Chengdu, China, barber Liu Deyuan, 53, is one of the few who still provide traditional “eye-shaving,” in which he holds the eye open and runs a razor across the lids’ inner surfaces. Then, using a thin metal rod with a round tip, he gently massages the inside of each lid. Liu told a reporter for the Chengdu Business Daily in April that he had never had an accident (though the reporter apparently could not be enticed to experience the treatment himself, preferring merely to observe), and a highly satisfied customer reported afterward that his eyes felt “moist” and his vision “clearer.” A local hospital official said eye-shaving can scrape away scar tissue and stimulate the eyes to lubricate the eye sockets.
One of April’s most popular Internet images consisted of face shots of the current 20 contestants for Miss South Korea–revealing that all 20 appeared eerily similar, and Westernized. Commented one website, “Korea’s plastic surgery mayhem is finally converging on the same face.” Wrote a South Korean commenter, “Girls here consider eye surgery just like using makeup.” Wrote another, “I loved this episode of the Twilight Zone.” The country has the highest rate of cosmetic surgery per capita in the world.
THIS WEEK IN WHALE MEAT DOG CHEWS
Michinoku Farm of Tokyo finally agreed in May to withdraw its whale meat dog chews, but only after angering environmentalists for having favored the country’s pampered canines over endangered North Atlantic fin whales, which were the source of the chews. The meat was purchased from Iceland, which openly defies the international moratorium on whale meat. (Japan officially disagrees with world consensus on which species are endangered.)
CLOSER TO GOD THAN YOU
Crystal McVea, author of a recent book chronicling her near-death experience, told a Fox & Friends TV host in April that among her most vivid memories of the incident was getting so close to God that she could “smell” him. And in May, Anna Pierre, a candidate for mayor of North Miami, Fla., announced on her Facebook page that she had secured the endorsement of Jesus Christ. That would be doubly fortunate for her since a month earlier, she had complained that unknown people had been leaving bad-luck Vodou-ritual feathers, food scraps and candles on her doorstep. (Jesus’ stroke is apparently not what it used to be: She finished seventh in the race.)
RELIGIOUS MESSAGES FROM ALL OVER
A catering company in Leicestershire, England, became a holy site in May after the Hindu owner found an eggplant that resembles the elephant-headed Lord Ganesh. He said that he prays to it now twice daily and has so far welcomed about 80 visiting worshippers. And as part of his recent U.S. tour, the Dalai Lama, introduced to a University of Maryland audience by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, greeted the governor on stage by rubbing noses with him.
Expectant North Carolina parents Adam and Heather Barrington (who is due in July) have disclosed that they will accept underwater midwifing from the Sirius Institute of Pahoa, Hawaii, which arranges for the mother to swim with dolphins pre- and post-natally. “It is about reconnecting as humans with the dolphins so we can… learn from one another,” said Heather. Said Adam: “Dolphins are very intelligent and healing, which… calms mother and baby.” Biologists writing for the Discovery Channel, however, reminded readers that underwater births are extraordinarily dangerous and that dolphins are “wild animals” that gang-rape female dolphins and “toss, beat and kill small porpoises.” Said another, the Barringtons’ plan is “possibly the worst idea ever.”
More than 50 Iowa sex offenders have open-carry gun permits, thanks to a two-year-old state law that requires any disapproving sheriff to demonstrate “probable cause” in advance that a sex offender will use a gun illegally in order to reject his application. Before that, a sheriff could use a sex offender’s previous felony conviction as sufficient cause. Said Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar, “[J]ust the presence of a gun on a hip could be a threat to get [sex-crime victims] to cooperate.”
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
Dennis Gholston, 45, with outstanding traffic warrants in Pennsylvania, decided in May that, even though alone in his car, he could not resist using a high-occupancy vehicle lane (HOV) on the New Jersey Turnpike near Carteret. His decision was even more unsound because, according to the officer who stopped him for the HOV violation, Gholston was hauling about $4,000 worth of heroin in the car, and he was charged with intent to distribute.