Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Crazy, but true…


     The annual Chinese "tomb sweeping" celebration has experienced a resurgence since 2008 when the government reinstated it as an official holiday. The theory is that people bring valuable items (such as jewelry) to ancestors' gravesites and bury them with the body, which will upgrade the relative's afterlife. Now, however, practitioners seem convinced that paper images of items are sufficient (and, of course, less expensive). Many simply leave signed checks (some very generous!) for the dead, and others bury representations of "mistresses" to accompany presumably frisky corpses.

     Detectives' New Best Friend (Facebook): Christopher Robinson, 23, became just one of many recent suspects whose addiction to Facebook did him in. Robinson had never made a single child support payment in the three years since a court order was issued in Milwaukee, Wis., and the case had languished over how to prove that he was hiding money. Using other evidence for probable cause, the prosecutor got a warrant to search Robinson's private Facebook information and discovered a candid photograph of him, laughing over a pile of cash.

     Herbert and Catherine Schaible, members of the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia and believers in faith-healing rather than medical care, were convicted in 2011 in the bacterial-pneumonia death of their 2-year-old son, Kent. As a condition of probation, they promised medical care for their remaining eight children, but in April 2013, their youngest son, Brandon, died after severe diarrhea and pneumonia, again treated only by prayer. They were arrested -- and the other children removed from the home. The medical examiner called Brandon's death a homicide, and the couple also faces five to 10 years in prison for violating probation.

     Catholic nun Megan Rice, 83, and two other peace activists were convicted in May of breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., last year -- with "intent to harm national security." Somehow in the intruders' stealth "attack" the three amateurs cut through numerous fences undetected, then bypass several sensors and alarms (either malfunctioning or unmonitored) before being stopped by a lone guard. (While Israel currently frets over Iran's accumulation of up to 500 pounds of highly enriched uranium for building one bomb, Y-12 houses an estimated 400 tons.)

Live Long and Prosper...

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