Somewhat Odd and Unusual
Hawaii Preschool Bans Teacher’s Assistant from Eating Homemade Lunches in Front of the Children
A teacher’s assistant could be excluded from school because she brings in her own homemade lunches.
Every day Carissa Lee O’Connell’s husband lovingly prepares organic food for his wife, who suffers from severe nasal allergies.
But Hawaii Kai school has told the 24-year-old she must stop eating her own food in front of the children at lunchtime.
Rick O’Connell, age 53, says that since he started making the healthy organic lunches for his wife four months ago her allergies disappeared.
While her allergies may be gone, Mrs Lee O’Connell has started to have trouble sleeping after a warning from KCAA Preschools of Hawaii, where she has worked for the past year.
‘I definitely haven’t slept well and I can’t really focus on my work all the time because I’m always thinking about what my director might see, and how she’s going to use that against me,‘ Mrs. Lee O’Connell told KITV4.
The teacher’s aide was given a verbal warning about her lunches In April, but last week she received written notice saying that if Mrs. Lee O’Connell continued to defy school administrators, she would be summarily fired.
‘I really enjoy being with the kids, having fun and seeing them every day,‘ Mrs. Lee O’Connell said. ‘They’re making me eat my lunch away from everybody else just because my director feels uncomfortable about the situation.‘
Christina Cox, president of KCAA, which has seven preschools in Oahu, said the teacher’s assistant was allowed to eat homemade lunches during her paid break, or when the children are having a nap.
She said the school was trying to create a family setting during lunch, where teachers and staff tell the children about the food being served.
The preschool prides itself on its school dinners, which have been praised for ‘best practices’ in nutrition by national accreditation standards and the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.
It adds on its website that children and staff are offered a varied menu that caters for vegetarians and those with food allergies.
Mr. O’Connell believes his wife is being targeted unfairly by the preschool, which takes tax dollars through the USDA Child Nutrition Program.
‘Her tax dollars can go into a programme that [children] are being fed with, but she can be ostracised for eating a certain way to maintain her health,‘ he said. ‘She’s got a choice to either keep her job, or keep her health. That’s just a horrible choice for anybody to have to make.‘
Mrs. Lee O’Connell fears she may lose her job after sharing her story with the media.
OddlyEnough™: Eating Insects Could Help Fight Obesity
The thought of eating beetles, caterpillars and ants may give you the creeps, but the authors of a U.N. report published on Monday said the health benefits of consuming nutritious insects could help fight obesity.
More than 1,900 species of insects are eaten around the world, mainly in Africa and Asia, but people in the West generally turn their noses up at the likes of grasshoppers, termites and other crunchy fare.
The authors of the study by the Forestry Department, part of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said many insects contained the same amount of protein and minerals as meat and more healthy fats doctors recommend in balanced diets.
“In the West we have a cultural bias, and think that because insects come from developing countries, they cannot be good,“ said scientist Arnold van Huis from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, one of the authors of the report.
Eva Muller of the FAO said restaurants in Europe were starting to offer insect-based dishes, presenting them to diners as exotic delicacies.
Danish restaurant Noma, for example, crowned the world’s best for three years running in one poll, is renowned for ingredients including ants and fermented grasshoppers.
As well as helping in the costly battle against obesity, which the World Health Organization estimates has nearly doubled since 1980 and affects around 500 million people, the report said insect farming was likely to be less land-dependent than traditional livestock and produce fewer greenhouse gases.
It would also provide business and export opportunities for poor people in developing countries, especially women, who are often responsible for collecting insects in rural communities.
Van Huis said barriers to enjoying dishes such as bee larvae yoghurt were psychological - in a blind test carried out by his team, nine out of 10 people preferred meatballs made from roughly half meat and half mealworms to those made from meat.
GFP - 05.18.2013
Politics | Government | Election
~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~
I can just picture pans of them in the showcase at the local grocery store.
Not sure the effect it would have on this community. Doubt the store would have to reorder often.
By lol on 05.18.2013
Some store already have them on premises. All they have to do it to capitalize.
By LOL LOL on 05.18.2013
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OddlyEnough™: New Book Teaches Children ABCs of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc invests in dozens of businesses, and a new book tries to explain it all to young readers, from A to Z.
Two Omaha residents, author Nancy Rips and illustrator Tom Kerr, have teamed up on “My First Berkshire ABC” to teach children about one of the world’s best-known companies, and a little about the local billionaire behind it.
More than 1,000 copies were sold at Berkshire’s annual meeting on Saturday, which draws thousands of people to Omaha, and where Buffett has a say on what gets sold.
“You need something to bring home to your kids and grandkids to explain Berkshire,“ Rips, who has also written three books about Jewish holidays, said in a joint interview with Kerr.
Most pages show companies that Berkshire owns or invests in.
G, for example, is for “Geico,“ and features the car insurer’s talking gecko. And W is for “Wells Fargo”, and features the bank’s familiar stagecoach.
The book’s theme changed at Buffett’s suggestion.
“Our first effort was things like, ‘S is for sharing. Mr. Buffett believes in sharing. K is for being kind,‘“ Rips said.
“I got an email back from Warren saying, it’s too laudatory, they will lampoon him in the news,“ she continued. “And I wrote a whole new proposal: A is for Acme (Brick), B is for Borsheim’s (jewelry), C is for Clayton Homes, D is for Dairy Queen. I got an email back: ‘You’re in the show.‘“
Kerr has worked at many newspapers and drew McGruff, the Crime Dog for the National Crime Prevention Council.
“Part of what Warren talks about is investing in things that you know,“ he said. “Virtually everything in here is something that somebody can relate to and touch and understand.“
Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger is shown under “Q,“ stamping boxes of “quality” merchandise.
Rips and Kerr have not heard from Buffett on whether he likes the book. Buffett’s assistant Carrie Sova had no comment on that question.
Kerr depicted Buffett just four times, including on the cover holding his usual Cherry Coke.
“This book is not all about Warren Buffett,“ Kerr said. “I picked my spots. He’s so synonymous with Dairy Queen that I wanted him there, and obviously on the cover with Coca-Cola.“
“Cherry Coke,“ Rips interjected.
“Yep,“ Kerr said. “She had me change that.“
OddlyEnough™: Starving Virginia Settlers Turned to Cannibalism in 1609
Settlers at Virginia’s Jamestown Colony resorted to cannibalism to survive the harsh winter of 1609, dismembering and consuming a 14-year-old English girl, the U.S. Smithsonian Institution reported last week.
This is the first direct evidence of cannibalism at Jamestown, the oldest permanent English colony in the Americas, according to the Washington-based museum and research complex.
A recent excavation at the historic site revealed not just the remains of dogs, cats and horses eaten by settlers during the cold “Starving Time” of that year, but also the bones of a girl known to researchers simply as “Jane.“
Several sharp cuts to the bottom of a mandible excavated in
James Fort, Jamestown, Virginia at the Jamestown Rediscovery Project
are pictured in this December 2012 handout photo provided by
the Smithsonian Institute on May 01, 2013.
Settlers at Virginia’s Jamestown Colony resorted to cannibalism
to survive the harsh winter of 1609, dismembering and consuming a 14-year-old English girl..
Jane probably was part of a relatively prosperous household, possibly a gentleman’s daughter or maidservant, said Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley, who analyzed her bones after they were found by Preservation Virginia, a private nonprofit group.
Her back molars had not yet erupted, putting her age around 14 years, and there was a lot of nitrogen in her bones, indicating she ate a meat-rich English diet, Owsley said.
It is not known whether Jane was killed or died of natural causes. The Smithsonian said there is no evidence of murder.
After her death, in a year when many Jamestown colonists starved, Jane’s body was hacked apart by a butcher or butchers who barely knew what they were doing. She may have been chosen because others in her household were already dead and there was no one to bury her, Owsley said.
A forensic facial reconstruction produced by StudioEIS of Brooklyn, New York,
in consultation with Smithsonian researchers, based on human remains excavated
at James Fort, Jamestown, Virginia by the Jamestown Rediscovery Project,
is pictured in this April 2013 handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution.
Settlers at Virginia’s Jamestown Colony resorted to cannibalism to survive
the harsh winter of 1609, dismembering and consuming a 14-year-old English girl.
“There was very clear post-mortem dismemberment that involved chops to the forehead, chops to the back of the head that cracked the skull open,“ the scientist said.
“A puncture to the left side of the head was used to essentially lever and open the ... head to remove the brain. There are cuts all over the face and on the mandible, inside as well as out.“
By 1609, Owsley said, the settlement was effectively operating under siege, with many of the male colonists killed by hostile Native Americans after venturing out.
Those who remained inside Jamestown’s confines were often women, children and the sick. Those who dismembered Jane might well have been women, he said.
The cuts were “very tentative, hesitant,“ Owsley said. “This is not someone who’s skilled in terms of kitchen work or butchery, and yet they know, out of sheer need, that this is what they have to do.“
The brain, tongue, cheeks and leg muscles appear to have been eaten, with the brain probably consumed first because it decomposes soon after death, the Smithsonian said in an online announcement.
Scholars have speculated that extreme drought, hostile relations with the local Powhatan Confederacy and a lost supply ship made the Jamestown colonists desperate enough to eat humans. Writings had suggested it, but no hard physical evidence existed until now.
William Kelso, lead archeologist on the project, and his team discovered the girl’s remains last summer.
“We found a deposit of refuse that contained butchered horse and dog bones,“ Kelso said. “That was only done in times of extreme hunger. As we excavated, we found human teeth and then a partial human skull.“
OddlyEnough™: Obama Threatens “Family Tattoo” If Daughters Get Their Own
If they were thinking about getting tattoos, the Obama daughters may want to reconsider.
Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show in a segment originally filmed before the Boston Marathon bombings, President Barack Obama revealed the strategy he and First Lady Michelle Obama have been using to keep their daughters away from tattoos.
“What we’ve said to the girls is, ‘If you guys ever decide you’re going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo, in the same place, and we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo,‘“ Obama said.
“Our thinking is that might dissuade them from thinking that somehow that’s a good way to rebel.“
During the segment, the president also said he understood his wife’s “slip of the tongue” when she called herself a “single mother” in early April, noting that they were often apart for a week at a time when he was campaigning for the Senate and presidency.
“I tend to cut my wife or anybody some slack when it comes to just slips of the tongue,“ he said.
“But there’s no doubt that there have been times where Michelle probably felt like a single mom ... She definitely, I think, understands the burdens that women in particular tend to feel if they’re both responsible for child rearing and they’re responsible for working at the same time,“ he added.
Teacher Sues School over Suspension for ‘Weapons’ Charge: Showing Students Garden Tools
Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed a civil rights lawsuit against a Chicago public school district on behalf of a second-grade teacher who was suspended after he displayed garden-variety tools such as wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers in his classroom as part of a “tool discussion” in his class.
Despite the fact that all potentially hazardous items were kept out of the students’ reach, school officials at Washington Irving Elementary School informed Doug Bartlett, a 17-year veteran in the classroom, that his use of the tools as visual aids endangered his students. Bartlett was subsequently penalized with a four-day suspension without pay - charged with possessing, carrying, storing or using a weapon.
The complaint charges that Bartlett “suffered humiliation, embarrassment, mental suffering, and lost wages, and was suspended for four days” - and asks for “nominal and compensatory damages” and for the suspension to be expunged from the teacher’s record.
“This school district’s gross overreaction to a simple teaching demonstration on basic tools such as wrenches and pliers underscores exactly what is wrong with our nation’s schools,“ said Rutherford Institute Pres. John Whitehead.
“What makes this case stand out from the rest is that this latest victim of zero tolerance policies run amok happens to be a veteran school teacher,“ Whitehead said.
None of the tools were made accessible to the students. When not in use, the tools were secured in a toolbox on a high shelf out of reach of the students. They were used to demonstrate the proper use of tools.
~~ Craig Bannister ~~
OddlyEnough™: Buckwild Cast Member Seeks Injunction
Buckwild cast member Shae Bradley is seeking an injunction against fellow cast member Jessie J to keep him from releasing any material he may have of them together.
It has been reported Bradley has been offered money for a tape that has the former couple in a compromising position but she has refused the offers.
Bradley says she regrets the entire situation.
Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman has issued a temporary injunction and scheduled a hearing for Monday afternoon.
Buckwild’s second season was canceled earlier this month following the death of cast member Shain Gandee.
The 21-year-old Kanawha County resident died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
OddlyEnough™: WV Bill Keeps Fracking Fluid Ingredients Secret
Legislation that would permit gas drillers to keep the contents of their hydraulic fracking fluids as trade secrets cleared the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday following an intense debate.
Supporters of the bill, including the drilling giant Halliburton who pushed for the provision, say they are trying to protect their investment.
“There’s tens of millions of dollars that goes into this technology and part of that is going to include trade secret claims that have to made to prevent competitors from reverse engineering the formulas that have to be disclosed ,” said Halliburton attorney Joe Ward.
In particular, Halliburton is trying to keep secret the ingredients of a new fracking fluid made from food additives, which the company says is environmentally friendly.
Marcellus Shale gas drillers use a mix of chemicals and water under high pressure to release natural gas from deep underground. The technology has caused a dramatic increase in the number of gas wells drilled in West Virginia.
However, environmentalists and some surface owners worry about the affects of drilling, including the impact of the chemicals used in the fracking process.
“The ecological effects of this (fracking) have not been determined. The long term toxicological effects have not been determined,” said Dave McMahon, who represents surface owners in West Virginia.
McMahon says surface owners and others who want to know what’s in the fracking fluid should be able to find out. Ward says, however, that the bill makes the information available if requested by the state for an investigation.
“In the event there is an emergency, even an investigation, DEP can request the information and is has to be provided on the spot,” Ward said.
The provision is part of legislation that includes a series of rules that will be used by the DEP. The legislation has cleared the Senate and is now working its way through the House.
~~ Hoppy Kercheval ~~
OddlyEnough™: Walmart Wants You To Deliver Their Packages—For Free
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is considering a radical plan to have store customers deliver packages to online buyers, a new twist on speedier delivery services that the company hopes will enable it to better compete with Amazon.com Inc.
Tapping customers to deliver goods would put the world’s largest retailer squarely in middle of a new phenomenon sometimes known as “crowd-sourcing,“ or the “sharing economy.“
Wal-Mart is making a big push to ship online orders directly from stores, hoping to cut transportation costs and gain an edge over Amazon and other online retailers, which have no physical store locations. Wal-Mart does this at 25 stores currently, but plans to double that to 50 this year and could expand the program to hundreds of stores in the future.
Wal-Mart currently uses carriers like FedEx Corp for delivery from stores - or, in the case of a same-day delivery service called Walmart To Go that is being tested in five metro areas, its own delivery trucks.
“I see a path to where this is crowd-sourced,“ Joel Anderson, chief executive of Walmart.com in the United States, said in a recent interview with Reuters.
[...] Wal-Mart has millions of customers visiting its stores each week. Some of these shoppers could tell the retailer where they live and sign up to drop off packages for online customers who live on their route back home, Anderson explained.
Wal-Mart would offer a discount on the customers’ shopping bill, effectively covering the cost of their gas in return for the delivery of packages, he added.
OddlyEnough™: Punxsutawney Phil Charged with Fraud for Early Spring Forecast
With a snow storm expected to batter the Plains, Midwest and East Coast this weekend, a spring-deprived Ohio prosecutor is taking out his frustration with the long winter on a famous prognosticating groundhog.
“I decided it was about time we indicted Punxsutawney Phil for fraud,“ said Mike Gmoser, prosecutor in Ohio’s Butler County, in an interview.
When he emerged from his burrow in Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, Phil did not see his shadow, leading to a forecast of an early spring. Gmoser’s mock indictment contends that the forecast was fraudulent.
The rodent is being charged with a single mock felony count of “Misrepresentation of Early Spring,“ which Gmoser said should be punishable by death.
Tom Kines, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather, said he understands why Gmoser and his fellow Ohioans might be inclined to take out their frustrations on the groundhog.
“The mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest have been experiencing record-coldest high temperatures, which means that the high temperatures have never been so cold,“ said Kines.
Kines added that a coast-to-coast storm front expected to hit this weekend is likely to bring more cold temperatures and even snow to areas that normally do not see snow this time of year, including Butler County in southwestern Ohio.
The news doesn’t get any better for the upper Midwest, Great Lakes or Mid-Atlantic area.
“We don’t expect to see springtime weather anytime soon and expect cold through the end of the month,“ Kines said. “The cold will ease up a bit the second half of April. But it will be a gradual thing.“
Gmoser said he might be inclined to drop the case if he sees temperatures reach the 80s by mid-April.
Neither Phil, nor his keepers, could immediately be reached for comment.
Gmoser said his office will give Buckeye Chuck, the Ohio groundhog who also forecast an early spring, immunity if he testifies against Phil.
“I know his defenders are going to say he is just a dumb groundhog but, as we know ignorance, is not a defense of the law,“ said Gmoser.
OddlyEnough™ WV Delegate Continues Fight to Reinstate the Death Penalty
With neighboring Maryland about to become the sixth state in six years to abolish the death penalty, one West Virginia delegate is on a quixotic quest to resume executions in his state for the first time in a half-century.
This year marks the 27th in a row that Republican Delegate John Overington has introduced a bill to reinstate capital punishment. It has rarely progressed far and is unlikely to pass this year, even with the minority GOP steadily making gains in the legislature.
Overington said he supports capital punishment because it leads to a fairer society.
He also fears that without it, West Virginia could be inviting murderers to the state. He said his constituents support capital punishment.
If he’s unsuccessful, Overington will try for a 28th time next year.
OddlyEnough™: Bill to Ban Soda in West Virginia Schools Loses GOP Sponsors
A bipartisan bill that would ban the sale of sweetened soft drinks in West Virginia public schools has lost its two Republican co-sponsors.
Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall and Senator David Nohe had been the two Republicans among the bill’s 10 sponsors.
Both asked to be removed as sponsors on Tuesday.
The bill would repeal legislation passed last decade that was supposed to promote healthy drinks in schools, but had unintended consequences, including allowing the sale of soft drinks in high schools.
The House and Senate Health Committees endorsed the bill during interim meetings in January.
Hall says his withdrawal as a sponsor was procedural.
He says he wants to study the bill further before he decides whether to support it or not.
OddlyEnough™: French Eaters Don’t Say Nay to Horsemeat
In a dingy Parisian back street, diners at a one-of-a-kind bistro tuck lustily into breaded horse brain, pan fried heart of horse and broiled cheek, along with prime rump steaks the chef cuts from the bone himself.
Seasoned aficionados queuing at one of the few horse butchers left in Paris say they prefer theirs raw as minced “tartare”, pepped up with olive oil, lemon juice and pepper.
If the thought of having eaten Romanian cart horses in mislabeled frozen lasagne is making Britons choke, a loyal minority in France laments a dwindling appetite for a meat they say is a tastier and healthier alternative to beef.
“I understand people are upset if what they thought was beef turned out to be old Romanian ponies, but when horses are reared properly it’s a delicious meat,“ said Gerard Marin, 67, at his weekly visit to one of a dozen surviving horse butchers in a city that 30 years ago counted hundreds.
“It’s much tastier than beef and has much less fat. Young people today eat nothing but processed meals, kebabs and other rubbish - they don’t know what they’re missing.“
France’s taste for horsemeat dates back to when 18th Century revolutionaries seized the fallen aristocracy’s horses to sate their hunger. It flourished for two centuries until falling out of fashion with a more squeamish younger generation.
The French now consume less than 300 grams (0.66 lbs) per person per year, a fifth of what they ate 30 years ago and less than 1 percent of the total meat they consume.
While fans say horsemeat is high in iron and more organic than mass-produced beef or battery hens, horse butchers are now a rarity. Le Taxi Jaune bistro in the labyrinthine Marais district is one of a tiny handful of Paris eateries serving it.
Another restaurant, Septime, occasionally serves it as raw tartare accompanied with wild strawberries and tarragon cream.
“I don’t serve easy dishes. But you come to a restaurant to eat something different,“ said Otis Lebert, Le Taxi Jaune’s head chef, who also works with wild boar and whole ducks, and serves locally sourced vegetables that change with the month.
His horse brain starter has a subtly sweet flavor, while the steak has a hint of gaminess and a slightly metallic tang.
Finely-sliced cured horse sausage is also on offer.
“My clients know I take care to buy fresh meat and debone it myself. I never work with pre-packed meat. What shocks me is the way food wholesalers are taking people for a ride.“
BLOODY IS BEST
Overruling a 732 Papal ban, France legalized the eating of horsemeat in 1866 when poor families struggled to afford pork and beef. Many more were forced to eat it when the 1870-71 Prussian Siege of Paris caused severe meat shortages.
Today many French are sentimental about horses and regard eating horsemeat as something their grandparents did, much like the British think of eating pigs trotters, tripe or wild rabbit.
Yet as anger grows over the discovery that ready meals on sale across Europe contained horsemeat rather than the beef described on the label, some say that view is short-sighted.
They point out that horsemeat carries 110 calories per 100 grams compared to 160 calories for beef and contains far more cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids.
As long as it is not shipped pre-packed in plastic, where its high iron content means it oxidizes faster than beef and can turn acidic, they say it tastes better and is more tender.
“I never buy beef. I prefer horse meat, it tastes better and it’s cheaper,“ said Catherine Clerc, 42, who claims to have converted friends after cooking them horse roasts at home.
She buys horse meat weekly from a local market and likes it best as raw tartare, but otherwise serves it rare with potatoes, garlic and salad.
“I like it really bloody,“ she whispered.
A 37-year-old karate expert queuing behind Marin at the horse butcher, which sports two neon horse heads above its door, said he finds horse meat lighter to digest.
“I’m very sporty. Beef sits heavy on my stomach. Horse meat is less fatty, it goes down better,“ he said.
He is dreading the day this butcher’s shop closes, he said.
Butcher Jocelyne Lamire, 63, says her daughters have office jobs and she supposes her shop will end up as a takeaway food joint or clothing outlet like the nine other butchers that have closed in her street in the past few years.
“My clientele is getting older and it’s not being renewed,“ she said, as an assistant hacked at chunks of horse flesh with a cleaver. “People nowadays don’t shop at traditional butchers. They spend their money on takeaway junk that is not nutritious.“
GFP - 02.13.2013
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OddlyEnough™: Moron ATF Agent Seizes 30 Toy Guns! Says They Can Be Converted!
This is unbelievable.
If this nation is in such bad shape that our government employees are this stupid, heaven help us!
OddlyEnough™: Teen Punished for Stopping Bullies from Harassing a Special Needs Girl
Bullying incident raises the question: Why are schools slow to respond to harassment complaints?
A Florida high school student made a stand against bullying and is now in the hot seat with school officials. For months, 18-year-old Stormy Rich witnessed a girl with special needs being bullied by her peers on the way to school. “They would be mean to her, tell her she couldn’t sit on certain spots on the bus…just because she doesn’t understand doesn’t mean that should be happening to her,“ Rich told WOFL-TV.
Rich says she reported the incidents to the bus driver and school officials. When they didn’t take action, she stepped in and confronted the bullies; but instead of being praised for her efforts, Rich ended up being labeled as a bully, and her bus-riding privileges were revoked. A spokesperson for the school district said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and that the girl with special needs never complained about being bullied.
Stormy’s mother, Brenda, told The Daily Commercial, “My daughter was punished incorrectly. Stormy was standing up for a child with emotionally challenged disabilities that should not have been bullied. The district’s policy clearly states that anybody in good faith files a report on bullying will not face any repercussions and she is.“
What exactly was said on the bus is unclear; however, if a student says bullies are harassing another child, why does it take so long for schools to take action? We live in a country where 13 million kids are bullied each year and more often than not, the behavior occurs on the bus.
This is far from the first report of a teacher or bus driver turning a blind eye to bullying. ABC reports, “In one taped incident, two girls took turns punching another girl in the head and pulling out clumps of her hair. The driver, the only adult on the bus, continued driving the vehicle during the attack.“
The bottom line is something more needs to be done to combat bullying in our schools. Three million students will be absent from school this month because of the emotional and physical toll of bullying, and according to the organization Ability Path, children with disabilities are significantly more likely than their peers to be the victims of this mistreatment.
~~ By Jenny Inglee - WFOL-TV ~~
Do you feel it is inexcusable for schools not to take immediate action when a student reports a bullying incident?
OddlyEnough™: WV Judge Accused of Misconduct Seeks Disability
A Putnam County Family Court judge accused of judicial misconduct has lost a bid to delay disciplinary proceedings against him.
The state Supreme Court denied Family Court Judge William Watkins’ request on Thursday, the Charleston Gazette reported.
Watkins’ lawyer, Robert Martin, filed a motion earlier this week asking the court to delay the proceedings. Martin said Watkins has filed for disability and plans to retire.
Martin also asked the court to dismiss the complaints against Watkins.
Martin and Watkins would not comment on the filings.
The state Judicial Investigation Commission alleges that Watkins delayed rulings, failed to enter domestic violence orders into the state’s tracking system and screamed and cursed at litigants.
The Judicial Hearing Board recommended that Watkins be suspended without pay until his term ends on December 31, 2016.
The hearing board rejected a proposed 90-day suspension without pay that would be stayed while Watkins addressed deficiencies and underwent counseling and judicial training. It cited the number of violations and Watkins’ “apparent failure to take meaningful responsibility for his misconduct.“
Martin argued that the hearing board’s actions harmed Watkins’ reputation. He said the board wrongly cited quotes from a sealed psychological report in its recommendations.
Martin said the hearing board also allowed unsworn testimony from complainants during a November hearing without allowing cross-examination.
Also, the hearing board’s recommendation to suspend Watkins for the remainder of his term is unconstitutional and disenfranchises Putnam County voters, Martin said.
The Supreme Court will make the final decision. The justices will hear Watkins’ case February 05, 2013.
OddlyEnough™: Florida Man Choked to Death in Roach-Eating Contest
A Florida man choked to death after downing dozens of live roaches to win a contest earlier this year in which the grand prize was a python, according to an autopsy released Monday.
Edward Archbold, age 32, of West Palm Beach died as a result of “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents,” according to the report released by the Broward County medical examiner’s office. It said his airway was obstructed by the roach body parts, which caused him to not be able to breathe.
“There is a flap called the epiglottis that is supposed to stop objects from going into the lungs,” medical examiner Craig T. Mallak wrote in an email to the AP. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. In the video you could see him trying to swallow and breathe at the same time. We can’t do both simultaneously.”
Lab tests for drugs came back negative. The death has been ruled an accident.
Archbold died after downing the bugs as well as worms in the October 06, 2012 contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, about 40 miles north of Miami.
Messages left with the store’s owner and his attorney were not immediately returned.
Archbold became ill shortly after winning the contest and collapsed in front of the store. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
About 30 people ate the insects, but authorities said none of the other contestants became ill.
OddlyEnough™: Roane County Doctor Facing Charges After Having His Tongue Bitten Off
A Roane County doctor/minister had part of his tongue bitten off but he is the one police are charging with assault.
He also faces separate charges of brutally beating a teenager at the church he operates in Spencer.
Dr. Kenneth Seen, age 52, of Spencer, WV was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of battery, assault and child abuse creating the risk of injury. Authorities believe he stuck his tongue in an elderly patient’s mouth, and the man then bit off a “significant” portion of Seen’s tongue.
The investigation began on September 18 when Yvonne Wright came to the State Police detachment in Spencer to report a doctor at Roane General Hospital had assaulted her father on August 31, said Sgt. F.L. Hammack.
John Shafer, age 77, a long-term patient at Roane General who suffered from dementia and Parkinson’s Disease, was transferred back to the Roane County hospital from Cabell Huntington Hospital after being treated for a broken hip, according to a complaint filed in Roane Magistrate Court.
He was confined to bed and immobilized at the time, Hammack said.
Hospital workers told Wright her father bit the tongue of his attending physician, identified as Seen. Wright said the nurses on duty cleaned blood from her father’s face and removed an item, which Hammack said was part of Seen’s tongue, from Shafer’s mouth.
Seen was treated at Roane General and later Charleston Area Medical Center’s General Hospital.
Shafer, who did not want to discuss the incident at the time, suffered no injuries in the ordeal. He died October 26.
Troopers obtained a search warrant for Seen’s medical records. Seen’s statement on the incident was included in the report.
Seen told physicians that Shafer motioned for him to come close, and then grabbed his tongue, pulling Seen closer to him. After that, the doctor’s “memory fades,“ according to the complaint.
“His statement claimed he just remembered pain and blood,“ Hammack wrote in the complaint.
Dr. Jason Fincham, an emergency room doctor who treated Seen’s injuries, told authorities he doctor had a “significant portion” of his tongue bitten off.
“When presented with Dr. Seen’s statement of how it happened, Dr. Fincham stated that it could not be true,“ Hammack wrote.
Fincham said for Seen’s account to be true, Shafer would have also bitten his own finger. Shafer showed no injury. Fincham said Shafer would not have been able to pick up any item, “let alone grab Dr. Seen’s tongue and hold on to it,“ the complaint said.
Nurses who tended to Shafer and Seen said Shafer was never aggressive toward them before or after the incident. He said the nurses all agreed that Shafer was not physically able to grab the doctor.
Seen apparently told CAMC doctors a different story about the matter, according to the complaint. Details of the differing story weren’t available.
“We started investigating and four search warrants later, all of the evidence suggests Dr. Seen’s account is untrue,“ Hammack said. “Dr. Seen placed his tongue in the victim’s mouth. There is no way Dr. Seen’s account is true.“
Seen was charged with battery, a misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in jail and a fine of no more than $500.
Hammack said the alleged crime was sexual in nature but that there was no law on the books to cover that type of crime.
Seen also faces assault, battery and child abuse charges for an alleged incident that occurred October 07 at the church in Spencer where Seen is pastor.
Spencer police asked Hammack to look into the matter because the victim, a 14-year-old boy, is the son of a city employee.
The boy told Hammack that Seen picked him and his brother up to take them to church at the Christian Society of Roane County in Spencer. He said he was sitting on a ledge over the entrance and had his knife and cellphone when Seen told him to come down.
The teen said he complied but when he went back up to get his items that Seen grabbed him and threw him to the ground. He said Seen got onto his back and began punching him repeatedly.
Seen then allegedly took the boy to a back room of the church and shoved him against a refrigerator. The boy said Seen used a profanity and slapped him across the face.
Three other teens who witnessed the incident gave Hammack the same account. No other adults were around at the time of the incident.
Seen is the father of Adam K. Seen, age 25, and Jacob T. Seen, age 23, who both were sentenced in June to federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.
The brothers admitted to having more than 600 images of child porn in their possession. Adam Seen worked as an information technology specialist for Roane County Schools before his arrest.
Hammack said the investigation is ongoing.
Kenneth Seen was free on bond Thursday.
Calls to Roane General Hospital were not immediately returned.
~~ Ashley B. Craig - Daily Mail - 11.01.12~~
OddlyEnough™: Rare “Headless” Ladybug Discovered In Montana
Sleepy Hollow has its headless horseman and now Montana has a headless ladybug.
The newly discovered insect tucks its head into its throat - making it not only a new species but an entirely new genus, or larger classification of plants and animals.
Ross Winton captured the insect in 2009 in traps he set in a sand dune while an entomology graduate student at Montana State University.
Winton, now a wildlife technician in Idaho, at first thought he had parts of an ant but then discovered the bug can hide its head, much like a turtle ducking into its shell.
Winton sent his discovery to scientists in Australia working on this group of insects and the headless ladybug was formally described in a recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Systemic Entomology.
Just two specimens of the tan, pinhead-sized ladybugs, also known as ladybird beetles, have ever been collected, a male in Montana and a female in Idaho, scientists said, making it the rarest species in the United States.
Entomologists historically used males to describe beetle species so the credit for the new discovery went to Winton.
However, the new species - Allenius iviei - was named after his former professor and Montana State University entomologist Michael Ivie.
The insect, with the proposed common name “Winton’s Ladybird Beetle,“ may prey on aphids and other plant pests.
Ivie said it was rare to discover a new beetle in the United States and rarer still to uncover a completely new genus. The discovery is no small accomplishment considering the bug is the size and color of a grain of sand, he added.
He said it was unclear why the beetle slips its head into a tube in its midsection.
“It’s a whole new kind of ladybug. Whatever this does, it is very specialized. It’s quite the exciting little beast,“ Ivie said.
OddlyEnough™: West Virginia Runs out of Hepatitis C kits, Suspends Tests
The state of West Virginia has suspended testing blood for hepatitis C because it ran out of the test kits.
County health departments rely on the Department of Health and Human Resources to test blood samples for hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted diseases.
DHHR’s Office of Laboratory Services recently notified the counties that it is temporarily halting hepatitis C tests because it does not have any test kits.
The office cited problems with a bid process.
The state’s contract with a California company that supplied the kits expired earlier this year.
The Office of Laboratory Services told county health departments that two bids for a new contract did not meet the specifications.
The office expects to obtain more kits by November 01, 2012.
OddlyEnought™: Florida Man Dies after Eating Roaches and Worms in Contest
Authorities are investigating what caused a Florida man to collapse and die after consuming dozens of roaches and worms to win a roach-eating contest that featured a python as the grand prize.
Edward Archbold, age 32, beat out several other contestants who competed for the exotic reptile at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Florida on Friday night, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said.
But Archbold fell ill soon after the contest ended, according to the sheriff’s office.
He collapsed in front of the store and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Law enforcement said no other contestants reported medical problems after the contest.
Detectives are waiting for autopsy results to determine Archbold’s cause of death.
OddlyEnough™: WV Man Says He Killed Girlfriend for Waking Him
Imprisonment Status: Convicted Felon
||Pauley, Eric Brian
||Western Regional Jail
Offender Court Order Information
|Court Info Number
||Issuing Agency Location
||PUTNAM COUNTY COURT - Bail Amount: $0.00
He is sentenced to life in prison after telling a judge he shot and killed his girlfriend last year because she interrupted his sleep.
Fifty-year-old Eric Brian Pauley pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Friday, September 29, 2012 in Putnam County Circuit Court.
Pauley told Judge Phillip Stowers that he shot 52-year-old Debra Rosiek at their Winfield trailer in September 2011 because he was mad that she woke him up in the middle of the night.
Stowers questioned Pauley’s state of mind during the hearing.
Stowers then accepted a plea agreement that called for Pauley to serve life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.
He already has served more than one year behind bars.
OddlyEnough™: West Virginia Man Accused of Biting The Head Off A Pigeon for Beer Money
A Charleston man has an October 03, 2012 court date on charges he bit the head off a pigeon.
Police have charged 48-year-old Wesley Amos Williams with misdemeanor animal cruelty and other counts after they identified him from an Internet video that apparently shows Williams biting off the bird’s head in downtown Charleston, tossing the carcass onto the street and then wiping his mouth.
Police Officer Steve Petty Jr. told the Charleston Gazette that Williams said he used to bite the heads off chickens “all the time” and an onlooker agreed to pay him beer money for the stunt.
Petty said Williams was released Friday and ordered to return for the court hearing in Charleston city court.
GFP - 09.23.2012
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OddlyEnough™: U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Show Off Dancing Skills in Spoof Video
It’s not all hard work and no play for the U.S. swimming team at the London Olympics.
A light-hearted, spoof video filmed by the team during training has gone viral on the internet with tens of thousands of viewers clicking to watch top names such as Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin dancing and lip-syncing to hit “Call me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.
The video, billed by the team as an attempt to “blow off steam” in the run up to the Games, features swimmers dancing down the aisle of a plane, waving arms around on a bus and even strutting their stuff under water.
Lochte, a favorite with female swimming fans, smooches at the camera.
“This is one of the best teams I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of! We are having so much fun!“ Franklin tweeted.
USA Swimming said the project was led by swimmers Alyssa Anderson, Kathleen Hersey and Caitlin Leverenz and later finished off by a member of the U.S. team’s staff, Russell Mark.
“USA Swimming’s “Call Me Maybe” proves two things: 1. Swimmers are funny. 2. Taper makes you stir crazy,“ tweeted swimming journalist Mike Gustafson, referring to the reduction of swimmers’ workloads just before a competition.
Other parodies of the much spoofed song include one from Harvard’s baseball team, a women’s college rowing team and even Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster.
OddlyEnough™: Court Video Details Angry Outburst of WV Judge during Divorce Proceeding
A judge’s rant during a court proceeding in Putnam County is drawing attention after it was posted to YouTube this week.
The video is court surveillance from a May 23rd divorce proceeding. Hurricane Pastor Arthur Hage and his estranged wife are before Family Court Judge William Watkins for a hearing over the pending sale of their home.
As the proceeding gets started, Judge Watkins addresses Hage and grows increasingly angry over a story posted to an internet news site which featured a picture of the judge’s home.
“Mr. Hage if you say one word out of turn, you’re going to jail,“ Watkins starts his address.
...... Now You be the Judge ......
Judge Watkins then proceeds to berate Hage over the pictured and the negative attention it’s drawn to his family.
“A picture of my home, on the front page, SHUT UP! DON’T EVEN SPEAK,“ Watkins can be heard screaming on the video. “My wife is disabled and you.. you disgusting piece of ...“
Watkins says his windows were broken and his home vandalized after the picture was posted. He holds Hage personally responsible.
Eventually, Watkins says he’s so angry he will recuse himself from the case. However, he reconsiders and continues with the hearing. Now that a month has passed, Watkins has removed himself from the case and it’s been assigned to another judge.
Officials with the Judicial Investigation Commission are aware of the video and have watched it. However, whether they’ll investigate the judge’s actions are unclear. Hage says he’s filed several complaints with the commission about Watkins during his divorce case.
‘Teacher village’ Part of McDowell School Rescue
A “teacher village’‘ is in the works in McDowell County as part of a five-year project to rescue the county’s schools.
Reconnecting McDowell plans to convert a five-story building in Welch into housing for teachers. Amenities will include TV lounges, exercise rooms, a restaurant and group work areas.
Bob Brown with Reconnecting McDowell discussed the project with the state Board of Education last week.
Brown says the “teachers village’‘ will give young educators another housing option. It also could be used as a tool to recruit teachers in the future.
Welch Mayor Reba Honaker says the project also could help revitalize the city.
McDowell County’s school system has been under state control since 2001.
OddlyEnough™: Manchin, Tomblin, Rahall to Skip Democrats National Convention
A trio of West Virginia Democrats will not attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC to formally re-nominate President Obama this summer.
Senator Joe Manchin , Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, and Congressman Nick Rahall do not plan to attend the convention, according to state party chairman Larry Puccio, who released the state’s convention delegation list yesterday in accordance with party rules.
West Virginia’s senior senator, Jay Rockefeller, will attend the state party.
Is it because in West Virginia, on May 08, 2012 presidential primary a federal inmate won over 40% of the vote against Obama?
Manchin in particular has sought distance from the president.
In April, Manchin said he was not committed to supporting Obama’s re-election.
“I intend to spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia, whether that’s representing them in my official U.S. Senate duties or here at home, where I can hear about their concerns and ideas to solve the problems of this great nation,“ Manchin said in a statement regarding his decision to skip the convention. “I will remain focused on bringing people together for the next generation, not the next election.“
Rahall’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
OddlyEnough™: T-Shirt Flap Bars 20 West Virginia Seniors from Graduation
More than 20 Charleston high school seniors were banned from participating in their graduation Monday after they defied their principal’s repeated orders not to wear a T-shirt that he disliked.
It wasn’t that the T-shirts contained inappropriate language. Capital High School Principal Clinton Giles objected because the shirts shortened the school’s name to “Cap,“ weren’t the school’s colors and used a paw print instead of the school’s official running cougar mascot.
The Charleston Daily Mail reports that there was no school money involved in the project, and no teacher, administrator or official club contributed in any way to the shirts. However, Giles said there are strict guidelines on how the school may be represented.
“I’m curious to know how or why what I’ve done is a terrible thing, seeing as what those students did,“ Giles said.
Senior class President Noah Moody admits he organized the effort to wear the shirts to school on Friday, and that he had been warned of the consequences.
On its front, the black shirt reads “Cap Senior Class” in blue print. The back of the shirt is emblazoned with a blue paw print that lists 10 reasons why students are glad to graduate. Nothing in the list is inappropriate or hateful, both Moody and Giles said, although one item takes a jab at Giles’ shaved head.
Giles said it wasn’t the shirt, but the open insubordination that caused him to prohibit the students from participating in graduation.
“What could you expect the principal to do in this situation?“ Giles said.
Giles said the issue goes back to a T-shirt created by the school’s lacrosse squad that said “Cap Lax.“ He saw Moody, the student president, wearing the shirt and asked him to remove it. The principal later saw Moody wearing the shirt at a baseball game.
Giles sent a copy of the school policy that prohibits such displays to a lacrosse coach.
“Representations of the Cougar Mascot must be approved in advance, also,“ states the memo, dated May 4. “Inasmuch as possible, the ‘Running/Leaping Cougar’ logo should be utilized as frequently as possible as representation of the nickname and mascot of our school; not paw prints and certainly not shortening of the school name (‘Cap’, Cap High, etc.).“
Moody said he knew of the memo, but that didn’t stop him from ordering more than 100 shirts for seniors.
Giles said that on Monday more than 100 students wearing the shirts gathered in the parking lot and planned to march into school together. After a warning from an assistant principal, Giles gathered the students together and warned them to remove the shirts. Giles warned them again later that morning, but he said 21 students, including Moody, continued to disobey his orders.
“We don’t want to just squash student creativity,“ Giles said. “But when you’re told in advance not to do something, that’s different.“
The county’s student behavior policy allows principals to deny participation in a school activity as punishment for an infraction. In the policy, insubordination is the same level of offense as gang activity, bullying or theft.
School board members were split on whether they thought Giles did the right thing.
“This is like giving the death penalty for a parking ticket,“ school board President Pete Thaw said.
Board member Becky Jordon said that she respects and “always defends” Giles, but that she can’t agree with him this time.
“I don’t think that’s enough for a child not to march,“ Jordon said.
Board member Bill Raglin, however, said Giles has a point. He said no student has the right to disobey a principal, and it was too late in the year for detention or suspension.
“There has to be some price to pay for insubordination,“ Raglin said.
Giles said some of the students involved were “the cream of the crop.“ In addition to being class president, Moody is a high honors student, Promise scholar and an Eagle Scout who plans to study biology at Shepherd University.
Moody said he didn’t expect a $7 T-shirt would keep him from participating in graduation. He said he and another student planned to apologize to Giles, but that he doesn’t regret taking a stand.
For Giles, it’s too little, too late.
“You can’t spit in someone’s face and then come back and say you’re sorry,“ he said.
OddlyEnough™: Man Bitten by Rattlesnake at Walmart
When Mica Craig reached down to brush what he thought was a stick off some mulch in the garden section of a Washington state Walmart, it turned around and sank its fangs into his hand.
The encounter with a rattlesnake sent Craig, age 47, to the hospital, where he said he remained in excruciating pain and may lose feeling in two fingers. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has apologized.
“I reached down to grab the stick to move it out of the way, and the snake stretched out, turned around and got its fangs in my right hand,“ he said. “I slung it off and I did a tap dance on it until it was dead.“
Craig was rushed to the hospital by fellow customer Maria Geffre, who told Reuters she saw him crumple to the ground after crying out that he had been bitten by a snake.
“He had punctures on his hand and there was the dead rattler he’d stomped on,“ Geffre said, describing the snake as at least a foot long with four buttons, or rattles.
Craig, a married father of two, said the mulch was for his marijuana plants, which he is licensed to grow for medical reasons. It was unclear whether the snake came from an adjacent field or arrived at the store along with garden supplies.
Craig said doctors who initially thought the snake had inflicted only a “dry bite” - or one that did not inject venom - treated him with six bags of anti-venom after his right hand swelled to the size of a melon.
A Walmart spokeswoman offered an apology to Craig and said the retailer was looking into how the incident could have happened at the store in Clarkston, in eastern Washington.
“At this point, it appears to be an isolated incident. We are working with a pest management team, which is conducting a sweep of the property to ensure there is no additional rattlesnake activity,“ Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said.
Travis Taggart, director of the Center for North American Herpetology, said about half of documented rattlesnake bites, which are usually defensive when directed at humans, are “dry” but still cause severe pain.
OddlyEnough™: German Man Has Last Laugh With “New Home” Obituary
A man who announced his change of address in a local newspaper sparked national media attention on Thursday due to the unusual location of his “new home” - six feet under the ground.
Karl Albrecht, who died last month at the age of 88, penned the obituary himself in the style of a moving notice, inviting friends to a “lively” celebration at his new lodgings in a cemetery in Hamburg, northern Germany.
“I have moved house. My new address: Olhsdorf-Ruhewald cemetery, plot Bx 65/28C,“ the announcement in the Hamburger Abendblatt paper said.
“I’ll be pleased to have a lively attendance,“ it read.
Albrecht had left instructions for his family to place the notice in the paper, the national daily Bild reported.
The former insurance salesman had been a joker all his life and loved to laugh, his widow Anastasia told the newspaper.
“At the grave there’ll be schnapps for all the guests. He would have wanted that,“ she said, adding he wanted the women to wear bright floral dresses.
“Nobody should turn up in black. My Karl could never stand gloominess,“ she said.
OddlyEnough™: Texas Prisoner Met Requirements to Be on Democrat Primary Election Ballot
OBAMA LOST OVER 40% OF WEST VIRGINIA PRIMARY VOTE TO FEDERAL INMATE NO. 11593-051
With 72,459 Votes Keith Judd, Federal Inmate No. 11593-051, Won 40.6% in West Virginia’s Democrat Primary.
“The Inmate, Keith Judd, Is Serving Time At The Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution In Texas For Making Threats At The University Of New Mexico In 1999.”
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says a man serving prison time in Texas was included on the West Virginia Democrat ballot for Tuesday’s Primary Election because he met all of the legal requirements to be there.
By law, Tennant says there are only specific instances when the Secretary of State can deny a potential candidate a spot on the ballot.
Making up that list, “If a person has changed their party affiliation within 60 days, if they’ve filed for more than one office, if they’ve missed the deadline, if they have not correctly filed the prescribed form and if they haven’t given the filing fee,“ she said.
Tennant says Keith Judd, Prisoner #11593-051 at a Federal Correctional Institution in Texas, met those requirements, and even paid the $2,500 filing fee.
He is currently serving prison time for making threats at the University of New Mexico.
“You could dig deeper (than the filing), but I don’t have that authority and this just goes to show that.“ Tennant says, if the Secretary of State could determine candidate eligibility based on qualifications, she says that would put too much power into one office.
She says it’s up to the courts to decide eligibility issues, which they have done for other races in the past. That did not happen in this case because no one legally challenged Judd’s candidacy.
“We want an agency, the filing officer, the Secretary of State, to apply the law consistently and, whether you like or not, this is what we’ve done,“ Tennant said on Wednesday’s MetroNews Talkline.
Judd picked up 72,544 votes for 41% of the total vote compared with President Barack Obama’s 105,854 total for 59% of the Democrat vote.
“If you look at it on the surface, (President) Barack Obama won the nomination in West Virginia. More people voted for him to be nominated in West Virginia than did not,“ Tennant said.
In the Republican Presidential race, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney easily won West Virginia with 68% of the vote from those voting Republican ballots.
The Republican numbers broke down as follows:
Mitt Romney 75,402 68%
Rick Santorum 14,611 13%
Ron Paul 12,145 11%
Newt Gingrich 6,910 6%
Charles “Buddy” Roemer 1,523 1%
OddlyEnough™: Man Walks into Shop, Urinates On $3,000 Dollars’ Worth of Clothes
A Huntington man is facing a long list of charges after police say he walked into a downtown shop and urinated on more than $3,000 dollars’ worth of clothes.
Court documents say it happened Friday at the Chico’s located in Pullman Square.
That’s where Tommy Edward Edmonds Jr., age 25, of Huntington allegedly walked inside the store, and urinated on a total of 38 pairs of jeans - each valued at $80 dollars.
Police say Edmonds had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol.
Officers also say when they tried to place handcuffs on him, he pulled away, refused to walk, and then tried to get away from the patrol car.
When he arrived at the police station, he refused to be fingerprinted and would not stop screaming.
Edmonds is charged with destruction of property, public intoxication, obstruction, and disorderly conduct. He remains in jail.
OddlyEnough™: Dentist Pulled Out ALL Boyfriend’s Teeth After He Dumped Her…..
Dentist Pulled Out ALL Boyfriend’s Teeth After He Dumped Her
(And New Girlfriend Leaves Him Because Of His Empty Mouth)
Anna Mackowiak heavily sedated Marek Olszewski before plucking out his gnashers
‘I tried to be professional, but when I saw him, I thought, “What a b******“.‘
A dentist pulled out all her ex-boyfriend’s teeth after he dumped her for another woman – who has now left him because he is toothless.
Anna Mackowiak, age 34, is facing jail after taking her revenge on 45-year-old Marek Olszewski when he turned up at her surgery with toothache just days after breaking up with her.
She gave him a heavy dose of anaesthetic and plucked his teeth out.
She then wrapped his head and jaw in a bandage to stop him opening his mouth and said there had been complications and he would need to see a specialist.
The dentist, who works in Wroclaw, Poland, said: ‘I tried to be professional and detach myself from my emotions.
‘But when I saw him lying there I just thought, “What a b******“.‘
Mr. Olszewski said: ‘I knew something was wrong because when I woke up I couldn’t feel any teeth and my jaw was strapped up with bandages.
‘She told me my mouth was numb and I wouldn’t be able to feel anything for a while and that the bandage was there to protect the gums, but that I would need to see a specialist.
‘I didn’t have any reason to doubt her, I mean I thought she was a professional.
‘But when I got home I looked in the mirror and couldn’t f****** believe it. The b**** had emptied my mouth.
‘The new girlfriend has now left me saying she can’t be with a man without teeth.
‘And I’m going to have to pay a fortune on getting indents or something.’
Mackowiak is being investigated for medical malpractice and abusing the trust of a patient. She could face three years in jail.
~~ Dailymail – UK ~~
OddlyEnough™: Starbucks to Phase Out Coloring from Crushed Beetles
Starbucks Corp said it will stop using a natural, government-approved coloring made from crushed beetles in its strawberry flavoring by late June, bowing to pressure from some vegetarian customers.
Starbucks has been using the extract in its strawberry frappuccinos and smoothies, as well as some deserts like raspberry swirl cake.
“After a thorough, yet fastidious, evaluation, I am pleased to report that we are reformulating the affected products to assure the highest quality possible,“ Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks U.S., wrote.
Instead, the coffeehouse chain said it plans to use lycopene, a natural, tomato-based extract.
Burrows said Starbucks “fell short” of customer expectations.
One customer in March began an online petition to pressure Starbucks to stop the practice.
Ground up cochineal beetles is a commonly used Food and Drug Administration-approved food coloring.
OddlyEnough™: More Americans Freezing than Sleeping on Assets
Forget the mattress, a quarter of Americans who keep money in their homes are hiding it in their freezers, according to a new survey.
The Marist poll showed that 27% of Americans preferred to literally freeze their assets, compared to 11% who chose to sleep on their savings.
“One in ten – 10%—buries their dough in the cookie jar while 9% leave their loot in some other household location,“ Marist said in a statement.
19% “sock” their cash away and 17% said there was no good location in the home to safely hide their saving.
But in every region of the country and among both sexes and all age groups the freezer was the top hiding place.
Marist questioned 1,080 adults across the country in the telephone poll.
OddlyEnough™: Urine-Soaked Eggs A Spring Taste Treat in China City
It’s the end of a school day in the eastern Chinese city of Dongyang, and eager parents collect their children after a hectic day of primary school.
But that’s just the start of busy times for dozens of egg vendors across the city, deep in coastal Zhejiang province, who ready themselves to cook up a unique springtime snack favored by local residents.
Basins and buckets of boys’ urine are collected from primary school toilets. It is the key ingredient in “virgin boy eggs”, a local tradition of soaking and cooking eggs in the urine of young boys, preferably below the age of 10.
There is no good explanation for why it has to be boys’ urine, just that it has been so for centuries.
The scent of these eggs being cooked in pots of urine is unmistakable as people pass the many street vendors in Dongyang who sell it, claiming it has remarkable health properties.
“If you eat this, you will not get heat stroke. These eggs cooked in urine are fragrant,“ said Ge Yaohua, 51, who owns one of the more popular “virgin boy eggs” stalls.
“They are good for your health. Our family has them for every meal. In Dongyang, every family likes eating them.“
It takes nearly an entire day to make these unique eggs, starting off by soaking and then boiling raw eggs in a pot of urine. After that, the shells of the hard-boiled eggs are cracked and they continue to simmer in urine for hours.
Vendors have to keep pouring urine into the pot and controlling the fire to keep the eggs from being overheated and overcooked.
Ge said he has been making the snack, popular due to its fresh and salty taste, for more than 20 years. Each egg goes for 1.50 yuan ($0.24), a little more than twice the price of the regular eggs he also sells.
Many Dongyang residents, young and old, said they believed in the tradition passed on by their ancestors that the eggs decrease body heat, promote better blood circulation and just generally reinvigorate the body.
“By eating these eggs, we will not have any pain in our waists, legs and joints. Also, you will have more energy when you work,“ said Li Yangzhen, 59, who bought 20 eggs from Ge.
The eggs are not bought only at street stalls. Local residents are also known to personally collect boys’ urine from nearby schools to cook the delicacy in their homes.
The popularity of the treat has led the local government to list the “virgin boy eggs” as an intangible cultural heritage.
But not everyone is a fan. Chinese medical experts gave mixed reviews about the health benefits of the practice, with some warning about sanitary issues surrounding the use of urine to cook the eggs.
Some Dongyang residents also said they hated the eggs.
“We have this tradition in Dongyang that these eggs are good for our health and that it would help prevent things like getting a cold,“ said Wang Junxing, 38. “I don’t believe in all this, so I do not eat them.“
~~ Reuters ~~
G-Comm™: Everybody’s a Target in the American Surveillance State
“Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
—A senior intelligence official previously involved with the Utah Data Center
In the small town of Bluffdale, Utah, not far from bustling Salt Lake City, the federal government is quietly erecting what will be the crown jewel of its surveillance empire. Rising up out of the desert landscape, the Utah Data Center (UDC)—a $2 billion behemoth designed to house a network of computers, satellites, and phone lines that stretches across the world—is intended to serve as the central hub of the National Security Agency’s vast spying infrastructure. Once complete (the UDC is expected to be fully operational by September 2013), the last link in the chain of the electronic concentration camp that surrounds us will be complete, and privacy, as we have known it, will be extinct.
At five times the size of the U.S. Capitol, the UDC will be a clearinghouse and a depository for every imaginable kind of information—whether innocent or not, private or public—including communications, transactions and the like. Anything and everything you’ve ever said or done, from the trivial to the damning—phone calls, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Google searches, emails, bookstore and grocery purchases, bank statements, commuter toll records, etc.—will be tracked, collected, catalogued and analyzed by the UDC’s supercomputers and teams of government agents. In this way, by sifting through the detritus of your once-private life, the government will come to its own conclusions about who you are, where you fit in, and how best to deal with you should the need arise.
What little we know about this highly classified spy center—which will be operated by the National Security Agency (NSA)—comes from James Bamford, a former intelligence analyst and an expert on the highly secretive government agency. Bamford’s expose in Wired (March 15, 2012), a must-read for anyone concerned about the loss of our freedoms in a technological age, provides a chilling glimpse into the government’s plans for total control, a.k.a., total information awareness. As Bamford notes, the NSA “has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created. In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens.”
Supposedly created by the NSA in order to track foreign threats to America, as well as to shore up cybersecurity and battle hackers, the UDC’s technological capabilities are astounding. As the central depository for all of the information gathered by the NSA’s vast spy centers, the UDC’s supercomputers will be capable of downloading data amounting to the entire contents of the Library of Congress every six hours. However, the data being targeted goes far beyond the scope of terrorist threats. In fact, as Bamford points out, the NSA is interested in nothing less than the “so-called invisible web, also known as the deep web or deepnet—data beyond the reach of the public. This includes password-protected data, US and foreign government communications, and noncommercial file-sharing between trusted peers.”
The loss of privacy resulting from such aggressive surveillance systems highlights very dramatically the growing problem of large public and private institutions in relation to the individual citizen. What we are witnessing, in the so-called name of security and efficiency, is the creation of a new class system comprised of the watched (average Americans such as you and me) and the watchers (government bureaucrats, technicians and private corporations). The growing need for technicians necessitates the bureaucracy. The massive bureaucracies—now computerized—that administer governmental policy are a permanent form of government. Presidents come and go, but the nonelected bureaucrats remain.
The question looms before us. Can freedom in the United States continue to flourish and grow in an age when the physical movements, individual purchases, conversations, and meetings of every citizen are constantly under surveillance by private companies and government agencies?
Whether or not the surveillance is undertaken for “innocent” reasons, does not surveillance of all citizens, even the innocent sort, gradually poison the soul of a nation? Does not surveillance limit personal options—deny freedom of choice—for many individuals? Does not surveillance increase the powers of those who are in a position to enjoy the fruits of this activity? Is not control the name of the game?
We are all becoming data collected in government files. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who suffered under the secret police in the Soviet Union, wrote about this process some years ago:
|As every man goes through life he fills in a number of forms for the record, each containing a number of questions….There are thus hundreds of little threads radiating from every man, millions of threads in all. If these threads were suddenly to become visible, the whole sky would look like a spider’s web, and if they materialized like rubber bands, buses and trams and even people would lose the ability to move and the wind would be unable to carry torn-up newspapers or autumn leaves along the streets of the city.|
Thus, we come back to the NSA’s spy center. That the NSA, which has shown itself to care little for constitutional limits or privacy, is the driving force behind this spy center is no surprise. The agency, which is three times the size of the CIA, consumes one third of the intelligence budget and has a global spy network, has a long history of spying on Americans—whether or not it has always had the authorization to do so. Take, for instance, the warrantless wiretapping program conducted during the Bush years, which resulted in the NSA monitoring the private communications of millions of Americans—a program that continues unabated today, with help from private telecommunications companies such as AT&T. The program recorded 320 million phone calls a day when it first started. It is estimated that the NSA has intercepted 15 to 20 trillion communications of American citizens since 9/11.
What has proven to be surprising to some is that the Obama White House has proven to be just as bad, if not worse, than the Bush White House when it comes to invading the privacy rights of Americans. As Yale law professor Jack Balkin notes, “We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state. [Obama has] systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the Bush Administration.” Unfortunately, whereas those on the Left raised a hew and cry over the Bush administration’s constant encroachments on Americans’ privacy rights, it appears that the political leanings of those on the Left have held greater sway than their principles. Consequently, the Obama administration has faced much less criticism for its blatant efforts to reinforce the surveillance state.
Clearly, the age of privacy in America is coming to a close. We have moved into a new paradigm in which surveillance technology which renders everyone a suspect is driving the bureaucratic ship that once was our democratic republic. By the time this UDC spy center is fully operational, no phone call, no email, no Tweet, no web search is safe from the prying eyes and ears of the government. People going about their daily business will no longer be assured that they are not being spied upon by federal agents and other government bureaucrats.
While the responses to the news of the Bluffdale facility have been varied, with some Americans cleaving to the over-used government line “if you have nothing to hide, you have no need to worry,” more and more people are starting to feel like Mike Newell, a Wired reader who had this to say about the UDC:
|Not very long ago….. I actually believed that I would be willing to sacrifice a bit of freedom for security. I believed that a guard or cop at the entrance to my community, checking I.D. would be better than car loads of gang members roaming through creating havoc. I once laughed at those who mistrusted the government and prepared for survival, should things go sideways. I supported efforts by our so called “leaders” to monitor society, in search for the ever present evil. Not long ago….. I slept.|
|I just finished building my fourth M-4. I just finished loading my 3rd case of 5.56. Today my Saiga 12 arrives. My wife has canned enough food to feed a city. I have taken great steps at a great cost to ensure that I am fully self reliant under any circumstance. I am awake.|
|Anyone who really believes that the simple act of discussing this on the internet, has not steered electronic ears in your direction…. is sound asleep and I understand that. Someone eluded to it and I repeat this truth. In 1935 Germany… many citizens felt uneasy and sensed that doom was on the way. More laughed such talk off and continued to find reasons to smile and enjoy the day. We all know the end of that story.|
|The new I Pad was released!!!!! Snooky had a meltdown! My Mac Pro is awesome!!! These trinkets that keep us giggling and focused on nothing…. this addiction to instant gratification…..... this will be our downfall.|
~~ John Whitehead ~~
OddlyEnough™: Couple Made 5-Year-Old Swallow Pepper
An Elkins couple accused of forcing a 5-year-old boy to swallow more than a tablespoon of pepper is facing felony child abuse and neglect charges.
Police charged 36-year-old Tina Carver with two counts and 40-year-old Larry Neil Carver with one.
The boy began choking earlier this month and went into full respiratory failure.
He was on life support but told child-welfare workers what happened after he had recovered.
Doctors say the pepper was in his stomach and lungs, and he could not have ingested that much on his own.
He also told authorities he had been forced to eat his own feces and suck urine from a diaper because he was hungry and thirsty.
The Carvers were free on bond Tuesday.
Their attorneys predict the couple will be exonerated.
GFP - 03.28.2012
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OddlyEnough™: Prison System in West Virginia Tests Access to MP3 Players
At a federal prison in the mountains of southern West Virginia, hundreds of female inmates are taking part in a pilot program to bring the quality of entertainment behind bars into the 21st century.
More than 400 inmates have spent about $70 apiece to buy an MP3 player from the commissary in the Federal Prison Camp at Alderson, then 80 cents to $1.55 per song to customize their play lists from a database offering about 1 million songs.
It is essentially just an update in technology, says U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley.
Federal prisoners have been able to buy radios for decades. If the program works in West Virginia, it will be rolled out to other federal facilities in late spring or early summer.
The maker of the music player says the new technology is also safer because cassette and CD players have motors, and CDs can be broken into sharp pieces. An MP3 player has no moving parts that can be used as weapons.
In all, federal facilities house about 177,000 inmates, many of whom would be allowed to participate in the program unless they are in isolation or otherwise barred from using the in-house computers that store the music library.
Keeping inmates busy helps promote safety, Billingsley said, particularly in overcrowded prisons where stress, conflict and the risk of violence is high.
“In a time of budget constraint, the MP3 program offers a way to occupy inmates—at no cost to the taxpayer,“ she wrote in an email responding to questions about the project.
It also provides better access to music in rural areas with little or no radio reception.
“It is part of a long-term plan to provide audio books and even audio recordings on a variety of topics,“ including education, Billingsley said. “This could reduce recidivism and help those who leave prison to become productive citizens.“
Alderson—once dubbed “Camp Cupcake” by some news organizations—is the same minimum-security prison that housed lifestyle and media mogul Martha Stewart for five months in 2004 and 2005 after she was convicted of lying about a stock sale. It holds about 1,200 women.
Administrators there declined to discuss the program or allow inmates to be interviewed.
Kevin Curry, an inmate at West Virginia’s maximum-security state prison, the Mount Olive Correctional Center, learned how important music is in what he calls “a scary, cold, hard place where you don’t know anyone and you’re not sure who, if anyone, you should know.“
Curry, 43, is four years into a 15- to 35-year term for three convictions for first-degree sexual assault. Today, he has a guitar and a CD player. But for the three years he awaited trial in a regional jail, he had no access to music.
He missed it so desperately that he asked friends and family to mail him song lyrics.
“By reading the lyrics, I could hear the music in my mind. That really helped, but still couldn’t compare to the real thing,“ said Curry, who responded to a list of questions from The Associated Press through his ex-wife, who transcribed his answers during a telephone call.
When Curry got to Mount Olive, the first item he bought from the commissary was a radio/CD player. His selections through a mail-order CD program are limited and don’t include the Christian music he and some fellow prisoners would like, but Curry says he’s grateful for what he gets.
“I listen to it every day,“ he said. “It relaxes me and helps me feel less depressed and helps me deal with being in here.“
Jim Ielapi, deputy commissioner of the state Division of Corrections, said West Virginia is also considering shifting to MP3 players for its state prisons.
Inmates have always had access to music in some form, he said, from cassette players to “boom boxes.“
Currently, they can buy Sony Walkman-style CD players for $16 to $24.
Like any other personal possession, Ielapi says, musical devices have the potential to cause problems between inmates. But the MP3 players are encoded to identify their owners, and Ielapi argues they’re no different from many other items available in commissaries.
Iowa-based Advanced Technologies Group Inc. is supplying the MP3 players at Alderson, and President Atul Gupta said the company is also participating in two of three ongoing pilot programs in state correctional systems. He wouldn’t identify which ones, citing confidentiality agreements.
“The driving force is pretty much consistent across the country: It improves security,“ Gupta said.
Electronics aren’t new to prisons. Some inmates have televisions. At Alderson, the prison store stocks not only batteries, but also scissors, pens, razors, fans, alarm clocks and umbrellas. A Sony radio costs about $44.
Most facilities, whether state or federal, have rules prohibiting inmates from giving each other their possessions—restrictions aimed at ensuring the items aren’t traded for sex, protection or to pay a debt.
“The purchase, use and control of radios have always been carefully monitored. Inmates are subject to disciplinary action for violating those restrictions,“ Billingsley said. “The same is true for MP3 players. The same restrictions, monitoring and disciplining procedures are in place with the MP3 program.“
The bureau’s two-year contract with ATG is for $5.15 million, a figure Billingsley said was based on projected sales. ATG is the only supplier because it uses a secure delivery method for the music, the Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System’s closed network.
Billingsley said the program is expected to break even after the initial equipment and license purchases. Eventually, it should turn a profit, and that money will go into the Inmate Trust Fund Account, which pays for inmate activities and the salaries of staff associated with those activities.
The musical selections are censored, though, and federal inmates are denied access to explicit, obscene or racially charged music. Billingsley said the bureau relies on the Recording Industry Association of America rating system in making titles available.
“We also have the ability, should the need arise,“ she said, “to remove any songs that we feel may be disruptive to a correctional environment.“
OddlyEnough™: People Are Stealing Tide Detergent and Using It to Buy Drugs
So say the latest reports about a “crime wave” sweeping the nation. According to multiple news sources, theft of Tide Detergent is soaring across the country, forcing retailers like CVS to consider placing alarms on each bottle as cities establish special task forces to put a halt to the thefts.
The popular detergent has apparently become a kind of currency on the black market. Tide, which sells for about $12 for a 100-oz. bottle and around $18 for 150 oz., reportedly goes for about half that on the streets. Some thieves have resold stolen bottles to stores, and the detergent has supposedly even been showing up in the homes of busted drug dealers.
One law enforcement official in Maryland told The Daily: “We sent in an informant to buy drugs. The dealer said, ‘I don’t have drugs, but I could sell you 15 bottles of Tide.’ … Upstairs in the drug dealer’s bedroom was about 14 bottles of Tide laundry soap. We think [users] are trading it for drugs.”
Another policeman in Oregon said that Tide thieves buy heroin and meth with it. In one drug raid, more Tide than cocaine was found, and one man reportedly stole $25,000 of the detergent over a 15-month period before he was finally busted.
The detergent is described as “liquid gold” by the authorities who are pursuing the thieves, which has so far proved difficult. “There’s no serial numbers and it’s impossible to track,” a Kentucky police officer told The Daily. “It’s the item to steal.”
And those thieves are brazen. Some simply walk into a supermarket, fill up their carts and then dart toward a getaway vehicle outside. In one incident, a security video showed a man who had made off with a cart full of Tide reselling the detergent hours later.
So far, it appears that it’s just Tide that’s the focus of the thefts and not other brands like All or Wisk, apparently because of Tide’s popularity and recognizable color and logo.
The story of the Tide detergent thieves has been widely reported, but still appears to have been at least partly exaggerated. While anecdotal evidence abounds that this is truly occurring, there are little to no hard statistics backing up the claim of a crime wave.
Fox News quoted a handful of police officers and retailers who disputed that the thefts are widespread. “We are not experiencing a ‘wave’ of Tide thefts,” a CVS/pharmacy public relations director said. He did confirm that the retailer does have security devices on Tide bottles in a few markets but said the thefts are nothing new.
~~ Josh Sanburn – TM ~~
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