News of the Weird

Bits and pieces of the bizarre, the horrific and the downright puzzling scooped up from various parts of the web so you don’t have to.  Yer Welcome

Baby born in Tesla with help from Autopilot

Yiran Sherry’s water broke one September morning, but, thinking she had more than enough time, she insisted her husband take their 3-year-old son Rafa to school before heading to the hospital. However, the seven-mile drive came to a crawl in rush-hour traffic, and their baby girl stubbornly refused to wait until they reached their destination.

Yiran focused on managing her pain, contemplating whether she should begin to push. Her husband Keating activated Autopilot —keeping his left hand on the wheel while offering his right for Yiran to squeeze. By the time they reached the hospital, the family of three had already become a family of four, with Yiran delivering the baby girl en route. Hospital staff met them at their car, and doctors cut the umbilical cord in the front seat before wheeling their patients inside. 

The baby girl, whom they named Maeve, is believed to be the first baby born inside a Tesla. The Sherrys considered giving her the middle name Tess as an homage to the vehicle, but instead went with Lily in honor of Yiran’s mother

Baby born in Tesla with help from Autopilot (autoblog.com)

Teen With GoPro Solves 27-Year Mystery

A BC teen had no idea his GoPro would be instrumental in solving a nearly three-decade-old mystery.

Deep in the murky water, barely visible even in the GoPro  was the undercarriage of a Honda that had been sitting there undiscovered since 1992. The boy and his parents called the police, who sent a dive team down to check out the car a few days later. To their shock, there was a body inside.

After pulling the car from the lake, they were able to identify a woman named Janet Farris who was in the driver’s seat. The grandmother of five disappeared as she was driving to a wedding. Her disappearance haunted the family since day 1.

While most of the time found vehicles are empty and were either used to commit a crime or were part of an insurance fraud scheme, on rare occasions there’s a body inside and a mystery that’s  solved.

As for the 13-year-old boy, police say it was “good detective work on his part” and hinted they might be looking to him as a future employee. 

 Teen With GoPro Solves 27-Year Mystery (motorious.com)

Speeding tickets around the world cost from nine cents to about $1M

In  Australiaspeeding fines vary depending on the state where one gets caught. New South Wales authorities, where Sydney is, will ring you up for $2,350 AUD ($1,682 U.S.) for doing more than 45 km/h over the limit, while Victoria, where Melbourne is, maxes out at $793 AUD ($568 U.S.) for a similar speed — but this is all before the mandatory license suspensions, which will end up costing the offender more money.

Outside of Oz, some countries imposed fixed rates, others base a fine on the driver’s base income as a way to ensure the wealthy don’t view speeding tickets as a mere inconvenience on their time. In the latter case, Budget Direct used the median national income as the benchmark for judging the average size of a speeding ticket. Sudan had the lowest fixed rate. In both cases, the company didn’t include the costs of extra charges like being a repeat offender, getting caught racing, or reckless driving.

According to the Budge Direct charts created by NeoMam Studios, the U.S. takes the crown for all of North America, our maximum levy being $2,000, but the chart doesn’t pinpoint the state. According to the table at FindLaw, the state in question appears to be Oregon, assessing “Class A – D traffic violations with fines from $250 to $2,000 (OR Statute Sections 811.109 and 153.018).” Compare that to Nebraska, where going more than 21 mph over the limit will get you slapped with a bill for $200.

Argentina owns the collections box in South America, its max fine being $3,716 U.S. Much better to be caught speeding in neighboring country Paraguay, where the authorities charge $0.13. That’s right, 13 cents. If you want to save more money, don’t hit the throttle until you reach Sudan, the country with the lowest fixed fine at $0.09.

Having covered the gargantuan fines issued by some European countries, all of which were based on the driver’s income, it’s no wonder that the top 20 speeding fines ever issued are all in Europe. Breaking that down further, the top three happened in Switzerland out of four total for the country of chocolate and cows, Belgium and the UK score one each, the remaining 14 were rung up in Finland. The biggest whopper was a nearly $1M U.S. fine levied when a 37-year-old Swedish driver took his SLS AMG up to 180 miles per hour on the A12 between Bern and Lausanne, Switzerland in August 2010. The second-largest fine happened that same year in that same country in January, when a man in a Ferrari Testarossa was caught doing 85 mph in a 52-mph zone. Budget Direct clocks that fine at $327,000 U.S., but the Guinness Book of World Records lists the incident as the largest fine ever at $290,000. Either way, it’s a lot of money. Just as incredible, the sixth-largest fine of $141,661 got slapped on someone doing just 32 mph.

Speeding tickets around the world cost from nine cents to about $1M (autoblog.com)

More Wolves Reduce Deer Collisions With Cars, But Not Why You Think

Unfortunate collisions between deer and motor vehicles are a real problem that’s both dangerous and costly. To find a natural solution to this expensive infrastructure problem, the team at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America (PNAS) has turned to study wolves. In their research, PNAS has discovered a unique trend that shows a drop in deer-vehicle collisions (DVC) directly related to the population of wolves. This study focused on the state of Wisconsin, however, the date could have far-reaching implications around the world.

The study from PNAS is very clear, “Wolf entry reduced DVCs by 24%, yielding an economic benefit that is 63 times greater than the costs of verified wolf predation on livestock.” This massive benefit to the economy can also save the lives of drivers. The study explains that “About 1 million DVCs occur every year in the United States, causing 29,000 human injuries, 200 human fatalities, and nearly $10 billion in total economic losses.” This massive impact on both the economy and the unfortunate loss of life means that reducing DVCs could have huge implications.

So how do the wolves factor into all of this? Well based on PNAS data the reduction in DVCs is not caused by a reduced population due to wolf predation. Instead, it’s related to the way wolves hunt deer. Wolves tend to follow man-made infrastructure when hunting deer and favor the use of roads and pipelines as an efficient travel path. Deer understand this preference which causes them to stay away from roads to avoid running into a pack of wolves.

The result is a more diverse natural ecosystem with a reduced chance of accidentally hitting a dear causing both costly damage and the loss of human life. Obviously not every part of the United States and Europe is ready to support a pack of wolves. However, in more rural environments, it’s clear that introducing apex predators back to the food web has a host of positive impacts

More Wolves Reduce Deer Collisions With Cars, But Not Why You Think (motor1.com)

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