Herpes Virus Found on Library Copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Maybe the title should be Filthy Shades of Grey. Two professors who wanted to make a splash in their fields of bacteriology and toxicology came up with a novel idea: Analyze the gunk on the covers of the ten most borrowed library books in Antwerp, where they are based.

While all ten of the books came up positive for cocaine, the yuckiest discovery was the mommy-porn hit Fifty Shades of Grey (which I haven’t read, because really who need to put up with a widdle virgin being whipped into a love-filled frenzy while being ass-sarded and spanked by a guy with serious psychological damage who bases his neckwear collection on his last name?). The book has herpes. So not only should you wear condom while trying out the stunts in the book, you need latex protection just to read it.

Supposedly, according to the professors, the virus trace was so low as to not produce a public health risk. And frankly, by adulthood in the United States, 70% to 90% of people are seropositive, that is have antibodies, for herpes simplex virus 1 which causes mouth sores, meaning they have been exposed.  The study did not indicate whether the library virus was HSV1 or the genital version HSV2, for which 30% of the US population tests seropositive.  In Belgium, the numbers for HSV1, and lower for HSV2. But still, eeeuuuw.

All ten of the books tested positive for cocaine, though not enough to get you high, so forget about licking the covers for a rush (especially do not lick the cover of Fifty Shades of Grey!). Keep in mind that 90% of  US currency has traces of cocaine.

Regarding the gack found on the books, toxicologist Professor Jan Tytgat of the Catholic University of Leuven said

The levels found won’t have a pharmacological effect. Your consciousness or behaviour won’t change as a result of reading the tomes. Today’s testing methods are so sensitive that traces of the drug originating from a contaminated book will be found in your hair, blood and urine.

So checking out a popular book from a library in Antwerp could screw up your next drug test. And while the tin foilers may say

Oh this is a plot to keep us out of the libraries/make more money for books on tablet/keep us from reading

in reality it’s more of a cautionary tale suggesting we improve our minds with philosophy, social history and the classics which might be less germy.

And this also reminds us to wash our hands with good old fashioned soap and hot water! A study by Michigan State University found that 95% of Americans don’t wash their hands correctly after going to the bathroom, meaning long enough to kill bacteria, and one in ten don’t wash their hands at all, with men being the worst offenders.  And for bonus health, men should wash before and after urinating so they don’t hand off germs to their Johnson.  Two rounds of “Happy Birthday” or  one version of the alphabet rhyme using soap and water after using the toilet is recommended for food service workers – and the rest of us, too.

Fifty Shades of Grey is slated to be made into a movie, for release in 2015. Bring a disposable plastic seat cover for the theater.

“Julian Assange, Superstar” aka “WikiLeaks, The Musical”

If Hollywood has its way and the check clears, Julian Assange, the international man of mystery currently enjoying Ecuadorian hospitality whilst planning his birthday party inside that country’s embassy, will be the subject of a biopic fraught with cyber espionage and condomless sex. According to the Wall Street Journal, HBO Films, DreamWorks Studios, Universal Pictures and Annapurna Pictures are all frothing and panting to bring Assange’s story to a megaplex or cable box near you.

There are a lot of loose ends though–not the least of which being who would play the pale and lanky leader of WikiLeaks; Tim Robbins, even though he’s a bit older than Assange, possesses plenty of boyish charm and height–dangling plots points like Bradley Manning who is in prison and on trial; what happens with the Syrians cables; Assange’s potential extradition to Sweden…

Here’s a solution: A musical! As Spiderman Turn Off the Dark proves, stage plays are constantly evolving. As the Assange/WikiLeaks story unfolds, the libretto could be adjusted; and it’s a sure Tony Award winner, and once things are resolved in real life, the film would be ready to go. Along with Assange’s all singing, all dancing  grandstanding and honeypot sampling, Bradley Manning’s character would be onstage throughout as the tragic counterpoint and moral compass, first at a computer screen, then behind bars, always present, a contrast to Assange’s hubris.

Plus there would have to be a Greek chorus of Anonymous in EFG masks performing catchy numbers like “Low Orbit Ion Cannon,”  and “DDoS Us All” while Loooong Cat and Nyan Cat dance. It’s all a hummable, teachable-moment multi-media extravaganza! And Neil Patrick Harris would be SUPER in the starring role! Or maybe Zac Efron. Think Clay Aiken for the touring company.

If any Broadway producers are interested, you know where to find me…

The EFG Greek/geek chorus can get serious at times, while Manning’s character is the musical’s moral compass.

As if You Need Another Reason to Wear a Condom!

I recently heard a radio call-in guest say she made her husband wear a condom. Wow. Okay then.

Along time ago, any STD you could catch could be cured with a dose of antibiotics and condoms were just for birth control.

Things changed thirty years ago with the first diagnosed case of HIV/AIDS, but well, since then some people have just gotten sloppy, think condoms suck, and/or have no clue. So for all you clueless lazy-boning latex un-likers, guess what? There’s a nifty new twist to an old school infection (and it’s not herpes, HPV or Hep-C, three more reasons to use a rubber).

Say hello to antibiotic resistant gonorrhea!  Yes, a strain of the crotch cootie immune to all antibiotic treatment was recently discovered in Japan, and scientists from the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria have just identified the genetic mutation responsible for the its extreme resistance to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics, the traditional prescriptions, in this new strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

The Swedish Reference Laboratory’s Dr. Magnus Unemo was not surprised by the discovery of H041, as the new N. gonorrhoeae is called. He told the BBC:

Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it.

While it is still too early to assess if this new strain has become widespread, the history of newly emergent resistance in the bacterium suggests that it may spread rapidly unless new drugs and effective treatment programs are developed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in United States, strains of gonorrhea have been resistant to penicillin and tetracycline became widespread by the early 1980s and are now treated with cephalosporin and either azithromycin or doxycycline.  H041 is reportedly resistant to all known forms of antibiotics.

Given that living things evolve as they reproduce, and bacteria reproduce pretty darn quickly, new drugs will eventually become obsolete, and ta da! Super-clap!

Gonorrhea is the most common sexually transmitted disease; the CDC  reports 700,000 new cases year. And most of these get treated with antibiotics, and some of those bacteria just might mutate…

So use a condom. BTW, 50% of women infected with gonorrhea are asymptomatic, as are 2% to 5% of men according to the BBC.

[photo: creative commons, Writing on the Mall]

Message from Julian Assange?

I think Julian Assange’s penalty for four counts of  whatever the Swedes are calling it now should be a stint as global EFG poster boy for safe sex:

Rape, Assange, Wikileaks and a Reminder to Wear Rubbers While in Swedes

Tarring & feathering

“Rapist” is one of those words that evokes a guttural, unwelcome, sudden, extreme and violent response, and for the past  few months, pretty much that’s what the media been calling Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, making him seem super icky and creepy. However this interview in the Guardian gives perspective on Assange and Wikileaks.

I can’t believe I need to say this, but we need to examine with tweezers at the Swedish law Assange is alleged to have violated. James D. Catlin, the Melbourne barrister who represented Assange in London, wrote

Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape….Now, three months on and three prosecutors later, the Swedes seem to be clear on their basis to proceed. Consensual sex that started out with a condom ended up without one, ergo, the sex was not consensual.

Consensual sex without a condom is rape? Well, in Sweden, if there’s no condom, it is.

I spent ten–celibate, in case you were wondering–days in Sweden this summer and wonder how many bands and attendees at the rock festivals knew this “condom or it’s rape” law. I hope it’s info that gets added to their tourism packets. I guess now all Swedish citizens are aware of this quirk as well.

I’m all for using condoms until everyone is tested and trusted, but this  Swedish law is intrusive, repressive and downgrades rape–forced sexual intercourse–to a level with

You’re hot, the rubber broke and the drugstore is closed, oh let’s do it anyway…

Rape is very serious for the victims and those around them, that’s a given. And rapists who don’t use condoms should have an enhanced penalty added.

But to falsely accuse someone of rape because of consensual rubber-less sex is really loathsome behavior which makes all woman look bad and re-victimizes those who have been assaulted and violated.

Later after bareback mounting, Anna Ardin, one of the two women, threw a party for Julian Assange at her apartment, while the second woman Sofia Wilén tweeted and texted about her sexual activities with Assange. They were not all upset and freaked out, either. Think more “Sex in the City” than “Without Her Consent” which starred Bebe Neuwirth as Melissa Gilbert’s attorney Gloria Allred in a based-on-the true-story Lifetime Movie.

Ardin, a gender equity officer at Uppsala University who should know something about communication, boasted on Twitter about the intelligent people she was hanging out with. (Um, euuwww, really classless). And then tried to delete her tweets.

Assange’s solicitor writes:

In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of Wilén’s mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Neither Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.

This was a classic honeypot set up: Attractive, willing woman  flirt with international man of mystery. Assange should have known better, like has he not read James Bond? Or even the Hardy Boys?!

Okay, back to the main point: Because there was no condom it was rape.   Uh, that’s a little to nanny state in the bedroom. Sorry Sweden, but this is pretty embarrassing for you.

In the 1990s I was in a couple situations I wouldn’t classify as “rape” but they were definitely less consensual and moved faster than I would have preferred, though the men in each case prolly thought they were being all suave. I pretty much closed my eyes and thought of England and chalked it up to

I won’t have my face broken or be killed and I don’t have to ever see them again, but ugh, I am a moron.

I was not amused about what I’d gotten myself into–without drugs or alcohol, mind you– and recognized my part in it. Hardline feminists might call these situations rape; I call it very poor character judgment on my part, miscommunication and a lot of naivite.

I have encountered women and men, close friends and acquaintances, who have been raped, whose lives were cruelly altered by the actions of others, who have been stalked and beaten, brutalized, assaulted. Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén had consensual sex without condoms which is a technical foul. Then, barrister Catlin writes:

neither Ardin nor Wilén complained to the police but rather “sought advice”, a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together, having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each other’s evidence beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage to Assange. They belong to the same political group and attended a public lecture given by Assange and organised by them. [emphasis mine] You can see Wilén on the YouTube video of the event even now.

And it took Swedish prosecutors three times to figure out how to take the case.

After admittedly consensual sex Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén went to Swedish authorities to report that sex with a Very Important Leaker ended without a condom, which as Kirk Murphy points out

just happens to be the pretext for Interpol to issue a “Red Notice” informing the world’s police forces of charges against Julian Assange.

And violate rape victims again.