Monthly Archives: May 2012

Police: Hackensack Man Stabbed Himself, Threw His Skin And Intestines At Officers

And then there was that guy who ate someone else’s face…

 

via CBS

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A man who stabbed himself and threw pieces of his skin and intestines at police officers trying to subdue him was hospitalized in critical condition on Monday, authorities said.

Officers encountered 43-year-old Wayne Carter on Sunday morning when they responded to reports of a man barricaded in a room in Hackensack and threatening to harm himself, Lt. John Heinemann said.

Two officers kicked in the door and saw Carter in a corner, holding a knife in his hand, police said. Carter, ignoring the officers’ orders to drop the knife, stood up and stabbed himself in the abdomen, legs and neck, they said.

Carter yelled at the officers and took an aggressive stance, and the officers used pepper spray in a bid to subdue him, but it had no effect, Heinemann said.

Police said that Carter then cut off pieces of his skin and intestines and threw them at the officers.

The officers decided to retreat and call in the Bergen County SWAT team, Heinemann said. Carter finally was restrained and was taken to a hospital just before midnight.

No charges have been filed because of the unusual nature of the case, Heinemann said. He said he believes that drug use or mental illness may have contributed to Carter’s behavior, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

Carter had been arrested in the past for aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

Sounds like a scene right out of a horror movie. Share your thoughts and comments on this shocking and disturbing story below…

TSA wants to double your security fee

via CNN and WTKR

(CNN) – At a time when airlines seem to be adding extra charges for everything from seats to snacks,  there’s another fee in the works.  This time, it’s transportation security officials who want you to pay more.

The agency, backed by Democrats in the Senate, wants to increase the security fee everyone pays with a ticket from $2.50 a flight. to $5.00 per one-way ticket. A total of $10.00 would be added to round-trip tickets.

“$10 is kind of pushing it to a limit.  I mean I guess it’s only 5 dollars more, but I’m wondering, you know, how that fits in with-they already have a budget,” said passenger Moira Jeweler.

The TSA budget, like many in Washington, is set to be cut. The agency said boosting this fee would help cover the increase price of security like those costly scanners. The fee hasn’t been hiked in 10 years.

A powerful lobby is pushing against it.They don’t want the cost shifted onto their customers.

“Air security is a national security function and it’s something that all of us need to be behind as Americans, and the government should be picking up the cost of that.” said  Airlines for America spokesman Sean Kennedy.

Republicans want to cut from other social programs to pay for the security fee increase. All of this has to be worked out right now, so that the TSA can get its funding for next year.

7 Ways To Get Yourself Detained Indefinitely

via Nick Wing: 

Indefinite Detention

Debate continued to rage this week over a short, loosely worded segment of the new 565-page 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that critics, lawmakers and now a federal judge say makes permanent a controversial, post-9/11 loophole that opened a dangerous door to approving the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without a trial.

The Obama administration and the law’s supporters have maintained that thepresident’s signing statement that secured the legislation’s passage on New Year’s Eve, as well as additional rules he issued in February, should be enough to assuage the fears of the law’s opponents. Both documents suggest that U.S. citizens will have their constitutional right to a trial protected.

Civil liberties activists, however, are quick to argue that the statements lack the enforcement mechanisms to guarantee the administration will not use the vague language of the law’s Section 1021 to indefinitely detain Americans. It also provides no guarantee that future administrations wouldn’t willingly apply the statute more broadly.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest agreed with these concerns earlier this month, finding Section 1021 unconstitutional in a lawsuit brought by a group of journalists and activists. The measure had a “chilling impact on first amendment rights,” she wrote in her ruling, deconstructing arguments from the president’s lawyers several times.

That didn’t sway House lawmakers, however, who shortly thereafter voted against a bill to guarantee civilian trials for any terrorism suspect arrested in the United States.

While the the legal jargon of the case and the ambiguous wording of Section 1021 can be hard to wade through, Americans might be interested to learn what actions might lead to their detention according to the National Defense Authorization Act. Below are a few hypothetical examples, based both on the legislation, as well as the court case that found it unconstitutional:

Interview A Member Of The Taliban
  1  of  7
 
Scenario:
As a foreign correspondent on assignment in Afghanistan, you successfully contact Taliban representatives who take you to meet a mullah. After you’ve completed your interview and fact-finding mission, U.S. officials arrest you under suspicion of terrorism.

How:
Section 1021 (2) of the National Defense Authorization Act grants power to indefinitely detain “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”

You’re not sure if what you did was “substantial” or really “supported” anyone. It’s quite possible that nobody does, as the text of the law doesn’t define these words. This could take a while to sort out.

In the recent hearing on a lawsuit challenging that section of the act, Judge Katherine Forrest asked an Obama lawyer if plaintiff Chris Hedges could be assured that he would not be subjected to detention under Section 1021, journalist Naomi Wolf noted.

Hedges is a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter who has worked extensively in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The administration attorney suggested that the specifics of Hedge’s situation would make his detention unlikely, but responded, “I cannot say that today.”

While the Obama administration has said you’re entitled to a trial as a U.S. citizen, this won’t preclude you from a protracted journey through an encumbered court system charged with figuring out — based on secret evidence — why you were picked up. And if it this happens during a future administration, officials might not agree with Obama on your right to a trial.

Attend A Fundraiser
2  of  7
Scenario:
A local civil liberties group holds a swanky fundraising event and you, a wealthy philanthropist, write a sizable check. Sometime later, the group is placed on a watch list, which results in authorities arriving at your door, hauling you away.

How:
It’s possible a portion of your money somehow got funneled to al-Qaeda or a pro-Taliban group or that somehow you became an indirect material supporter of what the National Defense Authorization Act calls an “associated force.”

But just what are “associated forces”? That question appeared to stump Obama administration lawyers when pressed by Judge Katherine Forrest during a recent hearing.

“I don’t have specifics,” an attorney told her.

Answering a later question about whether WikiLeaks could be construed as an “associated force,” an administration lawyer suggested that it couldn’t, unless there were a connection to the Taliban or al-Qaeda.

If someone happens to be wrong about your case, you might sit in detention until the courts figure it out. Or, according to the act, you’ll be released when officials determine it is “the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”

Write A Book
 3  of  7
This hypothetical situation comes straight from this spring’s hearing on a lawsuit challenging parts of the National Defense Authorization Act, as captured by Naomi Wolf:

Bruce Afran, lawyer for the plaintiffs, presented the hypothetical of a book that did not say how to make a bomb but simply expressed support for the political goals of the Taliban, or that made the case that the Taliban’s view that the US government overreaches in occupying other countries, has merit. He and Judge Forrest discussed the hypothetical that such a book could be a bestseller and be on a book tour, generating comment throughout the Middle East.

Judge Forrest simplified the example to a hypothetical of a book with only one sentence, and whose only sentence read: “I support the political goals of the Taliban’. She asked the government lawyers if such a book could be read as providing ‘material support’ for ‘associated forces” under the NDAA. They did not rule it out.

Judge Forrest pushed:

“You are unable to say that [such a book] consisting of political speech could not be captured under [NDAA’s Section] 1021?”

Obama lawyers: “We can’t say that.”

Organize A Demonstration
 4  of  7
Scenario:
Some societal injustice is prompting you to start a movement in protest. Hours after a particularly well-attended and rambunctious rally, you’re approached by men in black suits who flash their badges and toss you in the back of their unmarked SUV.

How:
It’s possible that you or one of your loosely connected crew of associates did something to make you a suspect linked to an “associated force.” Or perhaps, according to another part of National Defense Authorization Act’s Section 1021 (2), your actions constituted “substantial support” to a “person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of [al-Qaeda or the Taliban].”

Journalist and “Day of Rage” organizer Alexa O’Brien joined a recent lawsuit challenging sections of the act out of concern that she was being targeted as a potential terrorist threat.

But at a hearing on the suit this spring, Obama administration officials did not alleviate such concerns, as Naomi Wolf has documented:

O’Brien produced into evidence a [Department of Homeland Security] memo that sought to link US Day of Rage to their cyberterrorism initiative. The government lawyer was given a chance by Judge Forrest to dispute the memo as fraudulent and did not do so.

Help Out A Friend
 5  of  7
Scenario:
A good friend whom you’ve lost touch with contacts you, asking for help funding his around-the-world trip. You wire money and wait for him to return.

Sometime later, there’s a knock on your door. The people on the other side of it have questions about a sum of money you sent abroad to someone questionable. They ask you to come with them.

How:
You’re finding it impossible to believe that your childhood friend became a terrorist or connected with al-Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.” But even if he did manage to get mixed up in some sketchy business, shouldn’t there be an exception for you, his well-intentioned friend who was just helping someone in need?

Not necessarily.

At a recent hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest tried to get the Obama administration to give an assurance that “unwitting” support could be protected, noting that there was no direct reference to such language in the law.

Obama’s attorney was unable to provide such a safeguard, instead arguing that the new law possessed the same exemptions contained within the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, which was passed by Congress after 9/11.

The brief and broadly interpreted authorization makes no mention of the word “unwitting,” though.

Accidentally Provide Missiles To Insurgents
6  of  7
Scenario:
You’re a flippant, billionaire playboy or -girl with a cool haircut and two Ph.D.s., one in nuclear fusion and the other in kicking ass. You get bored, so you decide to fight crime in Afghanistan and make a quick jaunt to Kandahar.

In the process of taking on an encampment of Taliban insurgents, the firing mechanism for one of your missiles malfunctions, launching it thousands of feet into the air. It returns to Earth undetonated, only to be picked up by an enemy who uses it as the centerpiece of an improvised explosive device.

When a U.S. mine-sweeping crew deactivates the makeshift bomb and finds your name emblazoned on the device, you’re picked up.

How:
This appears to be a clear-cut case of “substantial support” to the Taliban or at least “associated forces” who wanted to do harm to U.S. troops.

So much for your intentions of wanting to help out with a little vigilante justice. Any resulting court case could take ages.

Plan A Terrorist Attack
 7  of  7
Scenario:
You’re a total jerk and not a very big fan of America, so you decide that the best course of action is to take out your anger with an act of destruction on a densely populated city.

You do some planning and set up your device, but when it comes time to use it, it malfunctions, leaving you injured and going to jail on a stretcher.

How:
You’re an American citizen, you’ll get your constitutional guarantee of a trial, right?

If President Barack Obama’s promises are followed, yes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t undergo some form of indefinite detention while you await trial.

During a hearing on the lawsuit challenging parts of the new National Defense Authorization Act, Obama’s lawyers were unable to say for sure if the trial promised in his signing statement would be a civilian or military one. This could have a heavy bearing on the nature of your detention.

And if you were to commit such actions under the administration of another president, there’s no telling how a new commander in chief would interpret the act, making your fate even less certain.

UK jails woman for racist rant on London subway

No such thing as free speech in the UK… Not that I agree with what she said, I probably would have hit her.

jacqueline woodhouse

Jacqueline Woodhouse was travelling on the Central Line on her way back from a retirement party when she began the abuseVia the Associated Press:

LONDON (AP) — A British judge has jailed a woman whose racist tirade toward fellow subway riders went viral on YouTube.

Jacqueline Woodhouse, 42, boarded the subway drunk on the evening of Jan. 23 and began berating her fellow passengers with a profanity-filled, racist verbal assault.

A seven-minute video of it was uploaded to YouTube and viewed more than 200,000 times.

Judge Michael Snow sentenced Woodhouse to 21 weeks in jail on Tuesday in London, saying that anyone hearing her “grossly offensive” language would feel a “deep sense of shame.”

Woodhouse – who had turned herself in to police after the footage began to circulate – had pleaded guilty to one count of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior.

jacqueline woodhouse

Businessman Galbant Juttla, who was also travelling on the train, filmed her after she became abusiveRelated stories:

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/900537-jacqueline-woodhouse-jailed-for-21-weeks-over-racist-london-underground-rant

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/29/uk-jails-woman-for-racist-rant-on-london-subway/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/05/29/jacqueline-woodhouse-jail-racist-tube-rant_n_1552188.html?ref=uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18251807

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151576/Tube-racist-champagne-fuelled-tirade-viewed-thousands-YouTube-sentenced-months-prison.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Vile: A child in the Central Line carriage looks on as the woman continues her tirade of abuse

Vile: A child in the Central Line carriage looks on as Jacqueline Woodhouse hurls abuse at other passengers

The president’s private war – Judge Andrew Napolitano speaks

I miss FreedomWatch…

 

by Judge Napolitano:

Did you know that the United States government is using drones to kill innocent people in Pakistan? Did you know that the Pakistani government has asked President Obama to stop it and he won’t? Did you know that Pakistan is a sovereign country that has nuclear weapons and is an American ally?

Last week, the Obama administration not only acknowledged the use of the drones; it also revealed that it has plans to increase the frequency and ferocity of the attacks. White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan argued that these attacks are “in full accordance with the law” and are not likely to be stopped anytime soon.

Brennan declined to say how many people were killed or just where the killings took place or who is doing it. But we know that Obama has a morbid fascination with his plastic killing machines, and we know that these machines are among the favored tools of the CIA. We also know that if the president had been using the military to do this, he’d be legally compelled to reveal it to Congress and eventually to seek permission.

We know about the need to tell Congress and ask for permission because of the War Powers Act. This law, enacted in 1973 over President Nixon’s veto, permits the president to use the military for 90 days before telling Congress and for 180 days before he needs congressional authorization. Obama must believe that he can bypass this law by using civilian CIA agents, rather than uniformed military, to do his killing.

The Constitution limits the presidential use of war powers to those necessary for an immediate defense of the United States or those exercised pursuant to a valid congressional declaration of war. In this case of Pakistan, the president has neither. And international law prohibits entering a sovereign country without its consent. But Brennan argued that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which Congress enacted in 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11 to enable President Bush to pursue the perpetrators of 9/11, is essentially carte blanche for any president to kill whomever he wants, and that the use of drones, rather than the military or rather than arresting those the government believes have conspired to harm us, is a “surgical” technique that safeguards the innocent.

Attorney General Eric Holder made a similar unconstitutional argument a few months ago when he stated in defense of the president’s using drones to kill Americans in Yemen that the AUMF, plus the careful consideration that the White House gives to the dimensions of each killing and the culpability of each person killed, somehow satisfied the Constitution’s requirements for due process.

What monstrous nonsense all this is.

These killings 10,000 miles from here hardly constitute self-defense and are not in pursuit of a declaration of war. So, what has Congress done about this? Nothing. And what have the courts done about this? Nothing.

Prior to the president’s ordering the killing of the New Mexico-born and unindicted and uncharged Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Awlaki’s American father sued the president in federal district court and asked a judge to prevent the president from murdering his son in Yemen. After the judge dismissed the case, a CIA-fired drone killed al-Awlaki and his American companion and his 16-year-old American son.

In his three-plus years in office, Obama has launched 254 drones toward persons in Pakistan, and they collectively have killed 1,277 persons there.

In his three-plus years in office, Obama has launched 254 drones toward persons in Pakistan, and they collectively have killed 1,277 persons there. The New America Foundation, a Washington think tank that monitors the presidential use of drones in Pakistan, estimates that between 11 and 17 percent of the drone victims are innocent Pakistani civilians. So much for Brennan’s surgical strikes. So much for Holder’s due process.

The president is waging a private war against private persons — even Americans — whose deaths he obviously believes will keep America safe. But he is doing so without congressional authorization, in violation of the Constitution, and in a manner that jeopardizes our freedom.

Who will keep us safe from a president who wants to use drones here? How long will it be before local American governments — 313 of which already possess drones — use them to kill here because they are surgical and a substitute for due process? Can you imagine the outcry if Cuba or China launched drones at their dissidents in Florida or California and used Obama’s behavior in Pakistan as a justification?

How long will it be before even the semblance of our Constitution is gone?

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written six books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is “It Is Dangerous To Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom.” To find out more about Judge Napolitano and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written six books on the U.S. Constitution. His latest is “ It is Dangerous To Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/05/03/president-private-war/#ixzz1wHZFW9zd

Mother is angry after her daughter is given ‘Catastrophe Award’ for not doing homework

via Daily Mail

It’s interesting, because this mother is so upset about her daughter being “humiliated”.  Maybe she should spend more time helping her daughter with her homework instead of being upset someone called her out on her irresponsible parenting.  

 

The dog ate it, the computer exploded, I spilt spaghetti bolognaise over it.

School children have been coming up with excuses for failing to hand in their homework since the concept was invented.

Now a frustrated 3rd grade teacher in Tucson, Arizona, has decided to recognise the art of homework dodging by giving out a Catastrophe Award to the student who wriggled out of handing in homework the most.

But Christina Valdez says handing her eight-year-old daughter Cassandra Garcia the certificate, which is signed by her teacher beside a smiley face, is humiliating.

Humiliating: Christina Valdez says it was wrong for a teacher to hand out a 'catastrophe award' to her daughter for coming up with most excuses for doing her homework.Humiliating: Christina Valdez says it was wrong for a teacher to hand out a ‘catastrophe award’ to her daughter for coming up with most excuses for doing her homework.

She said it was presented to her young daughter in front of classmates at Desert Springs Academy.

Ms Valdez told Fox News she thought it was a cruel thing to do to a young child.

She added: ‘The teacher announced the award in front of the whole class and all the children were laughing at her.’

The mother says the school principal did not offer a response when she went to see her. She added: ‘She blew me off and said that it was a joke that was played – that the teachers joke around with children.

‘I think it’s cruel and no child should be given an award like this. It’s disturbing.’

Making a point: The certificate given to Cassandra Garcia, 8, is for 'most excuses for not having homework' and features a smiley face and the teacher's signature.Making a point: The certificate given to Cassandra Garcia, 8, is for ‘most excuses for not having homework’ and features a smiley face and the teacher’s signature.

Upset: Cassandra Garcia
Christina Garcia

Reaction: Ms Valdez, right, describes the decision to hand her daughter Cassandra, pictured left, a Catastrophe Award as cruel

University of Arizona College of Education psychologist Sheri Bauman backed up Ms Valdez’s comments saying handing out such an award could be counter-productive, especially for such a young child.

Former teacher Marlon Jones said such a booby prize doesn’t empower children or make them feel better about learning.

On KGUN9‘s Facebook page people reacted negatively to the award – some even described the decision to present it to a student as bullying.

Angry: Ms Valdez says she will not be taking her daughter back to Desert Springs Academy next year.Angry: Ms Valdez says she will not be taking her daughter back to Desert Springs Academy next year.

Lana Tucson commented: ‘We talk about bullying in schools by other children, but never about bullying by teachers.’

However, some didn’t see it as an issue. Mike Miller wrote: ‘Some people can’t take a joke. I would laugh if my kid received an award like that because I teach my kids to deal with all aspects of life.’

Ms Valdez now says she will not be taking her daughter back to the school next year.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150961/Mothers-anger-daughter-8-handed-Catastrophe-Award-for.html#ixzz1wHJvZazh

Face-eating naked man – attacker – identified in Miami

via Tampa Bay Times

MIAMI — The naked man who tried to eat another man’s face before he was shot dead by police was identified Monday.

Rudy Eugene

A man identifed by US media outlets as Miami cannibal Rudy Eugene.

The Miami Herald reported that the attacker was 31-year-old Rudy Eugene.

The man he attacked remained in extremely critical condition Sunday night at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Much of his face was gone, the skin ripped away, the nose bitten and the eyes gouged.

What remained was his goatee and little else.

“We’re hoping that he pulls through, for his well-being, but also so he can tell us what happened,” said Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami police union. “Only he knows.”

The victim still had not been officially identified Monday.

The macabre scene unfolded about 2 p.m. Saturday on the MacArthur Causeway’s off-ramp to Biscayne Boulevard. A Road Ranger spotted the men and shouted on his loudspeaker for the naked attacker to back away. A woman also saw what was happening and flagged down an officer.

One witness said he was riding his bicycle on the MacArthur when he saw a man tearing off pieces of the victim’s flesh with his mouth. After an officer approached, Larry Vega told WSVN-FOX7, “The guy just stood, his head up like that, with pieces of flesh in his mouth. And he growled.”

The officer fired, striking the attacker, but the man kept chewing, Vega said. The officer fired again, hitting him several more times, eventually killing him.

After that, Vega said, all he saw was blood.

“It’s one of the most gruesome things I’ve ever seen in my life in person,” he told the station.

The name of the officer who fired the fatal shots was not released Monday.

Eugene left behind few clues as to what could have prompted the attack. According to court records, he married Jenny Ductant on Dec. 15, 2005, in Hollywood. The marriage ended in divorce after a little more than two years.

“I wouldn’t say he had mental problem but he always felt like people was against him. … No one was for him, everyone was against him,” his ex-wife told WPLG.

He had just one arrest to suggest serious violence. Miami Beach police arrested him on a battery charge when he was 16, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The charge was later dropped.

He was arrested seven other times over five years. Court records show that one was for misdemeanor battery, one was for vending near a school, one was for trespassing and four involved marijuana. The last case came in September 2009. In January, the charge was dropped.

Security video from the adjacent Miami Herald building captured snippets of Saturday’s violence as the two men — one dead, the other gravely injured and wearing only a shirt — lay on the sidewalk as officers arrived.

Days later, the chatter, theories and questions continued.

An emergency room doctor at Jackson Memorial Hospital said Eugene’s attack could have been induced by bath salts, a drug nicknamed after the bathroom product it resembles.

Police theorized earlier that it was “cocaine psychosis,” a drug-induced craze.

A witness to the gruesom attack said it was like something of out AMC’s zombie series, ‘The Walking Dead.’

DANIELA GUZMAN

A witness to the gruesom attack said it was like something of out AMC’s zombie series, ‘The Walking Dead.’

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/miami-cops-hunt-witnesses-horrific-face-eating-attack-article-1.1085959#ixzz1wHEQZ91O

More related stories:

http://www.news.com.au/naked-face-eating-man-may-have-been-on-lsd/story-fnc6dc4m-1226372452192

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/miami-cops-hunt-witnesses-horrific-face-eating-attack-article-1.1085959?localLinksEnabled=false

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jsFK3CNbx7bFpLK3swOuk-KfH49w?docId=N0014821338250581954A

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57442713-504083/rudy-eugene-man-identified-as-face-eating-naked-man-fatally-shot-while-chewing-on-another-mans-face-in-fla-highway-attack/

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2889055/posts

http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/05/larry-vega-eyewitness-naked-man-killed-while-eating-another-mans-face

Volvo’s self-drive ‘convoy’ hits the Spanish motorway

via BBC

Volvo convoy, copyright Volvo

The project aims to herald a new age of relaxed driving

A convoy of self-driven cars has completed a 200km (125-mile) journey on a Spanish motorway, in the first public test of such vehicles.

The cars were wirelessly linked to each other and “mimicked” a lead vehicle, driven by a professional driver.

The so-called road train has been developed by Volvo. The firm is confident that they will be widely available in future.

The project aims to herald a new age of relaxed driving.

According to Volvo, drivers “can now work on their laptops, read a book or sit back and enjoy a relaxed lunch” while driving.

The road train test was carried out as part of a European Commission research project known as Sartre – Safe Road Trains for the Environment.

The convoy comprised three cars and one lorry.

Special features

“Driving among other road-users is a great milestone in our project. It was truly thrilling,” says Linda Wahlstroem, project manager for the Sartre project at Volvo Car Corporation

“We covered 200km in one day and the test turned out well. We’re really delighted,” she added.

The cars are fitted with special features such as cameras, radar and laser sensors – allowing the vehicle to monitor the lead vehicle and also other vehicles in their immediate vicinity. Using wireless communication, the vehicles in the platoon “mimic” the lead vehicle using autonomous control – accelerating, braking and turning in exactly the same way as the leader.

The vehicles drove at 85kph (52mph) with the gap between each vehicle just 6m (19ft).

“People think that autonomous driving is science fiction, but the fact is that the technology is already here. From the purely conceptual viewpoint, it works fine and road train will be around in one form or another in the future,” says Ms Wahlstroem.

“We’ve focused really hard on changing as little as possible in existing systems. Everything should function without any infrastructure changes to the roads or expensive additional components in the cars.

“Apart from the software developed as part of the project, it is really only the wireless network installed between the cars that set them apart from other cars available in showrooms today.”

The three-year Sartre project has been under way since 2009. Other partners include UK car technology firm Ricardo UK, Tecnalia Research & Innovation of Spain, Institut fur Kraftfahrzeuge Aachen (IKA) of Germany and the Technical Research Institute of Sweden.

All told, the vehicles in the project have covered about 10,000km on test circuits.

The eventual aim of the project is to have lots of cars “slaved” to a lead vehicle and travelling at high speed along specific routes on motorways.

Sears Calls The Cops On 76-Year-Old Trying To Get Someone To Pick Up Her Faulty Lawn Mower

via Mary Beth Quirk

(Tortuga One)

What’s a 76-year-old woman to do when Sears sends her a faulty lawnmower, schedules a time to pick it up and then doesn’t, and then refuses to refund her money until it gets around to taking back said mower, which will then be outside the 30-day-refund window? She marches in to have a strong word with store employees, who then call the cops.

The Akron Beacon Journal Online lays out the scenario, in which the woman’s mower didn’t work after three mows, and from then on, Sears’ customer service falls fantastically apart.

First, she called the store that sold her the mower, and the person who answers hangs up on her. So she drives into the city of Medina to a Sears there, and explains the problem for the bajillionth time.

In short — it stopped working three weeks ago, no one picked it up and never called about it. Sears employees pull the records to discover the delivery people gave her the wrong mower in the first place, and that they’d schedule another time to deliver the correct one and take the wrong one back.

But by then, she was sick of Sears and just wanted her money back. Too bad, said Sear you can’t have your money back until we get the bad mower back. And the kicker? Sears says it can’t come pick it up until a week from Wednesday, a time that is then outside the 30-day window for a refund.

That’s when three police officers arrive to “restore the peace.”

Says the Beacon Journal:

Did we mention that this 76-year-old grandmother stands 5-foot-2 and weighs 130 pounds?Things get even more entertaining once the officers arrive.

A woman behind the counter, whom [the woman] describes as being north of 200 pounds, says to her, “Somebody your age better watch out or you’ll have a heart attack!”

The diminutive grandmother immediately shoots back, “You’ll have one before I do, Fatso!”

 

The police reports describes the situation as “irate customer being unruly.” We’d be unruly at that point, too.

Cops say three officers is a usual response to that kind of call, and that the woman was “shouting” and had caused one of the clerks to cry.

In the end, no one was charged with anything, and the woman had a handyman friend drop off the mower so she could get her refund. Then, she bought a John Deere.