Do the Crime and Pay the Weird Price: The Strangest Court Sentences Ever

Judges are supposed to be wise and learned people who are experts at making smart decisions on tough matters. Will you agree with this description after reading about the strangest court sentences ever handed out?

The Idiot Sign

Strangest Court Sentences Ever

Shena Hardin is a self-proclaimed idiot. She was driving in Cleveland when she decided to go up onto the sidewalk in order to avoid stopping for a school bus. The judge told her to make a sign telling the world how stupid she is and then stand outside during rush hour for two days holding it up. I bet she will think twice about being that stupid again.

The Wal-Mart Thief?

Strangest Court Sentences Ever

An unusual court sentence in Alabama saw a couple of convicted shoplifters forced to stand outside the store they stole from with big signs explaining what they did.

The Not So Easy Listening Sentence

Strangest Court Sentences Ever?

If you like some heavy metal, R&B, rock or rap then you don’t want to be up in front of Judge Paul Sacco in Colorado. In fact, most people with some sort of musical taste will want to avoid him. This guy has a strange sentence for anyone who is convicted of annoying others with loud music: he forces them to listen to easy listening classics. This means that they need to listen to music they don’t like. Yes, this does indeed having hours of Barry Manilow’s nonsense forced on you. Less serious offenders get Dolly Parton or maybe some classical music to listen to.

The Tweet Apology?

Strangest Court Sentences Ever

I have severely insulted Jean-Francois Cope and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. I regret and apologize. It’s not the most interesting tweet in the world but some poor person was convicted to send it 466 times in a month. An internet critic of the 2 politicians was given this weird court sentence by a French judge.

The Court Haircut?

Strangest Court Sentences Ever

Who knew that going to McDonald’s could cause such a problem? A 13 year old called Kaytlen Lopan and a younger friend cut off the hair of a 3 year old in the play area of a restaurant in Utah. The judge took a pragmatic approach and ordered that the initial sentence of 30 days detention and 276 hours of community service would be reduced if the teenager’s mother cut the perpetrator’s hair. The victim’s mother got to say how short the cut had to be.

The Bread and Water Diet

Strangest Court Sentences Ever?

When Melissa Dawn Sweeney neglected her horse she didn’t expect it to lead to a strange court sentence of jail with bread and water for her. Her horse had to get put to sleep and the wise judge decided that the offender should suffer a similar sort of level of neglect to the horse while in jail.

Plenty of Church?

Strangest Court Sentences Ever

When 17 year old Tyler Alred was found guilty of manslaughter following a traffic accident he probably didn’t expect to end up sentenced to church. His friend who was a passenger at the time was killed in the accident but family members didn’t want to see Alred locked up in jail because of a mistake he had made. Judge Mike Norman told the accused that he has to graduate from high school and from welding school, take regular drug and alcohol tests and go to church for the next couple of decades.

A Few Truly Awful Jobs One Can Have

If we were to take all the information and the talks we hear seriously, we might conclude that nobody – like, really, nobody – is happy with their job at all. Complaining about your job and the fact that what you have to do is very boring, or stupid, or hard to do, seems to be everyone’s real job. At least judging from the effort and enthusiasm invested into this complaining. But if everyone were to look beyond their (sometimes) petty reasons to whine and get over the pretentiousness, not only would the world be a better place (because maybe then we could actually move on to having better conversations), but we might also notice the truly awful jobs out there.

Some people are either very brave, or have a very strong stomach, or are simply out of better alternatives and have to settle for jobs that most people would avoid like the plague. Honestly, there are probably few worse ways to make a living than what you’re about to see. I, for one, would prefer to gurn every day for a living rather than doing any of these really awful jobs. Therefore, let’s pay a bit more respect to the people whose jobs actually suck and stop complaining like a bunch of frustrated teenagers about ours. Nothing most of us do could possibly compare to any of these:

Bull (or elephant) masturbator

Nope, there will be no picture posted of this job. Really. But the description may be suggestive enough for any reader to be grossed out by now. You know, in zoos and also in modern farming, there’s no time anymore to allow the animals to naturally reproduce, and therefore semen must be collected from a male and used to inseminate quite a high population of females (at least in farming). Well, that semen used must be collected somehow. And guess what – there’s actually a position for that (no pun intended). The official name for the job is barnyard masturbator and it involves holding an artificial vagina really steady on the bull’s penis until the animal has had its fun and the liquid is collected. Needless to say, it is tricky and quite dangerous. Plenty of people have been injured and had to be taken to the hospital while trying to do their work at this job. Lovely, right?

Janitor at an Adult Movie Cinema

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Well, it’s probably in the same category as the one above, but minus the danger part. Imagine the kind of people that go to see adult movies in a theater and imagine what goes on during the movie projection. Yup, your guess is right. And now imagine the delight of the poor soul that has to clean up the floor and the seats after each movie. You’re starting to be more content with your job now, I bet.

Carcass cleaner

Probably the job of a butcher isn’t something very appealing to most people. It could be considered one of the awful jobs out there, even if a necessary one. But if you imagine butchering animals up for a living is gross, imagine what it would be like if instead of just chopping, the person would have to carefully clean up all the rotting flesh from a corpse in order to preserve the skeleton (for museum-related and scientific purposes). This is usually done by a taxidermist who either allows the flesh to rot into an advanced state of degradation so it gets easier to remove, or boils the corpse to soften it up faster, or who enlists the help of bugs and worms and vermin to do part of the job of removing that flesh.

If you’re already happy to go back to whatever work you do, also note that these were just a few examples. There are plenty of other awful jobs out there to further horrify you, but perhaps on another occasion. In the meantime, enjoy your work and stop whining.

Cinco de Mayo: A Look into a Mixed Holiday’s Background

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Since it’s almost the beginning of May and in the U.S. that means Cinco de Mayo will soon be here, perhaps now is a good time to delve a bit into the background of this odd holiday. The label of odd comes here because of the ambiguous status of this relatively recent and quite fabricated holiday. Don’t misunderstand us: there’s nothing wrong with yet another reason for a pretty public celebration, or with giving a cultural minority an opportunity to express itself. Nor is there anything wrong with drinking tequila and sampling various kinds of enchiladas and generally eating guacamole on anything until you’re ready to burst. Nope, there’s definitely nothing wrong with those at all, scout’s honor.

A slight problem arises mainly when people are confronted with the question “What exactly is celebrated on the 5th of May, or during Cinco de Mayo?”, because this is where things usually become blurry and tricky.  Many wrongly believe it’s the date when Mexico celebrates its Independence Day: while that may indeed be the most important patriotic holiday in Mexico, it is actually way later in the yearly span, on September the 16th. Even more, Cinco de Mayo isn’t really that much of a big deal south of the U.S. border; the main celebrations are held on American soil. Think that’s strange? The reason for this is that, actually, Cinco de Mayo is a sort-of “fabricated” holiday for the territory of the ‘states, meant to give the Mexican-Americans an occasion to celebrate their identity with pride. There is a smaller holiday in Mexico that the larger one in U.S. is based on, El Dia de la Batalia de la Puebla  (The Day of the Battle of Puebla), commemorating a victory against French troops, but that original holiday is so small-scale that it doesn’t really matter much. It’s not even celebrated in all of Mexico, but just one state and area, where the historic event occurred.

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Since it’s such less of a big deal in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is now understandably a holiday with relevance for the Mexican-Americans first and foremost. It makes sense, actually, since they were the ones deeper into not always friendly territory, and needed to find a way of asserting their identity, preferably in a cultural and creative way. And what better way could it be than this wonderful collection of colorful parades, singing and dancing and all the spicy Mexican food and drinks you can muster? Probably none. It’s completely understandable how Cinco de Mayo rose to prominence so quickly in the U.S. The holiday existed since 1860, but it became popular sometime in the 40s, along with the rise of the Chicano movement (which emphasized a pride of one’s Latino identity).

But was the sudden popularity of Cinco de Mayo only related to the rise of the Chicano movement? Unfortunately, whenever there’s a celebration, there’s always some corporate interests involved, at least since the second half of the 20th century and to this day. Grand American companies that specialized in consumer goods like food and drink saw a major opportunity in capitalizing any holiday man can think of, and Cinco de Mayo was no exception. Especially a beer giant was involved in a bit of controversy about aggressively promoting its beverage on behalf of the Mexican holiday and community, but then again, it would be hard not to find a holiday that wasn’t capitalized upon in a similar manner.

The morale of this story, folks, if we’re permitted to suggest one, is that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your Mexican food and drinks this upcoming May, even if they’re advertised by all-too-eager commercial interests, but a least let’s pay better attention to history. Taking part in the celebration is always nice and even a bit mandatory if we’re to be respectful to the minority celebrating it, but you know what would be even more respectful? Not confusing Cinco de Mayo any more with their Independence Day, for instance. That being said, enjoy the fiesta!

Best 10 Beers in the World

Beer needs no introduction.  It’s the world’s favorite alcoholic drink, surpassing other favorites such as wine and cocktails. But while some brands of beer are widely known and easy to find, others are somehow reserved for initiates and beer geeks. And, according to a study carried out by two Stanford University Computer experts, the beer geeks seem to have the best tastes. As we consume more and more varieties of a product, our ability to detect fine nuances improves and we discriminate better between the various types of taste we experience. This observation, proven right by the scientific study mentioned above, can actually be applied to almost anything. Some things are more for beginners, while others are more likely to be enjoyed by initiates who had already gained some expertise.

As for the best 10 beers in the world, the study has shown that the ones rated as being the best in terms of taste and quality are unfortunately not the widely known and available ones, but rather the specialty beers which tend to be harder to find. But if you’re a beer enthusiast, do yourself a favor and seek out at least a few of these. Your taste buds may experience a sudden revelation.

1. Westvleteren’s 12

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This beer scored the highest rating in the study and it’s apparently widely appreciated by people who can get their hands on it. It’s brewed by the monks of the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in Belgium and sold right at the gates of the monastery, weekly. It has no label and contains just water, yeast, hops, malt, sugar and caramel. If you’re not planning a visit to Belgium too soon, you can also buy the beer online, sometimes.

2. Three Floyd’s Brewing Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout

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Three Floyd’s Brewing has many famous beers, but Dark Lord tops them all. It’s a Russian Imperial Stout brewed with coffee and honey and molasses and it tastes divine. Unfortunately, they only sell it on Dark Lord Day (the last Saturday of April) and customers need to have some pre-bought tickets to the event.

3. AleSmith’s Speedway Stout

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This is another Imperial Stout, brewed with coffee and with a total of 12% alcohol in full volume. It’s a strong beer, with a toasted hint.

4. Bell’s Expedition Stout

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This is produced by Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan and it’s yet another strong stout (apparently these seem to be deemed the best for beer connoisseurs). It has a pitch black color and a strong coffee aftertaste, while also being somewhat sweet.

5. Three Floyd’s Brewing Dreadnaught Imperial IPA

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The first non-stout on our list is yet another brew from the Three Floyd’s Brewing. This one has mango and peach undertones to keep it from tasting too bitter and an extreme flavor profile.

6. Founder’s Brewing Co.’s KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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Apparently, if you’re a true beer lover, there’s nothing wrong with starting your day with a strong stout for breakfast. This one is brewed not just with coffee, but also with chocolates. It has a very dark and rich flavor and it’s only served after cave-aging in bourbon oak barrels.

7. Russian River’s Pliny the Elder

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Yet another non-stout: this one is a Double India Pale Ale and it contains citrus, pine and fresh hops. It has a balanced taste and a dry finish.

8. Russian River’s Temptation

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This time, the Russian River Brewery made it to the top with a sour blond ale, aged in Chardonnay barrels.

9. Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout

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This stout is brewed in 18 year-old bourbon barrels for two years and its delicious chocolate undertones will make you come back for more.

10. Hair of the Dog’s Adam

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The Adam ale from the Hair of the Dog brewery is actually a recreation of a historic beer style from Dortmund, Germany.

These were the best 10 beers in the world. May you get to enjoy them all.

Source of info and images: mainly here.

How One Little Mistake Can Lead to Disaster

This is why people should do and re-do their math until they’re completely sure they got it right. Because in the real world of architects and engineers and so on, a slight miscalculation can wreak havoc: after a certain figure leaves the writing sheet, there might be no turning back. And by the time the people who are applying the miscalculation can figure out what’s going on, it might just be too late. Here’s a small list of famous disasters brought upon by one little mistake.

1. Square Windows on an Airplane

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As anyone who’s ever ridden an airplane knows, the windows we peek through today have round edges. And their round shape is designed like that for a reason: to prevent the pressure build-up from breaking into the airplane at its weakest spots, those square points. In engineering language, those square angles are now called a “stress concentration. But what today is common wisdom, back in the 50s was yet to be discovered.

It took the crash of two Havilland Comets that disintegrated into thin air mid-flight for no predictable reason for the scientists to finally figure it out: it’s the square windows that get people killed.

2. The Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse

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In the early 1980 Kansas City, the Hyatt Regency was attempting to be the talk of the town with its posh designs and breath-taking views. To this effect, the hotel managers ordered several aerial walkways to adorn the top of the room, so people can admire the lower lobby in its full splendor. Unfortunately, at one point during the build planning, they decided to do a minor design change, meant to make the whole build easier: namely, they replaced a long rod with two shorter rods. Seemingly harmless, right? Well, yes, until the whole thing collapsed and killed 114 people and injured a further 216. This disaster was considered the world’s greatest structural collapse until the World Trade Center. And it all started with one little mistake.

3. The Nuclear Disaster of Chernobyl

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Everyone has heard of this one. The nuclear catastrophe that left the region desolate (the after-math can be explored through this series of hauntingly beautiful pictures) could have been prevented by simply paying more attention. After first placing the blame on power plant operators, the Russian authorities later admitted that a design deficiency was in fact responsible for the explosion. The event took countless lives, either immediately or by slower paced cancer and deformities caused by the radiation.

4. The Cocoanut Grove Fire of 1942 Chicago

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A fire broke out in Cocoanut Grove, a hip club that was all the rage at the time. Never mind that the club was highly flammable to begin with, but the really outrageous mistake is how the bar’s doors functioned. They were typical-looking saloon doors that only allowed the user to enter the bar hands-free, but required to be pulled back upon exiting. So guess what happened when hundreds of scared people attempted to get out once the fire broke loose? They crammed against those doors and there was simply not enough space for to pull the doors back and thus be able to exit. Official estimates say that if the doors would have worked both ways, at least 300 people would have escaped.

5. The Titanic

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This is most probably another story that everyone’s familiar with. But fewer people know that what sunk the mighty ship wasn’t the iceberg that collided with it, and not even the lack of boats from the ship’s decks. It was actually the fact that its center propeller didn’t work in reverse, but only the left and right ones did, in order to make the ship make gentler moves through the water. But when the First Officer Murdoch wanted the ship to really reverse fast in order to avoid the iceberg, the only result was, unfortunately, an epic fail.

So beware and do your math right: one little mistake can breed chaos.