ORANGE, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts agricultural festival already known for its sustainable practices is taking it one step further this year by collecting and recycling human urine. Organizers of the North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival tell The Telegram & Gazette the urine will eventually fertilize hay in the field in Orange on which the event is held. Founder Deborah Habib says the festival scheduled for Sept. 23 and 24 attracts more than 10,000 people, yet only produces three bags of trash. Habib hopes to collect about 1,200 gallons of urine. The Rich Earth Institute will collect the liquid waste in portable toilets designed for the purpose. Founder Kim Nace says the practice reduces the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that enters waterways and saves on the cost of transporting urine to treatment plants.
SOUTHEND, England (AP) — A British woman got quite the surprise when she went to fix what she thought was a clogged up toilet. Laura Cowell, from Southend, was pretty shocked to find out what the trouble4 was — a three foot long baby royal python. She called in some specialists to rescue the reptile. Apart from suffering the side-effects of exposure to bleach, the snake is said to be doing well, but Mrs Cowell told the BBC she was left “petrified” and resorted to weighing down the toilet lid for several days afterwards. Experts figure the python found its way into the plumbing after being dumped outside.
A NOSE FOR INNOVATION
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) —A talented university student in England sure has a strong nose for innovation. Twenty-one year old Sane Mafa, who is studying product design at Birmingham City University, has created household furniture from cow manure. She says she came up with the idea in a bid to create useful items from the waste material. And she says she was inspired in part from the traditional use of dung in building materials in some parts of Africa. So she did some research and came up with a manufacturing process using a special resin. Mafa says that helped her shape, mold and style cow muck into designer furniture.
DEER URINE-BRAIN DISEASE
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Deer hunters who like to lure their quarry with a dab of eau de doe-in-rut will have to find another way to attract a trophy buck in New York if state wildlife biologists have their way. Proposed regulations would add New York to a growing list of states and Canadian provinces banning deer urine lures in an effort to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease, a deadly brain infection that’s working its way through North American deer, elk and moose populations. The disease is similar to so-called mad cow disease. That ban doesn’t sit well with deer farmers who collect and sell urine, manufacturers who market it under names like “Code Blue” and “Buck Bomb,” and hunters who dribble the foul-smelling fluid on foliage or cotton balls hung near their tree stands. But experts say there isn’t any commercially available test to ensure urine products are free of disease.
RACCOON GETS HEAD STUCK
SAUNDERSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — It was bad enough for a Rhode Island raccoon to get its head stuck in a sewer grate. But this guy was SO stuck that none of the humans who tried to help it on scene could get it loose. In fact, it took four people to move the whole grate — with the raccoon still attached to it, to a surgery room so a veterinarian could work it loose. The Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island says the little fellow had been trapped since the night before and its head and neck had swollen too much to be squeezed back out. So, the clinic used ice and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling before applying what was referred to as “major elbow grease” to free the animal.