The Tower of Pisa has been leaning for more than 800 years, but it has never fallen.For more than 20 years, researchers have been trying to figure out what makes the Leaning of Tower of Pisa such a unique landmark. And, in a twist that seems like a moral from Aesop’s fables, engineers and soil scientists have concluded that the very reason the tower leans is the same reason it has never collapsed.
In 1173, construction began on the Pisa cathedral’s new bell tower. By the second year of construction, it was already starting to tilt. It took almost 200 years to complete, with engineers and architects constantly trying — and failing — to stop the lean.
Upon completion in 1370, the tower was leaning at about two degrees. In the 20th century, it was estimated that the tower was shifting about 0.05 inches per year. By 1990, the tower was tilted at a 5.5-degree angle (about 15 feet). Between 1999 and 2001, work was done on the tower to reduce its tilt by 0.5 degrees.But despite all of this precarious leaning and correction, the tower has never fallen — despite being impacted by at least four very strong earthquakes.
The new study, led by a professor from Roma Tre University, has attributed this to something called dynamic soil-structure interaction.
Basically, because the tower is so rigid and high (191 feet) and the ground beneath it so soft, every time an earthquake hits, the “vibrational characteristics of the structure” are changed to make it so “the tower does not resonate with earthquake ground motion.”
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is just another lesson why we should all embrace flaws. It may wobble, but it never falls down.
A teacher in Lake Charles, Louisiana has been sentenced to prison for having sexual contact with three students, ages 13 and 14.Sommer Odom, 38, pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year. She was sentenced to five years in prison for each charge, with all but 18 months suspended. She will be on supervised probation for four years after her release from jail.
Before she pleaded guilty, she faced multiple charges of oral sexual battery charge, child molestation charge, and sexual battery.
Odom was arrested in April 2015 after a student’s mother reported that the teacher had sexual contact with her son on multiple occasions. In court, prosecutors said that Odom texted one victim several naked photos of herself. They also alleged that she performed a sex act on him in a classroom.
During sentencing on Friday, two mothers addressed the court, urging the judge to give Odom a harsh sentence.
“I was astonished at the whole thing when it happened because I considered myself to be an awesome parent,” one mother said, according to The American Press. “This flipped my household upside down. We send our kids to school to be taught but also to be protected by their teachers. It was wrong. It was so wrong.”
Prosecutor Denisse Parrales addressed the court. “She endeared herself to the families, developed what would be a trusting relationship and preyed upon that relationship — and preyed upon these children,” said Parrales.
“She preyed on them as a trusted adult,” Parrales told the court. “The effect that that had on these boys, these are the formative years, and the event was tremendous. One of these victims did not attend high school. She really should not be around children.”
In court, the prosecutors alleged that Odom had attended juvenile sports games after her arrest, which they said was a sign that she was not remorseful. But Odom’s attorney, Walt Sanchez, said in court that she was at the parks to watch her own children play.
Odom was immediately taken into custody after her sentencing, PEOPLE confirms. Her attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.
PHOENIX — Dr. Joanna Woods says thought she’d been bitten by a bedbug or mosquito, but the Phoenix mom soon realized it was something much worse. “It was just so much pain that I couldn’t get through the cloud of pain,” Woods told CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV.“It was excruciating,” she said. “I could liken it to childbirth. When they ask you if the pain was between one and 10, there were times it was 10.”
Woods appears to have had an encounter with a blister beetle, which has the ability to release a dangerous toxin when it comes in contact with human skin.
The poisonous chemical causes swelling and blistering of the skin and can be fatal if ingested by children.
“My first thought is — gross — they’re really ugly and gross,” said Woods. “The idea of the whole concept of a blister beetle is really disgusting.”
Woods is convinced her uncomfortable encounter with the blister beetle took place at a movie theater a few nights ago when her arm started to itch.
A few hours later, the arm was red and swollen and getting worse.
Emanuel Jara, of Responsible Pest Control, said blister beetles have been in Arizona for years and usually leave people alone.“It is their season right now,” said Jara. “You can find them in parks, in bushes and your very own backyard. A lot of times people, when they are doing gardening, they’ll encounter them, so it’s just about being very cautious.”
Fortunately for Woods, the medication she’s taking has reduced the swelling and her arm is getting better.
She only wishes the bug could have bugged someone else.
“I know bugs like me, and I know I have a reaction to bugs, but this is just weird,” said Woods. “I don’t wish this on anybody.”
A lot happened in the Blue Bloods season 8 finale on Friday, one of which you may have missed. A brief scene involving Jamie (Will Estes) and Eddie (Vanessa Ray) speaking with a policeman marked the acting debut of John “Jack” Schlossberg, the only grandson of John F. Kennedy.
The 25-year-old appeared as Officer Jack Hammer, and he announced the news on social media prior to the episode’s premiere.
“I don’t make the rules, I just pretend to enforce them,” Schlossberg wrote on Instagram. “Cash me tonight on season 8 finale of Blue Bloods my dream come true!! Best show in the entire world.”He also shared photos of himself in costume posing next to mom Caroline Kennedy, Estes, and Ray, and Blue Bloods executive producer Kevin Wade.
A lot has been said about Carrie Underwood’s face the last few weeks, but Hoda Kotb was the first person to point out the obvious: Underwood looks the same.
“I’m looking at you and I feel like you look the same,” Kotb told Underwood in a segment for The Today Show. “Like, I feel like you look the same.”
“Thank you,” Underwood said, adding, ““I have a dedicated team of professionals who can spackle and paint and paste. Every day I’m feeling a little more back to normal.”
The story — it’s been told a thousand times — is that Underwood took her dogs out for a walk and then tripped. She fell on her wrist and her face. She required 40 to 50 stitches and, at first, she wasn’t sure she’d look the same.
“In the beginning, I didn’t know how things were going to end up. It just wasn’t pretty,” she told Kotb. Underwood alarmed her fans when she wrote a letter warning them that she might look “different” after she healed.
“I am determined to make 2018 amazing and I want to share things with you along the way. And when I am ready to get in front of a camera, I want you all to understand why I might look a bit different,” she explained.
Underwood officially re-emerged in April with the song “Cry Pretty.” She performed the song at the American Country Music Awards, and, last week, released the official video. This is ostensibly her “comeback” except, well, she doesn’t look any different. She’s Carrie Underwood, and she’s still really good at writing karaoke songs!
Teenagers are notoriously tough to serve at restaurants-they’re loud and rowdy, and are typically bad tippers. A group of teens’ apology letter is trending this week after they lived up to their stereotypes, leaving a waiter a $3.28 tip on a dinner for four.
The waiter shared the story, which thankfully has a happy ending, with Live Play Eat. A group of young teens came into his restaurant before their homecoming celebration, the website says, and the waiter wanted to make sure they had a good time, remembering how important his own high school dances were. He was surprised to see that they had left him such a small tip at the end of the night, but he chalked it up to the ungratefulness of teens.
A week and a half later, he was in for a pleasant surprise when the kids delivered a heartfelt apology explaining what happened and thanking him for “not treating us like babies.” They even added a full 18 percent tip, plus a little extra for “simply being amazing.” You can read the rest of the letter in full below.
Erin Wright drank at least seven shots of tequila in the hours before she got into her Nissan and killed a pedestrian on a sidewalk.
A Toronto hairstylist who drove her car onto a sidewalk and struck and killed New Brunswick visitor Debra Graves was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to impaired driving causing death.
“Good luck,” Ontario Court Justice Timothy Breen told Erin Wright, 29, as she was led out of court in handcuffs.
“You can’t fix what you have done but you can hopefully gain something from the experience.”
Breen accepted a joint position on a sentence that included a four-year driving prohibition once she is released.
Members of Graves’ family were in the courtroom and filed victim impact statements. In addition to pouring out their anguish over losing a beautiful, caring and compassionate mother, Graves’ daughters, Caitlin and Sarah Crawford, delivered a blistering message.
When someone drinks and drives, he or she has already decided it’s OK to kill someone’s loved one, they wrote. “Your selfish and reckless convenience and entertainment” was more valuable than their mother’s life, they wrote.
Wright submitted a letter expressing remorse to the family but declined the judge’s offer to say anything in court.
On Oct. 4, 2017, Wright went to the St. Louis Bar and Grill at Fairview Mall at Don Mills Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E., where video footage captured her consuming at least seven shots of tequila between 8:44 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Beer was served at the table but it isn’t clear whether she consumed any.
Just after 11 p.m., video surveillance shows her stumbling and having trouble opening the door to leave, according to an agreed statement of facts read out in court.
At 11:03, Wright drove her 2014 Nissan Rogue out of the parking lot. Minutes later she struck Graves, 63, who was walking with a co-worker on the north sidewalk of York Mills Rd. near Don Mills Rd. They were in Toronto that week for work.
Graves was thrown onto the hood of the car and propelled to the grass a few meters away, where she died. The vehicle sped away at a high rate of speed.
Wright drove her car to a side street and slept. In the morning, she called a friend and told him that she believed she had hit a pole. On Oct. 5, at 11:34 a.m., she called the owner of a body shop to fix her vehicle.
At no time did she report the accident. But prosecutor Matthew Bloch did not dispute that Wright was unaware that she had struck a person.
He withdrew a charge of leaving the scene of the accident.
Police recovered a fog-light grill from the scene and later matched it to Wright’s vehicle. The victim’s blood was on the hood near the cracked windshield.
The judge said Wright’s “moral culpability” was high because this was not a case of “one too many after a Christmas party,” but rather she had “purposely set out to get drunk with the full intention of driving.”
Nevertheless, he said there were mitigating factors including her guilty plea, no prior criminal record, and efforts to come to grips with alcohol abuse.
“I’m happy that we resolved this quickly. I hope everyone involved can finally build their lives. It’s a tragic, tragic case,” said her lawyer, Clayton Ruby.
Wright had lived a “very exemplary life other than this. No criminal record,” and one minor moving violation.
“She’s a good person who worked hard all her life, but her mother died, and her father was told, just before this accident, that he could no longer take any more chemotherapy for this cancer, and so she was falling apart. And that’s when she drank … and if she was going to drink she shouldn’t have gotten in the car. Nobody is sadder about that now than she is.”