Saturday, November 19, 2016

“If You Want to Get Away with Murder, Go To Clinton, Iowa”

Clinton Herald [Iowa]
19 November 2016

    By Matt Parbs

[Talk show host Johnny Carson supposedly joked that “if you want to get away with murder, go to Clinton, Iowa.”] [...] I know many Clintonians vividly remember watching him say that one late night. Would you believe me if I claimed he never said it about Clinton, and probably never made a joke like that at all?

First, some context. The joke is claimed to have been made between the 1980s and early 1990s. During the decade the joke was born, national homicide rates hit all-time highs. While murder rates rose for seemingly all communities, the national clearance rate for homicides dropped from 90 percent resolved in the 1960s to below 70 percent for most years since 1980. And there was a trend of backlogged cases waiting for trial.

America was facing two disturbing trends, rising homicides and fewer closed cases. In this context, at least 40 towns swear they heard either Johnny Carson or Paul Harvey say their town was the place to escape murder charges. […]

Monday, November 7, 2016

Plastic Rice Rumors (Cambodia)

The Phnom Penh Post [Cambodia]
7 November 2016

Touch Sokha

The Ministry of Agriculture has moved to debunk fears that “plastic rice” has been distributed across the Kingdom in the wake of a series of Facebook posts from people claiming to have swallowed grains of plastic.

“According to the experiment, the Ministry . . . kindly informs the public that in the samples of milled rice provided by the Cambodia Rice Confederation, there is no plastic substance in the rice,” the ministry announced on Friday, adding that misinformation could affect the price of the product.

Six samples from across the country were tested in the ministry’s laboratory, said lab director Choun Mony Roth. “It is impossible for plastic to be made into milled rice, but it can be made into plastic pills for other products,” she said.

Roth added that it made no economic sense for rice to be crafted from plastic, as a kilogram of plastic retails at $1.50, while the same amount of rice costs between $0.50 and $0.75. […]

Friday, November 4, 2016

Dryer Sheets Used to Kill Bedbugs

The Trentonian [NJ]
31 October 2016

By David Foster

TRENTON -- An item used to remove static from clothing is being employed in a whole new capacity at the city’s welfare office.

Officials at the Mercer County Board of Social Services at 200 Wolverton St. have put Bounce dryer sheets in the agency’s bathrooms.

“Dryer sheets are to be used to wipe down your clothing in the event that you are exposed to bedbugs,” a sign reads in the restroom next to a box of Bounce, according to a photo provided by an employee.

The welfare office has been the site of several infestations in recent months that have temporarily shut down the building.

Social Services Director Barbara Buckley said Monday the new tactic was installed to be “proactive.” The purpose of the Bounce, she says, is so the blood-sucking parasites will cling to the dryer sheet. […]

“It’s more like a Trenton urban legend,” the exterminator explained. “I do a lot of work in Philadelphia and I don’t think I’ve seen too many sheets down there so maybe it’s a regionalized legend. I think they’d be selling the heck out of it if it was true. I think if it was something that worked, we’d be hearing a lot more about it.” […]

The Trentonian [NJ]
3 November 2016

By David Foster

TRENTON -- A city urban legend that dryer sheets combat bedbugs has been debunked.

The company that makes Bounce dryer sheets, Procter & Gamble (P&G), confirmed in a statement Thursday that its research and development experts do not recommend the unconventional bedbug-killing method that was recently deployed in Trenton’s welfare office.

“P&G has no scientific evidence that Bounce Dryer Sheets kill bed bugs and therefore don’t recommend our product for use in this purpose,” company spokeswoman Anne Candido said in a email. […]