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October 1st, 2014

Diversions

The New Normal

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published August 13, 2014

The New Normal

Since high-rise residents value their privacy, Lisa Pleiss of Seattle said she was frightened on June 22 when she saw a drone hovering outside her 26th-floor window: "You don't expect to be walking around indecent in your apartment and then have this thing potentially recording you." According to police, the drone was legal -- helping a developer photograph downtown Seattle -- but would not have been if the camera had been pointed at Pleiss' window. (Drones are becoming so widespread that, for instance, the University of South Florida library owns several, for student check-out on certain research projects.) [Los Angeles Times, 6-25-2014] [WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg), 6-21-2014]

In June, as Elizabeth Neufeld, 85, was backing her car out of her driveway in Bel Air, California, it tipped on a curve and rolled onto its side. Elizabeth was not hurt, but was trapped inside while her husband, Benjamin, 87, got out on his own. As they awaited firefighters, she reportedly handed a cellphone to a passerby so that the Neufelds would have a "selfie" (which made the Internet, with Elizabeth having righted herself in the driver's seat and Benjamin standing sheepishly alongside). (Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld, retired, is one of the world's most prominent genetics researchers, having won numerous awards during stints at the National Institutes of Health, University of California, Berkeley and UCLA.) [ABC News, 6-26-2014]

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