Apartment complex evacuated due to man cooking urine

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The Amherst, Mass. fire department evacuated an apartment complex on Wednesday due to a nasty smell coming from one of the units. They saw what appeared to be chemicals cooking on the stove and called in the Hazardous Materials Response and bomb squad. Turns out, the tenant was actually cooking up urine.

According to police, it was distilled urine the tenant was using for unspecified medical purposes.

From Wikipedia: "In alternative medicine urine therapy or urotherapy, (also urinotherapy or uropathy or auto-urine therapy) refers to various applications of human urine for medicinal or cosmetic purposes, including drinking of one's own urine and massaging one's skin, or gums, with one's own urine."

Police aren't charging the tenant with anything, but the building is still locked down until health inspections are complete.

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Citizen journalists vs San Francisco's hydrophobic pee-reflecting paint

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San Francisco recently doubled the number of walls it was coating with hydrophobic paint, which is supposed to deter wall-pissing by making the urine spray back all over the pee-er. Read the rest

How pee brought us the modern world

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Urine is golden so it must have some link to gold, thought medieval alchemists seeking to devise methods to transmute base metal into gold.

Not quite, but they did discover that pee is rich with the miraculous bearer of light, aka phosphorus. (American Chemical Society)

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A better solution for astronauts who drink their own piss

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Aquaporin A/S made this new small and lightweight filter that uses aquaporins, membrane proteins, to turn urine, sweat, and wastewater into drinkable water. Read the rest

Man charged with urinating on other flight passengers

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A 27-year-old man on a JetBlue flight allegedly stood up and "began urinating through the crack between the seats in front of him - and onto the passengers sitting there," according to AP. When the plane landed, Portland police came aboard and had to wake the man, who had fallen asleep, before arresting him. He was charged with criminal mischief and offensive littering, and released on his own recognizance.

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Canadian candidate sorry for peeing in coffee cup

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Jerry Bance, a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, was running for office in Toronto. He is also the owner of XPress Appliance Service, a home repair company. In 2012 was caught on a hidden video urinating in a customer's coffee cup while on a service call. When the video recently came to light, Bance issued the following statement by way of apology: Read the rest

Urine danger from San Francisco's pee-soaked light poles toppling

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Decades of dog and human pee have corroded the bases of some area light poles, and the city started a program to inspect them before more poles come crashing down. Read the rest

WHO asks people to stop drinking camel urine until MERS is contained

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Responding to a deadly outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea, the World Health Organization (WHO) is asking people to resist the temptation to drink camel urine. The beverage could be playing a roll in spreading the infection, which has killed 6 people and sickened 87 others.

[I]n parts of the Middle East, drinking camel urine is not as uncommon as one might think. In parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the liquid is consumed for its allegedly palliative properties. The Prophet Mohammed is said to have informed his followers to drink camel urine to cure them of disease.

In 2013, an intrepid reporter for Vice sampled the substance while in Yemen. “The taste of warm piss is, as you would expect, disgusting,” he wrote. “But when it’s mixed with camel milk, as it traditionally is, it’s even worse.

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Use this one weird trick to earn 1/5th of a penny: pee in a toilet

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The city of Ahmedabad, India is encouraging people to use public toilets rather than relieve themselves in the open. They will receive 1 rupee (1/5th of a penny) each time they use the toilet.

Pravin Patel, AMC standing committee chairman, said repeat public urinators and defecators will be "identified and encouraged" to use the toilets.

"The idea behind this project is to prevent open defecation in parts of the city where people, despite having public toilets, defecate in the open," Patel said.

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300 gallons of urine stashed in house

The police in Newtown, Conn., are mulling whether to file charges against a man who stored "as much as 300 gallons of human urine" in his home. For reference, writes local reporter Libor Jany, the average person produces about six cups a day. Read the rest

Wheel of Urine

This Wheel of Urine is from Ullrich Pinder's Epiphanie Medicorum (1506). It was used to diagnose disease based on characteristics of the patient's piss, including its taste. Urinalysis is common today, of course. Well, not the tasting part. "The Urine Wheel" (SciAm) Read the rest

Abstract expressionist urinator sentenced to probation

Police were initially unable to determine if Carmen Tisch urinated upon Clyfford Still's 1957-J no.2. But she did plenty else to the $30m canvas, and was sentenced to two years probation last week for causing $10,000 worth of damage.

Tisch, 37, plead guilty to criminal mischief after scratching, punching and sliding her arse up and down the mid-century abstract expressionist masterpiece. In addition, she must enter an alcohol dependency treatment program and undergo counseling.

The painting, measuring a hefty 13x9', is installed at Denver's recently-opened Clyfford Still Museum, which hosts it and other work by the artist, who died in 1980. According to police reports, Tisch attacked the bold, brown-dominated composition at 3:40 p.m. on December 29, 2011. Investigators ultimately determined that no urine had touched it. Read the rest