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May 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Missouri woman awarded $83MILLION after debt collection agency sued her for $1,000 and harassed her non-stop over a credit card she never even owned: “A Missouri woman has been awarded $83million after a collection agency sued her for a $1,000 credit card debt she never owed. Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC was found guilty by a Kansas City jury for maliciously prosecuting Maria Guadalupe Mejia for a debt that actually belonged to a man with a similar name. The debt buyer was fined $250,000 for violating the Fair Debt and Collection Practices Act and $82,990,000 in punitive damages for malicious prosecution. Mejia, 51, said that, although she knew she didn’t owe the company any money, she was absolutely ‘terrified’ when she was served the lawsuit in 2013. ‘I feared they would take my house and I feared they would arrest me.'” Chiala said Portfolio Recovery Associates, one of the biggest debt buyers in the country, has a reputation for a ‘take no prisoners’ approach. ‘Among consumer lawyers, they are known to be very aggressive in litigation and to not stop,’ she said. ‘Even when they’re wrong, they’re just not going to stop.’

Chinese acrobat sets new world record by walking a 328ft tightrope backwards AND blindfolded: “A daring stuntman has completed a death-defying 328ft-long tightrope walk backwards and blindfolded between two skyscrapers. It took Aisikaier Wubulikasimu, 42, just six minutes and 40 seconds to complete the remarkable challenge, which took place before a large crowd almost 500ft above the ground, according to the People’s Daily Online. Although the Chinese acrobat already holds several records to his name, he will now enter the history books again for the longest blindfolded tightrope walk. The acrobat is no stranger to such feats of bravery – in 2013 he set a record for the fastest 100m tightrope walk when he wandered his way across a beam fixed between two hot air balloons in just 38 seconds. Mr Aisikaier is a sixth-generation tightrope walker from China’s Xinjiang region, who has had several brushes with death.”

Millions of Spiders Rain Down on Australia: “Forget cats and dogs—it was raining spiders recently in southern Australia, according to local news reports. Millions of spiders dropped from the sky in the Southern Tablelands region, blanketing the countryside with their webs. “They fly through the sky and then we see these falls of spiderwebs that look almost as if it’s snowing,” local resident Keith Basterfield told the Goulburn Post. It’s unclear what spurs these spiders take to the skies in what are called mass ballooning events, Bennett notes. But once they do, millions crawl to the highest points of their habitat—say a fence pole, or a tall plant—and send out silk strands that allow them to be lifted on air currents. “It’s a reverse-parachute effect—they’re going from the ground into the air,” Bennett said. “It’s awe-inspiring.” The vast majority of these “aerial plankton” will die during the journey, eaten by predators or killed by harsh weather conditions. But only a small fraction need to survive to set up shop in their new home.”

The abandoned Communist headquarters in the Bulgarian mountains: “TUCKED away in the Bulgarian mountains lies a rather strange sight, which at first glance could even be mistaken for a UFO. It’s actually the Buzludzha Monument, an iconic symbol of the communist world that has sadly been forgotten about and left to crumble. Located approximately 200 kilometres from the capital city of Sofia, it was built in the 1970s as a tribute to the creation of the socialist movement in Bulgaria. It was quite the construction feat, costing approximately $11 million and involving 600 workers over seven years. It was used as the headquarters for the Bulgarian Communist party for eight years, before being abandoned and left to languish. But in the decay comes a haunting beauty, making it an intriguing site for adventurous travellers.

Researchers reveal FOLDING quadcopter drone: “It is the pocket sized drone you really can take anywhere – and could be the ultimate spy gadget. French researchers have unveiled an ‘origami’ drone that can fold up its arms to save space – making it small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. To launch it, the owner can simply hold it out – the quadcopter then comes to life, unfurling its arms before taking off. The moment it is turned on, the rotors engage, the articulated arms extend and the drone begins moving. The arms, made of fibreglass and light inelastic polyester, fold up into the shape of a trapezoid. When not in use, they wrap horizontally around the body of the device. When launched, the rotors turn in the same direction, causing the arms to rotate out the opposite way and open around two vertical folds. When the arms are fully extended, their upper section moves horizontally and locks the segment open, while small magnets hold everything in place. Inspired by origami, the folding drone developed by a team at EPFL and NCCR Robotics unfurls and takes off in a third of a second.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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