The National Health Service office in Dundee, Scotland, has recommended toilet techniques for the estimated one-third of the population that suffers from bowel and bladder dysfunction, according to an April report in The Times of London. The pamphlet, “Good Defecation Dynamics,” lists preferred breathing habits and describes the proper, upright, seated posture for effective elimination (“Keep your mouth open as you bulge and widen”), and encourages support for the feet, perhaps “a small footstool.”
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT
Earlier this year in separate incidents, two physical education teachers at Ernest Ward Middle School in Pensacola, Fla., were arrested and charged with bribery for allowing students to avoid gym classes by paying the teachers money. Tamara B. Tootle, 39, charged in April, allegedly gave students credits at $1 per student per class, and Terence Braxton, 28, arrested in February, pleaded guilty in May to a similar scheme, admitting to making at least $230.
MORE SIDE BUSINESSES
A highly publicized attraction of the Isdaan restaurant in Gerona, Philippines (according to a March Reuters dispatch) is its “wall of fury,” against which diners can vent frustrations by smashing things, with fees ranging from the equivalent of 30 U.S. cents for a plate up to $25 for an old TV set. And in July, according to BBC News, British farmer David Lucas will be forced by European Commission rules to give up his lucrative sideline of building gallows for Zimbabwe and other governments that still employ hangings. Lucas’ single gallows sells for the equivalent of $22,000, and the Multi-Hanging Execution System, mounted on a trailer, goes for about $185,000.
CUTTING EDGE SCIENCE
In April, noted surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub and a team at Ormond Hospital in London re-started and re-inserted the original heart of a 12-year-old girl after it had been in storage for 10 years while she lived with a donated heart. Because the donated heart was finally showing signs of rejection, Dr. Yacoub decided that the original, which was removed because of acute inflammation, might have repaired itself enough to work again.
Schoolteacher Sue Storer, 48, filed a lawsuit against the government in Bristol, England, in March, asking the equivalent of $1.9 million for having fired her when she complained of, among other things, never getting a replacement for her classroom chair, which she said emitted a “farting” noise every time she sat down.
THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST
Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate (and football hall-of-famer) Lynn Swann, who says state taxes are too high, was revealed by the Allentown Morning Call in March to have been neglecting to collect legally required state sales tax from the Pennsylvania customers of his football memorabilia website. And Arizona gubernatorial candidate Mike Harris donated $100,000 of his own money to his campaign in April, six months after successfully begging a judge to cut his $2,000-per-month child-support payments in half (and conceding that he had not disclosed that he owed his ex-wife $44,000 more from a property sale). Harris said even paying $1,000 a month was “pretty darn generous” of him. MTW