Odd Files

Odd Files

Cold, Dead Hands The semi-obscure Florida Statute 790.15 took center stage in January following a Miami Herald report of a resident of the town of Big Pine Key who routinely target-shoots his handgun in his yard, with impunity, to the consternation of neighbors. The statute permits open firing on private property (except shooting over a […]

Odd Files

Modest Meat The International New York Times edition published in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 22 carried a page-one story noting increased worldwide demand by meat processors for pigs raised in the fresh air rather than enclosed in pens — illustrated by a photograph of a cluster of pigs feeding in an outdoor stall.

Odd Files

Going Postal America’s returning warriors continue to experience inexplicable difficulty after putting their lives at risk for their country. It took 13 years for Army Sgt. Maj. Richard Erickson to get his job back from his civilian employer after he took leave in 2000 to serve in the National Guard special forces. The employer soon […]

Odd Files

Self-Appreciation Everyone’s Above Average: Ask Americans how they stand compared to their fellow countrymen, and in survey after survey, the vast majority rank themselves “above average” in such areas as driving skill, sexual prowess, and general honesty.

Odd Files

Robo Medicine At least two U.S. medical schools so far are early adopters of Dr. Benjamin Lok’s and Dr. Carla Pugh’s “Robot Butt” for teaching doctors-in-training to properly (and compassionately) administer prostate exams. The robot, bent over a desk to simulate the patient profile, has sensors to alert the students if they dig too deeply […]

LEAD STORY

The last dictator? Was Moammar Gadhafi the last of the “buffoon dictators,” asked BBC News in October. His legend was earned not merely with his now-famous, dirty-old-man scrapbook of Condoleezza Rice photos. Wrote a BBC reporter, “One day (Gadhafi) was a Motown (backup) vocalist with wet-look permed hair and tight pants. The next, a white-suited […]

LEAD STORY

Read all about it Enterprising reporters get stories by earning the trust of their sources, which Simon Eroro of the Post-Courier (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea) obviously did. At a banquet in November, the News Limited (Rupert Murdoch’s empire) awarded Eroro its “Scoop of the Year” honor for reporting on militant tribal fighters of the […]

LEAD STORY

Government in Action —A British manufacturer, BCB International, is flourishing, buoyed by sales of its Kevlar underwear, at $65 a pair, to U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, soldiers and Marines must buy them directly; the “Bomb Boxers” are not supplied by the Pentagon even though nearly 10 percent of battlefield explosive-device injuries […]

LEAD STORY

On the side, please “You eat meat, so why not blood?” asked The Globe and Mail, which sampled several Toronto restaurants’ sanguinary haute cuisines, including the Italian eatery Buca’s spaghetti with blood-blackened noodles and torta di sanguinaccio (figs, almonds, buffalo-milk creme, on a base custard of dark chocolate and slow-cooked pig’s blood). Patrons “thought we […]

LEAD STORY

See it to believe it Saddam Hussein Back in the News: (1) Mohamed Bishr, an Egyptian man bearing a remarkable resemblance to the late Iraqi dictator, claimed in October that he had been briefly kidnapped after spurning an offer to portray Saddam in a porn video. Bishr’s adult sons told the al-Ahram newspaper in Alexandria […]