Sunday, December 28, 2008

Satish Narayan dies after his wife Rajini allegedly set his genitals alight

By Elissa Doherty and Chris Pepper

Satish Narayan
Massive injuries ... Royal Adelaide Hospital, where Satish Narayan dies yesterday after suffering horrific burns to most of his body.
  • Man suffers horrific burns
  • Police allege his genital were set alight
  • Charges against wife could be upgraded

A MAN whose wife allegedly set fire to his genitals while he slept has died.

Satish Narayan, 47, an engineer, lost his battle to survive at the Royal Adelaide Hospital yesterday, 20 days after sustaining burns to most of his body.

The incident has now been declared a major crime by police and it is likely his wife, Rajini, will face a charge of manslaughter or murder.

Police have alleged Mr Narayan's wife doused his genitals with methylated spirit and then set him on fire about 5.30am on December 7.

Mrs Narayan had been charged with causing serious harm to her husband, arson and endangering her children.

A neighbour told the Sunday Mail she had visited Mrs Narayan in the Adelaide Women's Prison yesterday, before she had been told of her husband's death.

She said she was providing support to her friend over what she said was a "terrible tragedy".

She said the pair had held hands and prayed during her visit. "She wanted him to live, more than anything," she said.

"I didn't know them very well but I've got to know her now through visiting her in prison.

"The children are beautiful and it's just a terrible tragedy."

The neighbour said the couple's children were "beautiful, upright citizens" and "anyone would be proud of them".

It is believed a major blaze was sparked at the couple's Cleland Ave townhouse in Unley when Mr Narayan jumped out of bed and knocked over the bottle of methylated spirit.

The fire caused about $1 million of damage to the couple's home and an adjacent property.

Mr Narayan suffered burns to 85 per cent of his body. Mrs Narayan and the couple's three children escaped unharmed from the burning house.

Police spokesman Senior Constable Paul Noble yesterday refused to comment on whether police were considering upgrading the charges.

"The information we have released is all we are going to release today," he said.

But a court has heard previously it was likely the Director of Public Prosecutions would lay charges of manslaughter or murder if Mr Narayan died.

It is believed the Narayans only shifted to Adelaide from Canberra a few months ago, after Mr Narayan landed a job working on the Air Warfare Destroyer project.

Sturt CIB are continuing to investigate the crime.

Original here

Peruvian Jesus born to Virgin Mary on Christmas

Virgin Mary, a 20-year-old Peruvian woman, gave birth to a baby boy on Christmas day and named him Jesus, Peru's state news agency said on Friday.

The baby's father, Adolfo Jorge Huamani, 24, is a carpenter. Religious Peruvians compared him to Joseph the Carpenter in the Bible.

"Two thousand years later the story of Bethlehem is relived," read the headline about the birth in El Comercio, the main newspaper in Peru, a predominantly Catholic country.

The mother, Virgen Maria Huarcaya, delivered the 7.7 pound (3.5 kg) boy, Jesus Emanuel, in the early hours of Christmas at the central maternity hospital in Lima, the capital.

"A few days ago we had decided to name my son after a professional soccer player," the father said. "But thanks to a happy coincidence this is how things ended up."

Retarded Toys Part Deux: Would You Like Childhood Obesity with That?

Chinese Olympic Diving Gold Medalists in the off season (via

Chinese Olympic Diving Gold Medalists in the off season (via

How do you promote a series of deadly plagues on society? By creating a toy that promotes childhood obesity, low self standards, and apparently foreign child labor (come on, a Chinese girl making McDonald’s?), that’s how. Enter the McDonald’s Drive Through Food Cart- a fast-food conglomerate’s approach to trapping your children early into recognizing fast food restaurants as not only a means of cheap and unhealthy food, but also a place of fun, fantasy, and fattened childhood memories.

Like food dealing Drug Lords, they’ve created a toy that not only enforces McDonald’s propaganda onto your children at an early age, but has effective created a vicious circle of obesity and destruction that is basically one step away from a”V for Vendetta-esque” future where only a guy-Fawkes mask wearing hero can save us.

I’m not sure what happened to the days where toys like Legos, tea party sets, and basketballs were the standard for Christmas gifts, but apparently the days of diabetes, labored breathing, and liposuction are here to stay. I think its fair to say the dangerous implications of this toy are on par with a red rider Bebe gun from the movie “A Christmas Story”, but you’re more likely to cut your foot off because of diabetes with this demon on four legs. They might as well make a “High School Musical r*pe kit complete with underwear already turned inside out.”

It’s pretty sad to see how vibrant the comments are from parents- ” they love it. Looooooooove it!” and “the kids actually believe they are apart of the McDonald’s crew!” Sigh. If you, reader, are unable to see the complete destruction of society through this toy, then allow me to reiterate. Children find themselves doing only what they see as fun and interesting, and thus sub-consciously find a connection to it with their daily lives. I, for example, love puzzles and games. Therefore, I’ve turned out into a smart-mouth and smart-ass nerd who is majoring in Information Systems and contributes to a nerdy website. If today’s youth find comfort and fun in the mass production and distribution of fattening and stomach churning burgers and fries (albeit those yogurt parfaits are god d*mned ridiculously delicious), then what will happen to the future? Ten years down the line, we won’t have transitions from play doctors to real doctors or YMCA basketball all-stars to NBA all-stars, we’ll have an army of unmotivated drive-through employees and cashier-workers who end every sentence with “would you like fries with that?” What comes to mind after seeing this toy is the movie “Idiocracy”- if you haven’t seen it, then please do (”welcome to Costco, I love you” :P) . And if you can’t make the connection from dumb people to a dumb future after watching this movie, then may Jeebus help us, because its already begun. Epic Fail McDonald’s, GG.

Original here

Washington prison doctor quits over death penalty

The Olympian

The state Department of Corrections' top medical officer has resigned, saying that the use of staff members to prepare for an execution is unethical.

Dr. Marc Stern, who lives in Olympia, said the American Medical Association and Society of Correctional Physicians oppose physician involvement in executions, "and they say physicians should not supervise somebody who is involved in executions."

"The only way out we found was for me to recuse myself, and the only way I could recuse myself was to resign," he said.

The agency had been set to execute murderer Darold Ray Stenson this month. The execution has been postponed.

Stern said he supervised about 700 people in prisons and other corrections facilities statewide. He said at least one of the people he supervised had been involved in execution preparations at Walla Walla State Penitentiary.

He told his superiors that he objected to his division's involvement, but no solution was found, he said.

Scott Blonien, assistant secretary of the department, characterized Stern's objections as more individual than professional.

"It's clear to us that Marc had a personal, ethical conflict, and we respect that. There's nothing we would want to do in the department to cause someone to commit a violation of their personal ethics," he said.

Taking part in an execution is voluntary for all department employees — a policy found in other states and the federal prison system, Blonien said. That policy was in place in 2001, the last time the state executed somebody, he said.

The American Medical Association says physicians shouldn't take part in "an action which would assist, supervise, or contribute to the ability of another individual to directly cause the death of the condemned."

Original here

Child greeting 'Santa' was first victim, police say

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Dressed as Santa, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo walked up to his ex-in-laws' home in Covina, California, on Christmas Eve and knocked on the door.

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo was sought for a Christmas party shooting before taking his own life, police said.

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo was sought for a Christmas party shooting before taking his own life, police said.

An 8-year-old girl, elated to see Santa, ran toward the door.

That's when, police say, Pardo lifted a gun and shot her in the face.

Pardo, 45, with a gun in one hand and a wrapped present in the other, began shooting indiscriminately, police said at a news conference Thursday.

He sprayed the living room with bullets. Video Watch police describe the child getting shot »

Nearly 25 friends and family members were at the home for an annual Christmas party.

Some ran, some took cover under furniture, some broke windows in an effort to escape -- one woman jumped from the second-story of the home, police said.

Neighbors heard gunfire and called 911 shortly before 11:30 p.m. Police said they arrived within three minutes to find the home engulfed in flames.

Police said Thursday afternoon that six bodies had been recovered. The Los Angeles County coroner's office later said two more bodies had been recovered. The names of the victims have not yet been released by authorities.

Police said they have not accounted for three people: Pardo's ex-mother-in-law, ex-father-in-law and ex-wife -- whom he recently divorced. The 8-year-old, whose injuries indicate the bullet went straight through her face, is recovering at a hospital in Los Angeles, police said.

"She has a very, very severe injury to her face. It's not life-threatening, but she's got a very tough road ahead of her," Lt. Pat Buchanan of the Covina Police Department said Thursday.

A 16-year-old with a gunshot wound and the woman who jumped out the window were also being treated at the hospital.

Police believe that after Pardo stopped shooting he unwrapped his gift -- a home-made device used to spread fire -- and used it to set the house ablaze.

Buchanan said the device was "something we have never seen before." Covina Police Chief Kim Raney described it as a pressurized tank attached to another tank filled with accelerant.

Police believe that after Pardo set fire to the home, he changed into his regular clothing, went to another relative's home in the nearby Sylmar area and committed suicide.

Authorities identified Pardo's body, said Buchanan.

Police have not released the identities of any of his alleged victims.

At the news conference Ed Winter, assistant chief Los Angeles County coroner, said the recovered bodies were "severely burned and charred," making it necessary to use dental and medical records, and X-rays to establish identities.

The intense fire caused the top floor of the two-story house to collapse onto the first floor, according to Winter.

Raney said Pardo's former in-laws regularly have a party Christmas Eve and that one neighbor always arrives dressed as Santa. This year, that neighbor was away, police said.

Police suggested marital problems as a possible motive for the attack and said they believe Pardo and his wife of one year finally settled a contentious divorce last week.

Authorities said Pardo's name was given to them by people who were at the party.

Police also said they recovered multiple weapons from inside the house.

Original here

7 (Stupid) People Who Sued the Scientific Method

By Luke McKinney

Scientists study for years to give us advances like computers. Lawyers sue scientists on behalf of people who can't operate computers, earn ten times as much and, in doing so, raise horribly relevant questions about which group is actually smarter. Here we see seven of the worst offenses of law against science:

Flower Power Versus Particle Physics

Walter Wagner enjoyed a lot of media attention a few months ago, bringing a lawsuit against the Large Hadron Collider which he claims will destroy the world. While Wagner repeatedly pointed out that he's a scientist, he failed to mention that he's a botanist, also known as a "plant scientist," in the public circle (and "gay scientist" in the scientific one). Now, while we're sure Wagner knows his way around a tulip, it's important to note that his only recorded experience with nuclear science comes from working in a hospital that performed nuclear medicine and, unless they treated Galactus, that doesn't involve a lot of superstring ultrascience.

"Bees...pollen...bees- My God...the LHC will destroy us all."

Get over yourself, Wagner. Plenty of unqualified smartasses warn the world about the LHC, but they're not suing anyone.

While his website is quick to point out his impressive credentials ("wikipedia science editor"), as well as remind everyone how expensive his particular brand of scientific exploration is going to cost ("We expect to encounter expenses in excess of $100,000 in this action" ), it strangely fails to mention his 2004 indictment for first-degree identity theft and fraud in Hawaii. Also missing from the website: reasonable, non-retarded evidence to support his claims about the collider. Still, Wagner believed he was going to save the world, and if that meant getting totally rich and famous in the process, Wagner was prepared to carry that weight. He truly is a hero.

Or, at least he was: the judge in the Honolulu court he filed the case in had to explain that they don't actually have jurisdiction over Switzerland.

"Exhibit A, your Honor: A map of America that doesn't feature Switzerland. I rest my case."

Since Switzerland is pretty clearly not part of this country, that ruling may not surprise you. In fairness, though, Wagner's a flower doctor, so you can't expect him to understand something as complex as geography. You can, however, still donate to Wagner and his cause, in case you either support lunatics or just plain hate real science.

What a Victory Would Imply:

That one man with a lawyer is recognized as a better expert on a field than every expert on the planet in that field put together, with a billion dollar budget, working for over twenty years. Society itself would break down as every skilled worker in the world just gives up and either goes to law school or takes up professionally hurting themselves for money. Think Mad Max meets Jackass with lawsuits instead of gasoline.

Voting Machine Makers Sue to Prevent Testing

Sequoia Voting Systems sued to prevent Princeton computer scientists from studying their voting machines on the grounds that it would damage their business. Which is fair enough, because scientific reports confirming that the machines can't count and often don't turn on probably would. Election clerks ordered the study when they found that the machines had miscounted the number of voters, and since the sole function of the machines is "count the number of voters" that's kind of a serious problem.

Sequoia's ominously-titled "Vice President of Compliance/Quality/Certification" issued this statement: "We will also take appropriate steps to protect against any publication of Sequoia software, its behavior, reports [sic] regarding same or any other infringement of our intellectual property."

Vice President of Compliance/Quality/Certification."

That means we're not even allowed to talk about the voting machines and when a "Vice President of Compliance/Quality/Certification" says "appropriate steps" we get a little nervous.

What a Victory Would Imply:

That companies can sell you things and you are legally barred from complaining if they don't work, or even checking if they do. Under this framework Apple could start shipping white-painted rocks in boxes saying "iPod" and you couldn't complain. Not that the Apple fanboys who waited in line for three days to get an iStone would anyway.

Redefining Pi

There's the famous false story of the state that tried to redefine the fundamental mathematical constant pi to 3, but of course no one would ever be that stupid. Though, in Indiana in 1897, they tried to pass a law setting it at 3.2, which is only 0.2 less retarded.

House Bill 246 in the Indiana House of Representatives, introduced by representative T. Record, offered three different numbers to replace the "confusing" value of pi. Because nothing simplifies things like offering three different values for a fundamental constant. The bill was first seen by the Committee on Swamp Lands, then the Committee for Education and then the Committee for Temperance - possibly as the legislative system attempted to find someone dumb enough to deal with it.

Committee on Swamp Lands' Senior Vice President

Since the (evidently) extremely influential Committee on Swamp Lands saw no issue with the new definition, the bill actually had a chance of passing until, thankfully, a mathematician just happened to wander into the building on other business and, after checking the bill out, effectively informed those present that he wouldn't wipe his ass with the bill for fear it would miscount the number of cheeks.

What a Victory Would Imply:

Start with the collapse of Euclidean geometry and spacetime, then work up from there. Basically, Salvador Dali paintings would become still lifes and everything you know would be wrong.

And if you're okay living in a world like that, congrats on being the oldest living-person, Mr. Chairman for the Committee on Swamp Lands.

Homeopath Versus Multiple Nobel Prize Winners

In 1988, noted immunologist Jacques Benveniste got bored with "the respect of his peers" and "scientific credibility" things and published a paper claiming that water retains the memory of useful medicines that had been dissolved in it, even when so diluted that none of the original medicine remained. This line of reasoning is vaguely reminiscent of homeopathologists, aka "those people who don't wash and sell the very expensive water." It appeared in Nature, whose Editors apparently only read as far as his name before hitting the print button.

Benveniste also claimed that this information could be digitized and transmitted by telephone. Let us restate that: He claimed that you could turn a glass of water into useful medicine by calling it on the phone.

"Yes, I still have leukemia. Yes, I drank the water. That scientist is retarded."

Not surprisingly, some scientists had a bit of a problem with this. And by "some" we mean "all," including Nobel Prize winners in physics and medicine Georges Charpak and Francois Jacob. When they pointed out that his claims were a bunch of horseshit (probably in a much more cultured turn of phrase) Benveniste sued them for libel. Despite the fact that every single experiment to replicate his Jesus-like transmogrification of water either failed or were rigged.

Luckily, Mr Benveniste's case was thrown out of court because he filed the wrong type of lawsuit (which we like to interpret as the judge reading the claim and responding, "Oh, no, you need to file this in Pretend Court. We're a real court, we work with science and humans. Have a good one.").

"No, your courtroom is in space."

What a Victory Would Imply:

That the universal cure to all your ills already dispenses from your tap (since the sea has, at one point or another, dissolved everything). Any illnesses you may think you're suffering are merely figments of your imagination, and the cure is just a phone call away.

Vitamins Cure AIDS

Vitamins are good for you, but it's not like they can cure AIDS. If you agree with that statement, you could be sued for one and a half million dollars. That's what journalist Ben Goldacre discovered when he called attention to some slightly dodgy behavior by Matthias Rath. Here "slightly dodgy" is defined as "putting out full page ads in South Africa, claiming that AIDS medicines are useless but vitamin pills will cure you, where tens of thousands of people die every month from AIDS".

"Well I do want to get rid of this AIDS. But $15.99? I don't know..."

Why yes, Mr. Rath does own a vitamin company and, while we don't know this information firsthand, we can only speculate that his balls are somewhere in the realm of "super huge." While the case failed, for the entire year it dragged on Mr. Goldacre was barred from even mentioning anything to do with the case. Which, since he's a journalist, kind of made it hard for him to do his job.

What a Victory Would Imply:

When you can be successfully sued for claiming that vitamins don't cure AIDS, it's the end of public communication, since the last count of "things that don't cure AIDS" came in at approximately "everything." If someone can be sued in the face of such a basic fact, we'll have to take up coded sign language just to avoid litigation.

Suing About Polar Bears Being Endangered

The Center for Biological Diversity counted the number of polar bears left and found that, holy shit, those things are endangered. In a sign of just how legally messed up things are, they're having to sue the government to get the status changed from "threatened" to "endangered." That's right, the scientists whose job it is to track endangered animals still have to bring a court case to get that tracking recorded, and that's not even the worst lawsuit involved.

A countersuit has been filed by the American Petroleum Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Iron and Steel Institute and others who clearly have no ulterior motives whatsoever. The countersuit is seeking to not only block the upgrade but to remove the "threatened" status, even though few of their legal statements even address the number of polar bears at all and amount to "Ah, they'll be fine".

Look at that guy. He's living the dream.

They point out that with the cost of gas the way it is, the bears should not be considered "endangered." Our understanding of bear-mating is woefully underdeveloped, but we don't think those things check the price at the pump before deciding whether or not to produce offspring. The companies also complain that Alaska has to deal with special conservation rules that other states don't. The fact that Alaska is the only state that actually has polar bears doesn't really seem relevant to them.

What a Victory Would Imply:

That you don't even have to address the issue of the case. For example, you could beat a murder rap by simply proving conclusively that going to jail for twenty years would significantly damage your ability to make a decent living as a hitman.

Deep Impact Suit

The Deep Impact mission was an effort by NASA to find out what was inside the comet 9P/Tempel, which they did by slamming a three hundred kilogram copper bullet into it at ten kilometers per second.

Which was awesome, because not nearly enough space missions are directed by Michael Bay. The day after the mission, Russian astrologer Mirana Bai sued NASA for $300 million for "moral suffering." Apparently, making a small hole in a comet no one had ever heard of in its un-holed state had ruined the natural balance of the universe and affected her horoscope.

The thing is, 9P/Tempel doesn't actually appear on the horoscope. Pedantic, we know, but if you're going to go to court based on the magic future-predictions of little spots in the sky, you should make sure that you're actually talking about one. And three $300 million? Is she claiming that the change to her horoscope prevented her from meeting a tall dark stranger? A tall dark stranger with forty winning lottery tickets in his pocket?

What a Victory Would Imply:

When an astrologer is credited with a better understanding of space than NASA, it's time to turn off modern civilization, move everyone back to the caves and start over.

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