News for 02/28/2008

Canal Street in New York City was (in)famous for being the city’s “ground zero” for counterfeit goods. Shoppers – some from out of town on organized “counterfeit shopping trips” – greedily snapped up fake Prada handbags, Patek Philippe and Rolex watches, and Dolce & Gabbana accessories. It was all there out in the open. Was. At the order of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the city has decided to crack down on the shops, closing down 32 of them. I’m certain that the fakes peddlers will just end up selling somewhere else… though I have no idea where exactly.

Good news for Type 1 diabetics: researchers at Harvard have “cured” Type 1 diabetes in mice with a cocktail of four drugs. As the linked BBC. article notes, “previously the same team at Harvard University had only been able to stop the destruction of the cells which make insulin, not regenerate them”. By adding a fourth, they’ve found a way to make mice generate their own insulin. Let’s hope that the drug combo works better than smoking-cessation drug Chantix – which has led to 37 suicides and “more than 400 reports of suicidal behavior”. There’s a disturbing account of the drug’s effects in the linked article, but I’ll post only an except here:

By night four, my dreams began to take on characteristics of a David Cronenberg movie. Every time I’d drift off, I’d dream that an invisible, malevolent entity was emanating from my air conditioner, which seemed to be rattling even more than usual. I’d nap for twenty minutes or so before bolting awake with an involuntary gasp. I had the uneasy sense that I wasn’t alone.

I think I’ll stick with smoking, thanks.

Another sign Britain is heading down the toilet: it seems that many female Muslim medics are refusing to wash their hands and arms properly in Britain… because it exposes their forearms, which is considered “immodest” in Islam. MRSA is running rampant at many British hospitals… and now some Islamic Neanderthals have decided that their religious beliefs are more important than the safety of their patients! And worse yet, “managers at Liverpool’s Alder Hey hospital are trying to negotiate with the students”. Jesus – whatever happened to the British Empire that woulda smacked this stuff down with a stiff upper lip and dry wit? Why not just throw in the towel and submit to Allah already? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the refusal to wash their hands, though – after all, this is the same religion that is going to execute a woman for witchcraft. In 2008. In Saudi Arabia – a country that has running water, electricity, Internet access and HDTV.

Big box stores like Home Depot and Lord & Taylor are hiring law firms to sue people accused of shoplifting in their stores, regardless of whether they’re convicted of anything. An example: “Miami handyman Glenn Rudge was accused of shoplifting an $8 set of drill bits at Home Depot. He thought he’d settled the matter when he showed his receipt to prosecutors and they dropped the charge. But a few weeks later, a law firm hired by Home Depot began sending him letters demanding first $3,000, then a total of $6,000, implying he’d be sued if he didn’t pay it”. It seems that Lord & Taylor took in $1 million in “civil recovery” from suspected shoplifters in a recent year. Nice to see these stores coming up with new profit centers!

And lastly for today… my favorite British tabloid, The Sun, has posted pictures from what it claims is the world’s first eyeball tattooing. As you might guess, the pictures can be considered a bit gruesome if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing, so I’ve embedded a pic after the jump.

Eye Tattoo

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