Top 10 bizarre 999 emergency calls in London

The London Fire Brigade said the top 10 bizarre 999 calls include a woman reporting a spider on her pillow, an elderly woman who accidentally threw her dentures at a pair of fighting dogs when she tossed a glass of water at them and a father who called to report his son’s shoe was on the garage roof and it was an emergency because the boy needed the shoe to play soccer.

The calls also included a woman complaining of a squirrel in her kitchen, a woman whose cellphone fell into her toilet, a woman who spotted a fox with “an odd look on its face” in her garden and an au pair who was unable to close a window and didn’t want to upset her host family.

The brigade said a man called for help changing a tire, a woman called for help freeing her husband from a titanium chastity belt and a woman called to complain of a bat in her kitchen.

Officials said they are hoping to stem the tide of non-emergency 999 calls.

Our advice is simple — if it’s not an emergency, don’t ring 999,” Third Officer Dave Brown said. “If you’re calling because you have a serious phobia, then arrange for a housemate, friend, or neighbor to help you. If you’re calling because there’s an unexpected animal in your home, call the RSPCA. Firefighters are here for Londoners but we can’t be on speed dial when something trivial happens.”

This will all sound painfully familiar to any 911 dispatcher in the United States.

Expert report condemns continued antibiotic use in US livestock

U.S. regulators and livestock producers have failed to curb the use of antibiotics in cattle, pigs and poultry despite concerns that excessive use in meat production will reduce the drugs’ effectiveness in humans, a panel of experts said.

“Meaningful change is unlikely in the future,” concluded the 14-member panel, assembled by Johns Hopkins University, in a report released on Tuesday that quickly drew protests from livestock industry groups.

The release marked the fifth anniversary of a landmark 2008 Pew Charitable Trust report that called for an end to the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics by livestock producers, as well as an end to practices such as tiny cages for laying hens…

The Johns Hopkins’ report said “additional scientific evidence has strengthened the case that these (non-therapeutic) uses pose unnecessary and unreasonable public health risks” of allowing bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.

“We have even better science to support the recommendations we have made,” said Mary Wilson, an epidemiologist at Harvard University. “We are, in fact, running out of antibiotics. We are seeing infections that are untreatable.”

More than 2 million Americans are sickened by antibiotic-resistant infections each year and 23,000 of them die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control And Prevention.

Livestock industry leaders said “Blah, blah, blah”

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Don’t blame Health Law for high part-time employment – because Republicans are lying

Don’t blame the health law for high levels of part-time employment. In fact, using the law’s definitions, part-time work isn’t increasing at all as a share of employment…

Nearly 8 million American were working part-time in September because they couldn’t find full-time work. Overall, 27 million people — nearly a fifth of all employees — are working part-time, well above historical norms.

Many critics of the Obama administration have pointed the finger for the prevalence of part-time jobs at the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law better known to some as “Obamacare.” The law’s so-called “employer mandate” requires most midsize and larger companies to offer health insurance to their full-time employees. That, critics argue, provides companies with an incentive to hire part-timers instead…

But a closer look at the data provides little evidence for the notion that the health law is driving a shift to part-time work…

First of all, over a longer time frame, part-time work has actually been falling as a share of employment in recent years. Before the recession, about 17% of employed Americans worked 35 hours or less, the standard Labor Department definition of “part time.” During the recession, that figure rose, briefly hitting 20%. It’s been trending down since then, but only slowly, hitting 19% in September.

If the health law were driving employers to cut employees’ hours, the most vulnerable workers would likely be those working just above the 30-hour cutoff. That means the data would show a decline in those working 30 to 34 hours and an increase in those working less than 30 hours.

That isn’t what’s happening. The share of part-timers who say they usually work between 30 and 34 hours at their main job has been roughly flat over the past three years, at about 28%. (September data aren’t yet available.) If anything, it’s actually risen in the past year, though the change has been minor. The share working just under 30 hours has indeed risen somewhat, but the share working under 25 hours has fallen—suggesting that employers are giving part-timers more hours, rather than cutting full-timers’ hours back.

Other data tell a similar story. Average weekly hours—a measure that comes from companies, rather than workers themselves—have been flat for the past year, and are near their highest level since the recession. Restaurants, one of the sectors most often cited as likely to shift to part-timers, haven’t cut workers’ hours over the past year.

None of this, of course, means that employers won’t cut workers’ hours in the future…But there’s little evidence they’ve done so yet.

Editing this down to fit on the blog for commentary was a trip. The WSJ crew has never been noted for smiling over good news for American workers. Now that Rupert Murdoch owns the paper, the swing to the Right has only increased.

So, if you compare my copy to the original linked to above – you’ll see I’ve cut away the conservative crystal ball add-ons. Every time there’s a good news paragraph the WSJ plugs in an extra sentence or two to say – “this can all come crashing down and bad news might return”. Fracking hilarious if it wasn’t just repetitious ideology.

Meanwhile, if your stomach can take it don’t mute the sound when CNN or your local TV channel puts up the required clips of Tea Party know-nothings or Republican “leaders” saying exactly the opposite of the labor statistics. You’ll hear what you’re supposed to believe in – along with the Easter Bunny.

Florida woman attacks boyfriend – his dog ate all the ganja!


Different dog – same snack

A Florida woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend when his dog ate her marijuana told police the man repeatedly walked into her knife.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Shadae Scott, 26, allegedly attacked boyfriend Kevin Wiggins with a knife Sunday at her Dania Beach apartment because his dog had eaten her supply of marijuana, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.

Wiggins suffered small knife cuts to his face and head. He had one large gash across his hand, deputies said.

The arrest report said Scott told deputies Wiggins had walked into her knife repeatedly during their argument.

Scott was arrested on a domestic battery charge and jailed in lieu of $2,500 bond.

He stabbed himself while she was holding the knife. Really?