Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
AUGUST 10, 1998:
Dateline: Canada--Mad scientist alert! A team of Canadian
scientists have come up with a fishy idea to protect ice cream
from freezer damage--they're going to inject it with flounder
fat. Scientists from the University of Toronto and Toronto's Hospital
of Sick Children (who presumably consume a lot of ice cream) have
isolated a protein in ice-loving flounder that prevents them from
becoming fishsicles in the frigid coast off Newfoundland. When
used in the creation of yummy dairy deserts, the fish fat inhibits
formation of large ice crystals that can damage taste. No word
yet on how the fish protein tastes. Scientists speculate that
a synthetic form of the protein could also be used to create a
resistant citrus crop and may increase the shelf life of blood
platelets up to two weeks.
Dateline: Ohio--Speaking of weird frozen treats, workers
at the Columbus Zoo have discovered a popular new way to feed
the gorillas during the good old summertime. The zoo's nine great
apes have been happily cooling themselves on frozen gorilla goodies
made from diluted fruit juice and Gatorade with little edible
treats inside like peanuts, sliced fruit and marshmallows. The
confectionery caretakers are now planning on expanding to "bloodsicles"
for the big cats and "fishsicles" for the bears.
Dateline: Ohio--The city of Fostoria, Ohio, has just passed
a city ordinance that bans bad behavior. According to the newly
drafted "code of conduct," it is now officially wrong
to lie, litter, curse, vandalize property or use drugs inside
the city limits of Fostoria. There are, however, no penalties
for doing so.
Dateline: Colorado--A film developer working for Eastman
Kodak in Denver is suing the company for forcing her to perform
her job in the dark. Dorothy Neubauer, who became depressed on
the job after working in the dark for 25 years, claims to be afflicted
with Seasonal Affective Disorder--a temporary depression that
can be triggered when people do not spend enough time in the light.
The darkroom-detesting developer is suing Eastman Kodak for violating
the Americans with Disabilities Act because they would not let
her perform her job in a well-lighted area. Following her termination
while on short-term disability leave, Neubauer filed a lawsuit
in U.S. District Court seeking re-employment and unspecified monetary
Dateline: Tennessee--A very strange vandal, a bizarre performance
artist or an extremely dissatisfied customer slipped away from
Tennessee police after coating an entire hotel room with Vaseline.
The unknown man recently checked into a Howard Johnson's hotel
in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Two days later, after the man checked out,
maids went to clean the room and found the entire place coated
top-to-bottom in Vaseline. Police found 15 empty containers of
petroleum jelly in the room. Damage was estimated at $1,375 dollars.
Dateline: Nevada--A price-conscious shoplifter earned himself
an honorary spot on "The Price is Right" by picking
the right things to swipe at a Nevada drug store last week. Billy
Gibbs was nabbed by a security guard for allegedly walking out
without paying for an armload of merchandise including several
fistfuls of jewelry. The guard counted up Gibbs' haul and the
cash value came to $254. In Nevada, the theft of merchandise worth
more than $250 is a felony. Gibbs saved himself a long trip to
the state pen, however, by pointing out that the bottle of cologne
he'd allegedly boosted was on sale. That dropped the total cost
of goods down to a mere $248.16. Gibbs is now charged with the
misdemeanor crime of petty larceny.