ELECTRIC CHASTITY BELT
To counter the now-well-publicized culture of rape in India, three engineers in Chennai said in March that they are about to send to the market women’s anti-rape lingerie, which will provide both a stun-gun-sized blast of electricity against an aggressor and a messaging system sending GPS location to family members and the police about an attack in progress. After the wearer engages a switch, anyone touching the fitted garment will, said one developer, get “the shock of his life” (even though the garment’s skin side would be insulated). The only marketing holdup, according to a March report in The Indian Express, is finding a washable fabric.
In March, Washington state Rep. Ed Orcutt, apparently upset that bicyclists use the state’s roads without paying the state gasoline tax for highway maintenance, proposed a 5 percent tax on bicycles that cost more than $500, pointing out that bicyclists impose environmental costs as well. Since carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas, he wrote one constituent (and reported in the Huffington Post in March), bike riders’ “increased heart rate and respiration” over car drivers creates additional pollution. (Days later, he apologized for the suggestion that bicyclists actually were worse for the environment than cars.)
The maker of the “all-natural herbal extract” Super Power (which promises “powerful erections”) issued a voluntary recall in January after “independent” lab tests revealed that the supplement mistakenly contained a small amount of sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Such unregulated dietary supplements cannot legally contain drugs without Food and Drug Administration approval. Also, in March, the Federal Trade Commission ordered three retailers, including Neiman Marcus, to re-label some fake-fur garments because they, mistakenly or intentionally, contained real fur.
A Boston Herald reporter said in March that he had been kicked out of a State Ethics Commission training session (which might be reasonable, as the meeting was for Massachusetts House members only). But at least two people in attendance refused to give their real names to the reporter as they left. Rep. Tim Toomey insisted he was not a member (though he is) but was “just passing through,” and Commission chairman Charles Swartwood III (a former federal judge magistrate) refused to give his name at all, telling the reporter, “I’m not saying because that’s a private matter.”
OUR LITIGIOUS SOCIETY
Aspiring rap music bigshot Bernard Bey, 32, filed a $200,000 lawsuit in February in New York City against his parents, alleging that they owe him because they have been unloving and “indifferent” to his homelessness and refuse even to take him back in to get a shower. Bey, who raps as “Brooklyn Streets,” said everything would be forgiven if they would just buy him two Domino’s Pizza franchises so that he could eventually earn enough to become “a force to be reckoned with in the hip-hop industry.” (His mother’s solution, as told to a New York Daily News reporter: “[G]o get a job. He’s never had job a day in his life.”)
LATEST HUMAN RIGHTS
Police in Knoxville, Tenn., confiscated five venomous snakes during a February traffic stop, and Pastor Jamie Coots of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name (of Middlesboro, Ky.) is demanding them back. Coots said he possesses them openly during his services in Kentucky, but Knoxville police said they are illegal to own in Tennessee. Said Coots, “If I don’t have them, then I’m not obeying the word of God.”