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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Weird news: 3 year old boy shoots himself in tragedy

In a sign of how the increasing presence of guns in US society is making it easier for tragedies to happen, another tragedy happened where a 3 year old saw a gun (which was loaded and ready to fire) in his father's store and shot himself with the gun, right under the nose of the father. The increased presence of guns with citizens has statistically increased the chances that such of tragedies will happen; there will be an increased number of people who somehow forgot to ensure gun safety at all points of time. Children play with toy guns, and if they see a loaded gun, they do not have the knowledge to avoid the gun; it is the responsibility of the gun owner to ensure that the gun is always safe, in a place where children cannot access it.
Unfortunately in this case, the loaded gun (ready to fire, no safety latch apparently on) was accessible to the child, and even though his father was just next to him, a small gap in time ensured that the child was able to pick up the gun and fire at himself, leading to his tragic death (link to article):
Manal Jr. was sitting on a stool beside his father at the store on Sunday when he found a handgun stored on a shelf beneath the cash register. The three-year-old accidentally shot himself and died shortly after. It is illegal in North Carolina to have an unsecured gun in the presence of a child, according to the Associated Press. Authorities in Lumberton, a small city 100 miles south of Raleigh, are investigating the incident and the Robeson County District Attorney's Office will decide whether to file charges. Lumberton Police Department Capt. Terry Parker urged gun owners to keep their weapons secure. "Make sure it's where the child cannot have access to it," he told WTVD Monday. "Kids are going to be naturally curious about firearms. Kids, they need to learn gun safety but at the same time we as adults have got to protect the kids to the best of our ability."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Weird news: 3 year old boy picks up gun and shoots

This is getting to be a problem on a regular basis. The proliferation of guns in the United States is pretty high, given that the constitution protects the right of the people to bear guns. As a result, a large number of guns are in private hands. There are mass shootings happening from time to time, where somebody who is over the mental balance takes a gun or rifle and starts shooting people.
Another tricky situation is with regard to gun safety. Most people who have guns ensure that the guns are carefully locked away, so that few people have access to them, especially children. Children do not have that knowledge about the difference between a toy gun and a real gun, and this has proved deadly many times, such as in this case. Here, the boy picked up a gun and pointed it to his older sister and pulled the trigger, shooting the girl in the head. Tragically, the girl died soon after in a bitter impact to the family (link to article):
The pistol lay on the bedroom nightstand loaded and untouched. And then it was in the toddler's hands, pointed toward his older sister. A moment later, Kimberly Reylander was on the floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound to her head. The adults rushed into the room. The nine-year-old girl was flown by medical helicopter to Children's of Alabama Saturday, where she died of her injuries, according to Irondale, Ala., Police Chief Ken Atkinson told and WIAT that the children's great-grandfather had left the pistol on his nightstand Saturday morning, not knowing that the kids were coming over. He wasn't home at the time of the shooting, but the kids' grandmother and uncle - whom police detectives are now interviewing - were, though they didn't know there was a gun in the room where the children were playing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Weird news: Owner of horse in prize picture demands share

Sometimes a news item can seem funny, but wherever there is some money involved, it is also serious. The concept of copyright / model / property release is a hot reference in the case of stock photography, with disputes ongoing all the time. However, at the same time, there are many clear trends in terms of actual laws - the concept of what requires permission, and what does not require is settled to a large extent.
The issue here is interesting. On a public path, a photo was taken which also included a horse (with a unique type of smile and open mouth); this photo was submitted for a prize and won the prize. At this, the owner of the horse demanded a share in the prize. The prize was in terms of a holiday, and a holiday cannot be shared anyhow, and the prize recipient rejected the demand. Legal opinion dismissed this demand (link to article):
The owner of a horse that photobombed a selfie taken by a father and son has demanded a share of a prize worth £2,000 that they won after entering the image into a competition. David Bellis, 31, said his three-year-old son, Jacob, took the photo as they were out walking near their home in Prestatyn, north Wales, and they entered the picture into Thomson Holidays’ Made Me Smile competition. After they scooped the main prize, a £2,000 holiday, the horse’s owner, Nicola Mitchell, contacted Thomson Holidays to complain, claiming Bellis should have asked for consent. Bellis said: “I don’t understand why Nicola is so annoyed. I was on a public path that everyone uses to go to the local school and everyone sees the horse there.”

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weird news - Footballer shoots the referee after a red card

Sports can get pretty impassioned; at times of major sports events there can be clashes between the supporters of the teams which can get deadly as well. During the course of a football match in Belgium between Juventus and Liverpool many years, the push led to a stampede in which around 39 people died (one of the impact was that there suspension of Liverpool from competitions).
During matches as well, there can be a great sense that the referees are biased or that in a particular action, the referee either ignored a wrong or is blind and cannot see the problems occurring. This kind of feeling can be natural, but when somebody goes overboard, feels that the sense of wrong is so high that it needs to be remedied. In this case, the player got so emotional that he went over the edge and committed murder on the referee (link to article):
An amateur footballer enraged by getting a red card in Argentina fetched a gun and fatally shot the referee on the pitch, police said Tuesday. Cesar Flores, 48, was refereeing a match between local youth teams in the central city of Cordoba when he sent off the player for a foul. The youth took a revolver from among his belongings, went back on the pitch and shot Flores several times, a police source told AFP.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Weird news - Minor sons pawned to pay for husband's funeral

This is more of a tragedy rather than a weird news, but it does sound weird in some way or the other. People in many parts of the world are desperately poor; poor not to the extent that they have older TV's or have to restrict their eating out, but poor to the extent that they find it difficult to ensure that they get a meal at every meal time. In such a time, when there is a sudden need for money, it gets impossible. Something has to give, and it makes for tragic reading.
In the current case, this is a family in India that is desperately poor; so when the husband and father of the family gets ill and dies, things go totally haywire. In the end, just to ensure that the funeral of the husband can take place, the wife takes her minor sons and hands them to the neighbor so that she can get some money for the funeral. This is such a horrific story (link to article):
a heart-wrenching tale of poverty from a mineral-rich region of Odisha, a widow was forced to pawn her two minor sons for money to perform the last rites of her husband in Champua. Her tragic story came to light on Wednesday after block development officer S Nayak and other officials visited Champua on receiving information about the 'mortgaging' that occurred on Republic Day. Sabitri Nayak, a tribal from Gadhuli village in Keonjhar district, handed over her sons Mukesh (13) and Sukesh (11) to her neighbour for Rs 5,000 when she could not perform the last rites of her husband, Raiba, the breadwinner of the family.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Weird news - Woman turns up at her own funeral

A spouse killing the other in a fit of rage happens often enough, especially when emotions are running high. It is more of movie stuff when this happens through a professional hit, when one of the spouses has hired killers to kill the other spouse. Add the complications of living across 2 different continents and countries, with a incredible plan of sending the wife back to her native country to attend a tragedy and getting her killed there. There is a perfect alibi and very difficult to coordinate the investigation across 2 different countries.
The wife got lucky, with the killers finally deciding not to kill her and instead providing her audio evidence that her husband was trying to kill her. And she attended her own funeral and confronted her husband, and finally he was sentenced to 9 years in jail (link to article):
A Burundian woman living in Australia has told how she shocked her husband by turning up at her own funeral – after he had paid hit men to kill her. Noela Rukundo, a mother of eight, had arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2004 – the same year as the man she was to go on to marry, Balenga Kalala. In January 2015 she had returned to Burundi to attend her stepmother’s funeral. Lying in her hotel, she was dozing in the heat when Kalala called her from their home in Australia, and suggested she get some fresh air. "I didn't think anything,” she told the BBC. “I just thought that he cared about me, that he was worried about me."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Weird news - Burger does not rot in 6 years

Fast food restaurants can be found in all corners of the globe, with people eating in them in large numbers. Fast food items are very popular, although there are a number of people who decry the existence of these food chains and the type of food that they offer; it is alleged that they provide processed food that is full of salt and many chemicals, that they are responsible for obesity and many other health problems. Over a period of time, these chains have been hit by bad public perception and many of them are trying to counter by modifying their menu and providing more healthy food options.
Accusations that have come across them from time to time (although without rigorous scientific checking) state that their food is full of chemicals that it will not rot even if you leave it as it is for extended periods of time. It could be left for months or years and there will be no mold formation, no typical process of the food getting spoiled and so on. In this article, there is a claim that there is almost no change in the food even after many years (link to article):
The owner of an Alaska chiropractic clinic shared a photo she alleges to show a 6-year-old McDonald's Happy Meal that shows no outward signs of aging. Jennifer Lovdahl, owner of Balanced Health Chiropractic in Anchorage, shared photos on Facebook showing the receipt for the Happy Meal she purchased Jan. 8, 2010, alongside the chicken nuggets and French Fries from the 6-year-old meal. The fries and nuggets appear slightly discolored, but show no signs of mold, rot or decomposition.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Weird news - Selling a potato photo for more than a $ 1 million

There are a large number of people selling photos in different forms; these could be direct photos or creations such as shirts / mugs / framed prints, etc. Typically, if you leave aside the major sellers such as Getty images, most people sell their photos or such prints for not more than a few dollars each, being lucky to get amounts greater than that.
So it can be pretty interesting when photographers get amounts much, much larger than that, and too for simple photos. Imagine a photo of a potato selling for more than a million dollars, and yet it happened. One wonders about how impressed the buyer must have been with the photo to pay that amount for it (link to article)
A celebrity photographer said a photo sold to a European businessman for $1.08 million didn't portray any famous figures -- rather, it depicted a simple potato. Kevin Abosch, 46, an Irish photographer known for his portraits of famous subjects including Malala Yousafzai and Steven Spielberg, said a European businessman spotted "Potato #345" hanging in his Paris apartment last year and purchased the print for $1.08 million -- 1 million euros. Abosch, who normally charges up to $500,000 for a portrait, said the sale was the biggest of his career.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Weird news - Number mistake, lawyer receives a lot of texts

One hears of weird cases where a television program or a movie mentions a phone number as a part of its content; and the people behind the program had not bothered to check up whether the number was a genuine number or a fake. As a result, there have been cases where people have found themselves being bothered with a number of phone calls or messages. In some cases, the respondents take the message about a wrong number clearly, but others can get abusive when told that the number that they have been getting in touch with is not the number that they are looking for.
This one case is slightly more complicated in terms of how it happens. There was an offer for a free Chipotle burrito, and a number was given. However, in a issue about a phone number being local vs. national, people from a given location would instead find their text messages being sent to a local lawyer instead of the company. The lawyer suddenly found that he was getting a large number of messages asking about the offer rather than being sent to the company (link to article):
Chipotle offered a free burrito to anyone who texted "RAINCHECK" to the number 888-222 as compensation after the fast-service Mexican restaurant closed on Monday for a meeting regarding the recent E.Coli outbreak. The confusion occurred as some texters accidentally added an extra "2" to the end of the number, causing them to reach Levine instead of the number offering the free burrito coupon. "It started this morning around 9:00 a.m. when I suddenly got a text that just said, 'raincheck,'" he told Tech Insider. "Curious, I wrote back with a question mark."

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