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Wed, 12 May 2021
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Pistol

Reality Check: Growing national divide over guns and gun control


Alarm Clock

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a land of sinkholes: will cost trillions to fix

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The outbreak of over 50 sinkholes all over Harrisburg began when this dumpster got stuck in the road...
Grandma's grandma was but a wee lass, and the quickest way to get from here to there had four legs when many of Harrisburg's water and sewer pipes were put in.

It should be no great surprise they're giving up the ghost.

Mayor Linda Thompson said the Cameron Street water main that broke Tuesday night dated back to the late 1800s.

1884 to be exact.

The leak that's believed to have started the massive Fourth Street sinkhole that opened its maw on New Years day appeared to have come from an old clay pipe.

For years, we've taken our aging infrastructure for granted - replacing bits here and there when they failed, but generally avoiding the political backlash that comes with the higher bills required to replace wholesale the increasingly frail systems.

And the older the pipes get, the more often they crack a joint.

According to the EPA, one large water utility in the Midwest went from 250 water main breaks per year to 2,200 per year in just under two decades as the system outgrew its useful life.

There will be more breaks and more sinkholes in Harrisburg.

Comment: The question is, why are sinkholes suddenly opening up all over the place? Burst water mains don't cause outbreaks of sinkholes
all by themselves...


Bandaid

TSA apologizes after picking wheelchair-bound child for security check

screenshot from youtube video by user alschultes
© screenshot from youtube video by user alschultes
Even though she passed through a security checkpoint at Missouri's Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, TSA agents picked a three-year-old girl in a wheelchair for additional screening. The agency is now apologizing for the incident.

Lucy Forck, who was on her way to Disney World, suffers from Spina bifida, a developmental disorder that prevents vertebrae and the spinal cord from fully forming. Lucy's spinal cord is partially exposed as a result.

"They specifically told me that they were singling her out for this special treatment because she's in a wheelchair," Nathan Forck, Lucy's father, told Fox News about the February 8 incident. "They are specifically singling out disabled people for this special scrutiny. It's rather offensive to me as a father of a disabled child."

Lucy's mother took out a video camera to catch the 45-minute incident on film after TSA agents insisted on patting the child down.

"It is against the law for you to record," a TSA agent is heard telling her at one point during the video. However, Nathan, who is a lawyer, knew this was untrue - so his wife continued to film the ordeal.

"You can't do touch my daughter unless I record it," she says in response.

Crusader

Cardinal who covered up pedophilia says he forgives those who are mad at him

Cardinal Mahony
© latimes.com
The disgraced Cardinal Mahony
Documents from the 1980s have been unearthed which conclusively show Archbishop Roger M. Mahony purposefully and intentionally worked to cover-up the sexual abuses of children. Due to this vile revelation the public has scorned Mahony, to which he says he forgives them for their anger. How generous of him.

Taking to his personal blog to discuss the allegations, and how unprepared he was for the public backlash, Mahony writes:
I am being called to something deeper--to be humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many.
It is Mahony's apparent belief that God wanted him to cover-up the sexual abuses of children so that he could be humiliated in public.

Fish

Fish fraud widespread in US: Report

Sushi
© Zenpix | Dreamstime
You might want to take a second look at that red snapper you ordered - it could be another fish entirely. Seafood is frequently mislabeled in supermarkets and other retailers, according to one of the largest studies to date.

The results, released today (Feb. 21) by the ocean conservation organization Oceana, found that one-third of 1,215 seafood samples purchased across 21 U.S. states were mislabeled. And 87 percent of the time, fish labeled as red snapper was something else entirely. Nearly 60 percent of the time, fish labeled as tuna was also another fish.

Several other studies, some by the same organization, have found frequently mislabeled fish in New York, but this is the largest study to date to look at the problem.

According to the report, 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported, and less than 1 percent of it is inspected for mislabeling or other fraud.

Pistol

Las Vegas strip shooting leaves 3 dead, strip closed

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© Dave Lawrence/FOX5
Two of the vehicles involved in the deadly multi-vehicle wreck that resulted from a rolling gun battle at the Las Vegas Strip.
A rolling gun battle at the famed Las Vegas Strip led to a multi-vehicle wreck that resulted in the deaths of three people on Thursday. Las Vegas Metro police said the shooting happened just before 4:30 a.m. on Flamingo Road near Las Vegas Boulevard.

According to a Metro sergeant, drivers in a Maserati and a black sport-utility vehicle were exchanging gunfire, approaching the intersection.

The sports car was then struck by a taxi cab, police said. The taxi burst into flames, killing the driver and the passenger inside, police said.

Police also said the driver of the Maserati was killed as a result of the shooting.

The wreck also involved three more vehicles at the intersection, and four others were injured, including a passenger in the Maserati, police said. Those people were sent to University Medical Center, where three were discharged following the crash, police said.

There was no word on the condition of the fourth injured person.

Metro said a black Range Rover with black rims was the other vehicle involved in the shootout. The SUV fled the scene.

Question

Reborn baby doll: Silicone bundle of joy

Baby Dolls_1
© Rebecca Martinez
The photo above, taken by photographer Rebecca Martinez, is of a baby shower in St. Louis, with games and gifts you'd typically find in such gathering, with one big exception: the honored babies aren't real.

Black Magic

Horrific cult broken up in Northern Mexico

Cult
© Glenn E. Malone/Flickr
A sect named Defenders of Christ that was broken up in Mexico last month forced women to participate in orgies, discouraged baths and made people eat raw animal organs, the wife of a cult leader said Tuesday.

Mexican immigration authorities raided the sex-driven sect's house in the northern state of Nuevo Laredo on January 25, rounding up 14 foreigners, including its Spanish leader Ignacio Gonzalez de Arriba, and 10 Mexicans.

Gonzalez de Arriba saw himself as the reincarnation of Christ and used the Internet to recruit adherents, offering classes on "bio-programming," alternative health care, psychic powers and sexuality, according to the Victim Support Network, which helps people who flee sects.

"They broke you down, making you even doubt your own name," Blanca Castro, who was married to a Venezuelan leader of the Defenders of Christ, told a news conference.

"They made me eat raw animal organs. And you know what? When you're starving you'll eat anything," the Mexican woman said, adding that sect leaders told followers that hygiene was a waste of time.

Comet 2

Meteorite fragment hunters drive prices to stratospheric amounts

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But, with one small piece costing up to £6,500, how can buyers tell whether they are getting the genuine article?

Professional meteorite hunters were quickly on the scene last week after a large space rock entered the atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk and exploded. Demand from international collectors is such that a tiny fragment of the meteorite could fetch hundreds of dollars. Reports have already surfaced on Russian websites of pieces being offered for sale for as much as £6,500.

But how do you tell that what you are buying is a genuine meteorite and not, say, a piece of painted concrete?

"The first thing to look for is the 'fusion crust'," says Dr Natalie Starkey, a cosmochemist at the Open University who specialises in the study of meteorites. "Think of what the crust on baked bread looks like. The exterior of the meteorite will be shiny, smooth and black. The heat generated by entering our atmosphere causes the rock's exterior to melt like glass. This appearance is a good indicator that it's a meteorite, but, sadly, it isn't definitive. Ultimately, it will need forensic examination by an expert."

Mr. Potato

Fetus is 'the largest organ in a body' says Republican representative

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A Republican state representative in Alabama says that her bill to force new restrictions on abortion clinics is necessary because the fetus is "the largest organ in a body."

In a recent interview, state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin explained why she was sponsoring House Bill 57 - The Women's Health and Safety Act - which would "require clinics to follow ambulatory clinic building codes and make it a felony - punishable by up to 10 years in prison - for a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant to dispense abortion-inducing medications," according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

"When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body," the lawmaker declared. "That's a big thing. That's a big surgery. You don't have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that."

In fact, the largest internal organ in the body is the liver, weighing 3.5 pound on average. The body's largest external organ is the skin. A fetus weighs about 0.6 pounds at 20 weeks.

"My liver, heart, and skin are all very excited that we are now giving organs personhood rights, although the latter is slightly upset about losing out on its 'largest organ in the human body' rep," Jezebel's Katie J.M. Baker wrote on Monday.