A Few Articles of Interest

Dear Readers,

As you know I have varied interests. Here is a short selection of some of the things that have caught my eye and a couple of comments. I don’t believe in invention through litigation. I don’t like the idea of overtired truckers on the road and I think that parents have to share some responsibility for the actions of their children. What do you think?

Some Claim Inventor Lemelson a Fraud

“LAS VEGAS – Jerome Lemelson was dying. One of the nation’s most prolific and perhaps greatest inventors had been diagnosed with a rare stomach cancer. The disease had spread to his liver, ravaging his body and causing severe pain.

In his final days at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1997, the 74-year-old Lemelson couldn’t eat or drink. Jaundiced and bedridden, he did not complain.

He made no special requests. His room was the same as any other patient’s.

Nor did he brag about his vast accomplishments. More than 600 patents to his credit. A fortune amassed. Powerful foes toppled.

As death approached, he believed his place in history had been secured, thanks to his most spectacular inventions: machine vision and the bar code scanner, technology that has dramatically altered the way in which we live.

“He was a simple man,” said his Houston oncologist, Dr. Giora Mavligit. “A mensch.”

But to his many detractors, Lemelson was something else.

They claim Lemelson’s patents were in fact worthless. Lemelson, they say, was one of the great frauds of the 20th century.”

U.S. Retains Controversial Trucker Rule

“WASHINGTON – Truckers can still spend six days on the road during the week and drive for 11 hours at a time, thanks to a rule the Bush administration decided to leave intact even though truckers and safety advocates say it’s unsafe.

For 60 years, truckers could drive for 10 consecutive hours. On Jan. 1, 2004, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration changed the rule to allow them another hour behind the wheel.

A federal court, however, threw out the changes.

On Friday, the truck-safety agency announced that a revision to the rule would still allow the big rigs to roll for 11 hours, three hours more than safety advocates say they should.

“What reasonable person who has traveled our nation’s roads and highways thinks that forcing tired truck drivers to stay behind the wheel even longer is good public policy?” asked Teamsters Union President James P. Hoffa.

More than a year ago, a federal court struck down the rule, saying it was “arbitrary and capricious” and failed to consider truckers’ health. The Bush administration was left to revise it.

Annette Sandberg, chief of the truck-safety agency, said the new rule is backed by more research and was designed to reduce the number of crashes caused by fatigued drivers.

“The research shows that this new rule will improve driver health and safety and the safety of our roadways,” Sandberg said during a press conference.

She said the rule requires drivers to take at least 10 hours off between shifts, two more than before, and reduces the maximum work day from 15 hours to 14.”

Jury: Parents Share Blame in Son’s Attack

“CINCINNATI – The parents of a teenager who stabbed a 13-year-old girl must bear most of the responsibility, jurors decided as they awarded $10 million to the injured victim and her family.

Lance and Diane White share 70 percent of the blame for the 2003 attack on Casey Hilmer, the Hamilton County jury found Friday. Their son Benjamin, who was 17 at the time, bears the rest.

“It sends a message to parents that even if the child is 11 days shy of 18 years old, a parent is liable for the supervision and control of their children and what they entrust them with,” said attorney Stanley Chesley, who represented the Hilmer family.”

Authors offer immortality in Web auction

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – How much would you pay to be immortalized as a zombie in a Stephen King novel or a good guy in a John Grisham thriller?

King and Grisham are among 16 authors selling the right to have a character in a book named for the buyer to raise money for the First Amendment Project, a California-based nonprofit group that promotes freedom of information and expression.

Details of exactly what each author is offering have been posted on Internet auction site eBay and the auctions will be held between September 1 and September 25, the group said on Tuesday.

King said he was offering the chance to name a character in a novel called “CELL,” to be published in 2006 or 2007.

“Buyer should be aware that ‘CELL’ is a violent piece of work, which comes complete with zombies set in motion by bad cell phone signals that destroy the human brain,” King said.

“Like cheap whiskey, it’s very nasty and extremely satisfying,” he said on the site, adding that if the buyer wanted the character to die, it must be a female name.”

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3 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack August 22, 2005 at 5:34 am

    M,

    You are correct about Hoffa and I wish you a short commute.

  2. The Misanthrope August 21, 2005 at 8:01 pm

    James P is the son, I believe of the infamous Hoffa who is hiding with Elvis some place.

    As far a truckers, keep them off the road during morning 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and in the evening from 4 to 7. And keep everyone off the road for 40 minutes for my drive to work.

  3. Stephen (aka Q) August 21, 2005 at 2:39 pm

    James P. Hoffa is President of the Teamsters?
    Q

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