New research on malnutrition, which leads to childhood stunting, suggests that a root cause may be an abundance of human waste polluting soil and water, rather than a scarcity of food. (SLNYT) [more inside]
“Hindus are, on average, richer and more educated than Muslims. But oddly, the child mortality rate for Hindus is much higher. All observable factors say Hindus should fare better, but they don't. Economists refer to this as the Muslim mortality puzzle. In a new study, researchers believe that they may have found a solution to the puzzle. And, surprisingly, the solution lies in a single factor – open defecation.” [more inside]
In order to combat public defecation in India, the UN has created an anthropomorphic cartoon turd with a tune that's catchy as hell.
No Nativity scene is complete without the caganer - a figure caught in the act of taking a dump near the manger. (NSFW tag, ahoy!) The figurine (whose name translates as "the shitter") is an addition to the Nativity tableaus in the Catalonia region of Spain. Some interpret the caganer as a reminder that God can arrive on earth at any moment - and he doesn't care if he catches you with your britches down. [more inside]
Mary, Joseph and the shepherds are all gathered around the baby Jesus in his manger, as loudspeakers emit the occasional animal sound for extra, rustic effect. But this is Catalonia, and no crib is complete without one additional figure. He is known in Catalan as the caganer.
Cloaca While it's a shame that contemporary "art" seems to require some form of bodily waste product in order to be considered an act of genius, I have to say that this particular one is fascinating. It eats a meal, digests it, and then ... does the obvious.
Defecating figurines are part of the holiday fun in Spain's Catalonia region... How was this tradition started?