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Friday, November 28, 2008

Woman leaves mother covered with cats (to keep warm)

As people get older, they need more care. In winter, having adequate facilities and heating is an important part of that need. So what do you think about a lady who took her 84 year old mother out of a nursing home, and put her in a home alone where there was no one to take care of her, where the toilet facilities were not working, where there were a huge number of animals and the old lady was depending on the heat from the huge number of cats to keep warm:

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- About 50 cats, 20 ducks and 15 turkeys were taken from a New Smyrna Beach home, and a woman was arrested after her 84-year-old mother told authorities that she kept warm by covering herself with the animals, according to Volusia County sheriff's deputies. Mary Bosket, 54, was arrested on a charge of neglect to the elderly after her mother was found on Thanksgiving Day at the Glencoe Road home, which was in deplorable conditions and did not have a working heater, deputies said.
In one of the bedrooms, the deputy said he found caged turkeys, although one was wandering freely around the room. In another bedroom, ducks were found, along with an empty kid's swimming pool. A dog was in a third bedroom, where its feces had piled up, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. Several geese, ducks and chickens were found in the back yard, deputies said. The only toilet in the home did not work and the sinks would not drain water, deputies said.

The lady could not answer questions as to why she had taken her mother out of the nursing home, and kept her this way, and was eventually arrested. It was good that deputies found the old lady, else there was a good chance that she could have died.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Droppings from train crossings

How many people have looked at train crossing, especially in the third world, where there is a higher concentration of people, and wondered about the metal plate that covers the tracks in these crossings. The reason why the crossings are covered with a metal plate is to prevent accidents; not the type where a train collides with something, but the type where a person used the restroom of the train when it is on a crossing, and the refuse drops below the train:

Ahmedabad: Two-wheelers come to a screeching halt at the incline when a train passes over Madalpur underpass, near Gujarat college. These riders are afraid of a spoiling their clothes with the droppings from the train above. If a train takes long, there is a near traffic jam with approximately 50 to 60 vehicles waiting on both sides.
This happens at least 10 times a day and the volume of the vehicles doubles at peak hours. The metre gauge tracks on the top don't have a cover to protect the two-wheeler driver from the disgusting showers.

It is simple task to ensure that a metal plate is available, but it sometimes takes some amount of media attention to ensure that such provisions are available.

Don't suddenly jump into a zoo cage

A zoo / Park is a place where animals are kept, for scientific observation, for protection, and for people to get a look at these animals. A lot of these are wild animals, who can be dangerous for humans if they come in close unsupervised proximity to these animals. There have been cases of wild bears / tigers / lions, and others causing harm (including death) to humans who have suddenly jumped into their cage. However, there are always humans who apply their own thoughts in their dealings with animals. Take this case where a person jumped into the enclosure of a panda, because the animal was so cute after all:

BEIJING (AP) -- A college student in southern China was bitten by a panda after he broke into the bear's enclosure hoping to get a hug, state media and a park employee said Saturday. The park in Guilin, a popular tourist town in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, houses a small zoo and a panda exhibit. It was virtually deserted when the student scaled the fence surrounding the panda, named Yang Yang, the employee said.
He said the student was bitten on the arms and legs. Two foreign visitors who saw the attack ran to get help from workers at a nearby refreshment stand, who notified park officials, the employee said. "We cannot make it like a prison. We already have signs up warning people not to climb in," he said. "There are no fences along roads but people know not to cross if there are cars. This is basic knowledge." Pandas, which generally have a public image as cute, gentle creatures, are nonetheless wild animals that can be violent when provoked or startled.

There is a reason that wild animals are kept in cages or away from humans; it is only those humans who are expert in dealing with animals who can do this unsupervised.

Malaysia Islamic body bans Yoga for Muslims

Yoga is a form of exercise that has found many fans and devoted practitioners all over the world. It has developed many variants as well, and the number of people practising Yoga all over the world would number in the 10's of millions. However, Yoga has derived from Hindu practices (or more accurately, Yoga developed at the same time as the early Hindu religion, and has been seen as linked together). However, this is not necessarily so, and a number of people have shown how one can enjoy the benefits of Yoga without seeming to undergo the Hindu practices. However, this has not stopped Islamic and Christian denominations from rejecting Yoga, as this Malaysian Islamic body did:

Malaysia's top Islamic body on Saturday ruled against Muslims practicing yoga, saying it had elements of other religions that could corrupt Muslims. The National Fatwa Council's non-binding edict said yoga involves not just physical exercise but also includes Hindu spiritual elements, chanting and worship.
The Malaysia fatwa reflects the growing strain of conservatism in Malaysia, which has always taken pride in its multi-ethnic population. About 25 percent of Malaysians are ethnic Chinese and 8 percent ethnic Indians, mostly Hindus. The Fatwa Council took up the yoga issue after an Islamic scholar last month expressed an opinion at a seminar that it was un-Islamic. But yoga teacher Suleiha Merican, who has been practicing yoga for 40 years, called yoga "a great health science" and said there is no religion involved. "We don't do chanting and meditation. There is no conflict because yoga is not religion based," Merican, 56, told The Associated Press.

This is another example where a religious opinion has prevented something beneficial from happening. There is no logical reason, instead, it is more about some apprehensions.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Man shoots himself in the head during an interview

One can read all about shootings, deaths, and so on, and it all seems very detached. You can even view movie scenes of the ultimate horror (such as the shootings depicted in the war-holocaust movie, Schindler's List), and yet remain unconcerned since these happen in reel life, not real life. However, it is scary when something like this happens in real life, as happened in the case of this person who was pursued by the police and was giving an interview in real time:

BUENOS AIRES: An ex-police chief charged with abuses during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, shot himself in the head on Thursday during a television interview on the roof of his home, as police were closing in for an arrest. Mario Ferreyra, 63, died on his way to hospital in northern Tucuman province, where he was charged with human rights violations when he worked at a secret weapons-depot-turned-detention centre in the same region during the dictatorship.
His house was surrounded by police on Thursday, but Ferreyra clambered atop a water tower in his building where he was interviewed on Friday by a reporter and camera crew of Cronica TV. After denying taking part in any prisoner abuse in the past and claiming instead he was the target of persecution by the government, Ferreyra unexpectedly drew a gun from his pocket, put it to his head and fired. The shocked camera crew kept rolling as the man lay bleeding on the water tower.

Even if it was a colorful personality, accused of many crimes, for something like this to happen in real time is always distressing for the people watching this on TV.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Man and associate shot by 8 year old son

How does one get over an event like this ? A 29 year old man and his associate (39 years old) were both found shot to death at this home. Now this is a tragedy, but what makes it really sad is the fact that both of them were shot by the 8 year old son of the 29 year old man. The father had apparently wanted to be responsible about the use of guns by his son, and had looked to get the son some gun training. He was from a family of hunters and wanted to make sure that his son was comfortable about the use of guns, and had even consulted a Roman Catholic priest about whether it was right for the 8 year old son to get training, or should it wait for later ? Read this story.
ST. JOHNS, Ariz. -- A man who police believe was shot and killed by his 8-year-old son had consulted a Roman Catholic priest about whether the boy should handle guns and had taught him how to use them, the clergyman said Saturday. The father, Vincent Romero, 29, was from a family of avid hunters and wanted to make sure the boy wasn't afraid of guns and knew how to handle them, said the Very Rev. John Paul Sauter of St. Johns Catholic Church. The boy's stepmother had suggested he have a BB gun, the priest said.
The boy, who faces two counts of premeditated murder, did not act on the spur of the moment, St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnick said. Police are looking into whether he might have been abused. "I'm not accusing anybody of anything at this point," he said Saturday. "But we're certainly going to look at the abuse part of this. He's 8 years old. He just doesn't decide one day that he's going to shoot his father and shoot his father's friend for no reason. Something led up to this."
This is a case that you wish never happens. How do you treat an 8 year old, a child who is not even mature, as a killer ? How does the police handle such a case, how does a judge handle such a case ? Experts have to wonder what could lead a small child to take the cold blooded action of murder ?

Little Known Illnesses

AFROPHOBIA: Fear of the return of the 70's hair styles.

DEJA FLU: The feeling that one has had this cold before.

HYPOCOINDRIA: Fear of not having correct change.

HAIRPIECE SWIMPLEX: Rash caused by wearing a toupee in a pool.

HERPES CINEPLEX: Rash caused by movie tickets priced at $9.50.


VISACARDITIS: The heart-stopping sensation brought on by exceeding your
credit limit.

SONSTROKE: An attack during the reading of a will.

ROSWELL-BABY SYNDROME: Irrational fear that one's infant might be an alien.

OREOPOROSIS: Disorder caused by too many cookies, not enough milk.

Unusual phobias

Alektorophobia - fear of chickens

Aulophobia - fear of a flute

Clinophobia - fear of going to bed

Ecclesiaphobia - fear of churches

Eisoptrophobia - fear of mirrors

Eeniophobia - fear of chins

Genuphobia - fear of knees

Gymnotophobia - fear of nudity

Ichthyophobia - fear of fish

Levophobia - fear of the left side

Linonophobia - fear of string

Meteorophobia - fear of being hit by meteor

Nephelophobia - fear of clouds

Odontophobia - fear of teeth

Ouranophobia - fear of heaven

Pediophobia - fear of dolls

Pogonophobia - fear of beards

Siderophobia - fear of starts

Stygiophobia - fear of hell

Triskaidekaphobia - fear of the number 13

Friday, November 7, 2008

Police dog in ad causes Muslims to protest in Britain

Dogs are called a man's best friend. Dogs, because of their keen sense of smell, are used for investigative work in police forces all around the world - from finding explosives and drugs, to being used at crime scenes to detect blood signs, smells, and eventually find traces that can help find criminals. At the same time, dogs are considered unclean by Muslims, and when these 2 situations clash, things can get messy. Refer to this story -,2933,374564,00.html
" Muslims in the Scottish district of Tayside are outraged by the appearance of a wide-eyed, 6-week-old puppy on postcards distributed by the local police force, according to the Daily Mail. Postcards showing police dog-in-training Rebel, a German shepherd born in early December, are causing a furor among the region's Muslims who believe dogs are "ritually unclean," the Daily Mail reports.
The Tayside police force said the police puppy, the force's "newest recruit," was not intended to cause offense. "His incredible worldwide popularity - he has attracted record visitor numbers to our Web site - led us to believe Rebel could play a starring role in the promotion of our non-emergency number," said a police spokesperson. "
As the world gets more globalised and there is a greater integration of different communities from all over into hitherto areas not touched by minorities, there will be more such issues where people are not used to having to make the effort to be a part of cultural diversity.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lost at sea without food: Eat the dead

This is a story of what humans can do for survival, and is also a pointer to the moral challenges that people face. In October 2008, a group of 33 Dominican immigrants were trying to reach Puerto Rico by boat when they were reported missing by relatives in mid-October. Survivors said they lost their way after the captain abandoned the ship. Slowly, these immigrants, wracked by hunger, thirst and the vagaries of the sea, started dying. As people died, their bodies were thrown in the sea. This trip is something that is repeated many times every year, with Dominican immigrants trying to reach Puerto Rico in the hundreds every year, making their way through a treacherous passage called the Mona Passage.
Near the end, the remaining 5 survivors, reaching their limit, finally gave up on the distaste they would have felt, and survived on the flesh of their last died member. Eating human flesh is considered a taboo in almost all human cultures, and there are severe punishments for people found doing that; but it has been known to happen before when, faced with survival problems, people have resorted to eating the flesh of their dead companions.
Eventually, the last 5 survivors were rescued by the US Coast Guard, too late for one of them, the last woman in the group, who died shortly after the rescue.

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