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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."

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