When in Rome!


Doctors at the Centre for Impotence and Fertility in Rome, Italy, reported in the December 6 issue of The Lancet medical journal that the experimental virility drug alprostadil increased penis size in almost all men who injected it into their urethras but that the rigidity usually subsided within a couple of minutes.

Measurements for their work were obtained via a Rigicompt, which shows the pressure exerted by the erection, and by patients'

hanging a 750-gram weight to see if their penises could hold it.  (A few can support a 1-kilogram weight, which Dr. Ermanno Greco says is "peak virility.")



Open Season:  Three weeks before a U. S. Marine Corps pilot clipped a ski gondola in the Dolomite mountains in Italy, killing 20 people, a British air force Harrier jet accidentally dropped two half- ton, unarmed bombs on a farm in southern Italy near the town of Pizziferro, narrowly missing the house of Tommaso Giannico.



John Kieser, 45, was convicted in Philadelphia in January of carrying a weapon on an airliner.  While a passenger on a US Airways flight in August 1997, Kieser had uttered the word "hijack," which is illegal to do, but protested later that he was just responding to someone who had addressed him by saying, "Hi, Jack."  A search of his carry-on bag revealed a flare gun and 17 fire-starting flares.



People Who Should Have Kept a Lower Profile:  Daniel Thorn, St. John, New Brunswick, on the lam for parole violation, was arrested at a Toronto Blue Jays game in September when he happened to take a seat a few feet away from his parole officer.

And Steve Graves, Phoenix, Ariz., behind in child-support payments, inadvertently revealed his whereabouts to his wife when he got his picture in the newspaper in November for publicly handing in $23,000 that he found on the street.  And Neil Ramirez, also behind with child support and moonlighting behind a beard as Santa Claus in December in Brooklyn, N.Y., saw his unwitting toddler-daughter wander up to his lap.  The kid recognized him and yelled, "Daddy is Santa!" at which point the ex-wife grabbed some child-support paperwork from her purse and crammed it into Ramirez's Santa suit.


In December, a 24-year-old woman was charged with battery in Beloit, Wis., for allegedly hitting her husband with a plant stand, sending him to the hospital for six stitches.  According to police, the couple had been married for two months and fought frequently about sex.  That night, she was angry that he had retired for the evening after only four episodes.