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Desire Lines

dogs don't dance, they go to heaven
True & Honest Fan
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

"Alright everyone, let's start off our day with a nice tall glass of piss."

It's another day in the Facebook group "Urine Therapy: THE REAL UNIVERSAL REMEDY" – a forum I joined exactly a month ago, when I noticed that drinking one's own pee was in the news, as it is again today. It is difficult, as with a lot of the posts, to tell whether this one is sincere. But the vast majority of them seem to be, as do the group's 6,885 thirsty members.

In the Facebook description, the group says that urine therapy (UT) "opens the doors of your soul, healing every part of your being". UT refers not just to the drinking of one's own piss, but also the bathing in it and its consumption through the nostrils. (There is one enthusiastic member who comments on almost every post; no matter what ailment or what sort of advice is being sought, he doesn't waver: drink urine through your nostrils, he says.)

There is no scientific evidence of urine therapy's benefits, but adherents' sacred text – a mid-20th century book by John W Armstrong, called The Water of Life – claims that UT can cure every disease, "except those caused by traumatism or structural disorders". Often, in my conversations with the group's members, they point me in the direction of this book, much as many Christians are quick to usher people towards the Bible. Unlike the Christians in this comparison, a few of the urine therapy devotees also recommend books that they themselves have written.


A meme posted in "Urine Therapy: THE REAL UNIVERSAL REMEDY"
Every post in the Facebook group is capable of surprising me. Shortly after I join, someone asks the group what they most like about urine therapy. "It gave me more energy, more flexibility, more clarity of mind, more ability to fast for longer and a great understanding of how harmful food is to our baby," someone says. Another adds: "That's what I love about it, it's a feedback loop to measure how ur body feels. Eat beef and fries and ur urine will taste like ass."

Someone else says that they like "the increased vibration. Its very pineal gland cleansing. Its leading to Spiritual enlightenment for me. I had the ceiling open up one morning and love just poured out over me, words cannot describe what I felt. It was real. Yet unreal. Wow. We are sooooo loved."

On the 28th of January, someone asks the group if they can drink someone else's piss because drinking their nephew's "went down so much easier". Someone pops in to comment that the post is being reported and that people are uneasy with it. "Perhaps it was the way you worded it," they say. In early February, someone else says, "I've been fasting (drinking urine) and eating once a day for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday I experienced something very different. My vision started to flicker, it was like I could see another dimension."


Screenshot via "Urine Therapy: THE REAL UNIVERSAL REMEDY"
To me, drinking your own piss seems truly bleak, and potentially harmful: doctors have warned that "you risk reintroducing dangerous waste products back into your system when you drink pee", and that, once its left your body, urine can become infected with bacteria that could be harmful if ingested. But maybe I'm a narrow-minded square and those qualified doctors are wrong.

To find out why UT's devotees do it, I asked around 30 of the group's members, many of whom ignored me. Luckily, some were happy to explain.

Dave Murphy – known online as "Allegedly Dave" – is 56 years old and from Basildon. When he lived in America he weighed nearly 20 stone and had back and shoulder problems; the asthmatic lungs of a 70-year-old; high blood pressure and cholesterol; nerve damage in his foot; and pain as the result of an operation on his Achilles tendon. As is the case with almost all of my interviewees, he tells me that doctors couldn't improve any of these problems. So, in 2011, he followed the advice of the late Sylvia Chandler, a UT evangelist, who he met at a festival. She had spoken about the benefits of urine therapy, and had brought along a guy whose asthma had cleared up after he downed his own piss. The very next day, Allegedly Dave began using urine therapy, and now feels far better.

"Doctors have no idea about urine therapy, and when shown the results they don't want to know," he says. "As far as I'm concerned, the only good doctor is an ex-doctor." He triumphantly sends me a link to a BBC Radio London interview in which he goes head-to-head with a doctor. The interview. however, is simply a medical professional informing a man who drinks his urine that he should probably stop doing that.

The mistrust of the medical industry is a thread that unites all of the people I speak to. A man called Martin Lara says, "No offence intended, but I think you've been living in limbo-land and not paying attention to what's going on in your surroundings and I hope you wake up before you and your loved ones end up in the hands of doctors." A woman going by "Leeaura-Zen Holistics" says that most doctors "know jack shit about human health". Leah Sampson, a 47-year-old Canadian woman, says, "Expecting medical science to reveal a trade secret is like asking Coca-Cola or KFC to provide its secret recipe and ingredient formula." Christiane Cloutier, who washes her dishes with urine and says UT can cure AIDS, says, "The big pharmaceutical companies would kill anyone who finds a cure for ALL cancers."

The paranoia in the community is alarming. If urine therapy is as effective as people claim, I ask Allegedly Dave why doctors wouldn't simply prescribe it. He tells me that I have a naïve view of the world and that the medical industry is trying to reduce the population by 90 percent. I ask him what he would do if he got cancer tomorrow. He says that this would never happen. If it did, he would follow the alternative health teachings of Dr John Beard, Dr Otto Warburg, Dr Ernst T Krebs and Dr Bruce Lipton. When I look up "Dr Ernst T Krebs", I discover that he was a conman who a) wasn't a doctor, and b) promoted all sorts of bogus treatments for cancer.

One of the Facebook group's administrators, who asks to remain anonymous, says that the group isn't for promoting urine therapy, simply for discussing it. She worries that people will ridicule the group's members. "They conflate urine therapy with anti-vaccination, as urine therapy is easy to ridicule, so they conflate the two and then use it to discredit anti-vaccination," she explains. "While it is true that many people into urine therapy are against vaccination, it is not necessarily the same thing."

I ask her why medical experts wouldn't prescribe urine if it cured almost every disease on Earth. "Medicine is evidence-based. If they haven't got evidence it is effective, they cannot prescribe it," she answers. "I used to be able to be open with my doctor and tell him about urine therapy, and he would take an interest. Now, he just gruffly says, 'Don't drink your urine,' or, 'Don't stick your urine up your nose,' etc."


Posts in "Urine Therapy: THE REAL UNIVERSAL REMEDY"
Lee Poulson, a 34-year-old carer from London, comes across as very sweet in our video call. He was temporarily paralysed in 2012, and found that urine therapy made him feel better. He says UT even helped him grow back part of his finger, sawn off accidentally. "It's a great weight off your mind to know that you're never gonna be sick again when you're doing your urine," he says.

What does he think about the countless numbers of people cured through conventional medicine? "I think it can have its uses. But I think we mistake getting better with suppressing symptoms. That's what I believe," he says. "We're the only species on the planet that eats cooked food. Cooked food is a major cause of mucus and stuff like that. I think everybody's being suppressed – that's what's happening. If you look after a pet – an iguana, a lizard – you're gonna read a book, you're gonna see exactly what it needs. But humans can eat everything – all these alcopops. You can eat it all. Hubba Bubba – you know what I mean, you've seen it. But you can't give that to your lizard!"

Lee's partner in urine therapy, Fabian Farquharson, is 37 years old and from the Midlands. He and Lee now have a talk show called "Alkalise 2 Realise", as well as an aged urine Facebook group. Fabian says he'd like to help homeless people with aged urine therapy. He says that starting urine therapy around two years ago as part of his "spiritual practice" increased his energy. When I ask what treatment he would seek if he were to get cancer, he says he would drink aged urine.

"I used to think the same as you," Lee tells me. "I did. I really did – until I got ill. Everybody that goes on it, it just changes their life. Or it hypnotises you and tells you a load of lies. It's one of the two."

A month after joining the group, I think he's right. It's definitely one of the two.

Dracula's Spirit Animal

One time, I accidentally ate a bunch of nails
Yep, your own body just manufactures a universal panacea, but in a cruel twist of fate, for some reason expels it as waste instead of hoarding it for immortality reasons.

I hear drinking urine is better than dying of dehydration, and that's just about the only claim about urine drinking I believe.
As utterly as unpleasant as it sounds, there is a better way to stave of dehydration, apparently. I've read a few sailing disaster memoirs, and apparently giving yourself a urine enema is the solution. Drinking it, you keep upping your toxin and sodium levels, but the intestine/colon largely filter it out. Fellow kiwis can thank me for this tidbit in the unlikely event this information ever proves useful!


True & Honest Fan

Normally a headline like "The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same" would elicit much rolling of eyes here at Vulture Towers.

However, it becomes more intriguing when one learns that the hypothesis described in the article was tested by a series of hilarious post-publication events that then further bolstered the paper's findings.

At the end of February, MIT Technology Review emitted a pithy rundown of a 34-page research paper from maths-modelling boffins at Brandeis University in the US; the paper essentially posited that in a bid to make that all-important "countercultural statement", hipsters can end up looking alike. For groovy models of how random acts by hipsters "undergo a phase transition into a synchronized state" – along with some knotty network equations – see here (PDF).
Accompanying the article was an edited stock image of a generic millennial chap in plaid shirt and standard-issue beanie, or "trendy winter attire", as Getty put it.

The MIT journal's editor-in-chief, Gideon Lichfield, took to Twitter to tell a "cautionary tale" about what followed the article going live:

"We promptly got a furious email from a man who said he was the guy in the photo that ran with the story. He accused us of slandering him, presumably by implying he was a hipster, and of using the pic without his permission. (He wasn't too complimentary about the story, either.)"

Oh crap, is "generic millennial chap" libel? The Register can't afford that hitting the courts.

Lichfield continued:

Now, as far as I know, calling someone a hipster isn’t slander, no matter how much they may hate it. Still, we would never use a picture without the proper license or model release. It was a stock photo from Getty Images. So we checked the license. https://t.co/uFPXXNlEid
— Gideon Lichfield (@glichfield) March 5, 2019
He said the licence stipulated that if the image was used "in connection with a subject that would be unflattering or unduly controversial to a reasonable person (for example, sexually transmitted diseases)", it had to be made clear that the person was a model.

Lichfield pointed out that he didn't think calling someone a hipster was "unflattering or unduly controversial" but contacted Getty to be safe.

The stock photo giant checked the model release and lo! The guy in the image wasn't even the same dude who was complaining. "He'd misidentified himself," Lichfield said.

"All of which just proves the story we ran: hipsters look so much alike that they can’t even tell themselves apart from each other."

Boom. Thirty-four pages of theory proven in a brief round of email tennis. Your move, hipsters. ®
As utterly as unpleasant as it sounds, there is a better way to stave of dehydration, apparently. I've read a few sailing disaster memoirs, and apparently giving yourself a urine enema is the solution. Drinking it, you keep upping your toxin and sodium levels, but the intestine/colon largely filter it out. Fellow kiwis can thank me for this tidbit in the unlikely event this information ever proves useful!

Now, had I been shipwrecked before learning of this, either I would survive, having drank urine, but could live with it, or I would die of dehydration. No scenario involved anything in my ass. Now there's a third possibility where I survive but have to live the rest of my life as someone who pumped his own piss up his ass.
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Dracula's Spirit Animal

One time, I accidentally ate a bunch of nails

Now, had I been shipwrecked before learning of this, either I would survive, having drank urine, but could live with it, or I would die of dehydration. No scenario involved anything in my ass. Now there's a third possibility where I survive but have to live the rest of my life as someone who pumped his own piss up his ass.
Could be worse... You might have to do it with your whole family!



Deep Penetrator
This aught to brighten everyone's day:


Some 18 months after being rescued from stone-throwing children, a street-dwelling mongrel has emerged as India's top dog in the country's elite bomb- and drug-sniffing squad.

"Asha" - meaning "hope" in Hindi - was rescued by West Bengal police when they found her being mistreated outside their training facility.

"The dog was bleeding when she was taken inside the campus," senior West Bengal Police Training Academy official Dipankar Bhattacharya told AFP.

Officers originally intended keeping the mixed-breed stray as a pet, but Asha turned out to have a nose every bit as good as the German Shepherds and Labradors usually trained to sniff out explosives and drugs.
Sajal Mondal, the head of the academy, said she passed the gruelling training with flying colours and that drugs and explosives like TNT were no match for Asha's keen sense of smell.

"She performed better than her pedigree peers, jumping nearly six feet (two metres) high and crossing hurdles," he said.

"She is also our fastest runner."

Asha is the first ever mixed-breed dog to join the 30-strong unit.


Our buddy Lemnard French has a nice video on it.

The case is Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp vs Wall Street.com

(sorry not sure how to embed a PDF onto the new forum pages as a spoiler?)

TLDR; in a unanimous ruling SCOTUS affirms that in order to sue for Copyright Infringement you must have not simply applied for Copyright Registration, but completed the process and received the Federal Registration Number. This could have some interesting repercussions. To my eye it may create a conflict between the 1976 Copyright Laws and the DMCA. As making a DMCA claim without having the Federal Registration number is a guaranteed failure.

For the second time in under a month the Notorious RBG gets to author a 9-0 decision.

Graffiti canvas

True & Honest Fan
So apparently this article was published online:

The article above analyzes how the movement of people wishing to buck the trend of styles and be "non conforming" end up looking and behaving the same.

The header image includes a photograph of a man dressed as what you'd describe as a hipster. Beanie, Rough Beard, Crisp button up shirt....

After the article was published, someone contacted the online magazine via a "...furious email..." claiming that the article was slanderous towards him because they implied that he was a hipster and used his image without permission.

Except it wasn't him. It was a Getty Stock Image and just proved that the "hipster" look is absolutely a conformist appearance if you can't even tell yourself apart from someone else.


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