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Saturday, June 11, 2005

'Scrips and Semen 

Rep. John Conyers has received almost half a million e-mails in support of his letter to the President, and Yr. Mst. Bnvlnt. Dspt. has received almost as many demanding to know when the hell we plan to offer another installment of everyone's favorite diversion, the delightful, wholesome, and intellectually stimulating game of Zemblan Headline Challenge. Wonder no longer, for that happy day has finally arrived! The rules are simple: we present two items, one a legitimate news story drawn from a reputable source, the other a fanciful pasquinade concocted by our rascally colleagues at the Swift Report, and defy you to tell us which is which. The first ten readers to identify the fake receive the lavish sum of One Dollar American, less the price of first-class postage ($0.37) and a modest handling fee ($0.85).

Item the first:
A Georgia pharmacist has refused to dispense pharmaceuticals, maintaining that filling prescriptions for allergy medicine, antibiotics, and erectile dysfunction treatments violates his religion. The pharmacist says that while he is still willing to sell vitamins and topical skin creams, distributing pharmaceuticals constitutes a denial of God's role as a healer . . . .

It's a growing trend behind the counters of the nation's drugstores: licensed pharmacists who refuse to distribute pharmaceuticals for religious reasons. In recent months, pharmacists in Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas have all stood their ground and sent [birth-control] pill-seeking customers packing. At least one drugstore chain,
Walgreens, now allows pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions.

But Marietta pharmacist James "Lou" Clements is the first known professional to refuse to distribute any medicines on the grounds that doing so would violate his deeply held personal beliefs. What's behind Mr. Clements' decision to stop meting out prescription pills, creams and syrups? He explains that his goal is to put a stop to practice of prescribing quickie medical fixes like antibiotics when prayer and fasting can be just as powerful.
Item the second:
Men who view pornographic images of two men and a woman produce better-quality sperm than men viewing pornographic images of just women, an Australian study reveals.

The finding suggests that humans may be capable of subconsciously increasing semen quality when faced with the possibility that their sperm will have to outrun those of other men in a woman’s reproductive tract.

In the study, zoologists Leigh Simmons and Sarah Kilgallon of the University of Western Australia in Perth asked 52 heterosexual men aged between 18 and 35 years to ejaculate into a container after viewing the two types of image.

The volunteers had previously abstained from sexual activity for two to six days. In samples from men who viewed the images containing the two men and a woman - the “sperm-competition” images - 52% of the sperm were motile. This compared with 49% sperm motility in the men who viewed the images of women only – a difference that was statistically significant after taking into account lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.
Answers here and here.

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