Friday, June 1, 2012

Time to Talk about Weird Stuff

I am in one of my Monkey Brain Days and when I sat down to pound out a blog for today I decided to talk about some of the stranger stories in the news lately.

Here is a good one to start with: Dr. Oliver Di Pietro of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., is a leading prescriber of the "K-E diet" that offers desperate people drastic short-term weight loss by threading a feeding tube through the nose to the stomach and dripping in a protein-fat solution, as clients' only "meals," for 10 straight days. "Within a few hours," Dr. Di Pietro told ABC's "Good Morning America", "your hunger and appetite go away completely." Fat is burned through "ketosis," he said, and a loss of 10 to 20 pounds in 10 days is possible. Such short-term loss might be important, for example, for a woman prepping for her wedding day. Personally, the idea of someone sticking a tube up my nose and then not eating anything at all for 10 days makes me think a few extra pounds isn't all that bad after all...

Not strange, unfortunately: The late Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha was a Capitol Hill powerhouse, and among his legacies is the federally funded airport in his district that largely served him and the local companies heading to Washington, D.C., to lobby for government contracts. Murtha died in 2010, but the airport (which cost $150 million in earmarked funds to build, upgrade and maintain) still handles only three flights a day, all from Washington, D.C., and about $100 of every passenger's ticket is subsidized by the federal government. -Kinda makes me want to go out and hug a politician, hard -very hard.

Mitch Faber, in Burnsville, Minn., has hadthe full force of the law to bear upon. You see, he  was arrested, forced to pay a high bail, and released under electronic monitoring and only on condition of drug testing. And what was his terrible crime? Well, he has been charged with the crime of not putting proper siding on his house. Faber said he started re-siding, but when the economy turned bad in 2008, he stopped, assuming that the worst he could eventually suffer would be a fine. His bad.... apparently they take proper siding very seriously in Burnsville.

And, finally for today, here are a couple of interesting architectural stories: -- There are big plans in the city of Chiang Rai, Thailand, for a massive Buddhist temple that priests aim to make one of the most beautiful structures in the world, and have entrusted artist Chalermchai Kositpipat to design it in all-white with glittering glass and arrangements of "rich symbolism derived from Buddhist and Hindu traditions." If Kositpipat has his way the temple will also have images of Superman, Batman and Neo (from the movie "The Matrix")  -- all of which, Kositpipat said, further Lord Buddha's "message."

-- Architect Sou Fujimoto recently unveiled his public restroom (alas, for women only) whose one transparency-enclosed toilet sits in a 2,160-square-foot private garden of cherry, plum and peach trees. The 6-foot-high-walled park is located beside a railway station in Ichihara City, east of Tokyo. Japan is a world leader in fanciful toilets, and Fujimoto said he thought the scenery would enhance the user's "feeling of release."

Live Long and Prosper....

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