Oops! Wrong page in the appointment book

In an embarrassing mistake, Florida Governor Rick Scott gave out a phone sex hotline number to Floridians seeking information on a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.

Scott was providing an update on the outbreak at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday when he announced what he said was the hotline’s toll-free phone line, but gave out the wrong number.

The governor’s office was alerted by a public radio station in Tampa, WUSF, which was monitoring the cabinet meeting and posted the number on its website.

The station said it was “quickly notified by a reader that the number instead connected to an adult telephone line…”

Contacted Wednesday, Scott’s spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said the governor inadvertently misread the number…blah, blah, blah.

Since the outbreak began, 138 people have contracted meningitis and 12 have died, including one in Florida, according to the latest tally from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…


Squirrel dinner chef sets apartment complex on fire

A Holland Township fire that heavily damaged an apartment complex was started by a resident using a propane torch to remove a squirrel’s fur, Fire Chief Jim Kohsel said.

Kohsel said the resident was using a propane torch on a deck on the third floor of Clearview Apartments when the deck caught fire about 12:29 p.m. Wednesday. The resident was removing the squirrel’s fur in preparation to eat the animal, the chief said.

Flames spread to the roof, burning it off part of the building. Kohsel said eight apartments were destroyed, and apartments on lower levels were damaged by smoke and water…

The American Red Cross arranged for temporary shelter and clothing for displaced residents.

Fire crews remained at the complex until about 6 p.m.

A world-class dumbass – discovered in Holland Township, Michigan.

The cost of Bush’s wars — comes home to haunt us

The American Society of Civil Engineers issued a cry of alarm five years ago in the form of three separate report cards on the state of the nation’s infrastructure in 15 major categories — from bridges to rail lines, pipelines, dams, waterways, highways and all other publicly regulated facilities…

U.S. infrastructure repairs and new projects have been repeatedly postponed as defense requirements and two wars over the past 11 years took priority…

Infrastructure has been a key U.S. priority — on paper. On average, since World War II, the United States earmarked 3 percent of its gross domestic product to infrastructure. But this was cut by one-third to 2 percent since 1980…

As U.S. national priorities changed, the U.S. government gradually shifted the lion’s share of its infrastructure responsibilities from federal to state and local. Thus, the federal government moved an estimated 75 percent of public infrastructure costs off its books.

Years of deferred infrastructure costs followed.

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So, you find an eyeball on the beach — THIS BIG!

When Gino Covacci walks on the beach, he always keeps his eyes peeled for shells, fish and whatever else washes up…But it’s not every day that he comes across something that seemingly looks right back at him — as happened this week.

Covacci’s discovery: a blue-tinged softball-size eyeball. Even scientists don’t know quite where it came from, beyond the sands of Pompano Beach.

“I find many different things,” he said of his daily walks by the sea, “but not something like this.”

On Wednesday, Covacci said, he was walking along the southeastern Florida beach with a friend visiting from Greece when he spotted something protruding from the sand.

He picked it up, cleaned it off, turned it around and realized he was staring into a giant eyeball.

Excited about his find, Covacci flagged down a police officer and eventually got in touch with researchers based across the Sunshine State…

Carli Segelson, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, confirmed Covacci’s account and said members of her agency ended up with the specimen.

“Staff have been looking at the eye to ID what it is,” she said…For the time being, the wildlife commission spokeswoman said, “the front-runner is some type of large fish.”

An extremely large fish!

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a short CG animated film Passion Pictures has made in partnership with Unity, the games engine developers using the new Unity 4.0 3D software. The film was written and directed by Dan Sumich and is a homage to the classic action films from the 1970s through to the 1990s, with a soundtrack by the legendary heavy metal vocalist Steve Grimmett. An ordinary looking guy wakes up one morning feeling the worse for wear and realises he’s run out of milk. As he drags himself out of the house to go and buy some, an extraordinary sequence of events draws him into a journey of mayhem on the streets of San Francisco.

Delightful CGI animation.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

2002 Bali Bombings – experience and memories

Today I’m recalling the memories and experiences from ten years ago. This post is by no means a complete recollection…the things that come to mind as I write.

Sunday 13 October 2002

That morning the news services reported on the bombings…A young man who was slightly injured managed to catch a flight from Bali to Darwin and he presented to the Emergency Department at Royal Darwin Hospital. He provided the first insight for us on what happened. Later in the morning I was receiving telephone calls that we needed to meet at the hospital because Darwin may be used as an entry point for the survivors who needed acute critical care…

At Richmond, RAAF flight crew were departing in a C-130 to pick up some of our doctors and assess the situation in Bali. The initial thinking was there would be a scoop and run operation of walking wounded. The early information was vague and inaccurate. We had a general surgeon (Dr David Read) and an anæsthetist (Dr Sue Winter) take satellite telephones with them from the RDH. These two doctors were reservists and full time staff specialists at RDH. With our RDH telecommunications we were able to collect raw information from the field…

We got all the patients in the hospital in the know and many agreed to go home or somewhere else…Some patients we had to force to stay, they wanted to leave to allow their place to be taken by a bombing victim. By the end we had discharged 100 patients to make room and to free up staff…

It was spooky walking through the empty surgical wards of a silent hospital…

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