It is good that the holidays are past us. It’s even better that we can look on some of last year’s news with a smirk, gasp and some uncanny, unshakable sense that human behavior will never cease to leave us a quivering wreck shaking in some corner of a house called last hope.
& ull; One’s a meal: The Internet might never have made a lot of money, but it did make connections between the most unlikely of people. Kudos to The New York Times for this real-life story that’s sure to be a future pulp movie hit, and sure to keep stereotypes about Germans and computer geeks stoked for some time. Sharp-dressing computer technician Armin Meiwes met his match in computer chip designer Bernd-Juergen B., a man who consented to be stabbed, butchered and eaten by Meiwes, whom he met over the Internet. In a court proceeding in Kassel, Germany, Meiwes testified that eating portions of his victim from plastic freezer bags was the next best thing to “taking Communion.” The kicker to this story is twofold: There’s no law prohibiting cannibalism in Germany, and Meiwes has been found competent to stand trial by a psychiatrist.
& ull; The body of company policy: According to The Associated Press, a Las Vegas company specializing in the sale of body parts for medical research irked FedEx delivery staff when they discovered the stain of an arm and two legs leaking from a box at a company drop. It’s against FedEx policy to deliver portions of the human body, the report said.
& ull; Lawsuit coming to a head: Osie Whitten, who donated his body to science after death by cancer 13 years ago, thought he’d be safe and sound in storage at the medical center of University of California at Davis. Instead, according to the AP, Whitten’s jarred head, along with more than 100 pounds of other human odds and ends, was found in the tool shed of a man who used to help manage the medical center. The former employee who allegedly removed Whitten’s head said he used the parts to help improve his dissection prowess. Whitten’s children have filed suit.
& ull; Frat house antics: Pre-holiday boredom? Southern discomfort? At the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Georgia in Athens, according to CNN, three brothers felt the urge to teach a member of the animal kingdom a lesson. They killed, cooked and ate an “erratic” raccoon. In addition to facing a fraternity discipline hearing, one of them was tested for rabies.
& ull; We’re the government, and we’re here to help: File this under “People Eating People,” or, rather, exploiting them. Just as President Bush came to the rescue of businesspeople while, at the same time, touting his overtime reform as an aid to people, the Labor Department has issued a tip sheet to guide employers in the ways of skirting time-and-a-half for employees working overtime, according to AP.
& ull; Forget the insulin and grind your teeth: A recent article published last week in Annals of Internal Medicine hints at strong evidence that drinking six or more cups of fully-loaded, caffeinated coffee just might stave the onset of type 2 diabetes by half in men, and by 30 percent in women.