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Modern Mummies

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Modern Mummies

▲ New York City artist Sally Davies offered in October the latest evidence of how unattractive today’s fast foods are to bacteria and maggots. Davies bought a McDonald’s Happy Meal in April, has photographed it daily and has noted periodically the lack even of the slightest sign of decomposition. Her dog, who circled restlessly nearby for the first two days the vittles were out, since then has ignored it. (Several bloggers and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock have made discoveries similar to Davies’.)
Food scientists “credited” a heavy use (though likely still within FDA guidelines) of the preservative sodium propionate but also the predominance of fat and lack of moisture and nutrients — all of which contribute to merely shrinking and hardening the burger and fries.

Compelling Explanations

▲ Raymond Roberts, 25, was arrested in Manatee County, Fla., in September after an ordinary traffic stop turned up a strong smell of marijuana. At deputies’ behest, Roberts removed a baggie of marijuana from his buttocks, but when the deputies saw another plastic bag right behind it (containing a white substance believed to be cocaine), Roberts said, “The weed is (mine),” but “(t)he white stuff is not ….”
▲ An Iowa administrative law judge ruled in September that former police officer William Bowker of Fort Madison deserved worker’s compensation even though he had not been “laid off” but rather fired — for having an affair with the wife of the chief of police. Although the city Civil Service Commission had denied him coverage (based in part on other derelictions, such as sleeping and drinking on duty and refusing to attend a class on search warrants), the judge ruled that Bowker’s dismissal seemed too much like improper retaliation for the affair.

I Demand My Rights

▲ A lawyer in Xian, China, filed a lawsuit in September against a movie house and film distributor for wasting her time — because she was exposed to 20 minutes of advertisements that began at the posted time for the actual movie to begin. Ms. Chen Xiaomei is requesting a refund (equivalent of about $5.20) plus damages of an equal amount, plus the equivalent of about 15 cents for “emotional” damages — plus an apology.
▲ In an April journal article, University of East Anglia professor Brett Mills denounced the 2009 British TV documentary series “Nature’s Great Events” on the ground that the program’s omnipresent and intrusive video cameras violated animals’ privacy. “(The animals) often do engage in forms of behavior which suggest they’d rather not encounter humans,” he wrote, “and we might want to think about equating this with a desire for privacy.”

Bright Ideas

▲ British entrepreneur Howard James, who runs several online dating sites, opened another in August to worldwide attention (and, allegedly, thousands of sign-ups in the first five days): dates for ugly people. James said new members (accepted from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and Ireland) will have their photos vetted to keep out “attractive” people. (Based on the web pages available at press time, the photo-evaluation process is working well.)

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