Friday, March 23, 2007

Dead Air

To die in the sky -- the image is poetic and heavenly. It rhymes, too. But some flights nowadays are barely fit for the living, which makes our lead story all the more ironic.

THE LAST UPGRADE. A crew on a British Airways flight moved a passenger from coach to first class after she died on the flight. Her family was moved with her to give them some privacy to grieve.

But the real shock came for a sleeping first-class passenger who woke up with the deceased next to him.

From the AP:
"I didn't have a clue what was going on. The stewards just plonked the body down without saying a thing. I remember looking at this frail, sparrow-like woman and thinking she was very ill," the newspaper quoted [Paul] Trinder as saying. "When I asked what was going on, I was shocked to hear she was dead."
And likely still earning frequent-flyer miles, too.

LOADED BEHIND THE WHEEL. Bernadette Houghton Headd of Detroit faces road-rage related charges after she shot out the tires on a truck tailgating her. She was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and a crack shot.

From the Detroit Free Press:
When she was arrested, she told police, "I'm tired of people tailgating me."

But her mother said Headd was fearful during a trying and turbulent time in her life. She had been caring for her mother, who had a kidney transplant in December, and for her 18-year-old son, who had surgery in January for scoliosis, Del-Marie Headd said Saturday.
Your Lightning Round thinks Headd could've saved herself a lot of trouble with a carefully worded bumper sticker: "I'm stressed. I'm packing. Need I say more?"

RADIOACTIVE. Debbie Bird of Bowden, England, is so sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, she can break out in a rash when somebody answers their cell phone.

She tells the Daily Mail:
'I don't own a microwave. I don't use mobile phones at all. I can't even use a cordless phone. We have a plasma screen TV because the old style one gave out gamma rays, which brought on my reaction.

'I can't even get in my friend's BMW. If I do I immediately start getting a headache and my head starts tingling.

'Even shopping is a problem. I can't go in places like Starbucks where there is Wi-Fi broadband and always have to be aware of my environment.'
Mrs. Bird and her husband had to electrically shield their home.
The house was completely re-wired, had clear protective film put on the windows and every wall was painted with black carbon paint, which cost £250 per tin, to deflect the harmful rays.

All the couple's bedroom curtains are also silver-plated and they sleep under a silver-plated mosquito net, which also protects against radiation.
Given the FBI's recent transgressions involving electronic surveillance, some of us may want to do the same.

UNHAND THAT BALLOON... WAIT... NO! In our continuing search for Totally Unnecessary Legislation, your Lightning Round stumbled across a bill in New Hampshire that makes it a crime to release a balloon. Get caught and you get slapped with a $250 fine.

From the Concord Union-Leader:
Those who favored the bill said the balloon materials, including the attached strings and ribbons, pose a serious threat to wildlife. Whales, turtles and seabirds that live along New Hampshire's coastline mistakenly eat floating balloons thinking they are food, and then are unable to eat real food.

"Do we now get balloon police?" Rep. Randolph Holden, R-Goffstown, asked.
My grandfather's dog used to eat anything that wasn't nailed down. Where's the law to protect him?

TALE OF THE TAPE. A new study finds duct tape, contrary to an earlier study, doesn't cure warts.

From the AP:
[The finding] does not surprise Dr. Amy Paller, chairman of the dermatology department at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, who was not involved in the new study.

"I have plenty of patients come in having tried duct tape. That's why they come in, because it didn't work," Paller said.
And while we're at it, our staffers remind you it's no substitute for Nair, either. Don't ask.

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