Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Is or Are?

There's a number of reasons this sentence could be right. But do you think it is?

It's not uncommon; the set of words "there's a number of reasons" gets almost 3 million hits on Google. But the phrase "there are a number of reasons" returns more than 63 million results. And perhaps the least natural-sounding possibility, "there is a number of reasons," gets even more hits: About 73 million.

So there's a division of opinions. But this division is a strange one. The people who prefer "there's a number of reasons" are likely to be either very sloppy or very fussy, while the great middle ground is occupied by those who prefer "there are a number of reasons." The reason for this is that there are two different things at issue, and they are at cross-purposes.

The two issues are: (1) Is it acceptable to use there's when the noun following it is plural? and (2) Is a number of reasons singular or plural?

The first issue is the simpler one. English has a long history of using there as a filler word that allows us to declare the existence of something while putting the thing itself in the more emphasized position after the verb. Several verbs (such as seem) can work this way, too. Since there is not a noun or pronoun, the verb in the sentence as a general rule agrees with the noun following it. An egg is on the table; there is an egg on the table. Two eggs seem to be on the table; there seem to be two eggs on the table. There are two eggs on the table.

This comes up against the fact that there's is commonly treated in casual and dialectal speech as a fixed, unchanging item. Many well-educated people who wouldn't write, "There's two eggs on the table" would nonetheless say it without thinking. That doesn't make it correct in formal English, however — and if it ever does come to be seen as correct, it will likely be a long time in the future.

The more interesting — and more hotly debated — question is whether a number of reasons is singular or plural.

Those in the "singular" camp are another split group: Some of them are linguistically insecure and second-guess themselves, and some of them are extremely confident and assertive in matters of grammar. They point out that a number is the head of the noun phrase and is singular.

Those in the "plural" camp can point out that a lot, a bunch, a couple, a dozen, a hundred, a thousand, and a million are all singular in form, too. Terms such as a dozen, a pair, and a couple started out as singular nouns, and you can still treat them that way if you're treating the dozen, pair, or couple as a unitary set. The indefinite plural quantifiers such as a lot and a bunch also have singular uses — "a bunch of people is coming" presents a different image than "a bunch of people are coming" — but they have gained a plural status even as they keep their noun role (we say "a bunch of people" and "a lot of people" and even "a great deal of people" but we don't say "a dozen of people" anymore).

The question, then, is whether a number falls into the same set as a lot and a bunch. When we say "a bunch of flowers is on the table" we are referring to the bunch as whole; if we say "a number of people is coming," do we expect to see a number — say, 23 — walking in the door?

The same question holds for a few other similar terms, including a large percentage and the majority. Have they shifted or extended to have a quantifier usage? If we look at historical usage data, we will find that "a large number are," "a large percentage are," and "the majority are" all beat out their "is" counterparts, sometimes by large margins, at least since 1800. Could all those users be wrong? Or is it perhaps more likely that those in the "singular, you idiot!!!" camp are misanalyzing the grammar?

Here's one way to test it: Use other verbs instead of is/are. Take this sentence: "Among students, a large percentage graduates from high school, the majority finishes college, and a fair number goes on to graduate school." Does it sound more natural with graduate, finish, and go on? Try this: "We have many guests, and a number of them uses the shower every day." Better with use?

Here's another way to test it: Look for distinctions in meaning. We know we can say, "The majority is always right," meaning that, as a body, those constituting the majority prevail. What if we say, "The majority are always right?" Then it more readily means that of this population, the set of those who are always right is greater than the set of those who are not. So we do have a distinctive plural usage of the majority.

Similarly, "A high percentage get an A on the test" means very many of them get an A. On the other hand, "A high percentage gets an A on the test" means that a high percentage (say, 90 percent) on the test will get you an A.

And if we say, "Many people showed up for our sign-making party, and a large number is sitting on the lawn," we mean that there is an enormous numeral figure on the lawn, perhaps painted by those present. If we say, "… and a large number are sitting on the lawn," we mean a lot of people are. A big bunch. A great deal. Many.

Of course, if everyone were to take the time to look at standard authoritative references on grammar — Oxford, Fowler's, usage dictionaries, etc. — no one would say a number of has to be singular. But people who think the answer is obvious don't always see the need to double-check.

In short, if I say, "There is a number of reasons written on the paper," expect to see a figure such as 5, 12, or 67. If I say, "There are a number of reasons written on the paper," expect to see the reasons themselves. And if I say, "There's a number of reasons written on the paper," well, it really depends on just how casual I'm being with my speech — but don't expect me to use it in earnest in formal written English. There are a number of reasons I wouldn't.
Discovery News

DYK?

On average a hiccup/hiccough lasts 5 minutes.

Geek Gadgets- 5

21. Season food with Rubik’s Cube salt and pepper mills.

Season food with Rubik's Cube salt and pepper mills.
Alas, they’re sold out. :(

22. Start baking.

Start baking.
Though these Pac-Man oven mittens are discontinued. Womp, womp.

23. Cool your drinks with Pac-Man ice.

Cool your drinks with Pac-Man ice.
Paladone Products
Get it here!

24. Or cool Tetris-shaped ice.

 
Get it here.

25. Snack on Tetris gummies.

Snack on Tetris gummies.
Available in Japan.

Geek Gadgets- 4

16. Make your position clear.

Make your position clear.
Get it here.

17. Turn your fridge into a portal.

Turn your fridge into a portal.
Get it here.

18. Get a cocktail chemistry set.

Get a cocktail chemistry set.
Get it here.

19. Or a beaker-shaped tea infuser.

Or a beaker-shaped tea infuser.
Get it here.

20. Put up motivational posters.

Put up motivational posters.
Get Ice Pop Superhero Posters here.

Geek Gadgets- 3

11. Slice and toast your bread at the same time (with a tool that Tumblr reveals is actually a Hogwarts Sorting Hat.)

Slice and toast your bread at the same time (with a tool that Tumblr reveals is actually a Hogwarts Sorting Hat.)

12. Take the Throne of fries.

Take the Throne of fries.

13. Take a swig from a Polyjuice Potion flask.

Take a swig from a Polyjuice Potion flask.
Get it here.

14. Build virtual snacks with LEGOS.

Build virtual snacks with LEGOS.
LEGO my Eggo?

15. Cook with LEGO utensils.

Cook with LEGO utensils.
Get it here.

Geek Gadgets- 2

6. Order pizza from a futuristic touch-screen table.

Order pizza from a futuristic touch-screen table.
Pizza Hut / youtube.com
Pizza Hut is testing a table that lets you customize orders on a giant touchscreen. Minority Report, much?

7. Make a superhero-themed pizza.

Make a superhero-themed pizza.
Captain America needs pizza, too.

8. Or make the best pizza everrr.

Or make the best pizza everrr.
Here’s how.

9. Just make sure every slice is precise.

Just make sure every slice is precise.
NUOP
Get Pi Pizza Cutter here.

10. Express your love by giving your SO or BFF a dinosaur-eating-pizza necklace.

Express your love by giving your SO or BFF a dinosaur-eating-pizza necklace.
Snash Jewelry
Now that’s a promising relationship. Get the PizzaSaurus Necklace here.

Geek Gadgets- 1

1. Have Dark Side toast.

Have Dark Side toast.
License 2 Play
Get it here.

2. Drink from a mug that uses a computer to keep your coffee warm.

Drink from a mug that uses a computer to keep your coffee warm.
Meet the iCup.

3. Pack “Chewy” noodles for lunch.

Pack "Chewy" noodles for lunch.
Laugh it up, fuzzball.

4. Eat some Microsoft Windows sushi…

Eat some Microsoft Windows sushi...
Does Apple eat Microsoft sushi for lunch?

5. …with light saber chopsticks.

...with light saber chopsticks.
Kotobukiya Co., Ltd.
Get it here.

Buzz Feed

Wifey Wins

How Sweary Are You?

  1. Tick off any words that you've used.
    1. Fuck
    2. Shit
    3. Piss
    4. Cock
    5. Dick
    6. Twat
    7. Ass
    8. Bastard
    9. Cunt
    10. Motherfucker
    11. Tits
    12. Cocksucker
    13. Bugger
    14. Git
    15. Bollocks
    16. Bitch
    17. Arse
    18. Shite
    19. Feck
    20. Wanker
    21. Tosser
    22. Arsehole
    23. Bell end
    24. Knob end
    25. Knob head
    26. Piss stain
    27. Ass hat
    28. Jeb end
    29. Minge
    30. Clunge
    31. Fanny
    32. Fannyflaps
    33. Pissflap
    34. Dipshit
    35. Arseclown
    36. Shitsticks
    37. Prick
    38. Arsebadger
    39. Cuntybollocks
    40. Twatface
    41. Shithead
    42. Cumdumpster
    43. Quim
    44. Fuckpants
    45. Cuntflap
    46. Cockwomble
    47. Nobjockey
    48. Thundercunt
    49. Horseshit
    50. Fuckwit
    51. Shitbrains
    52. Bitchtits
    53. Cockmuncher
    54. Jerk off
    55. Douchecanoe
    56. Cock end
    57. Shitting arse
    58. Bullshit
    59. Bollockfaced shitnubbins
    60. Shitpouch
    61. Cuntpuddle
    62. Fuckmented shitjizzle
    63. Cock-juggling thundercunt
    64. Cuntmonger
    65. Jizzbreath
    66. Dickweasel
    67. Suckjob
    68. Cock knob
    69. Fuckface
    70. Piers Morgan
 
You ticked off 41 out of 70 on this fucking list!
  1. That’s the shit! You’re fucking brilliant, and everyone knows it. Well fucking done.


Buzz Feed

The Snip Snipped

Iran's parliament is seeking a ban on vasectomies and a tightening of abortion rules as the country moves away from its progressive laws on family planning in an attempt to increase the birthrate.

Two decades after Iran initiated an effective birth control programme, including subsidised male sterilisation surgeries and free condom distribution, the country is to make a U-turn.

More at TG

DYK?

did-you-know-382

We'll Still Salute You


AC/DC
AC/DC … Future in doubt. Photograph: Bob King/Redferns
AC/DC's future was thrown up in the air in the early hours of Tuesday morning after an Australian radio station reported the band are to retire, owing to a band member's illness. However, the Australian newspaper countered that story with a report that the band have booked a six-week recording session in Vancouver from May 1, "according to a music industry source".

The rumours about AC/DC's retirement stemmed from an anonymous email to Perth radio station 6PR by a person identifying themselves only as "Thunderstruck", who said: "I have extremely good contacts in Europe that are very close to AC/DC. I have it on very good authority that one of the band members is quite ill and has returned to Australia with his family. AC/DC members have previously made a pact that no band members will be replaced should someone need to leave the band. No more is currently being said, however the particularly ill member of AC/DC's son has stated that AC/DC may well be over." The member in question is said to be rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford told 6PR he believed the information to be correct. "It may be that … they don't actually retire as such, they just never perform together again or record again."

AC/DC's singer, Brian Johnson, told a Florida radio station in February that a band member had been ill, which had caused them to be tight-lipped about their plans. "We've been denying anything, 'cause we weren't sure," he said. "One of our boys was pretty ill, so we didn't like to say anything, and we're very private about things like this, so we didn't wanna say anything.

However, Johnson also added: "But I think we'll be going in the studio in May in Vancouver. Which means, we should be getting ready."

The Guardian has contacted AC/DC's UK publicist for comment, and has been told no statement is yet available. We will provide an update when more information is issued.

AC/DC were formed in Sydney in November 1973 by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young, releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. They became popular internationally with their fourth album, 1977's Let There Be Rock, but became superstars in 1980 with their seventh album, Back in Black, recorded with Brian Johnson after the death of singer Bon Scott. It became one of the biggest selling albums ever, selling 22m in US alone, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

The band have remained hugely popular worldwide. Their last tour, promoting the Black Ice album between 2008 and 2010, grossed $441.6m (£264.1m), making it the second highest grossing tour in history. The band said it had told 5.1m tickets for 168 shows in 31 countries during the tour.

TG

Wrong Career


You'll need to follow the link at the bottom (or here TG) to see the tables, which haven't shown as we're on Firefox.  Worth a look.

Manchester City have topped a ranking of global sports pay, with an average first-team player earning more than £5.3m per year.

The global sports salaries survey 2014, published by Sporting Intelligence and compiled in association with ESPN The Magazine, has calculated that an average first team salary pay per player comes in at £5.3m, or £102,653 per week. Baseball teams the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are ranked at second and third place respectively. Real Madrid and Barcelona make up the top five. Paul Campbell writes today:
If Brendan Rodgers can win the Premier League title with Liverpool this season, some of his fellow managers will not be happy. While José Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini have been bickering over whose club is more like a little horse and Arsène Wenger has been complaining about the way his rivals spend their money, Rodgers has been accelerating past them with a team that is paid less money but wins more matches and scores more goals.
Five Premier League clubs make the top 20; Manchester City (1st), Manchester United (8th), Chelsea (10th), Arsenal (11th) and Liverpool (20th). The chart below shows average earnings, annualy and per week, in both British pounds and US dollars.
The 2014 report considers 294 teams in 15 leagues in 12 countries across seven different sports: football, baseball, basketball, American football, cricket, ice hockey and Aussie Rules football.

How has it changed over time?

The New York Yankees took the lead in the first survey in 2010 with its stars earning £4.7m per year on average. In 2011, Barcelona replaced the Yankees with an average of £4.9m per year per player and remained in top position in the 2012 rankings. By 2013, Manchester City had become the best paid team in global sport and remain at the top spot in 2014.
Interestingly, Sporting Intelligence also publish the average earnings at the world's best paying sports teams over the past five years. Barcelona come out top on this ranking followed by Real Madrid and the New York Yankees. You can see the breakdown in the chart below.
Here are some key findings from the 2014 survey:
  • Biggest fallers from last year’s top 10 were Milan of Serie A, down from sixth to 27th
  • Biggest pay increase year-on-year in percentage terms (average salary) is at Toronto FC of MLS with a 256% increase in average salary to around $600,000 per player per year, which the report claims is largely down to signing big name players such as England star Jermain Defoe, midfielder Michael Bradley and Brazil goalkeeper Júlio César
  • The NBA is the highest-paying league as a whole, with 441 players at 30 teams in the 2013-14 season earning an average of £2.98m per year each
  • The Premier League is the best paying football league in the world, with the average annual pay at £2.27m per player

How are the average salaries calculated?

The survey, which has been published annually since 2010, ranks global sports team using average annual pay. They explain the importance of this measure in the latest report:
Average pay is important - as opposed to total wage outlay - because two teams spending the same totals on salaries will have starkly different averages if they are paying a significantly different number of players. It happens, and it matters. You can employ a higher number of lower quality players for the same price as a smaller number of higher quality players, and we think it’s worth exploring which is most effective for performance.
If you're wondering what the researchers mean by average, they have published this handy explainer:
By ‘average’, we mean ‘arithmetic mean’. All the salaries are added up (and by salaries, we include money for playing sport for that team, not for endorsements or sponsorship or anything else extra-curricular) and divided by the number of players. That’s it. A simple list that provokes complicated arguments but does, at the very least, provide a ‘ball park’ reckoner of what different sports teams pay.
And if you'd like to know the time period covered in the analysis, see below:
For the NBA, the NHL and the NFL, the numbers in this report pertain to the 2013-14 seasons. For MLB and MLS, the numbers are as they stood at the start of the 2014 seasons. For the IPL, NPB, AFL, CFL and CSL they come from the end of the 2013 seasons. And for the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and SPL, the salaries reflect summer 2013, in effect the end of the 2012-13 season.
More information on the methodology can be found on the Sporting Intelligence website.
The table below shows the top 100 best paying teams in the survey. You can find the full results in the downloadable spreadsheet alongside data on the best paying teams over time.

TG

Above Board



Zig-zag street markers in Sao Paulo


Sao Paulo drivers say they are baffled by a double yellow zig-zag line in the middle of a busy road, but it is in accordance with traffic regulations, it appears.

The lines were supposedly put in place to expand the space where cars can wait or move forward at traffic lights, the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reports, but they have left locals confused and worried it could cause accidents. A YouTube video shows cars apparently trying to follow the lines. "It's very confusing, and the traffic is worse as well," a motorcyclist tells the TV Gazeta channel. "Whoever did this was drunk," another complains.

Taxi drivers have reportedly signalled an increase in accidents. The "little-used" lines have complicated the movement of vehicles in the area, the R7 web portal says.

But Sao Paulo's transit authority, the CET, says the road markings are normal and meet regulations. Correspondents say Sao Paulo's lane dividers sometimes expand to give turning drivers some extra room, but they admit the lines on Avenida Dr Francisco Ranieri in the city's north zone are rather odd.

Zig-zag street markers in Sao Paulo Sao Paulo's zig-zag lines usually look more like this turning lane

BBC

Home from Home

More than one million New Zealanders were born overseas, accounting for about 25% of the country's population, new census data says.

"People born overseas now make up more than a quarter of New Zealand's population," census official Gareth Meech tells the New Zealand Herald. It marks an increase from about 20% in 2001 and 23% in 2006, figures from Statistics New Zealand show.

Apparently New Zealanders now originate from a wider range of countries than before - with the number of people born in the UK diving from 66% in 1961 to just over 25% in 2013. It is now more common for Kiwis to have been born in Asia than in the UK, and India has replaced Australia as the third most common birthplace.

An influx of Asians over the last decade has also led to greater linguistic and religious diversity in New Zealand - with three times as many people speaking Hindi and twice as many speaking Chinese languages such as Mandarin.

BBC

Johammer J1




The Johammer J1, which bears an undeniable resemblance to the Imperial speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi, is hardly the first battery-powered motorbike, but it is among the few capable of travelling 200km (124 miles) on a single charge. This sort of stamina – roughly equal to that of a gasoline-powered bike – elevates the J1 from the status of Saturday morning toy to bona fide road-tripper.

Though it may be tough to stop staring, the J1’s innovative features go beyond its slippery neo-retro body fairing. The bike has no traditional gauges: speed and battery level are presented within a pair of high-resolution 2.4in colour displays mounted within the round rear-view mirrors. The steering is of the exotic hub-center variety, which separates steering, braking and suspension forces for improved stability. And the body offers two foot-peg positions (unlike a traditional motorbike, the J1 has no foot controls), providing a choice between hunkered-down and laid-back riding positions.
The Johammer bike may be stylish, technically advanced and energy efficient, but fast it is not. A compact 11kW electric motor mounted in the rear wheel hub provides the motivation; matched to a single-speed transmission, the motor’s 14 horsepower are tasked with moving upwards of 400lbs of bike, plus rider. The J1 is electronically limited to 62mph.
Providing the charge is a centre-mounted, 12.6kWh stack of lithium-ion battery cells, developed and manufactured by Johammer itself. The company claims the pack will retain at least 85% of its capacity after four years or 124,000 miles. Recharge to 80% takes 3.5 hours from a 240v socket, or just 80min with the optional 400v charger.
No surprise, straddling the future isn’t cheap.
The J1.150, with a smaller battery pack and a 150km cruising range, commands 23,000 euros (about $32,000); the beefier J1.200 will set its rider back 25,000 euros. For the merely curious, Johammer offers some quality time on the J1, via a 200km guided tour of northern Austria (including a stroll through its factory in the town of Bad Leonfelden), for 290 euros.

BBC

Spoiler Alert



Game of Thrones Spoilers
People who spoil your enjoyment of Game of Thrones are worse than kiddy fiddlers, according to Twitter this morning.

With another major character killed off in a ‘surprise twist’ that was only known about by millions of people who own the books, many fans have lashed out at Twitter users for ruining the story for them.
As one Internet user explained, “Jesus Christ these people discussing what happened in last nights episode of Game of Thrones are the scum of the earth.”
“I swear they take deliberate pleasure in ruining the lives of others, like a sick pervert intent on getting themselves off.”
ADVERTISEMENT
“Why is it so hard to simply enjoy the show in peace and keep it to yourself? Just because you watched it as it was broadcast last night doesn’t make you a better person than me.”
However one fan explained, “I watched it last night and I couldn’t wait to get on to Twitter to talk about it at all those people who haven’t seen it yet.”
“God, it makes me hard just thinking about all the disappointment I’m causing.”

Game of Thrones spoilers

Fan of the show Simon Williams said he has struggled to avoid twitter spoilers this morning, in the hope of watching it like any normal person, when he could find an hour spare to do so.
He explained, “This morning has been a case of treating everyone and everything like a potential paedophile. This must be what it’s like to live as a Daily Mail reader.”
“It’s bad enough avoiding the Twitter sickos, but there’s this one guy who works in IT who reckons he has read all of the books.”
“We’re calling him Hitler.”

NT

Dinner for One- 5

Kuappi – Isalmi, Finland

At only eight square metres, this shack-sized restaurant has room for only two customers in its tiny dining room. On good weather days, it can accommodate another two on its equally small front terrace. Due to its diminutive dimensions, the cooking is done at its brother restaurant, the Olutmestari, which features fresh and fried seafood selections like grilled salmon on toasted dark bread and vendace fish battered with rye flour. However, Kuappi does stock its own bar, but true to form, only with mini bottles. Due to its bare bones structure, the restaurant only opens in the warm summer months from June to August.
Kuappi – Isalmi, Finland
(Kuappi)

Dinner for One- 4

Solo Per Due – Vacone, Italy

This one-room Italian restaurant is not only among the world’s smallest, but might also be among the most romantic. Housed in a building built in the 19th Century, the restaurant (whose name translates to “just for two”) seats just two at a time, but has a full wait staff ready to answer to any request. Diners can specify either a fish- or meat-based dinner, which will cost a fixed 250 euros a person (not including wine and Champagne).
Solo Per Due – Vacone, Italy
(Solo Per Due)

Dinner for One- 3

Holzknechthuette – Carinthia, Austria

The décor and cuisine at this restaurant, part of the Almdorf Seinerzeit resort, pay tribute to its forest setting. Carinthia lumberjacks often spent a full week in the woods before heading home, and needed a warm place to cook and sleep. One of these simple huts is now a cosy restaurant serving only four people. All the hearty Austrian dishes, including frigga (an egg dish), steak and Grand Marinier pancakes,  are cooked over an open flame, and the meal is finished off with homemade schnapps.
Holzknechthuette – Carinthia, Austria
(Almdorf Seinerzeit)

Dinner for One- 2

Dinner in the Sky – Las Vegas, United States

With 22 seats, this restaurant may not be the smallest on this list – but once the entire table and attached chairs rise 180ft in the air, it certainly becomes one of the strangest. A chef prepares the custom meal from the centre of the circular table contraption, serving it to guests who are strapped in to their seats. As for bathroom breaks? A nod to one of the on-board servers will send the whole table back to the bottom.
Dinner in the Sky – Las Vegas, United States
(Dinner in the Sky)

Dinner for One- 1

Big flavour doesn’t need big space. A handful of restaurants across the globe are proving this by skipping large dining rooms in favour of more intimate spaces – sometimes only roomy enough for a single table. From Las Vegas to Finland, here are five tiny restaurants that all put a special spin on pint-size dining experiences.
Eenmaal – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Do not plan on date night at this Dutch restaurant. This pop-up diner, only open a few times a year, only has tables for single diners. The concept was put together by designer Marina van Goor in June 2013 as an experiment to challenge the idea that dining out demands company. The prix fixe menus, which change seasonally, have featured rich dishes like pork belly with pickles, and cabbage, sausages with homemade mustard and duck breast with red sauce.
Eenmaal – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(Eenmaal)

BBC

DYK?

did-you-know-381

Super Duper

Our older portable DVD player is still going strong allowing us to watch DVDs on the telly or solo if wifey is having a kip.  Best of all it also plays MP - 3 and MP - 4 formats from a memory stick so plenty of options for late night viewing.

If Only

Referees in Australia's A-League will wear microphones for the end-of-season Finals Series.  Television viewers will be able to hear referees in five matches, starting on Friday as Melbourne Victory host Sydney FC, and in the Grand Final. 

The audio will not be available live but will be used in programmes by the broadcasting company, Fox Sports.

Referees in both rugby codes commonly wear microphones but the practice has yet to be widely adopted in football.

My Photo
A nice touch giving greater transparency to the public and perhaps even a more sympathetic ear as marauding "players" confront the man in black.  Who knows, it may even restrain some of the more vocal, ignorant idiots?

Shame that as ever, UEFA, Fefa, the FA et al will simply ignore any innovative ideas.

More at the BBC

Internet Searches Used as Evidence- 2

5
The techie who Googled "neck snap break" before killing his wife

The techie who Googled 'neck snap break' before killing his wife
While there appears a ton of evidence (digital and otherwise), one of the strongest peices in the murder trial of a man accused of killing his wife was that he searched for "neck snap break" on Google before allegedly killing her.

Robert Petrick, a Mac specialist, also visited a website called "bloodfest666" and downloaded a document entitled "22 ways to kill a man with your bare hands." He checked out the "depth and topography of a lake" where the body of his wife Janine Sutphen was eventually found. The latter search came just four days before Petrick reported Sutphen missing on January 22, 2003.
(Source | Via)


6
The man who Googled his symptoms before being found dead of heart disease

The man who Googled his symptoms before being found dead of heart disease
In 2013, a Michigan man was found dead in a parked car. He had just Googled his symptoms.

Phu Quoc Thieu Tran, 38, was found sitting in the front seat of a car on the Grand Valley State University campus. He wasn't a student, but he had been inside the school, using the university computers to research his symptoms shortly before he died.

The symptoms included pain, tightness of the chest and sweating. An autopsy performed later that day determined that the cause of Tran's death was arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
(Source)


7
The Florida couple who Googled "how to kill girl" minutes before strangling their victim

The Florida couple who Googled 'how to kill girl' minutes before strangling their victim
In 2012, a Florida couple who strangled a 19-year-old girl while she slept Googled on how to murder her minutes before her death.

James Ayers, 32, and Nicole Okrzesik, 23, were accused of plotting ways to kill Juliana Mensch and discussing what to do with her body in text messages and online.

The pair, who were friends of Mensch, killed her after getting high with her so that they could rob her for drug money. Okrzesik did an Internet search for “chemicals to passout a person,” “making people faint,” “ways to kill people in their sleep,” “how to suffocate someone” and “how to poison someone” on the morning of the murder, police records claim.

Okrzesik also opened a forum titled “could you kill someone in their sleep and no one would think it was murder” on GoLivewire.com. Mensch was reportedly asleep on the floor as the couple searched the Internet for advice. Ayers and Okrzesik killed Mensch minutes later.

Hours after murdering the teen, Okrzesik posted a photo of her and Ayers enjoying themselves at a bar in South Beach. The couple then discussed what to do with Mensch's body on Facebook: “Can't we just go dump it somewhere then take off,” Orkzesik asked. (Source)


8
The teen who murdered elderly woman and then Googled what to do about it

The teen who murdered elderly woman and then Googled what to do about it
An Ontario man choked an elderly woman to death when he was teenager because she told him to stop talking to his girlfriend on the phone.

Valerie Xavier, 80, died Sept. 26, 2010, at the hands of one of her boarders who flew into a rage after she told him he was hogging the phone while speaking with a girlfriend in Ottawa.

According to the girlfriend, the young man and Xavier argued and she heard the sound of pots and pans being thrown. She then heard Xavier gasping for air. When she asked what was happening, her boyfriend said he was sitting on Xavier and he had to kill her “or she'll call the cops.” When she told him to stop, he replied: “She's dead, love. She's a goner.”

The killer found Xavier's suitcase, squeezed her body inside and took it to her car. He then drove up the road, but turned around at a dead end and came back.

After returning to Xavier's residence he used her computer to listen to angst-ridden music and Googled, “What do you do when you kill someone?” He also asked for similar advice from a 14-year-old Las Vegas girl on a chat line.

Eight days later, he led police to the site. He was sentenced to 7 years, the maximum allowed for second-degree murder under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. (Source | Photo)

Internet Searches Used as Evidence- 1

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The man who killed his wife after asking Google if it's okay to kill her

The man who killed his wife after asking Google if it's okay to kill her
Google needs to update its search functions so that when someone asks whether it's alright to commit a murder, he will be simply be greeted with a big fat NO.

Britain's David Connaughton turned to the search engine while contemplating how to end his marital troubles, and it looks like an inconclusive answer may be somewhat responsible for the death of his wife, Julie.

In the weeks before Connaughton, 60, murdered his wife and committed suicide in August of 2013, he asked Google: “When someone pisses you off, is it worth killing them?”

Connaughton had just discovered that Julie, his wife of nine years, was planning to divorce him. Police searched Connaughton's computer and found that he searched not only about murder but about divorce and homelessness as well.

Connaughton hit his wife 22 times in the head with a hammer before stabbing himself to death nearly 30 times.
(Source | Photo)


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The man who searched online about the average sentences for manslaughter and murder after killing a woman

The man who searched online about the average sentences for manslaughter and murder after killing a woman
During his trial in 2011, Bristol crown court heard how Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak researched sexual offenses after killing Joanna Yeates.

Among the phrases Googled were "sexual offense explained" and "definition of sexual assault." The 33-year-old engineer also researched the average sentences for manslaughter and for murder.

Yeates' body was found on a snowy roadside verge on Christmas morning 2010.

Police analyst Leslie Farmery said that on the day after Yeates went missing Tabak looked up several subjects including the five-day weather forecast, online maps and images of Longwood Lane, the road three miles from her Bristol flat where her body was discovered. He also looked at news articles on Shrien Dewani, the Bristol man accused of hiring a hitman to kill his wife and the case of Melanie Hall, who was murdered after leaving a nightclub in Bath in 1996.

If this wasn't enough, when police revealed they were sifting through tons of rubbish he looked up details of household waste collection in Bristol. Tabak – who denies murder but admits manslaughter –  also spent time finding out about prison life in the UK.

He was found guilty of murder on October 28, 2011 and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years. (Source)


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The wife who Googled “How to commit murder” before killing her husband

The wife who Googled “How to commit murder” before killing her husband
At exactly 5:45 pm on April 18, 2004, a computer taken from the office of attorney Melanie McGuire showed a search on "How To Commit Murder."

Same day searches on Google and MSN were conducted on such topics as "instant poisons," "undetectable poisons," "fatal digoxin doses" and gun laws in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Ten days later, McGuire murdered her husband William T. McGuire using a gun obtained in Pennsylvania, one day after obtaining a prescription for a well-known "date rape" drug.

The New Jersey fertility clinic nurse not only shot her husband, but also sliced his body into four pieces with a power saw and put his dismembered remains into three matching suitcases before dumping them into Chesapeake Bay.

She was convicted of murdering her husband and was sentenced to life in prison. (Source | Via)


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The woman who woman turned to the internet instead of 911 after her son is shot

The woman who woman turned to the internet instead of 911 after her son is shot
55-year-old Deborah Tagle of Santa Fe thought it would be a brilliant idea to search for information on how to treat a gunshot wound online after her 14-year-old son was shot in their home.

The teen was shot in the thigh after a friend also staying at the home, Pete Jesse Rodriguez, 24, was “playing” with the firearm and discharged the weapon while pointing it at the teenager.

Rather than immediately calling 911 for an ambulance, Tagle spent hours researching gunshot wounds on the Internet and didn't end up taking her son to the hospital until 8 hours later. (Source)

Oddee