Things from my Things Drawer

I was inspired to make this piece while contemplating the little gold charm bracelet that I’ve worn almost every day for over 20 years. It struck me how little it would be worth to anyone but me, as the true value is in the meaning attached to each individual charm, all the memories preserved and provoked when I look at them.

Each charm has a complete, standalone story of its own, and when linked together on a single chain they become part of an even more intricate and meaningful whole.  A metaphor for life, really, as who we are is the sum of our myriad parts, all invaluable.

I have always had a “things” drawer in my kitchen, a Purgatory for random objects that don’t fit or belong anywhere else. Some are waiting to be useful again, some waiting to be repaired, some waiting for their pair to show up, and some have been in there so long that the outside world has forgotten they exist.

This things drawer has been moved from rental house to rental house over the years, and i thought it was time to explore it. Spending so long with each random piece, cleaning it, preparing its surface and gilding it, then linking them all together was quite an amazing experience. Every single seemingly insignificant castaway had a story to remind me of. Every single thing had once had purpose, played a part in my life. Remembering the tiny ways in which each object had served me over the years prompted all the surrounding memories to surface. I was able to see patterns and links and make sense of the chaos. It was just the start of a very important and ongoing process.

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Why I do what I do

For as long as I can remember, creating art of any kind has been been more about the process than the product. Even as a child, I didn’t draw to replicate what I was seeing, but to explore things emotionally. I was acutely aware of how what I saw affected me, and how what I was feeling affected the way I saw. For example, a donut would look very different to me depending on how hungry I was. When not hungry, I’d be more relaxed and inclined to notice and wonder about all the various ingredients, colours, shapes, textures, smells and tastes. I might even notice how the light reflects off the individual specs of sugar; the contoured edges of the glossy frosting; the spongy, rounded surface of the golden pastry…

When starving, I’d simply see a doughnut.

The Process

When I produce a visual representation of my internal chatter, I can see things more clearly. My muddled thoughts start sorting themselves into orderly queues instead of simultaneously clamouring for attention.

To put it another way: imagine hundreds of oddly shaped, different coloured Lego bricks scattered across the floor around you. Sharp little boobytraps everywhere you look! Each individual piece unidentifiable as anything other than part of the one big, insurmountable MESS. You can’t step in any direction without hurting your feet.

It is easy to become so focused on getting rid of or around “The Mess” that you fail to see The Bigger Picture. You might even find yourself paralysed (Procrastinators Unite!) stuck to the spot, awaiting rescue.

But what if you were to stop for a minute, crouch down, give each and every little brick your full attention; start sorting through them, finding connections and piecing them together…? You might see how each seemingly insignificant piece, while not of much interest or use on its own, transforms into something entirely different when it’s linked to others. Each little piece plays a vital role in constructing The Whole. By the end of the process, you’ll still have the same number of oddly shaped, different coloured bricks as you had before, but now there is cohesion and clarity, and more space in which to manoeuvre (For the techies: think defragmenting the hard drive on your computer)

To all those people thinking “But I don’t have time to sit around all day playing with my problems! Hand me a broom!”, think of all the time that you’ve already wasted trying to avoid doing emotional housekeeping.

So that’s how I’d describe the art-making process; forcing myself, despite the discomfort, to slow down and confront the chaos, start picking through the minefield in my head, treading carefully to avoid detonation! Examining and fitting together seemingly random thoughts and feelings until I find a common thread or an image starts to form. Because everything is related. No thought, however trivial, meaningless. Everything matters. The answers to most of my questions are hidden somewhere amid the jumble, so I just keep sifting and sorting my way through it, without any real sense of direction, until I have what I call an “AHA! moment”.

And then, there’s ….

The Flow!

Have you ever tried catching a feather or leaf that’s fluttering about on the breeze? The more you wave your arms or move your hand, the further away it will get. That’s what it feels like for me when inspiration is just out of reach. The AHA! moment comes when I have managed to grasp an idea. Then, the the hard part is over.

When in that creative zone, known as “the flow”, my mind becomes very still. I’m no longer chasing or running or flailing about desperately trying to make sense of things. I am completely tranquil, opening myself up, letting those fluttering objects drift down and settle upon me. I loose all sense of time and space, and switch into cruise control. Emerging from this flow state feels like waking from a dream, only I’ve brought something tangible back with me. A souvenir from my subconscious.

Externalising my thoughts and emotions in this way helps me gain better understanding of them and how they affect me, but it also makes my internal world accessible to others. Exposure to scrutiny and criticism absolutely TERRIFIES me, and makes me extremely vulnerable. So why do I do it??

Because my deep seated longing to make authentic connections only very slightly outweighs my paralysing fear of rejection.

It’s something I find difficult to write about without feeling a tad wanky, but there you have it.

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OHLOOKASQUIRREL!!

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The G-Spot And ‘Vaginal Orgasm’ Are Myths, According To New Clinical Review

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n-WOMEN-ORGASM-large570

The struggle to find the G-spot and achieve the mythical “vaginal orgasm” is real. Books have been written on it; sex therapists have explained how to stimulate it; even Cosmopolitan magazine has tried to instruct dutiful readers how to find it.

But a review published this week in the journal Clinical Anatomy may just halt all of these fruitless quests with the conclusion that neither the elusive G-spot nor the vaginal orgasm exist.
“Like most things that are about sex, people get very hot and bothered on either end of this, but I really can’t say from my clinical practice that I’m at all convinced that there is a G-spot,” Dr. Gail Saltz, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital and author of The Ripple Effect: How Better Sex Can Lead to a Better Life (who was not involved in the new review), told The Huffington Post. “I think that a lot of women are very frustrated trying to attain something that may not be attainable.”

Scientists have yet to prove the existence of a G-spot.

In their Clinical Anatomy article, Italian researchers Vincenzo Puppo and Giulia Puppo stress the importance of using the correct terminology when discussing female sexual organs and women’s capacity for orgasm. They write that the so-called G-spot, a term that refers to a pleasurable spot located inside the vagina in the pelvic urethra, doesn’t exist — rather, every woman has the capacity to orgasm if her clitoris is stimulated. As such, the term “vaginal orgasm” is incorrect and “female orgasm” should be used instead, they argue.

The original research on G-spots, led by Addiego, who coined the term after German gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg in 1981, was based on a woman who “identified an erotically sensitive spot, palpable through the anterior wall of her vagina.” When the area was touched, it became larger and the woman reported increased sensitivity, pleasure and a desire to urinate — all of which led Addiego to conclude “the orgasms she experienced in response to the Gräfenberg stimulation felt much the same.”

However, the new review points out that the woman also reported that, at the time of testing, she had been diagnosed with a grade one cystocele, a condition in which “the supportive tissue between a woman’s bladder and vaginal wall weakens and stretches, allowing the bladder to bulge into the vagina.” The resulting side effects of cystocele, the authors argue, make the woman a poor candidate for the basis of a sexual theory with flimsy subsequent medical proof.

Neglecting the clitoris and emphasizing the G-spot may be why so many women don’t orgasm.

Despite previous studies, the researchers say the vagina has no anatomical relationship with the clitoris. They write: “The correct and simple anatomical term to describe the cluster of erectile tissues (i.e. clitoris, vestibular bulbs and pars intermedia, labia minora, and corpus spongiosum of the female urethra) responsible for female orgasm, is ‘female penis.'”

The female clitoris (left) and the male penis (right)
The female clitoris (left) and the male penis (right)

While the concept of a “female penis” may sound strange, the clitoris and penis have quite a few similarities when it comes to sexual pleasure, starting with their shape (see the illustration above), and that increased blood flow causes their spongy tissues to engorge as orgasm approaches. The problem is, much of the unerect clitoris isn’t visible — it may be up to 9 centimeters long, according to a seminal paper on the clitoris published by Australian urologist Helen O’Connell in 1998.

The majority of women don’t experience orgasms during intercourse, so having a clear understanding of what’s going on down there — and how to refer to it all — is important for women seeking sexual pleasure, said Saltz, especially when it comes to wiping out the shame that comes with feeling “broken” because of an inability to orgasm.
The clitoris “is not just sticking out in plain view with a clear directions manual, so that means that a woman has to be familiar with herself, having looked and understood and experienced,” Saltz said. “Then she has to transmit that to her partner in a way that’s comfortable for both of them, and it isn’t always easy.”
But mapping out female sexual pleasure is an issue that extends beyond climax.

The new research adds to the already-fervent debate on female sexual pleasure, which spans beyond the medical sphere and into the realms of social activism and art.

Doctors offer G-spot-enhancing procedures, a practice Jeffrey Spike, a bioethicist at Florida State University’s College of Medicine, equated with “medical fraud” in a 2007 interview, adding that “the G-spot belongs in the same category as angels and unicorns.” (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also called out these procedures for the lack of data on efficacy and safety.)

Aside from clinical opponents of the “vaginal orgasm,” artist Sophia Wallace attempts to dispel misinformation about female sexual organs through her “Cliteracy” project, which uses street art and her “100 Laws Of Cliteracy” to inform women and men that female sexual pleasure is not only possible, but an important step toward gender parity in society.

Women need to prioritize finding out what works for them.

Since the male penis itself cannot stimulate the clitoris during intercourse, the researchers recommend masturbation, cunnilingus, partner masturbation or using a finger during vaginal/anal intercourse to make sure the clitoris isn’t forgotten. But Saltz also noted that much of the recent data on female arousal centers around how a woman feels psychologically, rather than physically — feeling “loved,” “attractive” or “safe.”

As for the women who do claim to achieve orgasm from “G-spot” stimulation? More power to you, Saltz said (well, in a nutshell). But she also said that being so singularly goal-oriented toward orgasm may not be the most direct route to pleasure.

“The way that we talk about it in society, many women feel that [orgasm] is what they’re supposed to do and that that would be the supreme success of the encounter,” Saltz said. “But most women do report that it’s the closeness; it’s the shared intimacy; and, of course, the physical arousal is pleasurable by itself.”

That said, Saltz added that she was surprised that these findings debunking the “vaginal orgasm” are considered news at this point.
“The G-spot is an issue and there are definitely people who feel strongly that it’s real,” Saltz said. “But I think that women who are fairly sexually educated know that their clitoris is where it’s at, so to speak.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/09/g-spot-vaginal-orgasm-myth_n_5947930.html

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Man paid $100 for $1m James Bond submarine car

bond-car-discovered-in-storage

The Lotus in a scene from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’. Picture: RM Auctions

IT is one of the most famous cars in the history of the movies and when it goes under the hammer this September it could fetch over a million dollars.

But the James Bond submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me nearly sank without a trace.

The customised Lotus Esprit was forgotten about in a storage container in Long Island, New York. It only came to light after a local contractor bought unseen the contents of the container in 1989, paying less than $100, according to a report on CNBC.

When the contractor opened up the container with his brother he found the white sports car without wheels and with a dented roof.

“They really didn’t know what it was at first,” said Doug Redenius, co-founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, which authenticated the car.

Not knowing the value of his find he loaded the car on a truck. It was only after other truckers told him over the CB radio what it was and he had rented the film and seen the car in action that he realised the value of the find.

Mr Renedius told CNBC that eight different versions of the car were driven by Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. This one will be sold by RM Auctions in London on September 9.

james-bond-gadgets The submarine car was lost in storage for many years.

Previous James Bond cars have fetched millions at auction. A 1964 Aston Martin used in Goldfinger sold in 2010 for $4.6 million.

Mr Renedius described the current owner as “a blue collar guy” who makes “a very modest living”.

“I told him, I said ‘Come September 9th, be prepared for your life and your wife and your children – your life is going to change dramatically,” he said.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/sci-tech/james-bond-submarine-car-discovered-in-storage-container/story-fn5fsgyc-1226686012349

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Angelina Jolie has healthy breasts removed

Actress Angelina Jolie has revealed that she has undergone a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her risk of cancer. Her mother died from cancer aged 56.

Angelina Jolie has revealed that she recently underwent a preventative double mastectomy.

The actress, whose mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer in 2007, was tested to see whether she carried the ‘faulty’ gene that increases a woman’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

angelinajolieDouble mastectomy: Angelina Jolie. Photo: Getty Images

“My doctors estimated that I had an 87 per cent risk of breast cancer and a 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman,” Ms Jolie wrote in a op-ed piece published in The New York Times.

“Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimise the risk as much I could.”

Ms Jolie’s treatment began in February and finished on April 27, with the procedures remaining secret until the Oscar-winning actress chose to go public by penning a first-person piece on her decision for the Times.

“I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience,” Ms Jolie, who is 37, wrote.

“Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.”

In her article, Ms Jolie detailed the various stages of the medical procedures involved with a mastectomy, including the major surgery, which she said “does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film”.

“But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life,” she wrote.

Tests not covered by Medicare

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in Australia, with one in eight being diagnosed by the age of 85.

However, hereditary breast cancer is rarer than many people think, with only 5 to 10 per cent of cases occurring in women whose families have a gene fault.

A clinician at the hereditary cancer clinic at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Lesley Andrews, said in Australia the test for the mutations was not covered by Medicare.

“Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is individually funded by each hospital,” she said. “The criteria for women to be offered testing usually includes that there is at least a 10 per cent chance that a mutation will be identified.”

This usually meant a woman would have two or more relatives diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, with one aged younger than 40 when she developed the disease.

If a woman was not covered under the hospital policy she could pay for the test herself, which usually cost about $2500.

The head of the breast cancer risk management clinic at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Kelly-Anne Phillips, said about one in five Australian women found to have the breast cancer gene mutations went ahead with a preventative mastectomy.

“Having a risk-reducing mastectomy is the most effective way of reducing risk,” she said. “It can take her from an 80 per cent risk of breast cancer to a… lower risk than an average woman.”

Chief executive of Cancer Australia Helen Zorbas said outcomes from reconstructive breast surgery could be “extraordinary”, with no obvious outward signs when a woman was in clothing or swimwear.

She said most women who chose to have preventative surgery chose to have a reconstruction.

“However, women I have met who have chosen not to have reconstruction are equally happy with their decision in terms of their mastectomy because they have reduced their anxiety and concern about their risk of breast cancer,” she said.

Despite the mastectomies and subsequent breast reconstruction being a difficult process, Ms Jolie said she was pleased she had gone through with it.

“The decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer…

“For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.”

Click here to read Angelina Jolie’s piece in full

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What Doctors Don’t Know About the Drugs They Prescribe

Ben Goldacre

Physician, author

TEDTalks can sometimes portray science in triumphalist tones, with fabulous innovations that are changing the world forever. But the real action in science is often around dirty, messy, angry problems, and my TEDTalk is about the dirtiest I’ve seen yet.

Doctors need the results of clinical trials to make informed choices, with their patients, about which treatment to use. But the best currently available evidence estimates that half of all clinical trials, for the treatments we use today, have never been published. This problem is the same for industry-sponsored trials and independent academic studies, across all fields of medicine from surgery to oncology, and it represents an enormous hidden hole for everything we do. Doctors can’t make informed decisions, when half the evidence is missing.

Most people react to this situation with incredulity, because it’s so obviously absurd. How can medics, academics, and legislators have permitted such a huge problem to persist? The answer is simple. This territory has been policed — and aggressively — by the pharmaceutical industry. They have worked hard to shut down public discussion on the topic, for several decades, with great success.

They say, for example, that the problem is modest, and that critics have cherry picked the evidence: but this is a lie. The best evidence comes from the most current review of all the literature, published in 2010. It estimates that half of all completed trials are left published, and that trials with negative results are about twice as likely to be buried.

Then they pretend that the problem is in the past, and that everything has been fixed. But in reality, none of these supposed fixes were subjected to any kind of routine public audit, and all have now been well-documented as failures. What’s more, they all shared one simple loophole: they only demanded information about new trials, and this is hopeless. Anything that only gets us the results of studies completing after 2008 does nothing to fix medicine today, because more than 80% of all treatments prescribed this year came to the market more than ten years ago. We need the results of clinical trials from 2007, 2003, 1999, and 1993, to make informed decisions about the medicines we use today. This isn’t about catching companies out for past misdemeanors, it’s a simple practical matter of making medicine optimally safe and effective.

The arguments go on, with ever more red herrings: industry spokespeople pretend that information about trials — such as Clinical Study Reports — can’t be released without breaching the confidentiality of individual patient participants. But in reality, the EU Ombudsman has already forced the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to release hundreds of these exact same documents. He stated clearly that the administrative burden of removing any individual patient information is minimal. Next, they claim the cost of sharing trial information is prohibitive: but both the EMA and GSK have committed to releasing all the Clinical Study Reports that they have, and the EMA has already shared millions of pages of documents, quite happily. Sometimes industry people even claim — in hugely patronizing tones — that it’s better for only regulators to see trial results, behind closed doors, because the public would panic if exposed to dissenting views.

There’s more. Sometimes they pretend that the academic journals are the bad guys, for rejecting papers with negative results, when the evidence shows this was barely ever an issue, and, in any case, there are now endless open access journals, specifically designed to accept negative results. Then there are the hole-pickers: people who pay lip service to the problem, with a brief claim that they are “on your side,” then expend all their worldly effort trying to pour cold water on the problem, pretending that things aren’t so bad after all.

Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan, once laughingly told me that every page of my book Bad Pharma was infused with paranoia: that he could tell I’d been made furious by having the same argument about missing data, over and again, with chancers; that I had resorted to obsessively covering every exit in the argument with snipers, to hem the enemy in, across hundreds of pages. I admit I am obsessed, and I hope you’ll share those details: if not by reading the book, then at least by inhaling the eight page briefing we have produced for our campaign, at alltrials.net.

Because this is where I have to confront my inner grouch, and cave in to the optimism of TED. I have to tell you about the successful campaign for trials transparency that has grown since this talk first went up.

In the UK, last October, almost as soon as Bad Pharma was published, there were questionson withheld trial results in parliament, including a Prime Minister’s Question (which David Cameron simply dodged). This led to widespread editorials, comment pieces, and news coverage in the London Times and elsewhere. A group of us, myself and some properly eminent UK medics, had a meeting with the Health Minister. The UK parliament’s Health Select Committee called on the GMC, NICE, and the pharmaceutical industry to address the problem of missing trials; the Public Accounts Committee are looking at the withheld data on Tamiflu; and the Science and Technology Committee have now commenced a formal parliamentary inquiry into the problem of withheld results more widely.

In January, the science writer Simon Singh grew frustrated at my whining that things weren’t moving fast enough, and gave a generous donation to the campaigning charity Sense About Science. This kickstarted some more traditional lobbying. We teamed up with the great and good — journal editors, academics, and a knight — to form the alltrials.net campaign.

AllTrials asks people to sign up to two simple things: firstly, recognize that this is an ongoing problem; and secondly, call for the release of basic information (including brief summary results, and the long “Clinical Study Report” where available) for all trials, on all treatments currently in use, whether past or future.

This has grown almost faster than we can. Over 40,000 individuals have signed up, and over200 organizations. More than a hundred patient groups have committed their support, recognizing that it’s their members who participate in trials, and take medicines based on their results. We are now supported by almost all medical and academic professional bodies in the UK — the Royal Colleges, the Societies and Faculties — not to mention the National Physicians Alliance from the U.S., and the European Public Health Association. The outsider position in the UK is now not supporting the AllTrials campaign.

In February, GlaxoSmithKline, one of the biggest drug companies in the world, signed up, and committed to publicly release all their Clinical Study Reports, going back to the beginning of the company. More companies are discussing signing, and if these promises are delivered, they could finally add an interesting new element to the game: for the first time ever, I believe there will be commercial incentives to transparency. Imagine that there are two treatments, both with apparently equal benefits. One is made by a company that shares all its results, but the other is made by a company that publicly mocks and derides the very notion that doctors and patients should dare to ask for such a thing. Which treatment do you want?

I think the answer is clear, but we need more than this. We need public engagement on the issue, and wider recognition among policy makers, to get on with concrete solutions. That’s why I hope you’ll sign up to alltrials.net, and if you’re a member of a professional body anywhere in the world, then please get them to sign too. If you’re from a company, then we are very happy to talk informally — and confidentially — about any anxieties you may have, but please, save your reputations, and sign.

The current state of affairs is absurd. We can spend tens of millions of dollars on just one trial, hoping to ensure it is free from bias, and trying to accurately detect tiny differences between one treatment and another. And yet we let all those biases right back in, by allowing people to bury half the data. Future generations will look back at our tolerating this bizarre situation in astonishment, the same way that we look back on medieval bloodletting. The time is now, to fix it forever, easily.

Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form. TEDWeekends will highlight some of today’s most intriguing ideas and allow them to develop in real time through your voice! Tweet #TEDWeekends to share your perspective or email tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com to learn about future weekend’s ideas to contribute as a writer.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/NewsGlide/#!&blogs_3018272_prescription-drugs

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Social Smoking vs Social Farting

CANADIAN health authorities have let it rip at smokers – comparing their smell to a fart.

The Ontario Quit the Denial campaign places a ‘social farter’ on the psychoanalyst’s chair.

While there, she attempts to justify her ‘social flatulence’ as just a means to `fit in with the crowd’.

“It’s true that I fart…. I really only do it when I hang out with my friends that fart. We hang out, we drink, we dance … just have some fun being together… farting.”

‘Just because I fart every now-and-then doesn’t make me a farter’. Canada’s new anti-smoking campaign.

Obviously intended to juxtapose the supposed `coolness’ of smoking with flatulence, the campaign is being billed as a “gentle” poke at smoking in the face of widespread graphic tobacco warnings.

The punch-line?

“Social smoking is as ridiculous as social farting.”

social-farting

‘Just because I fart every now-and-then doesn’t make me a farter’. Canada’s new anti-smoking campaign.

 

 

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/weird-true-freaky/canada-released-advertising-campaign-comparing-smoking-with-farting/story-e6frflri-1226602397177#ixzz2ObPHcmz0

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Burger Urge ad ‘promotes bestiality’

A Brisbane burger company’s advertising campaign has been accused of promoting bestiality.
The Burger Urge ad, which shows a woman licking a cow, was described in the complaint as loathsome, sick, wrong and perverted, according to The Courier Mail.

cowAustralian Christian Lobby group officially registered the complaint via company director Wendy Francis, who said people should be spared the image of “a woman making love to a cow”.
“It’s definitely a sexual sort of image. It says ‘get intimate’ so we’re not talking about a pet thing. The cow is dressed up as a man,” she said.
Burger Urge owner Sean Carthew says it is an over-reaction, and believes an overwhelming majority of people saw what Burger Urge was trying to do and did not have a problem with the campaign.
Ironically, Mr Carthew’s mum received an email from Ms Francis, attacking the advertisement.
“Mum’s quite religious and she doesn’t have any problem with the image of the cow and the girl,” he said.
“We do think quite carefully about our promotions. We don’t want to cause any damage or do any harm, we just want to have a bit of fun.”
Ms Francis, who also rallied against Burger Urge’s condom mail promotion said it had the potential of catching out children who like to check the letterbox.
“I’m not asking for a nanny state. I’m just asking would somebody please make it so that our children are allowed to have their childhood,” she said.
However Mr Carthew said the arrival of a condom in the mail would have no impact on the future behaviour of children.

via Burger Urge ad ‘promotes bestiality’ – Yahoo!7.

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Lightning blows breasts off statue

Lightning blasts breasts off statue

lightning-blasts-breasts-off-statueTom Findlay shows off the stone breasts which survived an 8m fall when struck by lightning. Picture: Michael Franchi Source: Northern Territory News

A LIGHTNING strike has blown the breasts off one man’s iconic tribute to Northern Territory women. Literally.

Stonemasonry boss Tom Finlay, 48, was standing 50m from his voluptuous hand-carved Venus de Milo when a flash of white light and an “almighty kaboom” sent stone flying through the air, The NT News reports.

Mr Finlay – who carved the statue as a tributeb to NT women – said he was amazed her 30kg breasts had survived the phenomenon.

“There was a clap of thunder and the sculpture blew up like a rocket-launcher had hit it,” he said.
Lightning blasts breasts off statue

lightning-blasts-breasts-off-statue2All that is left of the original sculpture is below the hips. Picture: Michael Franchi

“Everything disintegrated but the breasts – all that’s left is what’s under her hips,” he added.

The 1.5m high sculpture, made of local porcelanite, was perched on a 6m steel reinforced column.

Shattered stone was strewn about the small courtyard at Finlay’s Stonemasonry – near the Stuart Hwy, at Yarrawonga – where the top half of the headless Venus was obliterated about on Friday.
Lightning blasts breasts off statue

lightning-blasts-breasts-off-statue3Tom Findlay’s first sculpture, of Venus, before it was destoyed by lightning.

via Lightning blows breasts off NT’s iconic Venus de Milo statue | News.com.au.

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