Monday 11/17/08

Human Interest News   —   Posted on November 17, 2008

By The Editors of

Officially illegal
Nineteen-year-old Gregory Griggs’ shirt alone may have caused police to suspect him of nefarious behavior. After being tipped off by an informant, police raided a Fort Mitchell, Ky., hotel room and caught Griggs with packaged marijuana, scales, and cash. Police charged him with trafficking the drug. The slogan on his shirt, captured on film in his mugshot: “It’s not illegal unless 
you get caught.”

Monkeying around
David Grigorian will have to use more than cheap decorations and a newspaper to fool a California court commissioner. The California man had been ordered by the court to surrender his pet marmoset monkey to fish and wildlife officials under a violation of state animal control codes. But Grigorian appeared in court in October claiming he had sent the monkey to Mexico. His proof? Grigorian produced a photograph of Cheeta the monkey next to a recently dated Mexican newspaper and a backdrop of red, green, and white south-of-the-border decorations. When pressed by the court, Grigorian admitted he posed the photograph.

Billionaire bashed?
If real estate mogul Donald Trump isn’t currently a billionaire, a lawsuit he filed in a New Jersey court just might do the trick. But two big “ifs” stand in the way. First, Trump will actually have to convince a jury that a book that claimed his actual self-worth to be between $150 million and $250 million sufficiently damaged the self-proclaimed billionaire’s “brand and reputation.” Second, in the event Trump wins his defamation lawsuit against Timothy L. O’Brien, he may have trouble collecting the stated $5 billion in damages from the New York Times reporter.

Guard dog
When fire broke out in a house in Melbourne, Australia, one creature leapt into action even before firefighters arrived. A dog named Leo stood guard over a litter of kittens as flames engulfed the home. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they quickly found the Jack Russell terrier and a cardboard box filled with newborn kittens before rushing them to safety. Outside, firefighters administered oxygen and a heart massage to Leo, who had lost consciousness from smoke inhalation. Firefighters revived Leo, who now has a new nickname: Smoky.

Talk is not cheap
Combine a nanny-state bureaucracy and a politically correct culture and what do you get? Administrators for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service have paid more than $360,000 in case Laotians or Cherokee Indians need translation services to access the taxpayer-funded health system. Official records reveal no Cherokees live in England while only one Laotian lives there.

Strange smells
In space, no one can hear you scream. But can they smell you if you haven’t bathed recently? If not, it can only be because space has such a distinctively innate smell, says NASA. The U.S. space agency commissioned chemist and odor specialist Steven Pearce of Omega, a fragrance manufacturing company, to recreate space’s odor. According to interviews with astronauts and tests performed on gear used during shuttle flights, Pearce reports space tastes like chicken. “For them, what comes across is a smell of fried steak, hot metal and even welding a motorbike,” Pearce said.