If You Gotta Do Drugs, Make it Mushrooms!

Well, if you've got to do drugs, it seems "shrooms" are the way to go. A new massive drug survey has labeled hallucinogenic mushrooms as the safest recreational drug in the world - of course assuming you're consuming a psychedelic member of the fungi family, rather than one of the poisonous varieties. This year's Global Drug Survey, with 120,000 participants in 50 countries, found that only 24 or 0.2% of more than 12,000 people who reported taking magic mushrooms in 2016 ended up in the emergency room. Compare that to 0.6% of cannabis users, 1% of LSD and cocaine users, 1.2% of people who took MDMA or ecstasy, 1.3% of alcohol consumers, 3% of people who took synthetic marijuana or "spice," and nearly 5% of people who took methamphetamine, labeled the most dangerous recreational drug. Survey founder Adam Winstock explained that drugs like LSD are more potent than magic mushrooms, so "it's easy to take too much and have an experience beyond the one you were expecting." That's why users should "always take a tiny dose to start." But in the case of magic mushrooms, "death from toxicity is almost unheard of with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms." Magic mushrooms, with the active ingredient psilocybin, do carry risks, though. Users may experience accidental injury, confusion, disorientation, panic attacks, and negative flashbacks, reports Inverse. The risk of harm increases when the drug is taken with alcohol or in "risky or unfamiliar settings." (Newser)

Suddenly, a Legitimate Reason to Fear Clowns

An altercation outside of Torchy's Tacos in Denver ended in death. Police found an unresponsive Brian Lucero, with one stab wound to his throat, lying in the parking lot. Witnesses say the fight between the 29-year-old Lucero and the alleged perpetrator, 36-year-old Christian Gulzow, actually started at a nearby gas station. Gulzow - who was said to have been sporting white "evil clown" makeup with black streaks and Freddy Krueger-like gloves, with 2- to 3-inch blades on the fingertips - allegedly started threatening Lucero, a well known transient, then started swinging at him. Lucero fought back, and the two men eventually ended up at Torchy's, where Lucero collapsed in the parking lot. Gulzow reportedly took off on a scooter, but the Denver PD's High Activity Location Observation cameras picked up his trail and he was arrested shortly afterward. When police got to him he was bloodied but had no weapon. Camera operators say they saw him toss a knife, which was later recovered, into the bushes. Gulzow told cops that Lucero tried to steal his scooter and may have been stabbed when they fell, perhaps impaled by one of Gulzow's blades or a spike on his wrist bracelet. But witnesses say no way. Gulzow's now being held on suspicion of first-degree murder charges. Lucero died at a nearby hospital of his stab wound. (KUSA)

Mr. Happy

Over in South Africa, Dr. Andre van der Merwe says, "He is certainly one of the happiest patients we have seen in our ward." He's talking about a 40-year-old man who just underwent"private parts" transplant surgery by Van der Merwe and his surgical team. The patient lost his appendage 17 years ago during a botched circumcision ritual. It's the same team that performed the world's first penile transplant in 2014. The unnamed patient is doing well and should have complete sexual and urinary function within six months. Doctors say he got "quite emotional" when he saw his new body part. The world has only seen three of these type surgeries - one last year in Boston - but there's a big need for the surgery in South Africa, where it's estimated there are up to 250 penile amputations every year due to traditional circumcision rituals. As an initiation rite, young men are circumcised with a spear tip then sent into the wilderness for weeks, during which time infection often sets in. Meanwhile, doctors are trying to figure out how to reduce the cost while increasing donors. (Seeker)

Turns Out There's Still Free Speech in This Country

Hey we've still got a little free speech left in this country. The FCC says comedian Stephen Colbert will not be punished for a joke about President Trump that led to thousands of complaints and a campaign under the #FireColbert hashtag. The Federal Communications Commission says it will take no action against the Late Show host over his May 1 joke suggesting Trump performed a sex act on Vladimir Putin. An FCC spokesman says the agency has "concluded that there was nothing actionable under the FCC's rules," which allow "indecent" or "profane" content after 10pm, but ban content deemed "obscene" at any time. Believe it or not, the conservative Parents Television Council says it actually agrees with the ruling. PTC President Tim Winter said the joke "...was crude. It was indecent. But it was protected speech." (Reuters)

Here's Your Heart Warmer For the Day

A mom who attended every class with her 29-year-old quadriplegic son with the goal of helping him earn an MBA degree from Chapman University in Orange, Calif., got a big surprise at his weekend graduation ceremony. The school surprised Judy O'Connor with her own honorary degree. O'Connor was called to the stage where an announcer explained to the audience that she had taken notes and worked with her son, Marty, after he was paralyzed falling down a flight of stairs in 2012. It was his idea for his mom to be awarded the honorary degree, and the Chapman faculty, administration, and board of trustees agreed. A retired elementary school teacher, O'Connor said, "As a mom, you just want to help your kids get through things. I always believed in him. I knew he could do it and I just wanted to have his back." Marty was able to use voice recognition software and other aids as he worked toward his MBA, but he needed his mom's help to write notes or test answers. While she was helping her son, O'Connor told Chapman's blog she had "enjoyed every minute" of the experience because "I'm a geek. I love being in school." (KTLA)

Car Seats Matter

I'm always taken aback by those who espouse the notion, "When I was growing up we didn't have no car seats and we were fine!" The truth is you weren't fine and a awful lot of kids died back then as a result. Now, a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics reiterates the life-saving importance of proper car restraints for children. They found that ensuring children under 15 are properly restrained - or wearing seat belts at all - could save about 232 lives every year. Researchers found 20% of children who died in fatal car crashes between 2010 and 2014 weren't buckled in or were improperly restrained. Of the more than 18,000 children involved in fatal car crashes in those years, 15.9% died. The biggest factor in those deaths was whether the children were properly restrained. Other factors included rural roads, which increased the likelihood a child would die in a car crash, and red light cameras, which decreased that likelihood. More than half of all children who died in a car crash lived in the South. The highest rates of death were in Mississippi, Wyoming, Alabama, Montana, and Virginia. The lowest were in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Rhode Island. In Mississippi, 38% of children who died in a fatal car crash weren't restrained properly or at all. The study's authors advocate for stronger seat belt laws and better public information - potentially at the federal level - to protect children in car crashes. (Journal of Pediatrics)

What the What?

Here we go again. An 18-year-old girl is selling her virginity through an infamous German auction website which invites potential buyers to "inspect" her purity. Revealing only her first name - Kim - the young woman is half Austrian and half German and is selling her virginity through the agency Cinderella Escorts so she can buy a car, a flat and finance her studies. Bidding for the 5ft 8ins tall student starts at 100,000 Euros or roughly $112,000. Twenty percent of that goes to the agency. According to the Cinderella Escorts website, her virginity is proven with a doctor's certificate and a potential buyer can also do their own tests. On their website, Kim states she likes drinking orange juice and loves Greek food and roses. She's willing to meet with the highest bidder anywhere in the world as long as all travels are paid for. Bonus - Jan Zakobielski, the man behind Cinderella Escorts is a 26-year-old obese man from Dortmund who still lives in his mother's basement. He said, "No one makes these young women do anything they don't want to do. They have their own minds and their own opinions on sexuality." (Metro)


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