Tag Archives: weird

Criminals Could be Identified ‘Through Reflection in Victims’ Eyes’

Reflections in the “dark mirror” of a person’s pupil could be used by police to identify criminals, piece together crime scenes or link networks of suspects.

According to the study, led by Dr Rob Jenkins at the University of York, we are able to able identify people reflected in the pupils of photographed subjects with a surprising degree of accuracy.

Jenkins and the University of Glasgow’s Christine Kerr photographed eight people.

They found that test subjects were able to identify the image of someone they already knew in the enlarged pupil reflection 84% of the time.

When they did not know the person reflected, they were able to identify them against a passport photo 71% of the time.

“The pupil of the eye is like a black mirror,” Jenkins said. “Eyes in the photographs could reveal where you were and who you were with.”

“In the context of criminal investigations, this could be used to piece together networks of associates, or to link individuals to particular locations,” Jenkins told Kurzweil Artificial Intelligence.

The reflections could be particularly useful in child abuse or kidnapping cases, where a victim is photographed by a criminal.

“Reflections in the victim’s eyes could reveal the identity of the photographer,” said Jenkins.

“Also, around 40 million photographs per day are uploaded to Instagram alone.

“Faces are among the most frequently photographed objects. Our study serves as a reminder to be careful what you upload.”

The photographs were taken with a high-end 29 pixel camera, but the study’s authors noted that as high-res cameras become more common in mobile phones, so better images may become more readily available to police.

Source – International Business Times, 28 Dec 2013

It might be noted that this idea is not new – police took photographs of the eyes of Mary Kelly, Jack the Ripper victim in 1888, working on the theory that the last thing a person saw might be imprinted somehow in the eyes.

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41p ?

Spotted in the Newcastle Journal of 5th July 2013… a letter from one Arnold Laing of Newcastle –

Twice in recent days I have been approached in a Newcastle street and asked for 41p.

Does this figure have some special meaning ?

Its a shame it wasn’t 42p, because as I’m sure we all know, 42 is, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, calculated by an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately no one remembers what the question is.

But  it wasn’t 42.  So what significance 41 ?

Not much, it seems. It’s the international direct dialing code for Switzerland, but its probably pushing credibility to suggest that the beggars of Newcastle are making coded references to their Swiss bank accounts.

It’s an odd number to ask for, especially as it would require a number of coins – three  minimum – when it would be so much easier all round to request 50p and get it (if lucky) in one coin.

So maybe its just one of those random bits of weird shit that happen…well, just because they can.

 

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Almanac – March 14

1471 – Sir Thomas Malory died.  English writer, the author or compiler of Le Morte d’Arthur.

Since the late nineteenth century he has generally been identified as Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel in Warwickshire, a knight, land-owner and Member of Parliament.

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1869 – Algernon Blackwood born.  English short story writer and novelist, one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre. He was also a journalist and a broadcasting narrator.

S. T. Joshi has stated that “his work is more consistently meritorious than any weird writer’s except Dunsany’s” and that his short story collection Incredible Adventures (1914) “may be the premier weird collection of this or any other century”.

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1922 – Les Baxter born. American musician and composer. He composed and conducted scores for Roger Corman‘s Edgar Allan Poe films and other horror stories and teenage musicals, including The Pit and the Pendulum, The Comedy of Terrors, Muscle Beach Party, The Dunwich Horror, and Frogs.

Baxter, alongside Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, is celebrated as one of the progenitors of exotica music.

In his 1996 appreciation for Wired magazine, writer David Toop wrote that Baxter “offered package tours in sound, selling tickets to sedentary tourists who wanted to stroll around some taboo emotions before lunch, view a pagan ceremony, go wild in the sun or conjure a demon, all without leaving home hi-fi comforts in the white suburbs.”

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Smurf On The Loose In English Countryside

An interesting bit of weird shit – reports of a man “who looks like a Smurf” behaving suspiciously in the Forest of Dean are being investigated by Gloucestershire Police, who said they had received several reports of a man in a blue morph suit with blue paint on his face in Longhope.

One witness said the man, who was seen waving at women and running up to them doing star jumps, “looked like a Smurf”.

Officers say they are keen to speak to the man to establish his motives.

Now I’ve got a bit of local knowledge here,  having been brought up in Gloucestershire, before I managed to escape all those years ago. While the Forest of Dean is indeed part of Gloucestershire, it’s also separated from the rest of the county by the River Severn, a kind of enclave sandwiched between Herefordshire and South Wales.

As a result, it’s seen as a bit isolated and it’s inhabitants a bit odd…basically, The Forest is to Gloucestershire what Norfolk is to England – the kind of place where any increase in the population is reckoned to have the odds-on chance of being as a result of improper relations with one’s sister. It may be significant that mass murderer and incest enthusiast Fred West, while not coming from the Forest exactly, was certainly a product of it’s hinterland.

So normally I’d have expected Gloucestershire Police to react to reports of a Smurf doing star-jumps at women with a statement along the lines of  “It’s the Forest…what do you expect ?” I can only assume that the reason they are keen to esthablish his motives is  because they’re running a book on what he’s up to.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t like to totally discount the possibility that there really are feral Smurfs on the loose there, perhaps released into the wild by bored owners, or alternatively transported from another dimension.

Chalk up another one for The Forest, anyway…

Mr. Frankenstein

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