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Friday, May 22, 2015

Weird news: Arizona woman sentenced to prison for 3.5 years for driving over husband

Now, you might think that there might have been some reasons for this to happen ? Maybe she was being persecuted for such a long time by her husband that she finally burst and took this action, or maybe she was just plain loco and hence did this ? Well, the second one seems more likely, since the reason why she did sounds plain crazy. On a different note, even friends can get into arguments over politics, when they are passionate about it. And you do find a lot of people passionate about politics, since the right leader and the policies followed by them can sometimes make a difference to your lifestyle; or when you have a leader who follows policies that are different from the ones you follow, it can cause a lot of unease, and in extreme cases, you can even get into arguments with people who disagree with you (you just have to look at the comments section of news about politics and leaders to figure out the amount of passion some people have).
However, to take this passion into violent action is something that most people would consider out of normal, and to take this violent action against somebody in the family, or in this case, the husband, would seem weird. The lady tried to run her husband down with a jeep over a reason that most people would consider weird considering the action she tried to take; she was finally sentenced for 3 and a half years in prison for the injuries she caused (and it is of course to be expected that they were divorced) (link to article):
PHOENIX: An Arizona woman was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on Thursday for running over her husband with the family car because he failed to vote in the 2012 presidential election, court officials said. Holly Nicole Solomon, 31, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of aggravated assault under a plea agreement with prosecutors over the incident at a parking lot in Gilbert, a southeastern suburb of Phoenix. Police said Solomon was upset with her husband, Daniel Solomon, in the days following the November 6 re-election of US President Barack Obama and believed the family would face hardship from his winning another term in office. The 36-year-old man suffered a fractured pelvis from being run over following a wild chase on November 10, 2012, that left him pinned beneath the Jeep.

Weird news: Boy attempted to be smuggled into Spain in a suitcase

Human smuggling is something that is famous in the United States, primarily due to the attempts of people from Mexico and from Central America to try to reach the United states, where they feel that they will get a better life. There is a whole organization that is in charge of such smuggling attempts, dealing with getting them across the border at points where there is no fence, or over a river, at times when border guards would not be there; and ensuring that there would be further supplies for them as they move inland away from the border. There are numerous cases where people do manage to get in, there are other cases where they are caught, and there are some tragic cases where people lose their lives in the process.
This is not only true of the US, but numerous other locations in the world where people attempt to better their status by reaching places that are promised to them as a much better place; in recent news, the attempts by people from North Africa to get into Italy through boats crossing the Mediterranean makes news, there are numerous cases where they are unable to get in, or are in the boat without food and water, or the boat has capsized and lives are lost. Spain is another place where people attempt to get in, such as this case where a woman tried to take a kid across the border with him curled up inside a suitcase, and the X-ray of the suitcase proved sensational (look at the image in the referred article):
The lawyer said in a phone interview that his client had then gone to Casablanca, Morocco, to find an alternative way to bring his son into Spain, by buying a visa there. Ouattara, the lawyer said, believed that his son would be brought into Ceuta by crossing the border with his Ivory Coast passport and the visa, for which he paid 5,000 euros. "Do you think any father would really allow his son to travel in a suitcase?" the lawyer asked. "He is just another victim of the mafias" that control Africa's human trafficking networks.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Weird news: Utah mom sentenced to atleast 30 years for killing her babies

It is an accepted fact that parents are very protective of their children. As an example, it is a stated fact that in the wilderness of the North American wilderness, there is no more certain way of coming close to being killed than coming inbetween a mother bear and her cubs. The same instinct comes into humans, with the mother of the species being very protective towards her children. So, it is something that most people are not able to understand when it comes out that a mother in fact was responsible for harm coming to her children, even more problematic when the mother was responsible for killing her children, not one, not two, but 6 of them.
It is equally worrisome that the state agencies responsible for ensuring the safety of children (because there have been cases of children coming into harm even in their homes) were not able to detect or prevent the death of these innocent children. It is very hard to understand as to how a mother could kill so many of her children, soon after giving birth. The most natural conclusion that most people would draw is that there is something not right in the head of this woman. When she came to trial, she was not sentenced to death, but will serve atleast 30 years before being considered for parole (link to article):
Megan Huntsman, 40, pleaded guilty in February to six counts of felony murder. She will spend at least 30 years in prison before she is eligible for parole. "I really thought I had seen it all until this case," Judge Darold McDade said during sentencing on Monday. Utah authorities were called to a Pleasant Grove residence a year ago after Huntsman's estranged husband, Darren West, found a baby wrapped in a plastic bag in the garage. Police eventually found the bodies of seven infants. Huntsman told police she strangled or suffocated at least six babies immediately after she gave birth to them between 1996 and 2006. The seventh, she said, was stillborn.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Weird news: Man did not get a sandwich, punches stewardness

The amount of anger and rage that is seen in society has been increasing for quite some time. This is also seen in the air, where the incidence of some sort of anger directed at other passengers or at the cabin crew has increased. At the same time, while in earlier decades, this was tolerated or not treated harshly, with the 2001 hijacking attacks at the World Trade Center, air security has been incredibly tightened up and tolerance for any kind of problems in the air has reduced significantly.
So, while earlier troubles would have been hushed up, now, at the sign of trouble, other passengers get involved; if there is an air warden on board, he or she would also get involved; and the pilot could make a quick unplanned landing at the earlier airport in order to deboard such a person; and the report from the pilot while requesting the landing would ensure that security was available at the airport to arrest the offending passenger (link to article):
An easyJet flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Rome after an infuriated passenger allegedly assaulted a flight stewardess ‘because he was waiting too long for a sandwich’. A male passenger on a flight travelling from Geneva to Pristina in Kosovo on Tuesday morning allegedly punched the female flight attendant and knocked her to the floor. A witness told the Mail Online he had shouted: “I’ve been waiting for hours, I’m hungry,” and claimed that he carried on hitting her while she was on the floor. The witness said fellow passengers quickly stepped in and restrained him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Weird news: Food factory worker cooked alive after being neglected

It's a horror story beyond thought; being cooked alive in the same factory where you have been working for a long time. For factories where food is processed, or where boilers are used, or in steel furnaces, and so on, places which are hazardous and could be dangerous for the people who work there; there are strict conditions to prevent workplace accidents. However, even when such processes are in place, there can be cases when industrial accidents do happen, and can be very dangerous for the people who are caught there.
Major problems that happen are due to such incidents such as boiler explosions, or gas fumes / leakages, but there can be accidents such as the ones describes in this post. Imagine doing cleaning work up in a large cooker, suddenly to find that the cooker has been switched on and no way to get out of there. One wonders how somebody could have a situation where the cooker could be switched on without confirming that nobody was inside, but it happened. But as the article mentions, there are many cases of industrial accidents, but charges are laid in very few of these incidents (link to article):
Los Angeles prosecutors say the men and the company itself violated safety regulations, which resulted in the tragic death of Jose Melena in October of 2012. Melena, 62, was performing maintenance in a 35-foot-long oven at the company's Santa Fe Springs plant before dawn Oct. 11, 2012, when a co-worker, who mistakenly believed Melena was in the bathroom, filled the pressure cooker with 12,000 pounds of canned tuna and it was turned on. When a supervisor noticed Melena was missing, an announcement was made on the intercom and employees searched for him in the facility and parking lot, according to a report by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. His body was found two hours later after the pressure cooker, which reached a temperature of 270 degrees, was turned off and opened.
This was a horrible death, and preventable.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weird news - A hacker could make the plane fly sideways by getting into the network

There are hacker movies a dime a dozen, which claim that hackers can do anything. If you are a fan of such doom movies, then they occupy prime time movie status, with the Die Hard version 4 showing a hacker bringing the United States down to its knees through a systematic attack on the infrastructure. And if you read articles that appear once in a while, they promise that eventually Chinese hackers will be able to get into everything - will be able to stop power networks, hobble infrastructure, stop water movements, basically at some point, when your household instruments are also connected to the internet, then you could see your fridge also being taken over by hackers.
These stories are mostly ignored by people, being seen as something out of the world, too far into the future and maybe with a belief that the Government will be eventually able to stop things like this from happening. However, then you see a news story which seems pretty horrifying. Already, with the recent plane crash of a German airline, where the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and then crashed the plane, flying suddenly got much scarier (where you can't even depend on the pilot); now you read a news story where a person on board the flight was able to hack into the plane though the entertainment system and then control the engine; this is going to make you even more scared than you thought (link to article):
A computer security expert hacked into a plane's in-flight entertainment system and made it briefly fly sideways by telling one of the engines to go into climb mode. Chris Roberts of One World Labs in Denver was flying on the plane at the time it turned sideways, according to an FBI search warrant filed in April. The warrant was first publicized on Friday by APTN, a Canadian News Service. Roberts told the FBI he had hacked into planes "15 to 20 times," according to court documents first made public on 15 May. Roberts first made news in April when he was told he couldn't fly on United Airlines because of tweets he had made about whether he could hack into the flight's onboard computer settings.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weird news - Saudi woman takes revenge on husband by putting huge traffic fines

In Islamic societies and in many other countries where there are significant number of Muslims, multiple marriages are allowed for those men who are capable in terms of their abilities to support multiple wives. There is a limit on the number of wives a person can have, this limit being 4 wives (4 existing wives, divorced or dead do not count). When a person wants to marry again, the existing wives cannot oppose this, it is sanctified as per law and religious authority. And there are a number of people who do exercise this right, marrying multiple times. In Saudi Arabia, this is exemplified by the royal family, where the king and his male family members would have multiple wives and hence multiple children.
What does a wife do when she is notified by her husband that he is taking another wife ? Well, she really cannot oppose it, no authority in the country would support her. This wife took an interesting approach; she literally decided to make her husband pay for taking a second wife. So, when he was off celebrating his second marriage, she, along with her brother, decided to take the family vehicle, and break traffic rules. Now, crossing a red light would automatically be picked up by traffic cameras, and she got her brother to do this multiple times (she cannot drive since as per Saudi law, women cannot drive, another weird fact) (link to article):

The disgruntled wife took her husband's pickup truck as he was celebrating his second marriage and asked her brother to deliberately drive it through red lights where the licence number could be picked up by cameras. A video clip that went viral on the internet shows the vehicle driving through a red traffic light, getting caught by the camera and then reversing to repeat the violation, Gulf News reported. The total fine tally amounted to around 300,000 Saudi riyals, or $80,000.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weird news - Woman falls into a ravine, develops genius like abilities in some areas

The brain is a strange and wonderful organ, not fully understood as yet, and highly complicated. When researchers feel that they have understood something, some new occurrence happens which makes everybody feel that there is a lot left to be understood. Why somebody is born a genius while others are of normal capabilities is not fully understood; in fact, why somebody is a genius in terms of chess vs. a gifted musician is also not understood. But what is being written here is even less understood. A fall into a ravine could cause severe injuries, or in some cases, depending on the height and the method of falling, even death could happen. But for the brain to be impacted in such a way that capability changes have happened while most of the life before the accident is forgotten is not totally unknown, but is extremely rare. In this case, this rancher fell into a ravine, and has forgotten most of the past life, but has developed what is called the Savant syndrome, and is extensively interested in the arts and in mathematics. Such an occurrence is very rare, and besides the impact on the person, the impact on others who were close to the lady would also be severe (link to article):
A former rancher has developed enhanced cognitive ability following a brain injury and is now an artist and poet who 'hears' colour and 'sees' sound. Leigh Erceq, form Northwestern Colorado, was diagnosed with Savant Syndrome after falling into a ravine and suffering spine and brain injuries. She remembers nothing of her life before the accident, not even the name of her mother, but since her fall she has developed new capabilities. The 47-year-old is alleged to have been a 'tomboy' NASCAR fan with no interest in the arts or mathematics, prior to the accident. She is now said to "see" sound and "hear" colours when she listens to music and enjoys tackling mathematical equations, according to ABC News Nightline.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weird news - Toddler burned because her parents owed money

Sometimes you read news which makes you feel that people can be incredibly cruel, heartless. When you consider the case of toddlers and infants, they are essentially helpless to protect themselves or take care of themselves. In such a case, if there is news of somebody torturing a toddler for punishment of what their parent would have done, it seems something that only a heartless person could do, and the punishment for such an action needs to be accordingly harsh. One does know that people feel strongly when they see such mistreatment, and when you consider the parents, they can put whatever effort it takes to ensure that their children are safe. It is all the more problematic when the child has been tortured because of debt that their parents owed; however, no matter what the reason, it is not permissible to torture a small child who does not know what is happening and whose screams would surely be traumatic to hear (link to article):
According to police, Seema and her husband Ranith tortured a two year-old girl, Bhuvaneswari, daughter of Lakshmi and Ashwin Kumar of Bengaluru after they reportedly failed to repay a debt of Rs 3,000. Seema and Lakshmi worked together in a brick kiln near Bengaluru five months ago. “Lakshmi borrowed Rs 3,000 from Seema while they were working in the kiln. After the contract work in the kiln got over, Seema asked Lakshmi to come to Tirupattur and work here to repay the debt. She came along with her husband and two children and was living in rented house in Ambedkar Nagar in the town,” said the police official.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weird news: Come naked to class to pass the exam

Seems very weird, right ? The background to a lawsuit for emotional damages, but this is apparently something that has been happening for some time. But this is part of a visual arts class, an elective that is not mandatory for graduating (as specified by the University when there was an uproar after this information became public and became viral). The course itself makes things somewhat clear in its description, referencing to an erotic self assignment. And the professor talked about the exam where the exam-takers are supposed to be naked, as conducted in candle-light (and hence low light) and with the professor also being without classes.
However, even though the students may know what is happening and what the course is about, the parents of students would certainly not be so familiar, and being parents, it would be expected that some of them would get very agitated about a school course expecting their children to get naked in order to pass, and the mother of one of the students made an uproar about this. However, the professor is standing his ground and seems unfazed by the uproar (and maybe the uproar would die down quickly) (link to article):
Professor Ricardo Dominguez of UC San Diego has taking an elective course on "performing the self" for 11 years now with the same drill and he says no one had ever complained - until this week when the mother of a student flipped when she heard about it and went public. She accused the professor of "perversity" and said the final test was "just wrong." "To blanketly say, 'You must be naked in order to pass my class' - it makes me sick to my stomach," she told a local television station while declining to reveal her identity or that of her daughter. But Prof Dominguez was least fazed by the resulting uproar on social media as the story went viral. He said the class would be dimly lit with candles and he too would be in the buff with the students as part of the assignment. "It's a standard canvas for performance art and body art," Dominguez said. "If they are uncomfortable with this gesture, they should not take the course."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Weird news - Baby born with abnormality, called 'plastic skin'

The joy of human birth, of the arrival of a new life, can sometimes be marred by some problem that has occurred during the development phase of the baby. Genetics and the chance mutation of one or more genes can cause weird conditions to happen; and sometimes these conditions are so rare that they are unknown to many doctors and reference to journals would be required. It can be very painful for parents who joy is suddenly marred due to fear and uncertainty, such as in this case.
Imagine a baby who is born with a condition where the skin looks like a yellow or shiny film which then peels off at regular intervals, which makes it painful.
The disease is relatively rare, happening only once in every six hundred thousand babies (link to article):
Ever heard about a "plastic baby" who looks like a rubber doll and sheds skin like that of reptile scales. A plastic baby born in Amritsar has become the centre of attraction in the region as birth of such babies is rare and occurs once among six lakh newborns. The plastic newborns are scientifically known as collodion babies. He said that plastic babies develop cracks in their skin after birth and baby's membrane gets peeled off automatically within a period of 15 to 30 days. In some cases, the plastic coating-like skin makes the life of the child miserable. The baby remains under constant threat of infection when the body sheds skin. This threat remains all life. Collodion babies, who are often premature, are also known as plastic babies. They are born encased in a skin that resembles a yellow, tight and shiny film or dried collodion (sausage skin). The collodion membrane undergoes desquamation or peeling, which is very painful.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Weird news:Girl student prevented from attending school because of long skirt

When a state gets into the business of defining a rule that is somewhat subjective in nature, there will be many cases which will act as a test of the law; there will be people having differing interpretations and hence there will be controversy. This is enhanced when this involves religions, such as is the case in France right now. For years, France struggled with how to reconcile religious practices with personal liberty. One of the biggest challenges was the restrictions imposed in Islamic society and culture balanced against the concept of personal liberty that France holds dear. So, the concept of veil or the full body cover worn by Muslim women was grating, and as a result, France mandated a law in 2004 due to which no obvious religious symbols could be worn - the yarmulke, the Christian cross, the Muslim veil, the Sikh Turban, all were banned under this law.
The law is clear in the most part, but there are cases when it comes upto the interpretation of the person who is in a position to decide, such as in this case. A muslim girl student wore a full length black skirt, which could be seen as a form of style, but it was seen as a religious symbol and she was sent home under this law. This has created a controversy, since the religious symbolism of a long black skirt is not so apparent (it could be argued that the girl was following fashion rather than a religious / cultural diktat) (link to article):
France is facing a fresh backlash against its strict secular policy after it emerged a 15-year-old Muslim girl was sent home from school because she was wearing a long black skirt. The student, named as Sarah, was twice blocked from classes because the principal said her skirt broke a ban on religious signs in schools. The girl removed her headscarf but said the skirt was not a religious symbol. Nicolas Cadene, an official advising the prime minister on secular issues, has said that wearing a long black skirt to school does not break the rules. A ban on Muslim headscarves and other "conspicuous" religious symbols at state schools was introduced in 2004, and widely welcomed in a country where the separation of state and religion is enshrined in law.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weird news: A speeding ticket that cost 54,000 euros

That's right ? Don't fall off your chair, even when a speeding ticket in the US can cost around $400 plus, it seems a lot and is painful. However, in Finland, the fines are not on a fixed amount basis, but based on a formula that involves the person's income. So, the higher the income, the higher the pain involved. There has been a of principle about how a fixed amount as speeding ticket hardly matters to a rich person, after all, for a person who earns more than a million every year, a speeding fine of $400 hardly will send any message while it will be problematic for a person who earns less than $60,000 per year.
But when you see this principle in operation, the outcome seems very weird. For example, in this case, the person clocked an annual income of 6.5 million euros in the previous year, and hence when factoring that into the formula, the speeding fine was calculated to 54,000 euros. The person was so shocked at this fine that he posted the fine in disgust, although many people felt that the ticket amount was fine, that it was only an amount such as this which would impact somebody so rich (link to article):
Finland's speeding fines are linked to income, with penalties calculated on daily earnings, meaning high earners get hit with bigger penalties for breaking the law. So, when businessman Reima Kuisla was caught doing 103km/h (64mph) in an area where the speed limit is 80km/h (50mph), authorities turned to his 2013 tax return, the Iltalehti newspaper reports. He earned 6.5m euros (£4.72m) that year, so was told to hand over 54,000 euros. The scale of the fine hasn't gone down well with Mr Kuisla. "Ten years ago I wouldn't have believed that I would seriously consider moving abroad," he says on his Facebook page. "Finland is impossible to live in for certain kinds of people who have high incomes and wealth."

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weird news - Girl calls off wedding because groom did not know counting

In today's world, education and literacy is all important, and is the key to making your life and increasing ones position in life. However, there are many places where education remains a problem, especially in poorer parts of the world. Educational facilities are not in place, people do not place the same premium on getting educated as do people in more educated parts of the world. The Government in place also does not use all the instruments in its power to ensure that people get an education. However, people do realize the necessity of having an education, such as this would be bride who realized that her groom (in an arranged marriage) was illiterate, and she did not want to spend her life with an uneducated person; so she did a small test which the groom failed (I am sure it would have been different if she had selected the groom herself, but in an arranged marriage, she wanted to ensure that she got the best) (link to article)
His inability to count had cost a would-be-groom his marriage as the bride refused to tie the knot in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. The incident took place on Friday when the groom, Manoj, was to get married in Maritar village in Ballia. However, after initial rituals, the bride, who is a graduate, suspected the groom to be illiterate, the girl's family said. The girl then asked him to count currency notes in which he failed after which she refused to marry him.

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