Ironies 

In July, the new smoking ban for bars and restaurants in the Netherlands took effect, but it won't curtail patrons' right to smoke marijuana in Amsterdam's coffee shops (where they can buy up to 5 grams a day to smoke on the premises). And, just as the ban became law, the Dutch special-effects company Rain Showtechniek began selling bars a machine (for the equivalent of about $900) that, for nostalgia, replicates the scent of traditional, cigarette-smoked air (but which does not damage health or linger in clothing or hair.)

Not Quite Rehabilitated: A prominent anti-drug motivational speaker, who uses his own sordid life story to inspire troubled kids to turn their lives around, was arrested in May and charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting at his girlfriend and an old buddy from prison following a long evening of alcohol and methamphetamines. Said the prosecutor in Isanti County, Minn., of the rampage by Russell Simon Jr., 45, "We're lucky we don't have a multiple homicide on our hands."

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