Archive for July, 2010

Shitty Coffee for $200 a Pound?

The coffee is highly prized for its smooth flavor and bitterless aftertaste, sometimes fetching well over $200 a pound online.  Indonesia’s top Islamic body declared Tuesday that Muslims can drink civet coffee — the world’s most expensive coffee, which is extracted from the dung of civet cats.

A preacher recently suggested the beverage might not be “halal” — or religiously approved — because its provenance makes it unclean. But after a long discussion Tuesday, the influential Indonesian Ulema Council said that the coffee, known locally as Kopi Luwak, could be consumed as long as the beans were washed.

Kopi Luwak, which takes it name from the Indonesian word for civets, is made from hard beans that have been eaten by the nocturnal critters and then fermented in their stomachs before being pooped out and roasted. Civet cats are mongoose-like animals.

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Kopi Luwak is produced in the main Java island, Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is also found under different names elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Only 1,000 pounds are said to be produced annually worldwide.

The Ulema Council has often issued fatwas, or edicts, including several controversial rulings against smoking and yoga. Its edicts are not legally binding, but many devout Muslims abide by them. I will stick to Tim Horton’s and Starbucks, thanks.

July 23rd, 2010

Are Feminists Still Burning Bras?

It seems not, they have now moved on to burning cash….really! Sweden’s Feminist party roasted a pile of bank notes worth 100,000 Swedish crowns ($13,010) on Tuesday in a stunt designed to highlight wage disparities between men and women ahead of a national election.

Feminist party leader Gudrun Schyman pulled handfuls of cash from a plastic bag and threw them onto a smoking barbecue as a small crowd leaned in to take pictures. It took about 25 minutes to burn the bag’s contents.

“We are doing this for fair wages,” she told a crowd of some 75 people on the island of Gotland, off the southeast coast of Sweden, where political parties are gathered for a week of campaigning.

The stunt, using money donated by an advertising agency, was designed to illustrate how women in Sweden “lose” 100,000 crowns every minute because their wages are lower than men’s, she said.

“This is a lot of money for a lot of people and it is a lot of money for me but in a political campaign it is a drop in the ocean,” Schyman added.

Swedes go to the polls on September 19 and the feminist party — backed by celebrity supporters including Jane Fonda and ABBA’s Benny Andersson — hopes to win its first seat in parliament since it was founded in 2005.

Andersson donated 1 million crowns to the party last year to fund its campaign for election to the European parliament.

In Sweden’s national election in 2006, the feminist party won less than one percent of the vote. Parties need at least four percent to earn a seat in the national assembly.  Catch the video at http://www.feministisktinitiativ.se/

July 6th, 2010


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