Thursday, December 20, 2007

Poppa Smurf??!!!

Paul Karason puts a whole new spin on "feeling blue.” For more than a decade, the 57-year-old has been living with a blue face.

Fourteen years ago, Karason developed a bad case of dermatitis, which results in swollen, reddened and itchy skin. He started self-medicating, using a treatment called colloidal silver, which is made by extracting silver from metal.

Often touted by manufacturers as a cure-all, colloidal silver usually is found in a liquid form. Looking for relief, Karason drank the concoction and rubbed it on his skin — something the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend.

His skin slowly turned blue.

"The change was so gradual that I didn't perceive it and other people around me likewise," said Karason. "It wasn't until a friend I hadn't seen in several months came by my parent's place to see me and he asked me 'what did you do?.'"

The FDA does not consider colloidal silver safe or effective to treat any disease or condition. In fact, taking it could have serious side effects, such as:

— Argyria — which is an irreversible blue-gray discoloration of your skin, nails and gums

— Seizures and other neurological problems

— Kidney damage

— Indigestion

— Headaches

— Fatigue

— Skin irritation

Karason, who recently moved from Oregon to Madera, Calif., said it hasn't been easy living with blue skin.

"I do tend to avoid public places as much as I can," he said.

Karason made the move in hopes of fitting in a little better.

"I hope that they just accept me," he said, "And I think that will happen here. Where I was, I rather doubt it would have. This is different kind of community here."

Karason's girlfriend, Jackie Northrup, said she doesn't even notice his skin color any more.

"The only time now I really think about it or notice it is if we're out in public and people start staring," she said.

So far, Karason hasn't sought any medical attention for his condition. When he was asked if he's still drinking the colloidal silver, he said yes, but much less.

You can watch a youtube video here:

I guess this just proves that you really have to watch what you drink! Weird!

-I'm Average Joe

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Daddy, The Mummified Man

The Japanese are renowned the world over for their longevity, but a recent event in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture, casts some doubt upon the validity of such a widely held belief. As a man celebrated for being the oldest male in the city had actually been dead for as long as a decade.

Kyujiro Kanaoka, who lived with his three elderly children (all in their 70’s), had been known as Itami’s oldest man since 1999. Yet an autopsy conducted on Tuesday revealed that he had died from natural causes or illness between five to ten years ago.

Mr. Kanaoka’s body was finally recovered from the family home after a relative alerted the police following a conversation with his son. Local government officials, who had believed the deceased was 107, found his kimono clad body mummified in the house. With the futon the body was resting on surrounded by religious amulets, charms, and notes. It turns out the children also delivered meals to their dead father on a daily basis.

When the city mayor went to visit the house on Respect For The Aged Day several years ago, he was turned away and told that Mr. Kanaoka was bedridden and unable to meet visitors. As crazy as it seems this episode aroused little or no suspicion. But a shocked neighbor did say that, “I thought something was a little strange, because you’d see all these pamphlets talking about him as being the oldest person, but you never actually saw him.”

And now we know why…

How weird are these folks????!!!!

I’m Average Joe


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Weird but True Warning Labels from Our Weird but True World

Man, I really love this kind of things...

      1.    On a blanket from Taiwan -
       2.    On a helmet mounted mirror used by US cyclists -
       3.    On a Taiwanese shampoo -
       4.    On the bottle-top of a (UK) flavoured milk drink -
       5.    On a New Zealand insect spray -
       6.    In a US guide to setting up a new computer -
      (The instruction was INSIDE the box.)
       7.    On a Japanese product used to relieve painful haemorrhoids
       8.    In some countries, on the bottom of Coke bottles -
       9.    On a packet of Sunmaid raisins -
       10.    On a Sears hairdryer -
       11.    On a bag of Fritos -
       12.    On a bar of Dial soap -
       13.    On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of the box)             DO NOT TURN UPSIDE DOWN.
       14.    On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding -
       15.    On a Korean kitchen knife -
       16.    On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights -
       17.    On a Japanese food processor -
       18.    On Sainsbury's peanuts -
       19.    On an American Airlines packet of nuts
       20.    On a Swedish chainsaw -
       21.    On a child's superman costume -
       22.    On some frozen dinners
       23.    On a hotel provided shower cap in a box
       24.    On packaging for a Rowenta iron
       25.    On Boot's "Children's" cough medicine
       26.    On Nytol sleep aid


Weird World even in printed lables.!

I’m Average Joe


Friday, February 09, 2007

The Romeo and Juliet of 5,000 Years Ago?

The exiled Romeo dreamed he died and Juliet's kisses breathed life back into his body. But tragically, the lifeless bodies of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers would soon lie side by side. Is it possible that this could have happened for real? Over 5,000 Years ago? Read on…

Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in a tender embrace and buried outside Mantua, just 25 miles south of Verona, the romantic city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet.

Buried between 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric lovers are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, as their teeth were found intact.

One theory being examined is that the man was killed and the woman was then sacrificed so that his soul would be accompanied in the after life by his true love.

Elena Menotti, who is leading the dig at Valdaro near Mantua in northern Italy, said: 'I am so excited about this discovery.

"We have never found a man and a woman embraced before and this is a unique find.

"We have found plenty of women embracing children but never a couple. Much less a couple hugging -- and they really are hugging. It's possible that the man died first and then the woman was killed in sacrifice to accompany his soul.”

The burial site was located Monday, February 5th, 2007 during construction work for a factory building in the outskirts of Mantua. Alongside the couple, archaeologists found flint tools, including arrowheads and a knife, Menotti said.

Experts now will study the artifacts and the skeletons to determine the burial site's age and how old the two were when they died, she said.

Looks like we had a Weird World even 5,000 years ago!

I’m Average Joe


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The OTHER Mystery of Easter Island

Everyone who is interested in the Weird World in which we live has heard about the Moai Statues of Easter Island. These huge ‘heads’ have been branded into popular consciousness, but these are not the only curiosity the South Pacific island holds. Where the moai are fascinating for their unknown purpose and mysterious craftsmen, the island's lost language of Rongorongo is equally perplexing. The unique written language seems to have appeared suddenly in the 1700s, but within just two centuries it was exiled to obscurity. Let's take a look....

Known as Rapa Nui to the island's inhabitants, Rongorongo is a writing system comprised of pictographs. It has been found carved into many oblong wooden tablets and other artifacts from the island's history. The art of writing was not known in any nearby islands and the script’s mere existence is sufficient to confound anthropologists. The most plausible explanation so far has been that the Easter Islanders were inspired by the writing they observed in 1770 when the Spanish claimed the island. However, despite its recency, no linguist or archaeologist has been able to successfully decipher the Rongorongo language.

When early Europeans discovered Easter Island, its somewhat isolated ecosystem was suffering from the effects of limited natural resources, deforestation, and overpopulation. Over the following years the island's population of four thousand or so was slowly eroded by Western disease and deportation by slave traders. By 1877, only about one hundred and ten inhabitants remained. Rongorongo was one victim of these circumstances. The colonizers of Easter Island had decided that the strange language was too closely tied to the inhabitants' pagan past, and forbade it as a form of communication. Missionaries forced the inhabitants to destroy the tablets with Rongorongo inscriptions.

In 1864, Father Joseph Eyraud became the first non-islander to record Rongorongo. Writing before the ultimate decline of the Eastern Island society, he noted that "one finds in all the houses wooden tables or staffs covered with sorts of hieroglyphs." Despite his interest in the subject, he was not able to find an Islander willing to translate the texts. The islanders were understandably reluctant to help, given that the Europeans forcefully suppressed the use of their native writing.

Rongorongo TabletsSome time later, Bishop Florentin Jaussen of Tahiti attempted to translate the texts. A young Easter Islander named Metero claimed to be able to read Rongorongo, and for fifteen days the bishop kept a record while the boy dictated from the inscriptions. Bishop Jaussen gave up the effort when he realized that Metero was a fraud; the boy had assigned several meanings to the same symbol.

In 1886 Paymaster William Thompson of the ship USS Mohican became interested in the pictographic system during a journey to collect artifacts for the National Museum in Washington. He had obtained two rare tablets engraved with the script and was curious about their meaning. He asked eighty-three-year-old islander Ure Va’e Iko for assistance in translation because his age made him more likely to have knowledge of the language. The man reluctantly admitted to knowing what the tablets said, but did not wish to break the orders of the missionaries. As a result, Ure Va’e Iko refused to touch the tablets, let alone decipher them.

Thompson was determined, however, and decided that Ure Va'e Iko might be more forthcoming under the influence of alcohol. After having a few drinks kindly provided by Thompson, the Easter Islander looked at the tablets once again. The old man burst into song, singing a fertility chant which described the mating of gods and goddesses. William Thompson and his companions quickly took down his words. This was potentially a big breakthrough, but Thomson struggled with assigning words to the pictographs. Furthermore, he couldn't find another Islander who was willing to confirm the accuracy of this translation. While Thompson was ultimately unable to read Rongorongo, the translation that Iko provided has remained one of the most valuable clues on how to decipher the tablets.

An Indus valley connection?In the following decades, many scholars have attempted to make sense of this mystery. In 1932, Wilhelm de Hevesy tried to link Rongorongo to the Indus script of the Indus Valley Civilization in India, claiming that as many as forty Rongorongo symbols had a correlating symbol in the script from India. Further examination found this link to be much more superficial than originally believed. In the 1950s, Thomas Barthel became one of the first linguists of the modern era to make a study of Rongorongo. He stated that system contained 120 basic elements that, when combined, formed 1500 different signs. Furthermore, he asserted that the symbols represented both objects and ideas. This made it more difficult to produce a translation because an individual symbol could potentially represent an entire phrase. Barthel was successful, however, in identifying an artifact known as the Mamri tablet as a lunar calendar.

Some of the most recent research has been conducted by a linguist named Steven Fischer. Having studied nearly every surviving example of Rongorongo, he took particular interest in a four-foot-long scepter that had once been the property of an Easter Island Chief. The artifact is covered in pictographs, and Fischer noticed that every third symbol on this staff has an additional "phallus-like" symbol attached to it. This led Fischer to believe that all Rongorongo texts have a structure steeped in counts of three, or triads. He has also studied Ure Va’e Iko's fertility chant, which lent additional support to the concept. Iko had always named a god first, his goddess mate second, and their offspring third. Fischer has also tried to make the claim that all Rongorongo texts relate creation myths. Looking at another text, he has suggested that a sentence with a symbol of a bird, a fish, and a sun reads "All the birds copulated with fish: there issued forth the sun." While this could be the translation, it bears little resemblance to Ure Va'e Iko's chant about the matings of gods and goddesses.

Rongorongo naturally commands a great deal of interest from linguists, anthropologists, and archaeologists. Only twenty-five texts are know to have survived. Should anyone find a workable translation for Rongorongo, the knowledge stored on the remaining tablets might explain the mysterious statues of Easter Island, the sudden appearance of the written language, and the island's history and customs as whole. However, much like the statues which have so captivated popular imagination, Rongorongo has so far defied all attempts at explanation. Easter Island is just another stop for us on our journey around this Weird World of ours.

I’m Average Joe


Thursday, February 01, 2007

One Man, One Island and One Unjust and Shameful Policy

One man can change the course of history, take a look at this…

December 7th, 1941. The Empire of Japan launched its massive attack on Pearl Harbor, Shigenori Nishikaichi, a Japanese fighter pilot, must have had no idea that later that same day he would set into motion events that would eventually lead to United States interning more than one-hundred thousand people of Japanese heritage-despite their U.S. citizenship-in concentration camps for the remainder World War II.

Airman 1st Class Shigenori Nishikaichi, piloting his Mitsubishi Zero Fighter and escorting a group of bombers, had completed two successful runs. The bombers began seeking further targets when, suddenly, nine U.S. fighters attacked them. The U.S. Army Air Corps forces were flying P-36As, and were tremendously outclassed by the Zeros. Despite the advantage of surprise, the U.S. planes were quickly dispatched.

Nevertheless, one round had punctured the fuel tank of Shigenori Nishikaichi's fighter, and he began losing fuel. That single bullet set into motion events that would eventually lead to U. S. interning more than one-hundred thousand people of Japanese heritage–despite their citizenship–in concentration camps for the remainder World War II.

As the Japanese pilot made his way back to the aircraft carrier, his injured plane fell behind. It soon became apparent that he would not be able to reach the carrier as it steamed away from Hawaii and back toward Japan. Instead he fell back on his emergency orders: he was to land on the uninhabited island of Niihau and wait on the north beach for an Imperial submarine to make rescue. On his first flyby however, he noticed a severe flaw in the plan. Contrary to Japan's pre-attack intelligence, the tiny island was inhabited.

The Island of NiihauChoice of landing locations was sparse. On his second pass over Niihau, Nishukaichi located an area he considered suitable, and attempted landing near an isolated house. As he began to touch down, his plane became entangled in a wire fence which had gone unnoticed during his surveys from the air. The Zero went nose-first into the ground.

The island of Niihau had been sold by King Kamehameha V to the Robinson family, who retained control even in 1941. It was closed off to outsiders, but the native Niihauans and members of the Robinsons did live on the island raising cattle, sheep, and honey. One of the island residents, Hawaiian Howard Kaleohano, watched the plane crash, and being unaware of the nearby attack on the neighboring island, rushed out to help. The pilot emerged rather beaten and groggy. Kaleohano took the pilot's papers and sidearm, and hefted him away from the wreck. Kaleohano was one of the few island residents to speak English, but Nishikaichi's English was very rudimentary. A neighbor who'd been born in Japan was summoned to help. This first translator traded only a few words with the pilot before his face was cast in a pallor–like he'd received a terrible shock–and he refused to be part of the strange events.

Next called was Yoshio Harada. He'd been born in the Hawaiian Islands, and was thus a United States citizen. He and his wife, Irene, spoke both Japanese and English. Nichikaichi told the couple about the attack on Oahu, and demanded the return of his weapon and papers. His demands were refused. The Haradas didn't share the news of the newly started war with the other islanders.

The islanders treated their guest to a luau. He ate well and even sang for his rescuers, unaware that his rescue sub had already been ordered to head back into the Pacific to intercept any incoming US ships.

By nightfall, however, the radio news informed the residents of Niihau about the day's tragic events, and they took Nishikaichi into custody. For lack of proper jailing facilities, he was kept in the house of the luau host the first night. The next day Yoshio Harada escorted the captured pilot to Kii Landing to await the authorities.

Unbeknownst to them, the Navy had curtailed maritime traffic, preventing the Robinson family's representative from reaching the island to pick up the prisoner. Over the next few days Nishikaichi played with Harada's loyalties, pitting his citizenship against his heritage. Harada's allegiance swayed, and over the course of the day the Japaneese-American Harada stole a pistol and a shotgun. That night the two men armed themselves and escaped the other guards. They returned to the house where the crashed Zero was located, but they didn't find the house's owner there–Kaleohano had been in the outhouse, and hid there when he saw them coming. The two fugitives tried to use the radio in the crashed plane, but after an unsuccessful attempt they walked back to the nearby house. As they returned, Kaleohano sprang from his hiding place and dashed away to make his escape. Nishikaichi fired at the fleeing Hawaiian, and missed.

Battle lines were drawn, with Nishikaichi and the Haradas on one side, and Kaleohano rallying residents to the other. In search of help, Kaleohano and a group of others started to row toward Kauai. Other islanders lit a signal fire atop Niihau's highest point, Mount Paniau, which was visible from Kauai. Finally, the Robinson family representative received permission to make for Niihau.

On the night of 12 December, Nishikaichi and Harada stormed the town, and captured a small group of residents. The Japanese pilot demanded that Kaleohano be turned over to him. Though the islanders knew that the man had set off for a Kauai, they made a show of looking as a stalling tactic. When the moment presented itself, one of the captive islanders named Ben Kanahele spoke in Hawaiian, urging Harada to ask his Japanese cohort for a weapon. Harada did so, and once Nishikaichi handed over the shotgun, Kanahele rushed him.

Tule Interment CampNishikaichi pulled his pistol from his boot and shot Ben Kanahele thrice– chest, hip, and groin– but it wasn't enough to stop the enraged Hawaiian. He lifted Nishikaichi and threw him against a stone wall. Kanahele's wife took up a stone, and began to stove in the pilot's skull until her husband could get a knife and finish the man off. With defeat inevitable, Yoshio Harada turned the shotgun into his own gut, and fired.

Ben Kanahele recovered from his wounds. In August 1945 he was awarded two presidential citations, the Medal of Merit and the Purple Heart.

The incident spawned the Navy's report that indicated a "likelihood that Japanese residents previously believed loyal to the United States may aid Japan.". Irene Harada was imprisoned for her part in helping the pilot escape. President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the incident and subsequent naval report to rationalize Executive Order 9066, which was meant to allow local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones", from which "any or all persons may be excluded." It wasn't two weeks before it was interpreted to allow the segregating of all people of Japanese descent from the west coast into concentration camps in the interior US. The actions of one man in a unique situation ultimately led the US government to imprison over 120,000 Japanese Americans, a shameful and unjust measure intended to protect the country from future betrayals.

Times have changed, I could never imagine this kind of thing happening today but then just look at how horribly many Americans of Arab decent were treated following the attacks of 9-11. It is indeed a Weird World in which we live. See you next time.

I’m Average Joe


Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Here is a story that falls into the category of ‘Man’s inhumanity to Man’ check it out

Chemicals known to change the sexual characteristics of fish and other animals have been found in West Virginia tributaries of the Potomac River, which runs through Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas, the U.S. Geological Survey has announced. It seems that Male fish that are growing eggs have been found in the Potomac River near Sharpsburg, a sign that a little-understood type of pollution is spreading downstream from West Virginia.

An investigation into fish that had both male and female characteristics turned up a range of chemicals including pesticides, flame retardants, and personal-care products, the USGS said. The Potomac is fed by rivers and streams in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. So this issue affects a large area of people.

Nine male smallmouth bass taken from the Potomac near Sharpsburg, about 60 miles upstream from Washington, were found to have developed eggs inside their sex organs, said Vicki S. Blazer, a scientist overseeing the research for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Authorities say the problems are likely related to a class of pollutants called endocrine disruptors, which short-circuit animals' natural systems of hormone chemical messages.

Officials are awaiting the results of water-quality testing that might point to a specific chemical behind the fish problems, Blazer said.

"It certainly indicates something's going on,'' Blazer said of the new findings in Maryland. "But what, we don't know.''

The Potomac River is the main source of drinking water for the Washington metropolitan area and many upstream communities. It provides about 75 percent of the water supply to the 3.6 million residents of Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

Blazer, who works at a federal fish lab in Leetown, W.Va., said she found the latest abnormalities last week while examining tissues from fish taken from the river near Sharpsburg.

The same symptoms had previously been found about 170 miles upstream, in the South Branch of the Potomac in Hardy County, W.Va. Blazer and other scientists discovered the problem there last year while investigating a rash of mass fish deaths.

"We also analyzed samples of 30 smallmouth bass from six sites, including male and female fish without intersex and male fish with intersex," said Douglas Chambers, a USGS scientist who led the study.

"All samples contained detectable levels of at least one known endocrine-disrupting compound, including samples from fish without intersex."

Endocrine disrupters affect the animals' hormone systems. They can cause birth defects and sexual abnormalities called intersex in species ranging from frogs to alligators and perhaps humans as well.

"Antibiotics were detected in municipal wastewater, aquaculture, and poultry-processing effluent, with the highest number of antibiotics and the greatest concentrations found in municipal effluent," the USGS wrote in the report, published at

The USGS said the sexual changes in the fish were discovered by accident in 2003, when scientists were investigating massive fish kills.

Many scientists are concerned that people, as well as other animals, might be affected. "It's not good news that there's something that feminizes male fish in your water,'' said Gina Solomon, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

But the Environmental Protection Agency has not set standards for many of these pollutants. Because of this, many drinking-water plants make no special efforts to remove them.

"Many potential sources of contaminants discharge to the South Branch of the Potomac and Cacapon Rivers. Chief among these are runoff from agricultural activities, municipal and domestic wastewater effluent (both treated and untreated), industrial wastewater, and gypsy moth control programs using dimilin (diflubenzuron)," the report reads.

So there you go, just another example of the weird and terrible things we do to ourselves and our children! See ya next time.

I’m Average Joe


Monday, January 29, 2007

Head Lice A.K.A. The Grade School Parasite

We had an infection of Head Lice in my House many years ago when my kids were still of the grade school ages and although I was never infected my self (Thank you Jesus for that one!) I can tell you that the process of getting rid of the little things was not pleasant.

The truth is that as parasites go, head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis)are pretty low-key. They don’t have complicated multi-host life cycles, and they don’t seem to carry any diseases (they leave that to their close relative the body louse, called pediculosis,. All head lice really do is scurry over human heads, drink blood, and lay eggs. But they can spread through a class of little kids like wildfire. Head lice are tiny insects that spend their entire lives on human heads. Females glue eggs to the base of hairs. After about a week, nymphs hatch out and start biting the scalp to get blood meals. They molt three times over a week or two, becoming sexually mature adults at the last molt. Adults can live about a month, and the females lay over 100 eggs during that time. But lice can’t survive very long away from their human hosts. If a louse falls off a person, it generally dies within a day or two. Their bodies are adapted to hanging on to hairs – their legs even have specialized curved claws that fit around hair shafts. And they don’t have wings. So they can only get from person to person by crawling. For that they need direct head-to-head contact.

Little kids are all about big hugs, leaning close, and sharing things (like hats) with their buddies. While this is all great we must remember that in this Weird World of ours our lovable little ones may sometimes they bring home more from school than just good feelings.

I’m Average Joe


Friday, January 26, 2007

Parasite and Fungus Odd Couple

You already know that a parasite takes advantage of its host. But today I’m going to talk about a parasite that goes a step further and takes advantage of a fellow traveller...

Meet the cow lungworm (Dictyocaulus viviparous). As its name suggests, adult lungworms live and breed inside of cow lungs. Like a lot of other roundworms, lungworms have a life cycle that involves a torturous grand tour of their host’s tissues. Larval lungworms live in pastures, where they climb up blades of grass and wait for a cow to eat them. If a young worm manages to get swallowed, it digs through the cow’s intestinal wall, migrates to its lymph nodes, takes a quick break to molt, then dives into the cow’s bloodstream and gets swept to its lungs. The worm then molts one last time to become an adult, and joins the lungworm orgy rocking on in the bronchi. There’s plenty of lungworm baby-making and egg-laying going on in an infected cow. But if the young worms are going to infect new hosts, they have to get back out into the grass. So the worms (somehow) make the cows cough. Their eggs are coughed up out of the lungs and get swallowed. They hatch in the cow’s intestines, and wind up in the inevitable final product of that particular place: a cow pattie.

So they’re outside. But compared to some other parasites, lungworm larvae aren’t very mobile. And cows don’t graze near their own poop. So if a young lungworm is going to grab a new host, it needs to move away from the cow chip. It can sit in the dung and wait for a good rainstorm to wash it further out into the grass. But if it’s lucky, it’s sharing the cow poop with another organism taking a trip through the cow ecosystem: the fungus Pilobolus.

Pilobolus essentially eats dung. And it uses the most expedient method possible to find fresh food: its spores only grow after they’ve passed through an animal’s digestive system. Spores stick to grass, get eaten, and ride through the gut undigested until they get deposited in their own private restaurant. But Pilobolus has the same problem as the lungworm – cows don’t graze where there are lots of cow patties. If its spores are going to get into a cow, they have to leave their natal pattie. Fungi don’t have muscles, so they can’t crawl away. But Pilobolus has evolved another, more remarkable solution: its spore packet grows on top of a stalk that fills with pressurized water until it explodes and shoots the spores up to 4 feet away. What does this have to do with worms? If a larval lungworm happens to be in a cow pattie that’s growing some Pilobolus, the worm crawls up the fungal stalk, curls up on top of the spores, and waits for the explosion.

It is indeed weird but also amazing, this in which we live, isn't it!

I’m Average Joe


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Careful What You Breath!

When I was a little kid, I had a case of pinworms. Naturally, I was mortified at the time – for one thing, I knew that if anyone in my class ever found out the teasing would probably last longer than the universe. My mother blamed my fingernail-biting habit, claiming that I’d probably gotten them from having dirty hands after playing with the neighbor’s cats or dogs. Sorry Mom, that was not the way I got it…

Enterobius vermicularis is a nematode worm. It only lives inside human guts (and here's a movie from The New England Journal of Medicine, if you have ‘the guts’ to watch and the curiosity to see what it looks like), so the cats and dogs were innocent. They may have given me Toxoplamois, (which is is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family) but never pinworms.

In fact, the culprit was probably one of my Torquemada-like classmates. And I might not even have gotten it off their hands. Pinworm females lay their eggs around their host’s anus, but the eggs are sticky and get transferred to clothing easily. Once they're there, the eggs are so tiny that they can become airborne. If they’re floating, anyone can come along and inhale them. Disgusting as it sounds that’s how it goes.


I’m Average Joe