Friday, July 31, 2009

Perfume Sparks Panic At Bank

More than 30 people were treated in hospital after a bank worker sparked panic - with a squirt of perfume. Firefighters and ambulances were called to the Bank of America branch in Fort Worth, Texas, fearing a carbon monoxide leak after two staff members reported feeling sick and dizzy.
A total of 12 people were taken to hospital while 22 others made their own way there and a further 110 were treated at the scene as the bank's management broadcast an alert to nearly 2,000 staff warning them to leave the building if they felt ill. But it then emerged that rather than a gas leak the reason for the chaos was a simple squirt of perfume, the brand of which has not been revealed.
Lt Kent Worley of Fort Worth Fire Department said: "Two employees reported some dizziness in close association with someone spraying on some perfume." He said that when the two reported being dizzy to a supervisor, "an announcement was made over the building's PA system saying that anyone feeling these symptoms should exit the building to an outside location."
Subsequently, he said, many people left the building, but many others continued working "with no ill effect." "We called a [hazardous materials] unit to the scene but they didn't detect anything on their air monitoring unit," he said."
That air monitoring unit can detect carbon monoxide and several other chemicals and products that can be in the air. But they found nothing that would have caused people to get sick." Lt Worley suggested the situation escalated because of 'psychosomatic behaviour', or what medical experts often refer to as 'contagious fear'.
Mary Lynn Crow, a clinical psychologist at the University of Texas, said: "Your thinking can actually cause you to feel pain or discomfort. Fear is one of the most contagious emotions there is. When you say to people, 'Hey, there is a contaminant in the building and it is making people sick,' then it easy for them to feel accordingly."

National Geographic Rio Antirio Greek


Sara loves to swing at the park.

She has been doing this for about 4 years now and goes absolutely crazy when we mention going to the park. If we can just get her to pump.

Pet cat catches the daily bus for four years

A pet cat has caught the same bus regularly for four years.
Casper: He has been making the journey for so long that all First Bus drivers have now been told to look out for him to ensure he gets off at the right stop.
Casper, which is 12 years old, boards the No3 service at 10.55am from outside his home in Plymouth, Devon, and travels the entire 11-mile route before returning home about an hour later.
On the route, the cat passes an historic dockyard and naval base, a city center and several suburbs
He has been making the journey for so long that all First Bus drivers have now been told to look out for him to ensure he gets off at the right stop.
Susan Finden (corr), 65, a care worker who is Casper's owner, said: "Casper has always disappeared for hours at a time but I never understood where he was going.
"I called him Casper because he had a habit of vanishing like a ghost. But then some of the drivers told me he had been catching the bus.
"I couldn't believe it at first, but it explains a lot. He loves people and we have a bus stop right outside our house so that must be how he got started - just following everyone on.
"I used to catch the odd bus too so maybe he saw me and got curious what I was doing.
"Casper is quite quick for his age so he just hops on to the bus before the doors close. He catches the 10.55am service and likes to sit on the back seat."
Rob Stonehouse (corr), one of the drivers on the route, said: "He usually just curls up at the back of the bus. Sometimes he nips between people's legs but he never causes any trouble."
Casper has traveled an estimated 20,000 miles but Mrs Finden says because he is getting old the drivers often have to shuffle him off at the right stop.
A spokeswoman for First Bus said the firm has put a notice up in the office asking them to look after the non-paying passenger.

Rare twin wallabies spotted

A wild wallaby sighted in eastern Australia has a rare predicament for a marsupial mother — she is carrying twins in her pouch.
The whiptail wallaby and her identical pair of offspring have become regular visitors to a small farm near Ellesmere in Queensland state.
Scientists say it is very unusual for a wallaby, a smaller cousin of a kangaroo, to have twins, and rarer still for a growing pair to survive in the cramped confines of the mother's pouch for so long. They appear to be several months old.
"I was very surprised," farm owner Peter Balsillie said of when he first saw the twins squeezed into the mother's pouch three weeks ago. "Most afternoons you see both heads. Sometimes you see a head and the other's back leg sticking out."
Balsillie spoke by phone Thursday from the farm, where he feeds bread daily to the mother and around six other wallabies that visit with her. He said the twins look the same but he has never seen them leave their mother's pouch.
Kangaroo expert Gordon Grigg, emeritus professor of zoology at Queensland University, said that judging from photos he had seen, the twins, which have already grown a wallaby's characteristic fur, would soon become independent of their mother.
"It's very unusual, especially that she's looked after them through to that size," Grigg said.