the Amazon and Oranoco rivers and is regarded by the most feared fish in the waters by the natives.
The Candiru is considered a parasite, meaning that it is an organism that depends on a different organism to survive, while contributing nothing to the host organism. It typically swims into the gill cavities of other fish, erects the spines along its gill to hold itself into place, feeding on the blood in the gills of the host fish, hence, the name "Vampire Fish of Brazil".
However, the reason it is feared most by Humans is because it is the only vertebrate known to parasitize humans. The fish is supposedly addicted to the smell and taste of human urine, as well as blood in general! If a human is bathing nude in the water and urinates (and tell me you've NEVER done it and I'll call you a liar!!!), the candiru tastes the urine stream and follows it back into the human. There, it will swim into the source orifice, be it vagina or penis, if it is following a urine stream, or the vagina or anus, if it following a blood flow. If it is the urethra it swims into, it will swim deep into the urethra, lodges itself in the urinary tract, erects its spine (yes...it will get erect, too!), and begin to feed on the blood and body tissues in the same way it feeds within the gills of a fish. As it feeds, the body becomes engorged with blood, becoming further lodged within the urethra. The fish continues to feed, eating away at the mucous membrane surfaces, causing bleeding, infection, and eventual hemorrhage and sepsis, which will eventually kill the host. Typically, surgery is the only way to remove the Candiru, with penectomy generally being preferred to the pain, misery, and eventual death if the fish is left in the urethra.
There are some local traditional ways reported to remove the fish, primarily involving the mixing the juice of the green fruit of the Jagua tree (Genipa Americana)and Buitach apple. The first use of the juices is to insert the plants or their extracts into the affected areas. This supposedly will kill and dissolve the fish. The other way is to take the juice of the green fruit of the Jagua tree, brew it into a tea, and, if drunk hot, it will allegedly cause the skeleton of the fish to be dissolved and expelled from the host within a few hours. But more often, infection causes shock and death in the victim before the fish can be removed. I can also imagine irreparable damage to the penis is caused as well....Fortunately, these fish are not found here in the United States, and legislation is being put forward to ban ever importing these fish into the US. One can only imagine the devastation it would cause here in the states, because of the high volume of idiots who do indeed enjoy skinny dipping and urinating in rivers...
So what's the take home message? First, don't skinny dip, unless its in your own pool or hottub. Second, and I stress this point, if you do skinny dip, DO NOT URINATE INTO THE WATER!!!. And if you disregard these two warnings, make sure you have some extract from the green fruit of the Jagua tree handy, otherwise, you might be finding yourself with some serious shortcomings!!!
This has been an investigative report from Dr. Harmless, solving one problem at a time!!!!
Friday, February 23, 2007
Something that speaks of a greater truth, that i could actually have *gasp* faith in?
Something that encapsolates the universe of mystery we live in, and my own gravyheadedness and how i see things?
And you know, I believe that my prophet may not have died on a cross, may not live in the sky, but in my heart, and in that worn down bowling ally I drive by at night.
Yes, I believe I have found my one true faith, and I'm a better man for it.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
Abide. It means to wait for something, patiently. Or "to endure without yielding, to accept without objection," according to the official word-definers at Merriam-Webster.
Abiding is no easy feat, especially not in a culture that is success-driven, instant-gratification-oriented, and pathologically impatient.
True abiding is a spiritual gift, mastered only, it would seem, by the more fully evolved among us.
Perhaps that's what makes the Dude so dang appealing. Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski is the central character of the 1998 Coen brothers' masterpiece "The Big Lebowski," and apart from spawning a cult following rivaled only by the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "This Is Spinal Tap," the Dude is the catalyst for a new religion: Dudeism.
Maybe religion isn't really the correct word. Like-minded followers of the way of the Dude might be more appropriate. Or, as the creator of Dudeism.com puts it, "The Church of the Latter-day Dude," complete with Dudeist priests. (I got ordained as a Dudeist online earlier this week in less than a minute. Now I can preside at Dudeist weddings, which is a nice fallback if this journalism thing doesn't work out.)
"Life is short and complicated and nobody knows what to do about it. So don't do anything about it," the explanation of Dudeist theology -- I suppose you could call it its creed -- says on Dudeism.com. "Just take it easy, man. Stop worrying so much whether you'll make it into the finals. Kick back with some friends and some oat soda and whether you roll strikes or gutters, do your best to be true to yourself and others -- that is to say, abide."
In "The Big Lebowski," the Dude, played by Jeff Bridges, is a bathrobe-wearing, White Russian-drinking, mellow, lie-about, aging hippie philosopher/bowler/toker. He endures physical assaults -- including a swirly in his own toilet and a marmot tossed into the water during an otherwise serene bubble bath -- theft, kidnapping and general disrespect from all quarters.
Oliver Benjamin, the clever author of Dudeism.com who could not be reached for comment (apparently he lives part of each year in Southeast Asia), claims the Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu was the original Dude because, in part, he taught the idea of wei wu wei, or "non-doing doing."
That's the Dude in a nutshell.
"The Dude is a very genuine person, and he is always the same person no matter what situation he's in or who he's dealing with," said Will Russell, self-described "co-founding dude" of Lebowski Fest, annual events in Louisville, Ky., and other cities that have been drawing thousands of Lebowski fans since 2002.
"As far as abiding goes, he takes things as they come. He keeps rolling with the punches. They pee on his rug and he goes and gets another rug," Russell said, referring to one of the more unforgettable scenes in the film. "He's just content to go bowling. . . . The Dude defines his own happiness. He endures the world around him and the world around is going at a different pace. He's in the middle, just hanging out."
The Dude is a pacifist.
The Dude is an idealist.
He's also something of an avatar of simplicity for the information age whose abiding appeal is essentially spiritual.
"It strikes me that it has something to do with the kind of ironic appeal of this simultaneously shallow and deep attention to being," said Jeffrey Mahan, professor of media and culture at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver.
"One of the things that the Dude embodies is this possibility that we really could do this, that it's not some unattainable being, someone who is hugely smarter than us, or somebody who has the kind of spiritual presence of the Dalai Lama who could have this attention to being, but that it really is a matter of choice and will. We could choose to do this and don't."
• • Thou shalt always use fresh creamer when preparing the sacrificial beverage.
• • Respect everyone's point of view. It's just, like, their opinion, man.
• • Never go to a tournament with a negative attitude.
At the end of the film, The Stranger (Sam Elliott), seated at the bar of the bowling alley, offers his condolences to the Dude on the untimely death of his friend and asks how he's doing.
His answer? "Well, ya know, the Dude abides."
Doesn't he, though?
"I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that," the Stranger says. "It's good knowin' he's out there, the Dude, takin' her easy for all us sinners."
I second that emotion.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Happy Mardi Gras folks! Just about everyone who has been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans has had one of Pat O'Brien's Hurricanes. A tall red drink served in a 24 oz. Hurricane glass which looks like the tall glass chimney of an old fashioned oil hurricane lamp. Sipping a Hurricane is one of the most popular ways to celebrate when in New Orleans, and I've had my share back in the years when I made my annual pilgrimage to Mardi Gras. It's a tasty drink with a bit of a kick, the saving grace is that it is served in a tall glass filled with ice so you can sip it slowly. If you slurp it down fast, then after a few you're gonna feel like you went through a hurricane yourself. Your clothes will start to come off, your popularity will soar, and you'll soon be wearing a lot of Mardi Gras beads and pearls.
Pat O'Brien operated a speakeasy during prohibition called Mr. O'Brien's Club Tipperary. The semi-secret password to get in was "storm's brewin". Then in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition Pat O'Brien moved
across the street and opened Pat O'Brien's and a while later in 1942 moved to the present location at 718 St. Peter Street. The Hurricane was created at Pat O'Brien's some time in the 1940's during the war years. Whiskey was hard to get but rum was plentiful and to order a case of whiskey a bar had to order as many as 50 cases of rum first. So Pat O'Brien created this punch like drink to make use of the available rum.
An interesting bit of Hurricane trivia. Pat O'Brien's restaurant claims to sell more alcohol than any other establishment in the United States. A Pat O'Brien's Hurricane glass hold exactly $10 in US pennies, and is one of the most sought after Mardi Gras and New Orleans souvenirs. I have a few myself, gathering dust in the back of my glass cabinet since the 80's, which I may just have to pull out to make a few Hurricanes for Happy Hour.
If you look around in the mixer section of many stores you can find Pat O'Brien's Hurricane mix in powder and liquid form. To this you just add a decent dark rum. But please, never use the mix unless your in the middle of a hurricane emergency. We implore you to make it from scratch for a much tastier version. Last year Sarah gave you one recipe for the Hurricane. Here's the recipe that the great mixologist and cocktalian, Gary Regan, pieced together from interviews with Pat O'Brien's and other sources and then tweaked for maximum flavor.
Gary Regan's Hurricane
1 1/2 oz. light rum
1 1/2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. fresh orange juice
1 oz. fresh lemon juice (or fresh lime juice)
2 oz. passion fruit juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
grenadine to taste
1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
1 orange wheel, for garnish
Shake and strain into a ice filled Hurricane glass. Add garnishes and a long straw.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Nation's gin tree in need of a tonic
By David Randall
Published: 18 February 2007
Juniper, the aromatic bush whose berries gave the world gin, is in trouble. It is dying out so relentlessly on British hillsides that a new study says if action is not taken it could disappear altogether. And the root of the problem is, well, sex.
Junipers were once widespread, and provided berries, wood for fires (it burns with a cedar-like fragrance) and prickly branches that gave farmers a natural "barbed wire". But with diminishing demand (most berries for gin now comes from Tuscany and Eastern Europe) and changing land-management patterns junipers have found it harder to regenerate. In England, the numbers of junipers have nearly halved since the early 1970s and, according to a report by Plantlife, a wild plant conservation charity, the decline continues to a dangerous level. One of the authors, Deborah Long, said: "In England there are very few junipers and those that we have are very old."
That would be bad for any species, but juniper has separate male and female plants. And falling populations of ageing plants do not make for a very fruitful love life. At 85 per cent of juniper sites Plantlife found not a single juniper seedling. Which would not matter were juniper a fast-growing plant, but it is not - unlike its well-known relative, the leylandii.
Plantlife hopes its report will spur peopleto regenerate junipers. Juniper is not just attractive, but harbours about 40 species of insects, and is one of only three native conifers. To lose one of them would be distinctly careless of us.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Sam Adams is a fine brew...
But why dont they put the same amount of effort and create the ultimate beer?
Link to Boston.com article
Which begs the question dear Gravyheads... which would you rather have,
The ultimate beer in a regular glass
A decent beer in the ultimate glass?
Remember, sharing is caring, so let us know what you think!
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Sometimes we stumble on things that simply must be shared. Even though it's something that we have not covered in the podcast, it just fits into the Gravy way of life.
This is one of those things.
Enjoy, some extreme beer bottle opening.
Theres a longer video as well, if you just cant get enough, here it is...
Saturday, February 3, 2007
For those of you male listeners of our BrainGravy podcast, and were, for some reasons beyond my comprehension, curious about using a coffee stirrer to, um, stimulate yourself, I feel that, as a doctor, it is my duty to provide you with alternatives to using the stirrer, because, as you know from listening to the podcast, if said stirrer is lost in the urethra, it can lead to some unpleasant, and even "member"-threatening circumstances. Therefore, I would like to present some "alternatives" that might be a tad safer, depending on your point of view (with thanks to a friend of BrainGravy for pointing out this particular website). Let me reiterate that I neither endorse nor condone the following, but feel a moral and medical obligation to point out these alternatives.
Let me begin by saying that if you would prefer to peruse the website yourself, you can click here or here. Mind you, these are just two of an overwhelming number of internet site choices. I am here to focus only on urethral alternatives. The first choice is called the Single Urethral Sound. What is a urethral sound you might ask? Click here to link to the Wikipedia article. Essentially, a sound is the name given to the device used to probe the urethra, and, yes, there are real medical applications for such a device. But, like anything in our society, someone probably one day went to their Urologist, was examined using one of these sounds, thought it felt good, and decided when they went home they would continue the festivities as a self exam. And after telling his friends, well...I suppose the rest is history, as they say.
Now, getting back to the Rosebud Sound, it is given the following description: "Stimulate his urethra and give him memorable sexual pleasure with this Single Rose Bud Sound. These chrome-plated sounds go easily and smoothly into the urethra, thereby stretching it giving him great erotic pleasure. You can then slide them in and out causing great sensations. There are four urethral sounds that graduate in size: small (3 French), medium (5 French), large (7 French) and x-large (9 French)."
Now if you really want to go sound crazy, check out this section of the Medical Toys website. They offer a wide variety of sounds, including the Dittel, the Van Buren and Bakes sound sets. A customer review for the Dittel kit was as follows:
"Recently purchased a set of these sounds. The first set. Not the last. This set says 8-22 FR. Not correct. 18-32 FR are what is included. Trust me, a much better variety. This variety makes it easier for beginners to pick the correct size to start. I found that using the larger ones are easier. They are not as pointy. When negotiating the 'J' curve, a straight sound can tend to poke a little. The larger ones are less pointy and are much more comfortable. They really slide in a lot easier. They are heavy. Hold on to them. I have tried them alone and with a top. I would not advise being alone. It is harder to tell the correct angle that is needed. That can hurt. A top is important. When the sound reaches the prostate, the bottom might get a little squirmy. Feels that good. You know, being tide down would be better. Have fun. Be safe."
Moving on, the next alternative is the Corona Stimulator with Urethral Amplifier. Decorum prevents me posting a picture here (this is a family blogsite afterall). It is decribed as follows: "The Urethral Amplifier, the most important component of this stimulator, is inserted into the urethral cavity. The electro-stim is passed through outward toward the head of the cock. This creates heightened stim inside and out of the cock head, creating enlarged senses of stimulation. The secondary body of this stimulator is adjustable and covers the cock head. It also separates into a third body, the Urethral Amplifier. The primary and secondary bodies connect, and stimulate, at strategic points of the male g-spot (frenulum) and the secondary also stimulate the outer portion of the glans, which makes for complete coverage of the cockhead." Of course, you have to buy a separate electrical device for this little baby. A customer review was as follows:
"This is the single most amazing toy I have in my box! I am working up to fitting my partners cock in my urethral opening! Electro stimulation helps you achieve the most amazing orgasm, if people say you cant cum and piss at the same time, they are wrong. The only problem with this device is that your boss at work may not be too happy if he catches you using it in the work toilet!!!!!" Wow....
Ok...I think we've all had enough for now....keep reading this blog for other alternatives, as well as the answer to the question, "What is prostate milking?"
Until next time, this is Dr. Harmless signing off!
Thursday, February 1, 2007
The innovative minds of the Japanese has created Bilk, which is a type of beer that is made from milk. The idea first came up when dairy firms threw out a huge amount of surplus milk in March last year.
The idea was developed from the son of a manager of a liquor store in Nakashibetsu.
Since milk has a low boiling point, the brewery took care to control the temperature during the boiling process so the milk wouldn't boil over. After they put beer yeast and hops into the drink and began the fermentation process, the beverage looked and smelled like tea with milk. However, when fermentation was complete and the drink cooled down, it had the same color as beer.
Since one-third of the drink is milk, the drink has been viewed as a good way to use up milk in the town. The drink got the thumbs-up from 30-year-old resident Kaori Takahashi, who took part in a tasting session.
"It's got a fruity taste, so it will probably go well with sweets as well," she said.
Each 330 ml bottle costs 380 yen. For the time being sales will be restricted to Nakashibetsu, with six liquor stores selling the drink. (Mainichi )
We won't be able to see or taste 'Bilk' anytime soon as it's only going on sell in Hokkaido, but the future of this innovative drink looks bright!