Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Left behind," June 28, 2008

Serving in style

Think U.S. prisons are too comfy for inmates? Consider the square cell of Genilson Lins da Silva, a Brazilian inmate locked away for robbery and murder. During a drug trafficking sting, police raided da Silva's cell, confiscating a refrigerator, a plasma television, exercise equipment, two .38 caliber pistols, and Brazilian cash worth about $173,000. Prison officials say da Silva will serve out the rest of his 28-year sentence without the creature comforts.

Tough as nails

Friends George Chandler and Phil Kern of Shawnee, Kan., knew the nail gun they were using for home repairs had discharged when Kern tried to free its stuck hose, but they couldn't find the nail. Then Kern took a look at Chandler's head. The 2-1/2 inch nail had been driven into Chandler's skull, pinning the ball cap he was wearing to his head. At the hospital, a doctor had to borrow a claw hammer from a maintenance worker to remove the nail, which narrowly missed vessels related to eyesight, speech, and physical movement. Chandler, who says he merely felt a sting when the nail hit him in the June 6 accident, only needed a few stitches before being released: "It never did really what you call hurt."

Nose job

The fiendish Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is apparently more than a terrorist mastermind. The brains behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had opted to moonlight as an art critic during his military trial at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mohammed objected to a courtroom artist's rendering of his nose in an official sketch saying the portrayal made his nose appear too wide. "He said he wanted his nose to look like the FBI photo," a Defense Department spokesman said. The artist was given time to make corrections.

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