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Phivolcs Warns Netizens against Spreading Fake Dates of “Big One” Earthquake

There’s something about doomsday, end-of-the-world stories that appeal to people – even if there really is no way to predict how and when that would happen. We just love sharing such stories and speculating about what could happen, even when there is no truth to the rumors.

That’s exactly what’s happening now with the story of the “Big One” Earthquake which Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) had previously announced.

While the possibility of the Big One happening soon is definitely not fake news and was announced by no less than PHIVOLCS authorities, the agency has not released the exact date or date range of when it would happen because the truth is that there is no reliable technology on Earth that could ever predict earthquakes – even in the most advanced countries!

A lot of people are panicking over text messages and Facebook private messages that claim the Big One will happen anytime between February 24 and March 8, 2017.

But while PHIVOLCS could not confirm that the earthquake will not happen sometime on those dates, the agency could also not predict whether it will happen within the said dates.

The agency wrote, “We cannot predict when or where an earthquake will happen. There is no reliable technology in the world that can confidently predict the date, time and location of large earthquakes. What we do is prepare earthquake scenarios of hazards and impacts to be used as guide for mitigation, preparedness and response.

Are the Recent Earthquakes Going to Lead to the Big One?

Have you noticed a spate of earthquakes in recent weeks? It seems that every few days or so, there are earthquakes in various parts of the Philippines. This led to people believing the circulating fake message warnings.

Remember that the Philippines belongs to the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a “major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.” According to statistics, about 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in this belt.

So, it is highly possible that the small earthquakes are merely due to the movement of the small plates across the country – and this may or may not lead or signal to the Big One. But with the PHIVOLCS announcement, we should stop speculating that it would happen anytime from February 24 to March 8, 2017.

Let’s stay alert, be prepared, and know what to do should the Big One or any other earthquake and natural disaster will occur without notice!

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Anti-Homeless “Pay-and-Sit” Park Bench with Spikes Receives Mixed Reactions from Netizens

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It is a sad reality that in many places, a lot of public benches and sheltered spots are taken by the homeless as their ‘temporary home’. But because this could be ‘unsightly’ to the eyes of many, the local councils often do something to ban the homeless from using these facilities so that the residents can use these with comfort.

But while the move is lauded by some people, especially the locals who benefit from the freed up space, such is also slammed for being inhumane. What’s sad is that many of these places don’t have homeless shelters where these people could rest, leading them to sleep on the ground or some other worse spots.

Photo credit: Fabian Brunsing / the Mary Sue

Other areas impose exorbitant fines for those who sleep on their park benches. While this is less forceful, it still is inhumane considering that these people rarely have enough money to buy themselves food!

To protest this inhumane treatment and to highlight the capitalization of local councils on the spaces that the homeless could have used to rest on, design student Fabian Brunsing created an art installation of a “pay-and-sit” park bench.

This unique bench has multiple metal spikes that stay up and prevent anyone from sitting on the benches unless they insert coins which will give them some precious minutes of comfort on the bench.

Photo credit: Fabian Brunsing / the Mary Sue

If you want to sit down, you have to insert €0.50 ($0.60) into the coin slot. This makes the spikes retract and the bench will be like a regular one. Once the time is nearly up, a buzzer makes a sound to warn you.

You’ve got to get up and go or add more coins. If you won’t do that, your butt (or body if you were lying down as a homeless person might do) would be impaled by the spikes as they spring back in position! Crazy, right?

While this was an art installation, many actually said this would be a good idea because people could now use the park benches instead of these being overrun by the homeless – but does that mean that the homeless aren’t ‘people’?

Photo credit: Fabian Brunsing / the Mary Sue

Thankfully, there were more people who were offended by this bench and hoped no one would actually install these in the local parks for real.

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Woman Ends Up Winning New Car Even If She Didn’t Intend to Buy Lottery Tickets

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Every day, millions of people around the world buy lottery tickets in hopes of winning it big and turning their life around but one reluctant buyer actually ends of winning a brand new car even if she had not really intended to buy lottery tickets that day.

The lucky lady was not named but it was revealed that she is a Malaysian lady who had just gone to visit some relatives at a grocery store last January 7, somewhere in Malaysia.

This lady was on leave at the time and decided to meet up with her relatives.

Photo credit: Guang Ming

At the grocery store, she stopped by a shop that had lottery tickets hanging on the counter. Curious, the lady who works as a clerk pulled on ticket out but in doing so, she accidentally pulled out the whole bunch of tickets.

The ring holding the tickets fell to the floor and was broken, making a mess in the store.

Feeling embarrassed, the lady helped clean up the mess. She, then, bought some lottery tickets as a way of saying ‘sorry’ for what she had done’; although she had not really thought about the tickets and didn’t check them at the store.

Photo credit: Guang Ming

Back at home later that day, she recalled the incident and told her family about it. Her mother encouraged her to scratch the cards while her niece joked that if her aunt wins the car, she (the niece) wants the old one.

But the joke turned to reality when one of the scratch cards revealed that the lucky lady did win a car – a brand new Honda HRV 1.8L E. She wasn’t the only one rejoicing over the win as her niece had just gotten herself a free car, even if it was a second hand vehicle.

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Boy Dies of Rabies after Playing with Injured Bat His Dad had Saved

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One dad has regretted saving an injured bat because it led to the death of his son.

What’s sad is that Ryker Roque, 6, was not immediately taken to the hospital because his parents did not think he was in serious trouble and that they were protecting him because he had a fear of injections.

Henry Roque, the boy’s dad, later recalled how he found the bat that would bring the family this deeply saddening situation.

(I) found a bat, put it in a little bucket, put it on the porch and I had asked my son, ‘don’t touch it under any circumstances’. So, apparently he put his hand in there and touched it and he said it only scratched him, so I frantically googled it real quick and it says to wash his hands with soap, hot water for five minutes,” dad Henry said.

Feeling confident that his googled first aid worked, they didn’t bring Ryker to the hospital like they should have done.

A week later, the boy would complain of feeling headaches and numbness in his hands. This time, dad Henry rushed him to the hospital but all the while thinking that the boy must have hit his head while playing.

While going through the child’s medical history to determine the cause of his symptoms, the medical staff were quite alarmed when Henry mentioned the bat.

I mean, alarms, bells, whistles went off. They went frantically looking for the other doctors to tell them that it was a bat and how severe it was. And then they all came in. We had a conference and they explained to me that it’s almost always lethal,” the shocked dad recalled.

Photo credit: GoFundMe

The family quickly set up a GoFundMe account to seek help for Ryker’s medical bills. Sadly, the boy died. Still, the donations continued to pour in for the child as many parents around the world felt the family’s pain and knew that what happened to him was not intentional and that his dad was surely quite devastated that he was partly to blame for the death even if he had not meant for it to happen.

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