A 61-year-old Texas man admitted to a hospital not long ago appearing to be falling-down-drunk, even though denying having had even a single drink, was discovered to be unintentionally manufacturing beer in his stomach. With "auto-brewery syndrome," stomach-based yeast automatically ferments all starches (even vegetables or grains) passing through, converting them into ethanol. Normally, natural stomach bacteria control the yeast, but if, for example, antibiotics had inadvertently eliminated the bacteria, the yeast would prevail. The case was reported in a recent International Journal of Clinical Medicine.
Government in Action
-Update: As several additional states debate permitting marijuana use by a doctor's prescription, Irvin Rosenfeld presented his own experience in August to a packed house at Kentucky's state capitol. Rosenfeld suffers from painful bone tumors (diagnosed, with a poor prognosis, in 1963) and began smoking dope in the federal government's Compassionate Investigational Drug program in 1982 — since then consuming 130,000 government-supplied joints (12 per day, carefully measured), which he said absolutely had prolonged his life. "I didn't ask for my bone disease," he said. "All I asked for is the best medicine possible."
-While Congress struggled recently to pass a budget or an increase to the national debt limit, one program made it through rather easily, according to a September New York Times report: farm subsidies for inactive "farmers." The subsidies were renewed, based on a 2008 law, virtually assuring that more than 18,000 in-name-only farmers (who received $24 million last year) will not be cut off. Included, according to a 2012 Government Accountability Office report, were recipients at 2,300 "farms" that had not grown a single crop in five years (including 622 without a crop in 10 years).
-"Close Enough for Government Work": The security contractor USIS, which does $2.45 billion worth of background checks for the National Security Agency and other departments (and had cleared file-leaker Edward Snowden and the Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis), gets paid only for completed files. However, full background checks often require months of work, and at some point, reported The New York Times in September, when USIS needed cash, it would "flush" still-open files, treating them as completed, and submit them for payment — as happened with the files of Snowden and Alexis. In both cases, reported the Times, subsequent, crucial information failed to make it into the flushed files.
Names in the News
-(1) In separate incidents of suspected thefts in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in January (all within about a month), police arrested John Lennon Ribeiro Siqueira, John Lennon Fonseca Ferreira and John Lennon Camargos Gomes. (2) Convicted for drug possession in May in Rockland County, N.Y.: Mr. Genghis Khan, 23. (3) Charged with carjacking in July in Hilo, Hawaii: Mr. Alkapone Cruz-Bailes, 19. (4) Mr. Beezow Doo-doo Zoppitybop-bop-bop was arrested in August on drug charges in Washington County, Iowa.