Brickbats

Brickbats: June 2021

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Liam Thorp is in his 30s and has no conditions that put him at a particularly high risk of death or serious illness from COVID-19, so he was surprised when the United Kingdom's National Health Service contacted him to offer early access to a vaccine. It turned out Thorp had been moved to a high-priority category because his body mass index (BMI) was incorrectly listed at 28,000. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Records had Thorp's height at 6.2 centimeters instead of 6 feet, 2 inches.

Home bakers in Wisconsin won a court battle in 2017 allowing them to sell bread, cookies, and other baked items without a commercial license. But last year, after Ellie Boehm, 15, began selling macarons she baked, the Wisconsin Bakers Association sent her a letter warning that her business is in violation of the law. The agency that enforces commercial baking licenses has interpreted the court ruling as not applying to certain ingredients, such as eggnog and heavy cream. She's now part of a new class-action lawsuit.

Folk singer Angelo Kelly has been fined 3,000 euros ($3,635) after bringing his 4-year-old son on stage to sing a song with him during a concert in Bavaria. A court ruled that he had violated Germany's law on child labor, which says children aged 3–6 can take part in musical performances only with official approval, and not after 5 p.m.

The Harris County, Texas, sheriff's office says it is investigating a deputy captured on video pulling a gun on a motorist caught up in a funeral procession in -Houston. George Dickerson says a deputy riding a motorcycle in front of him slammed on his brakes, forcing him to also stop suddenly. A second deputy on a motorcycle behind Dickerson allegedly got angry with him and threatened to kill him.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to put video surveillance towers along the Canadian border in rural Vermont and New York.

Brittaney Strupe got engaged over Valentine's Day weekend, and her fiancé bought roses for the occasion. Rather than toss them away, Strupe decided to show a little love for others. She went to a Coshocton County, Ohio, Walmart and left them on vehicles' windshields. Customers and store management didn't didn't know what to make of this, so they called the cops. The sheriff's office then posted a warning on Facebook about people leaving flowers on windshields, calling it a "human-trafficking related technique."

Idaho Falls, Idaho, police had been looking for a man wanted for felony battery of an officer. They tracked the suspect to a nearby residential neighborhood, where an armed man who matched the suspect's description was seen in the backyard of one of the homes. According to Police Chief Bryce Johnson, officers ordered him to drop his wea-pon and then fatally shot him. But he was not the suspect, and the man was in his own backyard at the time.

Schenectady, New York, Mayor Gary McCarthy says the police department should not have ticketed cars parked on the street after a recent snow storm. Adding insult to the injury, residents noted that the city did not clear the streets of snow.

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  1. We need more government to be involved with more things.

    1. Today I learned that I am a Radical Leftists for just wanting government to be involved with far fewer things than it is now. I am a Radical Leftist for thinking that government should be small and constrained.

      1. Freedom is slavery comrade.

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    2. Seems to me, the brickbat theme of the month (like most every other month), is government works poorly if at all, and isn’t held accountable.

      I appreciate your sarcastic comment, but I’m more of a straight man.

  2. >>6 feet, 2 inches.

    in the UK?

    1. A tiger in Africa? —shhhh!

  3. Why would the UK list a person’s height in feet and inches? It should be 188 centimeters.

    1. Because English units of measure are still sometimes used by people in England who speak English and who grew up under such a system.

      1. An official UK government database is in Imperial units? They’ve been metric for 200 years.

        1. Most likely the database (and the form used to enter data) is in cm but someone entered his height in feet/inches.

          Happens all the time here is the US. If I ask 3rd year engineering students a question that was metric on the homework but changed to inches on the exam, about 15% of them will simply ignore the units and another 15% will botch the conversion. Seriously.

          1. NASA lost a spacecraft for that reason.

            1. But Mars gained a pile of junk.

          2. You forgot the important part: Someone working for a government that has been using the metric system exclusively for decades does not understand that 6.2 cm (about 2-1/2 inches) is a ridiculous entry for the height of a human being. (We were all that length once, but if we’d been born then the doctor would have described this event as a miscarriage.) Also, no one in their health service requested validity checking of the entered height or calculated BMI, and either the letter was computer printed without being read and approved by any human, or that human was too stupid to be allowed out without a keeper.

            1. A proper system has checks to prevent this very thing. Every grade entry system I’ve ever seen flags any single-digit entry or any grade above 110%. A grade of a “9” or a “900” is almost certainly due to the slip of a finger. You’d think medical systems would have similar confirmation when the penalty could be death rather than an odd GPA.

        2. No they haven’t.

          They’re not really metric *now*.

          Similar to Canada.

      2. In pretty wide use still, I think. And weight in stone.

  4. Boeing still uses imperial units. Kind of embarrassing when the rest of US industry has gone metric.

    1. What embarrassing about being different?

      1. Because all other industries that I am working in/have worked in/ have pretty much switched to metric. Custom machinery nowadays is moving to metric. Farm Equipment, automobiles, trains, are all metric. I work with many suppliers and metric is understood by everyone. Going into Boeing and having been used to everything in mm, it is sad to see. Sure there is a big cost to change, but this is one more nail in Boeing’s coffin. Different – sure now, but incompatibility will make them a loser in the long run. I sold my Boeing stock as I find that after working with them , they are a disaster of a company, coasting on the past with a cloudy future. Sad.

        1. I work with many engineering companies who still operate in imperial units. It’s very common among the over 50 set.

        2. Because any American engineer worth their salt can use metric or imperial units interchangeably.

    2. Why is it embarrassing?

    3. Boeing doesn’t lose any sales over their choice of measurement systems. Their only customer other than airlines is the US military, which allows Imperial units. (Probably many generals and admirals would prefer hard metric to reduce the tools and spare parts inventory, but I think Congress has required them to allow the traditional system.) For airliners, Boeing has only one competitor, Airbus, and the models are not interchangeable. If Boeing is the best fit, most airlines will buy it even if they have to buy inch calipers and wrenches along with the airplane.

      1. Many Boeing airliner parts are manufactured in Japan, other parts of Asia, Canada, and Europe. Different units does not help them competitively.

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