July 27, 2007

LinkNews Digest [07/27/2007]

Can You Hear Me NOW??!?!?

MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) -- A man appeared in court in Sydney on Saturday after taking an armored personnel carrier on a rampage through the city's western suburbs in which he destroyed six mobile phone towers, Australian media reported.

Suburban Mt Druitt police Chief Inspector Guy Haberley said the 45-year-old man had been arrested on his way to damaging a seventh tower, according to News Ltd. "He continued to destroy mobile tower communications sheds by crashing through the perimeter fence and colliding with structures, causing significant damage," Haberley was quoted as saying.

The charges included malicious damage, break and enter, predatory driving and driving in a dangerous manner.(LINK Video)

UK Boy Buys PS2 from Ebay, Gets $90,000

Police are trying to trace the owner of 65,400 euros (~$90,000) mistakenly sent to a 16-year-old boy who bought a Playstation Two for [$195] on eBay.

The cash arrived in a box at the house in Aylsham, Norfolk, with the games console, but minus two games. Police are holding the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act while the matter is investigated.

An eBay spokesman said the parcel's contents were "somewhat unusual" and it would help police with their inquiries. The boy's parents, who are not commenting, alerted police when the parcel arrived on 20 March.

Magistrates have given Norfolk Police until September to hold on to the money before the case comes up in court again. But, if the money remains unclaimed the family could potentially apply for it to be returned to them under the Police Property Act. (LINK )


"Dr. CATvorkian" Predicts Dying Patients

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (AP) -- Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours.

His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means the patient has less than four hours to live.

"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said.(LINK )

NASA:DUI Astronauts Driving Space Shuttle

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - At least twice, astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so drunk they posed a flight-safety risk, an aviation weekly reported Thursday, citing a special panel studying astronaut health.

The independent panel also found "heavy use of alcohol" before launch that was within the standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology, which reported the finding on its Web site.

A NASA official confirmed that the health report contains claims of alcohol use by astronauts before launch, but said the information is based on anonymous interviews and is unsubstantiated. The official didn't want to be named because NASA plans a news conference Friday to discuss the panel's findings.

The panel was created following the arrest in February of former space shuttle flier Lisa Nowak, who was implicated in a love triangle.(LINK )


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