News Chum of the Day

Today we have another installment in that favorite of foods, News Chum:

  • From the “Perfect for the B Roll” Department: A home in San Marino, CA (near Pasadena) has an interesting problem, according to the SGV Tribune. It appears their walls are home to a massive bee colony… one that has been there for over 25 years. As many as a million bees scattered throughout the home have resulted in dripping honey and the occasional visitor (and swarm) in the house. However, the homeowner doesn’t want to solve the problem, as it would involve a massive teardown of the two-story, Tudor-style house. The home is owned by the family of Helen Stathatos, owners of Stats Floral Supply. They maintain a massive garden surrounding their home just across the street from Lacy Park, and the home is even featured in a coffee table book on California estate gardens. Normally, the bees and the family live in harmony, but recently (as the weather has warmed up) the bees have gotten bolder, moving to the inside of the house.
  • From the “Blind Justice” Department: The news wires have been buzzing (see, I do connect my stories) today with the resignation of Eliot Spitzer for his relationship with a hooker (and we’re not talking about the state legislature here). The more interesting is the story of his replacement, David Patterson. According to the St. Louis paper, not only is Patterson the first black governor of New York, he is also the second disabled governor of the state (the first was FDR), and the first legally-blind governor in the nation. Patterson seems pretty remarkable. He recognizes people at conversational distance and can memorize whole speeches. He has played basketball, run a marathon, and survived 22 years in the backbiting culture of the state Capitol with a reputation as a man more apt to reach for an olive branch than a baseball bat. He has been in stage plays and has developed the ability to remember entire speeches and policy arcana. He should be interesting leadership for the state.
  • From the “What Will They Hack Next” Department: Coming on the heels of the news that no system is safe from Chinese Hackers, we have a report that techniques have been developed to hack into portable medical devices. In particular, the New York Times is reporting that researches have developed techniques to hack into wireless remote pacemakers and defibrillators, permitting them to (theoretically) stop the devices or administer lethal jolts. They are also able to gather personal patient data. The FDA is looking into this. The vulnerable devices are those made by Medtronic. Boston Scientific supposedly uses “encryption and security technologies” for mitigation, while St. Jude Medical used “proprietary techniques” (translation: security through obscurity) to protect their devices. Right now, scientists are saying that Dick Cheney shouldn’t be worried.