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Monday, January 16, 2012

Weird news - Man kills his own children after estrangement with his wife

In today's world, marriages are made easily, but can also get broken far more easily. This is a far cry from medieval times where the church refused to let divorces happen, and a bad marriage still meant an existing marriage. With the number of broken marriages increasing, there are more tensions due to children and the issues related to who gets to keep the children as part of divorce proceedings.
However nasty such divorce proceedings go, it is in the very rare case that such proceedings lead to violence, and even less so that the father actually kills his own children and that too in such a brutal manner, by knifing them to death (link to article):

A jilted man in Britain killed his daughter and son by slitting their throats to hurt his estranged wife as he was about to be evicted from their flat. Jean Francis Say, 62, murdered his eight-year-old daughter Regina and son Rolls, ten, when he had custody of them for the weekend, the Sun reported Thursday.
He carried out the killings shortly after receiving a letter confirming that he was being kicked out of the family's three-bedroom property where he lived alone. His estranged wife Adjoua had moved out with the children six months earlier. So, Say wasn't entitled to the flat any longer.
Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce [Paperback]He's History, You're Not: Surviving Divorce After 40 [Paperback]The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman's Guide to Healing from a Breakup or Divorce [Paperback]

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weird news - New carnivorous plant found by scientists

The common association of plants is that they grow in their place, taking in sunlight and being easily affected by factors such as weather, the grazing action of animals, or even somebody just starting to cut the plants. The number of people who know that animals can be carnivorous as well (just some selected plants) is very low, with some of these plants being the pitcher plant or the Venus fly trap, which actually catch insects and other small creatures.
But as scientists keep on finding new plants, it always astounds people about the complexity of life in the plant world as well, with plants being able to adapt to different conditions, and also having evolved to not only make energy from sunlight and nutrients, but also be able to eat insects (link to article):

Scientists have discovered a new carnivorous plant which has sticky leaves beneath the ground to help it capture and digest worms. The rare plant Philcoxia minensis is found in Brazil's tropical savannahs region which is rich in biodiversity and highly in need of conservation.
They fed the plant nematodes loaded with the isotope nitrogen-15, atoms of which have one more neutron than regular nitrogen-14. Then, they placed these Caenorhabditis elegans worms on top of underground leaves of plants kept in a lab setting.
Chemical analysis of the leaves that had been covered in nematodes revealed significant amounts of nitrogen-15, suggesting the plant broke down and absorbed the worms.
Spoonleaf Sundew Plant -Drosera spathulata- CarnivorousThe Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous PlantsGrowing Carnivorous Plants [Illustrated]

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weird news - A traffic fine for a 6 year old boy on a toy motorcycle in Mexico

One normally assumes that traffic fines are given when people break traffic rules, and you normally associate this with people who do speeding, drive when drunk, or jump a red light, or do some other action that violates a rule meant for traffic safety. There is no restriction that such laws are only meant for adults, including teenagers who are more prone to do rule breaking antics on the road.
But, how often have you heard about a young boy being prosecuted for a driving offence, especially a boy as young as 6 years old, fined for a traffic incident, and with his toy vehicle having been impounded. However, after some amount of delay and some amount of controversy, the vehicle was returned and the traffic citation was voided (link to article):

A six-year-old Mexican boy has been fined for riding his toy motorcycle, a Christmas gift, without a licence and for reckless driving, after he crashed it into an SUV.
The incident occurred on December 27 in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, when the boy, Gael Santiago was riding his bike near his home, and collided with an SUV that had jumped a stop sign, Fox News quoted a Mexican police spokesperson as telling Spanish news agency EFE.
Terming the charges as "ridiculous", the boy's mother , Karla Noriega said it showed lack of judgement on the part of the traffic police who fined the boy and impounded his miniature gasoline-powered bike.
Driving in Europe: Roadsigns & Signals, Traffic rules, Fuel, Parking, Breakdowns & Accidents, Blood alcohol limits for all European countries, Automotive Phrasebook (Mobi Travel Guides)Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
Trucking Rules and Regulations: Reference Guide to Transportation

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weird news - Train goes on the wrong path, and then backs up

When you see vehicles on the road, there is always a possibility of losing the way, and getting to a wrong place. In fact, this happens often enough when a person is not familiar with the place, and can take wrong directions and end up somewhere else. After all, the way a vehicle can go is constrained only by the road surface available.
But consider the case of a train, the train moves on a track, so it can only go where the track goes; and if it steps off the track, it's mobility is very limited, almost not being able to go anywhere. It is people who move the connections between tracks that decides where the train can go, and so it has to be a human mistake if the train goes elsewhere other than where it was supposed to go.
So it was surprising when the passengers of a train found themselves going backward, and that was because the railways authority found that the train had gone off in a wrong direction and hence needed to be called back (link to article)

It was a good 6-7km before the error was spotted and the 12339 Coalfield Express started backing up slowly. Passengers knew something was wrong when they started going back the way they had come. Red-faced Eastern Railway officials admitted that the mistake could have led to a major accident. Train services have been badly affected in the east since morning due to dense fog.
It was 100 metres from Talit when station staff realized that the Coalfield Express had lost its way. The train was stopped at 7.30pm by "alert railwaymen", an official said. "There was no possibility of a head-on collision. However, had the train moved further ahead, its pantographs could have got entangled as it is a non-electrified section. It seems that those in charge mistook the Coalfield Express for some other train," an official from Burdwan Jn said.

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