CUTTING OFF THE FOOT TO SPITE THE LEG
In October, Greece’s largest health insurance provider announced, in a letter to a diabetes foundation, that it would no longer pay for the special footwear that diabetics need for reducing pain but suggested it would pay instead for amputation, which is less expensive. The decision, which the foundation said is not supported by international scientific literature, was published in the prominent Athens newspaper To Vima and reported by the U.S. news site DailyCaller.com.
A shop in Santa Cruz, California, opened in September selling ice cream infused with extract of marijuana. Customers with medical marijuana prescriptions can buy Creme De Canna, Bananabis Foster or Straw-Mari Cheesecake, at $15 a half-pint (with one bite supposedly equal to five puffs of “really good” weed, according to the proprietor).
THE LORD’S DOMAIN
Shareholder James Solakian filed a lawsuit in October against the board of directors of Bible.com, on the ground that the URL—a potential “goldmine,” he says—was not being properly exploited financially. Although the company’s business plan was, explicitly, to become “very, very profitable,” it also vowed, according to a Reuters report, to be governed by “Christian business principles.”
Janis Ollson, 31, of Balmoral, Manitoba, is recovering nicely after being almost completely sawed in half in 2007 by Mayo Clinic surgeons, who concluded that they could remove her bone cancer no other way. In experimental surgery that had been tried only on cadavers, doctors split her pelvis in half, removed the left half, her left leg and her lower spine (and the tumor) in a 20-hour, 12-specialist procedure. The real trick, though, was the eight-hour, 240-staple reconstruction in which her remaining leg was reconnected to her spine with pins and screws, leaving her in an arrangement doctors likened to a “pogo stick.” A September Winnipeg Free Press story noted that, except for the missing leg, she is leading a normal life with her husband and two kids and enjoys snowmobiling.
SLIME GOOD ENOUGH, SLIME SMART ENOUGH…
Two University of Sydney researchers reported recently that the food-acquisition “strategy” of the brainless, single-cell slime mold appeared to resemble one of the strategies familiar to us so-called brain-containing humans, specifically, making a selection only after comparing it to readily available alternatives. Furthermore, Japanese researchers who mapped the slime mold’s search for food found that its nuclei are arranged in a pattern that is seemingly just as logically helpful in food procurement as the service arrangements are in Tokyo’s acclaimed railway system.
In September, Russia’s finance minister publicly urged citizens to step up their smoking and drinking, in that the government’s new “sin” taxes mean more revenue. “If you smoke a pack of cigarettes,” he said, “that means you are giving more to help solve social problems.”
GOOD NEWS FOR
In research results announced in June, a team led by a University of Oklahoma professor, studying Mexican molly fish, discovered that females evaluate potential mates on sight, based on the prominence of the moustache-like growths on males’ upper lips. More controversially, the researchers hypothesized that males further enhance their mating prowess by employing the “moustache” to tickle females’ genitals.
A 45-year-old, out-of-town man was killed in a street robbery in Oakland, California, in July after he became distracted while typing a location into his cell phone’s map program to find his way to a job interview. The appointment was at Google Inc. ■
To share or save this article, type: