Chuck Shepherd

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced they had recently — a first, they claimed — transmitted high-speed digital data through slabs of pork loin and beef liver. The signal cleared the muscle and gristle so cleanly that it permitted streaming of high-definition video — enough to watch Netflix, said the lead researcher. The advance is crucial in that it allows a patient to swallow a transmitter and for physicians to monitor inner workings of the body in real time and externally control implanted devices such as cranial sensors and defibrillators.

Give me a break …

Apparently, Japanese taste buds easily become bored, for manufacturers seem eager to create extravagant food combinations to satisfy them that might prove daunting to most Americans. The latest exhibit: the familiar Kit Kat chocolate-coated wafer — but with the taste of ripe melon and cheese, specifically "Hokkaido melon with mascarpone cheese." As Japanese foodies know, Kit Kats in Japan come in at least 15 coatings, according to a 2013 review by, including edamame soybean, purple sweet potato, hot Japanese chili, matcha-green tea, wasabi and red bean sandwich.

Not advisable in court

The Daily Pakistan newspaper, covering the Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi in April, reported that a judge in Courtroom III asked a constable if he knew how the grenade entered into evidence worked. Rather than assume that an explanation was requested, the constable pulled the pin to demonstrate, and the resulting explosion injured the constable, a court clerk and another police officer. The constable is said to be facing severe discipline as soon as he recovers.

Parental values

• In the latest ruling on a familiar theme, a court in Modena, Italy, ordered a man to continue paying living expenses for his son, age 28, who had meandered through a degree in literature but now has decided to seek another, in experimental cinema. Almost two-thirds of Italians ages 18 to 34 still live with their parents.

• In Beijing, an elderly couple secured a court order in March forcing their 36-year-old daughter finally to move out after she had refused for years. The couple admitted to the Beijing Morning Post that they might have pampered her excessively over the years, even lending her the equivalent of $23,000 to buy a house. Still, she stayed.

Texas school blues

• Houston's KHOU-TV revealed in May that the French teacher at the Houston school district's Energy Institute High School doesn't speak French — but did take one year of it in high school.

• School police at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Houston threatened to arrest a 13-year-old girl during the last school year because they were unaware that the girl's $2 bill for a cafeteria payment was valid U.S. currency.

Cavalcade of rednecks

Timothy Trammell, 36, was arrested on several charges in Jonesville, S.C., after a sheriff's deputy spotted him spray-painting a car that was not his. According to the deputy's report, Trammell had just finished angrily painting "C-h-e-e-t-e-r" (sic) on the car belonging to a woman identified in a WSPA-TV report as his girlfriend.

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