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Monday, April 30, 2007

Alligator blocks traffic

Traffic can choke on freeways for any reason, but an alligator being the reason for the choking is something that is unusual. In Texas, an alligator moved onto a busy freeway, and stopped traffic. Police responding to the scene were puzzled; after all, their training certainly does not cover this.
Police tried their sirens to scare the alligator off, didn't work; they threw orange traffic cones at the alligator, it just snapped at the cones, but couldn't care less otherwise; in fact, at one point, the alligator even assaulted a police car, but no one filed charges against it.
In the end, they use lassos and metal poles to force the alligator off the road, and into a drainage ditch leading to a lake. Read the CNN story here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ghost ship: Nobody on board

A yacht was found in pretty good condition floating off the Australian coast. Rescuers found a ship floating silently 80 nautical miles off the northeast coast. Refer the CNN story.
The yacht seemed in pretty fine condition, the only problem being that one sail was in a shredded condition. Other than that, the engine of the yacht was running, food was on the table, a laptop was turned on, but of the crew members there was no sign.
A proper mystery as to what happened to the 3 crew members. The yacht had passed through an area where weather and sea conditions were rough, but they actually don't have any more clues. Rescuers are looking at the yacht's GPS records to figure out the past route of the yacht to see whether they can get any clues.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Clerk's mistake turns into money

In a town in North Carolina, a store clerk mistakenly rang up 2 duplicate Powerball tickets for a customer by mistake instead of one, she bought the second ticket for herself at the end of the day after she was not able to sell it to any other customer. Normally this would have counted as money lost, and that would be a natural reaction.
The next day when she reached back to the store, she found that the ticket that was extra and which she had bought matched all the numbers, and she was entitled to the jackpot, and get this right, she won $200,000. Think of this as the equivalent of a costly mistake, but in the reverse way. Wouldn't you also want to get lucky like this ?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A house full of garbage

In a tragedy at a house that left investigators stumped, an elderly woman was found in a dehydrated condition in a house buried underneath a pile of debris, garbage and animal feces in a home. An elderly man was found dead. The woman was found after fire-fighters went to the two-story house in Long Island, New York, after relatives said that they could not reach her.
When they reached the house, they found every room piled high with debris mixed with human and animal waste, in some rooms, all the way to the ceiling.
The investigators were not sure how long they were like this, but neighbours had seen them last over a week ago. A strong stench was in the house. The house now sports a sign on the front saying that it was unfit for human occupancy. Read the CNN story.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Treating a bank robber with kindness

This is a new tactic about how to deal with bank robbers. Till now the established method of dealing with bank robbers has been to treat them gingerly, not confronting them, and to take measures that essentially deal with trying to catch the robber later. This would include either activating an alarm and/or dropping an exploding dye into the cash bag.
Now, there is a new element dropped in these measures. This measure is excessive friendliness. The premise is that an overdose of courtesy will unnerve would-be robbers and get them to rethink the crime. This is part of the 'Safecatch' system created by an FBI Special Agent and being adopted by banks in the Washington area. The concept is that a normal customer thinks friendliness and courtesy is great; but a robber really gets scared and does not understand the reasons for the same.
As an example, in a bank, when a robber walked in, the manager greeted him, and guided the robber to an equally friendly teller. This must have worked, for the robber asked for a roll of quarters and left.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Pilot ejected from his own flight

Imagine getting on an airplane and watching the pilot behave in a very animated way on the phone while getting on. Imagine further trying to talk to the pilot about it, and being abused by the pilot. This happened to the passengers of a Northwest Airlines flight with 180 passengers on board. Based on this, FAA authorities and the police were called, who promptly took the pilot aside and began questioning him.
The FAA officals in turn called the airline authorities who removed the pilot from the flight and took him to airline headquarters for further questioning. The flight was cancelled, and the passengers could only suffer as they had to re-scehdule their plans; that too on a Easter weekend when family related plans would be on the minds of a number of passengers.
Read the story here.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Man shot by pistol thrown in trash

A man in Kansas was helping unload trash and accidentally hit the trigger of a thrown short-barreled pistol. This caused the pistol to fire and hit his left hand. In addition to the pain felt by the man, the nearby witnesses heard the pop of the gun and saw blood on the man'es left hand.
This was a very unexpected thing, even in a gun rich country such as the United States. After all, a loaded gun in the trash is not something that you would ever expect to see. The gun was loose in the trash and covered with mud.
The common assumption in such a case is that this gun was disposed off after the commission of a crime. Detectives are investigating this possibility.

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