Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Everyone is aware of the acronym CPR, some vaguely so. It's an emergency procedure related to cardiac arrest. But what do you do in the event of such an emergency? Crucially, do you know how to perform CPR? The following animated infographic shows you how to do it - and saves a life.

CPR How ToCPR How To AdultsCPR How To ChildrenCPR - Cats and Dogs
More information from the original article by creator Robin Blunck.

Infographic sources:
1. 2014 Hands-OnlyTM CPR Fact Sheet

2. CPR - adult
3. CPR
4. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): First aid
5. CPR - child (1 to 8 years old)
6. CPR - infant
7. Paediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Ready Reference
8. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
9. Recover evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR
10. Hands-Only CPR
11. Dog CPR

Top image: CPR technique as demonstrated on a dummy. Credit: OpenStax College/Wikimedia Commons.

[Source: Carrington College. Top image added.]

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


12 Ways Tech Could Land You in Jail (Or Worse)
By Chandra Steele,
PC Magazine, 24 January 2015.

Living in a connected world often bestows a false sense of freedom. Your computer monitor and smartphone screen do not protect you from laws governing privacy, security, or harassment, of course, but sometimes, tech-related activity you thought was legit might land you in a whole lot of trouble.

When we unbox a new gadget or download an app, we often hastily discard or dismiss the accompanying pages of dry documentation and fine print. But those pages may come back to haunt us as a lawsuit if they're not properly heeded.

The government and technology companies often tangle in court, but tech users have also faced off with in civil and criminal trials. On their side, if not always at the defense table with them, are digital rights organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends, informs, and advocates on their behalf in matters that range from consumer rights to free speech. There are even times when a situation is so dire it gets human rights advocates from Amnesty International involved.

Here are a few examples of how tweeting, jail-breaking, and even getting spam can put people on a precarious legal ledge that in some cases may cost them their lives.

1. Think Before You Link


Just this week journalist and former member of Anonymous Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in jail. Brown was originally arrested for linking to data obtained in the hacking of intelligence contractor Stratfor, obstructing the FBI in its search for evidence, and making threatening statements about a federal employee in an angry YouTube video he produced after his mother was arrested in connection with his investigation. The main charge of accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access of a protected computer (to which Brown plead guilty), is daunting to those who report on security issues.

2. Je Sue Charlie


We are all Charlie except when we're not. The demonstrations in the name of free speech that followed the terrorist attacks in Paris did not reach the ears of law enforcement. French comedian Dieudonné has espoused views on Israel and said things about Jews that have led him to be convicted for anti-Semitism. Following the events of this month, he posted on Facebook, "Tonight, as far as I'm concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly," using the last name of the person responsible for the killings in the kosher market. Dieudonné was arrested shortly after.

3. Don't Be Selfie-ish

Digg animated GIF

Selfie sticks, like it or not, are actually catching on. But if you're selling them in South Korea, watch out. Those selling selfie sticks that have not been tested by and registered with the government could face prosecution. The sticks use Bluetooth, which make them telecommunications devices subjected to regulation.

4. Go Directly to Jail-breaking


Jail-breaking gets its edge from sounding criminal, and there's a reason for that. Though you might think you can do whatever you want with something you purchased, that's often not the case with electronics. In 2010, the Copyright Office ruled that jail-breaking a smartphone is permissible under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's fair use provisions. They renewed that decision in 2012, but they must reconsider it every three years under the DMCA, so groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation are campaigning once again, and hope to gain an exemption for tablets this time, too.

One of the more well-known jail-breakers is George Hotz, who was sued by Sony in 2011 after he hacked the Sony PS3 and posted his circumvention technique on his website. After much back and forth, the two sides mutually agreed to settle their suit, with Hotz agreeing to a permanent injunction against posting information that Sony had wanted removed. Serial jail-breaker George Hotz is one of many waiting for news. Hotz is known for breaking the entire iDevice clan out of jail and for similarly freeing a Sony PlayStation 3 and publishing the root key. Sony sued Hotz and the two eventually settled when Hotz agreed to erase any info he posted about the hack. Hotz later donated US$10,000 to the EFF, which had supported his defense.

5. Freedom of Tweet


Hamza Kashgari, a 23-year-old journalist from Saudi Arabia, was at risk of being sentenced to death for daring to imagine a conversation between himself and Mohammed in which he addresses him as a man but does not accept him as a prophet. Kashgari's medium was Twitter and hours after he posted the series of tweets, he removed them and began apologizing publicly. But soon he had enemies calling for his death on a Facebook page called "Saudi People Want Punishment for Hamza Kashgari." The comments were more than hyperbole; Kashgari fled to Malaysia but was extradited back to Saudi Arabia where he was held for 20 months and nearly faced trial for apostasy, a crime punishable by death. He was freed after public outcry and then opened a Twitter account where he immediately posted: "Mornings of Hope and Undying Spirits. Praise to God whose Grace is Eternal."

6. Texts From the Ex


Texting your ex is rarely a good idea. If you're really, really mad, it's a worse idea. A French man who had split from his girlfriend wanted her to compensate him for some repairs they had done to the apartment they shared. So he texted her 21,807 times. Some prison time and a mediator for the incident stopped him from texting again.

7. With Friends Like That


Ever agonize over a friend request on Facebook? It seems ridiculous, right? It's not. Jelani Henry went to prison essentially for being Facebook friends with members of the Goodfellas gang. An NYPD gang raid resulted in his arrest and a stint in Rikers based on Henry appearing in Facebook photos and YouTube videos with friends who were members of the gang.

8. Emoji Stick-Up


Emojis are just adorable cartoons you affix to your text messages and social media posts, right? Not for a Brooklyn teen, who was arrested this week for a Facebook post that included "gun emojis pointed at police emojis," Gothamist reported. The teen, who has had previous run-ins with police, had other posts that appeared to threaten violence against the police, who are on high alert in New York after the shooting of two police officers in Brooklyn.

9. Work It Out


You've killed your friend in a car accident, gone to prison for six months, and gotten out. What's the first thing you do? Post a selfie about how great you look from your prison workouts and weight loss. Ryan Fye went back to jail for violating his probation for a Facebook post that touted the benefits of his prison routine and taunted his haters.

10. Free Shi


Chinese journalist Shi Tao served eight years and six months in prison. His crime? Sending a Communist party document that ordered the suppression of coverage of dissidents returning to China on the 15th anniversary of Tiananmen Square to the Asia Democracy Foundation in the U.S. Conspiring against Shi was his own email, supplied without question to the Chinese government by Yahoo, which said it was following local law. The government deemed the email evidence of "illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities." Shi's wife was harassed and forced by officials to divorce him. His mother, uncle, and brother also faced harassment and surveillance.

Wang Xiaoning was sent to prison under similar circumstances.

Yahoo got sued and settled with the families in 2007. The deal included the creation of a fund "to provide humanitarian and legal aid to dissidents who have been imprisoned for expressing their views online."

11. The Ballad of Jammie Thomas-Rasset


Jammie Thomas-Rasset was accused of sharing 24 songs, and the cost of that crime escalated from US$54,000 to US$1.92 million and back again over the course of a long-running case. Ultimately, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, leaving Thomas-Rasset with a US$222,000 bill.

12. The Right of Eminent Domain Names


Americans believe the law lives by the motto "Innocent until proven guilty," but it's not always so. Some domain name seizures have been conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security and they fall under the heading of "civil asset forfeiture," which is a game changer. The seizures don't need a conviction to take place and there's no transparency as far as who flagged the site (though ICE presented the first of its seizures on a Disney soundstage with MPAA representatives there for the show). Sites seized under ICE's Operation in Our Sites include a raft of torrents, sites selling what the trademark owners said were counterfeit or illegally resold products, and what were effectively search engines. Hip-hop blog had its domain name seized (but ultimately returned after much legal wrangling) for what it says was copyrighted content sent directly to it from record companies.

[Source: PC Magazine. Edited.]


10 Bizarre Tales From Self-Proclaimed States
By Morris M.,
Listverse, 27 January 2015.

Anyone can unilaterally declare their own fake nation-state. All it takes is an audience and the willingness to go down in Wikipedia history as the self-proclaimed King of ListverseTopia (or whatever). But it takes a special kind of insanity to believe your own spiel and to get others to start believing it, too.

10. The Italian Tax-Dodge State

Giorgio Rosa was a man with a vision. In 1967, the Italian engineer decided to construct his own island state in international waters out of a self-professed love for “liberty.” Sinking nine pylons deep into the Adriatic Sea, Rosa and a handful of friends built a 400-square-meter (4,000 ft2) platform, declared their independence from Italy, and immediately began printing stamps for the new Republic of Rose Island.

The official response was disproportionate. Faced with what appeared to be a tax-dodging micro-nation setting up shop just off their coast, the Italian state annexed the territory and set it on fire.

Only a few weeks after independence, authorities landed on Rose Island and quickly arrested Giorgio Rosa. Then they strapped explosives to the pylons, got everyone into the boat and blew the place sky-high. Although Rosa lodged an official complaint with the state, he and his government were ignored. However, their adventure did have a direct effect on world policy. Faced with copycats emerging across the globe, the UN ratified the 1982 Convention of the Sea, forbidding people from creating their own island nations.

9. The Greenpeace Eco-State War

Greenpeace has never been above the odd publicity stunt to draw attention to their cause. Perhaps none has been as ambitious as their 2008 effort in the Czech Republic. Determined to stop the US from installing a new radar base in the Brdy region, the group fenced off the construction site, occupied it, and declared the territory an independent state.

Known as Peaceland, the new state was no different from any other large protest camp. But it did have one hilarious side effect. Irritated by all these protestors coming and messing up his countryside, Czech journalist Jiri X. Dolezal responded by setting up his own rival nation and declaring war on Peaceland.

As president and sole citizen of The Democratic Republic of Travarovice, Dolezal petitioned the Czech military to let him attack the Greenpeace settlement, claiming he wished to get inside the camp and urinate “as an act of war.” He also began his own hunger strike in support of US missile defense stations, claiming each side of the debate had an equal right to have their voices heard.

Before the two states could engage in any serious conflict, the Czech police demolished Peaceland and arrested its entire citizenry.

8. The Missing Empire Of The Sahara


Jacques Lebaudy may be the greatest eccentric you’ve never heard of. A French sugar millionaire with pretentions of royalty, he decided in 1903 to become an emperor. To that end, he recruited a dozen sailors and sent them off into Morocco to capture the entire Sahara.

Things didn’t exactly work out. The sailors were captured by Arab traders not long after landing, forcing the French government to step in and shell Morocco when Lebaudy refused to pay their ransom. Not pleased with this waste of resources, the French declared Lebaudy a fugitive, causing him to flee to London - where things got really odd.

Despite capturing a grand total of nothing, Lebaudy began calling himself the Emperor of the Sahara. He surrounded himself with courtiers and had his own flag designed and banknotes printed. He also commissioned a national anthem, which he forced local musicians to play whenever he entered a room. All this time, he made plans for a grand coronation that would see him return to the Sahara and claim his rightful throne.

It couldn’t last. Lebaudy got fed up with his London life and moved to New York. He ultimately died as oddly as he’d lived, shot dead by his own wife.

7. Tasmania’s Short-Lived Grand Duchy

Photo credit: JFV Coins

One of libertarianism’s positions is the ability for people to set up their own currencies, an act that tends to get you arrested in most of the world. So when Tasmanian resident John Charlton Rudge wanted to issue his own currency, he decided to include a get-out-of-jail-free card by declaring part of his store an independent state.

Known as the Grand Duchy of Avram, the state officially held no territory and issued coins from a “B_NK” to avoid legal proceedings. For a while, it worked. Hundreds of curious people flocked to Rudge’s store to exchange their Australian dollars for his currency, and before long, Tasmania was doing a roaring trade in the Duchy’s so-called ducals. Then the Australian government began to take note.

Here’s where things get a little hazy. We know that the Australian government raided the Grand Duchy and confiscated all of Rudge’s coins. We know that he was arrested. But the outcome of the case is unclear. Rudge and several others claim he was brought to trail and found not guilty, which makes both his country and currency de facto legal. Others think the state merely decided not to prosecute. Either way, he continued to print coins after his arrest. Occasionally, they even turn up on eBay.

6. The Italian Maybe-State

Photo credit: Davide Papalini

Unlike most of the wannabe nations on this list, the tiny Italian state of Seborga might have a genuine claim. Set up by local eccentric Giorgio Carbone in 1963 and with a population of only 374, the town could legally be one of Europe’s last surviving city-states.

The evidence hinges on documents supposedly found by Carbone in the Vatican archives. According to the documents, Seborga was a sovereign state as far back as 954 and even printed its own currency. Run by abbots, it was illegally sold to Sardinia in 1729.

Carbone realized if Seborga wasn’t legally part of Sardinia when the larger state joined the Italian Union in 1861, then Seborga never joined modern Italy. That would mean every single treaty since the dissolution of Sardinia was null and void as far as the village was concerned - making it de facto independent.

Italy strongly disagrees with this assessment. Officials claim Carbone invented this assertion as a way of attracting tourists.

Not everyone is so sure. Burkina Faso, San Marino, and eight other states have officially recognized and exchanged ambassadors with Seborga, and the town operates a handful of foreign consulates. Russia, Sri Lanka, Luxembourg, and Andorra have even sent official envoys - giving it a better claim to statehood than plenty of more famous examples.

5. The Recognized French Republic


In 1947, a French hotel owner in Montbenoit made a passing joke that would become a local legend. During a visit by the local prefect, the owner Georges Pourchet claimed a permit was needed to enter the “Republic of Saugeais.” It was a name he’d made up on the spot, but the prefect played along and anointed Pourchet “President of Saugeais.” It was the start of one of France’s most whimsical movements.

Inspired by his new position, Pourchet roped 11 villages into his republic and declared them a nation-state. Officials were elected by applause-o-meter, and ambassadors were appointed as far away as Switzerland. The new citizens began energetically promoting their new state, resulting in a tourism boom that made local government look on the Republic very favourably indeed.

Today, Saugeais is so popular that it has its own page on Montbenoit’s official tourism website. The postal service has delivered letters using Saugeais’s own stamps, leading some citizens to claim it’s therefore an officially recognized nation.

4. The Millionaire’s Paradise Acknowledged By A President

Photo credit: DoorFrame/Wikimedia

Not every micro-nation gets acknowledged by a US president. But not every micro-nation is North Dumpling Island. A tiny stretch of land owned by Segway inventor Dean Kamen just off the coast of Connecticut (though technically part of New York), the island boasts its own flag, currency, constitution, navy, air force, and presidential seal of approval.

The secession was triggered in 1987 when New York officials objected to a wind turbine Kamen had installed on the island. Angry and petulant, Kamen did what any multimillionaire would do and moved to another country: his own. Using a combination of wind and solar energy, he took North Dumpling completely off the grid, threatened to annex Connecticut, and generally did everything in his power to irritate the officials who had turned down his turbine. He even contacted his friend George H.W. Bush and had him sign a treaty of non-aggression - meaning North Dumpling technically has greater recognition than Kurdistan or Catalonia.

The dispute with New York State fizzled out. But to this day, Kamen maintains that his personal island counts as a fully independent nation.

3. The State That Blocked A London Road


In the early ’90s, the UK government embarked on a grand road-building program. Fields were paved over, woods were chopped down, and houses were demolished as great concrete tributaries spread out across Britain. Until that is, they reached Wanstead, where protestors briefly halted the building by declaring their houses a sovereign nation.

Known as Wanstonia, the republic was centred mostly around a tree house protestors had built on one of the lawns scheduled for destruction. This turned out to be a good decision on their part. After The Guardian published a piece on the fledgling nation, several people in the UK wrote letters of support. Lacking an address, they simply sent it to the tree house. The mailman delivered the first one - and the protestors took this as a sign their republic had been legally recognized.

As a result of the letter being delivered, the tree house was declared a lawful dwelling in the high court, holding up demolition work significantly. Although Wanstonia itself was never legally recognized, the protestors still crowed that the verdict had made them official...right up to the point where the police entered and pulled the entire republic down.

2. The Briefest Of Empires


Situated in the cold and lonely wilds of Patagonia, the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia has a strange and tortured history. Home to the Mapuche Indians, it originally fended off Spanish conquistadors only to be subjugated by Chilean and Argentinian forces in the mid-19th century. At that point, French adventurer Orelie-Antoine de Tounens stepped in.

A deeply eccentric man with fabulous facial hair, Orelie-Antoine convinced the Mapuche to declare independence, make him king, and draw up their own constitution. He then took the constitution to Chile in the hopes of gaining government acceptance for the new state, but he instead wound up getting kidnapped and forcibly placed in an insane asylum. Eventually repatriated by France, he made three subsequent attempts to claim his throne, but got robbed, kidnapped, or imprisoned each time.

But the story doesn’t end there. After Orelie-Antoine died, the title passed down to another Frenchman, eventually coming to the hands of Philippe Boiry. Under his watch, Araucania and Patagonia made a presentation on indigenous rights to the UN and even briefly held overseas territory. In 1984, the kingdom’s French consul hoisted the nation’s flag over three tiny islands held by Britain and managed to keep it flying for several hours. Nearly 150 years after Chilean authorities shut it down, Araucania and Patagonia became a physical entity again, if only for a single day.

1. The Most Peaceful Nation In The Middle East


When Eli Avivi decided to settle there in 1952, Akhziv was just rubble. A village on the border of Lebanon that got caught up in the Arab-Israeli Wars, it was the sort of desolate wasteland Avivi couldn’t imagine anyone ever missing. For 18 years, he was right. No one paid attention as he slowly built a collection of huts and started to settle down. Then, one day in 1970, the Israeli state came calling, bulldozers in tow. So Avivi did the only thing he could think to do. Building a fence, he declared the independent republic of Akhzivland.

The act got him arrested and brought before a court. However, in a moment no one could have predicted, the judge sided with Avivi. Telling the police that no crime had been committed, he returned Akhzivland to Avivi and granted him permission to own it on lease for the next 99 years.

Akhzivland is still there. With a year-round population of two people plus some cats, dogs, and tourists, the state could be the only nation in the Middle East that has never engaged in a military conflict. Not bad going for a state made up on the spot some 45 years ago.

Top image: Eli Avivi's castle, Akhzivland. Credit: TAM/Flickr.

[Source: Listverse. Edited. Top image added.]


Silicon Valley Giants’ Secrets to Success
By KeriLynn Engel,
Who Is Hosting This, 26 January 2015.

What’s the best way to become a billionaire in the 21st century?

Start a tech company in Silicon Valley, of course!

Actually, it turns out that entrepreneurship is an unlikely road to riches for most.

With famous Silicon Valley successes like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs now household names, it’s easy to imagine that starting your own company is a relatively easy way to make millions.

But even in Silicon Valley, the tech start-up capital of the world, there are no guarantees. Most new start-ups fail, whether they liquidate soon after beta testing or limp on in obscurity for years. In fact, some experts predict that the start-up failure rate in Silicon Valley alone is over 90%.

Silicon Valley’s oft-quoted mantra is “fail fast, fail often.” Entrepreneurs are encouraged to not waste too much time on planning, but jump into testing as soon as possible, quickly proving whether their ideas will survive. The knowledge and experience they gain from failures, it’s said, is necessary for their eventual success.

But plenty of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are discovering that failures don’t automatically pave the road to riches. A history strewn with failed start-ups is just as likely to turn away investors as it is to grant you wisdom.

Even so, there are plenty of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who’ve achieved their dreams despite all the odds. The sheer amount of wealth concentrated in Silicon Valley makes even millionaires feel like nobodies: when compared to the giants of Silicon Valley, a couple of million dollars suddenly doesn’t sound like much.

Surrounded by dying start-ups and failures, how did these billionaires of Silicon Valley get to where they are now?

It may seem at first glance that the women and men on this list don’t have much in common. They hail from all over the globe, with vastly different backgrounds and levels of education. Their companies deal with everything from social networks and online dating to enterprise software and file sharing.

But despite all their differences, they all share some factors that helped them get to the successes they’ve reached today. Check out the graphic below to discover their advice on how you can find your own success in the world of start-ups, too.

How to Protect Your Children on Kik

Top image (top): Silicon Valley. Credit: Elf/Wikimedia Commons.

[Source: Who Is Hosting This. Top image added.]


10 Internet Jokes that Got People Arrested
By Elle Ryan,
Toptenz, 26 January 2015.

The Internet was, for a long time, a safe haven of anonymity. But we all know that’s changing, considering Facebook’s insistence on real names, the unmasking of big Reddit trolls and the fact that the NSA is possibly looking over your shoulder right now. But the Internet is also rife with misunderstandings, as it’s difficult to distinguish sarcasm in blocks of text. These aspects combined to seriously backfire on the foolish (but probably not criminal) people below…

10. Paul Chambers Takes Offense to Snow


In early January 2010, heavy snow threatened to ruin flight plans from Doncaster airport and local Paul Chambers wasn’t happy. He wrote on Twitter, “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

One week after the tweet, South Yorkshire police arrived at the hapless tweeter’s workplace with a printout of the offending tweet. In the first case of its kind in the United Kingdom, Chambers was arrested under the Terrorism Act, interrogated, and banned from the airport for life. According to Chambers, the policeman who interviewed him had no idea what Twitter was. Detectives took his laptop, iPhone and computer and put him on bail. He was finally cleared after two and a half years when Crown Court judges said the tweet was clearly meant as a joke. It was definitely an ill-advised joke, but it certainly didn’t deserve that reaction.

9. Justin Carter Makes a Ridiculous Threat


Justin Carter was arguing with friends on Facebook about the video game League of Legends when someone jokingly called him sick in the head. He humoured them, saying, “I’m f—ed in the head alright. I think I’ma SHOOT UP A KINDERGARTEN AND WATCH THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT RAIN DOWN and eat the beating heart of one of them,” an obviously melodramatic if not particularly tasteful claim that was followed by Justin saying he was just kidding.

However, a Canadian woman didn’t take the joke well and called the police. Justin was arrested on Valentine’s Day 2013 and sent to jail. His father made a petition to free him in November 2013 and the case continues to this day, with the now 19 year old still facing a felony terrorism charge after being bailed out for US$500,000 by an anonymous donor. Justin’s attorney Don Flanary said that in his 10 years of practicing law he had never seen bail set that high, even for murderers and rapists.

Worse still, defense lawyers say the police deliberately misquoted Justin’s comments and lied in their warrant. They were alleged to have changed the wording of his Facebook comment and said they matched Carter’s driver license photo to his profile picture on Facebook, when Carter doesn’t even have a driver’s license. But hey, at least Kindergartens around the country are safe from sarcastic threats.

8. Zhai Xiaobing Parodies Final Destination


Zhai Xiaobing, a Chinese blogger and resident of Beijing, joked about a parody of the Final Destination movies under Twitter handle @Stariver after circumventing the country’s strict controls on social media. He said, “#Spoilertweet; #Proceed with Caution; Final Destination 6 is being released. The Great Hall of the People suddenly collapses, only 7 of the 2,000 plus people attending the meeting survive, yet each dies one-by-one in a bizarre fashion afterward. Is it God’s game or Death’s wrath? How did the mysterious number 18 open the gates of Hell? Shocking debut on November 8 in theatres worldwide!”

Zhai was confirmed to be in a detention centre for “a microblog post containing false information on the internet.” He then went radio silent. Concerned friend Liu Yanping investigated and found that he and his laptop had disappeared. Family members told her that they had been seized by police, who accused Zhai of terrorism. A petition in support of him was signed by prominent Chinese activists. It’s well known that the Chinese government monitors Twitter even though it’s blocked, so this is not the first case of its kind. In 2010, human rights activist Cheng Jianping was sentenced to a year in a labour camp after retweeting a tweet that supposedly disrupted social order.

7. Dutch Teenager Threatens American Airlines


In a case that took the media by storm, a 14 year old Dutch girl called Sarah and known as @QueenDemetriax_ on Twitter was arrested by Rotterdam police after a tweet that threatened an Al-Qaeda attack on American Airlines. The Tweet said: “@AmericanAir hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.”

The American Airlines account responded quickly, saying they “take these threats very seriously” and that her IP address would be forwarded to the FBI. She subsequently pleaded with the airline over Twitter, saying “it was my friend not me” and “I’m so scared I’m just a 14-year-old white girl I’m not a terrorist,” before turning herself in to a local police station. Rotterdam police later confirmed on their Twitter account that she’d been arrested.

Her Twitter account quickly gained 30,000 followers, leading Sarah to consider auctioning her Twitter handle, with bids starting at US$500 before the account was deleted. She was the subject of Internet-wide ridicule, but other Twitter users didn’t learn from her mistakes and sent dozens of similar threats.

6. British Tourists to “Destroy America”


Tourists Leigh van Bryan and Emily Bunting were arrested in Los Angeles for two tweets from Bryan’s account that read: “Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America” and “3 weeks today, we’re totally in LA p****** people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”

Armed guards took him literally and searched his bag for shovels and spades, thinking he actually intended to dig up Marilyn Monroe’s grave with Bunting as his lookout. The tweet was a reference to Family Guy, while the tourists explained that, in context, their use of the word “destroy” just meant “party” in British slang. A full body search was done on Ms. Bunting, and then the two were put in a prison cell and subsequently denied admission to the United States and forced to return home. Presumably even if they were allowed to return to the US in the future, they wouldn’t be thrilled about doing so.

5. Time bomb at a P!nk Concert


An Australian teenager was on his way to a P!nk concert when he tweeted “@Pink I’m ready with my Bomb. Time to blow up #RodLaverArena. Bitch.” The Tweet was in reference to her song “Timebomb,” which authorities were presumably not familiar with when they decided to use the boy’s Twitter profile picture to find him in a crowd of 12,000 waiting fans and force him out of the arena. At first police intended to be lenient with him, but took more serious measures at the arena’s urging. According to a witness in the stadium, up to 20 security guards approached him. The boy was arrested and charged with being a public nuisance. His thoughts on the contextual misunderstanding? “It was meant to be about drop the effects, the music, everything - just drop it all.”

4. Ross Loraine Doesn’t Like Scots


Yet another 19 year old arrested for a social media post, this one a Twitter troll from Sunderland believed to be Ross Loraine who was arrested in Scotland for making a joke about a garbage truck crash in Glasgow that killed six people. He allegedly said, “So a bin lorry has crashed into 100 people in Glasgow eh, probably the most trash its ever picked up in one day that.”

That definitely seems like something a 19 year old would say to try to sound cool and edgy on the Internet, but he handed himself into police after complaints about the tweet. Loraine posted the offensive tweet only an hour after the accident, and furious Twitter users alerted police after the tweet went viral. Police confirmed that he was arrested on suspicion of making a malicious communication, but had been bailed pending what will presumably be a very silly investigation.

3. Josh Pillault Invokes Columbine


Mississippian Josh Pillault (pictured above on the left) was arrested in October 2012 for making threats while playing Runescape. Another player had told him to kill himself, and he responded that not only would he kill himself, he’d take the whole school with him too, like Columbine. Once he mentioned Columbine, the other player said “Knock Knock,” as if he knew what was coming next.

Police raided his home a few days later and arrested him. He remained in jail for nine months and pleaded guilty in hopes of an easier sentence, as it was thought that he could face up to 10 years in jail and a fine of US$250,000. That kind of worked, as Pillault was sentenced to six years in prison, including time in a mental health treatment facility. According to his mother, Pillault didn’t own any weapons, and his teachers and doctor said he was no threat. Teachers were even willing to testify on his behalf.

2. Cameron D’Ambrosio’s Rap Career Gets Put on Hold


18 year old aspiring rapper Cameron D’Ambrosio was arrested in May 2013 for posting some of his rap lyrics on Facebook, which included “fuck a boston bombinb [sic] wait til u see the shit I do, I’ma be famous for rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me.” He was held without bail until a grand jury hearing, and while we admit that his rhymes were pretty weak that hardly requires jail time.

Prosecutors wanted to charge the teenager with threats to make a bomb or carry out a vehicle hijacking, crimes that can mean up to 20 years in jail. The police engaged in some shady behaviour - when talking to the media, they didn’t mention that D’Ambrosio was an aspiring rapper. Without that detail, his status just seemed like a threat. And when searching for evidence against his character, prosecutors brought up a fight he’d had with his sister when he was 11 years old. The police didn’t seem to understand Facebook, as the department’s blog said that the lyrics were posted in a “Facebook phone message.” It also said that the lyrics weren’t directed at anyone or anything in particular. On the weight of all this non-evidence, a grand jury declined to indict him.

1. James Buss Is Bad at Sarcasm


James Buss, a Wisconsin teacher, was arrested on November 29, 2007 for a blog comment sarcastically praising the perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. The arrest came after owners of the political blog Boots & Sabers gave the name of the commenter to police, as Buss had commented under the pseudonym “Observer.”

The comment said that teacher salaries were too high for the pitiful work they do, and “We’ve got to get in back of the kids who have had enough of lazy, no-good teachers and are fighting back. Kids like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs.” Since he was a teacher himself (and past president of a teachers union), it’s unlikely that Buss genuinely wanted teachers shot. He was put on paid leave during the incident, presumably as a compromise between recognizing how absurd his arrest was and and acknowledging how stupid his comment was.

He was to be charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful use of computerized communication systems. However, he was released on US$350 bail after spending just one hour in Washington County Jail. Prosecutors declined to file charges against him, presumably because they had many, many better things to do.

Top image: One of British tourists Leigh van Bryan and Emily Bunting's tweets that got them arrested, via Daily Mail.

[Source: Toptenz. Edited. Top image added.]