Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Jogger detained for two weeks for accidentally crossing the US Canadian border

Sunday, June 24th, 2018 | Religion & Politics

A jogger was detained for two weeks for accidentally crossing US Canadian border while out for a run. Read this short description and see if you can answer this simple quiz question.

As reported by The Guardian (and The Telegraph), a teenager named Cedella Roman accidentally crossed the border into the US while on a trip to Canada. There were no border markings.

Two border security officials arrested her. They then transported her to a detention facility 200km away from the border. She was stripped of all her possessions and subjected to an invasive search.

When her mother produced her passport and travel documents, proving she was a French citizen, the US authorities refused to release her and kept her locked up for a further two weeks while they spoke to the Canadian authorities.

Now, here’s the quiz question: what colour was the teenage girl’s skin?

This is why we can’t have nice things in Leeds

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 | Photos

I carry around two bike locks so that I can secure my frame and both of my wheels. But how are you supposed to defend your handlebars or your saddle?

Yesterday, I cycled past a dead body

Friday, October 6th, 2017 | Life

I regularly cycle up and down the canal towpath and often think to myself “I hope I don’t fall in – all of my stuff would get wet, and I would too, which could be unpleasant or maybe even dangerous, on a cold day.”

But, having lived in Leeds for the past few decades, I should be aware that the real risk is not falling into the two feet of water. It’s not being able to get out because you’re being torn apart by inferi.

Yesterday, Elina had the day off, so I took a break from studying so that we could go for a bike ride. We returned around 3:30 pm. Then, at 4:45 pm, this happened:

It is possible the body went into the canal in the hour between us getting home and someone else spotting it. But, more likely, it was already there when we cycled past it.

It was just around the corner from our house, so the entire street was lined with emergency service vehicles. Who knew Leeds had a CSI? I hope David Caruso is available to play the TV adaptation.

Beyond the jokes, though, it is no doubt a sad occasion. Bodies do turn up with an uncomfortable regularity, but usually, it’s a drunken student far downstream. Let’s hope it’s a high-end sex robot that someone has mistaken for a real human.

Life and Death Row

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 | Distractions


Life and Death Row is a BBC documentary series looking at young people on Death Row. Unsurprisingly, it paints quite a gloomy picture. A man with a history of depression insists on having the death penalty. A another man is executed for beating eight members of his family to death: how is that possible without any of them fighting back or escaping?

In another episode, the documentary looks at the Death Penalty Clinic, a department run by the University of Houston. Undergraduate law students come together to try and put in appeals for convicts about to be executed. It was at least heartening to see people fighting.

Details can be found on the BBC website.

By Reason of Insanity

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 | Distractions

Long life the termination of Jeremy Clarkson. His actions, forcing the BBC to cancel the remaining episodes of Top Gear, have bumped Louis Theroux’s new documentaries into a prime slot on Sunday evenings. Though given Theroux has a history of speaking to violent, bigoted people, maybe we can expect “When Louis Met Clarkson” to be hitting our screens soon.

Theroux’s new two parter, entitled “By Reason of Insanity”, saw him visit the Ohio State psychiatric hospital to interview people who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, or in some cases, not fit to stand trial.

It was no wonder this was the first time they have agreed to let cameras in in 50 years. The hospital looks great. Far from the questionable standards Norah Vincent encountered in Voluntary Madness, the building is clean and new, and the facilities look reasonable. Not quite up to the standards of Norwegian prisons, but still pretty good. Of course, it is a treatment centre, not a prison, but it was still heartwarming to see good facilities and good staff to help these people.

Indeed even after conditional release there is still a lot of support. One man who had recently been released was staying at a hotel and received daily drug deliveries to ensure that he stayed on track.

As Chris Bennion points out, we know the format by now. Theroux wandering around wide-eyed and looking innocent, slowly poking people with a stick until they spill their stories. However, it’s a format that works, so why not? The documentaries are both moving and revealing, bringing attention to some of the most sensitive topics in our society.

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 | Books

Arthur Conan Doyle’s final set of stories about Sherlock Holmes is compiled into Case-Book. It has some interesting tales, but at times I could not help but feel that the ideas were running a bit thin. One wasn’t even really a mystery, it was just someone reciting a story. Others were narrated by Holmes himself. It was true to his character, which while being accurate, was a less engaging style of storytelling. I did not get bored though, so these points aside, it was an enjoyable read.


His Last Bow

Sunday, May 25th, 2014 | Books

His Last Bow is another of the collection of short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle around Sherlock Holmes. They continued Doyle’s improved storytelling style and offered some further interesting insight into the characters, particularly Mycroft.

Some of it made me think I had read before, particularly when Holmes describes how he reads Watson’s thoughts. I’m not sure if it actually was the same as an earlier story or not. It also jumps around quite a bit in terms of when the stories were set and so a bit more of an explanation at the start would have been nice.

His Last Bow

The Valley of Fear

Saturday, May 17th, 2014 | Books

The last full Sherlock Holmes novel that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote is The Valley of Fear. It is a great example of how Doyle’s writing progressed as his career went on. It has a similar structure to that of his first novel A Study in Scarlet but is delivered in a far more coherent and logical way as to make the pleasure of reading it greatly increased.

It does, however, like quite a number of the stories in the Sherlock Holmes canon, lack an entirely-satisfying ending. However, there have been worse conclusions of stories in the series.


The Hound of the Baskervilles

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 | Books

After several series of short stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle returned Sherlock Holmes to the setting of a full-length novel in 1901 with “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”. It was originally serialised in The Strand.

For me, the novel represents one of the most interesting stories I have read so far in the Sherlock Holmes series. Doyle’s writing had continued to improve and parts of the book created a genuinely chilling setting without going into extensive details about the locations explored throughout the book.


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Monday, February 24th, 2014 | Books

I was rather disappointed when I first started reading the Sherlock Holmes stories. Because they were rubbish. However, as time as gone on, the writing has become better and better and each story is more enjoyable. The collection of short stories that form Memoirs continues this trend.

That is until the last book, The Final Problem, in which Watson recounts the death of Sherlock. Professor Moriarty appears from nowhere, having never been mentioned before. Then Sherlock mutters to himself that he would really like to catch Moriarty for a while. Finally Watson goes for a walk and when he comes back he assumes Sherlock and Moriarty have had a fight and plunged over a waterfall.