Inmate Eats the Jail Cell, Costing the State $1 Million in Medical Bills

Lamont Cathey

Lamont Cathey

A man arrested for breaking into a pizza parlor has habitually consumed pieces of metal such as screws, drawing pins, and even leather while in jail. His medical bills have cost the state $1.3 million. I suppose that’s one way to get back at the man…

Sumitra via Oddity Central:

17-year-old Lamont Cathey, who was jailed for breaking into a pizza parlour in Chicago, is proving to be a costly inmate to handle. For the past 16 months, mentally disturbed Cathey has been consuming metal objects – ranging from toe screws to needles, to drawing pins, and even strips of leather. He has been rushed to the prison’s hospital 24 different times to have these items removed, costing the State a whopping $1.3 million!

Cathey used to be a promising basketball player until he was accused of stealing money from a safe at a pizzeria over a year ago.

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Scientist Created Drones That Fly Autonomously and Learn New Routes

Drone manufactured by Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd. Credit: Image courtesy of Investigación y Desarrollo

Drone manufactured by Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd.
Credit: Image courtesy of Investigación y Desarrollo

Skynet is born.

Investigación y Desarrollo via ScienceDaily:

Drones say goodbye to pilots. With the goal of achieving autonomous flight of these aerial vehicles, the researcher José Martínez Carranza from the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE) in Mexico, developed a vision and learning system to control and navigate them without relying on a GPS signal or trained personnel.

Mexican José Martínez, structured an innovative method to estimate the position and orientation of the vehicle, allowing it to recognize its environment, hence to replace the GPS location system for low-cost sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and camcorders.

The main idea was to avoid the use of GPS and opted for the use of video cameras on board of the vehicle for visual information and applying an algorithm to locate and orient the drone during its flight to use such information.

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Roads Melting, Death Toll Soaring as ‘Unprecedented’ Heatwave Grips India

This was originally published on Common Dreams. See more of Jon Queally’s posts here.

The deathtoll related to an ongoing and “unprecedented” heatwave in India has soared to nearly 1,200 people, according to the nation’s health ministry on Wednesday, with no respite for hundreds of millions of people expected until at least the weekend.

According to officials quoted in the Hindustan Times, most of the victims have been construction workers, the elderly or the homeless. In regions across the subcontinent this week, temperatures have sweltered populations with thermometers pushing towards 50°C (or 122°F) and high levels of humidity stifling air quality. In response, India’s Meteorological Department has issued what are called “red box” warnings for various states where the maximum temperatures are expected to remain above 45°C.

“This year, the heatwave condition is unprecedented and there has been a large number of deaths. The Health Ministry is likely to come up with an advisory soon for all the states and common people,” a senior health Ministry official told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

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You Are Totally Wrong About Genetically Altered Food

“You Are Totally Wrong About Genetically Altered Food” screams the cover of Newsweek, below, with a feature story inside entitled “GMO Scientists Could Save the World From Hunger, If We Let Them.”

newsweek gmo

Is the story’s author, Tom Parrett, right? Arguments against in the comments please:

…Biotech crops are already well-established around the world. The U.S. has approved about 100 genetically modified plants for use in agriculture. Virtually all cotton in India, a vital economic staple for the country, is GM, as is 90 percent of cotton grown in China. Four out of every five harvested soybeans on earth are genetically modified. Corn worldwide is 35 percent genetically modified. Bangladesh is considering a GM eggplant that could double its harvest by protecting it from worms. Food writer Mark Bittman recently pointed out that we’ve been happily eating harmless genetically modified, virus-resistant papayas for years, and that’s Mr. Natural talking.

But some countries are balking.

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Did Market Leninism Win the Cold War?

Cold War IIllustration: Quick Magazine  bunky's pickle (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cold War IIllustration: Quick Magazine |  bunky’s pickle (CC BY-SA 2.0)

John Feffer writes at TomDispatch:

Imagine an alternative universe in which the two major Cold War superpowers evolved into the United Soviet Socialist States. The conjoined entity, linked perhaps by a new Bering Straits land bridge, combines the optimal features of capitalism and collectivism. From Siberia to Sioux City, we’d all be living in one giant Sweden.

It sounds like either the paranoid nightmare of a John Bircher or the wildly optimistic dream of Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, however, this was a rather conventional view, at least among influential thinkers like economist John Kenneth Galbraith who predicted that the United States and the Soviet Union would converge at some point in the future with the market tempered by planning and planning invigorated by the market. Like many an academic notion, it didn’t come to pass.

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Mental health care access for teens improving, but less for communities with disparities


Click to enlarge

University of Michigan Health System via EurekAlert:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Teens in the U.S. have more availability of mental health care than they did two years ago, according to a new survey from the University of Michigan National Voices Project, but access is not equal in all communities.

The University of Michigan National Voices Project was commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to facilitate a five year study to gauge opportunities for children and teens at the local level in communities across the U.S. The National Voices Project surveys over 2,000 adults across the U.S. who work and/or volunteer on behalf of children and teens.

In a 2014 National Voices Project survey, 40 percent of adults said teens in their communities had lots of availability for mental health care. In a 2012 survey, only 30 percent of adults reported lots of availability. In comparison, 59 percent of adults in 2014 said that teens had lots of availability for primary care.

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Greenpeace Staff to Work for Free after India Blocks Funds

Linh Do (CC BY 2.0)

Linh Do (CC BY 2.0)

Rupam Jain Nair writes for Reuters:

Greenpeace is determined to keep operating in India even after the federal government froze its bank accounts, leaving it with no funds to pay wages to hundreds of staff, its country head said on Thursday.

The home ministry blocked foreign funding to the local branch of the environmentalist group in April as part of a wider crackdown against international and domestic non-governmental organizations (NGOs) found to have misreported foreign aid.

Greenpeace took legal action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist government after bureaucrats found holes in its balance sheet and suspended transactions for six months.

“The government has made it impossible for us to operate but our employees are willing to work without pay for one month because they see that the larger commitment has always been to fight against injustice,” said Greenpeace India head Samit Aich.

Greenpeace workers – who have campaigned against genetically modified crops, nuclear power and toxic waste management – said their activism did not hurt the country’s economy.

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Anger Management Failures: Problem Anger vs. Ordinary Anger

Tommaso Meli (CC BY 2.0)

Tommaso Meli (CC BY 2.0)

The problem anger formula: Anger (frustration, irritability, attitude, etc.)  + Lowered self-value + Blame.

Steven Stosny writes at Psychology Today:

Angermanagement works fine for managing ordinary anger, but it’s not so successful when it comes to the self-defeating behaviors of problem anger.

Ordinary anger arises from impediments to:

  • Task performance (The screw repeatedly drops out of the picture hanger before you can tighten it.)
  • Interest or relaxation (Someone is talking while you’re trying to read or a lawn mower wakes you up too early.)
  • Enjoyment (Someone is reading when you would like to talk.)
  • Status maintenance (You feel insulted.)
  • Territorial integrity (Someone takes something from you or violates a boundary.)
  • Protection (of valued others or valued objects).

In contrast, problem anger makes you act against your long term best interest or keeps you from acting in your long term best interest.

Examples of the former: You bang the picture with the screw driver or shout at the talker to shut up and thereby make it harder to concentrate on reading, or you make someone irritable by interrupting, which lowers the likelihood that you will enjoy your talk or, when insulted you insult back, i.e., react to a jerk like a jerk, or you devalue the people you most value.

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Why You Should Ignore Politics and Politicians

Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Stephen Mills, writing at the Rat Race Trap:

This article is going to suggest that participating in politics at any level is generally not a good idea.  Many, maybe even most of you are going to disagree with this.  I also know that people will tend to take it as a categorical statement and offer counter-examples. You will notice that I said “generally” because I don’t mean it in a categorical way.  I can think of scenarios or places where I would not apply my general advice, but those are increasingly rare.

I can’t help but absorb a little bit of what goes on in politics through the media (my wife watches the news and the morning shows) or through reading some political satire, but I treat it mostly as a little bit of entertainment.  I’m not participating in any real way.

Here is the basic question you need to ask yourself. 

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