Saturday, November 21, 2009

Misc. repugnant transactions

Environmentalists seek to wipe out plush toilet paper (headline in Boston Globe)
They advocate products made of recycled fibers

"And, activists say, there’s just the foolish idea of the thing: old trees cut down for the briefest and most undignified of ends.
“It’s like the Hummer product for the paper industry,’’ said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We don’t need old-growth forests . . . to wipe our behinds.’’

"The reason for this fight lies in toilet paper engineering. Each sheet is a web of wood fibers, and fibers from old trees are longer, which produces a smoother and more supple web. Fibers made from recycled paper - in this case magazines, newspapers, or computer printouts - are shorter. The web often is rougher.
So, when toilet paper is made for the “away from home’’ market, the no-choice bathrooms in restaurants, offices, and schools, manufacturers use recycled fiber about 75 percent of the time.
But for the “at home’’ market, the paper customers buy for themselves, 5 percent at most is fully recycled. The rest is mostly or totally “virgin’’ fiber, taken from newly cut trees, according to the market analysis firm RISI Inc."

Egyptian Lawmakers Want to Ban Fake Hymen
"CAIRO (AP) -- Conservative Egyptian lawmakers have called for a ban on imports of a Chinese-made kit meant to help women fake their virginity and one scholar has even called for the ''exile'' of anyone who imports or uses it.
The Artificial Virginity Hymen kit, distributed by the Chinese company Gigimo, costs about $30. It is intended to help newly married women fool their husbands into believing they are virgins -- culturally important in a conservative Middle East where sex before marriage is considered by many to be illicit. The product leaks a blood-like substance when inserted and broken."...

"Kotb noted that a medical procedure that reattaches a broken hymen by stitching is illegal in Egypt and can cost hundreds of dollars -- prohibitively expensive for the poor. But many women still secretly seek it out in fear of punishment for pre-marital sex.
Such punishment could include slayings at the hands of relatives, a practice more commonly referred to as honor killings and common in the more conservative tribal areas of the Middle East."

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