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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Radioactive woman sparks scare in Airport

In these heightened times of high security, especially after planes were used as instruments of mass killing in the WTC attacks, the state of checking at airports is very intense. And the talks of a dirty bomb comprising of dispersal of radioactive substances make checking for radioactive substances a necessary action. So imagine the state of panic at an airport in Vladivostok where a security alarm was set off after detection of radioactive substances:

Authorities evacuated the airport terminal in Vladivostok, in Russia’s far east, after a flight arriving from Seoul set off a radiation alarm.
The alarm was called off when security officials pinpointed the source -- a woman who had just received radiation therapy, Interfax news agency reported on Thursday.

Treating with radioactive substances for medical reasons is not unknown nowadays, so this was not something totally out of the world. However, it may be possible that the airport was not prepared for something like this. Maybe the next time, advance information should be sent so that such panic does not ensue.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Protester sticks himself to British PM to show protest

In a unique protest, a protester, part of a group that protests against airport expansion and climate change, wanted to make the protest known to the world. What better way to do this than to use the occasion of a meeting with the British Prime Minister. So, the protester, who managed to get himself invited to 10, Downing Street for a small ceremony with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was to be invited for receiving an award from a charity. He used the traditional hand-shake for good effect, putting super-glue and causing the British Prime Minister to have his hand stuck for around 30 seconds more:

A protester who wanted his message to stick managed to superglue himself to the British prime minister Tuesday evening. Dan Glass was at 10 Downing Street to receive a charity's award for his work on transportation issues when he staged the unusual protest. Just before Prime Minister Gordon Brown presented him with the award, Glass squirted superglue in the palm of his left hand. He shook Brown's right hand and then grabbed the prime minister's sleeve.
"I've just superglued myself to your arm," Glass said he told Brown. "Don't panic. This is a non-violent protest." "I just wanted a few more minutes of his time to get the message across, because he's not listening to communities affected by airport expansion," Glass told CNN on Wednesday.

This was an interesting way of protest, non-violent. Glass was not immediately arrested or evicted, which just shows how a protest can cause embarrassment enough that the Prime Minister could not get him evicted.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cutting open a woman to take her baby

This is an incident that you can only read about, and even then you wonder as to what drives people to do something like this. One explanation is that the urge to have a child is so strong that a person is willing to do anything for a baby, including breaking up the bond between another woman and her child through a barbaric way of opening the belly, taking the baby and killing the other woman:

A Pennsylvania woman has been charged in the slaying of an 18-year-old woman who was found with her uterus cut open and her fetus removed, authorities said Sunday. Andrea Curry-Demus, 38, of Wilkinsburg was charged Sunday with criminal homicide kidnapping and unlawful restraint in connection with last week's death of Kia Johnson, Allegheny County police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said.
Johnson's eviscerated body -- which police said they found after receiving calls about a foul odor coming from the apartment -- "was in a state of moderate decomposition," and she had been dead about two days, Medical Examiner Karl Williams said. The cause of death hasn't been determined, he said. Police said Curry-Demus arrived by ambulance at a local hospital with a newborn boy Wednesday, claiming that she had just given birth. Hospital personnel determined that she hadn't given birth, so they contacted police, authorities said.

It is hard to believe that such barbaric events can happen; especially to break the bond between a mother and child.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Imagine shooting live bullets when fake ones were supposed to be used

This is the worst nightmare of most people in the defence services, especially during shows meant to showcase the abilities of the military. It is often necessary to stage events that are very realistic, such as the simulated saving of hostages from terrorists, fights with terrorists in urban landscapes, etc. In many such situations, the public can be very close by, having been already informed that the bullets being used are fake. Now imagine the panic and horror when these bullets are fired, but they are not fake, and are instead real ones. Such an incident happened recently in France, and resulted in punishments for many of the soldiers involved, including the moral-grounds resignation of the head of the French Army, General Bruno Cuche:

Paris: The head of France's army has resigned following a weekend shooting at a military show that injured 17 when real bullets were used instead of blanks, the French presidency said on Tuesday.
The defence minister, meanwhile, suspended the use of blank munitions at military shows for the public. Investigators are looking into Sunday's display of hostage-freeing techniques at the Laperrine military barracks in southern France. Most of those injured were civilians, and three were children.

This was apparently a mistake when the ammunition was being loaded; it however seems a clear case of negligence at the minimum since the concept of having live ammunition nearby when fake ammunition was supposed to be loaded (along with no cross-checking) seems a bit strange.

Toddler survives for 6 days without food, his mother dead nearby

This is like a miracle straight out of child heaven. Imagine the sorry state of a toddler when his mother, the one who provided for a baby who cannot meet his own needs, died. The baby, even if not very perceptive, would have missed his mother, and been unable to understand as to why the nourishment that he needs was not available. Thankfully, the crying of the baby, was heard by an aid worker after 6 days, and the baby was rescued:

Sacramento, California: Police in California say a 2-year-old boy survived on dry cat food for up to six days after his mother died.
The Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that a social worker heard the toddler crying while making a visit to check on the family Thursday morning. The worker called police after no one answered the door.

This is a heart-rending story, with the plight of the toddler being difficult to imagine or understood.

Jennifer Lopez sued for dog flight

It is presumed that the rich and powerful (especially celebrities) can get away with anything, but sometimes they run against people who are ready to challenge them. Especially for celebrities, the public is far more likely to accept that a celebrity has been at fault, and the story is also highlighted by the media as a juicy morsel that more people will want to read. Consider this case:

The perception may be that anything goes for private jet travelers, but as Jennifer Lopez is finding out, there are some limits to what you can get away with aboard a private jet. As first reported in the New York Daily News, NetJets flight attendant Lisa Watson filed a suit against the Latin diva seeking $5 million in damages from an alleged bite made by Lopez’s guard dog aboard a flight from Farmingdale, NY to Burbank, CA on July 3, 2006.
According to Wilson, 90 minutes into the flight, the dog attacked her and bit into her pant leg as she walked down the cabin of the Gulfstream G-IV. As she tried to get away, Wilson says she twisted and fell, injuring her back in the process. The injuries she sustained would eventually require surgery, and prevented her from being able to work since the incident.

Being a celebrity gets you many benefits, but also comes with its own problems, as Jennifer Lopez is finding out, and many other celebrities already know.

News about poop

Imagine a site where you get all your questions about shit answered. You would never have believed that there would be a site that specializes in talking about poop, but you have it, here is this site, very appropriately named (link). As the site says, you have all these here:
Stories about poop.
Essays about poop.
Consumer reports about poop.
Comics about poop.
In addition, you can subscribe to Poop News.

Being able to prevent cancer in your babies

For some years now, science has been promising many changes in the field of medical sciences. This includes determining problems in many different areas, trying to find solutions for them, and so on. One area that has raised ethical issues is about the field of applying genetic cures in the field of embryos. There is a fear that eventually, without resolving such ethical debates, these advances in the field of science will be used to select 'designer' babies. The following is an example of a case where advances in medical science were used for a good cause:

A woman has conceived Britain’s first baby guaranteed to be free from hereditary breast cancer. Doctors screened out from the woman’s embryos an inherited gene that would have left the baby with a greater than 50% chance of developing the cancer. The woman decided to have her embryos screened because her husband had tested positive for the gene and his sister, mother, grandmother and cousin have all had the cancer.
The 27-year-old British mother, who asked not to be named, says that after seeing all her husband’s female relatives suffer from breast cancer, she felt she had to take action to save their children from the same plight. Any daughter born with the gene would have had a 50% to 85% chance of developing breast cancer. The couple’s doctor, Paul Serhal, medical director of the Assisted Conception Unit at University College London hospital, said the breakthrough gives parents the option of avoiding passing a high risk of breast cancer on to their children.

This is very good news, letting people avoid the pain of not being able to prevent the chances of an enhanced risk of the disease passing onto their children.

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