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Ernie's House of Whoopass! June 21, 2011
June 21, 2011

The Noble Pig: All This PLUS It Gives Is Bacon.

Operation Mend is a unique new partnership between UCLA Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, has been established to help treat several U.S. military personnel wounded during service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The pilot project was launched with the help of philanthropist Ronald A. Katz, a well-known inventor and UCLA Medical Center board member, who recognized that providing excellent care to injured soldiers need not be limited to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Armed Services. The project aims to serve as a model for other medical institutions interested in helping additional wounded service members. Here is a portrait of Marine Corporal Aaron P. Mankin, injured in Iraq, from a story on Operation Mend.

Now what's next is really going to blow your fucking mind, but first some backstory. A pig bladder is very similar to the human urinary bladder. Historically, the pig bladder had several additional uses, all based on its properties as a light weight, stretchable container that could be filled and tied off. The pig bladder has several traditional ceremonial uses in Europe. It is traditional during the festival Fasching in Bad Aussee to brandish inflated pig bladders on sticks. Similarly, in Xinzo de Limia, Spain, inflated pig bladders are carried during Carnival. Historically the pig bladder was used in sports, as the airtight membrane inside a football. In the early 19th century the inventor William Gilbert used pig bladders in the manufacture of rugby balls. In the bian lian ("face changing") style of Chinese opera, painted pig bladders were used as face masks.Today, this hollow organ has various applications in medicine, and in traditional cuisines and customs.

I know. Injured soldiers. Pig bladders... you're confused, right?

Stick with me for a few minutes and I promise I'll tie the two together. In biology, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is the extracellular part of animal tissue that usually provides structural support to the animal cells in addition to performing various other important functions. The extracellular matrix is the defining feature of connective tissue in animals. (No, I'm not some fucking genius, that part I copied and pasted from Wikipedia because they explained it better than I could). In terms of injury repair and tissue engineering, the extracellular matrix serves two main purposes. First, it prevents the immune system from triggering from the injury and responding with inflammation and scar tissue. Next, it facilitates the surrounding cells to repair the tissue instead of forming scar tissue. For medical applications, the cells required are usually extracted from pig bladders, an easily accessible and relatively unused source. It is currently being used regularly to treat ulcers by closing the hole in the tissue that lines the stomach, but further research is currently being done by many universities as well as the U.S. Government for wounded soldier applications.

In fact, military experimentation with the healing properties of pig bladder started way back in 2006, conducted by DARPA -- the same folks who brought us GPS satellites, stealth technology, oh and the fucking internet. Their success didn't take too long as a man regrew a finger back in 2008, and then last year Uncle Sam really started to get serious about helping soldiers who suffered amputations in battle. And even that didn't take long since just this year, Corporal Isaias Hernandez regrew most of his leg muscle, which had been blown off in Afghanistan. There is even substantial evidence to show that pig bladder can even help poor bastards like me.

But what pig bladder won't do is regrow an actual amputated limb. At least not yet. So while there seems to be some immediate hope for the likes of Corporal Hernandez, other soldiers such as Army Ranger SFC Joe Kapacziewski and Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry will have to make do with their prosthetic limbs for now. Such artificial limbs are letting more and more soldiers with leg injuries return to the battlefield, although at their own discretion. For example in March of 2002, Navy SEAL Petty Officer Stephen "Turbo" Toboz was hit by automatic weapon fire that somehow spiraled around his left leg, shattering bones and punching a hole the size of a fist in his calf. In the hospital, Toboz lived up to his nickname by getting annoyed at the slow pace at which his leg was healing, so he told the doctors to amputate and give him a prosthetic instead. He says he did it because, "Neal Roberts was my closest friend," and because "my parents taught me patriotism, duty, and determination." Turbo rejoined his unit and still took part on active SEAL combat missions, only to be medically retired nine months later. But he still trains SEALs as a civilian instructor. Since he no longer wears a uniform, unless his young students hear it from others who know the story, they might never know that Stephen Toboz has a metal leg and foot or that he was awarded our nation's third highest award for valor—the Silver Star.

Another reason dogs rock - let me see a cat do this! Jeff

Well, far be it from me to defend the honor of a cat, but you asked for it.

Some people watch professional wrestling for the story lines (snicker). Others watch to see the incredible displays of athleticism from the wrestlers (double snicker). And then there are those who watch for the gorgeous WWE Divas. Eve Torres and the Bella Twins headline the current crop of WWE Divas, but not too long ago it was the lovely Stacy Kiebler stealing the show in the ring. Stacy's WWE career has since come to an end, but her stunning looks and beautiful long legs remain.

Hey Ernie, I'm an idiot and couldn't find your submission e-mail, so I hope this suffices. As a fellow zombie hunter, I was just curious if you had seen the Mossberg 500 chainsaw... One bad mama jama! Keep up the great work! Mike

Not the official press release, but we here in WI are mighty proud of our new Governor Scott Walker. Andy

Excellent, welcome to the Union! Now let's see if they offer reciprocity with Florida's CCW.

Forget the flowers and gimmicks. Win those lovely ladies over for good by planning a romantic weekend she'll never forget might get you laid.

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