Plastic bags for bathrooms

October 8, 2011

This news is only a harbinger of the new austerity measure to come: The Dutch national railway has an unusual solution for passengers who need the bathroom on a train line designed without them: plastic bags. The bags have a cup-shaped plastic top and contain a highly absorbent material that turns urine into a gel-like mixture. After use the bags can be sealed and thrown in the trash.


breastfeed Mohammad,

May 14, 2010

Which is more likely to elicit an irate Muslim response: 1) public cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammad, or 2) public proclamations that Mohammad was a bisexual, sometime transvestite and necrophile, who enjoyed sucking on the tongues of children, commanded a woman to “breastfeed” an adult man, and advised believers to drink his urine for salutary health?

“Roman Charity” by Peter Paul Rubens 1612

In traditional Islamic law, someone who suckles the breast of a woman is that woman’s child, either biologically or through a foster relationship. However, according the Jurist Abu’s-Su`ud (c.1490–1574), this only applies to sucklings under the age of two and a half years. This is a source of some dispute, as a modern Saudi Jurist, in 1983, upheld that if a man suckles from his wife, their marriage is nullified. The query remains a popular one into the 21st century, and has come up in Saudi advice columns.