In the three cigarettes it takes to watch this short film, you could learn how to smoke forever.
This Man Has Survived on Pizza Alone for 25 Years
My friend Dan survives on nothing but pizza. There’s that phrase, “variety is the spice of life,” but for Dan, a 38-year-old woodworker based in Maryland, oregano is the only spice involved, because it’s the only thing that he will put on top of his pizza. The next time someone tells you to eat your vegetables, you can tell them to fuck off and enlighten them with the story of this guy.
Everyone who knows Dan wonders how he’s still alive. Beyond the fact that his diet is completely horrifying, he also has diabetes and frequently gets low blood sugar. When his blood sugar dips into the danger zone, it results in events like him blacking out on his kitchen floor in his underwear with frozen food scattered around him. There was that one time he bought a new car and then blacked out on the drive home. He swerved off the road and totaled the vehicle, but other than that isolated incident, his pizza diet seems to be working out for him. I recently spoke to Dan to hear more about how he came to subsist on gluten, tomato sauce, and cheese alone.
VICE: It’s been said that you’re the king of pizza. How did you get that reputation?
Dan Janssen: I’ve been eating pizza exclusively every day of my life for the past 25 years, and I’m not just talking about a slice of pizza every day. I usually eat an entire 14” pizza, and I only eat cheese pizza. I never get sick of it. If I go to one pizza shop or another brand, it’s like eating a completely different meal.
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This Guy Is Drunk All the Time Because His Body Brews Its Own Alcohol
Imagine if your body produced its own alcohol—that’d be pretty great, right? You’d always have a buzz on and you’d never have to pay for a drink. Well, that’s what happens when you’re a victim of auto-brewery syndrome, a.k.a. gut fermentation syndrome—excesses of yeast trapped in sufferers’ small intestines create alcohol that gets absorbed directly into their bloodstreams. Sadly, this isn’t a 24/7 party, as this leads to those with the syndrome being hungover constantly.
Matthew Hogg has been a sufferer of the syndrome for almost 20 years. Every time he eats sugar or carbohydrates, his body converts them into ethanol and he ends up either tipsy or hungover. I gave him a call to chat about what it’s like being a walking human brewery.
VICE: When did you first realize that your gut creates its own alcohol?
Matthew Hogg: I suffered from digestive upsets throughout my childhood. I was initially diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, but in my teens I experienced a severe worsening of symptoms, like bloating and gas after meals—so much so that I could feel the bubbling of fermentation occurring in my lower abdomen. More worryingly, I developed new, quite frightening symptoms. I would feel intoxicated, as well as a long list of whole-body symptoms, including chronic fatigue, muscular aches and pains, chronic headaches, mental impairment, mood disturbances, and so on.
Did you feel hungover afterwards?
Yeah, by my late teens I was experiencing severe alcoholic hangovers that would usually be at their worst the morning after eating a high carbohydrate meal. I’d get pounding headaches, severe nausea, occasional vomiting, dehydration, dry mouth, cold sweats, and shaky hands. It was as if I’d been out the previous night and drunk the bar dry, but I hadn’t consumed any alcohol.
Jesus, that sounds terrible. So when were you actually diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome?
Eventually I was referred to a specialist in London, the late Dr. Keith Eaton. His test confirmed that my gut was producing large amounts of ethanol from yeast, as well as significant amounts of other alcohols associated with the metabolism of various bacteria. Dr. Eaton diagnosed me with auto-brewery syndrome, and this diagnosis has been confirmed by other doctors specializing in unusual and unrecognized chronic illnesses.
Women Are Lining up to Meet Dr. Rico, the Hottest Gynecologist Ever
Dr. Manuel Rico, the Spanish 24-year-old model-turned-gynecologist, has moved out of fashion and into pussy. Now, local press in the city of Concepcion, Chile, has reported a flood of patients lining up to be looked at by the sultry Dr. Rico.
Like something out of a desperate soap opera, all the women who waited at the hospital were healthy, according to Soy Chile. No yeast infections or even questionable scents. But all this celebrity hoopla in the hospital has raised the somewhat shallow argument of employing handsome doctors to improve public health.
After starting his medical studies last September at the University of Concepcion, Dr. Rico now works at the Region Hospital of Concepcion in Chile where he’s drawn a ton of attention—especially after a press conference to formally introduce the student. He basically turned into the Spanish version of McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy.
As one of 140 international students, Dr. Rico told the University of Concepcion that he prefers to study in Chile over Spain because of the “more humanistic,” approach to the patient. Spain “is more devoted to technology and the concept of disease,” he said.
Dr. Rico gained his fame in 2010 when he was awarded the King of Beauty in Spain. As a former model with Berta Models Management in Barcelona, he posed for Calvin Klein and Gucci, among others. Coincidentally, this dreamboat’s surname Rico means “rich” and “delicious” in Spanish.
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Volunteer-Run Morgues Are a Terrible Idea
Australia’s Northern Territory is huge, sparsely populated, poor, and crawling with deadly animals. It’s not surprising, then, that it doesn’t attract many professional types. Types like, say, people who are good at managing morgues. As a result, the territory’s dead-body storage system is a mess. The morgues are staffed primarily by volunteers, and no agency is specifically in charge of them.
This is a problem, to put it mildly. An inquiry led last year by Northern Territory Ombudsman Carolyn Richards uncovered a host of horrible practices, like a body that got put in a courtroom when there wasn’t space for it elsewhere, and a corpse stored in a doctor’s kitchen for a week while he was away. Things haven’t gotten better since then, and in the past few months, the bodies of two Aborigines were placed in the wrong graves—an especially big deal because in that culture, being buried with your clan on tribal land is of the utmost importance. The bodies were reportedly exhumed and reburied, but the families never received an official apology.
Also still waiting on a “We’re sorry” from the well-meaning but undertrained—or incompetent—morgue workers is the family of Charlton James, who committed suicide in 2011. Charlton’s body was taken to a morgue in the town of Kalkaringi, but after a power failure, the refrigeration system went down and his corpse was left to rot in the Outback heat. By the time his mother went to view the body, it was so badly decomposed that she couldn’t recognize him.
The Act of Puking
Like many people over a certain age, vomiting no longer disgusts me. I’m not proud to admit it, but on occasion, I throw up after poisoning my body with too much alcohol. As a result, I’ve developed a handful of techniques that take me from retching to flushing without too much discomfort. Sometimes, when the first pangs of rusty saliva leak down my throat, I like to pretend that I’m an angry dragon, hurriedly flapping my wings to spray an unsuspecting porcelain city with waves of bilious puke-fire. It’s pretty awesome.
“Nausea and vomiting can be at the end of a whole buildup of things,” said Charles Horn, a neuroscientist who specializes in emesis, the clinical term for blowing chunks. “But the truth is, when you vomit, you feel better, almost every time.”
In fact, vomiting makes some people feel so good that they’ve devoted their lives to studying it. This year, along with another neuroscientist named Bill Yates, Charles co-hosted a two-day, single-track academic conference at the University of Pittsburgh, officially known as Biology and Control of Nausea and Vomiting 2013—the International Vomiting Conference for short. In attendance were 62 prominent doctors who share the goal of advancing research on the biological mechanisms that cause nausea and vomiting. Their ultimate goal is to answer the questions: Why do people blow their grits, and what are we to do about it? The answers are more complicated than one might think.
No One Wants a Nazi Body Except These Shady Catholics
On October 11, Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke died. He was 100 years old and had been under a very lax state of house arrest at his lawyer’s apartment in Rome, serving out the final days of the life sentence he was given for orchestrating and conducting the Fosse Ardeatine massacre on March 24, 1944.
The ex-SS captain never expressed any kind of remorse for the 335 civilians and soldiers who were killed that day, always maintaining that he’d simply been following orders. Even in his “testament”—a seven-page message released by his lawyer last week—Priebke denied both the Holocaust and the Nazi gas chambers, claiming they were just “very big kitchens.”
While remarks like these have turned him into a kind of spirit animal for fascism fetishists and Nazi nostalgists, unsurprisingly Priebke remains widely despised. Argentina, where he lived for 50 years after the war, wouldn’t allow Priebke’s body to be returned to the country to be buried alongside his wife, and his German hometown of Hennigsdorf also shunnedhis corpse, fearing his grave would become a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis.