Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "Stealth care," Sept. 16, 2006

Century mark

Anthony Love of Brooklyn, N.Y., reached a dubious milestone in September. Love, 40, notched his 100th arrest when sheriff's deputies in Warren County picked up the career criminal for having stolen merchandise worth $1,300 in his car. Authorities plan to charge him with felony possession of stolen goods, but previous jail terms haven't changed Love's ways. His criminal history includes a number of arrests for violent felonies.

Animal effort

Aghast at mouth-to-snout resuscitation pictures he saw in the local newspaper, a city alderman in Appleton, Wis., hopes firefighters and paramedics will never again have to work that hard to save a household pet's life. To wit, the city leader led an effort to purchase animal oxygen masks to install in six fire trucks and 13 ambulances. The devices, designed to work for dogs, cats, and other small animals, cost $49 each. Rather than fleecing taxpayers for pet emergency equipment, local animal lovers and rights activists donated the funds.

Cheap grace

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A thief in Utah received grace from the least likely person: his victim. When the thief snagged 75-year-old Betty Horton's purse, the elderly woman gave chase and eventually caught up to the man. From there, she gave him a piece of her mind, but upon discovering the thief was broke, felt compassion. "I said, 'Why didn't you just ask me for some change? I would have helped you. I would have gladly given it to you,'" Horton said. And she did, giving him $3 and telling him to scoot before the cops arrived.

Fishy find

Trout fishermen in Maine should be on the lookout for some strange fish. Angler Ken Snowdon caught one in January: a trout with a radio antenna sticking out of its belly. Snowdon says the antenna had him highly confused. That is, until he showed his catch to fishing officials. State conservation authorities placed the 10-inch antennas in about 75 trout in Maine's Moosehead Lake and its tributaries to track fish levels. Snowdon had his fish mounted, and the taxidermist even included a dark thread to resemble the fish's antenna.

Price of life

How much is life worth to you? According to a study performed by a Harvard health economist, an extra year of life now costs as little as $20,000. The price tag to add a year of life expectancy may seem like a hefty toll, but consider that researchers found that in the mid-1990s, adding a year to life expectancy cost more than $36,000 on average. Researchers identify advanced and relatively cheap drugs like blood pressure medicine as a big reason for the decline in the price of another year of life.

McSafety

Hedgehogs 1, McDonald's 0. A group of environmentalists won a concession from the world's largest fast-food company when McDonald's announced it would redesign its McFlurry cup. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society complained for years that hedgehogs would come upon littered McFlurry containers, make an attempt to lick up the leftover ice cream, and get their heads stuck in the cup. In the redesign, McDonald's made the opening in the container too small for hedgehogs to penetrate, though the spiny mammals may have preferred a container with a mouth wide enough to permit easy access to the leftover ice cream without a danger of getting stuck.

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