The Pills Made Me a Sex, Drug Addict

The warning label on this drug would be quite long and more than a bit strange!

A French father-of-two is to take GlaxoSmithKline to court on Tuesday, alleging the British firm’s drug to treat Parkinson’s disease turned him into a gay sex and gambling addict.

The 51-year-old’s lawyers say their client’s behaviour changed radically after he was first administered the drug in 2003 for the illness, which causes tremors, slows movement and disrupts speech.

Didier Jambart, a married father-of-two who says he has attempted suicide three times, claims he became addicted to Internet gambling, losing the family’s savings and stealing to feed his habit.

He also became a compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing. His risky sexual encounters led to him being raped, his lawyers said.

The behaviour stopped when he stopped taking the drugs in 2005 but by then he had been demoted in his defence ministry job and was suffering from psychological trauma resulting from his addictions, his lawyers said.

The plaintiff is seeking a total of 450,000 euros ($610,000) in damages from Glaxo, which he accuses of selling a “defective” drug, and from his neurologist for having failed to properly inform him about the drug.

The drug, Requip, has been known for years to have undesired side effects but a warning only appeared on its package insert in 2006, his lawyers said.

Glaxo said it did not wish to comment on the case.  This is the kind of lawsuit you expect to see in the USA but not from France!

Yummy, is that Loin King Meat?

I loved the loin king but I don’t think I would eat it in a burger or taco!  It seems the king of the jungle won’t be served at an Arizona taco joint, after all. Bryan Mazon, owner of Boca Tacos y Tequila in Tucson, announced he will no longer serve African lion tacos due to a high number of threats.

“Due to concern for safety of our families, customers, vendors, and friends we will not be selling African Lion Tacos on Feb. 16th, 2011. We will continue to bring unique and creative menu items, but not at the expense of safety,” Mazon posted to Facebook Monday.

The restaurant is known for dishing up exotic fare, such as rattlesnake, alligator and turtle tacos.

They had planned to sell lion tacos for $8.75 on one day next month, and were taking advance orders.

Since the exotic menu item was announced last week, animal rights activists and other protesters have inundated the eatery with phone calls, e-mails and posts to its Facebook page.

But lion meat, although a delicacy, is legal to consume in the U.S as long as the species isn’t endangered, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Mazon said the meat was legally sourced from a California farm.  Previously, a Mesa, Ariz., restaurant received threats after it offered lion burgers for a World Cup promotion last summer.  I am guessing he just did this for the free publicity!

Another Dumb Lawsuit in the USA

Everyone remembers the million dollar award for the hot coffee from McDonald’s right?  Well here we go again…. A veteran U.S. lawmaker has taken legal action after biting into an olive in a sandwich and hurting his tooth on the pit.

Dennis Kucinich, 64, a representative from Ohio who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination two times, sued food service companies operating in a congressional cafeteria on Capitol Hill.

Andrew Young, a lawyer for the congressman, on Wednesday declined to discuss the lawsuit, copies of which have been widely reported in the media, saying it was private.

The suit, filed early this month, states Kucinich bought a sandwich wrap in the cafeteria at the Longworth Office Building in April 2008 that had an olive without the pit removed.

The “unfit and unwholesome” olive caused the congressman dental damage, requiring multiple procedures and resulting in a “loss of enjoyment,” according to the suit. For that, Kucinich is seeking $150,000.

Compass Group USA Inc, Performance Food Group Co and Foodbuy LLC are named in the lawsuit filed in Washington. Company spokesmen could not be reached immediately for comment.  The funny thing is that he will probably win!

No More Fantasy Role-Playing While in the Dungeon

Nerds behind prison bars take a big hit.  No more fantasy lives for them when a U.S. court of appeal has upheld a ruling that bans Dungeons and Dragons, a popular role-playing game, from a Wisconsin prison.

Kevin Singer, an inmate in a Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution, had been a fan of the fantasy game since childhood.

Since he was incarcerated in 2002, he had amassed a significant collection of books and paraphernalia centred around the game. But in 2004, an anonymous note alerted prison officials to the sub-culture that can form between avid players.

“The letter expressed concern that Singer and three other inmates were forming a D&D gang and were trying to recruit others to join by passing around their D&D publications and touting the ‘rush’ they got from playing the game,” the ruling reads.

Shortly thereafter, prison officials raided his cell and confiscated everything related to the game they could find, including 21 books, 14 magazines and a 96-page handwritten manuscript that Singer produced himself.

All inmates were henceforth “prohibited … from engaging in all types of fantasy games.” When Singer protested by filing a complaint through the prison complaint system, it was dismissed.

But Singer persisted, filing a civil rights complaint in federal court, alleging his rights to free speech and due process had been violated.

While Singer produced evidence from D&D experts as well as several inmates arguing that no gang activity was taking place, nor had D&D ever led to gang activity in the past, prison officials countered with arguments that co-operative games can mimic the organizational structure of gangs, and prison security is paramount.

“The question is not whether D&D has led to gang behaviour in the past; the prison official concede that it has not,” the judge wrote. “The question is whether the prison officials are rational in their belief that, if left unchecked, D&D could lead to gang behaviour among inmates and undermine prison security in the future.”

As such, the ban was upheld in a Jan. 25 ruling. Other games — including Risk, Stratego, Chess and Checkers — remain on the prison’s allowed list of games.

Singer is serving a life sentence for stabbing his sister’s boyfriend. Being in prison sucks and now for these guys I guess it will suck a bit more.  They will have to spend their time bulking up in the gym.

No Smoking or Off to Jail

Well, both my parents died from Cancer, so I can relate to a country that wants to completely ban cigarette smoking but this Buddhist monk could face five years in prison after becoming the first casualty of a stringent anti-smoking law in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, which vows to become the first smoke-free nation.

The monk has been charged with consuming and smuggling contraband tobacco under a law that came into force this month, the newspaper Kuensel reported Friday, having been caught in possession of 72 packets of chewing tobacco.

Bhutan, where smoking is considered bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. But with a thriving smuggling operation from neighboring India, the ban failed to make much of an impact.

The new law has granted police powers to enter homes, threatening jail for shopkeepers selling tobacco and smokers who fail to provide customs receipts for imported cigarettes.

“He can be charged with smuggling of controlled substances, which is a fourth degree felony,” a police official from the Narcotic Drug and Law enforcement Unit of Bhutan, who did not want to be identified, told the Bhutan Today newspaper.

A fourth degree felony can carry a sentence of five years.

Smoking in private is not illegal, but as the sale of cigarettes is banned, smokers are restricted to 200 cigarettes or 150 grams of other tobacco products a month that can be legally imported. They must provide a customs receipt when challenged by police.

A student at a 400-year-old monastic school, the monk has not been publicly identified. He bought the tobacco from the Indian border town of Jaigoan, 170 km (110 miles) south of the capital Thimphu and said it was for personal use.

The 24-year-old said he was unaware of the new law, according to local media. He was carrying no tax receipt from the customs department.

Bhutanese have been compliant with the new laws amid much grumbling. The legislation has hit the formerly thriving black market for tobacco products, as it is now cheaper to pay taxes and obtain a receipt than to pay black market prices.

Illegal cigarette sales — previously a major source of income for small shops — have almost stopped as shopkeepers say it will be difficult to hide tobacco from a sniffer dog. This might be taking it a bit too far.

Gettinga a Tattoo There is Just Wrong

This man might not be well endowed but advertising it in the form of a permanent tattoo might be a little drastic (if you will excuse the pun). A German man didn’t have to hand over a dime for a new car, but he did have to pay in ink.

Andreas Mueller won a silver Mini Cooper by pulling off the craziest stunt during a radio show contest by getting a tattoo of the word ‘MINI’ on his penis. Radio listeners heard Muller shriek as he received the tatty on his man part while a female host watched. “Once I’m sitting in the car, it won’t matter anymore,” said Mueller, 39, the Austrian Times reported last week.

All I can say is OUCH!! What would you do for a free car?

Get Rid of High Tech to Get More Sleep

The desire to watch television every evening before going to sleep, playing video games late into the night or checking emails and text messages before turning off the lights could be interfering with the nation’s sleep habits.

“Unfortunately, cell phones and computers, which make our lives more productive and enjoyable, may be abused to the point that they contribute to getting less sleep at night leaving millions of Americans functioning poorly the next day,” Russell Rosenberg, the vice chairman of the Washington DC-based National Sleep Foundation (NSF), said in a statement.

Nearly 95 percent of people questioned in an NSF study said they used some type of electronics in the hour before going to bed, and about two-thirds admitted they do not get enough sleep during the week.

Charles Czeisler, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said exposure to artificial light before going to bed can increase alertness and suppress the release of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone.

“Technology has invaded the bedroom,” Czeisler explained in an interview. “Invasion of such alerting technologies into the bedroom may contribute to the high proportion of respondents who reported they routinely get less sleep than they need.”

Baby boomers, or people aged 46-64 years old, were the biggest offenders of watching television every night before going to sleep, while more than a third of 13-18 year-olds and 28 percent of young adults 19-29 year olds played video games before bedtime.

Sixty one percent also said they used their computer or laptop at least a few nights each week.

And a propensity to stay in touch means that even people who have managed to fall asleep, are being woken up by cellphones, texts and emails during the night.

“One in 10 kids report they are being awoken by texts after they have gone to bed. People don’t turn off their Blackberries,” said Czeisler, adding that much of this is happening at the expense of sleep.

Generation Z’ers, 13-18 year olds, were the most sleep-deprived group, with 22 percent describing themselves as “sleepy,” compared to only nine percent of baby boomers.

Sleep experts recommend that teenagers get 9 hours and 15 minutes of sleep a night but adolescents in the study were only averaging 7 hours and 26 minutes on weeknights.

“I am the most concerned about how little sleep 13-18 years are getting,” said Czeisler. “Kids today are getting an hour and a half to two hours less sleep per night than they did a century ago. That means that they are losing about 50 hours of sleep per month,” said Czeisler.

Americans’ lack of sleep is negatively impacting their work, mood, family, driving habits, sex lives and health, according to the NSF.

All age groups are coping by consuming caffeinated drinks — about three 12-ounce (354 ml) beverages per person — per day, and taking naps, sometimes more than one during the day.

“Parents should get these technologies out of the bedrooms of kids if they want them to do well (in school),” said Czeisler.

Personally I know this has effected me, when I have a good book on my iPhone I sometimes find I stay up an extra hour or more in the evening!