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.

Weird Credit Card Art

Are credit cards good for anything other than screwing us over? Not really. But they can be made into some pretty cool art. This guy was so fed up with Visa and MasterCard he decided to turn them into the “Zero Balance” frog…

This thing below was made by a college student, Lori Merhige, using a whole bunch of unwanted credit cards. By the looks of it, apparently American Express must be a very unwanted card!

And yet one more example of an unwanted American Express. Jared Kelley found a new use for those stupid promotional credit cards we all get in the mail. He turned an American Express Blue card into a work of art…

I guess credit cards are good for more than just screwing us over.

Strange News of the Week

– From the yucky files! A Colorado family and an Arizona nonprofit are fighting in court over who gets the head of a woman who died this month, along with a $50,000 annuity she left behind.

– Police in Georgia say a 23-year-old man grabbed a baseball bat inside of a Walmart store on Wednesday and smashed 29 flat-screen televisions. I am guessing anger management courses will be part of his sentence.

– A strip club in Ohio has raised $1,000 for Haitian earthquake relief during what was billed as “Lap dances for Haiti.  Ummm, is that legal?

– Police say a man who stuffed 75 bottles of body lotion in his pants couldn’t slip away from authorities, hampered by slacks that were nearly bursting at the seams. Dry skin I guess?

Weird Awards

The 19th annual IG Nobel Prizes have been awarded and here are some of the silly winners:

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of
Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara,
Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than
90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.

PEACE PRIZE: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael
Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for
determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be
smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.

ECONOMICS PRIZE: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic
banks — Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and Central
Bank of Iceland — for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly
transformed into huge banks, and vice versa — and for demonstrating
that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.

Artist Creates a Monster and Goes to Jail

Joseph Carnevale, 21, has been arrested by the Raleigh Police Department for creating this cool traffic barrel monster.  Rumor has it that this little artistic prank would have gone unpunished if it wasn’t for the fact that the police chiefs wife, Sarah Renyolds had a fender bender after spotting this and was laughing so hard she lost control of her brand new Navigator and crashed into the barrels just beyond this peice of art.