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The News You May Have Missed

July-August 2012



Lust for Learning

An Australian man who broke a Guinness world record by earning a law degree at age 91 has done it again with a master’s degree at age 97, reports United Press International (May 4). Allan Stewart received a degree in clinical science from Southern Cross University — his fourth degree — 72 years after graduating from the University of Sydney with a degree in dentistry. “I think I can hang up my mortar board and academic robes after this one — although I said that after my last degree and then I got bored,” he admitted. Stewart said he decided on clinical science because he is interested in “healthy aging,” for himself and for his community. Sonya Brownie, a supervisor in the master’s program, called him “a tremendous inspiration to those who aspire to age well.”

Cross-Dressing Crooks

A recent wave of at least five bank holdups and one homicide committed by men dressed as Muslim women — in full abaya and head covering — has prompted the Philadelphia-area Islamic community to offer a $20,000 reward for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects (Philadelphia Inquirer, Apr. 25). An organization representing 71 mosques and congregations was joined by elected officials at a news conference to send a message of zero tolerance. “Whatever happened to the mask?” asked Imam Asim Abdul-Rashid, referring to the ski mask worn by criminals of yesteryear. During the news conference, District Attorney Seth Williams said, “We are seeing cowards dressed in the outer garb of Muslim women,” and he promised to do “all that we can to make sure [Muslim] women aren’t degraded in this way.” Which prompts one to ask whether “the mask” wasn’t degrading to skiers.

Baby’s Long Way

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, over the last three years 56 percent of divorce lawyers have seen an increase in mothers paying child support, and 47 percent have noted a hike in the number of women paying alimony. “It shows that women have really moved up financially and that in many instances they are the major bread winners in a lot of families,” said Alton Abramowitz, president-elect of the academy. While women have made strides professionally, the divorce rate has remained fairly constant for decades. “We see women who are every bit as angry as their male counterparts, maybe more so, when they are confronted with the concept of paying spousal support to a man,” said Abramo­witz (Reuters, May 10).

An Adequately Advertised Establishment

Fox5 News in Las Vegas reports (May 6) that a customer had to be carted out of the Heart Attack Grill by paramedics after apparently suffering a “medical episode.” Owner Jon Basso said the woman, believed to be in her mid-40s, was eating, drinking alcohol, and smoking before she fell to the floor, unconscious. Signs around the restaurant glorify poor eating habits with menu items like Flatliner Fries and Butterfat Milkshakes. The Quadruple Bypass Burger, which contains 9,983 calories, was honored with a Guinness world record for having the highest amount of calories ever in a burger. In February a diner suffered a heart attack in the middle of eating a Triple Bypass Burger. Initial news reports did not specify what the menu’s more recent victim was eating before she collapsed.


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