September 17th, 2008

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Fox testicle ice cream!

In Turkey, there is a frozen dessert called salepi dondurma, which translates literally to "fox testicle ice cream".  Salep is a variety of orchid with roots that are tubers that resemble a pair of small white testicles, thus the name.  The tubers are boiled to soften them, then pounded and dried into a flour that is mixed with milk and sugar and frozen into salepi dondurma.  The ice cream is very elastic, like taffy, and can stretched out enough to be used as a jump rope.  Because of this, it's normally eaten with a knife and fork.  The flavor is similar to vanilla.  Salep powder has been used to for hundreds of years to make a hot drink, and some historians think the ice cream might have been discovered over 300 years ago when a batch was left out on a cold night, and the finder decided to try it before throwing it out.  Probably because of the tubers' appearance, salepi is considered an aphrodisiac, and it is also thought to cure several ailments, such as skin problems, hunchbacks, and bronchitis.

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Michigan Republicans plotted to block foreclosed voters.

Republicans in Michigan were gearing up to prevent people who've lost their homes from voting, but changed their minds after their plans were revealed in the state's news media.  They were going to use mortgage foreclosure lists as a way to claim the affected voters were not valid residents, not accounting for those who were still living in the foreclosed homes or were negotiating settlements.  The affected voters were predominantly black.  In response to the outrage from the revealed plot, party planners recanted and instead are turning to using other dubious lists to try to block voters, such as addresses that returned their direct mail as undeliverable, a tactic known as "voter caging".