London coppers have a problem with criminal clowns

Police in London have dealt with over a hundred incidents involving ‘clowns’ in the past year – and crime statistics show it is no laughing matter.

The Metropolitan Police responded to 117 incidents featuring the word ‘clown’, a Freedom of Information request by regular contributor to the Independent on Sunday Richard Osley has revealed.

The incidents include once case of assault where the suspect had “clown like” shoes on, another assault where the suspect was dressed as a clown with a painted face and a burglary where the suspect’s hair is described “like Krusty’ the Clown.”

A “malicious communication” incident saw someone be threatened with a visit from henchmen in ‘clown’ masks…

And in 39 incidents the victim was called a clown as an insult. In one instance the victim was wearing a Pierrot suit when he was robbed, according to the FoI…

In November last year, police in Norfolk vowed to track down pranksters dressing up as clowns and offer them “strong words of advice” after two “alarming” reports of people being chased – but added that dressing up as a clown is not actually illegal.

How did they ever manage to keep Parliament off the clown-crime roster?

ER patients benefit when hospitals share patient records online


Click to enlarge

As hospitals and doctors’ offices across the country race to join online systems that let them share medical information securely, a new study suggests that these systems may already be helping cut unnecessary care.

Fewer emergency patients got repeated medical scans when they went to a hospital that takes part in a health information exchange, or HIE, according to new findings by University of Michigan researchers published online in the journal Medical Care.

And although the study focuses specifically on scans done on patients who went to two different emergency departments in a 30-day period, the authors say the findings serve as a good test case for the effectiveness of HIEs. The study is one of the first to show with hard data that HIEs may deliver the increased efficiency they promise

The findings show that the use of repeat CT scans, chest X-rays and ultrasound scans was significantly lower when patients had both their emergency visits at two unaffiliated hospitals that took part in an HIE. The data come from two large states that were among the early adopters of HIEs: California and Florida.

Keith Kocher, an assistant professor of emergency medicine, worked with Eric Lammers, Ph.D., who performed the analysis for his doctoral work at the U-M School of Public Health…

“The emergency department is an important test case for whether we would see any impact from HIEs on rates of repeat imaging,” says Lammers. “The fact that we find that there is a decrease is in and of itself significant.”

The federal government has incentivized participation in HIEs, offering states grants to form them, and medical providers extra money if they sign on. In Michigan, several HIEs have emerged, and the two largest just announced plans to merge. HIEs are a key extension of the electronic health records that hospitals and practices are also being incentivized to adopt…

…Other types of patient records, such as recent lab test results, can also make a major difference in what an emergency doctor chooses to do when presented with an emergency patient.

My goodness. One more reason for Republicans and Blue Dog Dems to bad-mouth the Affordable Care Act. Here we are with health care getting less expensive – guaranteed to piss off the medical-industrial complex. And patients are experiencing fewer radiative tests like CT scans, fewer lab tests.

I’m reminded of the parallel with student loans just having been revised. By cutting out the banks serving as middle-man and adding-in an unnecessary charge the cost of those loans is diminishing. Single-payer systems like those utilized in fiscally-sane countries would cut insurance companies out of the base healthcare system of the United States. Reducing costs to consumers.

Anyone crying over the loss of profits to insurance companies?

What will happen next? Healthier citizens starting to think about who they elect to public office. That may be asking for too much, too soon.

Women murder two children to rid them of evil spirits

fear the teabag

Two women who police say killed two children while performing what they thought was an exorcism have been held without bond as prosecutors in Maryland seek a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether they are mentally fit to stand trial.

Zakieya Avery, 28, and Monifa Sanford, 21, have told investigators that they believed evil spirits moved successively between the bodies of the children, aged one and two, and that an exorcism was needed to drive the demons out…

After the attempted exorcism, they showered, cleaned up the scene and “prepared the children to see God“. The children’s two older siblings, a five-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy, were also found injured with stab wounds at the house in Germantown.

Avery is the mother of all four children. The girl remains in critical condition but the boy was being prepared for release from hospital on Tuesday afternoon. They might have died had a neighbour not called emergency services to the scene, police said…

Avery and Sanford appeared before a court via video conference…on charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. The women identified themselves to investigators as members of a group known as the “demon assassins”…police want to interview other people who might be part of the same organisation…

Throw away the key!

Cripes, I really tire of nutballs who say they believe in honor and love – and then kill children to “protect” them from some mythical evil spirit.