Friday, April 27, 2007



Man Cuts Off His Penis in London Restaurant

British police were forced to restrain a man with CS gas after he cut his own penis off in a packed London restaurant on Sunday.

The man was rushed to hospital in where his penis could not be reattached by surgeons. Restaurant staff told reporters how the man “picked up a kitchen knife and slashed himself across the wrist and groin areas before running back into the restaurant."

No-one else suffered any physical injuries during the incident, although restaurant staff and clients were understandably distressed by the events.

Another week, another lesson about image manipulation in the press.

At least two major publications – The New York Post and People – digitally obscured a portion of a photo from the Virginia Tech shootings.

In the photo, emergency personnel are seen carrying injured student Kevin Sterne out of the Norris Hall classroom building, his clothes soaked with blood. Standards being what they are, the concern about the photograph was not the shocking amount of blood, but whether the student’s penis was visible.

The photo is one of several taken at the scene of the April 16 shooting by Roanoke Times photographer Alan Kim and transmitted hours later worldwide by the Associated Press. It appeared the next day in dozens of newspapers, in many cases on the front page.

Almost immediately, newspaper readers began to debate the image. A message board devoted to the Detroit Free Press sparked a debate the next morning over whether the picture actually showed genitalia. The Hartford Courant was bombarded with complaints, many of which reader representative Karen Hunter posted online.

“You are showing his penis right on the front page,” one Courant reader complained to Hunter. “I think that’s disgusting…. I think you should have blocked it out or something.”

Over at the New York Post, editors anticipated that exact response. The Post ran the picture big and in color, but cloned out the flesh-colored shape protruding from the student’s lap. Across town, the archrival Daily News ran the picture unedited.

People edited the photo, while its sister magazine Time ran the picture unedited.

By April 18, sharp-eyed bloggers had flagged some of the news outlets that altered the photo. Both Poynter and the National Press Photographers Association – whose code of ethics prohibits digital alterations to news photographs in most cases – posted stories about the photo on their Web sites.

In response, Post executive editor Col Allen told Poynter, “We decided to make a very minor alteration to the photograph of Kevin Sterne being carried out of Norris Hall to protect the wounded student’s dignity but in no way change the news impact of the picture.”

Bart Simpson does a full monty

In the unlikeliest nude scene since Kathy Bates' hot-tub hijinks in About Schmidt, Bart Simpson will reportedly go full frontal in his upcoming feature film.

According to Newsweek, which got a sneak peek at The Simpsons Movie, "little Bart flashes his little part to the entire world" while skateboarding sans clothing on a dare from dad Homer.

If his full Monty makes it to the big screen in July, the magazine notes, it may be the first time a Hollywood movie has exposed this sort of skin -- albeit in cartoon form -- without being slapped with an R-rating.


A South African inventor has created a new female condom designed to stop rape by hooking sharp barbs of wire into a man’s penis if he tries to sexually assault a woman wearing the device. The “Rapex” is worn like a tampon and will grab hold of the offending member and attach itself to it until its owner gets to a hospital to have the metal barbs surgically removed. While some detractors of the device have criticized its “vengefulness,” inventor Sonette Ehlers has no second thoughts about her contraption. “It’s a medieval device for a medieval deed,” she says. “If any rapist finds himself hopping with pain as a result... that seems just fine to me. Yes, it’s vengeful. Yes, it hurts rapists. Oh well.”

Research in Western Australia has found that the number of boys born with genital defects has almost doubled in the last 20 years.

The Telethon Institute for Child Health Research has found that this increase could be linked to IVF drug treatment, air pollution and agricultural chemicals.

And the researchers say the rapid increase in the condition is worrying and needs further research as Lindy Kerin reports.

LINDY KERIN: Hypospadias affects one in every 230 baby boys.

Dr Natasha Nassar from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Western Australia says it's considered a major birth defect.

NATASHA NASSAR: It occurs in baby boys in the urethra, which usually develops at the tip of the penis, actually develops on the underside and the location sort of determines how severe it is.

So if it's close to the tip, it's usually a mild case, but if the urethra develops closer to the perineum, than it can be a more severe case.

LINDY KERIN: Dr Nassar has been investigating the rate of hypospadias in Western Australia for the past 20 years.

She's found the number of boys born with moderate and severe cases of the genital defect, has almost doubled. She says it's similar case around the country.

A Brisbane man accused of deliberately infecting his teenage lover with HIV could not have committed the crime because he was unable to get an erection, a court has heard.

Jamie Michael Richards, 34 of Highgate Hill, has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully and intentionally transmitting a serious disease and causing grievous bodily harm to the teen, now aged 20.

Prosecutors allege Richards did not declare his HIV-positive status during a casual sexual affair with the younger man, whom he met a a train station in 2003.

At Brisbane's District Court this morning, Richards' defence counsel Adrian Gundelach suggested his client was the "passive partner" in the relationship and suffered from "gender dysphoria", which prevented him from having full penetrative sex.

However, Richards' alleged victim strongly rejected claims he had never seen Richards with an erection, testifying his former partner had both "given and received" during their numerous sexual encounters.

When quizzed by Mr Gundelach over why he had never reciprocated oral sex with Richards, the younger man said it was because Richards' penis was "ugly", not because he couldn't get it up.

"It looks ugly, it's feral ... it's ugly shaped," the alleged victim testified.

He also denied claims he had lied about his age when he first met Richards - 14 years his senior - at the Brunswick Street railway station in November 2003.

The court has previously heard the meeting sparked a "certain attraction" between the pair and they began sleeping together at a Dutton Park boarding house and a Highgate Hill unit Richards shared with his brother.

The younger man alleged Richards covered up his illness, which was diagnosed about 1995, telling him "don't worry, I'm clean" when the pair had unprotected sex.

But his suspicions were aroused after an alleged conversation with Richards' brother, who was paid a government allowance to care for the sick man. A blood test in 2005 confirmed the alleged victim had contracted the disease, which the Crown claims it can prove "with 100 per cent probability" came from Richards.

Under intense cross-examination by Mr Gundelach today, the younger man denied frequenting gay "beats" or being sexually promiscuous and insisted he had been a virgin when he first met Richards.

He said he always carried condoms in his bag but admitted it was possible he didn't know if they had been used or not.

"Obviously sometimes when you're drunk or smoking pot, you wouldn't have a clue," he said.

"It's better to be safe than sorry ... it's better than picking up a disease or something isn't it?"

The trial continues.

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