Smart Pills, Dumb Criminals, and Mean Ol’ Auntie

I am taking a hiatus from my usual political commentary … at least for today.  Who knows what tomorrow brings?  A headline caught my eye this morning and I thought I would have some fun this afternoon with some of the stranger headlines culled from recent news.  We all need a chuckle and a break from the world of politics, so ….

Aunt loses lawsuit against 12-year-old nephew who broke her wrist with a ‘careless’ hug

The Washington Post, 13 October 2015

A Connecticut jury sided against 54-year-old New Yorker Jennifer Connell after she sued her now-12-year old nephew for an incident several years ago in which he hugged her a little too hard, knocked her to the floor — and broke her wrist.
The then-8-year-old was pretty excited to see his aunt at his birthday party on March 18, 2011, according to the Connecticut Post. He had just gotten a two-wheel bike that day and was riding it around the home, the newspaper reported. He was so excited that he ran up to his aunt as soon as he saw her. “Auntie Jen! Auntie Jen!” he exclaimed.
That’s when things got a little dangerous.
“All of a sudden he was there in the air, I had to catch him, and we tumbled onto the ground,” Connell testified, according to the Connecticut Post. “I remember him shouting, ‘Auntie Jen, I love you!’ And there he was flying at me.”
Her attorney William Beckert told the New York Daily News that his client’s nephew “should have known better. We have rules for children. He was not careful. He was unsafe.” Connell sought $127,000 from her nephew, whose mother, by the way, recently died.
The reason Ms. Connell decided to sue fully four years after the incident? “I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate.” Awwwwww … poor woman …


Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed

The Washington Post, 05 February 2016

Noela Rukundo sat in a car outside her home, watching as the last few mourners filed out. They were leaving a funeral — her funeral.
Finally, she spotted the man she’d been waiting for. She stepped out of her car, and her husband, Balenga Kalala, put his hands on his head in horror.
“Is it my eyes?” she recalled him saying. “Is it a ghost?”
“Surprise! I’m still alive!” she replied.
Far from being elated, the man looked terrified. Five days earlier, he had ordered a team of hit men to kill Rukundo, his partner of 10 years. And they did — well, they told him they did. They even got him to pay an extra few thousand dollars for carrying out the crime.
Turns out the hitmen didn’t believe in killing women, plus they knew her brother, so they set her free on the side of a road, gave her a cell phone, recordings of their phone conversations with Kalala, and receipts for the $7,000 in Australian dollars they had received in payment. The moral of the story? Do background and reference checks when hiring hitmen …


Big Pharma’s big push to get patients to take their meds

The Boston Globe, 03 February 2016

The pharmaceutical industry loses tens of billions in worldwide sales each year when patients don’t fill, or refill, their prescriptions. So drug makers from London to Tokyo to Cambridge, Mass., are pouring money into programs aimed at cajoling — or nagging — patients to take every last pill their doctors prescribe. The companies are investing in smart pills that will send alerts when they haven’t been swallowed at the prescribed time. They’re subsidizing gift cards to thank patients who remember to refill. They’re paying patients to go on talk circuits to tout the virtues of taking medication properly.
Japanese giant Otsuka Pharmaceutical is collaborating with Silicon Valley startup Proteus Digital Health on the first “smart pill,” embedded with an ingestible sensor that could send a patient or a doctor alerts when it’s swallowed — or when a dose is missed. They’re seeking approval for the technology from the US Food and Drug Administration. OH NO … that is beyond creepy, beyond “Big brother is watching”! Perhaps a better solution might be for the medical community to develop more integrity such that people would actually trust what the doc says??? Or for the pharmaceutical industry to make medicine affordable???


Father found not guilty after taking away daughter’s iPhone

The Washington Post, 31 January 2015

Ronald Jackson, a 36-year-old from Dallas, was ultimately arrested and charged with property theft because he had taken his daughter’s iPhone and refused to give it back. Apparently she had been texting offensive and derogatory language, so he took the phone as punishment. After Jackson confiscated the cellphone, the girl went to a friend’s house and called her mom. Police were sent to Jackson’s home and, while there, tried to get the phone back, but Jackson decided that “the police don’t interfere with my ability to parent my daughter.”  (While the mother bought the phone, the father pays the monthly bills)
Following a long legal battle, a Dallas County Criminal Court judge ruled last week that the state did not have enough evidence to continue the case and ordered a jury to find him not guilty. Good thing, too … can you imagine the lawsuits that would have followed by teens who had their cell phones confiscated by parents?

Her attacker forced her to make a phone call during a rape — so she called 911

The Washington Post, 30 December 2015

A woman who was told to call her boyfriend during a sexual assault instead contacted 911 where an emergency dispatcher managed to play the part of the boyfriend. The dispatcher pretended that the woman had done as she was told, and sent police to the scene, — a decision that authorities in Georgia say helped police track down the suspect and stop the attack. Yet another one for the annals of dumb criminals … luckily for the victim!

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