Dumpster diver gets dumped into garbage truck

Photo by Jamie Rogers

A 37-year-old man picking items out of a dumpster was seriously injured Thursday when the dumpster was emptied into a garbage truck in Vancouver’s West End.

The binner was in serious condition in hospital with broken bones and severe bruising. He was rescued after several people heard him crying for help when the truck was in the 800 block of Cardero Street.

The man told police he was in a dumpster near Burrard and Davie streets when it was picked up by the truck, a distance of about 16 blocks from where he was rescued.

Police said garbage collection continued, which means he had a number of additional dumpster-loads of garbage dumped on him as the Waste Control Service truck followed its route through the West End.

Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness said a woman who heard the man’s cries ran into the lane off Cardero Street to alert the driver, who immediately stopped, called 911 and opened the back of the truck…

The driver was so shaken he booked off work after the incident, said Waste Control Service manager Jeremy Crawford, adding that to his knowledge, it was the first incident of its kind involving the company.

Police investigated the incident as a “casualty call” and did not lay blame, calling it an accident.

Climbing into a dumpster regardless of motivation is reasonably dumb. If you know anything about where you’re scavenging, you should know that drivers work alone – and dumpsters are designed for automated pickup.

No one is going to climb up top and peer inside to see if it’s clear of scavengers. Whether they’re people or rodents.

Agriculturists welcome news that wheat’s genetic code cracked

U.S. and international wheat breeders said Friday publication of the gene map of wheat could eventually help in developing beneficial new varieties, but cautioned that cracking wheat’s complicated genetic code is far from completed.

British researchers working with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium on Friday released the first version of the wheat genome, a step toward a fully analyzed map that should help wheat breeders develop varieties that can yield more despite drought or disease.

“This is significant progress,” said Kellye Eversole, executive director of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC). “It is a very useful contribution towards the final goal of a genome sequence-based platform for wheat breeding. While we are nowhere near cracking the genetic code and far from having all of the information needed to understand the wheat genome, we are moving forward…”

The IWGSC was established by a group of plant scientists, breeders, and growers to sequence the highly complex wheat genome. Wheat has been viewed as all but impossible to sequence because of its sheer size.

Like all plants, wheat has far more complex DNA than animals. It is made up of 17 billion base pairs of the chemicals that make up DNA — five times more than the human genome.

The public release of the wheat genome data should provide a foundation to identify genetic differences between wheat varieties, wheat breeding experts said. Much more work remains to be done to discover what the genetic data means.

Lots of hard work ahead. Needless to say, climate change only adds to the questions needing to be asked and answered.

Assuring that artificial limitations are not imposed by profiteers or Luddites will probably consume a certain amount of time.

Dumb Crook of the Day

Port Orchard, Washington —

A 33-year-old Bremerton man showed up for a court appearance on a meth charge Tuesday carrying a bag of the drug in his pants pocket, according to documents filed in Kitsap County District Court.

Before making his court appearance, the man had to be booked into and released from the Kitsap County jail. That’s standard procedure for these sorts of crimes, officials said.

While at the jail, a guard performed a security pat-down and found a bag of meth in the man’s right front pocket. The 33-year-old was then booked into the Kitsap County jail on $10,000 bail on the new felony possession charge.

Uh – OK. You were expecting maybe Willie Sutton?

Class president? Whites only at this Mississippi school!

Children running for class officer posts at a Mississippi public school are only allowed to compete for certain positions based on their race, according to a memo handed out last week to students.

The Nettleton Middle School elections are divided between offices pegged for black and white students, according to the memo, which was provided to TSG by a parent. The document was handed out to every student in the school’s sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, and it details the race requirements for each of four class officer spots (president, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and reporter).

Of the 12 offices for which students compete, eight are earmarked for white students (including the three class president spots), while four are termed “black” seats. Middle school administrators have not returned TSG phone calls, so it is unclear how this policy was established, or whether the number of offices apportioned for each race changes annually. Additionally, it is unknown how children who are not black or white would run for student government offices.

Students seeking class office were directed to return their election applications, complete with the petition signatures of 10 classmates, to science teacher Jenny Payne by August 24. The Nettleton middle school has about 400 students, and about 72 percent are white, according to a source familiar with the school board’s operation. The majority of the remaining students are black.

The city of Nettleton has a population of 2013 and is located 15 miles south of Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley. The middle school’s policy was first reported this week by Suzy Richardson, who operates Mixed and Happy, a blog about mixed-race families.

Suzy Richardson is to the point over at her blog – as we all should be. Email the presidential-wanna-be Republican governor of Mississippi, Hayley Barbour – governor@governor.state.ms.us – and tell him to get his butt on the phone to the racist fools running the schools in Nettleton. Tell them to join up with the United States of America.

Buckeye Bullet sets electric-powered land speed world record

With more and more students and universities getting into the fight for establishing a new land speed record for battery electric powered vehicles, we are likely to receive more and more news like this one here.

For now however, a team of students from the Ohio State University leads this race, after their battery electric vehicle smashed the records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

The streamliner in question is called Buckeye Bullet and it managed to run at averages speeds of 495 km/h (307 mph), way faster than the previous record of 395 km/h (245 mph) set in 1990s by Pat Rummerfield in his White Lightning.

Although not yet certified by the International Automobile Federation, such an outcome is expected over the next few weeks. Pat Rummerfield already admitted his record has been broken and congratulated the team…

Buckeye Bullet is powered by a 600-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack sourced from A123 Systems. The battery packs contains 1600 compact lithium-ion batteries just like the ones used in laptops.

They’re already preparing to break their own record. I expect they will.

I admit the possibility of getting an electric vehicle into the family gets more tempting every week. They get more affordable and my wife’s daily commute fits ideally into even minimal requirements for such a car. And she doesn’t need to go 300 mph.

Disclaimer: I own enough shares in A123 to power my iPad.

Saving souls bad for your back = lawsuit in Utah

A Las Vegas man is suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for medical expenses after he injured his back in 2007 performing baptisms for the dead.

In a civil suit filed in 3rd District Court on Wednesday, Daniel Dastrup claims he suffered a severe herniated disk in his lumbar spine after performing about 200 baptisms on Aug. 25, 2007. The then 25-year-old claims some of the young men and women he completely immersed in water in the name of the dead weighed as much as 250 pounds.

When he asked to be relieved, an officiator at the LDS temple in Raleigh, N.C., where the baptisms were performed, told Dastrup to continue, the civil suit states. Another man who asked the officiator twice to take over for Dastrup was also told no.

The day after finishing the numerous baptisms, Dastrup said he suffered so much pain he could not sit up.

He later learned of the herniated disk and had to undergo two spinal surgeries, according to the suit…

Dastrup, who also listed his wife as a plaintiff in the case, claims the injury has affected his relationship with her, and the pain has forced him to quit law school and change his lifestyle.

He is suing the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for, among other things, medical expenses, future loss of earning capacity and loss of household services.

Baptism for the dead is an LDS superstition giggle not-so-seriously worth examining.

I have to wonder if the Elders will bring in, say, some riverside brimstone baptism technique specialists from the Southern Baptists to testify on their behalf?

Feds indict 3 for burning cross at home of Black foster child

Three men have been charged with burning a cross in the western Pennsylvania yard of a black teenager last year…

Federal officials charged Michael Bealonis, 18, and Kenneth Stiffey Jr., 20, both of Robinson, Pa., and Michael Bracken, 22, of Bolivar, Pa., with conspiracy to interfere with the housing rights of another, interfering with the housing rights of another, and using fire in the commission of a felony.

The teenager was not identified by federal officials or in the indictment issued Tuesday. But the boy’s guardian, Joe Walbeck, confirmed…that the charges related to a cross burning at their rural Bolivar home in November. Walbeck said the three men charged were white and that one of them lived just a few houses away…

Walbeck, who is white, said he and his wife took in 16-year-old Shaq Howard as a foster child about four years ago because he was having problems with his family. They live in a predominantly white community about an hour east of Pittsburgh and are now legal guardians of the boy.

The Walbecks have taken in about 16 foster children during the last six years at their home in West Wheatfield Township, Indiana County. They’ve had a couple of biracial foster children, but Shaq is their first black child.

Walbeck said Shaq wasn’t friends with the men charged, but he does know who they are.

“He never dreamt that they would do something like that to him,” Walbeck said of the 6-foot-tall cross he found charred on his lawn last year.

If convicted, all three could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and fined up to $750,000.

Throw away the key!