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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Weird news: Dangerous animals in the loose, due to floods

If one stops to think about it, zoos hold many wild animals, many of whom are dangerous to humans if they were to meet without any barriers. A number of zoos hold tigers, lions, hippos (which are the largest killers of humans in Africa); in several case, tigers or lions who have killed people in the wild have been captured and placed in zoos. They provide a way for people and children to see these animals in relative safety, but there have been many cases where people have either died or got injured; they entered the enclosures or the animals got free in some way.
A wild animal is on a hair trigger in the sense that an untrained person would not know the actions or gestures that could provoke action in the wild animal; if you consider a scenario where massive flooding causes the enclosures of the zoo to break open and the animals to get free, the animals would be in totally unknown conditions and stressed out, which is extremely dangerous for humans exposed to or near these animals. This is what happened in a zoo in Tbilisi, the capital of the country of Georgia (link to article):
Georgia mobilized its special forces on Sunday and warned residents in the capital not to leave their homes after lions, tigers and bears — among other animals — escaped during floods that have claimed at least 12 human lives. Heavy rains and wind hit Tbilisi overnight on Saturday, turning a normally small stream that runs through the hilly city into a surging river. Officials said 12 people were known to have died and about two dozen others were missing. The surging floodwater destroyed enclosures at the zoo, killing some animals and letting loose others. Georgian Culture Minister Mikheil Giorgadze told NBC News: "The special forces are doing everything to control the situation. We are all mobilized"

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weird news: Possible to be convicted for storing rain water

It sounds so weird, but must be normal for those who live in the region. Places that have a lot of water scarcity can have extensive legal arrangements for accounting for every drop of water; but, but, water that falls from the sky is also accounted for ? You live in a place, have a yard, but if you were to store the water falling from the sky in a water barrel for watering the garden, you have committed a crime ? That sounds so weird ? If having a water barrel is illegal and could lead to you being charged, building a water harvesting and recharge system would lead to long prison sentences ?
However, this legal arrangement is something that has been arranged by the law-makers of the state, and a process to try and change this to allow home-owners to save rain-water was defeated. (link to article):
Water is precious in the arid West, now more than ever as the worst drought in decades bakes fields in California and depletes reservoirs across the region. To encourage conservation, cities and water agencies in California and other states have begun nudging homeowners to use captured rain for their gardens, rather than water from the backyard faucet. But Colorado is one of the last places in the country where rainwater barrels are still largely illegal because of a complex system of water rights in which nearly every drop is spoken for. And when legislators here tried to enact a law this spring to allow homeowners to harvest the rain, conservationists got a lesson in the power of the entrenched rules that allocate Western water to those who have first claim to it. Even if it is the rain running down someone's roof.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Weird news: Too much tofu ?

Tofu is supposed to be healthy for a person, and is an important of the Chinese and Japanese diet. In fact, it is a high source of protein and has been recommended for people in order to get a diet where their protein deficiency has to be helped. Tofu helps a lot in this area.
But like any other item, too much of any item can be a problem. This is true of any kind of item, no matter how beneficial. And protein excess has been supposed to have health problems, so doctors do recommend minimum and maximum levels of protein that a person should consume.
But what happens when a person is fond of tofu and consumes it excessively ? Well, one expects that this will lead to health problems, and so it happened in this case (link to article):
Doctors in China had a tough time removing 420 kidney stones from a man's body who loved tofu. He Dong diet was high in protein due to the high intake of tofu which resulted in formation of kidney stones. Dong was diagnosed with this problem long time back but decided to stay away from the surgery.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Weird news: Woman sues for rights to sell space on the sun

There are a ton of jokes on the internet about fast dealing people tricking other people in all sorts of weird sales - the most famous jokes describing somebody being able to sell another person the Golden Gate Bridge or the Brooklyn Bridge, and this in fact is part of popular lore now; where somebody is presumed to be so naive or stupid that you could sell such a person a famous bridge.
The concept being that there will be some items you know are not for sale, such as a famous building or a famous bridge, but you could always find somebody who could be persuaded that indeed such items are for sale. However, in this modern age, trying to sell such an item on an ecommerce site or an auction side can put the site up for being liable for fraud, for selling something that they would know cannot be sold. As a result, you would find that these sites keep a track of items that are being sold on their sites, and quickly remove those that are objectionable in some way or the other - illegal, something that seems like fraud, or some other item that seems to violate their policies.
Suppose you were to see a listing where space on the sun was being sought to be sold; the reaction would be that you would be very surprised that something like this was being sought to be sold, or that the site was allowing something like this. To protect itself, the site would quickly remove such an item. However, the owner of the listing has challenged this removal and actually sought damages from the auction site over this removal, claiming that this has resulted in lost revenues. Weird (link to article):
Maria Duran, from Vigo in the Spanish region of Galicia, has been claiming ownership of part of the Sun since 2010 when she threatened to bill solar power users. She registered the star in her name at a notary office in Spain, before opening an eBay account selling square-metre plots for one euro each. But two years later eBay pulled her listings, noting it violated its intangible goods policy and her account was blocked. She threatened to sue, and now one Spanish court has recognised her claim, 'Sky News' reported. A trial will take place next month, with Ms Duran demanding around 7,500 pounds for payments she says she has not received.

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