From Where I Sit – Did You See These, 2

In a follow-up to a recent column by the same name, here are some more snippets from the Edmonton Journal and the National Post. I spotted these crazy, inane, sad items during a marathon read of about ten newspapers that piled up in my absence. Here it goes.

In a January 4th story in the Edmonton Journal, I read about Ottawa’s managed alcohol program (MAP) at one of the city’s homeless shelters. Every hour between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., like clockwork, 17 participants are given either five ounces of wine or three ounces of sherry as a way to manage their alcoholism, reduce incidents with police, and visits to emergency services. Despite the small size of the study and lack of a control group, results appear encouraging. Is this a reasonable solution for homeless alcoholics? Perhaps it’s the best we’ve got at the moment for a troubling problem with a huge human and societal cost.

In yet another inexplicably cruel and unthinkable act, a teenager from White Rock, British Columbia is being sought for allegedly shoving a senior into traffic as he stated, “Do you want to die?” Luckily, the man escaped injury when an approaching car was able to stop before hitting him as he lay on the road. Yessiree, you can make your mama proud with that sort of Hollywood line and stupid stunt.

An AIDS research institute in Melbourne, Australia had its missing teaspoon study published recently in the British Medical Journal. After they ran out of teaspoons, they set out to determine “where have all the bloody teaspoons gone?” After five months of study, results are inconclusive, though some visitors to the medical journal’s website theorize there may be a correlation with the socks that go missing from dryers. I say, what fun, old chap. What a great way to save your sanity in the serious world of disease research.

In more research news, a Halifax university is studying the issue of rudeness and incivility in the context of the workplace. They want to know if co-worker incivility causes us to respond with more rudeness of our own. Their theory is that “little bits of incivility lead to a larger reaction that escalates into something that’s truly a conflict.” Low level incivility includes whispered private conversations during a meeting, not refilling the copier with paper or the water cooler when empty, overly familiar tone in emails, etc.

After a life filled with tragedy, notoriety and media attention, 70-year-old former stripper cum porn star Candy Barr is dead. Her life included molestation by a male babysitter, her mother’s death when Candy was aged nine, a harsh stepmother, and marriage at age 14 to a safecracker. From befriending Kennedy’s assassin, Jack Ruby, to killing the second of four husbands, from being named by Playboy magazine as one of the most desirable women in the 20th century, to writing poetry while in jail — Candy Barr did it all.

Sort of makes election coverage pale in comparison, from where I sit.

* Reprinted with permission. References may be out of date.

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