You walk into a 7-Eleven to pick up a lottery ticket and perhaps a snack. All is calm. Then the walls literally crash in around you. On Monday Jonaya Peterson, of Waterbury, Connecticut experienced exactly this terrifying situation. A black SUV smashed through the store window directly behind her, grazing her back and narrowly avoiding killing her. She instinctively jumped up onto the counter, out of the vehicle's way, as it reversed back over the broken glass and debris and drove off. The driver was Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Kennedy Dowdell. When the cops caught up with him, he refused to take a sobriety test because, “I’m drunk and I know I will fail the test.” Dowdell appeared in court yesterday on charges of third degree assault and operating a vehicle under the influence. Peterson was taken to the hospital, but was unharmed. “I think I’m very lucky,” she says. “My angels were looking over me because, after seeing that video—it's hard to watch.”
Booze makes potential partners seem sexier, according to a gasp-inducing study, but the effect isn't equal for both sexes. Researchers at Roehampton University in London sought to discover the science behind “beer goggles” by recruiting more than 100 men and women and dividing them into two groups. One group receiving alcohol, and the other a non-alcoholic beverage. After drinking, participants had to rate the attractiveness of images of male and female faces. The pictures were distorted to make some more symmetrical and some less; previous studies have shown that more symmetrical faces are generally believed to be more attractive. Both the men and women in the study had a hard time judging attractiveness—but women's perceptions were more dramatically altered. “People that had drink tended to be less good at noticing if a face was asymmetrical, they often saw it as being symmetrical when it was asymmetrical,” says researcher Lewis Halsey. “What we have shown is that people’s ability to detect symmetry is part of the explanation for the beer goggle effect.” Many of the participants admitted to meeting their spouse while drinking. “A lot of people say they met their partner when they were drunk. Are their marriages shorter or longer lasting? Does it change the nature of the relationship?” worries Halsey. More research is planned.
People at public universities, community colleges, and child-care facilities in Arizona will no longer be allowed to use, or be in possession of medical marijuana; Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed the law yesterday and it'll take effect in the summer. The measure is the latest of a series of attempts to restrict the therapeutic use of marijuana in the state; it moved quickly through the legislature with bipartisan support. Those backing the law say it will protect federal funding for colleges and universities, which they claim would be threatened if medical marijuana were allowed on campus. "With the health and safety of Arizona's students, as well as literally hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, this legislation is critically necessary," says Republican State Representative Amanda Reeve. "Our children and adult students are far too important to risk. I'm proud to say we acted swiftly and decisively when confronted by this obvious concern." The concern was prompted in part by events in neighboring California: in recent months the federal government has sought to shut down medical marijuana greenhouses and pot shops in located near schools and parks, and one terminally ill medical pot patient was ejected from a university hospital.
- Colombia's FARC Rebels Release Hostages [BBC]
- New Study by Bronx Public Defenders Claims NYPD Cops Made Hundreds of Unlawful Marijuana Arrests [NY Daily News]
- Onyango Obama, President's Uncle, Gets Driver's License Back After Drunk Driving Arrest [Huffington Post]
- Does America Need Rehab for Sugar Addiction? [Test Country]
- Spice Addiction and Treatment Spiking; Side Effects Similar to Meth [KSL]
- Why Is Quitting Smoking Harder For Women? Blame the Nicotine [MSNBC]
- Drug Addicts and Sun Worshippers Share the Same Brain [The Trentonian]
- Alcohol Can Make You Feel Prettier, Study Finds [Huffington Post]
Ninety-six addicts, armed with kitchen knives, escaped a compulsory drug rehabilitation center in Vietnam on Sunday. Vu Xuan Thai, director of the Haiphong Rehabilitation Center, says detainees threatened guards with their improvised weapons before making an after-dinner getaway. Altogether 96 of the center's 201 occupants fled. Since then, 15 of the escapees have returned voluntarily; police are searching for the rest. The escape highlights Vietnam's controversial compulsory rehab policy for its 140,000 addicted citizens. In an effort to combat the country's drug problem, addicts are required to undergo two years of rehabilitation, during which they must either learn a trade or perform manual labor. But treatment centers have often been less about rehab and more about exploitation. Last year the NGO Human Rights Watch, in a 121-page report called the The Rehab Archipelago, detailed how residents at these rehab centers are forced to perform often-hazardous unpaid labor in agricultural production, garment making or construction. According to one inmate, detainees face abuse if they don't work: “If you refused to work, they slapped you," he said. "If you refused to work then they sent you to the punishment room. Everyone worked." Detainees are often held captive despite having the legal right to request release if they don't get the care they need. More than 500 drug addicts escaped from another rehab center in Haiphong in May 2010.
Seth Binzer, aka Shifty, the 37-year-old former lead singer for the band Crazy Town (hit single: "Butterfly") and repeated star of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (seasons one and two) and Sober House (also seasons one and two) has reportedly fallen into a coma. He has been in the ICU of an LA hospital since last Thursday. Faithful Celebrity Rehab and Sober House viewers may remember him as the guy who smoked crack on the roof of the rehab during season two and later, on Sober House, sent his castmates videos while off on a relapse. Binzer was scheduled to appear in court later this month after a coke possession arrest in February. Adam Goldstein, better known as sober advocate and celebrity DJ DJ AM (who died of a drug overdose in September of 2009), was also a former member of Crazy Town.