Alibi V.29 No.11 • March 12-18, 2020 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Vietnam

A man with a blood-alcohol content that was 1,119 times the recommended level nearly died before doctors administered 15 cans of beer. According to the Daily Star, Nguyen Van Nhat's life was saved when doctors at General Hospital in Quang Tri, Vietnam, administered the beer directly to his stomach. Nhat was unconscious when he was admitted to the hospital after consuming a dangerous amount of methanol—a form of alcohol sometimes used in homemade liquor. Methanol is much more toxic than ethanol—the alcohol usually found in alcoholic beverages—and can cause death in users. Public Health England says: “Absorption of methanol is rapid, but the onset of metabolic toxic features may be delayed for several hours, particularly if co-ingested with ethanol, which delays methanol metabolism due to competitive inhibition.” After appearing at the hospital, Nhat's condition continued to deteriorate as his body broke down the methanol, leading doctors to make the unconventional decision to administer beer directly into the man's system to interrupt the process. Doctors immediately transfused three cans of beer into Nhat’s stomach. The patient's body subsequently prioritized breaking down the beer's ethanol over the methanol, slowing the toxic effects and allowing doctors to perform dialysis. One can of beer was then administered to him every hour for 12 hours until he became conscious again.

Dateline: Thailand

A US Marine jungle survival training exercise has prompted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to condemn the Marine Corps for killing king cobras and drinking their blood. The Washington Times reports that US Marines met in Thailand for the annual Cobra Gold exercise, where soldiers learn basic survival skills—like which plants and animals are safe to eat—from their Thai counterparts. The Marines released photos taken during the training session that show American soldiers eating scorpions and drinking king cobra blood—viable food source options for Marines who are lost in the jungle and low on supplies. The training is meant to prepare soldiers for the possibility of being separated from their unit in enemy territory. But following the recent release of photos that depict soldiers drinking cobra blood, PETA wrote a letter to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger recommending that the armed forces branch “take immediate action to replace this barbaric exploitation of animals with cutting-edge, technology-based survival training courses that will better prepare troops.” The group said that killing live animals was unnecessary when other options were available. “SERE [Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape] specialists are already using virtual reality to prepare Air Force pilots for worst-case scenarios, and interactive video games that have food procurement components are now on the market,” wrote Shalin Gala, PETA’s vice president for international laboratory methods. The letter also pointed out that the lush environment of a jungle offers many vegan options.

Dateline: New Zealand

A surfer recently fought off a great white shark by punching it in the eye. The New Zealand Herald reports that Nick Minogue was attacked by the shark while surfing at Pauanui Beach in New Zealand last month. “I was quite a long way out, there was quite a solid swell running,” Minogue said. “I was just paddling along and got hit on the side of my elbow and forearm. By the time I realized what was going on, its teeth were definitely latched on to the front section of the board.” Luckily, Minogue remembered hearing that sharks dislike being hit on the nose or in the eyes. “So I actually shouted at it 'f—off!' and went to punch it in the eye and missed,” he said. “Then I pulled my fist back and shouted 'f— off!' again and got it right smack bang in the eye. It's quite a big eye, about three knuckles across, and its eye kind of looked up and rolled up. In between the two punches, it crunched down a bit more on the board and then disengaged its teeth, got its jaws off and then I got brushed by the dorsal fin and the tail fin and swam off.” Minogue and one other surfer quickly returned to shore. Once safely on dry land, Minogue realized his arm had been wounded by a single shark tooth. Pauanui Surf Life Saving club captain Stuart Upjohn treated and bandaged the wound. Department of Conservation marine scientist Clinton Duffy later said that the bite marks left on the surf board and Minogue's description were consistent with a great white shark.

Dateline: The Internet

As the world panics over the threat of a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, coronavirus-themed pornographic films are being uploaded to a major adult site. According to Vice, internet users are turning to coronavirus pornography as a way to escape the anxiety surrounding outbreaks of the actual virus. As of this writing, a search for content tagged with the word “coronavirus” on the adult site PornHub yields over 150 results. Many of the videos found in the results feature men and women wearing protective face masks while engaging in sexual activity. Most of the videos appear to be made by people who are currently observing quarantine procedures happening in China—although the veracity of these claims is unsubstantiated—but others include participants wearing biohazard suits and one even features sexualized footage of a woman giving hand-washing instructions. But some commentators have pointed out that many of the videos appear to promote negative stereotypes about Asian people.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.