Archive for May, 2013

Holiday woe for Americans

Only one in four Americans has paid holiday time, reveals USA Today. Unlike the European Union, which requires employers to grant their staff 20 days of paid vacation, and Japan and Canada, which require 10 days, the US sets no minimum.


Americans ‘smoke’ alcohol

Americans have turned to ‘smoking’ alcohol in a dangerous bid to lose weight.

The New York Daily News reveals one dieter, Broderic Allen, stopped drinking and lost 80 pounds – but was unwilling to give up his buzz entirely.

Instead, Allen turned to a disturbing technique: inhaling alcohol, which he says provides all of the flavor and intoxication of chugging a mixed drink with none of the sugars and calories.

Civilians given police cars, hilarity ensues

A decision to give civilians in Kansas police patrol cars backfired hilariously.

According to WIBW News, citizens of Valley Falls, Kansas, are furious about what they’re calling misconduct by auxiliary police and by the council members who okayed it.

The residents held  a community meeting this week to blast council for giving auxiliary police members, who are not police officers, permission to patrol the streets in police cruisers.

Council said at the time that the intention of having civilians on patrol was to make kids feel comfortable with hanging out downtown.

Instead, citizens say, “total mayhem” ensued.

They reported seeing teenagers drag-racing and speeding up and down the city’s main street, sirens and flashing lights being turned on and off, airhorns blowing — even one auxiliary officer driving around with a young girl in his lap.

“He floored it and he gunned it at maximum speed,” said resident Lee Kahn, who witnessed the incident. “I assumed it was a police officer so I came in to City Hall to file a written complaint, only to find out it wasn’t even a police officer driving the car, it was a civilian.”

Valley Falls residents say the situation was out of control and that the police officers who are trained to respond to such situations were instead at the office,filling out paperwork.  No arrests, citations or tickets were given out Saturday night.

“We pay officers to do their job. I don’t think people who aren’t qualified should be doing something like that,” resident Pat Reyley said.

Residents say the auxiliary program test run did nothing but encourage reckless behavior in the town’s youth. Council agreed, and decided at the Wednesday meeting to disband the auxiliary “for the time being,” WIBW reported.

WIBW also said they received information from an “anonymous source” that the mayor planned to fire the chief of police over the incident, but decided against it and reappointed him instead.

With files from WIBW News, Kansas

Yummy bugs are good for you

Think twice about treading on that caterpillar the next time it crawls into your kitchen. The Washington Post says bugs are actually a great source of nutrition. And not only that, eating them can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and livestock pollution. Beetles and caterpillars are the most commonly noshed, though small grasshoppers and water bugs have almost as much protein as lean beef does—with a fraction of the calories.

Critics say America’s Cup is too dangerous

Has the quest for speed turned the America’s Cup into a deathtrap? The San Jose Mercury News says technological advances have turned cloth sails into towering 13-foot carbon towers and instead of deck shoes sailors wear helmets, oxygen tanks and knives. The high-tech boats of today can reach 50 m.p.h., about 4 times faster than old sailing yachts, which some critics think is way too fast and dangerous.

Ted Turner keeps bison

Media mogul Ted Turner can keep his bison. A Montana judge just ruled that an agreement Turner made with the state’s Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks is valid.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle says Turner, who has been caring for dozens Yellowstone Park bison on his private ranch, can keep 75 percent of the bison’s offspring. Wildlife advocates argue that it’s unfair for a private citizen to benefit from animals held in a public trust.

Lunchtime clubbing

The latest place for Manhattanites to spend the noontime hour is at a club, reveals the New York Times. Yes, nightclubs are opening their doors during the daylight to accomodate a growing swell of young workers who’d rather dance than go for a nosh up. Yes, there are drinks involved but promoters say the idea is networking, not unwinding. The women considered the “mother of this mini-movement” said she was inspired by the movie “Fight Club.”

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