Thursday, February 1, 2018

“Serial stowaway” arrested at O’Hare days after judge bans her from airport

A 66-year-old woman charged earlier this month with flying to London without a ticket was arrested again early recently and denied bail after police spotted her at O’Hare International Airport, a violation of a previous order banning her from Chicago’s two airports, authorities said. She was barred by a Cook County judge from entering the airport after she was charged earlier this month with felony theft after allegedly sneaking onto a British Airways jet at O’Hare and flying to the United Kingdom without a plane ticket (worth $2,400). The woman is notorious for stowing away on commercial airplanes, also was charged in that incident with misdemeanor criminal trespassing for allegedly entering O’Hare illegally. In addition to ordering her to stay away from the airport, the judge required her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and wear an ankle monitor until her case is concluded. In addition to these recent crimes, she also has three misdemeanor convictions for similar crimes in California. (Chicago Tribune)


Cause of mystery toilet flushing turns out to be snake in the wall

An Australian snake catcher was summoned to a home where residents discovered the cause of a mysterious flushing toilet was a serpent in the wall. A video recorded by Luke Huntley of Snake Catcher Noosa shows him working to remove a brown tree snake from inside the wall of a Doonan, Queensland, home. Huntley said the residents of the home had been perplexed by their toilet’s mysterious flushing until they discovered a snake was resting on the flush mechanism, which was embedded inside the wall of their bathroom. “I was called out to a home in Doonan today to relocate this grumpy brown tree snake from inside the wall near the toilet flush button,” Huntley wrote. “The toilet had been flushing by itself randomly for days when they opened it up and found a surprise waiting for them! It was a quick catch but it needed to be — that or putting my hand down into the toilet water.” (Facebook)


Couple contract ‘hookworms’ on Punta Cana vacation

A Canadian couple said they contracted parasitic hookworms in their feet after walking barefoot on a Dominican Republic beach.  Katie Stephens, 22, and her boyfriend Eddie Zytner, 25, of Windsor, Ontario, said that they had scratchy feet during a week-long stay at the IFA Villas Bavaro Resort in Punta Cana, but believed they just had minor bug bites. Several days after returning home, they quickly realized it was something worse. Two doctors were unable to identify what was causing the couples’ swelling and blisters, but a third recognized the condition. That’s when they were diagnosed with larva migrans, or hookworms. The couple were prescribed ivermectin, which is used to treat parasites, but the medication is not licensed in Canada, so their coverage request was denied and were forced to get medicine from the states. The couple urged other people to think twice before walking on the beach barefoot and look out for sites of hookworms. (CTV News)


Proposed California anti-plastic straw bill draws fire

A California lawmaker is taking flak for a measure that would make it illegal for servers to offer plastic straws with drinks unless they’re asked. Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon introduced a bill last week making unsolicited straw-providing a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, Calderon says it will be amended to eliminate the penalties.  The measure would apply to sit-down restaurants, not bars or fast-food places. As expected, critics have heaped scorn, calling it government overkill. One asked whether the measure would also apply to cocktail umbrellas. But the bill has a serious purpose. Calderon says it’s aimed at reducing the environmental damage from tons of plastic that wind up each year in U.S. landfills, waterways and the ocean.  (SFGate)


Google’s self-driving car fleet is expanding this year

That’s courtesy to a deal with Fiat Chrysler. Fiat will supply “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet. The first deliveries will start at the end of 2018. There are approximately 600 minivans currently in Waymo’s fleet, some of which are already used to drive people around in its Early Rider program in Arizona. (The Verge)


California’s new lethal injection plan already faces hurdles: Drugs barred from import or execution use

California has proposed a new method of lethal injection, but the two drugs that could be used to execute inmates are extremely difficult to obtain. The new protocol, slightly revised from a previous proposal, would allow executioners to use a single infusion of Pentobarbital or Thiopental to put condemned inmates to death. Both drugs are barbiturates. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has barred the import of thiopental, and the manufacturer of pentobarbital has prohibited the drug from being used in executions. Several states have had to place holds on executions because of the difficulty of obtaining the needed drugs. The shortage stems in part from pressure placed by death penalty opponents on manufacturers to prevent their products from being used in executions. (LA Times)


Off with their heads

Several visitors to Disneyland Resort shared images of animatronic characters on popular rides with their heads dangling from their robotic bodies. One video posted January 28th on social media showed a headless Ursula singing to riders on Little Mermaid’s Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure. The longtime favorite “Pirates Of The Carribean” ride at Disneyland proper was also experiencing similar issues after another character was seen beheaded. (Los Angeles)


It’s Another Thirsty Thursday! This Time, It Brings Us:

  • Candy-Making Day 
  • Car Insurance Day 
  • Change Your Password Day 
  • Decorating With Candy Day 
  • G.I. Joe Day 
  • Hula in The Coola Day 
  • International Face & Body Art Day 
  • Freedom Day 
  • National Baked Alaska Day
  • National Get Up Day (About Perseverance. Not Getting Out Of Bed.)
  • National Texas Day
  • Robinson Crusoe Day
  • Serpent Day
  • Spunky Old Broads Day

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