Storm in US over chocolate Jesus
A New York gallery has angered a US Catholic group with its decision to exhibit a milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ.
30 March 2007

chocolate jesus!
Chocolate Jesus!

The six-foot (1.8m) sculpture, entitled “My Sweet Lord”, depicts Jesus Christ naked on the cross.

Catholic League head Bill Donohue called it “one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever”.

The sculpture, by artist Cosimo Cavallaro, will be displayed from Monday at Manhattan’s Lab Gallery.

The Catholic League, which describes itself as the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organisation, also criticised the timing of the exhibition.

“The fact that they chose Holy Week shows this is calculated, and the timing is deliberate,” Mr Donohue said.

He called for a boycott of the gallery and the hotel which houses it.

‘Overwhelming response’
The gallery’s creative director, Matt Semler, said the gallery was considering its options in the wake of angry e-mails and telephone calls.

“We’re obviously surprised by the overwhelming response and offence people have taken,” he said. “We are certainly in the process of trying to figure out what we’re going to do next.”

Mr Semler said the timing of the exhibition was coincidental.

Mr Cavallaro, the Canadian-born artist, is known for using food ingredients in his art, on one occasion painting a hotel room in mozzarella cheese.

He used 200 pounds (90 kg) of chocolate to make the sculpture which, unusually, depicts Jesus without a loincloth.


A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection makes me very glad indeed that i gave up on windoesn’t 7 years ago. apparently DRM and “content protection” is costing the entire PC community, giving the ability to view HD-DVDs, blue-ray disks, and a variety of other multimedia, but leaving everyone (not just windoesn’t users) with issues that include system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. as a friend of mine says, “it looks like if you have any interest in multimedia, windows vista offers you the power of a radio shack Trash-80″…


Mind-Control Microbe
parasitic infection can give you schizophrenia, make you have a car crash, or determine the sex of your child.
by Kathy A. Svitil

Five years ago, Oxford University zoologists showed that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii alters the brain chemistry of rats so that they are more likely to seek out cats. Infection thus makes a rat more likely to be killed and the parasite more likely to end up in a cat—the only host in which it can complete the reproductive step of its life cycle. The parasite also lives in the brain cells of thousands of species, including about 60 million supposedly symptom-free Americans. Studies over the past few years have suggested that toxoplasmosis infections in humans, too, may cause behavioral changes—from subtle shifts to outright schizophrenia. Two studies this year add even weirder twists.

U.S. Geological Survey biologist Kevin Lafferty has linked high rates of toxoplasmosis infection in 39 countries with elevated incidences of neuroticism, suggesting the mind-altering organism may be affecting the cultures of nations.

Stranger still, parasitologist Jaroslav Flegr of Charles University in Prague thinks T. gondii could also be skewing our sex ratios. When he looked at the clinical records of more than 1,800 babies born from 1996 to 2004, he noted a distinct trend: The normal sex ratio is 104 boys born for every 100 girls, but in women with high levels of antibodies against the parasite, the ratio was 260 boys for every 100 girls. Exactly how the parasite might be tipping the odds in favor of males isn’t understood, but Flegr points out that it is known to suppress the immune system of its hosts, and because the maternal immune system sometimes attacks male fetuses in very early pregnancy, the parasite’s ability to inhibit the immune response might protect future boys as well as itself.

"Our present study was rejected by eight journals, usually without any formal review," says Flegr, who had the same problem publishing an earlier one showing that infection more than doubles the odds of a person having a traffic accident. "People don’t like the possibility that their behavior and life are manipulated by a parasite," he says.

If altering our culture and causing car crashes weren’t bad enough, toxoplasma may actually wheedle their genes into our genomes.

There are plenty of other theories about what affects the reproductive sex ratio. Some of them are actually true.


the moisture festival is over for another year. unofficially, the marathon time to beat is now 5½ hours, but i don’t know what it is officially, because i left fairly quickly last night. moe had to sleep… 8)

the official time, thanks the phone call mentioned below, was 5 hours 17 minutes, and the pool was won by misha from nanda.

BBWP opened the show last night, which was very cool. even more cool was that i was introduced to moz wright, a fire eater and sword swallower(!) who is also a reiki practitioner, and he did his “magic-woogie-thing” on my ankle – sat me in a chair and walked around me making swishing noises, motioning with his hands, and “muscle testing” himself – before BBWP went on, and now my ankle is well on it’s way to being all better. it’s still slightly sore, but the bruising has completely disappeared, and it has gone from being swollen the size of a small pumpkin to being slightly larger than a lime, and it feels a lot stronger and more stable than i would have suspected. i’m not discounting the ibuprophen, ice and elevation that happened yesterday, but even still, it’s not what i expected, seeing that i just sprained it two days ago.

i just got a phone call from john c., who found my popgun at the palladium.


at first, he said that he would take parts of it, and stuart would take parts of it, and they’d get it back to me eventually, but then he relented and said he’s going to give it to stuart who is (hopefully) going to return it to me at the bacon bunny roast at chris’ place on saturday. i say “hopefully” because most of the cirque people in general put up with my popgun with thinly veiled distaste that borders on revulsion… even though (or, possibly, because of which) it’s one of my favourite musical instruments of all time. stuart puts up with it somewhat better than most other folks – in fact, it could be that he wants one himself, but two orchestral-quality popguns in one band would be interesting. thinking about the sanity of other people, however, it is a bit excessive. the first time i popped it was at the cirque show up at magnuson park a few years ago, which is an old helicopter landing pad with a huge hangar at one end. it was an incredible sound, and i distinctly remember hearing simon (matches), who was across the parking lot, saying, with admiration, “that’s a clown noise!”… but since then he has been one of the most irritable people when he even sees me with the popgun… 8)