March 17, 2009

Breaking the Mold

Are we becoming allergic to the 21st century?
CBC Newsworld aired Allergy Planet on The Passionate Eye (Mar. 16/09).
The doc, produced and directed by Naomi Austin, takes you from the most remote inhabited island, where 50% of its 400 residents are affected by asthma, to the impact of industrialization and pollution in L.A.

Narrated by Steven Mackintosh, Allergy Planet's examination of current research demonstrates one clear conclusion of immunologists: allergies are still a mystery.

The CBC doesn't have the episode available online, but I found the BBC airing on YouTube - sorry, it's in 6 segments.
Part 1 is here to get you going.
Here's the page with all segments of the 1-hour documentary.

March 14, 2009

Update: Billy Nichols' Case

The civil case in Ocala, Fla. involving Billy Nichols, a well known business owner in Ocala, is back in court this week for hearings on several motions.   (more...)

Nichols was charged with DUI Manslaughter in 2007. His defense attorney argued that Nichols' gastroparesis was responsible for an inaccurate BAC test result after the accident. Nichols was acquitted on both counts.

The civil suit was filed by Adrian Cummings, whose wife, Nancy, and daughter, Holly, were victims of the collision. One of Cummings' lawyer's motions relates to accessing Nichols' medical records. In September, 2008 Nichols was ordered by the court to see a specialist at the University of Florida (Shands) for his condition.

Original Post - Gastroparesis Defense Against DUI

Robbery Victim's Day - From Bad to Wurst

Thieves in a Boynton Beach, Fla. Wal-Mart distracted a 79-year old shopper by asking her how to make relish.
As the woman helped them find the ingredients in the store, one of the unsavory bandits took off with her purse. ( more...)

The police haven't been able to ketchup to the perpetrators. They appear to be garden-variety thieves; but I suppose they may be seasoned pros.


March 06, 2009

Scapegoating Masquerading As Science

Dr. Brian Primack, a University of Pittsburgh professor, surveyed 700 teens about their music preferences and sexual behavior. The study, set to be published next month,  links lyrics in rap music to teen sex . Primack avoids declaring a causal relationship - Rap Music Makes Teens Have Sex - but the headlines reporting the research come dangerously close.   Strictly speaking, you'd need to know if the tendency to engage in sexual behavior at age 15-16 led the teens to seek out music with explicit lyrics.  (I suppose you'd also need an adjustment factor to account for any predisposition to have sex at age 15-16.)

The study doesn't say that teenage fans of Daughtry and ColdPlay and U2 aren't having sex. And while the explicit lyrics include describing "degrading sex acts", there's no indication that the teens are engaging in "degrading sex acts."


After interviewing 95 tween-aged girls, researchers at Iowa State University, led by Prof. Douglas Gentile, concluded that cartoon violence leads to acts of aggression in children . "The study also found that youngsters tended to mimic the negative behaviour they saw on TV such as rumour-spreading, gossiping and eye-rolling." Puh-lease!

The research fails to explore the effects of distress one may experience when he discovers that wearing a dress and batting fake eyelashes while holding a lacy handkerchief will not fool his enemy into falling in love and facilitate his escape from said enemy.
Sadly, I still don't know whether it's Rabbit Season or Duck Season.

February 06, 2009

Shoplifters' Rush Ends Up Sugar-Free

Kayla Raymond, 19, and Michael Kautz, 21, were detained after Wal-Mart employees in Hazel Dell, Washington reported a shoplifting incident early Thursday evening.
According to the report, the pair had not paid for a SOBE® energy drink and a vibrating condom that were found in their possession. (Article...)

Just to make sure that I understand ...
Wal-Mart® sells vibrating condoms, but censors its CD product mix?

January 14, 2009

Heated Argument Ends In Gore

Ashley Sherlinki, of Luzerne County, PA was arrested and charged with simple assault and harassment Sunday night after she allegedly impaled her boyfriend, Eric Dixon, with a meat thermometer. Read More...

Sherlinki threw the thermometer when Dixon opened the door, after she'd been banging on the door. The nature of her beef was not revealed in the article.

I've no doubt that West Wyoming Police grilled Sherlinki in the interrogation room during the investigation.
The media is likely to skewer Sherlinki, as this type of event is rare in Wyoming PA, a town of about 3400.
I'm certain that Sherlinki will express some degree of remorse at her court appearance later this month.
Her goose is cooked!

January 13, 2009

64° of Separation

Jessica and Makenzie returned from Aruba on Sunday evening. They spent the previous week with their grandparents on One Happy Island. Their snow white skin had become a modest light brown. How did they manage to choose between the beach, the pool or shopping? Easy - they did them all!

There was no close call on the bluffs and no keys-locked-in-the-car story. On their last night, Jess and Kenzie were thrilled to watch the Carnival Parade with Gramm and Bubb (and Gramm and Bubb deserve medals for being excited about it too, since standing around with 90,000 people isn't really their thing).

The girls said that the average temperature in Aruba was 50° C. It's actually closer to 32° (according to The Weather Channel ); but when one's comparing the weather in Aruba to the temperature in January back home, I see how it'd be easy to exaggerate.

Which brings me to the point I want to make - Jessica and Makenzie have gone from 32°C in Aruba to -32°C in Canada in 48 hours - 64 degrees.

For those who don't think in Celsius, that's a high of 90°F to -25°F (yes, I mean 25 below 0°F) ...and the title of this post for you is A 115° Turn.



January 05, 2009

Bull In A China Store

A new shopping center is preparing for its grand opening in Nanjing, China.
So what, you ask?

H iPhone now available
Apparently Chinese fraud-repreneurs were tired of reproducing item look-a-likes. Each of the stores in this mall is a knock-off of a popular national franchise - "a McDonalds look-a-like burger bar called McDnoald’s, a Starbucks-style coffee shop called Bucksstar Coffee, and a wannabe Pizza Hut called Pizza Huh."   (Read more...)

Fact checker on staff here admits the story in The Mirror could be framed around photo-shop contest entries.
But if the mall does exist, then look for Burger King (under the Burger King banner) in the food court ... they've been selling edible material they call "food" for over 50 years.


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