One gay man, two lesbians, a three-legged cat and a poisoned curry plot

posted by Stal on 2009.10.10, under Stal

Movie deal, anyone? From the Daily Mail:

A gay man tried to poison his lesbian neighbours by putting slug pellets into their curry after he was accused of kidnapping their three-legged cat.

Gary Stewart, 37, had been at loggerheads with Marie Walton and Beverley Sales for months.

But things looked brighter when he made a peace offering of some curry, claiming he had ordered too much from the Indian takeaway.

When the women started to eat, they found the curry studded with slug pellets.

They called the police and Stewart was arrested.

[ HT: KM ]

Infrasound and Brown Notes

posted by Stal on 2009.09.24, under Stal

Claims were previously made that there exist low-frequency sound wave weapons capable of causing people to involuntarily have bowel movements. After poking around the internet for a bit, it appears that there is no scientific evidence that this so-called “brown note” exists.

The brown note was tested on the television show MythBusters using twelve Meyer Sound 700-HP subwoofers—a model and quantity that has been employed for major rock concerts…The experimenters on the show tried a series of frequencies between 5 and 10 Hz at a level of 120–153 decibels of sound pressure, but they were unsuccessful in producing the rumored effects. The test subjects all reported some physical anxiety and shortness of breath, even a small amount of nausea, but this was dismissed by the participants, noting that sound at that frequency and intensity moves air rapidly in and out of one’s lungs.

However, infrasound (sound waves below 20 Hz) does cause a sense of fear, disorientation and anxiety in humans. Since the sound waves are below the human threshold for hearing perception but are subconsciously detected, they can make people feel that supernatural events are taking place. One such case:

Research by Vic Tandy, a lecturer at Coventry University, suggested that the frequency 19 Hz was responsible for many ghost sightings. He was working late one night alone in a supposedly haunted laboratory at Warwick, when he felt very anxious and could detect a grey blob out of the corner of his eye. When he turned to face it, there was nothing.

The following day, he was working on his fencing foil, with the handle held in a vice. Although there was nothing touching it, the blade started to vibrate wildly. Further investigation led him to discover that the extraction fan was emitting a frequency of 18.98 Hz, very close to the resonant frequency of the eye (given as 18 Hz in NASA Technical Report 19770013810). This was why he saw a ghostly figure — it was an optical illusion caused by his eyeballs resonating. The room was exactly half a wavelength in length, and the desk was in the centre, thus causing a standing wave which was detected by the foil.

Fabricating DNA

posted by Stal on 2009.08.18, under Stal

This might throw a wrinkle in the sheen of DNA evidence as irrefutable:

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

“You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”

[ DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show / NYT ]

Not a (Recommended) Through Street

posted by Vitamin-T on 2009.05.05, under Vitamin-T

In defense of my claim that it was scary driving down Cicero from I-90/I-94 to I-55, I present the following map (you can go here to create your own Chicago crime maps).  And I’m pretty sure we had to stop for gas in one of those red zones.

Chicago Crime Summary – Category: Violent Crime – Past 90 Days



Armchair Crimefighting

posted by Stal on 2009.04.23, under Stal


A series of crimes caught on Google Streetview:

For whatever reason, my block has not been added to Google Streetview yet. And for that I am very, very grateful.

[via GeekPress]