• (1) In October, Reynolds American Inc., whose iconic product is Camel cigarettes, announced it would ban employees at its North Carolina headquarters from smoking in the offices, relegating them to special smokers' rooms. (Critics of the company noted that Reynolds has for years staunchly denied that "secondary smoke" is dangerous.)
(2) In September, Guinter Kahn, the South Florida dermatologist who developed minoxidil (the hair-restoring ingredient in Rogaine), passed away at age 80. Dr. Kahn himself had noticeable hair loss, but was allergic to minoxidil. [Associated Press via USA Today, 10-22-2014] [Associated Press via Washington Post, 9-26-2014]
• (1) The owner of a wine shop in Highgate, England, said the thief who robbed him in September somehow placed him in a trance so the man could pick his pockets -- and then, brushing past him on his way out, the man brought the shop owner out of the trance. Victim Aftab Haider, 56, pointed to surveillance video showing him staring vacantly during the several seconds in which his wallet was being lifted from his trousers.
(2) In October in Scotland's Perth Sheriff Court, Paul Coombs was sentenced to 14 months in jail for a June home invasion in which accomplices conveyed Coombs' threats to the resident because Coombs himself is deaf and does not speak. [London Evening Standard, 12-5-2014] [STV News (Glasgow), 10-30-2014]