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Monday, December 15, 2014

Weird news - Passengers removed from flight after tossing noodles at crew

After the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, the concept of flight security has become much more serious. It's not just hijacking (increased security measures ensures that it is more difficult to hijack a plane nowadays, and the penalties are much more significant), but even tantrums by passengers that were tolerated earlier, when airlines did not want to get some sort of action against misbehaving passengers are not tolerated now. At the minimum, when there is some sort of misbehavior by passengers, the crew and pilots would land at the closest airport possible, deplane the passengers who are involved, and in many cases, the local police would get involved and charges would be filed against the misbehaving passengers.
This is even the case when passengers have not really misbehaved, but have made some sort of joke about terrorism or bombs (acting weirdly since it would be clear that in an enhanced security environment, making such jokes is likely to get them into more trouble, as has happened once in a while). But when passengers take actions against cabin crew, there is very little tolerance for such actions and passengers are quickly offloaded. Consider this case where the passengers asked for some seat arrangements that was not possible by the cabin crew, an argument occurs and the passengers throw water on the crew and also throw hot noodles. In the current environment, pilots would typically try to deplane such passengers (link to article):
Chinese authorities vowed to severely punish Chinese travelers who threw hot water and noodles on a Thai flight attendant and threatened to bomb the plane after they became enraged over sitting arrangements. A Chinese passenger berated a crew member of the budget airline Thai AirAsia before pouring hot water and throwing noodles at her during a charter flight to Nanjing last Thursday. The flight returned to Bangkok and the pilot asked the passenger and her entourage of three others to disembark. They were reportedly upset after being told they couldn't sit together and even after a flight attendant helped them change the seats. In footage aired by China's state television CCTV, a male passenger loudly threatened to bomb the plane. He later said the attendant was scalded by accident during a tussle over a bill they had requested for the hot water.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Weird news - Broke into a store, ate and then went to sleep

The normal expectation from thieves is that they are very smart, can quickly make their way inside an establishment, break into safes, steal valuables, and leave no traces for the police to find (well, that they are capable of all of this is an exaggeration, but this is what movies tend to portray). However, one would think that there is a reasonable expectation that somebody who has come to steal something is likely to be sharp, not spending any more time than required and be able to quickly be out before somebody can figure out that there is a thief on the premises.
However, in reality, thieves can be blundering folks, leaving clues all over the place, and ensuring that law enforcement can catch and convict many of such people. However, one needs to be special to take steps that all but ensures that the person will be caught easily, without any major effort on the part of the police. What would one say about this thief, who broke into a store, stole some sausages, and then apparently went to sleep there, giving police no effort when they came to arrest him. And what caused all this behavior ? Liquor intoxication happened, ensuring that correct powers of judgment were out of the window (link to article):

The intruder then takes some sausages from the meat-processing business, goes back outside and then returns, grabbing a coat and falling asleep in the back office. Austin police officers woke up Ricardo Cardona, who told police he'd been out drinking, and charged him with criminal trespassing. It wasn't immediately clear whether Cardona has an attorney. The store owner says insurance money paid for a replacement door.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weird news: 2 year old has cardiac arrest on a plane

A heart attack or any kind of cardiac problem is a matter of great distress to the affected person as well as to relatives and friends, but it is even more problematic when this happens in a kid. The incidence of heart problems is much lower in children, unless they are born with some of those problems, but yet, it is painful to see children in such a state. This is even more problematic when an incidence such as cardiac arrest happens on a plane, where there may not be the required specialized equipment or medical personnel; in such cases, one can only hope that things become better soon (link to article):

Authorities say a 2-year-old reported in cardiac arrest on a JetBlue flight from Pittsburgh to Boston was rushed to a hospital after landing at Logan International Airport. Massachusetts State Police Trooper Matthew Guarino says an ambulance met Flight 1786 about 5:40 p.m. Thursday after the pilot reported the medical emergency. Emergency responders blocked road intersections to rush the child to Massachusetts General Hospital. A state trooper drove the child's father and brother to the hospital.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weird news - Man drives plane to pub, police go nuts

Going to the pub is a common place enough occurrence. After all, you drive to the pub, park, and then go inside and enjoy. Nothing spectacular in that, right ? But how can such a simple event become more complicated ? Well, one way is to change the mode of transport; and how better to make a splash than come toddling along in a plane, park it outside and go inside. This is known as making a splashy entrance. And when the police arrive, they were a bit puzzled. They knew that something was wrong and they will charge the plane driver, but the exact law or penalty that was to be applied to him was not clear. Finally, it seemed that the police found something; the fuel supply to the plane was visible and not adequately safe, and that is what they charged him with (link to article):

A man who taxied his light plane down a main street in Western Australia’s Pilbara region and parked it outside a pub is expected to be charged. Newman police sergeant Mark McKenzie said the plane had its propeller running, its wings removed and was being steered by foot pedals on Friday. The man parked the plane outside the Newman Hotel and was then interviewed by police.
So, they wanted to charge the man, especially since he left the engine running when he was inside the pub.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weird news: Woman threatened with jail, she was trying to grow vegetables

Well, to be more accurate, she was trying to grow vegetables in the front yard rather than the back yard (and we do not even know whether she actually had a back yard). In a sign of how the power of the law can go to some people's head and how they only back down when they realize that others are pointing out how weird their actions are; the lady was actually threatened with jail for trying to grow vegetables in her front yard.
Imagine the scene - the front yard of her house is torn up for a sewer line, and when it is time to repair, they think about their options, and have the bright idea of trying to grow some vegetables there. In today;s world, where people want to try and have some organic food, and reduce their dependence on food that is commercially grown, with the wide benefit of trying to save some money, one should encourage people to grow their own vegetables. If they are maintaining them well, there should be no problem whatsoever. However, in her case, there could have been a possible violation of the city code (possible, since it was vague, and the officials wanted to interpret it in the way that they wanted). However, the lady fought back bravely, and when this news went viral, that is when the officials backed down (being laughed at in the media has a sobering effect) (link to article):

The officials in Bass' hometown of Oak Park, Mich., have charged her with growing "vegetable garden in front yard space." If convicted, she could spend up to 93 days in jail. Bass said that the criminal charge "blew my mind." "Sometimes we laugh because it seems so silly and sometimes we cry because it's so pathetic. A lot of times it does not seem real," she told Bass has insisted on a jury trial and a pre-trial hearing is set for July 26. If the case goes to court Bass' attorney Solomon Radner does not believe that a jury will convict his client of a crime. "Michelle Obama plants vegetables on White House front lawn. I don't think the jury is going to think that it's suitable for the White House, but it's not suitable for Oak Park," said Radner. The first lady's office, which is encouraging growing fresh vegetables to help fight childhood obesity, declined to comment on the Oak Park vegetable case. Bass got the idea to plant a garden in front yard after it was torn up over a busted sewage pipe.
The case against her was finally withdrawn, and hopefully the fear of facing ridicule will ensure that power-bloated officials realize the power of common sense.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weird news: Girl married a dog to ward off curse

Bestiality exists in this world, and can be found on extreme porn sites; it is also illegal all over the world. So you would be surprised at a girl marrying a dog in a public function in India. Why did this happen ? This happens for the same reason that girls end up marrying a tree or other such non-human object. The idea is that this marriage will remove any curse or similar problem on the girl, after which the curse goes away and then the girl can get married to whoever she likes after this.
Once this marriage is over, and it is recognized by the locality, but not by the official administration over there, the girl can then abandon this first 'husband' and go in for a proper legally recognized marriage (link to article):
The 18-year-old, who lives in a small village in the state of Jharkland, India, recently married a stray pooch in order to ward off a curse that her fellow villagers feared would cause the death of any man who married her. "The village elders told us that we should organize the wedding as soon as we can," he told Barcroft TV. "We had to make sure that the evil spell is destroyed."
This is called a use and throw husband.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Weird news: Man killed by snake after he killed snake

Seems weird, I was totally shocked when I read this. It seems totally weird and impossible, but has been ratified by scientists that it is very much possible. It also means that chefs all over need to be very careful, or even anybody else who deals with poisonous snakes. What happened in this case ?
There was a report of a chef in China who died soon after removing the head of a poisonous snake. This was an Indochina spitting cobra, and the chef had cut its head off in order to prepare snake soup, with the head having been cut off around 20 minutes before. The chef could not be saved since emergency workers were not able to get to him before the effects of the snake venom (read article):

"The snake's venom apparatus and jaw muscles are all contained in the head -- as are the nerves that control these muscles and venomous glands," Lewin said. "Unlike humans, snake tissue can withstand long periods without circulating blood… The tissue doesn't lose function as quickly as a mammal and the reflexes remain intact" even after death. "It's a bit creepy to me because it blurs the meaning of being dead," he added. "People are susceptible to these reflexive bites probably because they are thinking of beheading from a human perspective."
Gives an entirely different meaning to the phrase about death being the end.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Weird news - Swallowing a ring to hide it from the police

During theft and to hide other crimes, people will go to any level to try and hide evidence of their crime. At the same time, police and other security agencies have also been prepared by long years of experience about some of the tactics that people try to hoodwink them. So, for example, during customs checking at international airports, people try to hide drugs, gold and other such small and valuable stuff by either ingesting it, or by stuffing it in some body cavity and then, if the customs folks are really convinced, they will detain them while they do a more thorough check using X-rays and similar equipment and make them finally expel this material from their bodies.
However, hiding material such as a gold ring in this manner is a bit unique. Typically if the police have had a chase and then managed to stop somebody, they need to find evidence in order to get them for the crime. If the other person has managed to swallow the ring, then the evidence not being found may sometimes lead to the person being let off. In this case however, the police was so convinced that they had found the right thieves that they checked the route to ensure that the ring was not thrown away during the chase, and then finally detained them to do an X-ray and found that the ring was in the stomach (link to article):

On Friday evening, a Zales jewelry store employee at the University Mall tried to chase down a man who had been looking at a valuable ring, according to an Orem police news release. The piece of jewelry was worth several thousand dollars. The man and woman were arrested and brought to the police department. Officers searched for the ring based on the suspects’ stories, such as it being tossed out the car window or possibly still being in the vehicle, but they could not find it, said police Lt. Craig Martinez. Then, after "several wild goose chases, we found out that [the woman] had swallowed the ring in attempt to hide it when they were pulled over by police," the release adds.
Swallowing such items does pose a life risk to the person involved, since it might cause some damage to the person and might need extensive hospitalization (the expenditure of which might be as much as the ring). In fact, drug mules, who swallow drugs to hide them from the police are known to die if the drug packet somehow gets opened when it is in their stomach.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weird news: Man tied up by airline staff after creating drunken ruckus

There are a lot of stories about airline travel. In earlier days when airline travel was more cushy and comfortable (and there were fewer worries about security risks, weight restrictions, leg-room issues, etc), the stories used to be about mile-high experiences and escapades (although there were the occasional stories about hijacking and such). However, over a period of time, as there were regular shut-down of airlines due to costing and losses, things got tighter with more restrictions and charges for everything. The 2001 attacks also made it easier for airlines to discipline unruly passengers or those who were overly argumentative, since the crew and captain would declare that they were uncomfortable with such persons on board and security would be properly accommodating.
However, one area remained that causes problems to the crew, and that is the availability of alcohol on flights (no longer free on some airlines). Eventually there will be times when somebody will go overboard and decide that enough alcohol needs to be added to their system to make them unable to control themselves and then create a fuss. It gets tricky for the crew as to how to handle these passengers, in many cases, they are handed over to security after the plane makes a quick stop-over at the closest airport. However, in this case, the crew had an interesting way of restraining the passenger, they tied him up (link to article):

After a few drinks on flight AI-301 on Wednesday, the passenger allegedly got into a tiff with some crew members and passengers and then tried to hit them and tore the clothes of two attendants, airline sources said. As the incident turned into a major row, the passenger was overpowered by some crew and passengers and tied him up on the seat, they said. This led the captain to consider diverting the flight to Singapore because of the threat posed to the other passengers.
In the end, the passenger does get handed over to security for further processing; there is much less patience with passengers who get unruly or misbehave with staff.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Weird news - Hong Kong - Man kills his parents and then cooks them

Sometimes you read about real weird things and wonder as to how they can really happen. This is one such case. Killing other humans happens on a regular basis, with people doing murders for a number of reasons - these could be gang related, these could be because of strong emotions such as anger, hate, frustration, jealousy, etc. However, it gets more rare when a person kills his / her family members, especially parents; although even that is not unknown. However, things get really weird when somebody kills their parents, has no clear reason and then gets rid of their bodies in such a crazy manner. Imagine killing parents, then removing their heads and cooking their bodies and placing the cooked parts along with rice in lunchboxes. For somebody who is investigating such a crime, it would be difficult to comprehend whether they were indeed going on the right track, with such an unusual and barbaric crime (link to article):
An elderly Hong Kong couple were allegedly dismembered by their son and his friend before being salted, cooked and packed into lunchboxes "like barbecued pork", a court has heard.
The severed heads of 65-year-old Chau Wing-ki and his wife Siu Yuet-yee, 62, were found in March last year, stuffed into two refrigerators in a bloodstained apartment, days after they were reported missing.
The other remains were found in a rubbish bin, cooked and packed into lunchboxes with rice, in an attempt by the duo to hide the crime after they ran out of space in the refrigerators.
How does one even sentence such a crime ? 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Weird News - Top-notch hospital forced to pay $190 million because of doings of its doctor

The position of a Doctor is one of great responsibility. A Doctor commands life and death over their patients, and in addition is outside some of the restrictions imposed by society and laws. For example, Doctors of many specialties are exposed to the human body (with patients removing their clothes in front of them) since this is required for diagnosis of medical problems and treatments. At the same time, the expectations from Doctors in terms of ethical behavior is high, and any transgressions will be treated the same way other such transgressions are treated, or at a higher level. And when all this happens inside a medical facility such as a hospital, the facility is dragged into this kind of case as well.
Consider the case of a gynecologist, a Doctor who looks at problems in women that need them to remove their clothes, and there is a deep expectation that there will be no violation of their decency by the Doctor. When a Doctor violates such a trust, then legal cases and criminal prosecution will result, along with penalties for the same. When these have happened in a medical institution, then it is quite probable that it will have to pay penalties as well (link to article)
BALTIMORE — A gynecologist who used tiny cameras to secretly record videos and photos of his patients has forced one of the world’s top medical centers to pay $190 million to 8,000 women and girls, lawyers said Monday.
Dr. Nikita Levy was fired after 25 years with the Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore in February 2013 after a female co-worker spotted the pen-like camera he wore around his neck and alerted authorities.
Levy committed suicide days later, as a federal investigation led to roughly 1,200 videos and 140 images stored on computers in his home. 
The hospital is one that has a very high reputation, and this case would have hurt its reputation, as would have the damages. At the same time, there would have been immense harm caused to the women who were the patients of this Doctor, wondering whether they have been violated in a place that they least expected.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weird news - Girl being taken to funeral wakes up

The pain and sorrow that parents feel when their children die in front of them is different to describe. It is the rare case where their pain and sorrow can be alleviated, such as in this case. The 3 year old girl was being taken for a funeral in the Philippines, after the doctors had declared her dead. The shock and sorrow had to be handled while the girl was being prepared for her funeral, and then something joyous happened. One of the neighbors saw that the head of the girl moved, which meant that she was not dead, and the declaration by the Doctors was not true. To confirm, the pulse of the girl was checked, and she was found to be alive, and one can imagine the change in mood, not only of the parents, but of the entire neighborhood when it was confirmed that the girl was alive (link to article):
A three-old-girl, who had been declared clinically dead by doctors, did a strange thing at her funeral ceremony: she woke up. One of her parents' neighbours saw the unnamed girl's head move while arranging the coffin. Someone then checked the girl's pulse and found that she was alive. The girl was quickly lifted out of the coffin as amazed mourners gathered around to see.

A video was already being shot, and is now available at Youtube:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weird news - Valet wrecks super expensive car

This is something that could happen anytime, and yet most of us do not even think about it. Consider the situation, you have an ultra-expensive car that you dote upon, and which shows off your economic situation as well. You go to a hotel, and casually hand over the car to the valet at the hotel, without bothering about how the valet will drive, what are his / her driving skills, and so on. And when the valet rams the car and damages it, that is when you realize the soup you are into. Given the economic condition of valets, there is no way that the valet can pay you back for the car, or provide some kind of compensation. If the hotel also refuses, then you have to depend on your insurance to pick up the tab, and hope that the insurance will come through. Well, this is what happened to a car owner in a hotel in New Delhi (the capital of India) where the hotel valet wrecked a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder car, and it also turns out that the car owner was not even in town, his cousins had taken the car out (link to article):
A valet of a five-star city hotel virtually totaled a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder last week. The valet appeared to have lost control of the car while bringing it to the porch, rammed into a stationary car, pushed it aside and caromed into the concrete railing of the rampart. By the time the Lamborghini came to a halt after a resounding crash, the front of the Rs 3-crore plus supercar had caved in. The incident took place on July 3 at Le Meridian hotel. A hotel spokesperson said the incident was an error of the valet who also sustained injuries in the accident.

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