Jonathan Zipper
March 30, 2013 9:00 am

Happy Easter and a chag sameach to those observing Passover! While the new pope quickly settles into his role in Vatican City during this holy week, the same-sex marriage debate is quickly reaching a crescendo Stateside. Do you smell the spring air? That’s the scent of love and faith all around us.

Of course, there’s still plenty of WTF moments (both exciting and confusing) to go around. No, this is not an early April Fool’s Day prank. It’s just another edition of The Week In WHAT?!

Your Garbage Can Power the World

According to the EPA, the average American produces approximately 4.5 pounds of garbage per day. Now, thanks to modern technology, there may come a time when “waste” and “trash” are no longer synonyms. An organization in the Philippines is turning the methane gases produced by landfills into clean-energy and in return providing free electricity to local citizens. The process, developed by Pangea Green Energy Philippines is a win-win for the environment as methane is a greenhouse gas often blamed for global warming if it enters the atmosphere, and the use of it as clean-energy reduces the need to burn additional fossil fuels. While this has yet to become an entirely viable long-term option, it could mean that in the future even your garbage will be going green. Take that, Oscar the grouch!

Can You Teach Students About Sex-Ed Without Using the Proper Words?
“Vagina. Vagina. Vagina.” Don’t worry. Contrary to what some may have heard, Beetlejuice nor any other creepy zombie-like monster will appear upon the use of the word “vagina” in conversation. Still, a group of parents complained after a sex-ed teacher in Idaho uttered the word during class. Yes: a sex-ed teacher was teaching a class about sexual education and used the proper name for female genitalia while teaching a lesson related to sex. The teacher will likely be reprimanded following the pubic public outcry also alleged that he “shared confidential student files with an individual other than their parents, showed a video clip in class depicting an infection of genital herpes, taught different forms of birth control and told inappropriate jokes in class.”

The First Cut Is the Deepest
Keeping with the theme of “rebel” teachers, officials in England are taking disciplinary measures against a school that provided a razor blade to a special needs student so that he could self-harm under a supervised, controlled environment. A spokeswoman for the school, which specializes in the education of children and teens with various levels of autism, insists that the policy was thought to be in the best interest of the student. With the input and involvement of the student’s mother, the school would escort the student to the bathroom with sterilized razors and then clean the wounds. Police were informed of the policy and closed the case after determining that no criminal charges were necessary, but the Department of Education is still investigating. Perhaps the biggest harm will instead come to the school’s reputation.

A Parasitic Sight for Sore Eyes
Despite the warning of ophthalmologists everywhere, some contact lens wearers often fail to maintain good hygiene. The results can be fatal. Fortunately, that was not the case for 18-year-old Ashley Hyde, but it’s hard to imagine she’ll ever practice poor contact care again. The Floridian teen almost went blind after developing an infection caused by an Acanthamoeba parasite that latched on to a dirty lens. In addition to blinding eye infections, Acanthamoeba can lead to dangerous brain and spinal cord infections. So, you might want to think twice the next time you consider reusing your old solution… or skipping the act of washing your hands to “save time” for that matter.

And there you have this week in “WHAT?!” Can’t wait to see what’s in store for humanity next!

Image via Shutterstock.

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