Five nurses at the Denver Health Medical Center were suspended for three weeks after they admired a man's private parts, both while he was incapacitated at the hospital and then again after he died. In one of the incidents, the nurses actually opened a body bag to take a peek. Officials discovered what happened after one of the nurses made a comment that was heard by an uninvolved nurse who reported the matter. Denver Health Medical Center released the following statement: "Their actions, which violated our policies and our Code of Conduct, were promptly reported to appropriate governmental authorities, including the Denver Police Department and the Colorado State Board of Nursing." Police determined there was insufficient evidence to prove a crime was committed so no charges were filed. The matter was referred "back to Denver Health to handle internally." Four of the nurses are back at work, while the other is no longer at the hospital, though she wasn't terminated. Odd, because I'd give almost anything to have a bunch of nurses stand around and admire my junk after I'm gone - or right now even! (Denver-7)
Finally Delta Gets Some Good PR
Delta finally gets some good PR for a change after one of its flights managed to make it from New York to Puerto Rico, and back Wednesday by navigating through Hurricane Irma. The flight took off from JFK International Airport at 8:12am, heading toward the rapidly approaching Category 5 storm. After a smooth landing in San Juan at 12:01pm despite strengthening winds and decreasing visibility, the plane took off again a mere 40 minutes later with 173 passengers and crew. Those passengers will have a small claim-to-fame as they were on the last official commercial flight out of San Juan before the airport closed. The plane had to fly between the outer bands of the hurricane! A Delta VP later said, "Our meteorology team is the best in the business. They took a hard look at the weather data and the track of the storm and worked with the flight crew and dispatcher to agree it was safe to operate the flight." (USA Today)
Religion in America is Dying
A major new survey on the religious beliefs of Americans is out, and the Public Religion Research Institute has two big takeaways from the 2016 survey of 101,000 people: White Christians no longer make up a majority of Americans, with their percentage now at 43%, down from 81% in 1976; and fewer than half of US states have a majority population of white Christians. In 20 states people who say they have no religious affiliation are in the majority. In general, the non-religious states of America are concentrated west of the Mississippi River. One interesting trend- while religion in white America is dying, while religion in non-white America is holding strong. Evangelicals are also on the strong decline. About 17% of Americans are white evangelical Protestant, down from 23% in 2006. The religions with the highest percentage of members ages 18 to 29 are Islam (42%) and Hinduism (36%), far higher than white Catholics (11%), white evangelical Protestants (11%), and white mainline Protestants (14%). Jewish Americans are at 2%, with Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus each at 1%. Christians still make up nearly three-quarters of the GOP. In contrast, they constitute less than one-third of Democrats, down from about half 10 years ago. The Bottom line: "The future of religion in America is young, non-Christian, and Technicolor." previously immune from falling numbers, particularly striking. (Newser)
Not a Good Idea to Surf Hurricane Irma
A young professional surfer thought it would be cool to surf some of the waves generated by Hurricane Irma. He's dead now. Sixteen-year-old Zander Venezia was surfing on the east coast of Barbados when he ran into trouble with a closeout set - a wave that breaks all at once so that a surfer doesn't have a clear line through it. The wave sent Venezia barreling into the "shallow, rocky bottom" of Cattlewash Beach, where he was afterward found "bleeding and unresponsive," according to Surfline. Fellow surfers got Venezia to shore and performed CPR, but although the teen was reportedly breathing when he arrived at a hospital, he didn't recover. A Barbados native, Venezia was among several pro surfers who ventured out in search of giant waves resulting from Hurricane Irma. His last words were reportedly, "'I just got the best wave of my life!'" Venezia became a champion youth surfer in Barbados at age 11 and was due to compete in the Rip Curl GromSearch National Championship in California next month after winning a qualifying event in August. (Surfline)
Remember, You Need 8 Glasses of Plastic per Day!
Think your drinking water is clean? Think again. Researchers who tested samples of tap water from around the world say there are microplastics in much of it, with the highest contamination rate in the US! Some 94% of samples taken from places like Congress and Trump Tower tested positive, while globally speaking, 84% of samples contained plastics. Lebanon and India follow the US, while countries in Europe have the lowest contamination, though it is still above 70%. One microplasitc expert said, "We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that it's having on wildlife, to be concerned. If it's impacting [wildlife], then how do we think that it's not going to somehow impact us?" Microplastics are defined as being shorter than 5mm long, which is roughly the length of a sesame seed. Sometimes they are produced as micro beads in toothpaste and scrubs, but they also result from degrading plastic waste and have been found all over the world in everything from fish, honey, and beer to the very air we breathe - both indoors and outdoors. Americans who drink six pints (about 96 ounces) a day could be ingesting 4,000 plastic particles a year; shellfish consumers, meanwhile, could be ingesting 11,000 a year from just that source. (Phys.org)
You Can Now Join a Cult, Murder People, and Then Get Parole
For the second time in two years, a California panel has recommended parole for Leslie Van Houten, the youngest former Charles Manson follower imprisoned for the infamous 1969 murder spree in the Los Angeles area. California Gov. Jerry Brown rejected the parole last time around, which is his right, and after a 120-day review process will once again have the final say on whether to approve, reject, or modify the parole board's decision. Van Houten, who was 19 at the time of the murders, is now 68. She has confessed to stabbing Rosemary LaBianca, wife of grocer Leno LaBianca, more than a dozen times after invading their home with fellow members of the "Manson Family" on Aug. 9, 1969. Van Houten's attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, says they will go back to court if Gov. Brown turns her down again because of public pressure. A fellow Manson follower testified last week at the parole hearing that Van Houten had been threatened with a painful death if she left the cult. (Los Angeles Times)
When Did You Get So Boring?
It's not exactly scientific research, but it is interesting. Home rental site Airbnb surveyed 2,000 people to try and figure out the optimum age for boredom and excitement. It seems 27 is the age at which people are most likely to be trekking across the desert, dancing on bar countertops or taking up base jumping. But, as you might imagine, people become more dull as they take on increased responsibilities in their thirties. Men are at their most boring at age 39 while women get there at age 35 (although in popular wisdom this is also the age at which women reach their sexual peak, so who can tell). The good news is after age 50 all this changes because people become more open to new experiences again. (Metro)
What the What?
Sibongile Mani is a 27-year-old accounting major at South Africa's Walter Sisulu University. But that doesn't mean she's smart. It seems she was accidentally given 10,000 times her normal student finance payment and thus found $1.1 million suddenly deposited into her checking account. But rather than report the error, Mani went on a wild spending spree, spending over $65,000 in two months on designer outfits, expensive concert tickets and a brand new iPhone 7. She claims she did report the problem but when nothing was done assumed it was hers. She's now looking at serious theft charges. Right, because nobody ever misses $1.1 million! (Metro)