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Skinny Jeans, Human Excrement: North Korea's Hottest Consumer Products

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A sociology professor at Seoul's Sogang University named Kim Young-soo has interviewed recent defectors from North Korea who say the hottest products for sale right now in the hermit kingdom are instant noodles, skinny jeans (which became popular after a ban on fashionable trousers was lifted by the government), TV drama, and human excrement

"Each household used to use human excrement as fertilizer, but because it's hard to keep up with the amount, human manure shops showed up at markets," Kim said.

Gene Logsdon, author of the book Holy S- -t: Managing Manure To Save Mankind, has written about the history of human manure usage in Asian agricultural applications. Logsdon refers to the 1911 book Farmers of Forty Centuries, by F. H. King in a recent post on

"In Japan, Korea, and China, manure was treated like a precious gem because it was a precious gem. Every scrap of animal waste, human waste, and plant residue was collected and reapplied to the land. So precious was manure that Chinese farmers stored it in burglarproof containers. The polite thing to do after enjoying a meal at a friend's house was to go to the bathroom before you departed. I am not making that up."

In the spirit of "waste not, want not," Minyanville has, as of today, instituted a similar policy for all employees. The burglar-proofing company should be here by midday.
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