Monday, July 23, 2012

OK, Time for more strange stuff in the news

Let's start with towns and cities going bankrupt. You can debate how good or bad it is for so many of our towns and cities to be going into bankruptcy these days -but it turns out that there may be some unforeseen consequences. 

Take the town of Bankersmith, Texas for example. That little town apparently decided the best course was to avoid bankruptcy by just selling out. Yep, the whole town.So they listed it with various realtors and even put it up on Craig's List. Well, the owner of a restaurant chain that competes with Hooters, Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill (you can guess what the attraction there is), saw the listing on line and bought hinself the whole town. Good? Maybe not so much. He appointed himself Mayor and immediately changed the name of the town to Bikinis, Texas.Somehow I doubt if that's what the town folk had in mind. But, maybe it won't be all that bad, they say men love stopping by the town hall to do business these days...

Now here are a couple of examples of how research dollars sometimes go kinda astray...  Japanese Scientists at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology have developed goggles that can enlarge the image of a bite of food. The idea is that the eater might fool himself into thinking he has consumed more than he has. That way his hunger might dissipate sooner and he or she will eat less. The software is pretty sophisticated. The food carrier (a fork, or the eater's hand) is not transformed and appears at normal size. In tests a 50 percent increase in imagined cookie size reduced actual consumption by a whole 9 percent. It makes me wonder just who had this great idea -and who were the idiots that were talked into financing it... 

In another dramatic breakthrough in research, prolific inventor Nobuhiro Takahashi announced in May that he had created a silicone-and-foam "buttocks robot" that can clench, twitch or protrude when probed. I know, right now you are asking, "why?". So was I, but you see, this is great because it's primarily for training proctology students to deal with patient anxiety. Now that I can understand. I know my personal anxiety about this kind of probing makes it a tad-bit dangerous for a doctor putting on that infamous rubber glove...
And finally from the world of strange news stories today, here is one that exemplifies what our society is coming too (and it's not pretty). Donnell Battie was in a Walmart two years ago when a teenage boy commandeered the store's public address system and, as a prank, ordered all black people to leave. The boy was arrested days later on harassment and bias intimidation charges, but Battie, who is black, claimed in May 2012 that the boy's announcement still haunts him. So, he did what way too many Americans are doing today and filed a $1 million lawsuit against Walmart claiming that he has required medical care due to the "severe and disabling emotional and psychological harm" of the boy's words. When the price of your shampoo and dvd's go up at your local Walmart this year, one person you can thank is Donnell (and, of course, his lawyer).

Oh. and here is a short video of Harry, my beagle -I decided to put it up today just because -I can....Have a great day...

video




Live Long and Prosper...

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