Widerload. The Coast Guard Has Recomended that small-boat operators raise the weight estimates for their passengers. Apparently, we're gobbling up too many Double Quarter Pounders with Cheese. The decision was prompted by an accident in Baltimore in which an overloaded water taxi capsized and killed five people. When the Coast Guard set weight standards in 1942, the average passenger weighed 140 pounds. Now we've ballooned to about 178 pounds. The Coast Guard suggesteda new voluntary standard of 185 pounds until new rules are created.
Fin Forward. A newly discovered fossil that looks like a cross between a fish and a crocodile is being considered the missing link by scientists, supporting the theory that fish evolved into the first land creatures. The new specimen, nicknamed Fishapod, has front fins with bones that represent a shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, and wrist and may have been able to support itself on the ground.
Save Our Marinas. Boaters know how invaluable marinas are. Now county commissioners in Florida are sending the same message, thanks to their vote to spend $29 million to ensure that the owners of Sailfish Marina and Palm Beach Yacht Center don't sell out to developers. Some hope money from slip rentals will be used to fund city projects, such as parks and beaches.
A Shell Shock. An Italian restaurant was fined $855 for displaying live lobsters on ice to attract patrons. Apparently, the establishment violated an anti-cruelty law usually affecting cats and dogs. Reportedly, Italy has some of the world's toughest animal rights laws. Rome has banned goldfish bowls, and Turin, home of the 2006 Winter Olympics, passed a law that would fine dog owners $630 if they didn't walk their dogs at least three times a day.
Soul-ed on eBay. In January a whale swam up the River Thames into Central London, and despite efforts to rescue it, the wayward whale died. Now a nutjob with a computer has claimed that the whale gave him its soul and asked him to sell it to raise money for bottlenose whales. The nutjob tried to auction it off on eBay.
Veto That. No matter your political leanings, there's now reason to have a beef with former Clinton-era cabinet secretary Donna Shalala. Shalala, who left Washington to become the president of the University of Miami, reportedly said her worst recent purchase was a 29' powerboat, a confession that's more offensive than anything Slick Willie did in the White House.
Mission: Publicity. Tom Cruise took over New York to promote M:i:III, the third installment of the Mission Impossible series. To highlight his action-packed stunt work in the film, which may be the only thing that makes this movie viewable, Cruise traveled through the city in a speedboat, motorcycle, helicopter, and subway. What was missing? A makeout session with baby mama Katie Holmes.