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Published August 2, 2006

Sympathy ends when tragedy is a lie

Terrible things started happening after Michael Ruffalo took a job as a salesman for an Atlanta software company. He almost immediately had to take months off, paid, to attend to his 3-year-old boy, who had leukemia. The boy, Aiden, eventually died. Very sad, except it was a lie. Aiden is fine. "When you hear of somebody's child being ill and ultimately the child dying, you feel for that person," said David Cocchiara of Lancope. "To me that's what makes this so tough to fathom." Ruffalo would not comment. Lancope is suing to get $40,151 in salary back, plus damages. Another company had a similar story regarding Ruffalo, but decided to write off its $21,464 to experience.

You have to pay the bills somehow

When you're the county treasurer, and someone pays taxes in cash, it sure is tempting to pocket that money and adjust the books so you can pay the rent for your sex club. Well, it was for Gary Felasco, anyway, the treasurer for Lawrence County, near Pittsburgh. Felasco, 39, was convicted in May of theft, and the judge said he took more than $170,000 in taxpayer money to pay his own bills, and keep a roof over the head of the sex club that he had organized.


Presidential stats

Facts and figures from President Bush's annual physical examination:

Height: 5 feet, 11½ inches

Weight: 196 (Up from last year's 191.6 pounds. "I probably ate too many birthday cakes," Bush said.)

Pulse: resting, seated 46 beats per minute (60-100 bpm is normal; 40-60 bpm is normal for athletes)

Body fat: 16.8 percent (Up from 15.79)

cholesterol: 174

Overall health: "The president remains in excellent health and 'fit for duty.' All data suggest that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency." - from summary of exam


Where drinking is like a spectator sport

Bars in New Zealand have turned "getting carded" into a whole different thing. In the wake of the World Cup, where red and yellow cards are handed out for various infractions, the bars are showing yellow cards to people who are pretty darn close to having had too much to drink. And if you don't take that warning, you may get a red card, and then you're outta there. The good news is, if you get a red card and leave quietly, you can use it for a free drink on your next visit. That makes sense.

Ew, is this duck?

Who knew that bird flu would have such a profound effect on competitive badminton? Chinese geese have been slaughtered by the millions to prevent the spread of the disease, leaving a shortage of the fine feathers used to make shuttlecocks. "Everybody complains now, 'What's wrong with the shuttle?' " Dan Chien said after a practice session at the San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club in California. "It was goose feather, but now it feels almost like duck."

[Last modified August 2, 2006, 02:05:36]

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