Monday, July 17, 2006
Woman uses 9-1-1 as dating service?
Emergency service 911 is not meant to be used as a dating service.
Just ask an Oregon woman who authorities say learned the hard way.
They say it started when some neighbors called the sheriff with a noise complaint about Lorna Jeanne Dudash. A deputy came to her door.
After he left, Dudash allegedly dialed the emergency number, asking dispatchers to send back the "cutie pie," as she put it.
The apparently stunned operator asked again why she needed help, and Dudash answered that she wanted to meet the handsome deputy.
He returned. After confirming there was no emergency, he gave Dudash a date -- but not the kind she appeared to be hoping for.
She got a court date on charges of 911 misuse. Conviction can carry a year in jail plus thousands in fines. Article here.
Woman killed at McDonald's drive-thru
23-year-old mother, her husband and their sons, Eric, 5, and Ivan, 1, were just walking up to the McDonald's when tragedy struck.
A vehicle leaving the drive-thru lane struck Chavez, who was holding Ivan, and pinned her against a raised piece of landscaping. She died at the scene; the baby was not hurt.
"Why, why did this happen to me?" Chavez's husband, Mario Maya, asked repeatedly as he waited inside the McDonald's with his children while authorities investigated the site.
Police said it appears the driver, a man whose name was not released, was on his cell phone and might have accelerated too quickly -- perhaps because he was upset over his order -- as he drove out. He was not arrested.
The restaurant closed but reopened a couple of hours later. But dislodged and smashed pieces of wooden railroad ties holding up a bed of rocks and small shrubs -- the landscaping Chavez had been pinned against -- were reminders of what had happened.
According to police, the driver, alone in a Lincoln Navigator, had been talking on a cell phone as he was about to leave the McDonald's drive-thru. McDonald's employees said later on Saturday that the driver was not arguing with them.
As he pulled forward, rather than steering right slightly to turn out of the way of the landscaping, he apparently drove straight ahead, Smyser said. It was unclear how fast the Navigator was moving when it struck Chavez, but the extent of damage to the landscaping suggested that he accelerated quickly, Smyser said.
Maya said: "The car took off with all its might and ran over my wife." He said that his wife was holding Ivan, but that he tumbled out of her arms unhurt.
The driver stayed at the scene after the collision and was interviewed by investigators. Police were reviewing the case to see whether charges should be brought. Article here.
The longest word in the english dictionary
The word Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is defined as "a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, mostly found in volcanos". It was originally postulated by Everett M. Smith, simply to serve as the longest English word, but has been used in several sources as an approximation of its originally intended definition. The plural of this word, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses is equally long.
It is the longest word ever to appear in an English language dictionary. This 45-letter word, referred to by logologists as "P45", first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1936.
The name generally used to describe this condition is pneumoconiosis, which is much shorter. Source.
Boy asleep in car, car jacking wakes him up
A boy kidnapped in a stolen car was helped to safety by his father and a cell phone. Seven-year-old Mike Roberts was asleep in the backseat when his mother's car was stolen Thursday in Pensacola.
Police said the carjacker's speeding and fast moves woke up the young boy. The boy begged him to slow down and that's when the carjacker ditched the car and took off.
Roberts' frantic father tried to track down his son by calling his wife's cell phone, which happened to be still in the car.
"And it dawned on me, I didn't know where I was going and I called her on her cell phone. My son answered the cell phone. And I said, 'Michael, is this you?' and he said 'Yes, dad, this is me. Come and get me, come to me,'" Michael Roberts Sr. said.
The boy’s father told his son to get out of the car and find help. A maintenance worker at a school near where the car was ditched stayed with the boy until his dad arrived. Police were still looking for the carjacker. Article here.
TVs in the house dangerous to kids?
The 37-inch television sits in the dirt of the backyard, wet from the rain and dented and cracked from the fury of Alejandro Peña. His hands are swollen and the knuckles scabbed after he attacked the set as if it were a blood enemy.
In a way, it is. On Wednesday, the television fell on his 3-year-old daughter, Lizzette, after she tried to climb it to retrieve a toy. The set split her skull, Peña said.
In the past year, at Memorial Hermann Hospital alone, there have been 11 injuries from falling televisions. In the past four months, five of those have resulted in death. The extent of the problem at other Houston-area hospitals could not be determined at press time.
The previous incident occurred July 6, when 2-year-old Diego Martinez knocked a large television set onto himself and was pinned beneath it for several minutes. He died later that day.
There are no national numbers for fatalities, but in 2005, U.S. emergency-room doctors treated 2,600 children younger than 5 injured by falling televisions, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"It's become a real public health issue," said Dr. Stephen Fletcher, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. "Who would have thought?"
Experts say the problem, already the subject of at least three academic studies, is really more about inadequate anchoring of TVs than it is about their design or size. Faulting a lack of parental awareness and an absence of fundamental prevention steps, they stressed the problem is easily avoidable.
Because many new televisions tend to be front-heavy, accidents tend to happen when small children climb them or try to retrieve objects on them. Experts said the most important thing is to keep TVs out of reach of small children or at least anchor them against a wall, and don't put things on them.
One of the studies called for manufacturers to make available or include an inexpensive furniture-securing device, such as a strap, and to add labels warning of the potential danger of units toppling. Full article here.
Man celebrates his 100th birthday at Hooters
A elderly man held his 100th birthday party at Hooters. Nat Back said it wasn't his idea, but they didn't have to drag him to the restaurant kicking and screaming either.
Back celebrated his 97th and 99th birthdays at Hooters as well. He claims he doesn't know how he has managed to live so long.
Then he opened his birthday present, a 12 pack of Corona Light longnecks. "How did you know that Corona was the right brand?" Back asked a friend.
As for his 101st birthday, he said there's a chance he'll be back at Hooters next year. "I can't guarantee it," Back said with a grin. He says the one guarantee he can make to live a long, fruitful life is to share it with plenty of friends. Article here.