Glad to be alive?
Ted Frank has posted a blog on US website PointofLaw.com pointing out that 13 passengers on board American Airlines Flight 58 from New York to Los Angeles on June 25, 1995 received a total of $2.2 million after their plane flew into a severe thunderstorm and over a period of a few seconds rose 200 feet, throwing unbelted passengers from their seats. The plaintiffs were awarded because the airline had failed to avoid the storm and for the emotional distress incurred by their fear of dying. Frank pondered what would be the outcome for JetBlue Flight 292 after an interrupted Burbank to New York flight, in which the plane had problems with its landing gear, circled for a few hours to burn fuel and made an emergency landing, albeit a safe one. Should damages by 360 times higher because the drama lasted 360 times longer, he asks. Well, Folklaw knows that fear of death is a distressing thing, but what about the quaint, old fashioned way of feeling glad to be alive? Surely if a passenger is willing to get into a plane they should be aware they are likely to endure a bit of turbulence here and there.
It’s a lemon
Authorities in Hungary have decided that a fine is not enough for bad drivers — they should also be wracked with guilt, and what better way to inspire guilt than to have their punishment meted out by a child. Schoolchildren will go on patrol with traffic police in the fruit growing region of Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg, according to news agency MTI, and hand out fruit to drivers pulled over by police. Good drivers will receive an apple, bad drivers will receive a lemon. Well, that should convince everyone to use their blinkers, slow down and stop driving on the wrong side of the road.
A right cock up
It’s not what you know, it’s who you are … Indian police have put a man on their most wanted list after he stole five chickens (four hens and one rooster, no less) from the chief judicial magistrate. Banswara police established a special team to track the thief. The Statesman of Calcutta reported that the secluded residence of the magistrate made it easy for the thief to make off with the esteemed loot. “A policeman on duty was sleeping when the incident took place,” a source said. The local bar association called for the offenders immediate arrest and the force swung into action. The association also asked for armed policemen to be appointed to stand guard outside the homes of judicial officers. Police spokesman Abhay Singh said he was confident the culprit would be arrested soon. Folklaw believes the Indians are close to gaining on Romania in the wackiness stakes.
Land of the long white ‘bureaucratic nonsense’
We always knew there was something strange about those Kiwis. A New Zealand man successfully registered his pet dog Toby, a Jack Russell, to vote in the recent general election. He filled in the application form, signed it with a paw print and sent it to the election authorities, listing Toby Russell Rhodes’ occupation as a rodent exterminator. The dog was duly registered. Peter Rhodes of Queenstown said he was protesting against the “bureaucratic nonsense” he encountered while trying to develop his land. However, the joke might backfire — electoral enrolment centre national manager Murray Wicks told the Otago Daily Times Rhodes had committed an offence and would end up in the hands of the police.