Government #6

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The US military corps has 4,000 robots, which include "PackBots" which were involved in the search for Osama Bin Laden. These "PackBots" are made by iRobot, the same company that makes the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, Taliban fighters have discovered that they can disable the robots by flipping them over with a common ladder. - Discover Magazine, 4/07

Despite a 45-year-old trade embargo, the United States is still Cuba's top food supplier. - The Week Magazine, 4/6/07

How is the United States Postal Service handling the problem of long customer wait times at the post office? They are removing all the clocks from their facilities. - Chicago Tribune, 3/5/07

The FDA has approved a drug from Pfizer that will help dogs lose weight. - Reuters, 1/5/07

The Royal Mail of Britain has issued a festive holiday stamp which appears to show Santa Claus defecating down a chimney. - The Week Magazine, 11/17/06

Voters in Fresno, California had two competing school board candidates named Suzanne Dias on the ballot recently. - North County Times, 10/30/06

Vermont is paying private citizens about $10 an hour to provide home care to their own family members. - The Week Magazine, 11/3/06

The U.S. Postal Service has quietly started removing tens of thousands of street corner mailboxes because of lack of use. - Chicago Tribune, 10/13/06

The top-secret Homeland Security hot line phone (which all 50 of the nation's governors are to use in an emergency) has been deluged with telemarketing calls, so the number has been put on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. - USA Today, 6/15/06

26,500,000 Americans - about one of every ten Americans - has had their personal information compromised by the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs. - Computerworld, 5/29/06

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush. They also have demanded that Fox News dismiss Bill O'Reilly. - MSNBC, 3/3/06

Touring New Orleans last week, President George W. Bush met a man who had survived for days on canned goods before being evacuated to Utah. "Were you the only black man in Salt Lake City?" Bush asked. - Time Magazine, 3/13/06

The U.S. Congress is one of the few and possibly the most famous indoor workplace in the country where it's still legal to smoke. - Los Angeles Times, 2/19/06

The Pakistani supreme court has banned making, selling or flying kites. - Los Angeles Times, 12/11/05

President Bush asked Americans to curtail unnecessary travel at the same time he prepared for his seventh unnecessary trip to the Gulf Coast on Air Force One. These trips were mainly for photo ops so that he could look like he cared. Air Force One gets about 0.14 miles to the gallon. He could have saved Americans some 94,000 gallons and millions of dollars. He could also have set a good example for avoiding unnecessary travel. - San Jose Mercury News, 9/29/05

The US Patent Office is so backlogged that Apple is still waiting for its patent on the iPod. - USAToday, 9/20/05

The highway funding bill President George Bush signed in August 2005 is chock full of pet projects, like a 223 million dollar bridge in Alaska connecting a city to an island with only 50 inhabitants. - Yahoo News, 8/10/05

To stop costly lawsuits, school officials in Broward County, Florida have erected "No Running" signs in school playgrounds. Teeter-totters and swings have also been removed. - South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 7/18/05

A handful of Chicago drivers left their cars in free, legal parking spaces. When they returned, parking meters were installed and their cars were ticketed. -, 6/21/05

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that for the first time (in 2005), half of all individual returns were e-filed. The decline has led many post offices to close earlier than in past years. For example, none of the post offices in South Carolina stayed open late on tax day. - USA Today, 4/15/05

Officials in Rocky Mount, North Carolina think the best way to pay for a new statue of Martin Luther King is to sell the old one. The original statue was unveiled in June 2003, but local residents complained that it looked nothing like the civil rights leader. - Washington Times, 3/31/05

TSA employees (Airport security screeners) were injured on the job in 2004 at five times the rate of the rest of the federal workforce. They were injured four times as often as construction-industry workers and seven times as often as miners. Heavy baggage is blamed for the high injury rate. - USA Today, 2/23/05

Approximately 240,000 manhole and street drain covers were stolen in Beijing, China in 2004. - CNN, 3/15/05
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