Society's ChildS

Black Cat 2

Prop Knife Switched: Actor cuts own throat

© unknownDaniel Hoevels acting out the role of a suicide. In a later show, the knife was switched.
An actor slit his throat on stage when the prop knife for his suicide scene turned out to be a real one.

Daniel Hoevels, 30, slumped over with blood pouring from his neck while the audience broke into applause at the "special effect". Police are investigating whether the knife was a mistake or a murder plot. They are questioning the rest of the cast, and backstage hands with access to props; they will also carry out DNA tests.


Cop uses Taser on woman who refuses his demand to show her breasts

© SFGate
The stories of police abuse have been unrelenting this week. Now we have news that a Haskell, Arkansas police officer chased a woman, at her workplace no less, finally deploying his Taser on her. All of this was solely because he had demanded to see her breasts. When she refused he unholstered his Taser and aimed it at her, saying that if she refused, he would use the weapon on her. Realizing that she had no legal obligation to comply with this clearly illegal demand, she made a run for it. That's when things got even uglier; the officer made good on his threat.

Now, Ashlea Bennett is taking the City of Haskell, Arkansas and its police officer Brandon Carter, to Federal Court. Her recent suit claims that Carter "demanded that she expose her breasts to him" after wearing his uniform, entering her work place and suggesting that the demand was carried legal authority.

"Carter's demands to the Plaintiff to expose herself to him occurred multiple times," the lawsuit articulates.


Food bank CEO warns of riots over major U.S. food stamp cuts

Token accepted here
© AFPA sign displays that a shop accepts Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), more commonly known as Food Stamps, in the GrowNYC Greenmarket in Union Square on September 18, 2013 in New York City
The US food stamp system is to be reduced by $5 billion starting in November. The average benefit will shrink and the overall number of people receiving it will diminish by millions. The CEO of America's largest food bank says the cuts will end in riots.

"Riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food," Margaret Purvis, president and CEO of the Food bank for New York City, told online news and entertainment site

She added that families face the "daunting" prospect of losing a whole week's worth of food every month.

Currently, the program costs about $80 billion per year and provides food aid nearly 15 per cent of all US households - over 45 million people.

A big automatic cut is expected on November 1, taking $5 billion from federal food-stamp spending over 2014. The benefit is set to shrink by 5 per cent.

Comment: War must go on, while those less fortunate, considered by the psychopaths in power to be expendable, are left to starve.

Arrow Down

Horse meat used by 2 Swiss restaurants for steak tartare

Horsemeat Burger
© Rainer Zenz
Vaud - Just when you thought the whole horse meat scandal was over, two Swiss restaurants have been caught using horse meat instead of beef in their steak tartare dishes.

The scandal was uncovered by "A Bon Entendeur", a consumer affairs program aired on Tuesday by the French language Swiss broadcaster, RTS.

Both restaurants are in the canton of Jura and the consumer affairs program tested 15 of the raw meat meals from restaurants in western Switzerland. A chemist who analyzed the phoney steak tartare said,

"One can properly talk of obvious and blatant deceit."

However, there is not just deceit involved in the incident, as apparently only four meals tested were found to be free of elevated levels of bacteria. Bearing in mind that the meat in the dish is served raw, one can only imagine the dangers.

In restaurants in the canton of Vaud, two plates of steak tartare were found to be particularly infected, and exceeded the acceptable levels for bacteria many times over.

Better Earth

Bavarian taxi driver returns elderly couple's €250,000

Thomas Güntner
© Video screengrabThomas Güntner is a taxi driver in Würzburg, Bavaria found €250,000 on the back seat of his taxi and returned it to the elderly couple who had left it behind.
A Bavarian taxi driver found €250,000 on the back seat of his taxi on Monday. He then tracked down the elderly couple who had left it behind and would not accept a finder's reward from them.

Thomas Güntner is a taxi driver in Würzburg, Bavaria. As reported in Die Welt (German language), he had picked up an elderly couple at the bank and shortly after he drove them home, he noticed a cloth bag sitting on the back seat of his car.

On peeking inside the cloth bag, he was shocked to find €250,000 in €500 notes.

He told the media on Tuesday, "I was totally perplexed and surprised, that people could carry around so much cash and then forget it."

He added that keeping the money just wasn't an option, as he knew that "it would probably be the downfall of the old couple." reported (in German) that around 30 minutes after discovering the cash, he arrived at the couple's house, cash in hand. The woman met Güntner at the door, with tears in her eyes, so grateful to the man.

Alarm Clock

Unwelcome experiment: Neighbors of frac sand mine wait for someone to monitor toxins

Mount Frack,
© forwardonclimate via Flickr“Mount Frack,” a 3-story high pile of frack sand in Winona, Minnesota on the Mississippi River. This mountain of carcinogenic silica (frac) sand was right across the street from an organic produce market and bakery. In the background of this February 11, 2013 photo is the historic Winona County Courthouse.
Despite complaints of asthma and studies proving groundwater contamination, most residents next to frac sand mines don't have any protection from industrial toxins.

The hydraulic fracturing movement has already taken off in the U.S., expanding an industry that requires the mining of silica sand, the drilling of oil and natural gas wells and the storage of toxic fracking wastewater.

Yet in the midst of the boom, Americans are still not sure how the expanding industry is impacting their health. Scientific data is still in the collection phase, and independent tests don't bode well for those living in the midst of the boom.

Now, years after the industry has been introduced, Minnesota is considering air quality mining to detect whether the silica sand mining industry is presenting a threat to area residents' health.

States like Minnesota and Wisconsin have become targets of the fracking industry, as they possess deposits of silica sand, a component of the fracking process. To frack a well, a combination of chemicals, silica sand and water is shot deep into the earth to break up and access oil and gas deposits.

The "frac sand" mining industry has created concern among those living in communities that have recently been turned into mining boom towns, as the impact of silica sand particles on local residents' health is unknown. What is known, however, is that silica sand causes silicosis. For those working in the mines, strict regulations are imposed - yet for those living next door, there are none.

While mining has been occurring for a few years, Minnesota is still in the planning phases for its first air quality monitoring studies. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is proposing erecting an air quality monitoring system on the roof of a community center - one that would not only monitor silica sand particle presence, but also air pollution caused by the increased diesel truck traffic.

The move in Minnesota is similar to those carried out in traditional fracking states. Studies conducted on groundwater in Pennsylvania have emerged this year, exposing contamination years after the industry was given a key to the state's resources.

Arrow Down

Shoppers submit to naked body scans to enter candy store in California

We set up this prank downtown San Luis Obispo with a real body wand, hidden microphones and cameras. The goal was to see how far we could take this scanning and if people would let us! To our surprise, most people didn't put up much of a fight and went along with the person ahead of them in line... which was our plant that we actual scanned again and again. People along the sidelines were freaking out as well and not sure how to intervene. Of course, once the gag was pushed to the limit, we all let the customer know it was a prank and and it was all love, hugs, high fives and laughs! 100% loved to be involved... but it does make you think!

NO! The last guy in the outtakes was NOT A PLANT. He was certainly a funny character who popped up on the radar that afternoon for sure. "Isn't America free?" Awesome.


Collapsing civilization: Britain told social inequality has created 'public health timebomb'

© Christopher Furlong/Getty ImagesIn Britain one child in four lives in poverty, the report says.
UK is failing its children, women and young people on a grand scale, says Marmot report on links between inequality and health

Women and children in the UK would have longer and healthier lives if they lived in Cyprus, Italy or Spain, and Britain is facing "a public health timebomb", according to a study by an expert on inequality and health.

Sir Michael Marmot, who is known worldwide for his work on the social determinants of health, says much of the rest of Europe takes better care of its families. Life expectancy for women and death rates among the under-fives are worse in the UK, where there is also more child poverty.

The public health time bomb Marmot describes is caused by the large number of so-called Neets - young adults who are not in education, employment or training.

Women in the UK can expect to live to 83, but those born in a number of other European countries will live to a riper old age: in Germany and Cyprus, their life expectancy is 84, while in Italy, France and Spain it is 85.


Russell Brand takes on the crisis of civilisation. But what now?

Russel Brand
© Tony Woolliscroft/WireImageCelebrity comedian's critics miss the point on urgent need for 'revolution' to avert planetary extinction - yet question is still how
Celebrity comedian's critics miss the point on urgent need for 'revolution' to avert planetary extinction - yet question is still how

During his Wednesday night interview with Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight, comedian and actor Russell Brand said what no politician or pundit would ever dare say: that without dramatic, fundamental change, the prevailing political and economic system is broken, and hell-bent on planetary-level destruction:
"The planet is being destroyed. We are creating an underclass and exploiting poor people all over the world. And the legitimate problems of the people are not being addressed by our political powers."
Yesterday, Brand published an extended essay in the New Statesman fleshing out in detail his case for a "revolution" - not just a political and economic transformation, but one fundamentally rooted in a shift in consciousness toward a new way of thinking.

Cardboard Box

UK university students relying on bin-raiding (dumpster-diving) to survive

Bin raiding team with food items retrieved from supermarket bins in York - left to right: Santiago Parilli, Ursula Wild, Jo Barrow, Robin Lee
It emerged this week that Tesco discarded 20,000 tonnes of food in the first six months of 2013 - but not everyone is horrified. Jo Barrow, a 21-year-old student at York University and one of a growing band of 'bin raiders', reveals the appeal of rifling through supermarket refuse

It's 2am on a bitterly cold winter night, and my friends and I are nervously looking over our shoulders in an exposed supermarket forecourt. As certain as we'll ever be that we're alone, one of us clambers over the fence that protects the back lot and disappears on the other side. We pause, nervously silent, listening for footsteps. There's a click and a squeak; our friend opens the gate and we slip in.

We pull on our gloves and head to the bins by the shop. We try the first one: locked. The second is locked too. We head to the third, breath held, and pull at the lid. It's stacked high with casually discarded food: pâtés, grapes, bacon, bars of chocolate, curries - it was all there, if a little the worse for wear and, legally speaking, unfit for human consumption. We unfurl some bin liners and, quite literally, dive in.

My friends and I have been living off bin food for more than two years. We're students, so the quick and easy access to seemingly limitless and varied free food is too good an opportunity to pass up - and it's changed our lives. Somehow, with no time, barely any cooking ability and little money, we've been feeding ourselves better than we'd ever have been able to if we'd stuck to the usual student staples of eggs and bread-with-stuff.