Thursday, June 10, 2004

Dueling Banjos and Phalloplasty gone bad

So today we made the one-hour journey east into the mountains to see the Red River Gorge Geologic Area (here's another link). It's amazing how the transition from bluegrass to mountains occurs in a span of about 5 miles ... and precisely at the county line between Clark and Powell counties. The landscape isn't the only thing that changes. Socially, culturally, and especially economically things begin a fast downhill slide that doesn't get much better until you go so far east you're in Virginia. Good people, don't get me wrong, but disastrously lacking in opportunities. We actually saw a moonshine still in operation (private individuals can get permits and since this one is visible from the road going into a park, I assume is licensed).

So the gorge itself was absolutely beautiful. We went up on one of those natural arches and realized that we were at several hundred feet up in the air on a rock bridge between two mountains and the natural bridge that we were on was less than 15 feet wide. That and it was completely straight down on either side. I've got some really cool pictures but can't post them here.

Over by the visitor center there were some buffalo, including a buffalo calf. No wings. This looks and sounds hokey at first, but years ago buffalo were actually found this far east (and further, ie, upstate New York). Twas cool. Hence the name of the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort. Now you know.

On a completely different note, I was reading some medical literature the other day, yes, me, and found the "Duh!" article of the week. This is what Heather and I refer to those articles that proclaim such hidden secrets as "The flu makes people sick". So this article was about phalloplasty, more commonly known through your spam-box as penis-enlargement surgery. Did anybody really think that that crap works? Now we have proof. Apaprently 73% of those receiving it find that they are worse off after the surgery. Not only did it only add 2-3cm to the flaccid length (the study did not mention erect length or girth), but most patients had had "uncomfortable side effects" such as infection, scarring, erectile dysfunction, and everybody's favorite, urethral trauma (that is, the urine no longer has an adequate or direct pathway to the opening). Don't make me draw a picture. This hurts enough as it is. So there, don't do it, because apparently somebody out there is. And now we have proof that it's stupid.



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