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News of the Weird
 

Great Expectorations


July 1st, 2010

People who live or work in New York City believe themselves to be among the world's toughest and hardiest, but at least 51 of them are apparently legendarily soft: the 51 city bus drivers who between ...

People who live or work in New York City believe themselves to be among the world's toughest and hardiest, but at least 51 of them are apparently legendarily soft: the 51 city bus drivers who between them took 3,200 days of paid leave last year to "heal" over the single workplace "injury" of being spit on by passengers. (Thirty-two other spit-upon drivers did not request leave.) An official with the Transport Workers Union called spitting "physically and psychologically traumatic" and requiring "recuperat(ion)."

The prominent Howrah bridge in Calcutta, India, has become a serious safety risk, according to a May report for the Calcutta Port Trust, because the steel hoods protecting the pillars holding up the bridge have been thinned by 50 percent in recent years. Engineers believe the corrosion has been caused almost entirely by the chemicals in gutkha, the popular chewing tobacco/herb concoction, which produces expectorants routinely hocked onto the bridge by the 500,000 pedestrians who cross it every day.
 
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