Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Condom Story Unlike Any Other

A woman who was arrested and jailed for three weeks on drug charges for what turned out to be flour-filled condoms has settled a lawsuit against the city for $180,000.

"Under the circumstances, something went terribly wrong," Janet H. Lee's attorney, Jeffrey Ibrahim, said Wednesday. "We're trying to ensure that nothing like that ever happens again."

Lee was a freshman at Bryn Mawr College in 2003 when she tried to take three condoms filled with flour in her carry-on bag on a flight to Los Angeles. They were discovered by airport screeners, and authorities said initial tests showed they contained drugs. Lee was held for 21 days on drug trafficking charges until later tests showed she was telling the truth.

Lee said the flour-filled condoms were a phallic toy students would squeeze to deal with exam stress, and she thought they were funny and packed them to show friends at home. Lee, now a 21-year-old senior, said she did not know that drug dealers often carry drugs in condoms.

A trial had been scheduled to begin Thursday in Lee's lawsuit. Lynne Sitarski, a lawyer for the city, said the city was not admitting wrongdoing or liability.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,

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Teacher Gets Caught Accepting Bribes From Fifthgraders

It's three years probation for a Pensacola, Fla., middle school teacher accused of allowing students to miss gym class in exchange for money.

Authorities said the former Ernest Ward Middle School teacher gave students who didn't participate or dress for her gym class a 100 percent participation grade in exchange for $1 during the 2004-2005 school year.Tamara Tootle will also voluntarily surrender her Florida Education Certification permanently and perform 300 hours of community service.

Tootle pleaded no contest to six felony counts of third-degree bribery.Although she will not teach during her probation, Tootle's teaching career outside of Florida hasn't completely been ruled out, said Assistant State Attorney John Simon, who prosecuted the case."

That's an issue we still have to figure out," Simon told the Pensacola News Journal. "For now, she is not to teach in any public or private school." Another gym teacher at the school, Terence Braxton, pleaded guilty in May to six counts of felony bribery. He was sentenced to three years of probation and also had his state teaching certificate revoked.

Escambia School District spokesman Ronnie Arnold told the paper that Tootle and Braxton paid "a heavy price for a poor decision.""It's sad," he said. "But something like this is just common sense. When we got into education, we all knew we'd have to live to a higher standard."

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Elderly man fends off a would-be burglar with a shoehorn

An elderly man fended off a would-be burglar with a shoehorn before the man invaded another home and was arrested, the Dodge County Sheriff's Department said.

The man kicked in the door of an elderly couple's home in Lebanon about 1 a.m. Monday, demanded money and threatened to shoot them, the sheriff's department said in a news release.

But the husband, who is in his 80s, beat the man around the head with a long shoehorn, forcing him from the home.

The intruder and another man then committed another home invasion in the Oconomowoc area and were arrested in Waukesha County, the release said.

The Dodge County District Attorney's Office is reviewing the matter for potential charges.

"This is one of those crimes that a lengthy sentence just doesn't do justice," Sheriff Todd Nehls said of the Lebanon incident. "The torment and anguish will be with them forever."

Australian Bank Issues Credit Card To Cat

SYDNEY: An Australian bank has apologised for issuing a credit card to a cat after its owner decided to test the bank's identity security system.

The Bank of Queensland issued a credit card to Messiah the cat when his owner Katherine Campbell applied for a secondary card on her account under its name.

"I just couldn't believe it. People need to be aware of this and banks need to have better security," Campbell told local media on Thursday.

The bank said the cat's card had been cancelled.

"We apologise as this should not have happened," it said in a statement.

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The Scan Of Your Future

Brain scans have given US scientists a clue about how we create a mental image of our own future.

The Washington University team say that specific areas of the brain are active when thinking about upcoming events.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study could help doctors trying to understand damage inflicted by strokes, injuries or diseases.

The findings tally with damage spotted in the brains of patients who have lost the ability to 'think ahead'.

The brain remains the most poorly understood organ of the body, but the use of MRI scans to examine the way they work has taken off in recent years.

When patients or volunteers are placed in the functional MRI scanner and asked to think or move in a particular way, specific areas of the brain 'light up' on the scan image, corresponding with increased electrical activity in those regions.

The technique has developed to the extent that scientists can almost know what patients are thinking about simply by looking at the brain areas they are using.

The latest project looked at one of the qualities thought to be unique to humans - the ability to create a mental picture of events that have not yet happened.

The researchers placed 21 volunteers into the MRI machine, then contrasted the scan results when they were asked to imagine vividly future events and recollect past memories.

Brain activated

The resulting images showed clear differences between a birthday already experienced, and a birthday yet to come.

In particular, when looking ahead, three particular areas of the brain were activated - the left lateral premotor cortex, the left precuneus and the right posterior cerebellum.

These brain areas are already known to be involved in the imagining of body movements, suggesting that when the human brain is thinking about the future, it does so in terms of distinct movements and actions that will happen at that point.

Examples from other research include the activation of the part of the brain involved in swinging the arm when volunteers were asked to think about playing baseball.

The test results are in line with other studies of patients who have suffered brain damage in roughly the same areas, and are no longer able to imagine future events.

The researchers wrote: "Perhaps one of the most adaptive capacities of the human mind is the ability to fashion behaviour in anticipation of future consequences.

"Much of our everyday thought depends on our ability to see ourselves partaking in future events."

However, they made clear that further research would be needed to unlock the precise way that brain works when thinking about the future.

Story from BBC NEWS

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Moss And Doherty Wedding That Never Was

Controversial British top model Kate Moss was Tusday reported to have tied the knot on a Thai beach with pop singer Pete Doherty, notorious for his drug-taking. However, the rumors were quickly denied by her spokesman.

Stuart Higgins said Moss, 32, was vacationing in Thailand, but didn't marry Babyshambles frontman Doherty.

"Contrary to various entirely false media reports today, there has not been any kind of marriage ceremony in Thailand. She is on holiday," Higgins said.

Initially, it was reported that Moss, 32, and the frontman of the group Babyshambles, 27, "married" during a New Year break on the island of Phuket, British tabloids claimed. The couple were photographed celebrating with champagne at a beach villa. Moss was pictured barefoot in a silver dress, while Doherty wore a black suit and his trademark matching trilby hat.

The leading British tabloids reported that Moss and Doherty had held the ceremony in the Thai resort of Phuket. Neither the Sun nor the Daily Mirror provided sources for the alleged information. The Mirror quoted an unnamed friend of Moss as saying the ceremony was an expression of the couple's mutual devotion, reports AP.

Wedding services including Buddhist prayers, the pouring of blessed water and entwining of flower garlands are popular among tourists to the romantic Thai island. However, such ceremonies are not legally binding and participants must still undertake a civil service in their own countries, UK for the celebrity couple.

Junkie Doherty is currently serving a two-year supervision order for various drug offences.

On 15 September 2005, London's Daily Mirror ran front page and inside photos that seemed to show Moss snorting several lines of cocaine at a Babyshambles recording session. Within a short time of publication, Moss lost major modeling contracts with several international companies. Moss made a comeback just months after the cocaine scandal broke. Today Kate Moss makes more money than before the scandal. Her 2006 earnings add up to £30 million.

Kate Moss dumped Doherty temporarily after he checked himself out of Meadows Clinic in Arizona, failing to complete a program for drug rehabilitation. Moss herself underwent successful treatment there in October and had urged Doherty to seek the same treatment himself. Doherty claims that their separation involved other issues, telling the The Sun newspaper that Moss left him because, “I can’t buy her diamonds and my dick is too small.”

Katherine Moss is British and while in high school she was not noted for her academic success. According to Vermorel's book "Addicted to Love: Kate Moss" she gained one C (in Science) and all the rest were Ds, Es, and Fs at GCSE level. However, she did excel at sports. She was discovered at the age of 14 by the founder of Storm Model Agency in 1988, at the JFK Airport in New York City. Corinne Day shot black and white photographs of Kate for “The Face” magazine when she was 15. Moss then went on to become something of an anti-supermodel of the 90s in contrast to the supermodels at the time, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, and Naomi Campbell.

She was the star of a highly publicized campaign for Calvin Klein, including posing nude in ads for its perfume brand, Obsession. Some have even blamed her for popularizing the dangerous "heroin chic" look. Storm Model Agency lists Moss as being 173 cm (5' 8") but it is widely known that she is shorter than that, about 5' 7".


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Woman Uses Her Dog To Score Painkillers

(CBS/AP) FARMINGTON, Conn. A Burlington woman has been charged with trying to obtain painkillers from a drug store by using her dog's name.

Kymberly Smith, 38, faces more than two dozen charges related to her alleged repeated attempts to fraudulently obtain painkillers at a Farmington pharmacy under her dog's name.

Police said Smith is charged with using her dog Zack's name to get Hydrocodone, which is marketed under several names including Vicodin.

Simsbury police said Smith was also arrested in June after she was allegedly caught calling in a fraudulent prescription for the same drug.

Farmington police said Smith was a veterinary technician for several area veterinarians when she began using their ID number to call in prescriptions for herself under the name "Zack Smith."

She turned herself in Dec. 29 and was released after posting bond.

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