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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Weird news - Bangladeshi airport shows porn for 5 minutes, investigations on

In Islamic countries, the public display of porn and sex is a strict taboo. So, for example, somebody committing adultery can be punished by death under Sharia laws, and couple who have kissed in public or shown other emotions can be lashed or subjected to other penalties. It would be very difficult to believe that in such countries, there can be such a thing such as showing porn publicly (one can expect some severe penalties to happen to anybody who does such a thing). Well, consider the case of the airport in Bangladesh (a Muslim majority country) where a porn clip was shown for 5 mistakes (a grievous mistake no doubt, but still something that could cause some head chopping if it happened in Saudi Arabia) (link to article):

Travellers at Bangladesh's main airport were taken in by shock when a huge display screen meant to air programmes about the country showed a porn video, prompting the civil aviation authority to launch a probe into the incident. Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority has launched an investigation into a scandal at the Hazrat Shahjalal Airport where the huge display screen aired for five minutes a pornographic movie, officials said today.
"An investigation is under way while the people responsible for the scandal were already taken to task," a Civil Aviation Authority spokesman told PTI without elaborating. Another official said the operator was handed down two months of jail term instantly after a summary trial by an on duty magistrate at the airport.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weird news - Student takes answer sheet home, brings it the next day

Cheating in the exams is something that is very seriously frowned upon, and in many cases, students have been expelled if caught cheating. At the very least, even if no strict action is taken, a student can be made to feel ashamed of what has happened, and this by itself can be enough punishment. However, one does expect that the examiners take the entire process of the exam seriously, and ensure that students know that there will be severe penalties if the student is caught cheating. However, what do you do when the student does not submit the answer sheet, and then the examiners do not even detect that an answer sheet is missing (link to article):

Employing an innovative method of cheating, a student took his answer sheet of first year BSc paper, home on Thursday only to return it to the examiners on Friday. He claimed that he had forgotten to submit it.
Examiners at Gujarat College have sent the answer sheet to Gujarat University. The interesting aspect of the incident is that the Gujarat College examiners did not realise the answer sheet's theft and reportedly told varsity authorities that it was a counting mistake. However, the blunder came to light, when the student along with his father turned up next day to return the answer sheet.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weird news - Hero dog accidentally put to sleep (death)

When something like this incident happens, you wonder about how such things can happen. Imagine a dog who saved soldiers in Afghanistan by attacking a soldier bomber and preventing harm to the soldiers in such a manner. And, when finally the stray dog is adopted and brought back to the United States, and then runs away from the adoptee's house. She was found and sent to a animal shelter, where an employee of the shelter euthanized the dog, not knowing how famous the dog was (the dog had even been featured on CNN for saving around a dozen soldiers).
And now there is really nothing that can be done, given that the hero dog is now dead (with the family that adopted her being heart-broken); the only thing that could be done was that the person who did the actual deed was placed on administrative leave (link to article)

The dog, Target, was recently brought over from Afghanistan by a soldier who had returned from his tour of duty. Target was featured by CNN for heroism after saving dozens of soldiers from a suicide bomber on February 11. "She got her name because the Afghans we lived with were constantly trying to off her. She's been shot in the leg. ... The Afghans actually ran over her," Sgt. Christopher Duke said, who helped care for Target in Afghanistan and has adopted her packmate Rufus. "There's no killing this dog for sure. She's pretty much been through it all, " he said upon their reunion in July in Georgia.
Target's new owner, Army Sgt. Terry Young whose life was saved by the stray, helped bring the 2-ish-year-old from Afghanistan to her new home in Arizona. She disappeared from Young's home on Friday. Facebook postings requested help in finding her.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weird news - Powerful missile sent as an ordinary parcel, from Afghanistan to Britain

One considers missiles as being very powerful, and they can do a great amount of damage. For example, the missile armed to Apache helicopters can do an incredible amount of damage to targets as powerful as tanks and enemy troops and weapons. One would consider that the transport of such weapons would be done with the greatest amount of care and without involving any danger. So how would you feel if you came to know that a live missile was sent over long distances by normal parcel post by mistake, and was only detected when the parcel was opened in Britain (link to article):

The 70 mm Flechette rocket travelled 3,500 miles from Afghanistan to a Royal Air Force base inside an ordinary package, triggering a full-scale alert, The Sun reported. The missile, used by Apache helicopter crews, is said to be one of the most powerful rockets in the world. When it was opened at Wattisham Airfield, in Suffolk , more than 70 defence workers had to evacuate as bomb disposal experts rushed to the scene.
Britain's ministry of defence documents show engineers servicing a gunship chopper at Camp Bastion declared its missile launcher broken. But they did not notice it had a missile in it.

Pilot dies while flying a Qatar Airlines flight, flight diverted to safety

When a flight is in the air, the only thing standing between the passengers and danger is the skill of the pilot, keeping the plane flying or landing safely. Towards this end, the pilot needs to be in perfectly good health, quick to react, able to think quickly, and very skilled. But, what happens when some sudden misfortune strikes the pilot ? There is a co-pilot who can take over, but typically the pilot has a much higher level of skill than the co-pilot. Consider the tragedy that occurred to this pilot, and the danger to the passengers of the Qatar Airlines flight (link to article):

Qatar Airways diverted its Manila-Doha flight to Kuala Lumpur early yesterday after the pilot suffered a massive heart attack on board and later died. The co-pilot flew the plane (Flight No QR645), with roughly 260 passengers on board, to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for emergency landing. He requested the KLIA authorities for permission to land after the pilot complained of chest pain, and urged that a medical team be kept ready so that the pilot could be provided medical care.
But the medical team declared the pilot dead after the flight landed at KLIA. The passengers on board were not told about the pilot’s condition, it is learnt. The deceased, Ajay Kukreja, was an Indian in his early forties. The flight took off from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport early yesterday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weird news - Man tried to sober up after being drunk, but lands up in the wrong house

Imagine being so drunk that you end up in the wrong house. A lady was sleeping in her own house when she heard the sound of running water (not something that would inspire any sort of security or trust), and called the police. It turned out there was indeed an intruder in her own house, somebody who had taken a shower in the house. When the police turned up, they found the man, now dressed, sitting in the verandah. It was then that the man realized that he was in the wrong house - after being totally drunk, he entered the house thinking it was his own house, and then took a bath to sober up.
It was after being confronted by the police that the man realized that he had entered the wrong house, and was then very heavily embarrassed about what he had done (link to article):

The man got lost on the way to his house in Katherine on Wednesday night. He walked into the home and took a shower in an attempt to sober up. The 34-year-old householder was asleep upstairs. She woke up, heard the water running and frantically rang the police. When officers arrived, they found the 42-year-old sitting on the woman's verandah - dressed again.
The man was taken into protective custody to sleep off his big night. "The woman was just happy for us to take him away," Supt Shean said. "She thought he was a burglar."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weird news - Father kills 7 year old son over matrimonial dispute

Disputes between parents and children is nothing new, but you hear of those typically when both parents and children are adults and both have their own views (and the disputes could be over monetary issues, or over differences of opinion); but when the children are young and defenseless, one gets horrified at scenes of violence between parents and children.
Consider the following case where a father killed his own 7 year old son since he was having a fight with his wife, and this led to his taking out the anger on his own son, hitting him hard with a hammer on the head (link to article):

In a gory fallout of a matrimonial feud, a property dealer from south Delhi killed his seven-year-old son with a hammer blow to his head on Sunday. The victim, Arpit Singh, a class I student of Greenfield Public School, fell dead instantly.
Though police remained tightlipped, it appeared that the attack was a result of a heated argument between Bhupender and his wife. Arpit's 11-year-old sister and his mother were not in the room when the incident took place. Bhupender also reportedly suffers from alcoholism. According to senior police officers, the couple had a bitter argument on Sunday after which Bhupender stomped back to his room. Sources said the argument was over an extra-marital relationship and the manner in which the accused conducted himself in public.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weird news: Newborn baby left in the trash bin of an aircraft

Sometimes we come across some news stories that can shock even the most hard person. Stories about how babies are left are shocking, but we mostly come across cases where the baby has been left at the doorstep of some sort of orphanage, or left where they can be found quickly and the appropriate care given. However, in extreme cases (such as where the mother fears social pressures or the threat of physical violence) the baby may even be abandoned in such a situation where the baby may die quickly. This is also a sad reflection of social mores where the mother feels so pressured that she would rather abandon a baby like this. In this case (link to article), the baby was found in the trash of an aircraft, probably born during the flight, and found by a security officer who detected movement in a bag:

Philippine authorities on Monday tried to identify the mother of a baby born on a commercial flight from West Asia and found abandoned in the airplane’s trash, evoking pity and outrage among Filipinos.
The baby — still attached to the placenta — could have died had a security officer on the tarmac not noticed the movement in one of the trash bags unloaded from the aircraft. When he opened the bag and dug through the rubbish, the officer was stunned to find the baby, which was brought to an airport clinic, airport press officer Connie Bungag said.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weird news: Drunk man tries to drive off with train full of passengers

Drunk driving is a major crime, with a number of countries having tough laws dealing with the same. A person convicted of the same can be fined, driving license revoked, and jailed (and all of these can also be applied at the same time for somebody convicted of the same). When a person is drunk, their ability to follow a rational course of action gets impaired, and in extreme cases, they can take any action. A drunk person starts doing something that the person would otherwise only think about, as can be seen in this example.
It is not normal for a normal person to start driving a train unless they have been trained in driving the train, especially when there are passengers on board. So what would you say to a person who gets drunk and tries to make off with a train loaded with passengers (link to article):

A middle-aged man, apparently under the influence, jumped into the engine of a passenger train and tried to commandeer it. Luckily, the man could not locate the accelerator and his journey lasted only about 50 metres before the train's two drivers and a posse of Government Railway Police (GRP) men managed to get inside the driver's cabin and halt the train.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weird news - Woman killed for screaming another man's name during sex with boyfriend

The passion that people have can make them do incredible things; the passion that a mother has for her children can make her do anything to defend them. At the same time, the passion that is evoked during an emotional relationship, can make a person feel very strongly for their partner, and when their such feeling is hurt, it can make them take extreme steps. This has led to many murders of passion in the recent past, with people feeling cheated by their partners taking the extreme step of either killing their partner or killing themselves. Well, read this article (link to article):

A man stabbed his girlfriend to death after she accidentally blurted out the name of another man as they made love. Gary Higgs, 44, flew into a rage when his girlfriend suddenly cried out: 'Chris!'. He stormed downstairs, grabbed a chef's knife and stabbed Joanne Kitchen once in the back and once in the chest.
Higgs, who admitted murder, was yesterday jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 15 years.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weird news - Man charged with sex with a horse, especially for the second time

Having sex with animals is regarded as a crime, with specific laws against it. In some cases, people who have been charged with this crime have been also listed as sex offenders and placed on a watchlist. In this case, there are further problems where the owner of the animal with which the alleged crime has taken place is highly confused by the behavior of the animal and tried to find out what had happened, especially since the same thing had happened earlier. The owner was shocked to find the same man doing the same thing, especially since the problem was reported some years back and the person had been charged (link to article);

Kenley said she noticed several weeks ago her 21-year-old horse Sugar was acting strange and getting infections again. She noticed things in the barn had been moved around – dirt piled up and bales of hay stacked near the horse's stall at her Lazy B Stables in Longs, about 20 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach. "Police kept telling me it couldn't be the same guy," Kenley said Wednesday. "I couldn't believe that there were two guys going around doing this to the same horse."
Kenley didn't call police because she was certain the man would come back to the stable, and she wanted to make sure he was arrested. So she staked out the barn and caught Vereen inside Monday night, chasing him to his truck and holding him with her shotgun until police came. "He said he wasn't there to do anything, and I said, 'I know you were. I have you on tape.' And then he said he was sorry if he hurt me," Kenley said.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weird News: Man charged with trying to have sex with a sheep in New Zealand

In law, it is illegal for humans to try to have sex with animals, although occasionally people are caught on this charge, and such types of videos are also found on porn sites. Such cases also shock people who cannot believe as to why somebody would think about trying to have sex with other animals rather than with humans. Consider this case from New Zealand where he was seen by somebody else when he was trying to force himself on the sheep, and was charged with the crime. One of the prime objectives of his lawyer was to try to ensure that any information about the name of the man or his identity was concealed (link to article):

He was remanded on bail on one charge of attempting to commit an act of indecency with a sheep. The lawyer representing the man applied for a suppression order prohibiting the publication of his name, occupation and address after the Herald on Sunday started making inquiries about the incident.
It is understood a woman jogging saw the alleged incident on the outskirts of a small town, about an hour away from Christchurch, and reported it to police.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weird news - Considering how to deliberately cause paralysis in Saudi Arabia

People are generally shocked when they get to know about some of the punishments that they see or hear about in areas governed by a harsher versions of Islam, such as stoning for adultery, or cutting off hands or feet for theft, or the many punishments carried out by the Taliban in the areas under their control. However, this is not something that happens infrequently, it is part of the system of jurisprudence, where a crime can be punished by a similar punishment as the crime. However, it still feels very shocking, especially when one reads of cases such as this court in Saudi Arabia wanting to know whether paralysis can be a punishment for somebody who caused paralysis in somebody else (link to article):

Saudi media are reporting that a judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man's spinal cord as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him. Saudi Arabia enforces Islamic law and on occasion metes out punishments based on the ancient code of an eye-for-an-eye.
The unidentified defendant hit Abdul Aziz Al Mutairi, another Saudi, with a cleaver during a fight more than two years ago and the trial has been delayed because Mutairi is insisting that his attacker suffer the same injury.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weird news - 3 year old daughter goes to get rescue for collapsed dad, saves his life

How often can somebody expect that their 3 year old child can do something to save their life ? Seems a very difficult and chancy statement, but it happened in this case. You can train your children as much as possible, but whether it will ever work is a different matter altogether. And yet, when something like this happens, it seems remarkable. Consider the following case where the 3 year old daughter managed to recognize that her father was in danger due to some wrong medicines, and went to the nearby fire station, and got quick help for her dad. Something really remarkable, and validates all the teaching that the daughter got about how to get help in times of need (link to article):

Frank Tafoya told CNN affiliate KOVR that he "took a mixture of medication I wasn't supposed to at the time -- a bed-time dose -- and I guess I collapsed." Alesaundra did exactly what she was taught -- walking two blocks to reach Fire Station 243, a firehouse the family passes daily.
Once there, she told firefighters that her dad was "frozen" and wouldn't wake up, according to KOVR. "I've been here over 20 years," Capt. Robert Villalovoz said. "It's the first time I've had a 3-year-old walk up to the fire station."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Weird news - Hospital operates on maid to remove nails hammered into her body by her Saudi employer

The Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc depend on maids, servants, and workers from countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Phillipines, etc. The amounts that these workers can earn in these countries is fairly high as compared to their earnings in their home countries, but the working conditions are fairly restrictive. They really don't have too many rights in countries such as Saudi Arabia, with the employer family controlling their passports and visas, and any problem resulting quickly in imprisonment and deportation.
This situation leads to employers starting to feel that they can do anything with impunity, such as this case (link to article):

Doctors at a Sri Lankan hospital operated for three hours Friday to remove 18 nails and metal particles allegedly hammered into the arms, legs and forehead of a maid by her Saudi employer. Ariyawathie left Sri Lanka on March 25 to work as a housemaid in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia after the bureau registered her as a person obtaining a job from an officially recognized job agency.
She was held down by her employer's wife while the employer hammered the heated nails, Ruhunuge told CNN. She apparently had complained to the couple that she was being overworked, Ruhunuge said.
Several countries across the Middle East and Asia host significant numbers of migrant domestic workers, ranging from 196,000 in Singapore to about 1.5 million in Saudi Arabia, according to a report published earlier this year by Human Rights Watch. Many of the domestic workers are poor Asian women from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Nepal. Widespread abuse has been documented by global human rights groups. Common complaints include unpaid wages, long working hours with no time for rest, and heavy debt burdens from exorbitant recruitment fees, said the Human Rights Watch report.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weird news - Malaysian man sells his girl-friends virginity without her knowledge

This sounds more than weird. When one reads such a news, one wonders how a person could do such a thing. A relationship between a young girl and boy requires a lot of trust between them, and the action taken by the boy broke all sorts of trust. Imagine inviting the girl-friend to spend the night at your home, and then move away from there, and send somebody else in to rape your girl-friend. And this happened due to the fact that the boy-friend had sold his girl-friend's chastity to another 19 year old man (link to article).

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian teenager reportedly sold the chastity of his fiancee to another man to settle his gambling debts. The girl had reportedly gone to spend the night at the house at the invitation of her fiance. However, the man later left the house on the pretext of meeting someone.
Not long after that, another 19-year-old youth entered the house from the back door and entered the room where the girl was. He ordered her to lock the door and then raped her. It has been reported that throughout her ordeal, the victim repeatedly cried for help but her fiance's grandmother, said to be in her 60s, was helpless because the room was locked from the inside.
This was something really shocking, and one would hope that both these youth get the appropriate punishment for this actions of theirs.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

US Homeland Security puts a 6 year old Indian girl on the no-fly list for suspicion of being a terrorist

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, the US Department of Homeland Security has the responsibility of ensuring that no further terrorist attacks happen in the US. Over a period of time, they seem to have succeeded in ensuring that no further attacks happen, and when attacks are being planned, they are nipped in the bid. A part of this is to ensure that people who are terrorism risks are not allowed on flights (and the fact that they have caught people on flights who are risks seems to have increased the determination to ensure that people are prevented from boarding flights if they are deemed as risks). As a part of this, the Department maintains a no-fly list of people who are not allowed to board. This must have been fairly successful, but there are several occasions when the Department has to be embarrassed about certain people who are prevented from flying, who are obviously not risky.
In this case, one can add one more. There is this girl (6 years old) whose parents were advised that she was on the list, and that they should contact the Department for getting her name off the list (link to article):

Alyssa Thomas, 6, is under spotlight of the US government, and her family recently came to know that she is on the "no fly" list maintained by the US homeland security. During a recent trip from Cleveland to Minneapolis, the girl’s father, Santhosh Thomas, and his wife were made aware of the listing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weird news - Man kills wife since she cast a vote for the 'wrong' candidate

People kill their spouses for many reasons, such as for money, or for infidelity (and these two are the 2 biggest reasons for these murders). In most cases, however, when people have major disagreements that they are not able to resolve, they either learn to live with these disagreements or go in for a resolve. It is only in rare cases, when the husband or wife feels that the hurt is too bad and causes an emotional upheaval, or when they feel that the other person has to obey them without questioning, then they do such horrific acts such as subjecting their spouse to such cruelty, or kill their spouses.
What do you do with such cases where a person has asked his wife to vote for a specific candidate, and she goes ahead and votes for another candidate who is distantly related to her ? This causes so much trauma to him (and he gets so angry with her decision) that he actually kills her (link to article):

A 25-year-old woman was allegedly killed by her husband in Malab village in Nuh district, around 30km from Gurgaon, after she did not vote for the candidate her husband asked her to and instead voted for one of her relatives in the sarpanch elections, which were held on Saturday.
According to police, Tahira was strangulated by her husband Shahid after she voted for Kamaal, who was standing for the post of sarpanch of Malab village. Tahira’s sister Ruksana is Kamaal’s sister-in-law.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weird laws from Canada - Part 4 (always fun to read such laws and wonder about the situation when they were implemented)

The 4th part of the weird laws of Canada.

31. It is illegal to kill a sasquatch.
32. Bylaw states that no more than 3.5 inches of water is allowed in a bathtub.
33. "For Sale" signs are not permitted in the windows of moving vehicles.
34. One's rear license plate may not be protected by glass or plastic.
35. You may not swear in French.
36. Citizens may not relieve themselves or spit on the street.
37. It is illegal to kill a sick person by frightening them.
38. It is illegal to pretend to practice witchcraft.
39. You may not paint a ladder as it will be slippery when wet.
40. In Quebec, No language other than French is permitted to be shown out doors.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weird laws from Canada - Part 3 (always fun to read such laws and wonder about the situation when they were implemented)

The third set of such laws (would welcome comments on whether these still stand or not)

21. You may never use dice to play craps. An inspector would be always present to check things.
22. It is illegal to turn right on a red light at any time.
23. Margarine producers can’t make their margarine yellow. Orange / black / purple etc should all be fine.
24. Citizens may not publicly remove bandages.
25. It is illegal for clear or non-dark sodas to contain caffeine.
26. Businesses must provide rails for tying up horses. Wonder how many people have horses nowadays.
27. Wooden logs may not be painted.
28. Homeowners are responsible for clearing snow off of municipal sidewalks.
29. All business signs in the province of Quebec must be in French. Part of the regional language agreements.
30. You can’t work on your car in the street.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Weird laws from Canada - Part 2 (always fun to read such laws and wonder about the situation when they were implemented)

The second set of such laws from Canada, but not confirmed whether these are true or not.

11. Now I couldn't find a date for this law but its so off the wall it must be from around the late 1800's or early 1900's. There's a law on the British Columbia books that states if you're a bankrupt drunk who got thrown into jail, the law requires the jailer to bring you a bottle of beer on demand. Nuts!

12. Here's a law I found that kind of surprised me. In London, Ontario it is against the city by-law to allow your grass in your front yard to grow any taller then a inch and a half. If you do, the city will come by and cut it for you then give you a fine for $200. Crazy!

13. Quebec law states that all business signs must be in French. If the owner wants English on the sign then the French print has to be twice as large as the English print.

14. In Ottawa, Ontario you are not allowed to eat ice cream on Bank St on a Sunday! No idea as to why.

15. In Beaconsfield, Canada it's considered an offense to have more than two colours on your house; and you are not allowed to own a log cabin!

16. In Guelph, Ontario, the city is classified as a no pee zone! What about other Canadian cities ?

17. In Toronto, Ontario, it's illegal to drag a dead horse down Younge St on a Sunday!

18. In Nova Scotia a person is not allowed to water their grass when it's raining. Not like someone would do this, but it's against the law in Nova Scotia!

19. In Cobourg, Ontario if you have a water trough in your front yard, it must be filled by 5:00am! Not sure when was the last time this law was implemented.

20. Through out Ontario the average speed limit is 80 km/h for cars, BUT bicyclists have the right away. Does make sense if you go in for more green methods of travel.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Weird laws from Canada - Part 1 (always fun to read such laws and wonder about the situation when they were implemented)

For the Canadians, you may speculate that some of these laws have been repealed, but they are still fun to read.

1. In Uxbridge, Ontario it's illegal to have an internet connection faster than 56k! This must be when the cost of a connection would be high and there would be a lot of competitive jealousy.

2. It is illegal anywhere in Canada to pay for a 26 cent item in all pennies. The limit is 25 cents. If you are paying for your item in nickels, then its illegal to pay for it in nickels if its over $5. Its also illegal to pay for something over $10 dollars in all dimes. What do you do with all your spare change ?

3. In Kanata, Ontario, believe this, it's illegal to have a clothes line in your back yard! Laundries must have paid for this law.

4. In Oshawa, Ontario it's illegal to climb trees!

5. Did you know that in Fort Qu'Appelle Quebec it is illegal for a teen to walk downtown main street with his shoes untied? Its true. Must be a number of them considering it fashionable to not have their shoes tied.

6. Did you know that Canadian law states that every 5th song on the radio must be by a Canadian born citizen? Well believe it or not it is true! France also has a similar law.

7. In Alberta back in the day, it was the law when a prisoner was released from jail that he would be given a gun and horse to ride out of town or city.

8. Through out Ontario the average speed limit is 80 km/h for cars, BUT bicyclists have the right away.

9. No one in Canada is allowed by Canadian law to watch or listen to encrypted broadcast which is not licensed by the Canadian Government. This basically means that its illegal to use US satellite systems like "Direct TV".

10. Supposedly its illegal to buy cigarettes for minors (Under 19), but you can supply them with cigarettes as long as its not in public places. Seems strange.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Weird news: Man spends 7 years on a jigsaw puzzle, but a piece missing when he is near completion

This can be something that is extremely frustrating for anybody. When you spend a lot of time on a quest, you get satisfaction only when you can see the quest near completion, and when you find yourself stuck because of some issue, it can feel real bad. Something similar happened to this person (a senior citizen). He was given a large jigsaw puzzle (with around 5000 pieces), a puzzle over 5 feet long, by his daughter-in-law many years back as a Christmas present, but is no longer supported by the original manufacturer of the puzzle.
Now, in order to ensure that his puzzle gets completed, he is looking for the missing piece of the puzzle; but he is out of luck in getting the piece and the missing piece cannot be found anywhere in his house (one could think that they have completed the puzzle with every other piece inserted but the final piece, but it is not the same) (link to article):

The process was nearly complete when he realised that a vital piece was missing. The jigsaw showed the 19th century oil painting The Return Of The Prodigal Son by James Tissot.
arris searched his home in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, for the key piece, but to no avail. His family now fears one of their two dogs may have swallowed it, Daily Mail reported.
Help was sought from the puzzle's manufacturer to provide a spare piece, but Harris had taken so long to complete it that Falcon Games has stopped making it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weird news: Man dumped by a bride; second consolation bride runs away after marriage

A man went into an arranged marriage, with a 8 month gap between the engagement and the marriage. He thought everything was going well, and into the final day, the time for the actual marriage ceremonies came up. He was happy, since now it seemed that the marriage would happen; and then the shock happened with the bride deciding that she was actually in love with somebody else (who incidentally was also present in the marriage hall). Since the groom's side was angry at this betrayal, they took their anger out on the other suitor who was present in the marriage hall and who sustained injuries in this beating.
Anyhow, the twist in the tale was that now we have a groom who is all ready to get married, but for whom the bride has run away. This is a very humiliating situation for the groom and for his family, and the family decided to find another bride at the same instant (which would bring back the lost pride of the family); they found a minor girl who was not very ready but they got her dressed up and got her married off. However, the next day this girl also ran away (link to article):

Brides being dumped at the altar is the stuff soppy movies are made of. But heard of a bridegroom being ditched at the marriage mantap, that too not once but twice inside of 24 hours? Filmi as it may sound, that's what happened in Kolar, 70 km from Bangalore, on Sunday.
Here’s where the drama restarts. The elders figured that an eloping bride was no reason to stop Manjunath’s marriage and they would look for a bride for him from among those present. They settled on Mamatha, a 16-year-old, first-year PU student and a close relative of the brideless Manjunath. Mamatha, playing outside the marriage hall with other children, was brought in and dressed up. She went through the ceremony crying as she had no desire to marry Manjunath.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

German man detected stealing electricity using a meat hook, very dangerous

Overhead electricity wires can be very dangerous, since they carry electricity at high voltages, with a very high probability of death or serious injury if people come into contact with these wires. In such cases, if you consider the cases of a person who has been stealing electricity through the use of a meat hook from an overhead wire, then you can consider that the person has been literally dealing with death. And police in Germany found a man doing that for quite some time, having literally used a meat hook with an attached wire to draw electricity and thus steal the power for consumption (link to article):

German police are investigating a man for theft after he siphoned electricity off a high-voltage overhead transmission line for one month with the help of an ordinary meat hook, authorities said on Tuesday.
The 36-year old man from Sibbesse in Lower Saxony concocted the plan to steal electricity after the power company cut him off for failure to pay his bills, police said. The man attached a cable to the meat hook and tossed it onto an overhead power line. He then drew power from the transmission line to his home, located about 150 metres away.

Monday, May 17, 2010

In New York, a hearse van was towed by police even when a body was inside

Sometimes such stuff happens that can make people wonder about the timing and coincidence. A minivan was parked outside a funeral home, and a body was inside. Given that the van was used to move bodies, the windows of the van were dark so that people were not able to look inside, and police officers were not able to look inside either. Further, a placard on the windshield which marked that this vehicle was being used as hearse also fell flat, no way for the police to know that this vehicle had a body inside; and there was no driver over there also. As a result, the police towed away the minivan with the body, after all, the vehicle was parked illegally. Once the driver came to know, he finally found the vehicle in a police towing yard (link to article):

Redden's Funeral Home director Paul DeNigris said a windshield placard had fallen flat. The van's tinted windows helped obscure the white cardboard box that held the remains.
DeNigris said he was "a wreck" after discovering the van missing in Manhattan. He rushed to the tow pound, where he discreetly explained the circumstances and got the van back. He also got body to an airport in time for a scheduled flight to Miami.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Man wins a fortune just the day after his divorce

This man can truly claim that his wife brought him bad luck, since he got something that most people never get in their life time. After a long divorce that dragged on for a number of years, it was clear that the divorce was done and he was now free of his wife. As a part of the celebration, he decided to spend the evening out with friends, getting drunk and enjoying the freedom. The bus driver used his last amount of money left to buy a lottery ticket, and given the probability of lottery tickets, it is difficult to believe that something would come out of them. However, the man did win half the top prize, giving him 2.3 million pounds, enough that his wife might want to come back to him (link to article)

Kevin Halstead, a 50-year-old bus driver, spent Friday out with friends after his divorce and the next day he bought a Lotto ticket. Later, he was left stunned when he won the lottery, Daily Express reported Wednesday.
Halstead's friend said: "Kevin's divorce dragged on for a couple of years. Everything was settled on Friday so he went out and got drunk. On Saturday he decided to spend his last quid on a lottery ticket. He checked the papers next morning and saw he'd won half the jackpot."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weird laws of France - some of these should make you smile .. Part 2

Second set of the weird laws of France ..

Between the hours of 8AM and 8PM, 70% of music on the radio must be by French artists. (one can believe this though of the French, it is a wonder that they allow music by people of other nationalities)
It is illegal to kiss on railways in France. (this must be one of the most violated laws)
No pig may be addressed as Napoleon by its owner. (What about calling the pig as the President of France)
It is illegal to take photos of police officers or police vehicles, even if they are just in the background. (Seems legitimate, but with concealed cameras and other equipment, much more difficult to stop)
It is forbidden without a cemetery plot to die on the territory of the commune. (if you die, the police come to catch you and put your body in a cell)
In Paris, it is illegal to walk with your hand up a woman’s skirt, but while you’re on the Metro you may legally touch breasts. (No word on whose breasts they’re talking about here - could be you’re allowed to only touch your own.)
In Paris, an ashtray is considered a deadly weapon. (heavy ones would be dangerous)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weird laws of France - some of these should make you smile .. Part 1

In a region of the Rhone, it is illegal for UFOs to fly over vinyards. (And how will they catch a UFO if it does indeed do a dance over the vineyards)
In Cannes, France, wearing a Jerry Lewis mask is illegal (could one wear a mask of the President or first lady)
It is illegal to shoot Englishmen as they cross the English Channel towards France - unless they are sailing in a 'boat of war'. (if soldiers are coming for an exercise and crossing the channel, can somebody shoot them)
Paris: Any man carrying onions must be given right of way in the streets. (the smell itself would move people away from such a person carrying onions)
Paris: Criminals can apply for sanctuary in Notre Dame Cathedral and must be 'fed and watered' for up to six weeks. (must be true for a criminal seeking sanctuary then, and to ensure independence of the Church)
In France, it is against the law to sell an “E.T” doll. They have a law forbidding the sale of dolls that do not have human faces. (wow, will they really implement this law)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weird - Chinese man eats the brain of a child to try to cure epilepsy

Anything that can do with harm or hurt to a baby or young child gets people all worked up, and the parental instinct in people with respect to their children is incredible. In such cases, when you hear of incidents such as where this man, in order to try to cure epilepsy, kidnapped a young boy, killed him, cut open his head and ate parts of the young brain in some weird concept that this will epilepsy. When caught, he tried to pretend something else (link to article):

29-year old Wang Chaoxu, who hails from the southwest Chinese village of Qixian, seems to have a nasty habit of killing children and eating their brains, believing them to be the cure for his epilepsy. 11-year old Li Xuetang disappeared one night, prompting his mother to become worried, and going so far as imploring the head of the village to make a radio broadcast on the off chance her song might see it.
It seems like incidents like this have happened before, so hopefully incidents like this will not happen again.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Grandmother ordered to wear an ankle tag for 7 weeks after selling a goldfish to a 14 year old boy

As part of an initiative to protect animal rights, it was decreed that pets cannot be sold to young children below the age of 16, unless they had been accompanied by an adult, so that they properly understand how to take care of the child. If a person flouted the role, they were subject to being fined. In one case, investigators found that a pet store was not sticking to this rule, and so they were subject to a setup where a 14 year old boy was sent to buy a goldfish. The store owners were found guilty after they sold the goldfish to the boy without any checks or controls. And they were fined, so far so good. However, what made matters different was that the owners of the store, a 47 year old man and his 70 year old mother were also ordered to do hours of community service, and the 70 year old lady was judged not able to do the community service, so was sentenced to a night curfew, attested to by attaching an ankle tag to her (what this turned out was that the granny was attached an ankle tag for 7 weeks, for selling a goldfish to a 14 year old, provoking outrage) (link to article):

"What gets me so cross is that they put my mum on a tag. She's nearly 70, for goodness sake. You would think they have better things to do with their time and money," he said. But Trafford Council in northern England defended the decision to prosecute, noting that the gerbil sold to the teenager with learning difficulties, who was also 14, was put in a cup of coffee.
The story was highlighted by a number of British newspapers. The Daily Express said it made a "farce" of Britain's legal system, adding in a front-page headline: "Proof Britain really has gone mad."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spending 100,000 Euros to find a missing snake, which was dead all this time

Once in a while you come across stories that could make your blood boil as a tax payer, to see municipal authorities spending huge sums of money for something that may not seem to require so much money. But read the following case and wonder about else could have been done, given the situation. A poisonous snake escaped from its owner, and other people in the area are in danger. The authorities need to find the snake, and this is not a lion or tiger that can be trapped easily. Snakes are far more difficult to find, slithering into hidden places and so on. So, you had the authorities literally blocking the entire neighborhood to find the snake, while running up huge expenses; in the end, they found the snake, which was dead (link to article):

After the highly poisonous monocled cobra escaped from its container in March, fire services cleared the entire apartment block, removed all the furniture and gutted the owner's flat. They then sealed all the doors and windows of the building, so the 30 cm (1 foot) long reptile couldn't get out, and set large sticky traps to catch it, Wiebels said.
Officials finally found the snake lying dead in the rooftop apartment of its 19-year-old owner on Thursday. By that time the cost of the operation had ballooned to about 100,000 euros ($133,700). Taxpayers are likely on the hook for 40,000 euros, because an escaped snake is considered public hazard, Wiebels said.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Imagine hiding from police dressed up as sheep, after escaping from a prison

How often would you have heard of stories of people taking on animal disguises to escape from police ? Not very often, right ? These are mostly part of comics or fiction, but normally you would consider that the physical structure of humans is very different from those of animals, and to consider that a human being could wear an animal outfit and hide from people seems to be a difficult concept to accept. Yet, you have these convicts escaping from a high security prison by wearing outfits in the shape of sheep (which are very different physically from humans) and managing to escape from the police who were looking for them (link to article):

Maximiliano Pereyra and Ariel Diaz stole the sheep hides from a ranch after fleeing from an Argentinian maximum security prison a week ago, The Sun has reported.
The duo managed to evade 300 policemen on their trail by disguising themselves as sheep. Locals have seen them running through farmland at night.
"They were wearing grey clothes but had full sheepskins, including the sheep's heads, over their heads and back," a farmworker was quoted as saying.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The police being asked to arrest a ghost; wisely decided not get involved

The police are typically asked to get involved with a wide variety of tasks other than their main job of stopping crime and dealing with criminals. They are asked to be involved in family disputes, in civil disputes that can suddenly turn nasty, and other similar issues. For example, in the US, the 911 dispatchers have been asked to help when people are not getting served in restaurants, when pets climb trees and need to be coaxed out, and so on. But getting involved with the supernatural ? A lot of police forces do not acknowledge the presence of the supernatural, and will not get involves, as happened in the current case (link to article):

A woman has sought the help of police to detain the "spirit" of her dead brother, which she claimed has been disturbing her. Local media reports said the woman's brother had died years ago.
The woman only left the police station after the authorities explained to her that they could not detain a "spirit" and asked her to seek help from religious bodies.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A dead man getting elected as mayor, even when the election was held after his death

For politicians, getting elected is a huge problem. They need to spend a lot of money and effort to get elected, to convince a whole set of cynical people that they are indeed there for a good cause, and will do good once they are elected. What could make it easier for them is if it turns out that the current incumbent is widely disliked, and then people would welcome somebody new. Even then, it is a stretch to imagine that people would vote for a candidate who has died before the election, but whose name remains on the list of candidates. Think about how widely disliked the current mayor would have been to lose to a dead candidate (link to article):

Carl Geary died a month ago from a heart attack as he campaigned to be elected mayor of Tracy City, Tennessee; despite his sudden death, he still polled over three times as many votes as his rival, a media report said. His widow, Susan Geary, said his election "was not a surprise at all to me". "The day he passed away, people were calling with condolences and saying, 'We're still voting for him'," she said.
Local business owners said the vote to elect Geary was as a protest against the current mayor, Barbara Brock. "I knew he was deceased. I know that sounds stupid but we wanted someone other than her. If he were to run again next week I'd vote for him again," Chris Rogers, owner of Lunch Box restaurant, told local newspaper the 'Chattanooga Times'.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Man hits infant son on the face, ordered to pay 50 pounds as compensation besides other damages

A baby is very fragile, needing constant protection and care from parents. It is also true that when a baby is born, the hormone systems of the parents push hormones through the body, imparting a protecting emotional feeling (much stronger in the mother), so one wonders what is it that makes a person be able to hit a 10 month old defenseless baby; hard enough that it left a mark on the face and also needed medical attention. Well, the case was as simple as something that babies do, knock things around. The after effects ? The father is now estranged from the mother and the son (the mother and father were not married) and defending himself in court (link to article):

A Briton, who slapped his 10-month-old son after he knocked down a photo frame, has been ordered to pay the baby 50 pounds in compensation, a media report said Thursday. The 24-year-old man lost his cool when his son hit the TV while jumping up and down in his baby bouncer, Daily Mail reported.
Rachel Bentley, defending the accused, said the man was now estranged from his partner and son after the incident, which happened two days before Christmas, and he was "sorry". He was also directed to complete 60 hours of community service, be supervised for a year, deal with his anger management and pay the baby 50 pounds in compensation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

16 year old boy sues his own mother for hacking his Facebook account

The relation between kids (especially teenagers) and their parents can get a bit testy sometimes, but you expect all such disagreements to be resolved in the privacy of your own home. What happens when a 16 year old files a case against his own mother for invasion of his privacy and hacking his online account, and the mother fights back claiming that till he is an adult, she is responsible for his well being. Well, as a judge, you would wish that you do not get such cases that are moral problems, and where any decision could be challenged (link to article):

A 16-year-old boy from Arkansas is suing his mother for harassment, claiming that she hacked his Facebook account and posted slanderous remarks, according to Arkansas TV station KATV Thursday. The mother, Denise New, denied the charges, claiming that her son left his Facebook page open on her computer and that she was entitled to take over his account because he had posted incriminating information on his Facebook page.
"Oh yeah, I'm going to fight it. If I have to go even higher up, I'm going to. I'm not gonna let this rest. I think this could be a precedent-setting moment for parents," she told KATV-TV. "You're within your legal rights to monitor your child and to have a conversation with your child on Facebook whether it's his account, or your account or whoever's account."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weird laws of Wyoming - Part 2

It is so much fun to read about laws that do not appear to make any sense at all, like some of these laws. They must have been made for some specific cases, but somehow ..

You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit.: Wow. Maybe the rabbits are very unattractive at such periods.
It is against the law to write a poem containing any line that rhymes with Wyoming.: Mighty proud state.
It is illegal for anyone to play chess with their grandmother.: It would be very bad for the ego if the grandmother constantly wins the chess matches.
All new buildings that cost over $100,000 to build must have %1 of funds spent on art work for the building.: Trying to ensure that a building remains artistic, but that should be the decision of the persons who own the building
If one is drunk in a mine, he or she could land in jail for up to a year.: Wow. Do they send alcohol detectors inside mines.
Any person who fails to close a fence is subject to a fine of up to seven hundred and fifty dollars.: Can't figure out a reason, unless this was set in rural areas where wild animals could get inside.
Skiing under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.
Using a firearm to fish is strictly forbidden.: Imagine trying to shoot rapidly moving fish ? You could set a competition for the one who can shoot a fish at 10 yards vs. 50 yards
It is illegal to wear a hat that obstructs people's view in a public theater or place of amusement.: This one makes sense to some degree, but what happens when a short person is sitting behind a taller person ? Do you outlaw that also ?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weird laws of Wyoming - Part 1

It is so much fun to read about laws that do not appear to make any sense at all, like some of these laws. They must have been made for some specific cases, but somehow ..

In Sheridan, Wyoming, a policeman can bite a barking dog, in order to quiet him.: Which policeman would actually want to bite a barking dog ?
All clocks must be set 10 minutes fast.: Might as well set a new time zone that is 10 minutes ahead at that.
Blind men are not allowed to fly helicopters between the hours of 9am and 6pm.: The assumption being that they are allowed to fly helicopters at other times, or maybe helicopters cannot be flown at other times
Girls under the age of 12 must not have hair that is longer than their arms.: Hooray for those with longer arms
It is against the law for women to stand within five feet of a bar while drinking.: Such a law would have been struck down based on discrimination laws, but maybe no one actually bothered with challenging such a law
Junk dealers are not allowed to undertake business transactions with drunks.: Mighty strange.
Newcastle: Couples are banned from having sex while standing inside a store's meat freezer.: In such a cold location, how could a couple even think of having sex ? Maybe there is the fear of contaminating the meat.
Stupid people are not allowed to take IQ tests.: Hah hah.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thai man kept in prison for 3 extra years because of a typo, finally released after a visit by a Minister

Who says that meetings with politicians cannot be helpful ? This Thai man, serving a long sentence in an Indonesian jail, certainly valued his meeting with the Minister. The jailed man had been sentenced to life in 1987 for a drug related sentence (should have been thankful not to have been sentenced to die, like Singapore and other countries in the area do so), and was later given a slight reprieve, with the sentence changed to 20 years by a presidential decree. So he should have been out in 2007, but when setting the decree, the year of entering the jail was set as 1997 instead of 1987, with nobody seeming to correct it. It was only in 2010 when a minister was visiting the jail that the inmate got a chance to be able to present his case, and was promptly released (link to article):

A single clerical error can change the course of one’s life. Just ask Kamjai Khong Thavorn, 53, a Thai national who spent nearly three extra years in the maximum-security Pasir Putih Penitentiary in Nusakambangan, West Java, because of a typing error. Kamjai was due for release in 2007 after a 20-year sentence he received in 1987 for heroin possession, but up until Wednesday, he was still behind bars.
Having spent an extra three years in jail for no fault of his own, Kamjai was promptly released on Thursday after a chance meeting with Justice Minister Patrialis Akbar, who happened to be visiting the prison for an inspection.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A jilted lover turns violent, but cuts off own penis rather than hurt rival

Typically in cases where a person has been jilted, there is an emotional upheaval, which can take the shape of violent reactions. Lovers who have been jilted have been known to attack their loved ones, or the ones after whom their loved ones have gone. However, there are fewer cases where people attack themselves, causing harm to themselves; this is because of a strong feeling of despondency, hurt, and a feeling that there is nothing left in life. Sometimes however, they do things which seem totally weird to others, like this young Indonesian man who cut off his own penis and threw it down a well. He wanted to commit suicide, but was saved; however, since his cut-off penis could not be found, doctors could not reattach it (link to article):

Any hopes of reattaching the severed member were dashed after the 19-year-old threw the appendage into a well and it could not be found by residents of Bantasari village. Sugeng Budi Susanto, director of Cilacap General Hospital, said on Monday that it was extremely fortunate that medical personnel were able to save the life of the teenager, who was identified only by the initials AMD.
Though family members declined to comment, a source confirmed that AMD had cut of his penis after he discovered his girlfriend intended to marry another man. “The sliced-off penis has not been found,” the source said. “Allegedly, AMD threw it into the well with the intention of committing suicide because he thought nobody would be able to save his life.”

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weird laws of New York (United States of America) - Part 2

The last post was the about first set of weird laws (Weird laws of New York state). Here is part 2 of the series:

It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing”.: It might entice people to go to crime :-)
Women may go topless in public, providing it is not being used as a business.: Protecting their right to individuality, but if it becomes a business, then it is a commercial matter
Women may not wear high heels while in the city limits.: All that pressure on the city streets through the high heels could cause holes
Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers”.
A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting.: Ouch, who would want to do that anyway ?
It is against the law to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun.: What happens if I am not doing it for fun, and want to hurt them ? Is that legal ?
The penalty for jumping off a building is death.: No wonder when somebody falls off a building, the police take them away.
New Yorkers cannot dissolve a marriage for irreconcilable differences, unless they both agree to it.
A person may not walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in his/her pocket.: Can be very difficult to clean the clothes afterwards
While riding in an elevator, one must talk to no one, and fold his hands while looking toward the door.: No wonder social interaction is a zero, but you can still fart in the elevator
Slippers are not to be worn after 10:00 PM.: Atleast nobody should see you wearing one, else they will be confiscated
It is illegal to have permit dancing in an establishment that sells food without a cabaret license.
A license must be purchased before hanging clothes on a clothesline.: Wow, this one I cannot figure out any sort of sense. Could it be that hanging clothes could ruin the look of a location ?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weird laws of New York (United States of America) - Part 1

These are a fair number of weird laws, laws that have managed to remain being on the books long after the specific purposes for which they were implemented have passed; now these are used for fun:

A law from the early 1900’s prohibits men from going topless on the Boardwalk.: Ouch. There goes the display of the toned muscles and flat eight-pack abdomen
Eating while swimming in the ocean is prohibited.: Should not pollute the oceans, right ?
People may not slurp their soup.: In public, others may not like slurping of the soup
Pinball machines are not to be played on Sunday.: Sunday is meant to be a day of rest and prayer, and having fun should not be allowed
Raw hamburger may not be sold.: Otherwise what happens to the business of all those vendors and shops
A man can’t go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match.: Well, New York was always a fashion conscious area, and it would hurt the tourist business :-)
Ice cream may not be eaten while standing on the sidewalk.: Overtime to the cleaning crew otherwise
It is illegal to eat in the street in residential neighborhoods, and the only beverage you can drink on the beach is water in a clear plastic bottle.: Cleanliness again, and if you want to enforce it, there goes half the population
If one wishes to bathe in the city limits, they must be clothed in a “suitable bathing suit”.: Maybe I can decide what is suitable
It is illegal for a father to call his son a “faggot” or “queer” in an effort to curb “girlie behavior.: May hurt the tender minds of the son
You may only water your lawn if the hose is held in your hand.: No contraptions please, show the plants that you are putting in the effort to water them
In New York, it is against the law for a blind person to drive an automobile.: Of course, but what about the people who can see and cause all the accidents
You may not smoke within 100 feet of the entrance to a public building.: Well, anti-smoking campaigns are getting tougher

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Walmart announcement tells all black shoppers to leave - a horrible sign of intolerance

Racial divisions is something that the US has struggled to overcome for long periods of its history, finally starting to gain equality for all after a series of US Supreme Court judgments in the 1950's and 60's which were implemented by the Federal Government (sometimes over the opposition of various state level governments).
However, the area of racial tolerance and discrimination between people based on their race is something that is just below the surface, and can sometimes come to the forefront fairly quickly (and has the ability to shock people when that happens). Consider this case where shoppers inside a Walmart store heard an announcement for all black shoppers to leave (link to article):

A Walmart store announcement ordering black people to leave brought chagrin and apologies Wednesday from leaders of the company. A male voice came over the public-address system Sunday evening at a store in Washington Township, in southern New Jersey, and announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now."
Shoppers in the store said a manager quickly got on the public-address system and apologized. It was unclear whether a rogue patron or an employee was responsible for the comment, but many customers expressed their anger to store management.
Obviously, this was something that the management of Walmart would never have accepted.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weird - Man to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia for allegedly trying to forecast the future

In a strange situation, a Lebanese man who was a TV show star is now under threat of being beheaded in Saudi Arabia. And how did a Lebanese man end up in a Saudi jail ? Well, he was arrested by the religious police in Saudi Arabia when he was in the region for a religious pilgrimage. And why was he arrested ? He was the host of a program on a Beirut based channel called "Sheherazade." And what did he do that earned the ire of the Saudi religious police (called the Mutawa'een) ? He used to predict the future of people on his show and give out advice, and as a result, a religious court sentenced him to death for having committed sorcery (of course, if he could totally accurately predict the future, he would not have gone to Saudi Arabia) (link to article):

El Khansa told CNN her client was arrested by Saudi Arabia's religious police (known as the Mutawa'een) and charged with sorcery while visiting the country in May 2008. Sibat was in Saudi Arabia to perform the Islamic religious pilgrimage known as Umra.
Sibat was then put on trial, and in November 2009, a court in the Saudi city of Medina found him guilty and sentenced him to death. According to El Khansa, Sibat appealed the verdict. The case was taken up by the Court of Appeal in the Saudi city of Mecca on the grounds that the initial verdict was "premature."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lack of security when discarding old machines or drives - contain confidential information

In today's time, we store a huge amount of data on our computers and on the disk drives that they contain. A small fraction of such information is pretty confidential, whether it be customer information, credit card information, social security information, police records, and even more importantly, national security related information (such as military and intelligence agencies). Accessing such information when it is in the computers during operation is pretty highly controlled, with all manners of security controls, penalties for unauthorized access, and so on. However, when these computers are discarded, precautions are not taken and such information can be extracted (link to article):

A third (34 per cent) of discarded hard disk drives still contain confidential data, according to a new study which unearthed copies of hospital records and sensitive military information on eBayed kit.
A disk bought on eBay contained details of test launch routines for the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) ground to air missile defence system. The same disk also held information belonging to the system’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, including blueprints of facilities and personal data on workers, including social security numbers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weird - Mother and boyfriend sentenced to more than 5 years for the violent death of her child

The normal image of a mother is one who protects her baby and children at all costs; in fact, in nature, a wild animal is treated as even more dangerous if it is protecting its young - the concept of being a mother is that even nature produces far more hormones to increase this child protection instinct in the mother. So when a baby is found battered with more than 50 injuries, including a broken back and ribs, it would outrage the whole country. What made this crime in England even worse was that social services had the case on their watchlist, and the injured baby escaped inspecting social services workers and a doctor who examined the baby. The workers were fired, and the mother has now been sentenced for a minimum of 5 years (link to article):

Sentencing the mother to a minimum of five years in prison for her role in her toddler's horrific death, Judge Stephen Kramer called the woman "manipulative and self-centered." She and her boyfriend, both of whom cannot be identified for legal reasons, were found guilty of causing the death of the child.
The blonde, blue-eyed toddler had been on a child protection watchlist and was visited dozens of times by social workers. The head of the local children's services, Sharon Shoesmith, initially denied responsibility, but has been fired. She is appealing the decision. The social worker in charge of Baby P's case has also been fired. And the doctor who last saw Baby P and failed to diagnose his broken back and fractured ribs has been dismissed and is no longer able to practice medicine without supervision.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A worker getting fired - claimed she was ill, but was found to be well enough to use Facebook

Social tools such as Facebook are very engrossing; companies are finding that their employees are spending more time on such sites, and in fact, they are getting banned in some companies because of the perceived impact on productivity. Given that Facebook allows a number of people to be able to view what you are doing (if you post), and if you are on the Friends list, you can get a good deal of information from the posts and also from the photos. Facebook is also being referred in divorce cases, since people post information without really thinking through the consequences, and such evidence is being used by courts to a large extent. In this case, the lady had claimed that she was suffering from migraine, and was too ill to be using a computer, not realizing that the company was tracking her updates, and they finally fired her (link to article):

A Swiss woman has lost her job after her employers spotted she was using the Facebook website when she had claimed to be too ill to use a computer. The unnamed woman was suffering a migraine and had told her employer, Nationale Suisse, she needed to lie in a darkened room.
But the company says it followed a simple logic: that those who are well enough to use Facebook with a migraine are well enough to work with a migraine.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weird - South Korean couple took care of an online / virtual baby and let real baby starve to death

Sometimes when you read some news, you cannot believe as to how this is possible. When parents have a baby, they are fiercely protective of them, taking care of them, making sure that the baby is getting all the required attention and nourishment. Even poor families try their best to ensure that their children get all the required attention, and Governments have programs to ensure that children get attention, including free meals. A baby is so defenceless and without any ability to take care of itself that it treated as a criminal matter to neglect a child.
Modern virtual games which allow the creation of virtual avatars, friends, relatives, are very engrossing and can lead to people spending large amounts of time, being totally engrossed in these. However, the combination of these events spelt doom for a poor infant in South Korea, whose parents neglected to feed the baby, instead spending all their time on a virtual child, and their baby eventually starved to death (link to article):

The couple, residents of a Seoul suburb, allegedly neglected their prematurely born three-month-old daughter, feeding her just once a day in between 12-hour stretches at a neighborhood internet cafe, the official Yonhap news agency reported.
Professor Kwak Dae-kyung of Seoul's Dongguk University told the Yonhap news agency that the couple appeared to have lost track of reality. "Online game addiction can blur the line between reality and the virtual world. It seems that taking care of their on-line game character erased any sense of guilt they may have had for neglecting their daughter."

Weird stuff - New Zealand Auction house puts up bottles for sale - containing ghosts

Issues concerning the paranormal always lead to debate, but this one takes the cake. There are a huge number of people who believe in ghosts, and there are an equally large number of people who do not believe in ghosts. However, no matter what you believe, you will be astounded by this.
Auction houses auction all kind of strange stuff, but this online auction house is going to a new level, and claims to auction 2 vials that contain spirits captured by an exorcist in a house in New Zealand (link to article):

The auction description claims the spirits were captured by an exorcist from a spiritual church at a property in Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island.
And the seller has claimed that one spirit belongs to a man who died in the house in the 1920s.
“We have had no (paranormal) activity since they were bottled on July 15, 2009,” the Herald Sun quoted the seller as saying.
“So I believe they are in the bottles,” he added.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Killed due to a botched sex game, why would somebody accidentally strangulate themselves

There are an ever increasing number of dangerous things people do for pleasure, such as jumping off cliffs and bridges with a parachute, climbing buildings without any safety gear, or being close to dangerous animals such as sharks, crocodiles, and others. But probably the most danger that people undertake is inside closed doors, through the concept of sado-masochism, where a person deliberately hurts himself to enjoy the pain. Consider the case of this famous person who killed himself when cutting off the oxygen to his brain to experience the pleasure that it provides (link to article):

Kristian Digby, a TV presenter working for the BBC, was found dead in his apartment after his bid to get a thrill from a suspected solo sex game apparently went wrong. Digby, 32, is believed to have suffocated while starving himself of oxygen for sexual arousal.
Auto-erotic asphyxiation (AEA) is a dangerous form of sex play in which the person engaged in the act intentionally cuts off oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Man whose penis remained stiff for 21 days - not because of any Viagra, but because of a medical problem

Viagra is a wonder drug that has helped a number of men and their relationships, in cases where the man has not been able to be sexually able to sustain the relationship. In most cultures, being sexually virile is always considered to be something that men should treasure, and something that makes them more attractive. However, consider the case where a man suffered a medical condition known as 'priapism', where the blood flow in the make organ was not able to flow out, and hence the person remained in a painful condition for as much as 21 days (link to article):

A 55-year-old Kolkata businessman found out what it would perhaps be like to have an overdose of Viagra. The father of two, ended up with a prolonged erection that lasted for — hold your breath — a full 21 days.
While for normal individuals, penile erection subsides once sexual excitement has ceased, victims of priapism fail to return to a normal state. Prolonged erection usually leads to a permanent damage to the penis and could even cause death. It has to be treated within six hours, but doctors in this case managed to save his life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cutting a house in 2 as part of a divorce - husband takes separation of assets too far

Divorce proceedings sometimes can get too heated, when earlier close spouses can get bitter, especially when all attempts to save the marriage have failed. At that time, it is difficult for them to go ahead with separation of assets, many of these assets have very strong memories. But, the action this husband took was unprecedented; living in a village in Cambodia, the husband was angry that his wife would not take care of him when he was ill, and they decided to separate (link to article):

The husband and wife had been living together in the house in a village in the Prey Veng province of southern Cambodia, roughly 50 miles (80 km) from the capital. The couple would not talk to the newspaper, but the village chief told May Titthara that the husband was angry because his wife wouldn't tend to him when he was ill.
Last week, the husband and his friends moved his belongings to one side of the house -- and sawed and chiseled it off, said the reporter, who interviewed the village chief and neighbors. The couple also divided their property into four sections: for themselves and their two children.
However, this was not a legal divorce through the courts, more an action by them themselves.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Banning very long names - the German Court makes a decision

Have you ever wondered about some names of people from South America, they can be pretty long, and similar is the case with some names of people from South India (while American and British names can be very short - consider the name Joe Smith). However, have you heard of a court intervening to decide how long names can be ? Well, the German constitutional court has banned long names where a couple hyphenated their already hyphenated names, to make names with 3 words or more (link to article):

It was not the first time the court was forced to weigh in on the subject of names, which are regulated start to finish, fore to family, in Germany. This time, it was a Munich couple who decided to challenge the constitutionality of a 1993 rule limiting the names of married people to a single hyphen and two last names.
Frieda Rosemarie Thalheim, a Munich dentist, wanted to take the last name of her husband, Hans Peter Kunz-Hallstein, to become Frieda Rosemarie Thalheim-Kunz-Hallstein. The case brought Germany’s minister of justice before the court in Karlsruhe for oral arguments in February to defend the ban on what the Germans call “chain names.”

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Man died after being beaten up by brethren

There are many communities, especially in backward areas which believe in being a closed society - they run their own version of law and order. When somebody is accused of committing a crime, they do not wait for the legal process of society, but instead do their own process. In this case, the person was accused of being a part of a rape, and of violating religious rules.
For this, over a period of time, he was put in a cage, but with no apparent effect. Finally, he was tied to a pole and left for 9 hours, but when he came down, he was pretty ill and died soon after (link to article):

There have been no arrests for the death of Franz Wieler Kloss, 37, but police said community members thought he was a participant in a two-year mass rape case that was uncovered this summer. “The Mennonites punished Kloss according to their customs and that punishment killed him,” said Col. Miguel Gonzales, special crime unit director.
His final punishment came almost two weeks ago, when his accusers tied him onto a pole and left him there for nine hours. When he was taken down he couldn’t move his arms. He was taken to a hospital a few days later and placed on a respirator, but he died Wednesday, police said. Bolivia’s insular Mennonite community lives traditionally, shunning modern conveniences such as electricity as they farm soybeans, corn and other crops. They use wagons, not cars, for transportation and sew their own clothes.

Friday, February 19, 2010

An expert at staging crashes for insurance fraud

Insurance fraud is something that insurance companies have long fought against, having specific departments that fight against such fraud. These can be in terms of life insurance, car insurance, householder insurance, or other such frauds. To make these frauds happen, many innovative methods are tried, and insurance companies have to be always on the watch out. Then there are those people who are expert in the processes used by insurance companies, and help in committing these insurance frauds (link to article):

Mohammed Patel, 24, charged £500 a time to stage accidents which enabled fraudsters to claim an average of £17,000 from their insurers. Police said he staged at least 92 crashes between 2005 and 2008, each time persuading the other driver to believe they were at fault.
The plot was uncovered after workers in an office block became suspicious about a regular number of crashes taking place at a nearby roundabout.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Losing her life because of a crash diet

The quest to become slim and look good is a very strong impulse; people go on diets, go for crash exercise programs, and so on, anything to ensure that they look good. Further, when there is an event such as a marriage, the quest to become in shape can make a person do anything. In this particular case, a person died because of a crash diet in order to lose weight for an oncoming marriage (link to article):

It was revealed at an inquest that Samantha Clowe, 34, was “fit and well” when she started the diet, but passed away 11 weeks later, after losing three stone from her original 17st 6lb. Clowe, a metal researcher, had got her GP’s approval before she started the LighterLife diet of special soup, bars and shakes.
Her fiance Andrew Smith found her collapsed at the home they shared in Leeds. “She said she wanted respect at work and didn’t want to be a fat bride,” the Daily Star quoted her mother Barbara as saying at the inquest.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trying to get their name cleared back from Wiki

Modern technology and its global reach can create a lot of ethical and moral dilemmas, especially in the cases when the policies of 2 different countries combine while the same site is available in both countries.
In this case, 2 people were convicted of a murder in Germany in 1990, and they served their time. Under German law, after serving their time, they are entitled to prevent their name from re-appearing with respect to the crime once they have served their time, while the American First Amendment ensures that the right to free speech is protected. As a result, the German language version of Wikipedia has already removed their names, but the quest is to remove the information from the English language versions (link to article):

The legal fight pits German privacy law against the American First Amendment. German courts allow the suppression of a criminal's name in news accounts once he has paid his debt to society, noted Alexander Stopp, lawyer for the two men, now out of prison. "They should be able to lead a life without being publicly stigmatized" for their crime, Stopp said. "A criminal has a right to privacy, too, and a right to be left alone."
Now Stopp, in suits in German courts, is demanding that the Wikimedia Foundation, the American organization that runs Wikipedia, do the same with the English-language version of the article. That has free-speech advocates quoting George Orwell.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Man's lung problems caused by bits of plastic spoon

For some time now, there has been a constant push that fast food is not healthy, with its focus on sugars, fried food, and non-healthy ingredients. However, even if a person knew all that and accepted it, here is another way in which fast food affected a person.
A person had been feeling ill all these years, and when he finally got some investigations and expert medical advice, he found that it was a fragment of a plastic spoon that had finally ended up in his lungs that was causing him the ill-health (link to article):

His doctor found the spoon after looking into his lungs with an endoscope, a medical instrument with a long, thin tube containing a light and a video camera.
"He explained that there was an object down there, and it had writing on it," Manley said. "It spelled out 'Wendy's' on one side and 'hamburgers' on the other, and I was a little floored."

Monday, February 15, 2010

A talking sex robot - costs $7,000

The quest for sex is a very strong emotional quest, that drives a lot of decisions and actions taken by humans. Technological advances have been moving ahead in this area as well, including the development of advances in web technology for better serving of porn sites, phone sex telephone lines, and now the robotics for meeting sex needs (although a bit expensive at $7000) (link to article):

To some men, she might seem like the perfect woman: She's a willowy 5 feet 7 and 120 pounds. She'll chat with you endlessly about your interests. And she'll have sex whenever you please -- as long as her battery doesn't run out. Meet Roxxxy, who may be the world's most sophisticated talking female sex robot. For $7,000, she's all yours.
Powered by a computer under her soft silicone "skin," she employs voice-recognition and speech-synthesis software to answer questions and carry on conversations. She even comes loaded with five distinct "personalities," from Frigid Farrah to Wild Wendy, that can be programmed to suit customers' preferences. "There's a tremendous need for this kind of product," said Hines, a computer scientist and former Bell Labs engineer.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bear does the job of army, kills militants in Indian Kashmir

The Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir, has seen an insurgency with a conflict between the Indian Government and Islamic militants, backed by Pakistan. The fight between them has been going on now for almost 2 decades, and can be pretty brutal.
The cat and mouse game between these 2 covers many parts of the territory of Kashmir; and given that Himalayas pass through the territory, there is a lot of mountainous region. Given that the region is also heavily forested, there are also many animals in the region.
In this case, the militants were hiding in a cave in a high-up region, and were attacked by a bear that claimed the cave for itself (link to article):

The militants had assault rifles but were taken by surprise - police found the remains of pudding they had made to eat when the bear attacked. The militants had made their hideout in a cave which was actually the bear's den, said police officer Farooq Ahmed.
The dead have been identified as Mohammad Amin alias Qaiser, and Bashir Ahmed alias Saifullah.
News of the attack emerged when their injured comrade went to a nearby village for treatment.
"Word spread in the village that Qaiser had been killed by the bear," another police officer said.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Denying citizenship to a man because his wife is veiled

In recent years, the tensions involving Muslims and their religious customs are sparking a huge amount of debate in Europe, especially France. Britain is much more accommodating of Islamic cultural norms, such as wearing the veil, preventing woman from meeting other men, getting jobs, and so on. France however, maybe because of its Algerian background, has a much more controversial stance regarding religion, especially because of the conflict between the openness of French society and the customs of hard-core Muslims.
Now, a man has been refused the right to join his French wife in France (his citizenship was refused) since the Government declared that the fact that his wife was wearing the veil, and was supposedly not able to have the same freedom as the man (link to article):

The decision, made Tuesday, came exactly a week after a French parliamentary commission recommended a partial ban on any veils that cover the face -- including the burqa, the full-body covering worn by some Muslim women.
The ban -- which has not yet come up for a vote -- would apply in public places like hospitals and schools, and on public transport, the commission announced.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Man kills burglar with sharp sword - defense of your home is perfectly legal

There are certain cases where being able to kill somebody else can be defended in court; one case is when you are killing in self-defense, another case is when, in the United States, you encounter a robber in your home, and in the course of defending your home, you kill the intruder.
Imagine a case when a person intrudes into a house, especially a house where there have been things stolen, and then finds himself encountering a sword wielding resident of the house who is ready to confront you.
In this case, the resident of the house used the sword to deadly effect, killing the intruder. The police normally have trouble arresting the residents involved in such incidents, since a person has the right to defend his home. (link to article):

Baltimore homicide detectives don’t believe a Johns Hopkins University student had “the intent to kill” when he used a samurai sword to confront an intruder behind his home, a police spokesman said Thursday. John Pontolillo, 20, a junior chemistry major from New Jersey, killed the man with a single blow early Tuesday after police said the suspected burglar lunged at him.
Pontolillo has not been charged in the death of Donald D. Rice, 49, who had a long rap sheet of burglary arrests and was released from jail just two days before the altercation. Prosecutors will determine whether charges are appropriate after consulting with police, a process that could take weeks.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Students on school trip see live sex show

Sex shows are something that a number of people like to see, but an equal number of people really don't appreciate, don't consider them morally defensible, and would like their children to stay away from. When you add this to the fact that you consider school a place to bring about a good education, to inculcate morals, then it would be shocking to hear that a school trip involved students being taken to a live sex show.
And this was promoted by the teachers who went along with the trip, and worst of all, the parents did not know about this until they saw it on Facebook (link to article):

A particular snap shows the students aged 16 to 18, and the two teachers sitting around a table littered with beer bottles outside a Bangkok bar.
Now, it has also come to knowledge that later the pupils headed to the city's red light area, whose streets are lined with bars offering sex shows.
Seemingly, the development has created a buzz in the school.
"It is the talk of the school. The teachers, a man and a woman, are fighting for their careers over this because the youngsters were supposed to be in their care," News of the World quoted a source as saying.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eating a burger made with camel meat

Restaurants all over the world serve exotic meals, but how often have you seen a traditional food item becoming exotic. Burgers are famous for chicken or beef patties, and in countries such as India, having vegetarian patties. But to use meat that is something that most of us would not associate with traditional food, to eat camel meat, can be pretty strange (link to article):

A new fast food sensation has hit the Emirates' culinary scene. Right now, Dubai diners can't seem to get enough of the "camel burger." "It's a sensation," Ramesh, restaurant manager at "Local House" the restaurant chain behind the burgers told CNN. "Everyone's bored of beef and chicken. So, as soon as the word got out, we had queues of customers eager to give it a try."
"Not only are they super healthy, but the flavor is amazing," he told CNN of the centuries-old Bedouin delicacy they have given a 21st century twist. Instead of the familiar sesame bun, they serve the burgers with freshly-baked "khameer" -- a popular and yeasty regional read.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A banker caught on tape watching semi-nude photos

In trading rooms and banking rooms, the presence of a camera and live reporting is pretty common. However, what becomes fascinating is when the person who is speaking on camera does not become popular, instead the person not facing the camera, or in any way connected to the event happening on the news becomes more popular. And what is that ? Well, it became quite clear during the interview that a certain banker in the background was viewing semi-nude photos of a model Miranda Kerr.
This clip became very popular on Facebook and led to popularity that the banker would certainly not have wanted. Even the bank, Maquarie, was embarrassed and sent the banker home for the day; however, an internet campaign has started to prevent the banker from being affected (link to article):

That colleague, David Kiely, was caught on camera opening up an email and linking to photos of a semi-nude model, Miranda Kerr, in her recent spread for GQ magazine. It's hard to notice what Kiely is up to at first until he magnifies the image on his computer screen around the 1:30 mark of this 1:52 minute video (see below -- he's sitting with his back to the camera, slightly to the left of Lakos's head). Emails like this are standard trading room fodder, but usually the recipients aren't caught on tape.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Parents locked 12 year girl into closet for an year

Parents are supposed to be the ones responsible for ensuring the development of their children, for educating them; so it becomes very difficult if the parents themselves are responsible for preventing the growth of the child, or for creating a set of circumstances in which the child cannot develop. In such cases, society has to step in, and ensure that the child is separated from the parents and placed in better circumstances.
In this case as well, where this girl was allowed to go to school, but when home, she would have to stay in a closet; and she was the only child on whom this restriction was placed while her brothers were free. The amount of psychological damage this does to a child can be immense (link to article):

Police officers say a young girl was kept locked away in a closet in a West Brownsville duplex by her parents for about a year. She attended school every day and held steady grades, but once she was home she was not allowed to watch television or play with her brothers, investigators said. The 12-year-old girl had to stay inside the closet.
No one would have known of the abuse, police officers said, if one of her brothers had not reported it to officials at his school, which initiated an investigation by Child Protective Services. “Everyone in the house knew what was going on, but you have children, who based on fear, hold this secret,” Sgt. Jimmy Manrrique, Brownsville Police Department spokesman, said.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Girl auctions her virginity for getting money for tuition

This has happened time and again. A few years ago, a girl put up a trend by getting money by auctioning her virginity; she needed money to fund her higher studies, and was willing to sleep with anyone who paid the most amount of money. This was innovative, and she got enough money to fund her studies. At that time, there was condemnation for this sort of moral grey issue, but now seems to be something that other girls have also adopted, since we keep on hearing this time and again.
Now, there is another case of this happening, where a girl earned $32,000 dollars by auctioning her virginity online, and in the country of New Zealand, this is not illegal. If the girl does indeed go through with this arrangement, she would have got money to pay for her college fees (link to article):

A New Zealand teenager who says she auctioned her virginity online for $32,000 to raise tuition money did not break any laws but it might be risky for her to follow through on the deal, police warned Wednesday. She said in a post that more than 30,000 people had viewed her ad and more than 1,200 had made bids before she accepted an offer of more than New Zealand dollars 45,000 ($32,000).
Prostitution is legal in New Zealand under laws considered more liberal than many countries. Prostitution among consenting adults is allowed in brothels and on the streets, and offering sexual services in print ads and online is also legal. National police spokesman Jon Neilson said no law appeared to have been breached.

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