Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 27

IGNORANCE BLAMED:A netizen said it was no surprise that Taiwan ranks poorly in worldwide ignorance after pictures emerged of students dressed as Nazi soldiers

A Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School student rides a cardboard tank while wearing a Nazi uniform at a school event on Friday. Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

By Sean Lin

Students at a private high school in Hsinchu City yesterday sparked outrage after photographs of them in Nazi costumes at a cosplay event a day earlier went viral on the Internet.

Photos of a class at Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School wearing costumes resembling Nazi uniforms and carrying swastika banners were shared on Professional Technology Temple (PTT), the nation’s largest online academic bulletin board, triggering an outcry from representative offices, government officials and netizens, with some saying the incident yet again showed Taiwan’s ignorance of international affairs.

A photo among those that were previously posted to Facebook showed students dressed as Nazi soldiers standing in formation, while another one showed a student riding in a tank made of cardboard boxes and performing a Nazi salute.

The Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei issued a statement criticizing the event.

“It is deplorable and shocking that seven decades only after the world had witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust, a high school in Taiwan is supporting such an outrageous action as we witnessed yesterday at Hsinchu Kuang Fu Senior High School,” Israeli Representative to Taiwan Asher Yarden wrote on the mission’s Facebook page. “We strongly condemn this tasteless occurrence and call on the Taiwanese authorities, in all levels, to initiate educational programs which would introduce the meaning of the Holocaust and teach its history and universal meaning.”

The German Institute Taipei also issued a statement on Facebook.

“Sadly, the students clearly do not understand that the Nazi symbol stands for disregard for human rights and oppression,” it said.

Full story at Taipei Times (December 2016)

The mothers secretly working as sex workers

                                                         Getty Images/Christopher Furlong

By Rachel Thorn

A significant number of sex workers in the UK are also mothers, research suggests. So what is it like to sell sex while bringing up a child?

"I'm certainly not ashamed of what I've done," Sherri, 42, from Essex says.

"And I'm quietly furious about the lack of recognition that myself and other women I know get."

Sherri has been selling sex to men for the last two decades, as a stripper, in brothels and through escort agencies.

But this is a secret she keeps from her 12-year-old son.

Her double-life is carefully planned. She tells her son she is a theatre receptionist to explain her working hours and never stays late in case the babysitter becomes suspicious.

"I know a lot of people's children turn against them when they find out," she says. "It's terrible to pay that kind of price."

Full story at BBC News (December 2016)

Malaysian PhD student discovers hidden supermassive black hole

Malaysian astrophysics PhD student, Nur Adlyka Ainul Annuar (second from left) at the press conference at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Texas.

By Hazlina Aziz

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian astrophysics PhD student, Nur Adlyka Ainul Annuar was among a group of astronomers who have discovered evidence of black holes in our cosmic backyard, presented earlier today during a press conference at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Texas.

Adlyka, who is currently pursuing her Phd at the Centre of Extragalactic Astronomy, Durham University, United Kingdom, was among British researchers who conducted analysis of the American space agency NASA’s most recent X-ray telescope called NuSTAR ((Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array).

Presenting on the topic "Black Holes, Green Galaxies, Old Stars & NuSTARs", her study discovered that the galaxy has a thick column of gas hiding the central black hole.

Adlyka said: “These black holes are relatively close to the Milky Way, but they have remained hidden from us until now.

“They’re like monsters hiding under your bed. Their recent discoveries certainly call out the question of how many other supermassive black holes we are still missing, even in our nearby universe.”

Adlyka whose research is focused on trying to find active supermassive black holes that are enshrouded by thick clouds of gas and dust in our universe said: " NuSTAR can detect high energy X-ray emission from the black hole that is able to penetrate through the thick layers of gas and dust. "

Full story at New Straits Times (January 2017)

No students turned up to this teacher's class and he live tweeted every agonising moment

By Fiona Simpson

It might be some teachers’ dream come true, but when no students turned up to Adam Avitable’s class he thought he was in an existential nightmare.

Avitable, who describes himself as a “a small business owner, lawyer, motivational speaker, educator, best-selling author and comedian”, was in educator mode at a college in central Florida, getting ready for a class teaching for the graduation equivalency degree.

Unfortunately, nobody turned up.

You know that college rule - if the professor is more than fifteen minutes late, class is canceled?Does the opposite apply as well? — Adam Heath Avitable (@avitable) January 19, 2017

And thereafter Avitable’s Twitter feed turned into a detailed account of a guy beginning to question himself and his existence.

Classwatch 2017. Class started 30 mins ago. No students yet. I thought one was coming but it was just an administrator. Who laughed at me.— Adam Heath Avitable (@avitable) January 19, 2017

Five more minutes have passed. I'm starting to doubt myself. Did I tell them no class? Is today Thursday? Am I dreaming? #Classwatch2017— Adam Heath Avitable (@avitable) January 19, 2017

It's so quiet. Every time I hear a door open, I sit up and smile. But when nobody enters my classroom, I die on the inside. #Classwatch2017— Adam Heath Avitable (@avitable) January 19, 2017

Is everyone else in the world dead? Was there a sudden zombie attack and I survived, alone in my classroom? #Classwatch2017

Full story at Science Info (January 2017)

Teen chides Netizens behind her 'death'

By Nur Aqidah Azizi

S. Sumita, of SMK Rantau in Negri Sembilan aced the Form Three Assessment recently. Pix by Adzlan Sidek/ NSTP

SEREMBAN: S. Sumita’s joy at scoring 10As in the Form Three Assessment (PT3), which was announced on Monday, was deflated when news of her purported “death” went viral yesterday.

She said the fake news was more surprising to her and her family when it was widely circulated via WhatsApp, claiming she was killed in a neighbouring country.

The 15-year-old said there was a gruesome picture, purportedly her dead body, to lend credence to the story.

The SMK Rantau student said she was depressed after learning about the false news.

“It is irresponsible to spread something like that. Those behind it are very immature,” she said at her house in Taman Rantau here.

Sumita was accompanied by her mother, Meena Soosai, 46, and father, P. Shanmugam, 50, during the interview.

Full story at New Straits Times (December 2016)

School worker fired for correcting student’s spelling on Twitter

By Linda Massarella

Katie Nash (Facebook)

The sun will come out tomorrow — but the social-media manager for a Maryland school district won’t be tweeting about it.

Katie Nash says she has been officially terminated over her smart-aleck chastising of a student who misspelled the word tomorrow as “tammarow” on Twitter.

Nash, 33, said she understands the Frederick County Public School District’s decision to fire her from her $44,066 web experience coordinator job.

“I don’t want to be a distraction to the school system and the goals they have for overarching achievement,” she said in an interview with the Frederick News-Post.

The trouble began Jan. 5, when a student wrote to the Twitter account @FCPSMaryland, asking schools to close “tammarow.”

Nash responded: “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow’? :)”

Her response garnered more than 1,000 retweets and 1,000 likes and she became the subject of a hashtag, #KatiefromFCPS.

Full story at New York Post (January 2017)

A Syrian teen was headed to MIT and then came the ban

By Justin Lear

(CNN)Mahmoud Hassan was ecstatic when he got the acceptance letter.

All through high school, the 18-year-old had one goal in mind: get an engineering degree from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But Hassan is from Damascus, Syria. And Friday, he had his hopes crushed through no fault of his own.

When President Trump signed an executive order on immigration, temporarily banning citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries, Syria was one of the seven.

"Now Trump's orders will prevent me from going there," he told CNN. "My dreams are basically ruined."

Full story at CNN (January 2017)