Today, we will examine why we should all hate Gary Thuerk, the Glass Beach at Fort Bragg, a NASA disaster caused by a missing hyphen, a lexicographic typo that appeared in Webster's, a war between the British and the Ashantis over a stool, and the crazy life of the man who killed a presidential assassin.
|About two hundred and fifty seconds before disaster.|
|Before he helped inspire the phrase "mad as a hatter" from huffing mercury fumes.|
Labrador Retrievers are a pretty generic breed of dog; they are probably a good representation of the diversity in the species, but still have some unique talents. They tend to make good service dogs, and they have one superb member as part of their ranks: Endal. His service for a disabled Royal Navy veteran, Chief Petty Officer Allen Parton, earned him recognition as one of the most famous dogs ever to be British, and probably the most decorated dog in the world (including "Dog of the Millennium", the Blue Peter Badge, and the PDSA’s Gold Medal, as well as some firsts for an assistance dog). Born in 1995, he began his life's work for Parton in the late 1990s, and was put down after suffering a stroke at age 13 in 2009. Due to Parton's head injuries in the Gulf War, he was wheelchair bound, suffered memory problems, speech difficulties, and problems with perception (which could easily lead to lethal accidents). The sheer resume of what Endal could do is amazing: fetch items from the supermarket (later able to offer a debit card to the clerk), assist in using an ATM, load and empty a washing machine, use buttons and switches (such as elevators and crosswalks), keep Parton from entering traffic or other dangerous situations, assist in bathing, fetch items requested by sign language (i.e. a razor when the face is touched, or a hat when the head is touched), and even render aid in the event of a medical emergency by putting Parton in the recovery position and summoning help (alerting passersby or pushing the emergency button on the telephone). To me, most impressive was the fact that he helped Parton to speak again: "Eventually one day, in this very silent world we lived in, I grunted. That was like an electric shock going through him, he was so excited. They said I’d never speak again, but Endal just dragged the speech out of me." On top of the considerable media attention, Endal is featured in a eponymous book and a BBC special that is being reshot as a feature film.
|Makes me wish my dogs could do more than chase squirrels and simple tricks. :(|
|Worth fighting for?|
|The offending entry.|
|It's actually rather pretty, if a bit dangerous to walk on.|