Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ford's new car will force you to obey the speed limit -

Ford's new car will force you to obey the speed limit - 

Much as we'd like to emulate our NASCAR heroes, breaking the speed limit often comes at a price. Ford is hoping to prevent accidents and speeding tickets by introducing cars that can see what the speed limit is and preventing heavy-footed motorists from driving any faster. Ford's Intelligent Speed Limiter tech will first appear on the new Ford S-Max that's launching in Europe that could just change the way that we drive.

A camera mounted on the windshield scans the road signs on the sides of the highway and, when the vehicle enters a 20mph zone, the system reduces the top speed to match. Rather than controlling the speed with automatic braking, the car limits its own velocity by adjusting the amount of fuel being pushed to the engine.

If a burst of speed is required, however, users can either deactivate the system by pressing a button on the console or temporarily get past it with a hard press on the gas pedal. If the vehicle is coasting downhill and starts to build up speed, the car will sense its motion and sound an alarm to get you braking. It's not the only bit of new safety tech available on the new whip, either, since deep-pocketed motorists can also get pedestrian detection and collision warnings. That frees drivers up to wonder why any car firm would call a car SMAX and think we wouldn't notice.


Woman Imprisoned in Mental Hospital for 8 DAYS after claiming Obama follows her on Twitter - turns Out he DOES follow her -

Woman Imprisoned in Mental Hospital for 8 DAYS after claiming Obama follows her on Twitter - turns Out he DOES follow her - 

In a truly bizarre case, a woman was recently locked up in the psychiatric ward of a Long Island hospital, and forced to undergo medical procedures against her will for over a week, after she told police that The President follows her on Twitter.

And it turned out that Obama DOES really follow the woman on Twitter.

The incident is only just coming to light now but took place last September. Kam Brock was attempting to retrieve her car from police after it was impounded

In an attempt to convince police that she was a good citizen, Brock told cops at the Public Service Area 6 NYPD station that Obama was a follower of her Twitter account, which is true. However, the cops decided Brock was insane and had her forcibly committed to Harlem Hospital.

Brock’s lawyer notes that she was upset, but certainly not “emotionally disturbed,” as was claimed by the police in their report.

What was supposed to be a 72-hour detention actually lasted for EIGHT DAYS as doctors evaluated her, believing she was delusional and suffering from bipolar disorder.

Medical records presented in court show that Brock was given forced injections of powerful sedatives and oral doses of lithium, while being mandated to undergo group therapy.

“Next thing you know, the police held onto me, the doctor stuck me with a needle and I was knocked out.” Brock told the New York Daily News.

“I woke up to them taking off my underwear and then went out again. I woke up the next day in a hospital robe.” she adds.

When the ordeal was finally over, the hospital forced Brock to sign a statement saying she had lied about Obama following her on Twitter. At no point did anyone, police or doctors, actually check her Twitter account to verify her claim.

“Objective: Patient will verbalize the importance of education for employment and will state that Obama is not following her on Twitter,” the hospital document reads.

Doctors also refused to believe Brock worked in a bank. Again, no one checked out the claim, instead opting to assume Brock had an “inability to test reality, unemployment.”

She was also charged with a bill of $13,637.10 upon her release, all for being held against her will.

Brock explained that her claims regarding Obama were made to show “the type of person I am. I’m a good person, a positive person.”

Brock is suing the NYPD and the hospital on charges of false imprisonment.


Giant rats sniff out tuberculosis -

Giant rats sniff out tuberculosis - 

Giant rats may strike fear and disgust into the hearts of homeowners worldwide, but researchers in impoverished Mozambique are improbably turning some of them into heroes.

At Eduardo Mondlane University in the capital Maputo, nine giant rats are busy at work -- sniffing out tuberculosis-causing bacteria from rows of sputum samples.

These are no ordinary rats, as they have undergone six months of training in Tanzania. Their most distinguishing asset is their impeccable sense of smell.

Placed inside a glass cage, a rat darts from sample to sample, then stops or rubs its legs, indicating that a sample is infected with a TB causing bacteria.

Once the task is complete, it is given a treat through a syringe for a job well done.

"Within 30 minutes, the rat can test close to a hundred samples, which normally takes a laboratory technician four days," said Emilio Valverde, TB program director at APOPO, the organisation leading the research.

The project, which started in February 2013, has brought hope to thousands of TB sufferers who sometimes receive false results and test negative using the standard laboratory system.

In 2006, tuberculosis was declared a national emergency in Mozambique, with 60,000 people in 2014 said to be infected, according to the ministry of health.

That number was a 10 percent increase from 2013.

Samples delivered to the university for testing are collected from 15 health centres across Maputo.

- Rats in training -

Belgian group APOPO is planning to expand the program to other parts of the country, while working on getting the system approved by the World Health Organization.

The organisation claims rat testing is more cost effective than other conventional methods.

Each rat costs around $6,700 to $8,000 to train, with a six-to-eight-year life span.

The cost is lower compared to rapid diagnostic test GeneXpert, which costs up to $17,000 per device, setting the state back between $10 and $17 per test.

The kitten-size rats are also used by APOPO to detect landmines by sniffing out explosives.

They are light enough to cross terrain without triggering the mines, and are followed by de-mining experts who reward the rats with bananas.

The rats weigh up to 1.5 pounds and are said to be "easier to catch and train" -- according to Valverde.

Samples pointed out by the rats to contain TB bacteria are then sent for further tests using fluorescence microscopy, a more sensitive laboratory technique.

The results are sent back to health centres, allowing patients to start treatment early.

Although TB is a treatable disease, in underdeveloped countries like Mozambique it can be deadly if left untreated and is particularly harmful to people living with HIV.

Mozambique is one of the countries worst affected by TB and 1 in 10 adults is HIV-positive.

With World Tuberculosis Day being marked on Tuesday, the Mozambican Ministry of Health said it was cautiously monitoring the APOPO work.

"This technique has to be compared to others that are available and already WHO approved, such as GeneXpert or LED microscope," said Ivan Manhica, who heads the national programme for tuberculosis at the health ministry.

According to the WHO, TB killed 1.5 million people in 2013.


Man Awarded $5.5 Million After Cops ‘Accidentally’ Shot Him 16 Times -

Man Awarded $5.5 Million After Cops ‘Accidentally’ Shot Him 16 Times - 

Dustin Theoharis was shot 16 times by police, but they say it was all a big “mistake.” When Dustin woke up from a nap back on February 11th of 2012, two police officers shot him 16 times.

But the cops say that they were trying to serve a warrant for somebody else. They just happened to think that Theoharis was reaching for a gun when he was in fact trying to grab his wallet.

Theoharis filed two lawsuits as a result, the payouts now totaling $5.5 million. Theoharis says the suit is justified by the fact that he lost his job as a result of being shot and still suffers daily. He also says that he has trouble socializing due to suffering from post-traumatic stress. His left arm and hand also don’t function fully due to the multiple gun shot injuries he sustained from the trigger-happy cops.

“It’s a tough job they have to do,” Theoharis said to the Seattle Times. While he acknowledges police have “a tough job,” he says that doesn’t mean they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions when “they make mistakes.”

In this case the “mistakes” were huge and could have cost an innocent man his life.

Theoharis was napping at an apartment he was renting in his friend Cole Harrison’s home in Washington. Police weren’t looking for Theoharis or even his friend Harrison, but instead for Harrison’s son.

Harrison’s son hadn’t done anything particularly catastrophic. Instead, he had failed to check in with his state Department of Corrections probation officer.

They didn’t find Harrison or his son. The King County sheriff’s deputy Aaron Thompson and corrections officer Kristopher Rongen found Theoharis sleeping. They woke him up and asked him for ID. When he reached for it, they unloaded on him.

“I woke up and there were two guys standing at the door,” Theoharis said. “They asked me for ID and I went to grab for it and that’s when I was shot.”

Theoharis was shot in the jaw, both upper and lower arms, his wrist, hand shoulder and abdomen, and both legs according to medical records. He never made it out of bed and never made a move that could in any way be interpreted as “threatening” the officers. He was simply responding to what they told him to do.

The original suit was for $20 million, but a $3 million settlement was agreed upon, followed by an additional $2.5 million paid out by the state.

Most outrageous of all is the fact that neither officers Thompson and Rongen were ever charged.

Read more -