Denmark’s government ruled in 2001 that institutionalized citizens have the right to have sex and that caregivers must take them to visit prostitutes. (Prostitution is legal in Denmark.) According to a January dispatch from Aarhus, Denmark, in London’s Observer, Mr. Torben Vegener Hansen, 59, who has cerebral palsy and lives at home on government assistance, is challenging the government also to pay for prostitutes to make house calls, claiming that he is unable to have sex manually because of his illness and must be accorded this “human right” by a service similar to the government’s meals-on-wheels program.
REVERSE REVERSE DISCRIMINATION
Scotland Yard agreed in January to pay the equivalent of about $52,000 to London police Sgt. Leslie Turner to settle Turner’s claim that the reason he failed in a 2004 assignment was that he had been “overpromoted” to the job because he is black. Turner said he had been given a job as a guard for Prince Charles, and then for Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, without adequate training and, as a result, made mistakes that caused him to be reassigned.
CUTTING EDGE SCIENCE
Two physicians, in a December note in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, wrote glowingly of the ability of the Super Soaker Max-D 5000 squirt weapon to quickly and safely loosen severely impacted ear wax (knowledge learned from an emergency use when no standard ear-syringing equipment was available). In fact, they wrote, since the Super Soaker holds much more water than the standard equipment, using it would actually shorten patients’ office visits. However, the Super Soaker was obviously not anticipated for medical use; its awkward design assured that patient and doctor would be drenched by excess spray.
WHO SAID STALIN WAS MAD?
Recently opened archives in Moscow show that in the 1920s, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered his top animal-breeding scientist to create interspecies “super warriors.” Stalin’s half-men, half-apes would be “invincible,” “insensitive to pain” and “indifferent about the quality of food they eat.”
BURYING THE LEDE
Researcher Jean-Louis Martin of the Universite Claude Bernard in Lyon, France, found (for a December British Medical Journal article) that consuming cannabis doubled motorists’ likelihood of a fatal auto collision, and alarming news headlines about the report followed. Less prominently noted in the article, and consequently in news reports, was that drivers impaired by alcohol were six times more likely than an unimpaired driver to have a fatal collision, thus suggesting that the generally illegal drug, cannabis, is only one-third as dangerous for drivers as the legal drug, alcohol.
NOT CUT OUT FOR A LIFE OF CRIME
Three men who police say stole a car in San Jose, Calif., in October and drove it to Chico, Calif., were arrested in Chico when police caught them trying to break into that same car because they had locked the keys inside (or thought they had, since Chico Officer Jose Lara said he found the keys in one of the men’s pockets, after all). MTW