So, this suspended president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, is going on trial today mainly for the crime of misrepresenting the state of her country’s economy — cooking the books, as it were — in order to get reelected.
Whistling in The Dark
In that case, every single President of the United States in my lifetime, as well as all the presidents of the foreseeable future, should have been and ought to be impeached.
Hell, using that criterion, every economics professor, financial columnist, real estate agent, and car salesman should be strung up forthwith.
My pal Alex Straiker and I were batting around the topic of chamomile tea addiction this AM. See, his friend had just phoned him to say she was afraid she’d OD’d on the stuff. I told Alex chamomile tea addiction is reaching epidemic proportions these days. He added, among hipsters.
All joking aside, it occurred to me that surely somewhere on the University of Google, there is at least one deep thinker who’s convinced chamomile tea is a clear and present danger to human health. Everything is on Earth is a clear and present danger to human health to someone in the interwebs, including human health itself, for chrissakes.
So, Alex typed in “What are the dangers of chamomile tea?” Sure enough, the very first hit was from the LiveStrong Foundation blog under the head, “What are the dangers of chamomile tea?” of course.
The author of the post leads off by saying all those who ballyhoo chamomile tea as a panacea for everything from insomnia to indigestion are full of shit. Scientific studies, the author asserts, have shown the stuff not to be medicinal in any respect. Then again, the author neglects to cite any of these studies, so there’s that. Plus, the LiveStrong Foundation was the PR/propaganda arm of the Lance Armstrong empire. You remember him don’t you? The fellow who won all the Tours de France riding a regimen of performance enhancing drugs, all the while vehemently denying doing so?
The next hit, from an outfit called The Tea Talk, touts chamomile as “a powerhouse herbal tea, chock full of physical, emotional, and mental health benefits.” Which illustrates the reverse corollary to the above statement about everything being a clear and present danger — someone somewhere on the interwebs is, at this very moment, hawking in full throat the miraculous benefits of everything on this Earth. Next, I’m gonna Google “What are the health benefits of hemlock?”
First, though, let’s look into The Tea Talk’s chamomile exploration. Chamomile, TTT asserts, can be dangerous if you use it as an eyewash, which some misguided souls, apparently, are wont to do. TTT’s advice: Don’t — it’ll give you pinkeye. TTT also cautions chamomile tea lovers never to indulge in their fave libation and drive. Heavens no. Chamomile is a sedative and, natch, you’ll conk out just as soon as you shift into drive. Imagine the carnage that can ensue!
If I may be so bold, if sipping a cup’o chamomile could knock you out, not only have you no business operating a motor vehicle, stay the hell away from electric toothbrushes, your kitchen sink’s garbage disposal, bicycles and unicycles, chopsticks (you might put out one of your eyeballs!) and every other goddamned thing on this planet. In fact, you yourself shouldn’t even be on this planet. It’s a world made for people who can drink chamomile and drive, for pity’s sake.
But wait, there’s more. TTT advises neophytes never to chug chamomile. “Drinking high amounts of strong chamomile tea in a short period of time may cause nausea or even vomiting, so please take your time getting to know chamomile tea and watch for chamomile side effects, if this lovely, fragrant tea is new to you,” the post’s author writes.
I’m feeling sort of queasy myself right about now. Let’s get to the pressing Q, What are the health benefits of hemlock?
Whod’a thunk it? Hemlock indeed is a valuable medicine — at least in the hallucinogenic world of botanicalists and homeopaths. The poison that Socrates took today is viewed by some as a cure/remedy/palliative/antidote for:
- Strychnine poisoning
- Larynx & gullet spasms
- Whooping cough
Sheesh, why do I even waste my hard-earned dough on doctors?
A couple of Italians named Locatelli and Cipelletti are experimenting with turning cow dung into electricity. Yep. And it seems to be working.
The two have run a farm solely on cow shit power since 2007. They’re so proud of their innovation that they’ve opened the Shit Museum — swear to god that’s its name — on the farm. In Italian, it’s Museo Della Merda.
The New York Times has the story. It’s worth a look.