Steaks from Waygu cattle in western Australia were already revered by gourmets worldwide (noted for their marbling), but recently an exporter went a step further: The choice grains fed the cattle are now being soaked in a 2004 cabernet merlot, according to a January dispatch from Sydney in London’s Sunday Telegraph. “Our biggest problem is going to be meeting demand,” said the managing director of Margaret River Premium Meat Exports, even though the best cuts of steak might run the equivalent of about US$90. Plans are to feed each cow a liter’s worth of wine daily during its last 60 days.
In January the British General Dental Council found David Quelch guilty of professional misconduct for pulling two teeth of a patient, against her will, without anesthesia, because she had complained about previous treatments. He allegedly said, “That’ll teach you …” And in Romania, the patient at Panduri Urology Hospital was not at fault (according to United Press International, from a January story in Bucharest’s Sunday Telegram) when surgeon Naum Ciomu lost his temper at his own sloppiness and chopped off a 36-year-old man’s penis. Ciomu later admitted that he had overreacted. Nonetheless, the Romanian doctors’ union complained that Ciomu’s fine (the equivalent of about $190,000) was unwarranted.
“The world’s most dangerous road,” according to a November BBC News dispatch, is a 50-mile stretch of winding, mountain-hugging cliff three miles above sea level, running from La Paz, Bolivia, to the country’s Yungas region. At least 200 people a year reportedly die on the road, which is about 10 feet wide with no railing and frequent confrontations when wide-load vehicles meet from opposite directions. Furthermore, bad Andes Mountain storms wash away parts of the road that does exist. Bolivians frequently pray to the goddess Pachamama for safe passage.
SCIENCE GONE MAD
Transgendered patient Gina Tilley filed a lawsuit late last year against New York City plastic surgeon David Ostad (who has been cited by state medical authorities 11 times and sued 14 times), complaining that her 2004 saline breast implants had shifted to her armpits. And the fire alarm at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth, England, sounded one night in December, attributed to a diet of brussels sprouts fed to a turtle. Marine biologist Sarah Leaney of the Centre explained that the turtle’s resulting flatulence probably created bubbles that raised the water level enough to trigger the alarm.
SETTLING THE GENDER WARS
German cancer researchers, writing in a January journal article, reported that any exercise helped ward off breast cancer in pre-menopausal women but that housework-type exercise worked for all women and was superior to job-based or leisure-based exercise. And in January a female chimpanzee, Judy, escaped from the Little Rock (Ark.) Zoo. As she moved about, was observed entering a bathroom, grabbing a brush, and cleaning a toilet. She also wrung out a sponge and cleaned off a refrigerator, according to an Associated Press report.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
Glenn Vickers, 53, allegedly intoxicated, wildly tailgated a driver in January on Interstate 64 that happened to be Kanawha County, W.Va., sheriff Mike Rutherford in an unmarked car. After jockeying behind Rutherford for a while, Vickers peeled off at an exit and flipped Rutherford the finger, then crashed into a guardrail. MTW