And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine…
Money for Nothing
One government worker did nothing -- 91 days’ of nothing -- and you paid him for it.
And no -- he was not fired.
Following a whistle blower complaint -- the man identified as Examiner A -- in the Patent and Trademark Office -- was investigated by the Commerce Department Inspector General.
The IG found -- in fiscal year 2014 -- the employee racked up at least 730 hours of time and attendance abuse -- plus nine written and oral warnings.
Abuses included not showing up to work at all -- not logging into his computer -- and skipping out mid-day to play pool or hit golf balls.
He was paid roughly $25,000 -- for the down time.
Examiner A resigned his post before he was scheduled to be interviewed by the investigators -- telling a co-worker -- the union said he could keep his personnel file clean -- if he quit before the interview.
The IG has recommended the office try to reclaim the salary.
The U.S. attorney in Virginia -- will not prosecute the case.
NASA is reaching into its past -- and storage closet -- to find parts for the International Space Station.
Four water tanks are being salvaged from the shuttle Endeavour -- which is permanently on display in the California Science Center -- after completing its final flight in 2011.
The tanks are said to be in working order -- since they were designed for many more missions than the shuttle flew.
The museum was happy to help out -- quote -- "The concept of taking something from an old shuttle and making it available for use in space is something that we think is great."
Blast From the Past
Finally -- a century-old message in a bottle -- has finally reached its destination.
Inside was this postcard -- asking that it be sent to the Marine Biological Association of the UK -- which the finders did.
The bottle was released between 1904 and 1906 as part of a study of sea currents.
One shilling was offered as a reward for returning the message -- and was sent to the couple who found it.
The Guinness Book of World Records in investigating to see if it is the oldest message in a bottle -- to be recovered.