More Things To Worry About
Just when you thought the anti-smoking campaign might be working, along comes a news story that proves otherwise. Ardi Rizal, aged two years, has a 40-per-day smoking habit.
His mother has tried to get him to stop, especially since the government has offered to buy the family a new car once the child quits, but she says he is entirely too addicted. His father, on the other hand, doesn't see any problem - "He looks pretty healthy to me..." In the meantime, Ardi's health is such that he can't run around and play with the other kids. Instead he rides around on a plastic toy truck while puffing away, looking like a parody of a middle-aged truck driver.
Chuck might get an entire week's worth of material from this. Mischief makers, thefts, bear costumes, calling 911 because she was hungry, disturbances, one animal complaint after another, suspicious situations and more! I just want to say that after reading this police blotter from Cleveland, Ohio's Sun Star Courier
, I feel much better about myself, and the small town in which I live.
(The image is from the July, 1946 issue of Popular Science.)
I live by the code of the parking chair.
Someone (the writer didn't even know that the magnificent parking chair had a name, let alone all that it stands for) fired off a letter
to my local paper today vilifying the practice, and it had me outraged. I've since submitted a rebuttal. In the course of research for the letter, I found the following recent story from The Morning Call
in Allentown, PA detailing what can happen when you don't respect the parking chair. The police may have assured the man he did nothing wrong by moving the chair, but I bet he doesn't do it again. And if you believe in the chair like I do, you can always show it!
It's amazing what food sellers will put into a can these days. What's even more amazing is that people will buy it. I am reminded of a quotation from a children's movie, where one of the kids asks another, "What wouldn't you eat for a million dollars?" I think just about everything in this article
from the Food Network would make that list. (And what's with the Russian Herring? Do they really have teeth like that? Were these grown in a body of water near Chernobyl?)
Maybe we're already in the Matrix. How would we know? While you ponder that, scientists at the University of Florida are developing a neural implant that can think independently. This is not just an implant that deciphers brain signals, but one that can learn, adapt to various scenarios and help the host achieve certain goals. The initial technology is being developed for therapeutic applications, such as allowing paraplegics the ability to control their own limbs again. You can read more about the Neural Implants here.
Of course, giving such a "machine" partial control of your brain could lead to any number of problems; questions about who is really in charge. Which version of the future would you prefer to live in: I, Robot, 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Matrix?
Proponents of evolution have long stated that humans are descendants of apes but there has been no evidence of a link between the higher primates and their more distant relatives. Until now. A recent article in National Geographic claims that a fossil, found in Germany, links humans to... lemurs. Paleontologist Jorn Hurum lead the team of researchers who studied the 47-million-year-old fossil and claims, "This is the first link to all humans, the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor." Read the article here (there's video too).
Now I don't generally have a problem with thinking that my great, great, great (many greats) ancestors were apes. Especially judging by some of the men I've dated. But lemurs? Did any of you see the movie, Madagascar?
Have you commited a crime lately? Are you on the run from the law? Be glad you don't have this micro-chip implanted. A Saudi Arabian scientist has filed for a patent for a "killer" tracking device, which would be used to trace fugitives from justice, terrorists, illegal immigrants, criminals, political opponents and more. The chip acts like a DPS tracker, but with the added bonus of being able to inject a deadly poison into anyone that becomes a security risk. The Story.
More Things to Worry About on Wednesday
Britain's SilentNight mattress company says it has insured (via the carrier Zurich, for £1M) tester Graham Butterfield's butt
(because it "isn't like any other" in that he can detect tiny differences in a bed's materials just by sitting on it . . . . . The traditional celebration at this Turkish wedding included slaughtering 70 animals and firing 60,000 bullets
. . . . . A Bethlehem, Pa., cop and his wife both got stayaway orders against each other
(she allegedly had sprayed bleach in his face; he had loaded his gun and promised a "blood bath") . . . . . One London health care unit is proposing merit-pay bonuses for surgeons if their patients survive. Today's Newsrangers: Jenny Beatty, Scott Langill, Vic McDonald, Paul Music, Bruce Strickland, Jessica McRorie
More Things to Worry About on Tuesday
California headline, "Men Sentenced for Setting Friend's Crotch Ablaze"
("Friend's"?) . . . . . At a Wiccan ceremony in Lebanon, Ind., a woman who was to plunge a sword into the ground as a symbol of thanks, missed the ground and got her foot
(How does one miss "the ground"? "The ground" is a big place.) . . . . . In Kokomo, Ind., a Crossroads Community Church pastor, intending to make a point on "unity" by riding his motorcycle across the stage, accidentally plunged into the pews
and broke his wrist . . . . . Among the findings of a Gov't Accountability Office report on the Indian Health Service: About $700K worth of computer equipment had been ruined by "bat dung" in a storage room
. . . . . The scrap-metal market for brass has now dangerously provoked thieves to cannibalize fire hydrants for their (and I quote) "brass nuts"
. . . . . Part of Beijing's all-court spruce-up for the Olympics (says the L.A. Times
) is an online course in how Chinese should greet visitors from different cultures, e.g., "A]n American male [would be] received with a hearty clasping of the hands and a 'Hey, man, what's up?'" Today's Newsrangers: Tony Jeswald, Jessica McRorie
More Things to Worry About on Monday
Police in Bedford, Pa., intercepted a murder-for-hire plan that was using as a payoff, er, NASCAR collectibles
("[a]fter providing a large trash bag of NASCAR memorabilia" to the undercover cop) . . . . . The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
uncovers what looks like a sweetheart deal for the police chief—with the tip-off being that the chief's adult daughter keeps banging up the gift cars
. . . . . A Tennessee city's commissioners grapple with the dilemma of who has priority in the water at the city boat launch: boaters or churches doing baptisms
(Bonus: The city's name is Soddy-Daisy) . . . . . Lawyers in Iran believe 8 women and 1 man currently face stoning-to-death sentences
(despite a 2002 edict against it), all in sex-related cases . . . . . A London physician tells how the 7-7 (2005) subway bombings gave Dr. Stewart Drage the courage to finally become Dr. Michelle Drage
. Today's Newsranger: Scott Langill
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.