Odds and Ends

September 24, 2007

Odd things happen every day; the only difference is these just made the news. I present the 5 random stories I came across, in no particular order.

  1. Employees at a German butcher’s shop were surprised to discover a customer had hidden two sex toys in their sausages for transport to Dubai.
  2. An Australian burglar broke into a neighbor’s house and played sex games in the bathroom with a bottle of toilet detergent and a vacuum cleaner. He was sentence to 12 months community service.
  3. A lonely baboon in a private Lithuanian zoo has adopted a chicken he saved from certain death last month and the two have formed a fast friendship, the zoo’s director said Friday. The chicken was meant to be food for another animal, but escaped. This is the cute story of the day.
  4. A Venezuelan man who had been declared dead woke up in the morgue in excruciating pain after medical examiners began their autopsy. Carlos Camejo, 33, was declared dead after a highway accident and taken to the morgue, where examiners began an autopsy only to realize something was amiss when he started bleeding. They quickly sought to stitch up the incision on his face. The person who started the autopsy is the tool bag of the day.
  5. 16,000 words have lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Some became two words and some were shortened to one. Ice cream, test tube, and hobby horse all lost a hyphen and are now sets of two words. Bumblebee, chickpea, and crybaby are now each officially one word.

Source Articles

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Flamingos in the News

September 19, 2007

I have not one, but two flamingo stories I came across while scanning the news.

First:

Animal expert Jack Hanna and an 11-month-old flamingo became trapped while trying to squeeze through an airport security turnstile in Ohio. It was one of those turnstiles that has horizontal bars all the way up it. Hanna said. “I never thought about the crate being square and the turnstile being round,” he said. Hanna, 60, pushed the flamingo’s 2-foot-by-3-foot compartment into the turnstile, then continued pushing while straddling the crate. That is when he noticed they were both stuck with bars in his face. He eventually squeezed out, but three firefighters needed to help remove the flamingo.

Source

Second:

You have to watch the video, but it is worth it. I’ll give you a hint: It involves a hypocritical moron with an odd face and no respect for rules messing up. It is a person who I just happen to strongly dislike


Comcastic!

September 17, 2007

I think Comcast either just gets me or is talking to my friends. They have come up with words, for things I get called out on all the time.  My snurfing is outta control. The internet is just sooooo tempting.  It doesn’t matter if it is friends or family, a few minutes into a phone call I am online.  It starts innocently like I want to look up something like the weather or movie times to make plans, but then wikipedia, the blog, facebook, and news sites creep in.

Snurfing: Surfing the Internet when you’re supposed to be on the phone

Phoruption: Pausing an On Demand movie to take an important phone call

Quizjacking: Using faster Internet to look up answers to TV quiz shows so you look smarted than you really are

Sneak freeview: visiting the home of a friend for the sole purpose of watching their On Demand

Telebinge: Watching multiple episodes of your favorite show On Demand in a single sitting

Wi-fiving: Instant messaging a friend to celebrate a specific part of a TV program


Hybrid Taxis

September 15, 2007

“Karambir Sangha used to be an accountant, before he became a cabbie. And so in his head, he ticked off what it means to him to be the first of 10 taxi drivers in the Seattle area to begin driving a hybrid in the past two weeks.

And though he’s been driving the hybrid only since Aug. 31, he figures he’ll save $15 to $20 a day; and since he drives six or seven days a week, that’s more than $100 more for the immigrant from India, his wife and two children, 13 and 9, to live on. Rising gas prices are particularly hard on the cabbies who make airport runs because, unlike Seattle cabbies, they don’t have the benefit of a special fuel surcharge to offset gas prices.

“You give up, I suppose, the things that you have if you have more money,” said Sangha, who’s been driving a cab for seven years. “Eating out, going to the movies, shopping.” Under King County and Seattle rules, cabbies cannot drive cars more than seven years old, and Sangha said that this year it was time to replace his anyway. Though the $24,000 Toyota Prius is expensive, he figured — like a lot of drivers these days — it made more sense in the long run.

When the Port of Seattle, which contracts with the Seattle-Tacoma International Taxi Association to pick up passengers at the airport, agreed to allow up to 25 aging taxis to be replaced with hybrids, Sangha was first to buy his. So far, 10 hybrid STITA taxis are on the road, said Sheila Stickel, the taxi association’s liaison with the port. By the end of the month, all 25 should be running.

And in the taxi business, where the clicking of the meter is a reminder that time is money, not having to wait in line for gas, he said, means having time to pick up another fare very day.

And then, as is often the case, when it comes with new cars, though not necessarily with taxis, there’s the coolness factor. Amrik Singh, 38, was on the taxi line in his new hybrid taxi, showing off how he gets in. A sensor reads a card he carries and opens the door when he approaches. And there’s no ignition — just a button on the console to start the car. Another button puts it in park. A small monitor shows the view from a camera in the back of the car. There have been a few customers, he said, who have thanked him for doing his part for the environment. But ultimately, it’s saving money on gas. He was asked if the hybrid was making a difference in his life.

“$400 a month,” he said.”

Full article: article


White Coats

September 11, 2007

Today was my white coat ceremony at Temple University School of Pharmacy. So I figured what better topic to talk about beside the topic we talked about all day at school. Quick summary of events: we sat, some speeches, we went on stage, we were cloaked, we recited an oath to uphold pharmacy ethics, a few more speeches, a reception, and some smoozing with pharmacy representatives.

Well I decided to look up the evolution of the white coat. According to an article in the Journal of American Medical Association:

“In the middle of the 19th century, science had damaged the respectability of medicine by demonstrating that its cures were worthless, thus relegating much of medicine to the realm of quackery and healing cults. While scientists were admired, physicians were distrusted.”

The medical profession turned to science. After all, it was thought, the laboratories whose inventions could transmit messages instantaneously and had revolutionized transportation, could certainly provide breakthrough advances in curing disease.1 Physicians, seeking to represent themselves as scientists, thus adopted the scientific lab coat as their standard of dress.”

Wherever the origin, white coats have long been associated with medicine and science. As such many health related fields where them, and society generally recognize the white coat wearers as specialists in some area of health care. The significance and responsibility that comes with that recognition was the focus of our ceremony. Some argue such ceremonies are self serving and elitist, I felt that Temple’s ceremony was low key and very nice.

Plus I look super-duper cute in my coat.


This is news?

September 10, 2007

Just some interesting stories I can across in the news this week.

Woman sets fire to ex-husband’s penis

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A woman set fire to her ex-husband’s penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka, Moscow police said Wednesday. Asked if the    man would make a full recovery, a police spokeswoman said it was “difficult to predict.” The attack climaxed three years of acrimonious enforced co-habitation. The couple divorced three years ago but continued to share a small flat, something common in Russia where property costs are very high. “It was monstrously painful,” the wounded ex-husband told Tvoi Den newspaper. “I was burning like a torch. I don’t know what I did to deserve this.”

Airline sacrifices goats to appease sky god

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Officials at Nepal’s state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday. Nepal Airlines, which has two Boeing aircraft, has had to suspend some services in recent weeks due the problem. The goats were sacrificed in front of the troublesome aircraft Sunday at Nepal’s only international airport in Kathmandu in accordance with Hindu traditions, an official said. “The snag in the plane has now been fixed and the aircraft has resumed its flights,” said Raju K.C., a senior airline official, without explaining what the problem had been. Local media last week blamed the company’s woes on an electrical fault. The carrier runs international flights to five cities in Asia. It is common in Nepal to sacrifice animals like goats and buffaloes to appease different Hindu deities.

Calif. carpenter can work in the buff

OAKLAND, Calif. – A carpenter caught hammering nails and sawing wood in the nude has been found by a judge to be not guilty of indecent exposure. County Superior Court Judge Julie Conger ruled Thursday that although Percy Honniball of Oakland was naked, he was not acting lewdly or seeking sexual gratification. Honniball, 51, was arrested last year after he was spotted building cabinets in the buff at a home where he had been hired to work. The carpenter has said he likes to work in the nude because it’s more comfortable and it helps him keep his clothes clean. Honniball earned two years’ probation in 2003 after being caught three times working naked in Berkeley, which prohibits public nudity. Oakland does not have a similar ban.


Crossovers

September 9, 2007

I recently caught a crossover episode of full house and felt the topic needed to be addressed. Crossovers, in television, are when actors from one popular show appear on another playing their characters from their own show. This also extends to crossover movies, which are rarer. Examples of crossover movies would be Alien vs. Predator and Jason vs. Freddy. Typical crossover episodes are very superficial and lack the good qualities of either show. Occasionally there is a well done crossover. To be a good crossover it must be timely (both shows popular around the same time), audience targeted (the jokes are not overly connected between the shows), and the shows must be congruently matched (same general genre, and same viewer demographics). I picked 5 of my favorites with very different styles.

  • Boy Meets World and Step by Step. A quick and clever cross over. Cory meets a girl named Dana while in Disney World on the Boy Meets World show. The episode aired between two episodes of Step by Step set in Disney World. They did not elaborate on who she was, because it was understood. This cameo style of cross over is very popular in Japanese television.
  • Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and Full House. A cute, but too early crossover. In the second episode, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper tried to use a crossover to get more viewers. Mr. Cooper gets teaching job in San Francisco and Michelle tanner is in his class.
  • Saved by the Bell and That’s so Raven. This is not technically a crossover, unless you count a location as a character. It is what is generally called a “shared reality” situation. The setting of both shows is Bayside High, but not the generic sounding name, but an intentional link between the shows. Even though Saved by the Bell is set in Pacific Palisades and That’s so Raven is set in San Francisco.
  • Ally McBeal and The Practice. This crossover broke every rule. A comedy and a dark drama managed to successfully merge. On top of that, one show was on Fox and one was on ABC. The firm in Ally McBeal called in the firm from The Practice to help with a tough murder case. The result was a funny and interesting drama that aired half on one station and half on the other.
  • The Critic and the Simpsons. This is by far my favorite crossover, simply because the Critic was the funniest cartoon of all time. Although The Critic was unpopular and quickly cancelled and the Simpsons were immensely popular and still on, the series were perfect matches. The sophisticated Jay Sherman and the uncouth Homer Simpson were a good pairing. There had been several references to each other in episodes on both series. There was a full fledge crossover when Jay came to Springfield to judge a film contest.

Not a crossover, just a clip from The Critic.