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July 23rd, 2003

Stop that Cancer.

"...the latest research has even better news for young men: frequent self-pleasuring could protect against the most common kind of cancer.

A team in Australia led by Graham Giles of The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne asked 1079 men with prostate cancer to fill in a questionnaire detailing their sexual habits, and compared their responses with those of 1259 healthy men of the same age. The team concludes that the more men ejaculate between the ages of 20 and 50, the less likely they are to develop prostate cancer."

i found out about this a few days ago, actually, but recent comments reminded me of it.

Your Head is Important.

"A 28-year-old carrier van driver's head nearly got chopped off in a road accident. Weeks later he is alive, thanks to sheer grit.

His head almost severed, blood oozing and eyes popping out, Balram was in a dazed state when the accident took place on July 5 in Fatehabad in Uttar Pradesh.

He, however, kept his head attached to his body with some cloth. When no one came to help him, he drove his own vehicle for 30 km to reach a nursing home in Agra.

Doctors there found the head partly joined with the spinal column -- something that saved his life.

D.V. Sharma, who runs the nursing home, said it was Balram's supreme confidence and presence of mind that must have made him drive without any loss of time.

"Had there been some delay, death was a certainty."

"Imagine someone walking into the nursing home with his head almost cut off from the neck. The very thought gives shivers," said an attendant who first saw Balram at the nursing home.

On Sunday evening, a felicitation function was organised by Agra's clubs and some NGOs for Balram.

People who donated blood for him were also praised at the function in the hospital, which incidentally refused to take money for his treatment.

Recalling the accident, a family member said: "Balram was returning from Arnauta in Bah tehsil (sub-district) with 10 quintals of wheat in his van. When he was passing through the main market in Fatehabad, a tractor trolley carrying iron rods and pipes ahead of him suddenly applied the breaks.

"Balram could not stop in time and banged into the trolley. The iron rods pierced through his neck. His head fell on one side, attached precariously to the spinal cord.

"He was fully conscious and all his organs were in command. Promptly, Balram straightened his head and tied a 'safi' (a thin cloth towel) around it and rushed towards Agra. Whoever saw the scene couldn't believe his eyes. The crowd that assembled around did nothing.

"When Balram tried to speak, blood oozed from his mouth.

"Soaked in blood and in a totally shattered state, even his co-worker collapsed unconscious. But Balram did not lose heart. He kick-started the van and went to a nearby doctor who advised him to immediately rush to Agra. The first nursing home on the way refused him admission as he was in a critical state.

"Then around 7.30 p.m., he reached D.V. Sharma's bone clinic. He fell unconscious. Sharma immediately got his team together as both his pulse and breathing rhythms had come under strain."

It took nearly three-and-a-half hours for doctors to complete the operation. Papers on the van helped them trace his family members.

A life was saved. On Sunday, Balram was fit and ready to return. He is still having trouble speaking, but doctors said a minor operation later would restore his voice."

found on diepunyhumans.com, and put here because it's really quite insane, the way people kept refusing him and sending him on without help...

New Evil.

i've discovered a new evil.

it exists on cds, new cds. take today: i bought the new radiohead album, hail to the thief, after much thought and sampling with downloads. amnesiac kinda pissed me off, feeling like a bunch of songs that the band had been told they couldn't use because they weren't up to professional standard, but after the joy that was kid a (though poorly titled) they pumped out amnesiac which, while it had a better title, blew chunky ones for the most part. but, you know, this is not what is pissing me off.

no.

it's the new copy protection business that cds appear to be having with ill mannered frequency. to stop me from burning a copy onto my hard drive, and mixing it with other songs, and, possibly, sharing with the wide world out there. which you know, fuck it, is my choice.

i've long considered the hysteria that record labels have approached the net and music sharing with, to be a sign that people are onto a good thing. when looked at in the cold hard light, sharing files is similar to listening to something on the radio, with the exception that the label doesn't pay the peer to peer server to support certain bands and control what is dolled out to us. that, in my mind, is what causes fear in record companies, not this loss of supposed money. frankly, there are two arguments there, both researched, and falling clearly on either side; for myself, i know that i buy more cds due to downloading, especially since i can find and sample bands that aren't carried by such global monstrosities like sony. would i have ever found godspeed you black emperor and its many side bands without the net and downloading? i rather doubt it, since the radio pushes things of a strict length and kind.

so i find this copy controlled business to be quite annoying. i'm sure there's something out there to deal with it, and i am sure, soon, that i will find this.

(and on a side note, in which i push my radical conspiracy agendas further, i want to point out how free music, how file sharing, opens up a world of control to us, the consumer, that has never been there before. as a tool, it allows for us to demand better music, to give label companies a swift response to their pretty people, innocuous sounding shit that is put out there. the medium for us to find alternatives is here. this is what the net was made for: information shared freely, without any control. we as people out to be supporting this. once it is gone, it won't be coming back, and we'll once again be trapped in a system where consumerist impulses are dictated by those who are interested in profits, and not art.

hey, i warned you that this little bit was a ranty, flag waving moment. i expect most of you are saying, it's not that simple, ben, and you know, maybe it isn't. certainly file sharing is no tool if you just want to use it to swap popular music like eminem, but then, using it to share them allows for smaller bands to rise, and so on and so forth. yes, i'm going to stop here. right here. but i've got a point, and i've resisted buying a new stereo for years, because i could run the computer sound through the old one (the cd changed is fucked) and i like this mp3 burning world. the power is with me, not some faceless corporation that decides to push this and that based off some piece of market-fucking-research!)

(i really got into that at the end. nothing like issues with the world to motivate you, huh?)