Maryland cops look for more looney semen attacks

A Gaithersburg man accused of squirting semen from a bottle onto a grocery shopper last month was arrested this week in a similar case and may have done the same thing at least twice before.

On July 15 at a Giant Food store in Gaithersburg, police said, a man discharged fluid from a small bottle similar to those used to hold hand sanitizer and then snapped a photo of the act with his cellphone. The victim saved her unwashed shirt and skirt, providing investigators with a possible DNA sample.

Michael Wayne Edwards Jr., 28, has been charged in that incident and in another at a Michaels craft store, also in Gaithersburg. Police said that after questioning Edwards, they are looking for at least two more victims…

Edwards, who is free on bond, is scheduled for two trials on assault charges in September. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday…

Police say officers were called to the Giant on Muddy Branch Road on July 15 after a woman said she felt something in her hair as she was walking out of the store. She said that she asked the man behind her if he’d felt a drip from above but that the man “acted like he didn’t know what she was talking about,” according to an arrest affidavit filed in court…

Detective Patrick Word examined surveillance video and saw the suspect purchase groceries using his store bonus card. In the doorway, the man can be seen squirting fluid from a bottle and taking a picture, police said.

Police identified Edwards through his bonus card and the surveillance video. Forensic tests confirmed the substance as semen. DNA tests are pending.

Sounds as if this is the only delivery system this demented dude can come up with.

Imagine what his pickup lines are like? Duh!

Production line heart surgery in Bangalore


Dr. Devi Shetty

The Narayana Hrudayalaya in Bangalore is the largest heart surgery hospital in the world. It has 1,000 beds, and last year it carried out a staggering 6,000 operations, half of them on children.

By contrast Great Ormond Street in London did less than 600.

“We are all products of the National Health Service in the UK, and what we learnt over there we have implemented in perhaps a slightly different manner,” says Dr Devi Shetty, India’s most famous heart surgeon, and the driving force behind the hospital.

“We believe that the only way is to build large hospitals – 100 or 200 beds are not going to be the solution for the current world health problem. We need to build large hospitals where hundreds of operations are carried out every day.”

And here in Bangalore, the theory appears to work. Despite the huge volume of operations, mortality rates are comparable with or better than those in Britain and the US, and costs are much lower…

In a series of wards upstairs, heart patients are recovering from surgery and waiting to go home. The average cost of surgery here is a fraction of what it costs in the West, and patients come to Bangalore from all over the world.

The very poorest are never turned away either…In other words, some patients are treated for a significant financial loss to the hospital. But the volume of operations is so large, that it still makes an overall profit.

Obviously subversive to God, the American Way and several other rationales for inflating costs.

Judge strikes down Prop. 8, allows gay marriage in California

A federal judge in San Francisco decided today that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, striking down Proposition 8, the voter approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker said Proposition 8, passed by voters in November 2008, violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice.. His ruling is expected to be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Updated at 1:54 p.m PDT.: “Plaintiffs challenge Proposition 8 under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the judge wrote. “Each challenge is independently meritorious, as Proposition 8 both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Vaughn added: “Plaintiffs seek to have the state recognize their committed relationships, and plaintiffs’ relationships are consistent with the core of the history, tradition and practice of marriage in the United States.“

Ultimately, the judge concluded that Proposition 8 “fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. … Because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”]

Civil Rights get to take a few breaths of fresh air in the United States – for a while.

Religious nutballs, bigots, homophobes, the whole array that shows up whenever change beyond the 19th Century is under consideration will pollute the airwaves and the Web with their whining almost instantly.

Guaranteed.

The challenge of dealing with a Supreme Court populated by reactionaries and staffed with Federalist zealots still lies ahead for our nation.

Intel settles anti-competition claim. Shall I get my Wellies?


The sun never sets on that which is Intel
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The Federal Trade Commission and Intel announced on Wednesday that they had agreed to settle charges of anticompetitive behavior that the agency claimed stifled competition in the market for computer processing and graphics chips.

The settlement prohibits Intel from the practice of paying customers to buy its computer chips exclusively or to refuse to buy chips from other manufacturers. It also prohibits Intel from redesigning its chips purely to harm a competitor. Intel also agreed not to retaliate against computer makers if they do business with non-Intel suppliers…

“This agreement provides a framework that will allow us to continue to compete and to provide our customers the best possible products at the best prices,” Mr. A. Douglas Melamed said. In agreeing to the settlement, Intel did not admit to any wrongdoing or that the accusations were true.

And they would stop doing all the things they won’t admit to doing.

Advanced Micro Devices, Intel’s main rival, settled its own antitrust claims against Intel in November with Intel agreeing to pay $1.25 billion…

That Intel didn’t have to admit to doing.

The various legal actions against Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., have brought to light numerous unflattering e-mails exchanged between the company’s top executives and customers.

In particular, communications between Intel and Dell have shown executives talking about rebates bestowed on Dell for its decision to abstain from A.M.D.’s products. In one such exchange, Paul S. Otellini, the chief executive at Intel, described Dell as “the best friend money can buy.”

One looks with pride upon the ethical standards of the captains of American industry – as our ship slides slowly beneath the waves of international commerce and history.

Scottish family stunned by wee, sleekit, timorous bureaucrats


Runaway, runaway!

The farmers at the centre of a major row over the illegal sale of meat from cloned cows are “totally” flabbergasted by the controversy.

Dulsie Innes, the wife of Callum Innes, who runs a large herd of Holstein cattle near Nairn in north-east Scotland, confirmed the family had bought two bulls bred from a cloned cow in February 2008 and were aware they came from a clone.

But she insisted they had fully complied with all the regulations. Both were given their animal “passports” under European food safety and traceability regulations, while all the calves they produced had been registered as pedigrees with the breeders organisation Holstein UK…

It is believed the two bulls have sired 96 pedigree calves for their herd, which is Scotland’s largest herd of Holstein cattle. One of the bulls was slaughtered last year and its meat sold to the public…The Food Standards Agency claims this breaches food safety laws – a ruling disputed by the European Commission – and last week the agency blocked the sale of meat from the second bull, which had just been slaughtered…

Asked if the family was shocked by the row, she said: “Totally, yes.”

Witness stupidity moving beyond ignorance.

Let me put it simply enough for the least competent Luddite out there to understand:

Take some beef – or milk – coming from cattle of similar stock absent any cloning in their lineage. Then, take some beef – or milk – from the Innes cattle and compare the products with any scientific test you desire.

Run it as a double blind so the panic-stricken bureaucrats cannot know which is which – and they will not be able to determine any difference. It doesn’t matter of it’s analyzed or barbecued, dissected down to the meat molecules or grilled over chunk charcoal – you ain’t going to be able to detect any difference.

Cripes! And stay off my lawn.

Two more vicars arrested over fake marriages for profit


Reverend Alex Brown

Two vicars have been arrested on suspicion of running a sham marriage conspiracy to help illegal immigrants stay in Britain.

The Rev Brian Shipsides, 54, and the Rev Elwon John, 43, were detained yesterday by police investigating suspected fake weddings at a church in east London.

This came after a vicar in East Sussex became the first clergyman to be found guilty of being complicit in a false marriage scam. Previous inquiries have focused on those getting married but detectives are now investigating the role of vicars across the country.

The Rev Shipsides and the Rev John were detained following the arrest of two Nigerians and a Dutch woman suspected of arranging and taking part in a sham marriage at All Saints church in Forest Gate, east London, on Saturday…

Detective Inspector Karl Amos, of the London Immigration Crime Team, said: “The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation into suspected sham marriages at a church in Forest Gate…

Gangs, who have been operating all over the country, charge up to £15,000 to fix up the sham marriages, usually between Africans and Eastern Europeans, who go their separate ways afterwards.

The Rev Alex Brown, 61, was yesterday found guilty last Friday of carrying out 360 sham weddings over four years. Brown was thought to have carried out the weddings for cash and around £5,000 was found in his rectory.

Religions as criminal gangs? Whoda thunk it?

Could the germs in your gut underlie Western frailties?

Germs living in the gut may cause higher rates of allergies, chronic stomach upsets and even obesity among children living in rich industrialized countries, researchers reported.

They compared intestinal bacteria between European Union children and young villagers in remote Burkina Faso, and found enough differences to help explain disparities in chronic disease and obesity…

Our results suggest that diet has a dominant role over other possible variables such as ethnicity, sanitation, hygiene, geography, and climate, in shaping the gut microbiota,” Paolo Lionetti of the University of Florence in Italy and colleagues wrote. “We can hypothesize that the reduction in richness we observe in EU compared with Burkina Faso children, could indicate how the consumption of sugar, animal fat, and calorie-dense foods in industrialized countries is rapidly limiting the adaptive potential of the microbiota.”

The study builds on a body of evidence that human health relies heavily on the trillions of microorganisms living in and on our bodies. Only a fraction cause disease directly — many more help digest food, affect other bacteria and may influence hundreds of biological functions…

The Italian team found the African children had many bacteria that help break down fiber, but the European children were lacking these microbes. The ratios were similar to studies comparing the gut bacteria of lean people to obese people.

This bacterial balance could even be causing obesity, the researchers said. It may also be useful to test children for these bacteria to see if they are at high risk of becoming obese, they said.

“Reduction in microbial richness is possibly one of the undesirable effects of globalization and of eating generic, nutrient-rich, uncontaminated foods,” Lionetti’s team wrote in the study.

Too true. Especially if you’re ignorant enough to restrain your hunter-gatherer expeditions to some chain store supermarket.

Restricting your diet to choices limited to processed meat, processed cheese, steamed and bleached flour products, canned veggies and the range of what passes as inconvenient foods [in my mind] – restricts healthful living to a narrower range of vectors mostly governed by chance.

Learn more about what you eat. Please!