'Strong force' held lady to toilet for 902 days

SINGAPORE: In a bizarre turn of events, a woman spent 902 days -- continuously -- on a toilet bowl.

The 58-year-old woman could not be prised off the toilet despite all cajoling by her husband, reports Asia One.

The woman told the website she 'felt a strong force holding her down every time she tried to get up'.

In the two-and-a-half-years that she spent confined to the white-tiled bathroom, she took shower only 18 times. Those were the only times she spent away from the toilet bowl. She also did not see anyone during this time, apart from her husband.

The woman spent the intervening period in a naked state. She said, "I didn't understand what was happening, I only felt all the sensations which prevented me from standing or leaving the bathroom."

After 2.5 years, her husband had had enough and he called in the police and forced his wife into a mental institute for a treatment.

 

Pilot dies of heart attack mid-flight

MOSCOW: A 44-year-old Russian pilot suffered heart failure in the cockpit while flying from Bangkok to Novosibirsk in Siberia region.

He sustained a heart attack and died despite all attempts at resuscitation, reports NDTV.

Uralinform.ru reported that even though there was a cardiologist present among the passengers, the pilot could not be revived. The flight's captain tried to make an emergency landing in the Chinese city of Chengdu but aborted his plans when the pilot breathed his last before he could land.

According to a spokesperson, the pilot who passed away was actually flying as a reserve pilot, ready to replace a crew member in case anyuone fell ill. What an irony!

 


Driving schools teaching millions the art of war

CHINA: China is rapidly becoming a country on wheels and its crowded driving schools are racing to churn out licensed drivers as fast as cars roll off the assembly lines.

But judging by the daily smash-ups and blatant disregard for even basic traffic rules on China's roadways, quantity seems to have trumped quality at many schools.

China surpassed the United States in 2009 to become the world's largest auto market, and just as newly affluent Chinese are snapping up expensive cars in staggering numbers, driving schools are bursting at the seams.

"There are so many trainees because everyone wants a driving license," said Ren Xingzhou, an instructor at Fengshun Driving School in Beijing. "Driving used to be a profession in China -- now it's necessary living skill."

According to official data, China granted 22.69 million driving licenses in 2011 alone, bringing the total number of licensed drivers in the country to 236 million at the end of 2011.

But no amount of classroom work or simulated driving may prepare drivers for the roadways that more closely resemble slow-moving battle grounds than transportation arteries.

In 2010 alone, China reported 3.9 million road accidents that killed 65,225 people and injured 254,075. Lack of experience is often cited as a key reason behind the rocketing number of accidents.

In hopes of instilling some sense of order, Chinese law requires drivers to attend a driving school before passing a written test. As a result, thousands of driver training schools, charging as much as 8,000 yuan ($1,300), have mushroomed across Beijing, a city of about 20 million people that is already congested with some 5 million cars.

Fengshun driving school alone mints about 10,000 new drivers a year, running classes from 8 in the morning to 9 in the evening, seven days a week.

Applicants must pass three tests to obtain a license. The first part is classroom training to make drivers aware of traffic rules. As hundreds of trainees listen, an instructor explains a text book compiled by the traffic police.

A quiz of 100 questions follows, and trainees must provide correct answers to at least 90 before they can even get behind the wheel of the training vehicles.

"You don't have to be a genius to pass that as long as you read the book in the evening before the quiz," said a company clerk, who claimed he skipped all the classroom lessons apart from the first one when a fingerprint was required.

"ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS"

The second section -- the main part of the training that requires at least 54 hours -- is conducted on a paved proving ground that mimics actual roads and traffic signs but lacks all of the hazards that make actual driving a challenge.

Hundreds of meters from the school, one of the city's main roadways was packed with cars end-to-end on a recent winter day, a looming reminder to the school's drivers of the world they would enter upon graduation.

In each car -- mostly Volkswagens at the Fengshun school -- one instructor and one trainee sit side-by-side, practicing all the required skills, from parallel parking to driving through a 30-metre obstacle course of six yellow-painted sewer covers without touching any of them.

"It's absolutely ridiculous. These covers are symbols of roadblocks, but which road would be so terrible as to have so many roadblocks, and even if there are so many roadblocks, which driver would be so crazy trying to pass them?" asked Ren even as he put the students through the required exercise.

For trainees who pass the second test, including parking in the right position and starting the car on a steep slope, they will apply their new skills on public roads, where already-licensed drivers routinely make sudden lane changes without signaling, and where pedestrians unexpectedly dash across roadways wherever they see an opening.

Road training lasts for 10 hours where soon-to-be-drivers are often bullied and horrified by Beijing's infamously short-tempered drivers.

On a recent day, a young driver stopped and hurled curses to complain that one trainee's car was moving too slowly.

"If he dares to get out of his vehicle, I would definitely teach him a good lesson," retorted Wu Liansheng, the instructor in the training car.

Turning to his student drivers, Wu said: "Now remember, you don't cross the line into others, but if someone else crosses into yours, you must fight back."

It's enough to make one nostalgic for simpler days when millions got around on bicycle.

 

Man with two hearts survives double heart attack

US: If it isn't bizarre enough for doctors to come across a patient with two hearts, they also had to save a 71-year-old patient who had suffered double heart attacks.

"We haven't ever seen anything similar to this case before," Dr. Giacomo Mugnai said in an interview with MSNBC.

The heart patient actually wasn't born with two hearts. His second heart was placed there during after an earlier medical procedure. At times when it is too cumbersome to remove a damaged organ, a healthy organ is paired with a diseased one. The procedure is known as a heterotopic transplant.

During the procedure the doctors merge the patient's new heart with his original, diseased organ. There's an inherent risk that if the transplant goes too well. And that is what happened to this patient.

Fortunately for him, the doctors were able to revive both hearts simultaneously. Phew!

 

Pilot avoids collision with bus on runway

KASHMIR: The pilot of a private airline flight used his presence of mind and applied the emergency brakes when a bus filled with Indian air force personnel abruptly appeared on the runway.

The Airbus 320 aircraft had been cleared for take-off when the pilot noticed a bus making its way on the runway. There were 168 passengers on board when the incident occured, reported wire agency Press Trust of India.

"This was not a reject takeoff. All 168 passengers and the aircraft are safe", an IndiGo spokesperson said in New Delhi.


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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