Woman charged with fatal penis enlargement by silicone injection

Does she look like she’s been practicing on herself?

A 35-year-old woman pleaded not guilt…in a Newark court to second-degree reckless manslaughter, more than a year after the East Orange man whom she had allegedly performed a penis enlargement procedure on died of a silicone embolism.

Authorities say Kasia Rivera, also of East Orange, had no medical training when she allegedly injected silicone into 22-year-old Justin Street at her Glenwood Avenue home on May 5, 2011. It shot directly into Street’s bloodstream, shutting down his organs, authorities said. The father of two young sons was dead the next day…

Rivera was charged in December, after the medical examiner ruled Street’s death a homicide, Essex County Assistant Prosecutor William Neafsey said. A grand jury returned an indictment last month and she faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the crime.

Rivera, who is free on bail, appeared this morning in a pattern red jacket and black dress. From her pronounced features, Rivera appears to have either performed cosmetic injections on herself or received them from someone. She stood silently for the brief arraignment in Superior Court in Newark, and later refused a reporter’s request for comment…

The state is not alleging at all that she purposely caused his death, but that her behavior, her acting with no training, no preparation led to his death.” Neafsey said after the hearing, referring to the charges against Rivera. “Performing this type of procedure, basically a surgical procedure on him without any proper training or certificates, that’s why it’s reckless.”

Reckless? Feckless. Eeoough!

Virgin births proven – at least in some wild snakes

A form of virgin birth has been found in wild vertebrates for the first time…Researchers in the US caught pregnant females from two snake species and genetically analysed the litters.

That proved the North American pit vipers reproduced without a male, a phenomenon called facultative parthenogenesis that has previously been found only in captive species…

It was thought to be extremely rare for a normally sexual species to reproduce asexually.

First identified in domestic chickens, such “virgin births” have been reported in recent years in a few snake, shark, lizard and bird species.

Crucially though, all such virgin births have occurred in captivity, to females kept away from males.

Virgin births in vertebrates in general have been viewed as “evolutionary novelties”, said Warren Booth, from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma…

They captured pregnant copperhead and cottonmouth female pit-vipers from the field, where males were present…The snakes gave birth, allowing the scientists to study the physical and genetic characteristics of the litters.

Of the 22 copperheads, the scientists found one female that must have had a virgin birth.

Another single virgin birth occurred within the 37 cottonmouth litters.

“I think the frequency is what really shocked us,” said Prof Booth.

“That’s between 2.5 and 5% of litters produced in these populations may be resulting from parthenogenesis…That’s quite remarkable for something that has been considered an evolutionary novelty,” he said…

It remains unclear whether the female snakes actively select to reproduce this way, or whether the virgin births are triggered by some other factor, such as a virus or bacterial infection…

As yet, it also remains unclear whether the offspring of these wild virgin births can themselves go on to have normal, or virgin births of their own…In captive snakes studied so far, offspring have so far not been proved viable, that is capable of surviving and reproducing.

If they cannot survive and reproduce, then this is a reproductive dead-end.

Even so, the research is interesting, appropriate to growing knowledge about all potential aspects of reproduction.

RTFA for a lot more anecdotal research on other species.

Widespread distrust of US extends beyond Middle East — even our closest ally thinks we are a bully!

Think this only showed on US television?

American influence on the world stage is being sapped by widespread distrust of US intentions, not just in the Middle East and south Asia but also among traditional European allies, according to a survey of global opinions.

Suspicion of America outweighed faith in its good intentions by large margins in the Arab world and Pakistan, and even its heavyweight European ally Germany was more sceptical than trusting, a YouGov survey found. British and French opinion was more positive but still deeply divided.

Negative Arab and Pakistani perceptions of America as overweening and untrustworthy clearly pose a daunting foreign policy challenge for the Obama administration. The fact that 78% of Pakistanis questioned by YouGov said they did not trust America to act responsibly underlines Washington’s serious lack of soft power in the region as it attempts to extricate itself from Afghanistan.

Attitudes towards the US in the Arab world were nearly as negative. Those respondents in the Middle East and north Africa who said they trusted America were outnumbered by more than two to one by those who said they did not, and 39% said they did not trust America at all.

Perhaps just as worrying for Washington is the lukewarm support among western European allies. More Germans questioned in the YouGov survey voiced misgivings than trust in the US. Perhaps surprisingly, in view of past wariness, French opinion was somewhat warmer: just over half of the French poll respondents trusted America, against 40% who did not.

The so-called special relationship between the US and Britain emerged from the survey as distinctly lopsided. There was widespread American affection for its close ally, but the sentiment was only partly requited, reflecting deep British ambivalence about America’s powerful role in world affairs…

Continue reading

Woman finds ex-boyfriend – living in her attic

Attic heating unit where he would sleep – inside

Tracy, a single mother of five children in Rock Hill, NC, never considered reuniting with the 44-year-old man she broke up with more than 12 years ago, despite claims of a new lifestyle and other “jailhouse talk” he penned in letters to her from prison…

Drugs, followed by his decision to rob a flower shop, tore their one-year romance apart, she said…“That was it,” said Tracy, who asked that her last name not be used. “I never looked back.”

But it wasn’t “it” for her ex-boyfriend, whom she discovered living in her attic Sunday morning, a year after he helped install new doors on her home after most of it burned in a fire.

Tracy, a nurse, spent Saturday with her children, ages ranging from 3 to 20, and “didn’t see anything out of the ordinary” when they returned home. After nightfall, Tracy sat in her bedroom using her laptop but couldn’t shake the feeling that “something just ain’t right…”

Tracy called her nephew, who quickly came to the home and went into the attic. Her nephew walked to the far end of the attic, passing over a jungle of heating and cooling ducts, boxes, photo albums, toys, cassettes and a “timeline” of memories to find a man sleeping inside a heating unit.

Tracy’s nephew also noticed that the man was able to peek at Tracy through an air vent in her ceiling.

Tracy said she thought her ex went to Charleston after his latest arrest and was just commuting to Rock Hill…Instead, he had been sneaking into her house and living in her attic…He used coats for cover and slept inside the heating unit.

After being discovered Sunday, the man climbed out of the attic without giving any explanation for why or how he got inside in the first place. He walked away with a smile. By the time police arrived, he was gone and remains at large.

People are strange. Actually, “strange” may be too kind. Demented seems more appropriate in this case.

Even though the dude has served his time and now is on the outside – he deserves to be returned to the inside of jail.

Does your child’s school enforce obedience with solitary confinement, physical restraints?

In my public school 40 years ago, teachers didn’t lay their hands on students for bad behavior. They sent them to the principal’s office. But in today’s often overcrowded and underfunded schools, where one in eight students receive help for special learning needs, the use of physical restraints and seclusion rooms has become a common way to maintain order.

It’s a dangerous development, as I know from my daughter’s experience. At the age of 5, she was kept in a seclusion room for up to an hour at a time over the course of three months, until we discovered what was happening. The trauma was severe.

According to national Department of Education data, most of the nearly 40,000 students who were restrained or isolated in seclusion rooms during the 2009-10 school year had learning, behavioral, physical or developmental needs, even though students with those issues represented just 12 percent of the student population. African-American and Hispanic students were also disproportionately isolated or restrained. In our society? No surprise there.

Joseph Ryan, an expert on the use of restraints who teaches at Clemson University, told me that the practice of isolating and restraining problematic children originated in schools for children with special needs. It migrated to public schools in the 1970s as federal laws mainstreamed special education students, but without the necessary oversight or staff training. “It’s a quick way to respond but it’s not effective in changing behaviors,” he said…

The use of restraints and seclusion has become far more routine than it should be. “They’re the last resort too often being used as the first resort,” said Jessica Butler, a lawyer in Washington who has written about seclusion in public schools. Decisions made by the ignorant, lazy or incompetent…

RTFA for anecdotal incidents of what I would only term abuse of schoolkids. Read how a school treated Bill Lichtenstein’s daughter, Rose.

…On Jan. 6, 2006, a school aide called saying that Rose had taken off her clothes. We needed to come get her.

At school, her mother and I found Rose standing alone on the cement floor of a basement mop closet, illuminated by a single light bulb. There was nothing in the closet for a child — no chair, no books, no crayons, nothing but our daughter standing naked in a pool of urine, looking frightened as she tried to cover herself with her hands. On the floor lay her favorite purple-striped Hanna Andersson outfit and panties…

We were told that Rose had been in the closet almost daily for three months, for up to an hour at a time. At first, it was for behavior issues, but later for not following directions. Once in the closet, Rose would pound on the door, or scream for help, staff members said…

Bad enough our school systems have given up on teaching. Apparently, now, the primary task is conditioning children to obey.