Penis Snatching on the Rise — Africa’s Genital-Stealing Crime Wave Hits the Countryside | Alternet

So… these snatchers don’t actually amputate the penis, but cause it to shrink?? The article says they are used for occult purposes or ransomed later… What do they use? Some kind of magic penis residue. Spirit penis? Wtf?

As best I could reconstruct from witness accounts, the stranger had stopped to purchase a cup of tea at the market. After handing over his money, he clasped the vendor’s hand. The tea seller felt an electric tingling course through his body and immediately sensed that his penis had shrunk to a size smaller than that of a baby’s. His yells quickly drew a crowd. Somehow in the fray a second man fell victim as well.

That said, genital theft is neither new nor confined to Africa. Similar panics afflicted Central Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. ( Malleus Maleficarum, a book-length jeremiad against the dangers of witchcraft from 1486, includes a discussion of sorceresses who “take away male members” and keep them in birds’ nests.) And in 1967, an outbreak of koro—the belief that the penis is retracting into the body—overwhelmed hospitals in Singapore.

As for the men whose penises were stolen, several eyewitnesses assured me that the appendages did indeed shrink dramatically. I can’t offer such an intimate eyewitness account myself, but I did visit one of the men at his home, and he clearly seemed to be suffering. He lay propped on one elbow, slack and listless in loose sweatpants, on a woven mat in the shade outside his house. A handful of friends kept him company. Over cups of sweet tea, I asked them about how they understood the recent events.

Penis snatching, they said, was a means of supplying an illicit and lucrative trade in organs. Cameroonians and Nigerians—people from places “where they have multistory buildings”—were seen as particularly well versed in the business. “You see how advanced Cameroon is?” someone said. “It’s because they are so strong in commerce of all kinds, including in genitals and scalps.” The stolen organs, my companions said, are sold to occult healers for use in ceremonies, or else they are quickly fenced back to victims of penis snatching for a price. But the real money was to be made in Europe. One man who had spent some time living in Cameroon said he had heard of a woman there who was nabbed by airport security while trying to smuggle several penises to the Continent inside a baguette.

via Penis Snatching on the Rise — Africa’s Genital-Stealing Crime Wave Hits the Countryside | Alternet.


Dangerous Minds | God Hates Fred Phelps: Westboro Baptist Church founder, the world’s most hypocritical CLOSET CASE???

This doesn’t surprise me. I’ve also thought that their protests are more about pushing the limits of free speech more than it is a legitimate protest. Any lawsuits they win just make their lawfirm look better. It’s advertising.

I never understood why, when [the media asked him], “Why are you so against the homosexuals? Did you have a homosexual experience? Do you have homosexual tendencies?” And he would get so mad, he would shut down. And he’d be like, “I can’t talk to this person anymore, they’re stupid.” His reaction to that was stronger than any other question you can ask him. So I always wondered that — why does he get so mad? If I’m not gay, I’ll just say I’m not gay. And I’m not going to freak out, like, “Why are you calling me gay?” I always thought that was super strange. … I don’t know what happened there, so [speculation] is all that I can leave it at. But something happened, and something made him change his mind about the military, and in turn have kind of a crusade against sexual immorality and homosexuals.

via Dangerous Minds | God Hates Fred Phelps: Westboro Baptist Church founder, the world’s most hypocritical CLOSET CASE???.

Terrifying Volcanic Lightning Photographed by Martin Rietze | Colossal

Very stunning. It looks like the sort of thing that belongs on the cover of a bad fantasy novel. More here.

Photographer Martin Rietze recently traveled to Japan where he had the incredible opportunity (or near grave misfortune?) of photographing the Sakurajima Valcano in southern Kyushu as it spewed forth smoke, fire, and lava bombs. If that wasn’t enough the hellish volcano also caused a lightning show that lasted over 20 seconds giving the photographer ample time to flee for his life take these stunning photographs. You can see many more images from the series right here. Of note, the photographer’s grit and fearlessness landed the top photo a feature on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day earlier this week. (via spoon & tamago)

via Terrifying Volcanic Lightning Photographed by Martin Rietze | Colossal.

Pink smoke released over Vatican protesting lack of women priests

Good for them. Although, I’m sure the reaction in the Vatican went something like this:

The release of black smoke, and not white smoke, from The Vatican chimney signified that a new pope had not been named. But what was the meaning of the less visible and less discussed pink smoke released over The Vatican? It was a protest against The Vatican’s refusal to ordain women priests.

Erin Saiz Hanna, the director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which staged the protest and has been advocating for the ordination of women for three decades, stated,

“The current old boys’ club has left our Church reeling from scandal, abuse, sexism and oppression…. The people of the Church are desperate for a leader who will be open to dialogue and embrace the gifts of women’s wisdom in every level of Church governance.”

via Pink smoke released over Vatican protesting lack of women priests.

Portraits of Kids Around the World Posing with Their Favorite Toys


Like many photographers around the world, Gabriele Galimberti enjoys traveling. During an 18 month span of travels, Galimberti visited and photographed children in a long list of countries around the world with each child posing with his or her favorite toys. Lucas was one of the kids Galimberti visited for his project, which is titled “Toy Stories.”

For each of the images, Galimberti played with the children and their toys for a short time, helped them arrange the toys neatly on the ground, and then had the kids post for a portrait. Through the many portrait sessions, Galimberti discovered that children around the world have similarities and differences. While all enjoy playing and having fun, the economic status of the children apparently has a big influence on the children’s personalities.

The wealthiest children were more possessive of their belongings, refusing to let Galimberti touch the toys at first. Building rapport with those kids took longer. The poorer children were much more receptive to Galimberti and were more generous with their fewer belongings. In the poorest countries, children often had very few toys, and therefore spent most of their time outdoors with friends.

More here:
via Portraits of Kids Around the World Posing with Their Favorite Toys.

Google closes the book on Reader, announces July 1 sunset | Internet & Media – CNET News

This is very irritating. They ran competing services out of business, became ubiquitous and closed up shop. Google used to put relevance and usefulness ahead of the bottom line. Google has been increasingly been becoming less of a useful product especially after it’s release of Google+. It’s just a matter of time before they officially change their motto from “Don’t be evil.” to “Be Facebook.” There is no question that Facebook is evil. Social networking though, is more of a recreation than it is actually useful. It’s email with bells and whistles set in a rear window.  Google’s making this their top priority (because they can’t just let a monopoly happen somewhere on the internet that’s not themselves). Google was at one point the glue that people used to reliably find what they need on the internet. It’s still one of the best at this, but it has allowed advertisers, industry and government both pervert the quality of those searches and invade user privacy. They are eroding the anonymity of the internet when they should be investing in it. I’ll still use google products (as if they’re avoidable) but I really trust them less and less over the years and will try to begin to wean myself off of the google nips.

I will be using feedly as a replacement to reader. I also use Reeder which claims it will also survive the shutdown. Other useful options can be found here. A petition can be found here.

The day long feared by fans of Google Reader has come: the service will shut down, the company said.

“We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites,” the company said. “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.”

via Google closes the book on Reader, announces July 1 sunset | Internet & Media – CNET News.


P.S. Chrome will begin to remove ad blockers. Google sucks.

Documentary in North Korea on How Americans Live – YouTube

We have the right to drink plastic cups of hot snow, eat trees, live on the streets (floors or tents if we’re lucky), await our heroin, and keep phones which don’t work. We must be thankful that the Red Cross crafts tents from North Korean materials. North Korea also hands out free North Korean coffee (presumably not made from snow), blankets and cake. They are most generous and do not even regulate the hair cuts of those in need.

What color is hot coffee snow? I hope it’s not yellow…

This is funny:

朝鲜纪录片:生活在水深火热中的美国人民 Documentary in North Korea – YouTube.

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