Venice Gondoliers Should Take Breathalyzer And Drug Tests, Their Chief Says

The president of the gondolier association of Venice says all boat operators in the watery city should be screened for alcohol and drugs, the BBC reports.

Nicola Falconi suggested this after a video was posted on YouTube showing a hazing incident of a new assistant gondolier who was ordered to strip naked and jump in a canal. This was just the latest of numerous reports of inappropriate, boozy behavior.

We can add this to the other scandals hitting Italy’s tourism industry, including a group of tourists being charged $84 for a few ice cream cones, dozens of baggage handlers arrested for stealing bags at several Italian airports, and the continuing decay of many of the nation’s underfunded ancient monuments.

On my recent trip to Venice, the gondoliers I saw were all behaving professionally. I have heard a few secondhand stories, however. Have you been to Italy? What was your experience there? Tell us on the comments section!

Pilot earned extra cash by selling drug-test-beating kits to other pilots

Look, we all know that regional pilots don’t make big bucks. But for a pilot to start a business on the side designed to sell kits to help you pass drug tests seems like a real no-no. To make it worse, the kits were marketed to truck drivers, train engineers and other pilots.

The pilot, Stephen Sharp was selling his product through the web site “” from November 2006 till May 2008. During this period, he was flying planes for PSA airlines (flying as US Airways Express).

The product consisted of a powder that had to be mixed with cranberry juice, and promised a 100% success rate at beating the U.S. Department of Transportation drug tests – the same tests used to screen pilots.

During a massive sweep against people who sold products specifically designed to defeat federal drug tests, Sharp was caught, and pleaded guilty to “conspiring to defraud the United States”.

As soon as his employer heard of the case, they placed him on non paid leave, and after his sentencing, chances are he won’t be flying any time soon.