Archive for the ‘Oregon’ Category

An emergency room in Oregon has been quarantined after five people started experiencing hallucinations that appear to have been spread via touch.

The unidentified condition was first reported at around 3am last Wednesday, when a 54-year-old caregiver in North Bend Oregon phoned police complaining about seven or eight people trying to “take the roof off her vehicle”.

Police investigated her house and couldn’t find any evidence of the crime, but when the caregiver called about the incident again a few hours later, two Sheriff’s deputies escorted her to the nearby Bay Area hospital to be examined for symptoms of hallucinations.

The woman was declared healthy and sent home, but pretty soon, one of the deputies who’d helped out with the case started hallucinating himself.

And then the second deputy, a hospital worker, and the caregiver’s 78-year-old patient also began hallucinating, and were admitted to hospital.

All four had been in physical contact with the caregiver.

A Haz Mat team was deployed to both the hospital and the caregiver’s residence, while the emergency room was emptied and quarantined to check for the source of the unidentified illness. Experts have so far been unable to locate a common source of contamination.

Blood tests of the affected patients also haven’t turned up anything unusual.

Initially, police though that the hallucinations could have been caused by narcotic fentanyl patches, which are prescribed for chronic pain, and were worn by the caregiver’s 78-year-old patient.

But they’ve since ruled that explanation out.

“Investigation has found that all those patches and potential medications that may have caused the symptoms have been accounted for,” Coos County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Patrick Downing told KVAL News.

“The vehicles, equipment, and uniforms have been checked with no contaminates identified or located on or about them.”

All patients have now been treated, released home, and have reportedly recovered – although the hospital worker is displaying some flu-like symptoms. The quarantine has also been lifted from the hospital.

But the investigation into the source of the hallucinations is ongoing, with police saying that the only thing they suspect for sure is that the illness was spread by direct contact.

However, it’s not yet been ruled out that this isn’t a case of mass hysteria – where many people in contact with each other all start to think they’re suffering from the same physical condition, symptoms, or threat. It’s possible that all these people who came in contact with the caregiver became so anxious that they also started hallucinating.

This is not the first time a mysterious illness has swept through a group of people, either – last year, dozens of children started fainting during a Remembrance Day ceremony in the UK. In that case, the suspected cause appears to have been a simple been a case of heating and widespread panic about children becoming ill.

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-hospital-ward-has-been-quarantined-after-5-people-fall-ill-with-mysterious-hallucinations

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

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A rancher jumped on his horse Friday morning and lassoed a man who was trying to steal a bicycle in the parking lot of an Oregon Wal-Mart, police said.

Robert Borba was at the Eagle Point store loading dog food and a camping tent into his truck when he heard a woman screaming that someone was trying to steal her bike, the Medford Mail Tribune reports (http://goo.gl/L5PTLm).

The 28-year-old said he quickly got his horse, Long John, out of its trailer. He grabbed a rope, rode over to the man who was reportedly struggling with the bike gears and attempting to flee on foot. Borba lassoed the man around the legs and when he dropped, Borba dragged him to one end of the parking lot.

“I seen this fella trying to get up to speed on a bicycle,” Borba told the Tribune. “I wasn’t going to catch him on foot. I just don’t run very fast.”

Borba said the man tried to grab a tree and get away, but he kept the rope tight and the man in place.

“I use a rope every day, that’s how I make my living,” Borba said. “If it catches cattle pretty good, it catches a bandit pretty good.”

Eagle Point police Sgt. Darin May said officers arrived and found the lassoed man and bike on the ground in the parking lot.

“We’ve never had anyone lassoed and held until we got there,” May said. “That’s a first for me.”

Police arrested Victorino Arellano-Sanchez, whom they described as a transient from the Seattle area, on a theft charge.

Arellano-Sanchez is jailed in Jackson County. Staff members at the jail say they don’t think he has an attorney.

http://bigstory.ap.org/bd911de9190d4ec7b03d855312b04e39

Professional Cuddler

Posted: November 14, 2013 in cuddle, Oregon, Portland, Sam Hess

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A really good hug can be priceless. Or, if you’re Sam Hess, it can be $60. She has the kind of job that is the envy of any cocktail party.

“I tell them I’m a professional cuddler and they immediately say, ‘Professional what?’” Hess said.

The former personal trainer has also worked in restaurants and most recently a nine-to-five office job. But none of those positions involved so many, well, positions that she says she’s naturally gifted to give.

“Absolutely I am a huge touchy person, I’ve always been that away I’m just touchy,” Hess told Newschannel 8.

Her cuddle career started 6 months ago after she heard of a similar business in New York. “And I thought, ‘That is such a good idea. If anyone can do this I can.’”

She’s had dozens of clients so far. They are mostly male, mostly 30 and over and often divorced or in-between relationships. She also attracts clients who suffer from depression.

“It’s nice to have something pick you back up a little,” she said.

What’s the difference between what she does and what anyone can do at home?

“I keep logs of each client to ensure they are having the most personalized experience possible,” Hess said.

The professional cuddler has ground rules. She meets all of her new clients at a neutral location to make sure they understand this is a platonic session.

“It’s not about the adult side of touch at all,” she said. She says clients can only touch her in ways that would be deemed appropriate for touching a child. Sam Hess says she’s getting a lot out of her new career.

“It’s a lot of fun I get to make people happy every day.” Now all that’s missing: more cuddle clients. “I’m definitely not surviving off of this but I hope to at some point.”

http://www.kgw.com/news/Portland-woman-is-professional-cuddler-231696421.html

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Richard Swanson, 42, planned to walk, soccer ball at his feet, from Seattle to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to make it in time for next year’s international soccer tournament. But Swanson was mowed down by a pickup truck Tuesday morning south of Lincoln City, Ore., only two weeks and a few hundred miles into his journey.

“It is with a heavy heart to notify you that Richard Swanson passed on this morning,” someone posted on his “Breakaway Brazil” Facebook page used to document the trek. “His team, family, friends, and loved ones will miss him and love him dearly. You made it to Brazil in our hearts, Richard. Team Richard.”

Described as an “avid runner, soccer player, and all-around lover of the Pacific Northwest,” Swanson planned to visit 11 countries during his one-year-plus trip south. Along the way, Swanson planned to dribble an “indestructible” soccer ball to promote the One World Futbol Project, a charity that donates such durable balls to people in disadvantaged communities. The ball was found among his belongings in the crash wreckage on U.S. Highway 101.

A graphic designer and former private investigator, Swanson said he was laid off but wanted to live his dream of attending a World Cup tournament. “All these pieces just started to come together in a way that — it almost felt that, it felt natural, it felt that I was doing what I should be doing, that this was my next leg in my life,” he said in a video about himself before he started.

Swanson was soliciting monetary donations and asking friends and people online to give him a couch to sleep on as he journeyed south. He documented the trek on Facebook and had a map on his website that tracked his movements via GPS. On Monday night, Swanson posted a photo of him relaxing in his Lincoln City host’s hot tub. The next morning, he posted a shot of a bacon, eggs and potatoes breakfast he described as “stick to your ribs … to keep me fueled as I head to Newport.”

The last GPS transmission Tuesday showed him traveling 2.8 miles per hour along the Oregon Coast Highway, about 20 miles north of Newport. Swanson leaves behind two sons, 18 and 22, both of whom posted remembrances to his page.

“We love you dad..with all our hearts!” Devin Swanson wrote. “You are a inspiration to all to continue doing what you love! One day..I will continue your journey in your name!”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/man-dribble-soccer-ball-brazil-killed-oregon-article-1.1344242#ixzz2TMwK2J7R

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Eight years ago, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office launched a campaign called “the Faces of Meth” to address Oregon’s methamphetamine problem. The images showed the jarring effects of meth on addicts’ faces through before-and-after pictures from their arrest records.

Rehabs.com recently followed suit with this infographic. Warning: these images are disturbing.

 

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Rehabs.com

 

 

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Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-faces-of-meth-ads-are-utterly-harrowing-2012-12#ixzz2E7zSezR1

A cave-dwelling creature named Trogloraptor sounds like the villain of a B horror film, but it’s actually a newly discovered type of spider.

A team of scientists discovered the spindly armed arachnid in caves and old-growth forests of Oregon and California and reported the find today in the journal ZooKeys. Because of its unique evolutionary features, Trogloraptoridae is not just a new species or genus, but a new family of spiders. The name Trogloraptor, meaning “cave robber,” seems a fitting moniker (above).

The spider is about 1.5 inches wide with its legs stretched out, bigger than a half-dollar coin. It was found living in loose strands of web hanging from cave ceilings and under forest debris. It wields a set of lethal-looking claws, but its hunting and fighting behaviors remain to be seen.

Scanning electron micrograph of the claw of the Trogloraptor spider. California Academy of Sciences

It’s probably a close relative of the goblin spiders, Oonopidae, evidence suggests. But its anatomy is a mix of old and new evolutionary features, giving spider scientists food for thought.

Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences, San Diego State University, and citizen scientists from the Western Cave Conservancy all helped discover the spiders. The California Academy of Sciences team led the study to analyze and describe the new arachnid family.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/new-cave-spider-trogloraptor/

 

An as yet undiscovered planet might be orbiting at the dark fringes of the solar system, according to new research.

Too far out to be easily spotted by telescopes, the potential unseen planet appears to be making its presence felt by disturbing the orbits of so-called Kuiper belt objects, said Rodney Gomes, an astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.

Kuiper belt objects are small icy bodies—including some dwarf planets—that lie beyond the orbit of Neptune.

Once considered the ninth planet in our system, the dwarf planet Pluto, for example, is one of the largest Kuiper belt objects, at about 1,400 miles (2,300 kilometers) wide. Dozens of the other objects are hundreds of miles across, and more are being discovered every year.

(See “Three New ‘Plutos’? Possible Dwarf Planets Found.”)

What’s intriguing, Gomes said, is that, according to his new calculations, about a half dozen Kuiper belt objects—including the remote body known as Sedna—are in strange orbits compared to where they should be, based on existing solar system models. (Related: “Pluto Neighbor Gets Downsized.”)

The objects’ unexpected orbits have a few possible explanations, said Gomes, who presented his findings Tuesday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Timberline Lodge, Oregon.

“But I think the easiest one is a planetary-mass solar companion”—a planet that orbits very far out from the sun but that’s massive enough to be having gravitational effects on Kuiper belt objects.

Mystery Planet a Captured Rogue?

For the new work, Gomes analyzed the orbits of 92 Kuiper belt objects, then compared his results to computer models of how the bodies should be distributed, with and without an additional planet.

If there’s no distant world, Gomes concludes, the models don’t produce the highly elongated orbits we see for six of the objects.

How big exactly the planetary body might be isn’t clear, but there are a lot of possibilities, Gomes added.

Based on his calculations, Gomes thinks a Neptune-size world, about four times bigger than Earth, orbiting 140 billion miles (225 billion kilometers) away from the sun—about 1,500 times farther than Earth—would do the trick.

But so would a Mars-size object—roughly half Earth’s size—in a highly elongated orbit that would occasionally bring the body sweeping to within 5 billion miles (8 billion kilometers) of the sun.

Gomes speculates that the mystery object could be a rogue planet that was kicked out of its own star system and later captured by the sun’s gravity. (See “‘Nomad’ Planets More Common Than Thought, May Orbit Black Holes.”)

Or the putative planet could have formed closer to our sun, only to be cast outward by gravitational encounters with other planets.

However, actually finding such a world would be a challenge.

To begin with, the planet might be pretty dim. Also, Gomes’s simulations don’t give astronomers any clue as to where to point their telescopes—”it can be anywhere,” he said.

Other astronomers are intrigued but say they’ll want a lot more proof before they’re willing to agree that the solar system—again—has nine planets. (Also see “Record Nine-Planet Star System Discovered?”)

“Obviously, finding another planet in the solar system is a big deal,” said Rory Barnes, an astronomer at the University of Washington. But, he added, “I don’t think he really has any evidence that suggests it is out there.”

Instead, he added, Gomes “has laid out a way to determine how such a planet could sculpt parts of our solar system. So while, yes, the evidence doesn’t exist yet, I thought the bigger point was that he showed us that there are ways to find that evidence.”

Douglas Hamilton, an astronomer from the University of Maryland, agrees that the new findings are far from definitive.

“What he showed in his probability arguments is that it’s slightly more likely. He doesn’t have a smoking gun yet.”

And Hal Levison, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, says he isn’t sure what to make of Gomes’s finding.

“It seems surprising to me that a [solar] companion as small as Neptune could have the effect he sees,” Levison said.

But “I know Rodney, and I’m sure he did the calculations right.”

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/05/120511-new-planet-solar-system-kuiper-belt-space-science