Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Hey Parents, Did You Forget Something?

As incredible as it seems, an average of 37 children die each year in the US after being trapped inside hot vehicles - often as a result of their parents having forgotten they were there. In Texas, 10-year-old Bishop Curry is tired of it and now hopes to lower or eliminate that disturbing statistic with his new invention, called the Oasis. Describing his son's invention, Bishop's father, Bishop Sr. writes: "Saddened by a hot car death of a 6-month-old named Fern in his town, Bishop aspires to build a device that will detect when a child has been left inside a hot vehicle and alert parents to the child's situation. The device will also come with the technology to help cool down the child while he or she waits to be rescued." So far the boy has raised over $20,000 on a Go Fund Me page to help with development costs. The Oasis is a small box intended to be fitted to a car seat, which will detect whether a car is inhabited while stationary. Once it reaches a certain temperature it will emit cool air, while a built-in remote contacts the car's owner. Bishop Sr. adds, "The cool thing about Bishop's thinking is none of this technology is new. We have things to alert our phone, we have ways to provide either cooling through a fan or through an air condition system. We have ways to detect weight. So we feel like the way he's thinking and combining all these technologies will get to production faster than if it's something that is just a brand new type of technology." (Anna-Melissa Tribune)

Tesla's Only Cool If You Pay Attention to the Warnings

The government has released its report on the first-ever fatal self-driving car accident, and it shows that human involvement is required even when using the technology of the future. Last May, Joshua Brown collided with a left-turning truck on a divided highway near Williston, Fla., while his Tesla Model S sedan was in Autopilot. This week, the National Transportation Safety Board released 500 pages of findings about the accident, including a big one: During his trip, Brown ignored seven visual warnings to put his hands on the wheel, six of which were followed by a chime. During a 37-minute stretch when he was supposed to be controlling the wheel, he did so for only 25 seconds. The report did clarify that Brown was not watching a movie when the crash happened, as some reports had suggested. Tesla released a statement saying neither the autopilot system nor Brown "noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied." According to the report, the truck should have been visible to Brown for at least seven seconds, but the driver "took no braking, steering or other actions to avoid the collision." Less than two minutes before the accident, Brown had set the cruise control to 74 mph, nine miles per hour over the speed limit. Since the accident, Tesla has upgraded its Autopilot feature, which will now shut down if a driver fails to respond to audible warnings. (Reuters)

Three Cheers for the Inmates!

Maybe those outdoor work crews made up of prison inmates aren't as bad as you think. In Georgia, a correctional officer who had been supervising such a work crew suddenly passed out and lay unconscious on the ground. Six inmates quickly surrounded him but rather than grab his gun, they grabbed his cellphone and called 911. Meanwhile they removed the officer's bulletproof vest and performed CPR. One of the inmates said, "It wasn't about who is in jail and who wasn't. It was about a man going down and we had to help him." Polk County authorities say the officer told the inmates he wasn't feeling well and soon after collapsed. Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats said, "My guys were thinking the worst on their way over there but when they got there, all the inmates were with the officer. All were accounted for. They took care of him." The officer then received medical attention and is now doing fine. To thank the inmates, who "really stepped up in a time of crisis," the sheriff's office provided them with a free pizza lunch. The officer's family provided dessert. (WXIA News)

Maybe Just Ignore India's Pregnancy Advice

A government pamphlet's advice for pregnant women in India isn't going over too well. The booklet titled "Mother and Child Care" tells the women to "detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatred and lust," to spurn "impure thoughts," to look at "beautiful pictures" to benefit their fetus, and to avoid meat and eggs. One Indian gynecologist says the advice isn't just "unscientific and irrational," but it's "a national shame" in a country where 174 of every 100,000 pregnancies resulted in the mother's death in 2015, due in part to malnutrition and anemia. That's compared to 14 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies in the US. Since women are typically the last to eat and receive medical care in Indian households, the government should be "ensuring that poor pregnant women get to eat a nutritious, high-protein diet," says gynecologist Arun Gadre. This would also help prevent stunted births; some 48% of Indian children under 5 have not grown to the proper height and weight. But "if the calories of expectant mothers are further reduced by asking them to shun meat and eggs, this situation will only worsen," Gadre says. With its advice against lust, the pamphlet also suggests that engaging in sex is dangerous for pregnant women, contrary to medical evidence. A government minister counters saying the booklet contains "wisdom accumulated over many centuries" from "the fields of yoga and naturopathy." (Hindustan Times)

Uber Driver Fined - For Not Speaking English

An Uber driver is outraged after she received a ticket at Miami International Airport for the crime of not speaking English. It seems an airport security officer spoke in English to Spanish-speaking Uber driver Carmen Hechevarria as she dropped off passengers Sunday, but received no response. When he asked a colleague to translate it became clear the woman could not speak or understand English." A cellphone video obtained by Telemundo 51 shows an officer issuing a $250 ticket for violation of a Miami-Dade County rule, approved in May 2016, requiring for-hire drivers to "be able to communicate in the English language." A rep for the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation said drivers should know some English in order to "understand basic directions" or in case of an emergency. He notes that some 40 drivers have been ticketed under the rule. But don't worry - this won't last long. As of July 1, a Florida law prohibiting local governments from regulating ride-hailing companies will be in force. (Miami Herald)

Too Hot to Fly!

The heat wave in the Southwest has made it too hot for some planes to fly out of Phoenix. With temperatures expected to hit a near-record 120 degrees this week, American Airlines has had to cancel more than 50 regional flights on Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which have a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees. The explanation is that hot air is less dense than cold air, which makes it harder for planes to get off the ground. Larger Airbus and Boeing jets have maximum operating temperatures of 126 or 127 degrees, and so won't be affected unless temperatures in Phoenix go off the charts. On Monday, the city recorded a temperature of 118 degrees, tying the record for the day set last year. The all-time Phoenix record of 122 degrees was set on June 22, 1990, when the extreme heat caused many aircraft to be grounded. (Arizona Republic)

What the What?

The city of Odessa, Texas has a new Trump in town. Ernesto Acosta legally had his name changed to Ernesto Trump, yes - in honor of the President. He told reporters he's been contemplating the idea since Trump began running for office and that the process took over a year. The irony that he's Hispanic and a Trump supporter isn't lost on Ernesto and he's certain he's the only local person who has changed their name to the President's. The truth is a quick Google search couldn't find anyone else in the entire US who has changed their name to Trump. (CBS News)

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