Customs agents discovered an extra ingredient in a shipment of Colombian coffee: nearly a half-ton of cocaine. U.S. Customs officer Troy Simon said Thursday it was his agency’s biggest cocaine find at the Port of New Orleans since more than two tons turned up in a transformer shipment about 10 years ago. He said officers opened the shipping container Monday after a gamma-ray scan showed squarish shapes on top of the rounded burlap bags of coffee beans. They turned out to be 15 duffel bags. U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Virginia Dabbs says they held 400 packages of cocaine weighing a total of 994 pounds. The case was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration; no arrests have been made. ***MARLAR: And you thought the coffee at Starbucks was potent!
Could eating less extend your life? It seems to work for monkeys. A 20-year study of rhesus monkeys found cutting calories by almost a third slowed their aging and fended off death. It backs up what scientists have long known about mice, worms and flies, that their lifespan can be extended by deep, long-term cuts in what should be normal consumption. And the study found the monkeys didn’t just live longer, they were healthier. The calorie-cut monkeys had less than half the incidence of cancerous tumors or heart disease as the monkeys who ate normally. Brain scans showed less age-related shrinkage in the dieting monkeys. They also retained more muscle, something else that tends to waste with age. The question for scientists now is whether that kind of calorie-cutting would have a similar effect on humans. ***MARLAR: So my choice is to live longer… or live not quite as long but still get my Milk Duds?
The cops say a cat helped catch the crook. Officers in Corpus Christi, Texas, were looking for a suspect wanted on a parole violation. According to police, officers searched a mobile home for Roger Crossland. When police didn’t find him inside, they looked under the trailer. An officer noticed a cat staring at one of the trailer’s crossbeams. Those cat eyes led them to Crossland. He’s now charged with violating a 10-year probationary term from a 2000 theft case. ***MARLAR: Not only did the cat eyeball him, but it must’ve got his tongue too because he ain’t saying nothing!
Airline passengers will be treated like dogs – on Pet Airways. It’s an airline for the four-legged set. Pets on these flights get to ride in the main cabin, not in the cargo hold. There are even flight attendants to care for the cats and dogs. But Rover and Tabby won’t get any in-flight snacks or drinks. That’s to prevent the furry passengers from getting sick. The animal airline begins serving a number of cities Tuesday, including Denver, Chicago, Baltimore/Washington, Los Angeles and New York. A ticket for doggie from Chicago to L.A. starts at $199. But the pet owners have to fly on their own. Pet Airways only carries animals. ***MARLAR: I understand the stewardesses are real foxes.
Electric car owners will get a charge out of Ronald McDonald. A new McDonald’s in the Raleigh, N.C. area is the first in the nation to feature electric car charging stations. Two battery chargers will be available for patrons to juice-up while they chow-down on a Big Mac. The charging stations will be free for customer use. But they may not be that busy. Electric car advocates note there are only a few dozen of the cars in the Raleigh area. ***MARLAR: The only stipulation for electric car owners is that while their car is plugged in, the restaurant gets to use your vehicle as a burger lamp.
A Philadelphia street crew ran into a problem while out fixing potholes. Their truck was swallowed up by a large pothole that opened up while they were patching a smaller pothole. As they were moving their truck after fixing a hole on Vassar Street, a larger hole opened up, swallowing the truck. ***MARLAR: On the plus side, the pothole no longer needs to be filled now.
You still can’t use your cell phone on a plane. The Federal Communications Commission has spent the past couple of years re-examining the current rules, which require cell phones to be turned off once the plane leaves the ground. From the F-C-C’s standpoint, the concern is that the use of the cell phones in the air might interfere with cell phone networks on the ground. And in an order released yesterday, the commission says there still isn’t enough information available on whether that would be the case. F-A-A rules also restrict the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices on planes to make sure they don’t interfere with the aircraft’s navigation and communication systems. ***MARLAR: How can they say that flying is the safest way to travel when they’re nervous that you might bring down the plane by making a cellular call to your mom?