Society's Child


Update! Explosions rock Florida gas plant, force evacuations - Fragmenting comet over Gulf of Mexico responsible?

© Tom Benitez, Orlando Sentinel
Fire and explosions in a propane plant in Tavares, Fla. on July 29, 2013.
A large series of explosions has rocked a gas plant in Lake County, causing multiple deaths and injuries and forcing the evacuations of residents at least a mile away, authorities said.

A night shift crew was working, and many people are thought to have been killed, said Lt. John Herrell, a Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

"There's going to be a lot," Herrell said.

The explosions began a little before 11 p.m. at Blue Rhino, a propane-tank business at 300 C.R. Road 448, and lasted for more than half an hour. All the explosions happened inside the plant, blowing the roof off, Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders said.

Comment: From The Latest Worldwide Meteor / Fireball Reports
Date: 29 JUL 2013

Observer name: B. Thomas

Location: Fort Lauderdale FL USA

Time: 2300

Duration: 45 seconds

Start/Stop Location in sky: Estimate 45 seconds Southwest of Miami moving to North-North East

Any colors/sound: yellow

Brightness similar to: Moon

Fragment? Where there parts falling off?: multiple fragments and trailing pieces long tail, very brilliant appeared to move parallel to the horizon

Comments other observations: long tail, very brilliant appeared to move parallel to the horizon
Date: 29 JUL 2013

Observer name: Roland

Location: Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras

Time: 20:30 CST ???

Duration: 20 seconds

Start/Stop Location in sky: South to North

Any colors/sound: blue

Brightness similar to: Moon

Fragment? Where there parts falling off?: Yes

Comments other observations: Longest meteor I've ever seen. Must be the same one observed in Cayman, Jamaica and Ft. Lauderdale. It could have exceeded 20 seconds. It was long enough for a whole group of people to turn around and point it out to everyone one by one!!! It traveled parallel to the horizon at what seemed to be very low speed.
At least 10 people from Central America north east to Florida reported a dazzling meteorite/comet fragment on Monday night around the time of the explosion at the gas plant in Tavares, north west of Orlando. Considering the likely electrical effects generated between meteorites and the surface of the planet, it is possible that the gas plant explosion was caused by this meteorite.

Update 31 July 2013

Comet seen from Honduras to Cayman Islands and Jamaica, 29 July 2013: Fragments into stream of 'intense' exploding fireballs


Lawsuit: SWAT officers dragged 10-year-old from bathtub, made him stand naked next to 4-year-old sister, terrorized family

14 police officers with helmets and facemasks and assault rifles stormed in, family says.

Pittsburgh SWAT officers must face claims that they raided a family's home, violently dragged a child from the bathtub, and "terrorized" them at gunpoint, a federal judge ruled.

Georgeia Moreno and her family sued Pittsburgh, its police chief and 14 police officers in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The events unfolded as Georgeia, her husband, William; and her stepfather, Mark Staymates were watching television in their living room as Georgia's sick mother, Darlene, slept upstairs at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2010. They suddenly heard a loud explosion and saw bright lights, "as if grenades were going off," the complaint states.

Pittsburgh Police SWAT officers wearing helmets and facemasks then broke and "stormed through" the front and back doors of the home, according to the complaint.

Those officers allegedly never identified themselves, pointed assault rifles at the family, shouted obscenities and destroyed their property.

Although the team purportedly sought to arrest William for quarreling with a drunk, off-duty police officer at a local veterans club early that morning, the family says that their "terrorization" continued for another 45 minutes after William was apprehended.

The officers threw to the floor, kicked and handcuffed Georgeia, her stepfather and her adult son Billy. They also injured Mark's shoulder and forced Billy to lie face down in broken glass, according to the complaint.

When Georgeia pleaded repeatedly that she had young children in the house, at least one officer allegedly stated, "You think you can get one of ours, and we won't get one of yours?"

The family says the police proceeded to drag Georgeia's 10-year-old son Trentino violently from the bathtub, injuring his ankles. They allegedly then made the boy stand naked at gunpoint next to his 4-year-old sister Briseis.

Officers have continued to harass and threaten the family since the raid, telling them "that's how we do things here" and that they should move out of Pittsburgh, the complaint states.


Unidentified objects fall over parts of Zimbabwe

© The Eye Today, Zimbabwe
Villagers in parts of Mhondoro and Chikomba districts are living in fear following the recent falling of foreign objects in their area.

Police said they were still to ascertain the origin and type of the objects. National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said investigations were still in progress. "Investigations are still going on at the army engineers. We do not have any conclusions yet," she said.

Minister of State Security Sydney Sekeramayi said he was still to receive a detailed report on the investigations. Two objects landed in the Mhondoro area at the Zimplats Mine and at Denya Village in Mamina while one landed in Unyetu in Chikomba district.
The object that landed at the Turf Village, Zimplats Mine in the Battlefields area is made of aluminium material and resembles a rocket. It is three metres long and a has 1,8 metre diameter while the spherical objects that landed in Mamina and Unyetu were said to weigh above 10kg.

The explanations of the people in all the areas were similar despite the distance between them. People interviewed separately confirmed they heard three loud bursts and hissing sounds that they thought were gun fire followed by jet sound. The sounds were followed by thuds that shook the ground and were felt and heard several kilometres away.

Speculation is high that the objects could be from satellite spying on Zimbabwe with residents in the affected areas insisting that the people responsible for launching the objects should be named and made to explain.

Arrow Down

Massachusetts couple could face $5k fine for helping injured baby seal

A Massachusetts couple could face a $5,000 fine after they rushed to rescue an injured baby seal at a Marshfield Beach.

Mark Hodgon was scuba diving at about 1:30 p.m. when he found the baby seal covered in shark bite marks. He said the seal was barely floating and breathing laboriously.

"You could just tell his whole body was in the shark," Hodgon said. "It had to have been."

Hodgon swam closer with a raft and helped the seal onto it then swam back to shore to take a better look at its injuries. Pictures of the event show the pup kissing Hodgon on the chin.


The business of mass incarceration

© Illustration by Mr. Fish
Debbie Bourne, 45, was at her apartment in the Liberty Village housing projects in Plainfield, N.J., on the afternoon of April 30 when police banged on the door and pushed their way inside. The officers ordered her, her daughter, 14, and her son, 22, who suffers from autism, to sit down and not move and then began ransacking the home. Bourne's husband, from whom she was estranged and who was in the process of moving out, was the target of the police, who suspected him of dealing cocaine. As it turned out, the raid would cast a deep shadow over the lives of three innocents - Bourne and her children.

The murder of a teenage boy by an armed vigilante, George Zimmerman, is only one crime set within a legal and penal system that has criminalized poverty. Poor people, especially those of color, are worth nothing to corporations and private contractors if they are on the street. In jails and prisons, however, they each can generate corporate revenues of $30,000 to $40,000 a year. This use of the bodies of the poor to make money for corporations fuels the system of neoslavery that defines our prison system.


Woman kidnapped from New York hospital can't sue city sez judge

© Associated Press/The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
This poster released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows Carlina White as an infant, left, and what she might have looked like as an adult, right. White, who was kidnapped 23 years ago as an infant from a Harlem hospital bed and raised under a different name, was reunited with her birth mother in 2011

A woman who was reunited with her family nearly 25 years after she was kidnapped from a New York City hospital cannot sue the city for damages, a state judge has ruled.

Carlina White, whose dramatic story spawned headlines and a Lifetime television movie, was taken from Harlem Hospital in 1987, when she was 19 days old, and raised by her kidnapper in Connecticut.

After essentially solving her own case and finding her birth parents, White sued the city for $2 million last year.

Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Freed, however, said that White could not sue because her parents had already done so on her behalf in 1988, reaching a $750,000 settlement that included money set aside for White if she were found before her 21st birthday.


'Too fat to stay': Obese man may be kicked out of New Zealand

An obese South African chef weighing 130 kg (286 lbs) is being kicked out of New Zealand for being too fat - but he's not leaving without a fight.

Albert Buitenhuis was told his weight may put too much demand on the country's health service - despite his losing 30 kg (66 lbs) since arriving in New Zealand six years ago.

Buitenhaus, who stands at five feet ten inches, has a body mass index of 40 - making him clinically obese. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) said that an applicant's BMI must be under 35.

"INZ's medical assessors have said to consider to what extent there might be indications of future high-cost and high-need demand for health services," a spokesman said, as quoted by the Huffington Post.

Both Buitenhaus and his wife are now facing deportation, which they say is unfair.

Before arriving to New Zealand, the chef weighed 159 kg (350 lbs). Much of that weight was gained after Buitenhaus quit smoking. His wife Marthie told the media that their visas had been approved every year since they arrived in 2007.

Bad Guys

FBI recovered 105 missing and sexually exploited children

The FBI says they've recovered 105 missing and exploited children over the weekend by orchestrating a massive crackdown on crime rings that trafficked minors for sex.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation made the announcement Monday morning, and reportedly has arrested 150 pimps involved in selling minors through an underground sex trade that exploited missing children ages 13 through 17 around the country.

According to a statement made early Monday by Ronald Hosko, the agency's assistant director of their criminal investigative division, the coordinated raids in more than 70 cities under the name "Operation Cross Country" marked the largest effort of its type ever undertaken by the FBI.

Stock Down

The social media bubble is quietly deflating

Social networking companies drew a meager 2 percent of Internet venture capital last quarter
Two years ago, when the craze for social media startups was in full swing, a former Facebook (FB) engineer summed up the situation with a memorable lament: "The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads," the engineer, Jeff Hammerbacher, told Bloomberg Businessweek at the time. "That sucks," he added.

It might be over.

Social media companies drew only 2 percent of the venture capital headed to Internet-based enterprises last quarter, according to data published on Tuesday by CB Insights, a research firm that tracks venture-capital investment. In the two-year stretch that ended in the middle of 2012, social media companies took in at least 6 percent of overall venture capital invested in Internet companies each quarter. But for three of the last four quarters, those social startups have brought in 2 percent or less (with the outlier quarter largely the result of a huge investment in Pinterest earlier this year). The peak came in the third quarter of 2011, when social companies led by Twitter took in 21 percent of the total $3.8 billion in Internet deals by venture capital firms.


Spain train crash driver freed on bail - Colleagues and workers' union describe Garzón as 'responsible and cautious'


Questions should now be asked of the train company, RENFE
Francisco Garzón was freed on bail after a closed-door hearing at which his passport was taken away

The driver of the train involved in Spain's worst rail disaster in almost 70 years was freed on bail on Sunday night after reportedly admitting to a judge that he had behaved recklessly.

Police on Friday formally accused 52-year-old Francisco Garzón of manslaughter caused by recklessness.

During the closed-door hearing, Judge Luis Aláez took away Garzón's passport and ordered him to report weekly to the court, according to local media. The driver, accompanied by his lawyer, was questioned for around two hours.

The reports, citing police and judicial sources, said Garzón had admitted reckless behaviour. But it was not clear whether the judge had laid charges against the driver or, if so, whether they were the same as those levelled by police.

Garzón arrived at the court handcuffed and wearing dark glasses. He had a visible bruise on his forehead - the result of a gash that he sustained in the crash and which required nine stitches.

Comment: Indeed, it's starting to look like this was not the drivers' fault. In addition, we now have a possible motive for blaming driver - and as usual, it involves big money.

Why the two-hour delay before a state of emergency declared, leaving local residents to carry out rescue operations?

Why did the driver call the operator to tell them the train was going too fast and that it was about to derail moments before the crash?

Questions are starting to pile up for the Spanish authorities.