This last week Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his choice for vice presidential nominee. That choice? Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and a man with “a desire to place the nation’s looming fiscal challenges at the center of the campaign’s final months.” [1]

A robber at a Roseburg restaurant brandished a can of insect repellent.

Consequently, the internet has been abuzz with talk about this Ryan guy. Some of the buzz — well, a tiny bit of it — has been productive and informative. But most of it has been typical internet awesomeness. Ryan has his own Hey Girl [2] Tumblr series, a spoof of Ryan Gosling’s Tumblr series. [3] Author Bret Easton Ellis nominated Ryan to play the male lead in the 50 Shades of Grey film. [4] The fact that Tom Morello, lead guitarist for Rage Against the Machine, got mad at him made news everywhere. [5] And everyone just can’t stop talking about how (cue LMFAO music) he works out. [6].

What might be more productive and informative, of course, is asking whether Ryan is a good running mate. Having a good mate to run with is essential to pulling anything off — whether it is a presidential election or robbing a bank.

Three people learned this the hard way this week. “Three people — one who spent 27 years in prison for murder — could face the death penalty in a case that accuses them of slaying a 22-year-old Eugene man on Aug. 3, the same day they allegedly used the victim’s car to flee the scene of an armed bank robbery in Mapleton.” [7]

Apparently no one on their running team told them that using the victim’s car is a staple in solving most TV crime show episodes.

What you do not see on most TV crime show episodes, on the other hand, is insect repellent. “A robber at a Roseburg restaurant brandished a can of insect repellent and wasn’t deterred when the bartender tried to bat it away. Roseburg Police Sgt. Aaron Dunbar says the robber drove back the bartender late Monday night with a direct spray to the face.” [8]

A Springfield bar owner is facing a $150,000 lawsuit for allegedly airing a bootlegged version of a July 7 Ultimate Fighting Championship bout.

Bartenders can be pesty, but seriously? Seriously, though, what can be pesty is when someone else’s stuff gets in your stuff. Like when “the Oregon Court of Appeals has ordered a temporary halt to state rules that allow an oil-seed crop, canola, to be planted in parts of the Willamette Valley. [Because] Valley farmers who grow related plants for seeds to sell to production growers and gardeners fear canola will cross-pollinate their plants. Opponents also object to genetically modified plants.” [9]

Some say that genetically modifying plants is unethical. Others say that bootlegging UFC fights is also unethical. “A Springfield bar owner is facing a $150,000 lawsuit for allegedly airing a bootlegged version of a July 7 Ultimate Fighting Championship bout. Joe Hand Promotions Inc. of Pennsylvania filed a complaint in Eugene federal court earlier this month, leveling theft of cable signal and conversion charges against Ralph E. Brown of The Country Side Bar and Grill.” [10]

UFC fights, of course, are often about being bigger and better. What got bigger this week, but not necessarily better, is PeaceHealth. “The PeaceHealth health care system has agreed to merge with the Northwest arm of Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives, the second-largest Catholic health care system in the country.” [11]

Sudanese officials have freed a Springfield man who was recently rearrested there despite being acquitted of terrorism in connection with a July 3 pro-­democracy demonstration.

PeaceHealth and Catholic Health Initiatives might not be the only groups merging in the near future. Under Oregon proposals, the University of Oregon’s Department of Public Safety might become an official part of the police. “This proposal is part of the Campus Policing Initiative that the DPS hopes to implement through Senate Bills 116 and 405, both currently under consideration on the Oregon House floor. The legislation would allow the DPS to become a sworn police agency and thus on equal footing with the EPD.” [12]

On the topic of equal footing: A man from Springfield was not on it when it came to the Sudanese government. “Sudanese officials have freed a Springfield man who was recently rearrested there despite being acquitted of terrorism in connection with a July 3 pro-­democracy demonstration…Rudwan Dawod, who grew up in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region, was reportedly beaten and tortured by police and Sudan’s National Intelligence Security Service during his detention. He became a permanent resident of the United States after his September 2010 marriage to Nancy Williams, a Cottage Grove native, and the U.S. State Department had urged his release.” [13]

The U.S. government did not urge, on the other hand, that people drink raw milk. In fact, “The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states on their website that, ‘Raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria’…But despite all of the evidence stating that there are risks associated with the consumption of raw milk, many naturalist consumers have sought to purchase the product for decades.” [14]

And in case you were wondering: Yes, there is a Hey Girl about raw milk, too. [15].