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The Evidence Sniffer!

A Labrador Retriever named Bear  (which is more relaxing than a bear named Labrador) was enlisted to “sniff out” a computer thumb drive in the home of Jared Fogle. The thumb drive played a key role in  child pornography charges being filed against the former Subway spokesman. (NBC News) It was evidence that humans had failed to find during a  July search of Fogle’s house.

The “talent” that was in search of the Fogle evidence acquired this special skill because a chemist named Jack Hubball tested flash drives, circuit boards and other electronic components, and determined that there was a common chemical that was found in all of them. Then, Hubball trained three dogs to recognize that scent; Much the way that other dogs can pick up the scent of a fugitive, or cocaine stashed in a car compartment or piece of luggage.

“Digital Detective” Bear can smell the components of electronic media. It doesn’t matter if it’s stuck in a drawer, as small as a micro-card the size of a fingernail. The hope is that dogs will also be able to be trained in weapons of terror. The new war on crime with the assistance of man’s best friend.

And for our weekend pic…


Law and the Starbucks Diet

This is my official diet request. Isn’t there someone out there who can develop the ice cream diet and have it approved by nutritionists everywhere. I would like it to include the soft cone ice cream from Dairy Queen. Having the cone dipped in chocolate would be helpful. OK, maybe even a peanut butter topping.

I am getting carried away here because a librarian from George Mason law school has come close to this plan. CNN reports that Christine Hall has lost over 80 pounds after she started almost exclusively eating at Starbucks about two years ago.

Hall says that she is eating a healthy variety of foods and has become so familiar with their menu that she knows the calories in everything that she orders. She initially became concerned about her weight after being rejected as a possible kidney donor. She eventually lost enough weight to allow her to be part of a 32-person kidney swap (video here) that was performed in November 2010.

She reports that she typically ate oatmeal and coffee for breakfast; a bistro box with fruit and cheese for lunch; and a Panini for dinner. This 66-year-old now weighs 114 pounds. She’s not afraid to discuss her age or her weight!

I’m not sure if we will start to see Subway’s Jared switch diet teams. I’m guessing that there’s no hope for my ice cream diet. How about the all mashed and baked potato diet. Now we are talking!

For pic o’ day, I went with a dog who must be on the Starbucks plan too:

A Subway Evidence Lesson

     Subway used to air a commercial that had a football referee standing at midfield. Over the intercom, he was telling the crowd, “I totally blew the call. In fact, it wasn’t even close. But don’t worry. I’ll penalize the other team- for no good reason- in the second half. To even things up.”

     I have to admit that, sometimes, it feels like a Judge is doing that in pretrial conferences.   Maybe it’s just compromise. I do know that  my competitive nature gets a hold of me and I don’t even want to give in on minor issues. 

     Once the case is submitted to a jury, the Judge has to sit and wait for the verdict;  just like me. 

     When the jury first gets back there, they are supposed to immediately elect a foreman. Then, their jury deliberations are supposed to include an opportunity for everyone to express their opinions.

     In South Carolina, the law specifically spells out that they are not supposed to add up all their possible verdict dollar amounts, and divide by the amount of sitting jurors. Justice is not averaging a verdict amount.  Instead,  jurors can compromise,  to come up with the amount that will be written on the verdict form, and then read to the courtroom.

     Juries are supposed to base their verdict on the law and the evidence. I’m glad that they take the time and don’t just try to “even things up”.   Plus, I’m glad that we have football back again!

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