Greetings, and thanks for joining me for another week. Starting us off are a few news stories you may have missed. First, it may seem like a crazy urban legend, but it’s not! In China, drivers who have injured pedestrians will sometimes then try to kill them. Security cameras have regularly captured drivers driving back and forth on top of victims to make sure that they are dead. The Chinese language even has an adage for the phenomenon: “It is better to hit to kill than to hit and injure.” There is a lengthy story connected with this, so if you want more details, go to: http://tinyurl.com/nkpk4jm.
Next, Happy New Year! A man shot and killed his wife and two others in his home on New Year’s Eve before his son wrestled the gun away and fatally shot him in a chain of events apparently set off by a dispute over a washing machine, authorities said. The two other victims killed were the son’s 48-year-old girlfriend, who also lived at the house and a 27-year-old man who was visiting, according to the LA County Sheriff’s Department, which said the 54-year-old father was a heavy drinker (Liquid Stupid Pills) with a large gun collection, and authorities had made dozens of previous trips to the home. Investigators were talking to surviving witnesses to figure out what led to the father pulling out a semi-automatic pistol and opening fire. [Newser.com] Let’s see – a heavy drinker with a large gun collection…. What could possibly go wrong?
Finally, a large gun collection, eh? According to the amazed sheriff of rural Chesterfield County, South Carolina, “This has completely changed our definition of (what constitutes) an ‘ass-load’ of guns.” Brent Nicholson, 51, had been storing more than 7,000 firearms (most of them likely stolen) in his home and a storage building on his property. Every room of the house was stacked with weapons, and it took four tractor-trailer trips to haul everything away, with help of 100 law-enforcement officers. Nicholson also had 500 chainsaws, at least 250 taxidermied deer, elk, and alligator heads, and more. No motive was obvious to deputies. (Nicholson would still be living in the shadows today if he hadn’t run a stop sign a few months ago with bogus license plates on his truck.) [WSOC-TV]
I want your body… all of it! The New York Court of Appeals recently ruled that, when a body is taken for official autopsy and organs are removed (including the brain), the deceased’s family does not necessarily have a right to receive the body with organs re-inserted. “(N)othing in our common law jurisprudence,” the judges wrote, mandates “that the medical examiner do anything more than produce the … body.” The family had demanded the entire body back for a “proper” Catholic burial. [New York Daily News]
From The Huffington Post pages, some headlines that may (or may not) make you want to click! (1) Skydiving Santa Dangles From Lamppost After Parachute Crash. (2) You Can Now Buy Cow Dung Patties Online In India. (3) The Year in Penises. (4) You’ll Never Look At Tomatoes In The Same Way Again. (5) Millions Of Prayers Go Out To Dog Afflicted With Ham On Face. Bonus: ‘Trump Filter’ Erases The Donald From Your Chrome Browser.
Finally, an unusual pair of twins who were born on separate days were also brought into the world in different years. The baby girl and baby boy of Maribel and Luis Valencia were born just around the peak of New Year’s Eve at 11:59 p.m. and the first minutes of New Year’s Day at 12:02 a.m., respectively. “It’s very unusual and it’s very special,” Lynnette Coetzee, a nurse at the San Diego Kaiser Permanente Zion Medical Center told NBC San Diego. “And I haven’t seen it in all my 34 years of nursing,” she added. Mother Maribel Valencia initially expected to deliver the children via cesarean-section on Jan. 6, but her doctor urged her to deliver the sons as soon as possible. Father Luis Valencia told the latter outlet their son was breeched, meaning his body was positioned feet-first in the womb. Both babies, named Jaelyn and Luis, were born safely. “I was not really expecting two, so it’s a big blessing to have two of them, boy and a girl for New Year’s,” the father said. (Double your pleasure; double your fun!)
Blog Entry #2: Good Morning (or whatever time it is when you read this [it’s morning when I put this together, so…])! Time for a few personal thoughts: I guess I can legitimately call myself a writer even though this weekly column (and most of the others) is really just a compilation of stuff I find interesting and want to share. I have several real pieces of writing started, but they get to a certain point, and there they sit. What’s interesting is I can give solid advice on how to make your writing happen, but I don’t follow it myself (Do as I say, not as I do). I have one short piece called Six Words which can literally make the entire world a better place, but it sits, unfinished. I have a memoir/Textbook for Life which could also make a huge difference in the world, but it too sits unfinished. I even have several short stories and essays which are mildly entertaining and possibly thought-provoking, but they also sit unfinished. My biggest writing accomplishment to date was a short piece that was included in A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I thought that would kick my backside into gear and get me to eagerly crank out more writing, but it didn’t. That all said, I would love to get back to my writing, but I don’t. I know I can do it (whatever ‘it’ is), but I don’t. I did learn last year I am no novelist through NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). All of that said, all I have to do is to do it. Maybe this will be the year.