Saturday, June 20, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
PEOPLE can catch a bug which makes them obese, claim scientists.
The virus is picked up from a sneeze, a cough or dirty hands like a cold.
The new research supports earlier theories from studies on weight gain.
Evidence in tests on mice and chickens shows the bug could cause tubbies to pile on the pounds.
In one test a THIRD of obese people had the rare and highly contagious virus compared to just 11 PER CENT of thinner people.
US Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar said the virus, known as AD-36, goes to the lungs then whisks around the body.
It forces fat cells to multiply and also causes sore throats.
He said: “When this virus goes to fat tissue it replicates ... which may explain why people get fat when infected.”
Weight gain can last three months until the body has built up resistance to the bug.
But Prof Dhurandhar of Louisiana, US, tells BBC2’s Horizon tonight: “People could be fat for reasons other than viral infections, so it’s pointless for fat people to try to avoid infection.”The programme also reveals research claiming dieters always feel hungry because humans have a “natural body weight” and they will always suffer hunger pangs
Text size: increase text sizedecrease text size Former cop draws fire for alleged remarks to college students
For Chicago police, beating suspects is just a way of life, he reportedly says
- Angela Rozas Crime scene
- January 26, 2009
This one could come from a punch extended halfway across the country, from a former Chicago cop who allegedly has been recorded on tape telling students at Colorado State University that beating suspects and paying off informants with drugs is just a way of life for police in "Chi-town."
Dexter Yarbrough, a former Gresham District community policing officer, allegedly made the remarks to students in 2008 lectures taped by a graduate student, according to the campus student newspaper, The Rocky Mountain Collegian.
Yarbrough, who took a leave of absence from Chicago police in 2000 and officially resigned in 2005, is chief of the Colorado State University Police Department and associate vice president of the Department of Public Safety. He was placed on indefinite paid leave last month "pending the outcome of a personnel investigation," according to a statement from the university.
The article in the school newspaper details numerous complaints from officers under Yarbrough's command as well as the recordings made by the graduate student, a former county sheriff's deputy who thought the chief's comments were out of line.
Yarbrough allegedly told students that paying informants with drugs was acceptable, as long as the informants never revealed where they got the drugs, and that excessive and violent force against a suspect is a "reality of law enforcement."
"If there's a news conference going on, I can't get in front of a crowd and say, 'He got exactly what the [expletive] he deserved.' You know the police should have beat him, you know. I used to beat [expletive] when I was in Chicago too. I can't say that," the article quotes a recording of Yarbrough as saying.
"I'd have to say, 'Well, you know we're going to have to look into this matter seriously . . . all of our officers, we like to think that they operate with the utmost integrity and ethics' . . . All of that [expletive] sounds good. That [expletive] sounds real good, but in the back of my mind, damn. He got popped. If he would have done it the way we used to do it in Chi-town, man, none of this [expletive] would have happened."
For the past year, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis has tried to shake an image of abuse that has plagued the department. And in a statement Friday, Weis pointed to his creation of the Bureau of Professional Standards, which he said is improving officer training, supervision and leadership.
"Dexter Yarbrough is no longer a member of the Chicago Police Department," the statement said. "Ensuring that the men and women of this department receive the very best training throughout their service career is a priority and we are proud of the hardworking men and women who comprise our ranks . . . Anecdotal stories expressed in a classroom setting are not indicative of the type of work that the majority of our men and women do."
The university wouldn't say why it's investigating Yarbrough, and he couldn't be reached for comment.
In a posting on the university's Web site, Yarbrough described himself as a 15-year veteran officer who worked on "important and highly sensitive assignments."
Chicago police say he was assigned to the Gresham District, most recently as a community policing officer who would have worked closely with residents and represented the department at local beat meetings.
Yarbrough was at some point up for a public safety job at the University of Chicago, the student article reports, but claims he was passed over. The university on Friday wouldn't comment on whether he was an applicant for any job there.
A pensioner who got trapped under his own sofa survived for two and a half days by drinking a conveniently-placed bottle of whisky
A pensioner who got trapped under his own sofa survived for two and a half days by drinking a conveniently-placed bottle of whisky.
Joe Galliott first became ensnared by his sofa when he tripped over a phone cord during a power cut, sending him tumbling onto the sofa. This made the sofa flip over, landing on top of him and trapping him underneath.
While he was unable to get out from under the furniture, and had no food or water, Galliott was fortunate enough to have knocked a bottle of whisky within reach of his sofa-prison as he fell.
He told The Sun: 'I didn't have the strength to shift anything. I never had anything to drink except from that bottle of whisky, and I sipped on that.'
The 65-year-old was finally rescued from his ordeal when his grandson paid him a visit and called for help. He spent five days in hospital recovering from his sofa hell.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
In these health-conscious times food companies are increasingly keen to warn consumers if ingredients may cause allergic reactions.
But one firm has gone a step further by advising shoppers that its boxes of eggs contain...egg.
The Happy Egg Company’s six-pack of eggs – which features the company’s name and is decorated with a picture of an egg and a cartoon chicken – contains the message ‘allergy advice: contains egg’ inside the lid of the boxes.
Crazy: Warning inside the egg box lid
Mail on Sunday food expert Tom Parker Bowles said: ‘It does get to the point when warnings go too far. We don’t need to be told a peanut contains nuts or eggs contain egg.
‘Perhaps as a nation we should stop being so overexcited about the bureaucracy of everything.
‘The company probably feel they need to cover their backs to escape the wrath of health-and-safety rules.’
The firm initially claimed that supermarkets’ strict labelling criteria were to blame for the overzealous warning.
A spokesman said: ‘Some retailers insist on this information within their packs as part of a due diligence procedure. Any products deemed as potentially allergenic are included in this. A crazy world, but occasionally we have to do silly things to cover ourselves.’
Later The Happy Egg Company admitted it had chosen to print the advice of its own volition – after the supermarkets involved said they only demand producers comply with the law – adding: ‘We have to state the obvious to cover all eventualities.’
But bizarrely, the company has not printed the warning in its boxes of ten eggs.
When asked why the advice had not been repeated, the spokesman reiterated his initial claim that it was due to the retailers’ requirements.
Happy Egg products, which are free range, are on sale in Asda and Morrisons stores and will be in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Somerfield from next month.
Regulations issued by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) watchdog require manufacturers to state on packaging if goods contain allergens.
These consist of 14 substances including eggs, milk, shellfish and nuts, which are recognised as causing allergic reactions.
A spokesperson for the FSA said: ‘Allergen advice has to be stated, but it can be anywhere, including in the ingredients list and in the name of the product.
'As long as the box says “eggs” that is sufficient. Companies just need to use common sense with their labelling.’
Lindsay McManus, from charity Allergy UK, said: ‘It does seem silly but they’re being extra-careful and making absolutely sure they’re covered.’
It is also illegal to sleep naked, tease a skunk or cross state lines with a duck on your head.
They may sound absurd, but these are actual laws on the books in Minnesota. Well, mostly.
Strange laws like these are widely circulated around the Internet, said Michelle Timmons, state revisor of statutes, and each must be taken with a grain of salt. Especially the duck one.
“We researched and researched on that one,” Timmons said. “That must be an odd interpretation of (a law) on the books.”
Some antiquated laws claimed to have been found by people simply don’t exist, she said. Others are legitimate, including these from the Winona city code:
- Any cottonwood tree which “sheds its seeds profusely” is a public nuisance.
- It is illegal to trap, kill or molest squirrels in any way.
- No one shall allow the mating of cattle or horses within the city except in a properly enclosed building and out of the public view.
Most of the wackier laws aren’t enforced, of course. In fact, Timmons’ office is responsible for eradicating antiquated laws. The revisor’s office has the power to edit some laws out of existence that require minimal revision, but if a law needs to be repealed, it requires legislative approval, Timmons said. Every year a Revisor’s Bill of miscellaneous statute fixes is submitted to legislators in an omnibus bill.
Sometimes legislators try to repeal the laws. In 2003, Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, tried to eliminate a 1913 law requiring canvas manufacturers label the weights of their products, which were used as awnings, wagon covers and tents, according to the Feb. 7, 2003, edition of the House’s “Session Weekly” publication. The law was designed to protect consumers from dishonest salesmen.
“We have tried to find anyone opposed to (repealing) it and couldn’t,” Seifert was quoted as saying in “Session Weekly.” The House of Representatives voted 124-0 to expunge the law 11 days later.
Most antiquated laws had a purpose at one time, Timmons said, but changing societal standards and technology make some laws obsolete.
“Something important in 1858 and very commonplace just seems funny now,” she said.