The Guo-Li-Zhuang opened recently in Beijing, exclusively serving delicacies made with animal penises and testicles, exploiting the traditional Chinese belief that such foods enhance virility. Women can prosper, as well, because penis is good for the skin, according to a nutritionist cited in a February London Daily Telegraph dispatch. Showcase dishes include “Dragon in the flame of desire” (yak) and the “hotpot” (six types of penis plus four of testicle). The most expensive is Canadian seal penis, priced at the equivalent of about $400.
CUTTING EDGE SCIENCE
Seventh-grader Jasmine Roberts became a celebrity of sorts in February when her hometown Tampa Tribune published results of her winning science-fair entry, which concluded that the drinking-water ice of several local fast food restaurants contains more bacteria (including some E. coli) than the same restaurants’ toilet water. She used a laboratory at the University of South Florida’s Moffitt Cancer Center, where she is a professor’s volunteer assistant.
Frank Traina’s attempted armed robbery of a Chinese restaurant in Levittown, N.Y., in December went awry when the owner realized that Traina’s realistic-looking gun was leaking water from the barrel.
WEIRD ANIMAL MATING RITUALS
A male beluga whale signals his urge by, basically, crashing into a female to draw her attention to his aroused state, according to a February Chicago Sun-Times report from the city’s Shedd Aquarium. If the female is also ready, she turns her body to expose herself, after which mating is accomplished in a matter of seconds, followed by the male’s abrupt and permanent departure from her life.
LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS
The latest product for routine U.S. outsourcing is sperm, according to a November report by Wired.com. In a program established by the highly regarded Dr. Sanford Rosenberg of Richmond, Va., a potential father’s sperm is shipped to a lab in Bucharest, Romania, to fertilize eggs of local women, with the resultant embryos frozen and returned to the United States for implanting in the mother, at about half the domestic price for the procedure.
IT’S ALL ABOUT MEEEE!
Prominent interior designer June Matheson, 72, pleaded guilty in January to poisoning several majestic trees bordering Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, just so they would no longer obstruct her view of the Pacific Ocean (and to enhance the value of her home, which she was preparing to sell). And in Media, Pa., Colleen Lacombe, 34, was sentenced in December to two years’ house arrest for embezzling $325,000 from the First Church of Lansdowne, whose charity and repair-fund money she used to buy a second home and to get breast implants. With the help of relatives, she made full restitution to the church.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Professors at England’s University of Bath, studying adolescents’ reactions to brand names, revealed in December an astonishing level of hatred and violence toward Barbie dolls. Many instances were reported of torture and mutilation of Barbie, including scalping, decapitation, burning and even microwaving. MTW