Dr. Oliver Di Pietro of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., is a leading prescriber of the “K-E diet” that offers desperate people drastic short-term weight loss by threading a feeding tube through the nose to the stomach and dripping in a protein-fat solution, as clients’ only “meals,” for 10 straight days. “Within a few hours,” Dr. Di Pietro told ABC’s Good Morning America in April, “your hunger and appetite go away completely.” Fat is burned through “ketosis,” he said, and a loss of 10 to 20 pounds in 10 days is possible. Such short-term loss might be important, for example, for a woman prepping for her wedding day. One client said she doesn’t have “all of the time on the planet” just to exercise, “so I came to the doctor.”
The late Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha was a Capitol Hill powerhouse, and among his legacies is the federally funded airport in his district that largely served him and the local companies heading to Washington, D.C., to lobby for government contracts. (By contrast, the Pittsburgh airport is nearly 60 miles away.) Murtha died in 2010, but the airport (which cost $150 million in earmarked funds to build, upgrade and maintain) still, according to an April Yahoo News dispatch, handles just three flights a day, all from Washington, D.C., and about $100 of every passenger’s ticket is subsidized by the federal government.
GOVERNMENT IN ACTION!
Officials in Burnsville, Minn., have brought the full force of the law to bear upon Mitch Faber (who was arrested, forced to pay a high bail, and released under electronic monitoring and only on condition of drug testing), whom they have charged with the crime of not putting proper siding on his house. According to a March report on KSTP-TV, Faber said he started re-siding, but when the economy turned bad in 2008, he stopped, assuming that the worst he could eventually suffer would be a fine.
There are big plans in the city of Chiang Rai, Thailand, for a massive Buddhist temple that priests aim to make one of the most beautiful structures in the world, and have entrusted artist Chalermchai Kositpipat to design it in all-white with glittering glass and arrangements of “rich symbolism derived from Buddhist and Hindu traditions.” If Kositpipat has his way, according to an April Huffington Post dispatch, the temple will also have images of Superman, Batman and (from the movie The Matrix) Neo–all of which, Kositpipat said, further Lord Buddha’s “message.”
BEST RESTROOM EVER!
Architect Sou Fujimoto recently unveiled his public restroom (for women only, though) whose one transparency-enclosed toilet sits in a 2,160-square-foot private garden of cherry, plum and peach trees. The 6-foot-high-walled park is located beside a railway station in Ichihara City, east of Tokyo. Japan is a world leader in fanciful toilets, and Fujimoto said he thought the scenery would enhance the user’s “feeling of release.”
Kelly Ervin, 48, was arrested in Salisbury, Md., in April and charged with littering “under 100 pounds.” According to police, Ervin routinely goes for a run every morning at 4 o’clock, and just as routinely, has a bowel movement after about two miles. Most days, that puts him in a certain neighborhood, whose residents have been complaining. When questioned, according to a Salisbury Daily Times reporter, Ervin basically shrugged and said he thought many distance runners do the same thing.
CRIME DOES/DOESN’T PAY!
Convicted embezzler Antoinette Galluzzo, who admitted stealing more than $50,000 from a city youth agency in Englewood, N.J., was ordered in April to pay “restitution,” but the amount Judge Eugene Austin settled on was $10 a month–and only during the period of probation (three years). On the other hand, in federal court in New York City in April, Kerry Haggard, 47, was sent to prison for 6 1/2 years on one count of selling fake movie lobby posters.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS!
Eric King, 21, was leaving a store in Eagan, Minn., in February when a police officer in the parking lot noticed his pronounced waddle. King was arrested when the officer found a shoplifted 19-inch television set down his pants. And in March, a 34-year-old Lithuanian-born man led police in Wiltshire, England, in a nighttime foot chase after he had aroused their suspicion. Thermal imaging equipment was used from a helicopter to spot the man in the darkness. He was arrested “hiding” face-down in a manure pit. Though he originally fled, there was little evidence against him, and he was released.
PSYCHO REAL ESTATE SCHEME!
Thomas Parkin inherited real estate from his elderly mother before she died, but quickly lost it in a risky business venture. To get the deed back, according to New York City prosecutors, he concocted a scheme to pretend that Mom was still alive (it would actually be Thomas in a dress) and still owned the land (and thus that the current deedholder was a fraud). Lawyers arranged a meeting with “Mother” (conducted in a darkened room because of Mom’s “recent cataract surgery”), at which she mostly remained silent. Parkin improbably stayed in character, according to a trial dispatch on the Daily Beast, and jurors apparently kept straight faces as Parkin testified that recent “communications” between him and his mother were “mostly one-sided.” In May, Parkin was convicted on 11 counts, and at press time, he was awaiting sentencing.