Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018

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News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

The Bar Is Always Open 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).

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