! Odds & Ends: Giant burgers, cocaine World Cup trophy, the luckiest gas station in Texas, safety drill deemed unsafe
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 V.19 No.28 | July 15 - 21, 2010 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Taiwan—Dentists are urging fast-food chains to put health warnings on their burgers—not because the burgers contain harmful ingredients, but because they are so dangerously large. According to a report in the China Post, dentists in Taiwan say many burger eaters have been treated for jaw-related injuries after trying to eat the plus-sized sandwiches offered by many national chains. Hsu Ming-Iung, associate professor of the School of Dentistry at National Yang-Ming University, said the human jaw is designed to open for objects up to 1 1/2 half inches. Many fast-food restaurants now offer burgers towering up to 3 inches in height. The big burgers are causing some diners to suffer symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction—including sore jaws and difficulty opening the mouth—and should be banned, say the dentists.

Dateline: Colombia—Lab tests have confirmed what police suspected: A replica of the World Cup trophy seized at Bogatá airport on July 4 is composed almost entirely of cocaine. The gold-painted, 14-inch statue was found in a crate in an airmail warehouse during a routine security sweep. The crate was waiting to be sent to an address in Spain, airport anti-drug chief Jose Piedrahita told BBC News. The coked-out World Cup was made from 11 kg (24 pounds) of the narcotic mixed with acetone or gasoline to make it moldable.

Dateline: Texas—Evidently, luck is a lady. On July 3, Joan Ginther landed her fourth multimillion-dollar payout from a scratch-off lottery card. The 63-year-old Ginther just nabbed $10 million off a $50 scratcher, marking the fourth time she has won a seven-figure sum by playing the lottery. According to ABC News, Ms. Ginther’s first win came in 1993 when she won $5.4 million. She won $2 million in 2006 and another $3 million in 2008. Unbelievably, three of Ginther’s winning tickets were purchased at the same convenience store in the tiny town of Bishop, Texas. “This is a very lucky store,” Bob Solis, the manager of Times Market, told the Corpus Christi-based Caller-Times. Ginther currently lives in Las Vegas, Nev., but was born in Bishop and returns occasionally to visit her father.

Dateline: Wisconsin—A 36-year-old man allegedly beat his wife because she wasn’t fast enough in helping him get high. According to the Appleton Post-Crescent, the wife told Appleton police her husband asked her to drive him to the store to purchase more cans of aerosol computer duster so he could “huff” the contents. When she didn’t get her car keys fast enough, he allegedly threw a cereal bowl against a wall. When she threatened to call police, the man grabbed his wife by the hair and threw her to the floor. The couple’s 14-year-old son tried to intervene but was pushed against a wall and choked by his father. Appleton police charged the man, who was not identified in order to protect the victims, with child abuse, strangulation, suffocation, domestic battery, disorderly conduct and possession of a hazardous substance with intent to abuse. The man admitted to police he had huffed from aerosol cans in the past but said he was not doing so at the time of his arrest.

Dateline: Nevada—A Las Vegas hospital is expected to be fined over an emergency preparedness drill that looked a little too realistic for comfort. The May 24 emergency drill at the Siena Campus of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals included an armed man who took employees hostage. Nurses, doctors and other hospital employees did not realize the gunman was an off-duty police officer with an unloaded weapon, reports the Las Vegas Sun. A total of eight employees, including the ICU director, were herded at gunpoint and lined up against the wall in a staff room. The gunman revealed his true identity after about five minutes but kept the employees in the room for another 10 minutes before allowing them to return to work. On July 2, the Nevada State Health Division said the hospital may be ordered to pay an $800 fine for leaving some patients without care for up to 15 minutes during the drill. Teressa Conley, the hospital’s chief operating officer, said the three employees who designed the drill had the “best intentions” but did not think things through. At least two have been fired.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.
 

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