Paris Hilton added to her fame for being famous when she purchased Mr. Amazing, alleged to be the tiniest Pomeranian in the world at 2.5 inches tall and 11.6 ounces, and fired off an Instagram photo showing the dog in the palm of her hand. Ms. Hilton paid $13,000 for her new friend and has not yet decided on a call name. My snarky cousin Ray Sixkiller suggested “Thirteen Large.”
Speaking of large, an Icelandic “truth commission” has determined that a video back in 2012 did indeed catch Lagarfljótsormurinn, a legendary lake monster, and so the government has to pay out about $4,000 in reward money for the “proof.” Scientists claim the video shows fishing gear caught in a stream that appears to be moving because of the optical illusion created by the running water. Discovery News points out that “monster tourism” is likely to bring in many times the reward paid out. Cousin Ray suggested that the First Nations people up in British Columbia ought to set up a “truth commission” to endorse what they call N’Haatik and the colonists call Ogopogo.
I was thinking that if Scotland had voted for independence from the United Kingdom, the Loch Ness Monster may become their primary economic asset. And, of course, the Six Nations may claim Champ, who is protected by law in New York and Vermont.
Former South Carolina Governor and current Republican Congressman Mark Sanford revealed via Facebook that he has broken up with María Belén Chapur, the woman who helped Sanford invest “hiking the Appalachian Trail” with a new meaning. Through all the trail hiking, Rep. Sanford has retained his evangelical Christian and “family values” self-presentation. He was elected to Congress when he rolled over Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report. Busch lacked her brother’s ability to cash in on satire trapped in the wild.
Speaking of satire in the wild, a couple of days after the Facebook posting, Ms. Chapur revealed to The New York Times that she had been blindsided on Facebook and that “she felt as if she had been cast aside now that Mr. Sanford (is) back in political office.” In her words, “I think that I was not useful to him anymore.” Cousin Ray snickered, “Who does she think she is—a South Carolina voter?”
The Washington Post reported that the first vice chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, former state senator Russell Pearce, has resigned in the middle of an uproar about his advocacy of forced sterilization for welfare recipients. Pearce blamed the controversy on “the progressive left and the media.” Cousin Ray, who is a Republican, insists I publish that he does not favor forced sterilization for anybody. Ray’s anxiety is understandable, and illustrates why the Arizona GOP quickly threw Pearce under the bus.
Military Times reported that the Air Mobility Command has flown over 1,000 sorties in support of the fight against the criminal gang known as ISIS. While everybody counts the sorties flown by the Top Gun types, the AMC troops respond with an old acronym: NKAWTG. “Nobody Kicks Ass Without Tanker Gas.” Cousin Ray pronounced that cute, “but not in the league of SNAFU or FIGMO.”
Every GI not killed in action will become a veteran, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the post-scandal boss, Robert A. McDonald, needs to hire about 4,000 docs and 9,000 nurses. All told, there are almost 46,000 new employees needed. Over 15 percent of the slots already authorized are empty. VA wages are notoriously noncompetitive with other opportunities for skilled health care workers.
The New York Times reported the primary economic engine of the EU, Germany, has become so successful in switching to renewables for electricity they’ve driven the price down worldwide. They’ve taken on CO2 pollution the hard way by phasing out nuclear power at the same time. Germany is about to roll over 30 percent renewable energy, moving twice as fast as the US. The cost to each German family is about $280 a year and there have been street demonstrations demanding that the race to renewable fuels be…get ready for this…speeded up. The demand to phase out nuclear power was also driven from below, a reaction to the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan.
The Japan Times reported that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has as yet been unable to stanch the flow of radioactive water from Fukushima. The planned “ice wall” around the crippled nuke will take 1,545 pipes, of which about 400 are finished. Once the ice has stopped the inflow of clean water, the plan is to remove the contaminated water within seven years. What TEPCO intends to do with the radioactive water, currently growing by 300-400 tons a day, is unclear, since the tanks storing it now “can be seen everywhere across the plant premises, thick like a forest, and they are steadily approaching the limits of their capacity.”
The Houston Chronicle reported energy behemoth Shell Oil and a contractor, Motiva Enterprises, have agreed to pay $4.5 million in overtime pay to more than 2,600 people who were required to attend meetings before their 12 hour shifts started but not paid for the time. The payments were agreed after an investigation by the US Department of Labor.
The Detroit News reported that federal authorities seized more than 200 marijuana plants after Randall Fleck’s daughter was noticed in her kindergarten class with an odor of marijuana on her clothes and local police got a search warrant. Fleck claims that a Michigan judge should not have signed the search warrant because he holds a medical marijuana card. Even though the 200 plants far exceeded what he was allowed under state law, there was not probable cause to believe any particular number of plants.
The Omaha World Herald reported that Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, had been having trouble with medical orders to consume at least 1,000 calories a day while being treated for the deadly Ebola virus.
The life-threatening medical problem has been solved with a substance normally used for pleasure only by younger people, a substance for which no doctor prescriptions had been written before in Nebraska: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream. Cousin Ray’s eyes lit up at the news that Ben & Jerry’s, as Ray translated the news, “is health food! Surely, Cherry Garcia cures something.”
The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, was in Las Vegas, where he walked into a sports book and placed what he claimed was the only sports bet he ever made in his life: $550 on Nebraska to beat the 12 point spread against Fresno State. Passers-by came to the window and said, “I’ll have what he’s having.” The rich guy and those who followed him cleaned up when Nebraska clobbered Fresno State 55-19.
In his continuing effort to give away his fortune, Buffett parted with about $2.8 billion this summer, most of which went to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett settled trusts on each of his children before taking on the project of getting rid of a lot of money without wasting it. He claims giving away money in an efficient way is harder than making it. I sure would like to find out, but for now I’ll have to take Buffett’s word for it.
The New York Daily News reported a cringe worthy moment in a Kanye West concert in Sydney, Australia, assuming that does not describe the entire event. West stopped the show and demanded that the entire audience stand up before he would continue. The last holdouts, as West egged on the audience to chant “Stand up!”, were an individual who waved his artificial leg by way of explanation and another who was in a wheelchair. “I knew some pop stars mistake themselves for Jesus,” Cousin Ray shook his head, “but public healing takes it to a new level.”
Piling on the NFL’s very public problems with domestic violence, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted by a Texas grand jury for leaving bloody injuries on his four-year-old son inflicted with “a switch.” In an extended text conversation with the boy’s mother, Peterson remarked, “He didn’t drop one tear! … He’s tough as nails.” Cousin Ray was tight-lipped; only snarling, “What can you say about a grown man who needs a weapon to deal with a 4-year-old?”
Psychiatrist Anna Fels published an op-ed in The New York Times reviewing the studies that have been published on the effect of lithium in drinking water. Nine of eleven studies across several cultures have found the amount of lithium associated with a number of beneficial outcomes, the most striking of which was,
“Suicide rates were inversely correlated with the lithium content in the local water supply.” Being surprised ignores the sacred status of Lithia Springs, Georgia to Cherokee people, and the “history” of the springs takes up with Ponce de Leon’s quest for the Fountain of Youth. It’s an interesting story, but there’s no evidence de Leon ever visited Lithia Springs and plenty of evidence our people knew about the properties of the water before the Spanish showed up.