A leading campaigner for the expansion of access to marijuana was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in Denver this week. The intoxicated driver was headed the wrong way down Interstate 25 in the early hours of the morning before veering into the path of Jennifer Friede’s oncoming car. Just goes to show all those pro-marijuana activists were right – smoking the stuff is safer than drinking after all.
No doubt the US justice system will do its bit with the perpetrator, which is more than can be said for the UK, if the case of Paul Keatings is anything to go by. Mr Keatings, who is registered blind and requires a white stick to aid his walking, crashed his friend’s car earlier this year after driving it for a mile on a public highway. Finding him guilty this week of dangerous driving and driving without insurance, the judge also ordered him to be disqualified for 32 months. That should keep us safe then…
Perhaps a driverless car is the answer? Certainly Pennsylvania congressman Bill Shuster seems to think so. Mr Shuster was the guest of honour in a 33-mile trip to Pittsburg International Airport on Wednesday, courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University, whose researchers have developed the vehicle. Relying on inputs from radars, laser rangefinders and infrared cameras, the car is capable of driving in all types of mainstream traffic, from urban centres to major motorways. Feedback on the prototype was positive although there were concerns over its lack of ‘human touch’ – presumably referring to its inability to tailgate, overtake on the inside and give the bird to its fellow motorists.
And on the subject of birds… feathers were ruffled when a stork was detained in Egypt this week on suspicion of spying. Police swooped on the animal after it was spotted with an electronic device attached to its plumage. Fearing it was carrying surveillance equipment or a bomb, officers put the bird behind bars while they investigated. The device was eventually revealed to be a wildlife tracker but despite proving its innocence the stork remains in police custody while officials seek its release from state prosecutors.
Altogether less innocent is the 20-ft crocodile who trapped a New Zealander on a remote Australian island. The tourist had been delivered to Governor Island by boat with the intention of kayaking the 2.5 mile distance back to the mainland but was stopped in his tracks when the 20-ft beast surfaced and began stalking him. After two weeks with the crocodile snapping at his heels and running out of rations, the New Zealander was coming to the conclusion that his days were surely numbered. Thankfully he was rescued in the nick of time and has vowed to research his trips a bit more carefully before making snap judgments in the future.
And finally… from crocs to chicks. Buffalo wings to be exact. Animal rights group Peta has claimed this week that pregnant women who eat chicken wings have sons with small genitals. “The latest scientific evidence shows that the sons of pregnant women who consume chicken are more likely to have smaller penises because of a chemical found in the birds’ flesh”, said a Peta spokeswoman. Suggestions that she is bitter at her mother in law for indulging her love of KFC have been strongly denied.