Girl's prosthetic legs stolen for second time By Aarthi Sivaraman Fri Feb 17, 10:03 AM ET
For the second time in three months, a 16-year-old California girl who lost a leg in an accident has had her artificial limbs stolen.
Melissa Huff, an Arcadia High School student who uses a $16,000 prosthetic limb to play softball for the school team and another one, valued at $12,000, for everyday use, said both were taken from her bedroom Tuesday.
"I was picking up my little brother from school when my mom called me and asked where I left the two prosthetic legs," Huff, who lives in the Los Angeles suburb of Temple City, told Reuters in an interview.
"I knew right then that it had happened again."
Lisa Huff, her mother, said she came home around midday on Tuesday and found the room shared by Melissa and her older sister a mess. Only the prosthetic limbs were missing.
Police say they were talking to the girl's friends, neighbors and relatives for information about the missing legs.
In November, thieves broke into the Huff residence and took just her prosthetic limb. After that incident, Melissa's prosthetist and a local real estate company donated about $16,000 for a new limb.
The stolen limb was discovered in the teenager's backyard about a month ago, apparently thrown there by the thieves.
Melissa lost her real leg two years ago when a driver accidentally ran into her as she stood in front of her middle school.
She said she intends to get back on the field this week and just practice throwing until she gets another prosthetic limb.
Man coughs up nail 35 years after accident Jason Kobely, News10/KXTV Sacramento Last Updated: 2/16/2006 1:05:38 PM
Bud Hart with the nail that was embedded in his body for 35 years
In 1970, a bizarre gardening accident embedded a small nail deep inside Guy "Bud" Hart's body.
More than 35 years later, the nail made an unexpected return, much to Hart's surprise.
The Placerville man was stunned earlier this month when a coughing fit expelled the inch-long sliver of metal, completing its decades-long trek inside the 84-year-old's body.
"I didn't think something like that could happen," Hart said.
The story of Hart and his unexpected passenger began in Minnesota back in 1970. While mowing grass one day, Hart felt a slight pain in his throat and saw a small trickle of blood.
"It was like a bee sting," Hart said. "But I didn't think much of it."
Hart wasn't overly alarmed, but just hours later, the discomfort began.
"The next day, when I coughed, it was like I had a hot knife in there, cutting me," Hart said.
His family rushing him to the hospital with a 105-degree temperature. There, doctors found the culprit, a small nail that had dropped down inside Hart's body cavity and nestled inside his ribcage.
Doses of penicillin helped Hart heal, but since removing the metal would require major surgery and doctors suspected the nail would seal itself off in Hart's body, the foreign object was forgotten for years.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Hart said.
Years later, the nail turned up again on a doctor's x-ray, but again, the unobtrusive item was left alone.
Then, three weeks ago, an internal camera captured an image of the nail during a routine doctor's office visit. But it wasn't in Hart's ribcage area as he'd always thought -- the object was actually in Hart's lung. As Hart and his doctors made plans to remove the nail once and for all, natural physiology took over.
Hart was in the bathroom, brushing his teeth last week when the 35-year partnership finally came to an end.
"I'd been having this tickle in my throat," Hart said. "Pretty soon, I started coughing. And it plopped right out."
Since the pair were separated, Hart's been feeling fine and doctors have no reason to think the nail had any lasting impact on his health.
Hart keeps the nail in a small plastic bag but doesn't have any long-term plans about what to do with the strange artifact.
"Sell it to the Smithsonian Institute?" Hart laughed. "No, I never gave it much thought."
Members only, but diners don't find it hard to swallow
February 18, 2006
THE menu at Beijing's latest venue for its growing army of gourmets is eye-watering rather than mouth-watering.
China's cuisine is renowned for being "in your face" - from the skinned dogs at food markets to scorpion kebabs in street stalls - and there is no polite way of describing Guolizhuang.
Situated in an elegantly restored house beside Beijing's West Lake, it is China's first speciality penis restaurant.
Here, businessmen and government officials can sample the organs of yaks, donkeys, oxen and even seals. In fact, they have to, since they form part of every dish - except for those containing testicles.
"This is my third visit," said one customer, Liu Qiang. "Of course, there are other restaurants that serve the bian [penis] of individual animals. But this is the first that brings them all together."
Since it set up in November, a booking comes with a trained waitress and a nutritionist to explain the menu and its medicinal virtues.
In China, you are what you eat. Nutritionist Zhu Yan said the clients were mainly men eager to improve their yang, or virility. Women could benefit, too, she added, although she told a female photographer: "I wouldn't recommend the testicles. The testosterone might interfere in fertility. But many women say bian is good for the skin."
Some dishes seem unexceptional, such as the goat penis, sliced, dipped in flour, fried, and served skewered with soy sauce.
But others are showpieces, such as "Head crowned with a Jade Bracelet" (provided by horses from the western Muslim region of Xinjiang), for $A47, or "Dragon in the Flame of Desire" (yak, steamed whole, fried and flambeed) for $82.
For beginners, Ms Zhu recommended the hotpot, which offers a sampling of six types of penis, and four of testicle, boiled in chicken stock by the waitress, 22-year-old Liu Yunyang.
The Russian dog was first. It was julienned, and rather gamey. The ox was the most recognisable, even though it had been diced. Its texture seemed identical to gristle.
The deer and the Mongolian goat were surprisingly similar: a little stringy, they had the appearance and feel of overcooked squid tentacles. The Xinjiang horse and the donkey looked like bacon, the horse was light and fatty, while the donkey had a firm colour and taste. The testicles were slightly crumbly, and tasted better with lashings of the sesame, soy and chilli dips thoughtfully provided.
Canadian seal penis costs a hefty $517 and requires ordering in advance.
Ms Liu confessed that the restaurant was an unusual place to work. This is partly because of her training - she has to recite tales proving the vigour of the animals in question as they are being eaten - and partly because of the interaction with the clientele. "I did find it embarrassing at first," she said. "And sometimes the customers take advantage of me by asking rude questions."
As for health benefits, Mr Liu, the most regular customer, was uncertain but hopeful. "I can't say I've noticed any difference yet," he said. "But it's a long-term thing."
You’d think going without sleep for that long may have its drawbacks, but not for the man in central Quang Nam province who has never been ill after decades of insomnia.
His inability to sleep has not only made him famous, but also represents a “miraculous” phenomenon worthy of scientific study.
Sixty-four-year-old Thai Ngoc, known as Hai Ngoc, said he could not sleep at night after getting a fever in 1973, and has counted infinite numbers of sheep during more than 11,700 consecutive sleepless nights.
“I don’t know whether the insomnia has impacted my health or not. But I’m still healthy and can farm normally like others,” Ngoc said.
Proving his health, the elderly resident of Que Trung commune, Que Son district said he can carry two 50kg bags of fertilizer down 4km of road to return home every day.
His wife said, “My husband used to sleep well, but these days, even liquor cannot put him down.”
She said when Ngoc went to Da Nang for a medical examination, doctors gave him a clean bill of health, except a minor decline in liver function.
Ngoc currently lives on his 5ha farm at the foot of a mountain busy with farming and taking care of pigs and chickens all day. His six children live at their house in Que Trung.
“I have tried sleeping pills and Vietnamese traditional medicine but nothing helps, even to sleep for a few minutes,” he said.
Creature of the night
Ngoc often does extra farm work or guards his farm at night to prevent theft, saying he used three months of sleepless nights to dig two large ponds to raise fish.
Neighbor Vu said Ngoc volunteered to help beat a drum during the night and guard the house for the relatives of the dead during funeral ceremonies so that they could take a nap.
Vu also said when the commune was planting sugar cane, several people also asked Ngoc to awaken them at midnight to go to work, since he was up anyway.
On Ngoc’s prolonged insomnia, Phan Ngoc Ha, director of the Hoa Khanh Mental Hospital in Danang said sleep disorders often cause anorexia, lethargy, and irritability.
But, in special cases, some people can handle it and still live and work normally, although this was a very small ratio among insomniacs, Ha added.
Reported by Vu Phuong Thao – Translated by Thu Thuy
Story from Thanh Nien News Published: 14 February, 2006, 12:51:09 (GMT+7) Copyright Thanh Nien News