Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "Barrier riffs," Feb. 10, 2007

Doctors' orders

Looking for a date in Washington state? Don't look at the dentist's office. That's because Washington state law forbids health-care providers, including doctors, dental hygienists, opticians, and nurses, from engaging in a romantic relationship with patients-even if it's true love. In the sexual misconduct bylaws of the state's code, health-care professionals are banned from even trying to date a patient-or even a former patient for up to two years. According to the administrative code, the laws are in place to help prevent coerced relationships between care providers in a position of power and their patients. But hygienists?

Exit stage left

Just when you thought America was ready to move past the runaway bride story of 2005, a Duluth, Ga., theater production company has made plans to put on a dramatic rendering of the story of the local woman whose pre-wedding disappearance garnered round-the-clock news coverage on cable news networks. On April 26, 2005, Jennifer Wilbanks ran away from her Duluth home in an effort to flee her impending wedding. When she surfaced in New Mexico, she falsely claimed to have been kidnapped and sexually assaulted. Media critics compared the domestic coverage of her case to a soap opera. According to officials at the Red Clay Theatre and Arts Center in Duluth who have written the script, the stage version of the events will be not a comedy spoof, but a rock opera.

Death watch

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Cuban exiles know where to go when dictator Fidel Castro finally dies. Miami officials say they're planning a huge party for Castro's death at the Orange Bowl. For many, the proposed site of the gathering at the Orange Bowl seems appropriate: The stadium served as a processing center for thousands of Cubans fleeing the island after the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

Food fight

The organizers of an anti-poverty summit held in posh digs in Nairobi, Kenya, turned away crowds of hungry street children who wanted nothing more than a morsel of food. As a response to rude treatment from organizers of the anti-capitalistic World Social Forum, dozens of languishing street children broke into the five-star hotel's food tent and gorged themselves on cuisine meant only for the anti-hunger elite. Each plate of food in the hotel sold for roughly $7 in a nation where many live on less than $2 every day. After a series of protests by street children as well as other locals, the organizers relented and agreed not to charge for the food.


Everything's bigger in Texas? Ask Japanese fast-food patrons. McDonald's recently rolled out its biggest hamburger yet in its Japanese restaurants-a four-patty burger known as the Mega Mac. It is popular with young men, and McDonald's sold 3.32 million of the 754-calorie burgers in the first four days.

It isn't brain science, either

Rejoice, Van Halen fans: David Lee Roth will be returning. Roth will return for a 40-date Van Halen reunion tour. The rock front man and lead vocalist left Van Halen at the supergroup's height in 1985, forcing Van Halen to turn to Sammy Hagar while Roth embarked on an often-embarrassing solo career. And though in the two decades since the split the Van Halen brothers and Roth have publicly feuded, Roth's comments to EOnline.com a few months ago sounded strangely prophetic when he predicted a comeback. "And as far as hurt feelings and water under the dam, like what's-her-name at the end of the movie Chicago-'So what? It's showbiz!'" said Roth. "[It's not] rocket surgery."


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