WSJ: How a Night Out in Delhi Turned Tragic

Protesters in India. (Image via National Post)
Protesters in India. (Image via National Post)

A Woman Determined to Improve Her Position in Life Became a Victim of a Brutal Attack; Alleged Culprits on ‘Joy Ride’

Wall Street Journal

NEW DELHI—On the evening of Dec. 16, a young female physiotherapy student went to a movie with a male friend. After, they waited at a bus stop on a busy road in a south Delhi neighborhood called Munirka.

They were, in many ways, the face of a youthful, up-and-coming India. She was 23 years old, from a lower-caste rural family, according to news reports. She was a role model in her neighborhood, reports said, engrossed in her studies in the northern city of Dehradun, paying tuition with money raised when her parents sold their land.

“She wanted to ensure that she studied well, stood on her own feet and made it big in life so she could ensure a better future for her family,” a friend told the Sunday Express.

Her companion on Dec. 16 was a 28-year-old software engineer at a local technology company. The two victims’ names haven’t been disclosed by authorities.

The same evening, not far away, a much different side of youthful India was on display. Two brothers—Ram and Mukesh Singh—cooked some chicken at their home in a slum called Ravi Dass Camp, a maze of narrow lanes and open drains. Neighbors describe the brothers as rowdy, heavy drinkers.

The brothers decided, with four friends, to take a “joy ride” in the bus that Ram Singh drove for a living, according to police statements. None of the six, who are all in custody, nor their lawyers could be reached for comment.

A little after 9 p.m., the bus pulled in at the stop where the couple waited, police say. They were the only ones to board, paying a fare of about 20 rupees, or 35 cents, according to police. Thus began an encounter so gruesome that it shocked the nation and, ultimately, took a life.

As the bus set off, three of the men who were seated in the driver’s cabin started harassing the two passengers, police say. When the software engineer tried to resist, the men started beating him on his legs, arms and head, according to police.

The woman tried to intervene to protect her friend. The men dragged her to the rear of the bus and raped her as they drove around south Delhi for an hour, police say.

Read more in this Dec. 3- story in Wall Street Journal. 


Interesting: 2012 in review [for this blog]

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 21,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Lenox Lounge will be renamed Notar Jazz Club, Richie Notar and Alvin Reed finally cross paths

I got to have a drink at Lenox Lounge last week.

HarlemGal Inc.

If anyone thinks there is a grain of hope left for Lenox Lounge in Harlem, forget about it! Read the latest article from The NY Daily News. Richie Notar is now publicly speaking about his plans for the vintage Harlem establishment. Notar told Community Board 10 “he does not want to change much.” However, Notar confirms he will change the name to Notar Jazz Club.

By the way, Notar and Alvin Reed crossed paths for the first time according to the article. That had to be interesting.

After reading the article, all I could think about is “what a pity that Notar does not see any value in saving the Lenox Lounge brand?” There are plenty of smart business people who have taken on well-known brands and successfully lifted those brands higher. Say Fiat? Say Izod? How about Puma? Guess Richie Notar is a play-it-safe-kind-of-a-businessman?

The good things coming…

View original post 39 more words

Why it’s a better idea to VARY your news sources

ImageMosque arsonist tells court: ‘I only know what I hear on Fox News’

via David Edwards of Raw Story

An Indiana man convicted of setting fire to a mosque in Ohio told a judge on Wednesday that he committed the crimes because Fox News and conservative talk radio had convinced him that “most Muslims are terrorists.”

Randolph Linn, 52, accepted a plea deal in which he pled guilty to all charges in connection to setting a fire in the prayer room at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Sept. 30. Under the deal, Linn is expected to serve 20 years in prison instead of 40.

Linn explained to the court that he had gotten “riled up” after watching Fox News.

“And I was more sad when Judge [Jack] Zouhary asked him that, ‘Do you know any Muslims or do you know what Islam is?’” one mosque member who attended the hearing recalled to WNWO. “And he said, ‘No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio.’”

“Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up,” Linn also reportedly told the judge. “Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.”

Linn claimed that he had consumed 45 beers in the 6 hours before leaving his Indiana home to set fire to the mosque, which he had discovered while working as a truck driver.

After his arrest on Oct. 2, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ava Dusten said that Linn had told officers, “Fuck those Muslims… They would kill us if they got the chance.”

Linn is due back in court on April 16, 2013 for a formal sentencing.

A survey released by Fairleigh Dickinson University earlier this year determined that Fox News viewers were actually less informed that Americans who watched no news at all. In fact, at least seven studies in recent years have confirmed that Fox News viewers are more likely to be misinformed than other Americans.

Original story here


The connection between Tampa, Fl., and Barranquilla, Colombia

Barranquilla Mayor Elsa Noguera De La Espriella and Tampa’s Bob Buckhorn. (Image courtesy of the city of Tampa.)

I keep up on general news (especially music-related) coming out of Barranquilla, Colombia, because it’s where my parents are from. I love going there for the annual carnival, which I wrote about for Sounds and Colours. It’s QUITE the party.

So you can imagine my surprise when I received a press release today about Barranquilla’s sister city in the United States. Because that city is Tampa. Tampa? Yes, Tampa.

Apparently, Barranquilla and Tampa have been sister cities since 1966. The two cities agreed to collaborate through the “Sister Cities” program “for the mutual benefit of their citizens and communities by exploring educational, economic and cultural opportunities.” (By the way, for you random trivia buffs, Tampa is also the Sister City of: LeHavre, France, Oviedo, Spain, Vera Cruz/Boca del Rio, Mexico, Izmir, Turkey, Agrigento, Italy, and Ashdod, Israel.)

Apparently the “Sister Cities” thing isn’t a permanent affair because on Dec. 6, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined Barranquilla Mayor Elsa Noguera De La Espriella to reaffirm the Sister Cities partnership. Buckhorn presented Noguera De La Espriella with a painting of Old City Hall by local artist Arnold Martinez as a gift.



Science Daily: In U.S. First, Surgeons Implant Brain ‘Pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s Disease

Ed. note: My dad had this surgery for Parkinson’s disease seven years ago. I’m glad they now offer it for Alzheimer’s!

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2012) — Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine in November surgically implanted a pacemaker-like device into the brain of a patient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the first such operation in the United States. The device, which provides deep brain stimulation and has been used in thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease, is seen as a possible means of boosting memory and reversing cognitive decline.

Read more in Science Daily.

ADVICE: Should you ever fall or get pushed into the subway tracks…

Image via Gawker.
Image via Gawker.

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s horrific. On Dec. 3, a man was pushed into the subway tracks and killed. Here are some tips from my friend Rich, who as a former graffiti writer, has been on the subway tracks, as well as inside the tunnels:

If you happen to fall or get pushed into the subway tracks:

– If you don’t hear a train coming down the tunnel, and don’t see any lights, you can try to climb out of the tracks.
The height is a lot higher than you may think, and will take some real effort. Hopefully someone can help you out. Take off any backpacks/bulky coats (again, assuming you have time. There is a difference between falling into a subway track at 5:30 pm and 3am).

-If you can make it to either end of the track, it might be a little easier to climb out using step railings. Go to the end that the first car would end up at, since you have a better chance of the train stopping by then.

– If the train is barreling down the tunnel, and you have no time to climb out, don’t freak out and keep reaching out, or if someone who is trying to pull you up is not able to, make them let go. You do not want to be caught half-way up as the train crushes you between platform and subway car.

What you want to do is lie down FLAT and STRAIGHT, AGAINST the wall UNDER the subway platform. Don’t curl up, and this will push you out closer to the train.
There is a relatively good amount of space under there.

The train will likely stop, and likely not move until rescue teams arrive, though perhaps some MTA workers might try to come to you to make sure you’re ok.

Don’t try to crawl out unless you are directed to do so in a safe manner.

Yes, it’s dirty and disgusting down there, but it’s a lot better than being crushed into human Spam.

Do not try to lie down in between the track rails to let the train go over you.
While there have been cases of people surviving this way, there are mechanical components underneath the train carriage that can snag up on your coat or backpack and drag you, causing you serious harm.

As you all know, there is a live 3rd rail, usually against the opposite wall from the platform. The electricity on this rail will KILL you.

But if for some reason, you end up stuck on this side of the track when the train is barreling down the tunnel, the rail usually has a wooden beam over it that is *safe* to step on.
(By *safe*, I mean it’s certainly better than stepping on the metal of the 3rd rail itself).

Hopefully, this beam is structurally sound.

You will also notice there are indentations on the wall. If you stand up super pressed against the wall in these gaps, you have a much better chance of not being hit.

(If you are wearing a backpack/purse, remove it. Throw it away. It’s not worth getting tangled over).

— Extra tip:
If you are trying to hold the door for your kid/friend, etc, most people’s arm strength cannot stop the doors from closing. You can get caught and dragged.

Use your foot (hopefully with a sneaker or boot, and not heels on it) at the bottom of the open door. This provides a lot more friction to stop the doors from closing than trying to use your hands/arms.

— Extra extra tip:
If you are inside the subway tunnel, it is far more deadly in there, as the gaps for safety are much much smaller.
It’s a lot more difficult to see where the 3rd rails are, and the trains will be zooming by a lot faster.

If you are in there for some reason (which I can’t imagine why, unless you have a can of silver spray paint or are escaping from zombies),
some paths have elevated platforms against the wall. Lying flat against the wall on these platforms will help with you not getting hit, but it’s a close shave.

If you don’t extend beyond the edge of the platform (again, watch out with that backpack), you should be ok. Beware of the “suction” the train forms when it zooms by you. It can pull you into the moving train.

Though I’m 6’2 and 230 lbs, I don’t sleep on the subway platform.
Whether it’s kids/gangs acting stupid, or some mentally deranged individual having a violent fit, I don’t sleep on anyone. Even with headphones on, I keep an eye out, and watch out for who is around me.

The man who was recently killed by that train could have survived if he just lied down beneath the platform.

He probably had no idea, and thought the only chance was to climb out.

A little info can save your life.