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A kidney for an iPad
A Chinese teenager has sold his own kidney to buy an iPad. The 17-year-old, identified only as Little Zheng, says he was paid around $3,000 for his kidney, with all surgical expenses covered. He used the money to fulfill his dream of owning the popular Apple tablet computer as well as a laptop. Zheng’s mother says that when her son finally admitted what he’d done, lifting his T-shirt to show her the scar, “I felt like the sky was crashing down on our family.”
Meet the real Smurfs
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The Smurfs are racist anti-Semites, a French intellectual has charged. Antoine Buéno, who teaches at the prestigious Sciences Po institute in Paris, argues in a new book that the blue, child-like, forest-dwelling creatures “represent an archetype of totalitarian society imbued with Stalinism and Nazism.” Peyo, the Smurfs’ Belgian creator, gave Papa Smurf a red hat in homage to Stalin, says Buéno, and modeled Gargamel, the Smurfs’ wizard archenemy, after the classic anti-Jewish stereotype: “ugly, dirty, with a hooked nose, fascinated by gold.”
Dental surgery triggers Foreign Accent Syndrome
An Oregon woman has acquired a strange foreign accent after undergoing dental surgery. Tax consultant Karen Butler was born in Illinois, and has never visited Europe, yet she came around from anesthetic, after a multiple-tooth extraction, sounding as if she had spent her childhood in Ireland, with a touch of eastern Europe. Neurologists have since diagnosed her with Foreign Accent Syndrome, a rare condition with only a hundred recorded cases. Butler says she likes her new European accent and has learned to “have fun with it.”
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