Friday, August 17, 2007

Smile When You Say That

Long layovers and flight delays may really gripe you. But you'd better not show it.

FACIAL PROFILING. A new breed of security officer is watching your body language and expressions. Do terrorists have an evil grin? We're not sure, but Behavior Detection Officers can spot sinister countenances.

From McClatchy Newspapers:
At the heart of the new screening system is a theory that when people try to conceal their emotions, they reveal their feelings in flashes that [University of California professor Paul] Ekman, a pioneer in the field, calls "micro-expressions." Fear and disgust are the key ones, he said, because they're associated with deception.

Behavior detection officers work in pairs. Typically, one officer sizes up passengers openly while the other seems to be performing a routine security duty. A passenger who arouses suspicion, whether by micro-expressions, social interaction or body language gets subtle but more serious scrutiny.

A behavior specialist may decide to move in to help the suspicious passenger recover belongings that have passed through the baggage X-ray. Or he may ask where the traveler's going. If more alarms go off, officers will "refer" the person to law enforcement officials for further questioning.
Besides the obvious worries about misconstrued expressions, an ethnic gap comes into play:
Different cultures express themselves differently. Expressions and body language are easy to misread, and no one's cataloged them all. Ekman notes that each culture has its own specific body language, but that little has been done to study each individually in order to incorporate them in a surveillance program.
In other words, the Behavior Detection Officers are relying more on gut feelings than proven methodology.

So put on a happy face... or else.

TAKE 'EM OUT. One of the most effective ways of treating ADHD in kids is also the simplest. Take their tonsils out.

From the AP:
Today, as T.J. gets ready to turn 3, he is a changed boy. Lively, to be sure, but affectionate instead of mean and aggressive.

"It's a total turnaround -- this is a different child," his mother said. "He's a normal, active toddler now. He responds to punishment for the first time. He gives us hugs. He says, 'I love you.' He's learning to share. Everybody notices the difference."
Doctors have found a connection between hyperactive behavior and sleep deprivation, with tonsils as the culprit.
Snoring, restlessness, apnea, and gasping for breath during the night are clearly linked to hyperactive daytime behavior in very young children. And enlarged or infected tonsils and adenoids -- immune-related tissue masses in the back and upper throat -- most often are the cause of what's known as "sleep-disordered breathing."
For the record, I still have my tonsils. And I still think I have some hyperactivity. Sleep apnea? I'm not sure. Looks like I'll have to set up the tape recorder at night.

MARRIAGE TAKES ITS TOLL. Divorce lawyers in the northeast are using the E-ZPass system to uncover the unfaithful. E-ZPass is an electronic device mounted in a car that automatically communicates with toll booths and deducts the appropriate fee from the driver's pre-paid account. But it also records the where and when, meaning it can expose a philanderer's journeys to the cheatin' side of town.

From the AP:
"E-ZPass is an E-ZPass to go directly to divorce court, because it's an easy way to show you took the off-ramp to adultery," said Jacalyn Barnett, a New York divorce lawyer who has used E-ZPass records a few times.

Lynne Gold-Bikin, a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer, said E-ZPass helped prove a client's husband was being unfaithful: "He claimed he was in a business meeting in Pennsylvania. And I had records to show he went to New Jersey that night."
Your Lightning Round has learned the makers of E-ZPass have a new product: E-ZAlimony.

SEE YOU IN JAIL, HONEY. The AP admits it "might make for a tense time at home." An Elko County, Nevada, sheriff's deputy pulled over and arrested his own wife for drunk driving. She happens to work as a jail deputy, so she already knows a lot about life behind bars.

From the AP:
Charlotte Moore reportedly had been drinking approximately two hours earlier at a downtown business group's wine walk, the [Elko Daily Free Press] newspaper said.
Guess she forgot about the "walk" part.

THE DOG ATE IT. Disgraced North Carolina prosecutor Mike Nifong returned his law license to the state bar association, and it's not in the best of shape. In a letter obtained by The Smoking Gun, he writes:
You will note that it contains a misspelling of my middle name (which I unfortunately did not notice until after my swearing in) and damage subsequently inflicted by a a puppy in her chewing stage.
Also curious is the next paragraph:
I am unable to comply with the order that I surrender my membership card, as I have never been sent one. Since I have never encountered a situation in which I needed the card, I have never requested one.
What "situation" was he referring to? Maybe... oh... practicing law?

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