Odds & Ends
Surgeons at a hospital near Chelyabinsk in southeastern Russia had to operate quickly to remove more than 40 fridge magnets swallowed by a 16-month-old toddler. The boy’s mother panicked when she noticed that all the magnets were missing from the family’s refrigerator. “The child had been in the room alone with the magnets and now they were gone. She thought he must have swallowed them,” said a hospital spokesperson. Sure enough, ultrasound scans revealed 42 round metal objects. Fortunately, the operation went without a hitch. “Over the years, I had to take a variety of foreign bodies including magnets from young patients,” chief pediatric surgeon Nikolay Rostovtsev was quoted as saying in London’s Daily Mail. “Once I removed about 20 of them. But this incident of our little patient has broken all records.” The boy is now recovering at Chelyabinsk Oblast Children’s Hospital.
Grad student Megan Thode is suing Lehigh University in Bethlehem over a C+ grade she received in the fall of 2009. She’s asking for $1.3 million in monetary damages and is seeking a grade change. Thode’s lawsuit claims the average grade kept her from getting her desired degree and becoming a licensed therapist. Professor Amanda Eckhardt, who is also named in the suit, stood by the grade, saying Thode had outbursts in class, did not participate appropriately, was emotionally unstable and failed to heed a warning letter—earning zero points out of 25 for class participation and bumping her down a full letter grade. The C+ allegedly prevented Thode from advancing in her professional therapist studies. She wound up getting a master’s degree in human development instead. Thode’s attorney has argued that Eckhardt targeted Thode because she is an outspoken advocate for gay marriage. A judge is expected to rule on the case later this month.
Ronald Eugene Murray II was found guilty of beating to death a man who laughed at him over the way he ate a sandwich. According to Torrance County’s Daily Breeze, 26-year-old Murray of Gardena was convicted of manslaughter in the death of 56-year-old Mun Jang, who was killed in October of 2011. The attack occurred at a Donut King restaurant. Murray had ordered a pastrami sandwich, and when he took a bite, some of the meat fell out onto his chin. Jang allegedly laughed at Murray, who took extreme offense. “Who are you laughing at?” yelled Murray, who became even more irate when the clerk behind the counter refused to give him a new sandwich for half price. “The real focus of his anger were the people who would not give him a sandwich,” Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Turk told the San Jose Mercury News. “The only person he could take his rage out on was the victim.” Prosecutors said Murray sucker-punched Jang, hitting and kicking the victim repeatedly, then throwing the sandwich so hard at Jang’s head that mayonnaise and lettuce stuck in his ear. Jang died in the hospital two days after the beating. Murray said in court he only acted in self-defense, claiming he slipped on the pastrami, fell to the floor and opened his eyes to see Jang standing over him with clenched fists. Murray will be sentenced in March. He faces up to 11 years in prison.
The unofficial spokesperson for Las Vegas’ notorious Heart Attack Grill did his favorite eatery proud by dying of a heart attack earlier this month. According to the Las Vegas Sun, John Alleman—who was the inspiration for the “Patient John” caricature on the eatery’s menu—collapsed at a bus stop, was rushed to a hospital and was taken off life support less than a week later. Alleman, 52, was a fixture at the high-calorie diner. “He never missed a day,” said owner Jon Basso, “even on Christmas.” Alleman is the second unofficial spokesperson to die since the restaurant opened two years ago. In March of 2011, 29-year-old Blair River—who weighed 575 pounds, died of flu-related pneumonia. Another customer suffered a nonfatal heart attack inside the restaurant in February of 2012. Basso said he still has no plans to change his restaurant’s menu, which features the record-breaking 9,982-calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger and offers free food to customers who weigh more than 350 pounds.