Hospital billboard is removed for offending nutballs with “OMG”

Akron Children’s Hospital has opted to drop “OMG” from future advertising after a few complaints over its new billboard in the Montrose shopping area.

The billboard reads “OMG! There’s an Akron Children’s ER in Montrose!” and looks down upon the busy intersection of Route 18 and Cleveland-Massillon Road.

Blogger Cindy Orley felt the sign was a slam against God and began writing about it last week. She and her father, a local minister, voiced concerns to Children’s Hospital.

Hospital leaders say they meant no disrespect and received few complaints but, nevertheless, they will drop OMG from future advertisements.

I wouldn’t expect a typical hospital administrator to have more backbone than a marshmallow – or Akron, Ohio to be the center for sophisticated communications; but, rolling over and playing dead for offending some local religious nutball should be disgusting to the remainder of thoughtful adults in the region.

You are out there aren’t you?

Oh, good. You found our missing military command post.


Wow – we could sell these to FEMA

The French army top-brass were left red-faced when after a mobile command post worth 600,000 euros complete with military computers, was stolen…

The modular command post system, which resembles a cargo container, was discovered during the search of a warehouse in Bobigny, northeast of Paris, that had been rented by a man suspected of fraud…

The army noticed the command post was missing from its Montlhery barracks south of Paris during an inventory on July 18. Investigators suspect someone inside the barracks of involvement with the theft as the command unit can only be moved by a flatbed truck.

The Le Parisien newspaper reported the command post was supposed to have been sent to the Ivory Coast, where former colonial ruler France has a large military presence supporting a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

A 46-year-old Ivorian national and another suspect have been arrested and another two other suspects are being investigated, the local magistrate said.

Heartwarming to learn that military services outside the United States have traditions comparable to Sergeant Bilko. And it’s just as easy to steal from the French Army as it is from Uncle Sugar.

Oz TV lambasted for comedy skit about Prime Minister

Australia’s national broadcaster faced calls for a review of funding on Tuesday over a television comedy scene with a fictional Prime Minister Julia Gillard draped in a national flag after having sex on her office floor.

Conservative opposition lawmakers said the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had overstepped good taste with a scene in which actors playing Gillard and her partner Tim Mathieson cuddled naked and used the flag — with its historic ties to Britain and Australia’s Queen Elizabeth — as a sheet.

“Having sex in the prime minister’s office under the Australian flag is the last straw for me. It is sick. I’m offended and we should take a stand,” one lawmaker who could not be named told a closed door meeting of MPs, a conservative spokesman told a press briefing.

Another MP called for a rethink of taxpayer funding for the ABC, saying the program degraded the office of prime minister, currently held by center-left Labor rival Gillard, while monarchists said the use of the flag was disrespectful…

Gillard herself has laughed off controversy over the satireGood for you, Julia!

An ABC spokesman for the program said Gillard had only been shown in a “very gentle, tender scene.”

“If it’s okay for others to drape themselves in our flag for all manner of occasions, I really don’t see why it can’t be draped over our prime minister as a symbol of love,” the spokesman said.

And the answer from reasonable adults, hopefully sophisticated, certainly couched in free speech is — “tell the stiffs to stuff it where the sun don’t shine!”

Cowardly reactionaries of every land wrap themselves in the national flag every time they feel threatened by present or future freedom. Letting people speak, letting people laugh, is no longer a choice governed by monarchists and conservative fops.

Mom battles germs waiting for kids at fast-food playgrounds

“It’s bad,” Erin M. Carr-Jordan said, swab in hand, as she collected samples from a surface that she would later deliver to a lab for microbial testing. Nearby, a restaurant worker diligently sanitized tabletops and banisters outside the play area, but he did not appear to use his rag and spray bottle inside the children’s maze.

Dr. Carr-Jordan, a child development professor and a mother of four from Chandler, Ariz., has visited dozens of restaurant playgrounds in 11 states in recent months to test them for cleanliness. What the inspections and lab analyses have revealed is the widespread presence of an array of pathogens, from coliform bacteria to staphylococcus, at levels that experts said indicated that restaurants might not be disinfecting their playlands as diligently as they should…

“I’m not shocked or blown out of the water, because this is my business,” said Philip M. Tierno Jr…who surveyed some of Dr. Carr-Jordan’s results. At the same time, Dr. Tierno said, “There are very high counts, and that means these places are not cleaned properly or not cleaned at all.”

Dr. Carr-Jordan’s campaign, which has attracted the attention of the fast-food industry, began in April when she stopped at a McDonald’s near her Phoenix-area home because one of her sons needed to go to the bathroom. On the way out, her children asked if they could play in the children’s park, which McDonald’s calls a PlayPlace. She assented and accompanied her children inside.

What she saw was alarming.

“My kids were going, ‘Yuck!’ ” she recalled of the scene, which she videotaped with her cellphone and posted on YouTube. “It was gross and sticky. There were curse words and gang graffiti. The windows were black. There was matted hair and an abandoned Band-Aid.”

Despite complaints to the manager and several follow-up visits, the play area was not cleaned, she said. So Dr. Carr-Jordan, who has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology but is no expert in microbiology, had samples tested. When the results were analyzed by Legend Technical Services Inc., an environmental testing company, they indicated the presence of potentially harmful bacteria, and she began inspecting and testing the playgrounds at other fast-food restaurants in her neighborhood. Lab results…showed that most were far from clean, she said.

RTFA and learn how Dr. Carr-Jordan has expanded her fast-food vigilante territory, what little response she receives from local authorities – and even less from the Feds. Everyone passes the buck up the political food chain.

She formed a non-profit, Kids Play Safe. And if you care, be prepared to take on the fight on your own – adding other parents, other concerned civilians. You ain’t finding politicians standing in line to help.

Porn star/politician ready to claim her pension in November

She is famed for being the first woman to uncover her breasts live on Italian television, for recording a song entirely about the male organ, and for offering sex to Osama bin Laden (in return, she said, for giving up terrorism).

But now Ilona Staller, better known as Cicciolina, is the unlikely centre of a bitter row over the cost to ordinary Italians of the perks enjoyed by their country’s tens of thousands of politicians. It emerged on Monday that the Hungarian, who starred in almost 40 hardcore pornographic movies, will soon be enjoying a €39,000-a-year pension, provided by the taxpayers of her adoptive homeland.

The stipend, which is for life, is her reward for labouring as a member of parliament for all of five years, from 1987 to 1992. Staller was elected for the libertarian Radical party and sponsored a number of mainly sex-related bills, including one to set up “love parks and hotels”.

Her entitlement is no different from that of any other one-term politician in Italy. But their pensions have come under resentful scrutiny at a time when politicians are seeking painful sacrifices from the rest of society to prevent a Greek-style debt crisis: last week, parliament gave final approval to an austerity package that includes an increase in VAT and provision for big cuts in income tax allowances…

According to one recent estimate, Italy’s cohorts of politicians cost the taxpayers almost €1.3 billion a year. With four levels of government – national, regional, provincial and municipal – the country has an inordinately large number of elected representatives.

But that has not stopped them from giving themselves a distinctly comfortable lifestyle. According to the Italian parliament website, the gross salary of a member of the lower house is €140,000 a year plus an attendance allowance of up to €42,000 and a contribution towards expenses of up to €63,000. They are also entitled to free public transport, free air and sea travel within Italy and exemption from motorway tolls.

Cicciolina played by the official rules of the country at the time and deserves her share of the spoils. I guess. All the other prostitutes and pimps will certainly have their own political parties covering their buns.

They’re no less corrupt and undeserving than our own flavors of politicians – from local to national. They call it service to the nation – and we will be servicing them all for decades to come. While working people have to struggle to get affordable prescriptions.

Scientists find earliest tissue samples of 1918 influenza pandemic

Examination of lung tissue and other autopsy material from 68 American soldiers who died of respiratory infections in 1918 has revealed that the influenza virus that eventually killed 50 million people worldwide was circulating in the United States at least four months before the 1918 influenza reached pandemic levels that fall.

The study, using tissues preserved since 1918, was led by Jeffery K. Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D…The researchers found proteins and genetic material from the 1918 influenza virus in specimens from 37 of the soldiers, including four who died between May and August 1918, months before the pandemic peaked. These four cases are the earliest 1918 pandemic influenza cases they know to be documented anywhere in the world, the scientists say.

The clinical disease and tissue damage seen in the pre-pandemic cases were indistinguishable from those evident in cases that occurred during the height of the pandemic. This suggests, says Dr. Taubenberger, that over the course of the pandemic, the virus did not undergo a dramatic change that could explain the unusually high mortality it ultimately caused.

In the current study, the autopsy materials showed that the virus replicated not only in the upper respiratory tract but also the lower respiratory tract, in a pattern very similar to that of the 2009 pandemic influenza virus. The team also found evidence that two virus variants were circulating in 1918…

Bacterial co-infections were found in all 68 cases studied, the researchers noted. The role played by bacterial co-infections, such as bacterial pneumonia, in contributing to deaths in the 1918 pandemic was previously described by Dr. Taubenberger and his colleagues in a 2008 study. According to the study authors, the new data underscore the crucial role that bacterial infections can play in conjunction with any influenza virus, whether historic or future, and the need for public health officials to prepare to prevent, detect and treat bacterial co-infections during future influenza outbreaks.

Unless, of course, you believe such a pandemic can never happen again, it’s all a plot by pharmaceutical companies and it’s too much trouble to get a flu shot, anyway.

Yes, I got mine a few weeks ago.