BLOODY GOOD FOOD
“You eat meat, so why not blood?” asked The Globe and Mail, which sampled several Toronto restaurants’ sanguinary haute cuisines, including the Italian eatery Buca’s spaghetti with blood-blackened noodles and torta di sanguinaccio (figs, almonds, buffalo-milk creme, on a base custard of dark chocolate and slow-cooked pig’s blood). Patrons “thought we were crazy,” said chef Rob Gentile, but now “can’t seem to get enough.” The Black Hoof restaurant uses 10 liters of fresh blood a week for dishes like its own blood custard, seasoned with rosemary and pickled pears. Montreal’s DNA kitchen sometimes highlights blood soup and blood pasta.
BROW FURROWING NEWS
“I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. And you’re not going to get me to get it,” warned Marine squadron commander Lt. Col. Jerry Turner (to a Wall Street Journal Afghanistan reporter writing in October), when learning that a few of his troops were sporting artistically shaped eyebrows sculpted by a barber in the town of Shinwar. “Stylist” Gulam Farooq can’t practice on Muslims but said “one or two” Marines come by every day for tapering.
THE CONTINUING CRISIS
The Military Times news service, reporting from Afghanistan in August, disclosed a U.S. Marines command directive ordering troops to restrain their audible flatus because, apparently, Afghan soldiers and civilians complained of being offended. The reporter doubted the directive could be effective, in that passing gas by front-line troops is “practically a sport.”
NOT FOR THE FELINE-FRIENDLY
A vendor at a street market in Leipzig, Germany, was revealed in September to be shamelessly selling personally tailored coats and vests made with fur from house cats. A first report, in the sensationalist tabloid Bild, was doubted, but a follow-up by Germany’s premier news source, Spiegel, confirmed the story. The vendor said he needed eight cats to make a vest (priced at the equivalent of $685) and 18 for a coat. However, such sales are illegal under German and European Union laws, and the vendor subsequently denied that he sold such things.
An 11-year-old California boy and a seven-year-old Georgia girl have recently decided–with parental support–to come out as the other gender. The boy, Tommy, wants more time to think about it, said his lesbian parents, and has begun taking hormone blockers to make his transition easier should he follow through with plans (first disclosed at age three) to become “Tammy.” The McIntosh County, Ga., girl has been living as a boy for a year, said father Tommy Theollyn, a transgendered man who is actually the one who gave birth. Theollyn petitioned the school board in September (unsuccessfully) to allow the child to use the boys’ bathroom. Theollyn said the girl first noticed she was a boy at age 18 months.
In October, about 120 professional mimes began voluntarily patrolling the traffic-congested Sucre district of Caracas, Venezuela, at the request of Mayor Carlos Ocariz. The white-gloved mimes’ specialty was wagging their fingers at scofflaw motorists and pedestrians, and mimes interviewed by the Associated Press reported improvements. And at least 300 professional clowns from Mexico and Central America, in Mexico City in October for a convention, demonstrated against the country’s drug-cartel violence by laughing, in unison, nonstop, for 15 minutes. They were likely less successful than the mimes.
Freemon Seay, 38, was arrested in Thurston County, Wash., in October on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after disciplining his 16-year-old daughter for leaving home without his approval. Seay allegedly forced the girl to suit up in armor and helmet, with a wooden sword, and to fight him (also in armor, with a wooden sword) for two hours until she could no longer stand up. Seay’s wife (the girl’s stepmother) was booked as an accessory and was said by deputies to have been supportive of her husband’s “Renaissance fair” enthusiasm.
JUST PLAIN AWESOME
The ingenuity of drug smugglers is never to be underestimated, as one ABC News report from Nogales, Ariz., in October demonstrated. Smugglers had dug tunnels from Nogales, Mexico, underneath the border to Nogales, Ariz., engineered perfectly to end along International Street’s metered parking spaces. Vans with false bottoms were parked in certain spaces (and meters were fed); smugglers in the vans broke though the pavement to meet the tunnelers, and the drugs were loaded. Still parked, the vans’ crews repaired the pavement, and the vans departed.
ARMED AND CLUMSY
Two men–a 23-year-old in Fayetteville, N.C. (June), and a 22-year-old in Seminole, Fla. (October)–accidentally shot themselves in the head while trying to assure friends that their guns posed no danger. A firearms instructor shot himself in the thigh during his recertification class at the Smith & Wesson facility in Springfield, Mass. (September). A man on a first date at Ruth’s Chris Steak house in Charlotte, N.C., accidentally shot himself in the leg as he was escorting his date to their car (September). And at least one man (a 27-year-old in Chandler, Ariz.) paid the price for inartfully using his waistband as a holster, causing a “groin” injury (August). And Milwaukee police secured a search warrant to photograph Otis Lockett’s penis (July), as evidence that he was illegally in possession of a gun (as a felon) by showing that he had accidentally shot off nearly all of his organ.