Monday, July 26, 2010

Signs of the Times

They aren't promising... Here are two articles that ran on the front page of today's Daily Breeze, our local paper. I'm including the headlines so that if you're so inclined, you can pull up the whole story and read it for yourself.

"Jobless get by as medical guinea pigs"
Jeramy Bonano, 25, was paid $3,000 for: fasting for two days, spending 35 hours in a hospital bed and then having a battery of blood draws. He said, "Luckily for me, there is a need for young, healthy adults like myself."

Er, not so fast, sonny boy. Later in the article we discover that in 2006, a London clinic was testing an anti-inflammatory drug when six of their volunteers had to be rushed to the ICU -- they were suffering from multiple organ failure!

Long ago, I myself was a guinea pig, down at Harbor UCLA. Some mad scientist wanted to find out if there is a link between clinical depression and kidney disease. Yes, I wonder what he was smoking myself... Anyhow, I was a "control" (meaning a normal person; stifle yourself) and all they did to me was stick me in MRI machine and bong away at me. It paid $200 for about four hours of my time, so not a bad pay check.

"New parking meters will let you charge it"
Manhattan Beach, our ritzy neighbor to the north, just got 440 new parking meters that accept credit/debit cars as well as coins. These machines, made by IPS Group Inc. of San Diego, cost $500 apiece or $220,000.

Manhattan Beach receives some $2.37 million a year from their parking meters. The meters are expected to bring in an additional 15% per year.

Sinisterly, the parking meters have the capability to know (by sensor) when a car leaves its space and will re-set the meter to zero OR send a signal to the police when you've overstayed your money. Parking tickets are $45. Bruce Moe, the City's finance director, said those technologies are not being used.

Yeah, right. I believe that Manhattan Beach is also running a special on a bridge in New York -- buy it today and save 10 percent.

No comments: