Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sweden orders fire alarms in hotel made of ICE -

Sweden orders fire alarms in hotel made of ICE - 

If a reindeer-skin blanket should burst into flames at Sweden's famous Ice Hotel, guests can count on regulation fire alarms in addition to the built-in sprinkler system that would certainly kick in. 

The hotel is built from scratch every year from snow and giant blocks of ice in the small arctic town of Jukkasjarvi. But this year, installation included fire alarms.

Sweden’s National Housing Board couldn't have missed the irony when it ordered the luxury igloo to install alarms in the water-based structure to ensure the safety of guests.

"We were a little surprised when we found out," hotel spokeswoman Beatrice Karlsson told Swedish newspaper The Local. "But we do understand. Safety is a primary concern for us. There are indeed things that can catch fire, like the reindeer skins, the mattresses, and the pillows," Karlsson said.

Cold-loving tourists come from all over the world to sleep in thermal sleeping bags perched on ice beds in temperatures as low as 17 degrees.

Karlsson says the staff isn't concerned about the new changes. "Every hotel is brand new anyway, there is always something new to think about. And this year is no different, we actually have a few surprises in store," she told The Local.

The Ice Hotel has been a popular tourist attraction since it opened in 1990. Cool customers fork over rates ranging from $200 to $500 a night for the opportunity to freeze.  

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Passengers protest after blind man with guide dog kicked off US Airways plane - and then the flight was canceled -

Passengers protest after blind man with guide dog kicked off US Airways plane - and then the flight was canceled - 

A US Airways Express flight from Philadelphia to Long Island was canceled Wednesday night after passengers rallied behind a blind man who was removed from the flight after his service dog became restless. 

Albert Rizzi said the argument began when a crew member told him to put his service dog under the seat in front of him as they waited for the US Airways Express flight to leave Philadelphia International Airport for the airport in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

Rizzi, who is legally blind, told MyFoxTwinCities.com that the flight attendant became aggressive after noticing his service dog, Doxy, laying in the aisle. He said the dog became restless after 45 minutes on the tarmac.

"The flight attendant comes over and says, 'I need you to get that dog stowed again,'" Rizzi told the station. "She comes back and gets in my face again. 'I told you that dog needs to be under a seat or we are not taking off.'" 

Flight attendants described the dog as agitated and expressed concern that Rizzi was not controlling it, airline spokeswoman Liz Landau told The Associated Press.

Rizzi became verbally abusive, and the crew decided to remove him, Landau said. That decision caused some of the other 33 travelers to become upset, she said, and the flight was canceled. US Airways then arranged for a bus to drive passengers to Long Island. 

"My comfort level with my blindness was totally rocked," Rizzi said. "I felt like a useless, unappreciated loser."  

One passenger told MyFoxTwinCities.com that he was so concerned about Rizzi that even before the protest took place, he was ready to offer to get off the plane, rent a car and drive Rizzi and Doxy to New York.  

Fellow passenger Frank Ohlhorst told WPVI-TV, which first reported the encounter, that Rizzi wasn't being disruptive. 

"We were like, 'Why is this happening? He's not a problem. What is going on?'" said Ohlhorst.

Landau told the AP that crews are very familiar with the protocol for service animals, but that the airline is reviewing how the situation was handled.

Rizzi said he later learned there had been open seats on the plane. "She never tried to move me or anybody else to secure the aircraft the way she said needed to be secured," Rizzi said of the flight attendant.

He told MyFoxTwinCities.com that he was grateful other passengers supported him. 

"When I heard those people coming off the plane saying what they said, I felt like a million dollars and more humble than I have ever felt in my entire life," Rizzi said.  


Herpes Virus Found on Library Copies of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' -

Herpes Virus Found on Library Copies of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' - 

Two Belgian university professors recently decided to submit the 10 most borrowed books at the Antwerp library to bacteriology and toxicology tests. 
Traces of cocaine were found on all 10 books. The traces were small enough that readers would not feel the effects, but significant enough that they could test positive for cocaine.  
But the real case of life imitating art was revealed when the scientists discovered traces of the herpes virus in the pages of the erotic tale Fifty Shades of Grey. 
In order to prevent a public panic, professors assured readers that the concentrations of the herpes virus were minimal and that the virus could not be contracted simply by touching the book.
They also suggested that books are for reading. 


Fugitive captured after he posted comments on 'Most Wanted' FACEBOOK page... -

Fugitive captured after he posted comments on 'Most Wanted' FACEBOOK page... - 

Nicholas Emond

Authorities have arrested a man in New Hampshire who is wanted in Maine on violations stemming from his conviction and sentence of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A warrant was out for Nicholas Emond, 27, who had addresses in Maine and New Hampshire. He was arrested Friday morning in Somersworth, N.H., by members of the U.S. Marshals and the Maine Violent Offender Task Force.

A "Fugitive of the Week" broadcast and story on Emond were featured Thursday in local media and resulted in numerous tips.

Emond was featured in WMUR's "Most Wanted Wednesday" online slideshow. He commented several times on a Facebook post linking to that slideshow.

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REPORT: Hackers accessing info via baby monitors... -

REPORT: Hackers accessing info via baby monitors... - 

Parents purchase baby monitors to protect their children, but now hackers are using computers to get inside them.

It can happen without parents ever knowing, but it also can be prevented.

In Houston, a hacker gained access to a 2-year-old girl's baby monitor in August, harassing the child and calling her names.

Hackers are targeting the devices and it may surprise you just how much information they can get from one image.

"Most people have no clue how much info is inside a photo and how much detailed info they can draw from you based on your surroundings," said Joe Boy, a computer security expert with Computer Solutions.

Boy knows how to hack into a computer system and has advice about how to keep software protected.

He also worries about keeping his 2-year-old son Tiberius safe.

"As a father, I look into who has access into info about my son," Boy said.

So how do people know which monitors are secure?

"I've found most monitors $100 to 150 or less don't have adequate security," Boy said.

Boy says security comes at a cost, and baby monitors with the proper security options featuring Wifi ability run about $200 or more.  Most, however, will a password.

And because hackers are using computers, it's important to make passwords longer, not more complex.

"A 16-character password will take about 40 years to break with decent software," Boy said.

Cliff Zou, a computer science professor at the University of Central Florida says parents should change the default passwords for all the products. He also says make sure you're using encrypted Wifi.

"Anyone driving outside your house cannot access your Wifi," Zou said.

Zou said manufacturers will make some changes in the future, including a mandatory changes of passwords, which would prevent hackers from getting in.

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