Photo by Karl Baron via Flickr Creative Commons
The Huffington Post reports that a lawsuit filed this week by federal prison inmate Gary Cole alleges that the story behind the "Doritos Locos Tacos" — namely, that popular food item was the brainchild of Frito-Lay product developers at the Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, California — is not true.
Cole says it's his idea, and that Frito-Lay stole it through the mail.
The Dallas Observer reports that Cole, who will represent himself in the case, is currently residing at a federal prison in Colorado that has housed "convicted terrorists, including Zacarias Moussaoui, shoe bomber Richard Reid and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski."
He is serving 25-years for "delaying interstate commerce, conspiring to do so, and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence."
As for the taco shells, Cole offers a document in his favor that he mailed to his lawyer in 2006 which includes a list of nine product ideas under a wouldbe brand he refers to as, "Divas and Ballers." Item number two on the list:
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This week's CDC Morbidity and Mortality report reveals a revolting truth about swimming pools — more than half of the locations tested in 2012 showed traces of Escherichia coli, indicating that "swimmers introduced fecal material into pool water."
Also, there's an "extremely chlorine-tolerant parasite"called Cryptosporidium that you really don't want to ingest. It only takes one "incident" to cause a pool full of potential infection, according to the CDC:
A single diarrheal contamination incident can introduce 10^7–10^8 Cryptosporidium oocysts into the water, a quantity sufficient to cause infection if a mouthful of water from a typical pool is ingested.
Warning: The story only gets grosser from here. I'm sorry.
Additionally, each person has an average of 0.14 grams of fecal material on their perianal surface that could rinse into the water if swimmers fail to take a pre-swim shower with soap.
Reed Saxon/AP Photo
Elephant seals on a beach along California’s central coast in San Simeon Calif. Researchers have detected swine flu in elephant seals off the Central California coast, saying it was the first time a human pandemic strain has been found in marine mammals.
For the first time, a human pandemic virus strain has been found in marine mammals.
The Associated Press reports that H1N1 — the devastating "swine flu" virus that killed as many as half a million people during a 2009 global outbreak — has been found in elephant seals off the central coast of California.
A University of California, Davis study published this week found the seals contracted the H1N1 virus in 2010, but show no sign of illness, reported the Contra Costa Times.
It's not the first time a marine mammal has been found carrying a human strain, UC Davis professor Tracey Goldstein told the newspaper, but it is the first time researchers found a human pandemic strain.
Goldstein said the influenza virus commonly crosses species barriers and that the presence of H1N1 in seals is not a cause for alarm. But it's a good reminder, she said, for "people who work with animals to make sure that they protect themselves."
Put that in your space and park it.
On Thursday the California State Assembly overwhelmingly approved assemblyman Mike Gatto's bill to stop local governments from ticketing motorists who are parked at broken parking meters. The bill passed with a vote of 71-0.
According to Gatto's news release, "The bill, AB 61, seeks to stop the trend of cities passing laws allowing for ticketing at malfunctioning meters, even when the city itself has failed to fix the machine. "
Gatto, who represents areas of Burbank, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Hollywood Hills and East Hollywood, says, "We pay for street maintenance, meter installation, and meter upkeep...It is the responsibility of local governments to keep parking meters in good working order, not to squeeze a double-penalty out of its citizens."
Photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons
Xenopus laevis | African Clawed Frog
Mercury News reports that an African frog imported decades ago to California for medical testing may be the "Typhoid Mary of the frog world," according to a new a Stanford/SFSU study published Thursday in the journal Plos One.
According to researchers, the African clawed frog carries a deadly fungus that is responsible for the decline and extinction of approximately 200 amphibian species around the world.
Bay Area scientists believe they have discovered the Typhoid Mary of the frog world: a flat, feral creature that carried a deadly fungus from Africa to California's ponds and puddles through global trading.
Genetic analysis revealed that eight of 206 African clawed frogs -- caught wild or preserved in jars at the California Academy of Sciences -- carried the fungal plague called chytridiomycosis, which leaves them unharmed but kills native frogs in catastrophic numbers.