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Cemetery Guns And Coffin Torpedoes

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This unusual-looking gun, now exhibited at the Museum of Mourning Art in Arlington Cemetery, once kept body snatchers away from cemetery grounds and discouraged them from digging up dead bodies. The gun would be set near the foot of the grave and a series of tripwires would swing the gun in the appropriate direction when triggered, and fire upon the unsuspecting thieves.
The need for such an elaborate arrangement for the protection of the dead arose in the 18th century when cadavers were in high demand in medical schools but short in supply. Back then, the only legal supply of corpses were those condemned to death and dissection by the courts. This wasn’t a problem during mediaeval times when hundreds were hung by the rope for trivial crimes providing medical students and surgeons a study supply of dead bodies to study anatomy with. But as times changed and barbaric methods of justice were gradually abandoned, the number of criminals who were sentenced to capital punishment came down drastically, creating an acute shortage of cadavers. Some people saw this as an opportunity and began to dig up dead bodies from graveyards and sold them to medical schools.
Cemeteries responded by appointing men to keep watch over the graves. Sometimes the families of the dead who lay buried in the graveyard paid for these guards. Eventually they figured out that instead of spending night after night in the cold, wet and miserable, they could booby-trap the graves with guns and explosives.
Spring-loaded guns that fired on any intruder when triggered by tripwires have been around since at least the 15th century. They could be armed and left active for as long as the powder stayed dry. The gun that became popular in cemeteries was designed by one Mr. Clementshaw. It had a large-bore, bell-mouthed flintlock affixed to a block of thick wood. The guns were fitted with iron pintles or swivels underneath, and had sliding trigger bars instead of conventional hook-shaped gun triggers that fired the gun when pulled forward and not backward. This allowed the forward motion of a tripwire to pull the trigger and fire the gun. At the front of the bar were usually three iron rings, allowing the trigger to be connected to up to three tripwires. 
The gun would be loaded at night and left armed by the cemetery keeper. In the morning, it would be removed so that cemetery visitors during the day wouldn’t trip it. Many crafty grave robbers would send women to the cemetery disguised as mourners and report on the position of the pegs to which the wires would be attached. Cemetery keepers defeated this by waiting until sunset to set up the gun.
From the 1860s through the 1890s, body snatching became a big problem in the United States, and cemetery guns evolved into a more fatal defense to fight the menace. One design invented in 1878 required an armed shotgun to be placed inside the coffin. When the lid was raised, it showered the thieves with lead pellets right on the face. Another invention, called “Coffin Torpedoes”, was essentially a landmine placed underneath the coffin. When the coffin was disturbed, the charge would detonate, tearing apart the grave robbers including the very cadaver they were trying to protect. At least three men were killed when one such device exploded at a cemetery near Gann in Knox County, Ohio.

While things like “cemetery guns” and “coffin torpedoes” are often seen as artifacts from a past era, body snatching as a trade is not entirely over. In India a network of body snatchers operate to this day, removing skeletons from graveyards in order to sell them to universities and hospitals abroad. For the last two hundred years, India has been the world’s primary supplier of bones used in medical study the world over, including the United States and Britain. The country is renowned, as per a report on Wired, for producing specimens “scrubbed to a pristine white patina and fitted with high-quality connecting hardware”. Not even China or Western Europe can produce such high-quality specimens. The trade is illegal and has been banned by the Indian government, but as long as there is a demand for skeletons, body snatching will continue to thrive.

Weather-beaten, ignored, humiliated: Photographer spends a month taking shots of the homeless in New Jersey's affluent Cape May, who struggle to survive just yards from million-dollar houses and yachts (11 Pics)

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These heart-wrenching images show the plight of homeless people in an otherwise affluent coastal city and the injustice of the system. 
The powerful black and white pictures, captured by American photographer Donato Di Camillo, 50, in Cape May, New Jersey, offer an insight into the hardships and struggles of those who have been left to sleep rough in the historic seaside resort that lies around 160 miles south of New York City.
The internationally recognised photographer, who earned global acclaim in 2016 for his candid images of fringe society in the United States, had set out to document the lives of those living on the streets with dignity and care.
In search of how they ended up on the streets of the quaint holiday attraction with its 19th century architecture, the photographer, who is based in New York City but spent over a month in Cape May this winter, spoke with every person he photographed and tried to portray their plight through his images.
Weather-beaten rough sleeper Charlize raises her hands in front of her as American photographer Donato Di Camillo, 50, sets out to capture her personal struggles and hardships. The incredible photos offer an insight into the silent plight of those sleeping rough in the historic seaside resort in America
This image shows rough sleeper Troy as he pulls at the strings on his hood with a hint of sadness and despair in his eyes. During his month in the coastal city photographer Donato Di Camillo aimed to document the lives of those living on the streets and portray them with dignity and kindness
Homeless man Chickie holds a cup of liquid in his hand as he sits down for a photo with Mr Di Camillo in the coastal resort. The homeless man rests the drink on his knee as he casts a upwards glance and shows the sadness in his eyes. The internationally recognised photographer tried to capture the homeless community with dignity and respect during his month in the city
In this heart-wrenching photo homeless man Stoney clenches his fist as he looks into the distance with a look of sadness in his eyes. The incredible photo captures Stoney's struggles and the injustice of the system as he is left to fend for himself in the affluent coastal holiday destination of Cape May in New Jersey
He said: 'They're all human beings and they all have a story to tell, I could show you dozens of photos of the horrific conditions they are living in, but I wanted to take portraits, to give each person some dignity. 
'They were just so thrilled that someone was paying attention to them, they're so used to being ignored or humiliated, I felt guilty, I'm not some bleeding heart guy, but I wound up putting some of them up in motels, at my own expense.
'With my photos, I wanted to show the injustice of the system.
'I met a pregnant teenager with slight autism who had nowhere to go, she'd run away from home because her father had been raping her since she was four years old, she had no one to turn to.
'What kind of sick society doesn't provide shelter for a pregnant teenage girl with autism?
The historic Victorian city is known for its beautiful beaches and million dollar houses but behind its wealth lies a dark truth. 
Rough sleeper Britney wipes her eyes as photographer Donato Di Camillo tries to capture her personal struggles and hardships. Believing that all those living on the streets had a story to tell, the photographer did not want to show the horrific conditions they were living in but give each person some dignity
In this photo Dana and Mike stand for a picture as the widely acclaimed photographer gives an insight into the hardships in the historic seaside resort about 160 miles south of New York City. The photographer spoke with every person he photographed and tried to portray their plight through his breathtaking black and white images
This black and white image shows homeless person Tim as he casts a downward glance in front of the lens. While the city he lives in is known for its stunning beaches and million dollar houses, the rough sleeper is one of many living in the city without a roof over their head 
In this photo, Mr Di Camilla captures Dennis as he sits down with his cat. Frustrated with the injustice of the system the photographer set out to portray the city's homeless community with dignity and kindness and try and portray the sadness with which they live. Mr Di Camilla said: 'They're all human beings and they all have a story to tell, I could show you dozens of photos of the horrific conditions they are living in, but I wanted to take portraits, to give each person some dignity'
Mr Di Camillo added: 'There's no homeless shelter to speak of in Cape May, they only have warming stations so they don't freeze to death right there on the streets. 
'The warming stations are only open from 6pm to 6am, so at 6am they have to hit the bricks again. 
'It's a little resort for the elite, most people are very wealthy there, they don't want to deal with these people, they want them swept away, out of sight, it's bad for business.
Cape May in New Jersey is a popular tourist destination and is known for its picturesque beaches and million dollar houses
The quaint holiday resort is known for its 19th century architecture and rich houses. Pictured: Rich houses along Beach Avenue, in Cape May, New Jersey
A visit to the historic Victorian city reveals enormous houses and yachts lining its shores but behind its affluent image lies a story of despair and homelessness
'I'm from the streets myself, so I don't find it shocking, I'm not even surprised by it, I just think it's disgusting.
'Homeless people aren't even allowed to put up tents in Cape May.
'If they put up a tent they have their tents ripped down, they get hassled and abused for standing in a bus station.
'The whole thing angered me.'
Sam Kelly, 74, has been an independent advocate for homeless people in Cape May for decades and works alongside the The Branches Episcopal Outreach Center, a philanthropic organisation run on public donations.
He said: 'There's really no comprehensive program for homeless people here.
'It's appalling, but we've been working to change that. Society has created this mess, society is going to have to get it fixed.
'It's been a long hard battle to try and get these people some help, but we're not going to stop.'

'I don’t want gray hair like my mother': Schoolboy’s hilarious note explaining why he didn’t do his homework goes viral as he argues that he ‘only does what makes him happy’ (8 Pics)

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A teenager's hilarious letter which lists the reasons he didn't do his homework has gone viral.
Edward Cortez, 14, from California, was asked to write a note to his teacher after failing to do an assignment.
The amusing letter, which argues that he 'does what makes him happy' and goes on to explain that he avoids stress after his mother recently found she had gray hairs, was shared to Twitter last week where it quickly went viral.
Posting a picture of the note online, his father's cousin Lydia wrote: 'So my cousin and his wife got an email from their son's teacher.  

Edward Cortez, 14, from California, was asked to write a note to his teacher listing the reasons he didn't do his homework after failing to do an assignment, and a relative shared it on Twitter
'He didn't do his hw (homework) so she asked him to write a paper saying why he didn't do his hw and this is what she got.' 
The lengthy letter quickly racked up a staggering 351,000 likes, 99,000 retweets and almost 3,000 replies.
'I didn't do my homework because I don't want to do school work over the weekend because it's a stress-free time to go out with friends, watch TV and play games,' he wrote.
'I don't (sic) do it also because it makes me very mad and unhappy. I do  what makes me happy because I want to be happy plus my mom has been finding gray hairs, not trying to stress out dog (sic)'.
He went on to argue: ' The real world jobs don't give you homework unless you're a boss or teacher.

The lengthy letter quickly racked up a staggering 351,000 likes, 99,000 retweets and almost 3,000 replies, with one person admitting: 'I started crying real tears laughing so hard'
'The points were 100% valid': a follower wrote in response to the amusing letter, which argues that he 'does what makes him happy' and wants to avoid stress, after his mother went gray

Joking about the reference to his mother's gray hair, one said: 'I thought he was implying that he didn’t want gray hair?'
'Homework is not a real thing in the real world so we should not have to do it in school because it's not useful.
Concluding his letter, he wrote: 'Case closed, the court rule in favor of Edward Immanuel Cortez in the case of student vs homework.'
Replying to the viral tweet, one follower wrote: 'At least he is being honest about it!'
Meanwhile another said: 'This is hilarious. I wish I had known decades ago that I’m not supposed to be bringing home work in my real-world job. Who knew?'
And joking about the reference to his mother's gray hair, one said: 'I thought he was implying that he didn’t want gray hair?'
Another joked: 'Or he doesn't want the dog to get gray hairs.'

Joking about  the letter, one person shared a meme of Donald Trump looking confused, and wrote: 'Me as the teacher'
Another shared a meme writing: 'You're making some very good points'
And one user argued that the youngster should be given a logical explanation as to why homework is given.
He wrote:  'Kids who question authority and think independently need to be reasoned with and given guidance. A common mistake is getting into a power struggle with the kid. That will just make him rebel more.'
Replying, one teacher added: 'I'm a teacher and I 100% agree with this child! Stop assigning weekend homework. Limit homework during the week. 
'Teachers and these ridiculous workloads are causing kids to HATE school and reject learning! 

'Between this and Brexit we're f***ed': BBC microphone gaffe as journalist accidentally shares his thoughts on anti-Corbyn MPs' press conference live on air

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Luciana Berger said she had become 'ashamed and embarrassed' to be in Corbyn's Labour, branding the party 'institutionally anti-Semitic'. The MPs involved are (seated from left) Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey, Ms Berger, Angela Smith, Chuka Umunna and Gavin Shuker 

The BBC has been forced to apologise after it accidentally broadcast a journalist telling a colleague, 'we're f****d' live on air today.  
The gaffe came as the BBC News channel broadcast live footage of seven Labour MPs dramatically resigning from the party to create a new Independent Group. 

But in an impromptu commentary, a member of the press can be heard saying: 'Between this and Brexit, we are actually f****d. The Conservatives are going to win.' 

The unnamed man is thought to be a BBC journalist, although this has not yet been confirmed. 
He could be heard giving his sombre outlook after Chuka Umunna addressed the audience at the press conference at London's County Hall. 
As Luciana Berger thanked family and friends for their support, the man says: 'We're going to be so divided.' 
The pair can then be heard muttering and giggling as the MPs answer questions.  
BBC presenter Samira Ahmed, who was presenting the Victoria Derbyshire show, later apologised for the expletives.
She said: 'I should say for those who were listening to that live news conference, there was some bad language apparently, so we do apologise if anyone was offended by what they might have heard.'
Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey this morning issued the appeal to MPs from both Labour and other parties to 'leave the old tribal politics behind' and join their new grouping.
None of the current political parties in Westminster 'are fit to provide the leadership and direction needed by our country', they said. 
At the press conference this morning, Mr Umunna issued an appeal to voters: 'For far too long, political parties in Westminster - parties of which we have been a part - have been failing you. 
'If you want an alternative, please help us build it. The bottom line is this - politics is broken, it doesn't have to be this way. Let's change it.'  
A spokesman for the BBC said: 'Due to an error, we inadvertently broadcast some background comments from another microphone during our coverage of the press conference this morning. We apologised on air once we realised our mistake.' 
In October, senior BBC reporter Dan Road was hauled off air for making an offensive comment about the owner of Leicester City chairman's private life.
The sports editor was standing yards from a flower memorial when he suggested that Thai beauty queen Nursara Suknamai was club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's 'mistress'.
Last August, during a live BBC Breakfast broadcast, the show was returning for its nine o'clock update on Saturday when viewers claimed they heard the words, 'she's useless, isn't she?'
They speculated presenter Naga Munchetty had said it to Charlie Stayt.


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Surgeon Hospitalized for 6 Weeks After Working 180-Hour Shifts, Gets Called an ‘Emotional Female’ (2 Pics)

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 A plastic surgeon in Sydney, Australia has quit her job after months of grueling work that turned her into a patient for six weeks.

In a blog post on Feb. 4, Dr. Yumiko Kadota, 31, recalled the copious amounts of time she had spent working at “Hospital X,” which news outlets later revealed as Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital.
Kadota’s ordeal began in February 2018, which she described as “the worst working days of my life.”
Assigned to be on-call for up to 180 hours, she barely had time to sleep, exercise and eat healthily.
“My two-week cycle looked something like this: I was on call from Monday morning 7:30 a.m. until the next Monday 4 p.m. … about 180 continuous hours,” Kadota recalled. “This means that at any time during those 180 hours, I could (and did) get called by the hospital.”
“From the first week I was receiving phone calls every night until about midnight, and sometimes even a 3 a.m. call here and there. I would then get Monday night off — a momentary relief of one night’s uninterrupted sleep — and then back on call again the next morning until Friday afternoon — another 80 continuous hours of being on call. I got two days off, and then the cycle started again.”
Kadota’s log records show that at one point, she only had four hours of uninterrupted sleep. But some nights were more “unpredictable.”

“My days were long. I kept a log of my hours; I was at the hospital for 120 to 140 hours a fortnight, and work would follow me home with phone calls whilst trying to park my car in the garage, whilst I took a shower, whilst I was trying to cook dinner, and whilst I was trying to fall asleep. Every fortnight I would only be guaranteed four nights of uninterrupted sleep. The other 10 nights were unpredictable. Maybe I’ll get woken up, maybe I won’t. This mental unrest for 10 days a fortnight was taking a toll on me. I couldn’t go and exercise, I couldn’t plan anything social … I had to be on standby.”

At the end of her first month at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, Kadota logged a whopping 100 hours of overtime work. Unfortunately, her grueling schedule continued — despite requests for rearrangement — and this started to affect her physical health.
“After a while, the other doctors began to notice how much time I was spending at the hospital. My locker had spare clothes, socks and toiletries in anticipation for all the nights I would be spending at the hospital. By April I began to feel physically unwell. The combination of stress, dehydration, poor nutrition, and sleep deprivation affected my gut health.”
Aside from physical stressors, Kadota had to endure other factors that made her days “unpleasant,” such as patients calling her a nurse even after introducing herself as a doctor.

She added, “It wasn’t just the patients. An emergency doctor rang me at 3 a.m. about an appointment. At 3 a.m.? Really? I expressed that it was inappropriate to wake me up at 3 a.m. about non-urgent matters. This was hardly an emergency. ‘Stop being an emotional female,’ he said. Oh no he didn’t … Would he have called my male counterpart ‘emotional’? I tried to get back to sleep but I couldn’t. How dare he call me emotional!”

Kadota, who had no choice of healthy food at work, eventually visited her family’s general practitioner for a check-up. She learned that she had become overweight.
“She’d known me for several years now, and was concerned by how physically and mentally exhausted I appeared. She felt strongly that she needed to write a letter to the hospital, which I gave to my HoD (Head of Department) and medical administration.”
She managed to take some time off but only to find additional workload upon her return.

“I came back from annual leave with the hope that my working conditions might improve. There were no such improvements; only an extra load imposed on me for taking time off – I didn’t realise that taking annual leave was a punishable offence. I was given an extra weekend to ‘make up’ for it.”

Kadota soldiered on for a few more weeks but before June started, she had to call it quits. She made the deliberate decision knowing that her name would be put on a blacklist.
“On the 1st of June I resigned. It wasn’t okay anymore. I was physically alive, but spiritually broken. At lunch time, I begged the HoD if I could go home. The answer, as always, was no. ‘Just hang in there.’ I felt like I had already ‘hung in there’ for three months. The 1st of June was my 24th consecutive day of work, 19 of which were 24-hour on-call days. I knew what it would mean to resign — I would be blacklisted and I would never get a job in plastic surgery again in Sydney. But I couldn’t keep going. I crashed my car on my way home.”
In a follow-up entry, Kadota detailed events that took place after her resignation. Being a yogini for as long as she had been a doctor, she once again turned to yoga and became a certified RYT-200 teacher.
Unfortunately, Kadota harbored insomnia and post-traumatic symptoms which left her hospitalized for six weeks.
“What still affects me every night is that I wake up every two hours. My brain still thinks it’s on call. The hypervigilance makes me wide awake. I’m not even stressed about anything. I’m not the type to ruminate over things. I just wake up, with an empty space in my head, with nothing in particular on my mind. ‘No, Miko, you’re not on call, there are no emergencies to be on standby for. Just go back to sleep.’ But I can’t.
“In early October I finally surrendered to my condition. I was admitted to a private hospital for treatment of my insomnia and post-traumatic symptoms. I was told I’d probably be there for three weeks. I ended up in hospital for six.”

Kadota concluded her update with hopes of returning to practice surgery, but not until a later time. For now, she seizes every second to heal herself from the wounds of clinical work.
She has also been campaigning against the exploitation of junior doctors in Australia — in hopes of saving others from the same fate.
“I wanted to be a surgeon, and there’s still a place in my heart for it, of course. Whatever I go back to, it will be surgical (if clinical), or anatomy (if academic). Those are my thoughts right now but I can’t make that decision yet. I need to heal first. In the meantime, I am enjoying some time off clinical work. I’m reading books to nourish my mind, eating a plant-based diet to nourish my body, and doing yoga to nourish my soul. I’m finding myself again. I’m not a plastic surgery registrar right now. I am just Miko, and I hope that that’s okay.”

Mike Pence Brought Greetings From Trump To Munich And No One Applauded

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Vice President Mike Pence appeared to have overestimated his audience’s opinion of the American president on Friday when he spoke during an event at the Munich Security Conference.
The vice president was in Germany as part of a delegation of U.S. lawmakers to the annual conference that dates back to the height of the Cold War.
″I especially want to invite all of you to thank Senator Lindsey Graham for leading this delegation,” Pence said.
A strong round of applause followed.
“And to [...] all of you I bring greetings from a great champion of freedom and of strong national defense, who must work with these members of Congress to strengthen America’s military might and strengthen the leadership of the free world,” he continued. “I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.”
The crowd did not react.
Pence then paused for several long seconds before continuing his planned remarks. He was speaking at the conference’s inaugural John McCain Dissertation Award ceremony, an academic prize named in honor of the late senator who attended the meeting for decades ― and who was famously antagonized by Trump.
The Trump administration is not popular among the conference’s global leaders and defense chiefs. A report put out ahead of the conference decried the administration’s “irritating enthusiasm for strongmen across the globe” and “disdain for international institutions and agreements.” 
“The whole liberal world order appears to be falling apart ― nothing is as it once was,” Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, wrote in an editorial published ahead of the conference.
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel finished an extended critique of Trump’s “America First” policies, she received an enthusiastic standing ovation. (Ivanka Trump, an adviser to the president and his eldest daughter, did not join in.)
While the conference has traditionally given world leaders a moment to come together in pursuit of shared goals, this year’s tone has highlighted the division between the U.S. and other superpowers.