Archive for October, 2007

Strange and Spooky Grave

grave_window

Here is a bit of a weird spooky bit of trivia to usher in Halloween.

Florence Irene Ford Born: September 3, 1861 Died : October 30, 1871

Ten-year-old Florence died of yellow fever. During her short life she was very frightened of storms and whenever one rolled-in she would rush to her mother to find comfort.

Upon her death her mother was so struck with grief that she had Florence’s casket constructed with a glass window at the child’s head. The grave was dug to provide an area, the same depth of the coffin, at the child’s head, but this area had steps that would allow the mother to descend to her daughter’s level so she could comfort Florence during storms. To shelter the mother during storms, hinged metal trap doors were installed over the area the mother would occupy while at her child’s grave.

In this picture you can see the trap doors behind little Florence’s tombstone, which covers the stairway her mother used. They can still be opened today. In the mid 1950s a concrete wall was erected at the bottom of the stairway covering the glass window of Florence’s coffin to prevent vandalism. Kinda strange and spooky, eh?

October 27th, 2007

Doctor can I have a note for….

Need a doctors note to get out of writing that big test? Or do you just want a refund on your unused gym membership without the pentaly? The Excused Absence Network has your back. For around $25, students and employees can buy excuse notes that appear to come from doctors or hospitals. Other options include a fake jury summons or an authentic-looking funeral service program complete with comforting poems and a list of pallbearers.

Some question whether the products are legal or ethical – or even work – but the company’s owners say they’re just helping people do something they would have done anyway. The company’s customers receive templates so they can print the notes after typing the name and address of a local doctor or emergency room. Those who choose jury duty as an excuse to miss work enter their county courthouse information on the form.

Though the company’s disclaimer advises the notes are “for entertainment purposes only,” its website shows pictures of people sunbathing and playing golf using the fabricated excuses. One testimonial says: “I’ve managed to take the nine weeks off using these templates! It couldn’t be any easier!”

Actually, for one New Jersey woman it wasn’t so easy. She was arrested this year after using one of the company’s notes to support her claim she was too injured to appear in traffic court for a speeding ticket. She was caught after court officials called the chiropractor listed and he told them he never heard of the woman.

Vision Matters co-founder Darl Waterhouse said people looking to trick their bosses probably won’t get caught because of federal restrictions on the release of patient medical information. But some are concerned about potential problems.

If bosses find out the notes are not authentic, they might think the medical provider helped in the scam, said Dr. John Z. Sadler, a psychiatry and clinical sciences professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Reputations could be unfairly damaged, and accreditation or licence problems could arise, he said.

Many businesses require documentation if an employee misses work. But several companies declined to reveal their specific policies or say whether the possibility their workers might use fake excuse notes is a concern. An annual nationwide survey of more than 300 human resource executives found an absenteeism rate of about 2.3 per cent this year. That’s down from 2.5 per cent in 2006, the highest rate since 2.7 per cent in 1999.

The survey was conducted by the Harris Interactive consulting firm for CCH Inc., which provides employment law information. The executives surveyed said that two-thirds of employees who call in sick at the last minute are really missing work due to family issues, personal needs, stress and an entitlement mentality. Personal illness accounts for only 34 per cent of the absences.

The Vision Matters founders said many employees are fed up with working long hours for little pay, then having no flexibility if they needed to tend to a sick relative or attend their children’s school activities.

Liddell and Waterhouse met about four years ago while working in security for a manufacturing company. After seeing several employees write fake doctor notes, the men launched the Internet business on about $300 each. Liddell runs the company from a laptop in his home in Thackerville, a town of about 400 just north of the Oklahoma-Texas line. He won’t reveal sales numbers, but says the website gets about 15,000 hits a month. Sounds like this business is a big winner and very creative too!

October 25th, 2007

Footsie Fetish gets Guy in Trouble

Here is a fellow with a strange and freaky fetish,  he pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing more than 1,500 pairs of girls’ shoes from area schools in a deal that calls for prosecutors to recommend probation.   Erik D. Heinrich, 26, of Kenosha pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and was scheduled for sentencing Oct. 23. He told police he did it for sexual gratification.

He was arrested May 24 after a security video showed him entering North High School on May 20 and leaving with some items. Police tracked him through his vehicle registration, searched his home and a rented storage unit and found the shoes.   Police have said Heinrich worked for a cable company and collected keys to the schools as he responded to calls. He used the keys to burglarize three Waukesha public high schools and one middle school six times during the past two years, according to a criminal complaint.

Police discovered the break-in at North High School after several female students reported that the locks on their lockers had been cut and their shoes stolen.   Heinrich has a previous shoe-stealing conviction, in 2005, that was dismissed at prosecutors’ request after he completed a year of probation, counseling and 50 hours of community service.

October 18th, 2007

Mr. Yuk has Lawyers!?

It turns out Mr. Yuk, the scary green poison control symbol, has lawyers and they are not very happy about what’s happening in St. Paul.   Local City Council member Paul Bakken has put Mr. Yuk-like faces on lawn signs opposing an upcoming vote to amend the city charter. Attorneys for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which holds the copyright on Mr. Yuk, weren’t amused.

“It’s just that this guy is using Mr. Yuk inappropriately and illegally. He’s broken copyright laws. … It’s clearly a violation,” said Dr. Edward Krenzelok, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, which is affiliated with the medical center.   He said Mr. Yuk was created more than 30 years ago to warn children away from dangerous substances. He said he has asked the medical center’s lawyers to straighten things out.

“It doesn’t hurt us,” Krenzelok acknowledged. “It’s just inappropriate use, and we have to control the use to maintain our copyright.”   Bakken, a lawyer, defended his use of Mr. Yuk. He said federal law allows some use of copyrighted material for satire or academic criticism. He said he found Yuk-like images spread across the Internet.

“It appeared to be in the public domain,” he said. “If this is genuinely harming the good work that they do, I sincerely apologize.”  In my opinion lawn poison is still poison so I am not sure what the problem is, watch the vintage commercial from 1971 to see Mr. Yuk in action.


 

October 16th, 2007

Cops Don’t Like When you Touch their Donuts

It’s a hefty price for a pastry: A man accused of stealing a 52-cent doughnut could face up to 30 years in jail.  Authorities said Scott Masters, 41, slipped the doughnut into his sweat shirt without paying, then allegedly pushed away a clerk who tried to stop him as he fled the store.

The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanour shoplifting charge to a strong-armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. But because Masters has a criminal history, prosecutors say they could seek 30 years.

“Strong-arm robbery? Over a doughnut? That’s impossible,” Masters told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from jail.  He admitted that he took the pastry but denying touching the employee. “There’s no way I would’ve pushed a woman over a doughnut.”

Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said state law treats the shoplifting and assault as forcibly stealing property. The amount of force and value of the property doesn’t matter.  “It’s not the doughnut,” Baker said. “It’s the assault.”

Masters said he didn’t even get to enjoy his ill-gotten gains: He threw the doughnut away as he fled.   I have a sneaking suspicion this donut belonged to a hungry cop.  Anyways if this guy tucked a donut into his sweatshirt and intended to eat it then he is probably not sane enough to stand trial.

October 11th, 2007

Oh How the French Love to Love

In France a woman who planted a lipstick-laden kiss on an all-white painting by the American artist Cy Twombly went on trial Tuesday, telling the court she had committed an “act of love” – not a crime.

Rindy Sam, a 30-year-old French artist, faced charges of “voluntarily damaging a work of art.” The painting is worth an estimated $2,830,000 and restorers have tried to remove the lipstick smudge from the bone-white canvas using nearly 30 products – to no avail.

Prosecutors, want Sam to pay a $6,400 fine and take a class on good citizenship. The verdict was set for Nov. 16.   Sam was taken into custody after she kissed the painting July 19. It was part of a travelling exhibition on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon.  The painting is owned by collector Yvon Lambert. He was asking for $2,878,000 in damages, which included the value of the painting and the $47,000 restoration cost.

Twombly is known for his abstract paintings combining painting and drawing techniques, repetitive lines and the use of graffiti, letters and words.  Born in Lexington, Va., in 1928, Twombly has lived in Italy for nearly a half-century. He won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 2001.

Tuesday’s trial came as police in Paris jailed five people in connection with the weekend vandalism of a noted painting by French Impressionist Claude Monet, “Le Pont d’Argenteuil.”  Intruders, apparently drunk, broke into Paris’ Orsay Museum early Sunday and punched the renowned work, leaving a nearly 10 centimetre tear. The five were tracked by evidence from museum security cameras, police said. One person admitted to putting a fist in the painting under the influence of alcohol.

The intruders had entered by a back door. Culture Minister Christine Albanel said that apparently one in the group had information about access to the museum for professional reasons and used this information to enter. The minister did not say if any of those detained worked for the museum.  Why am I not surprised this happened in France, the land of love!

October 10th, 2007

Man Gets Screwed

I must confess that this strange story was posted just for the fun headlines it could possibly generate.  German police have arrested a man for stealing more than one million screws from his employers and selling his booty on the Internet, authorities said Friday.

The man – a 33-year-old assembly worker at an unidentified company – squirrelled away screws in a specially designed hiding place and spirited up to 7,000 of them home every day when he left work, police said.   Over a two-year period, he stole some 1.1 million screws with an estimated value of C$155,000, police in the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg said in a statement.

The man allegedly sold the screws over the Internet at discount prices – ultimately alerting police, who wondered where he was getting them.  The man was arrested Wednesday at his Wuerzburg apartment. Police said he acknowledged stealing the screws and was in custody awaiting formal charges

October 5th, 2007

Canada the Land Where Breasts Roam Free…

Since in my last post I spoke about personal freedom here in Canada I thought this would be a nice follow up post.  Boobs, boobs eerywhere…The countdown was on, and anxiously awaiting were more than 200 moms seated, with babies in arm, ready to pull out a breast and start feeding.  They converged yesterday at St. Laurent Shopping Centre for this year’s Breastfeeding Challenge to mark World Breastfeeding Week.

“I’m always extremely happy and extremely proud to come here,” said Louise Gilbert, a public health nurse with the City of Ottawa’s public health unit and the organizer of yesterday’s event.  “We have women from all over the city, outside the city, different cultures, different religions … and they’re all doing something nice here for their child.”

For the fifth year, Ottawa was competing with cities across the country to set the record for the most babies breastfed at one time. Last year, Ottawa placed fourth overall, with 202 babies who “latched” with 202 moms. This year, more mothers registered — 219 — but only 198 babies latched.

“When the mother attaches the baby to the breast and it starts sucking, it’s called a ‘latch’, ” Gilbert said, explaining it’s not easy and many moms need support.

In the short term, breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of infections and in the long term helps prevent obesity and heart disease, Gilbert said. It’s recommended that moms breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of the baby’s life and continue breastfeeding for two years.  The event aimed to raise awareness of breastfeeding’s importance and empower women to do so in public.

“For me, I wanted to promote awareness,” said Monique Hermeling, 35, of Ottawa, while her eight-week-old son Alexander latched. “We bring our family, we bring our friends, there are the people in the shopping mall.”

Beside her sat friend Chantal Pomerleau, 35, of Ottawa. “It’s a way to encourage other pregnant women to consider breastfeeding,” she said as she breastfed her 12-week-old son, Jarick Moran.

October 2nd, 2007

Previous Posts


Calendar

October 2007
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category

Ads