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Hot Buttons: Talk show topics

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International   |   Oct. 25, 2002 at 3:15 AM
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

Daylight saving was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 but it was first adopted in World War I to save fuel by cutting down on artificial lighting.

Currently, about 25 countries shift to daylight saving time. Every spring people lose one hour of sleep and the next autumn return to their standard time, adding an hour, according Karl Kruszelnicki of the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Stanley Coren, from the University of British Columbia, examined 1.4 million accidents reported to the Canadian Ministry of Transport from 1991 and 1992.

Coren finds when Canada went into daylight saving in the springtime, there was an 8 percent increased risk of accidents on the Monday after the changeover when drivers lost an hour of sleep.

People had one extra hour of sleep when they shifted back to normal time so the risk of traffic accidents was 8 percent less.

-- Should we keep daylight saving time?

-- Since many people in America are sleep deprived, does the accident rate convince you to get an extra hour of sleep the night clocks are moved ahead in the spring?


KEEPING EXOTIC ANIMALS

In a residential suburb, where hedge heights are restricted and clotheslines can be a no-no, a Florida man keeps a full-grown tiger in his backyard.

"As long as he's responsible and takes care of it and it isn't roaming the neighborhood, it's fine with me," neighbor Dave Moreno tells The Miami Herald.

In 1998, Florida tightened the rules for wildlife permits, requiring a 5-acre lot to keep such large wild animals. Fort Lauderdale police officer Robert Merkel is grandfathered in under the old rules as are many others, according to wildlife officials.

As long as the animal is healthy, in a clean, wide cage that is inspected annually and used for exhibition, educational or commercial purposes, the tiger is allowed.

"We estimate there are 5,000 tigers living as pets in the United States, but it could be as high as 15,000," Steve Olson, of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association in Washington, D.C., told United Press International.

-- Should individuals be allowed to house wild animals in residential areas?

-- Do you agree with those who feel banning exotic animals wouldn't work because some people are willing to break the law to keep such pets?


CRIMINAL PROFILING

The Baltimore Sun complied a list of statements made by criminal profilers and other experts called on to comment about the Washington, D.C.,-area serial sniper, including:

-- "There have got to be some issues going on in this guy's life." Pat Brown, criminal profiler, CNN, Oct. 3

-- "We can't kid ourselves; this is a terrorist." Clint Van Zandt, former FBI profiler, MSNBC, Oct. 7

-- "I find no basis reasonably, logically, to conclude or even to strongly suspect that this is a matter of imported terrorism. It doesn't fit." Dr. Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist, Fox News' On The Record With Greta Van Susteren, Oct. 10

-- "Look, they may be enraged and hopeless, but they don't want to get caught." Dr. Alan Lipman, clinical psychologist and executive director of Georgetown University's Center for the Study of Violence, Fox News' The Big Story With Jon Gibson, Oct. 7

-- "I think he's asking to be caught." Patricia McLaine, psychic, CBS' The Early Show, Oct. 11

-- Should the media stop broadcasting criminal profiler experts?

-- Should we give up on all types of profiling?

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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