A roundup of stuff that wouldn’t necessarily make it on the blog, but is worth noting:
• We’ve had several discussions about the city’s smoking ban, but no matter how strict it is, it isn’t this strict. A San Francisco suburb has forbidden smoking in any apartment that shares a floor or ceiling with another apartment, and the law includes condominiums. The impetus for the ban? Not publicity-seeking politicians or public health officials, but a group of retirees who lobbied the suburb to stop secondhand smoke from drifting into their apartments from the neighbors’ places.
• Retail development is the theme of the week, so how about this? If your strip centers are fading, why not a Hooters or Hooters-style restaurant? Turns out that in the recession, chains like Hooter’s, Twin Peaks, and Bone Daddy’s are gaining ground. And Texas, where the sole Hooters’ franchisee is both the chain’s sales leader and No. 1 in locations nationally, is a prime market for what is being called the "breastaurant" concept.
• What do you do when a woman – who has abused her children – is apparently suffering from a rare disease called Munchausen by proxy? Shake your head in disbelief. In Munchausen syndrome, patients exaggerate or create false symptoms for themselves. In Munchausen by proxy, they do it for others, just as an Ellis County woman did for her three daughters. She convinced doctors that the girls suffered from cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, headaches and seizures. I wrote a story about Munchausen and Munchausen by proxy several years ago, and it’s easily the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. One doctor told me that it’s almost impossible to diagnose, since few doctors have actually seen a case – and who wants to tell a patient they’re making the whole thing up?