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Friday, February 17, 2017


Arizona Looks at DIY Executions!

Arizona has a new concept regarding executions - an idea one lethal injection expert calls "unprecedented, wholly novel and frankly absurd." The Arizona Department of Corrections has had a lot of problems acquiring the standard execution drugs pentobarbital and thiopental so they're suggesting that lawyers provide the drugs to be used to kill their own clients, provided they come from a licensed pharmacy, manufacturer, or supplier! There's only a few problems. Setting aside the zillions of ethical concerns for the moment, the plan is simply legally impossible. The makers of pentobarbital won't allow the drug to be used in executions and thiopental isn't sold in the US and can't be imported. One assistant federal public defender said, "It is hard to comprehend what the ADC was thinking in including this nonsensical, unprecedented provision as part of its execution procedures. If the state wants to have the death penalty, it has the duty to figure out how to do it constitutionally. The state cannot pass its obligation on to the condemned prisoner." There are currently 119 inmates on death row in Arizona. However, executions have been halted since 2014 -- when a death row inmate took two hours to die -- as the state battles a lawsuit over its handling of the death penalty. (Guardian)

What a Great Idea! Well-Behaved Children Discount!

Finally, it may pay for parents to raise well-behaved children - restaurant discounts! After witnessing a large family's five children quietly and contentedly coloring in coloring books while the adults drank and chatted at his wine bar, Italian restaurateur Antonio Ferrari decided a new policy was in order. One of the last lines on the family's check read "Sconto Bimbi Educati," or "Educated Children Discount." In a Facebook post, Ferrari marvels that "it's just so unusual" to see such well-behaved children in a restaurant. He describes them as having "much composure." The family was apparently so pleased with their 5% discount - nearly $14 - they reciprocated by leaving a $30 tip. (Mashable)

Well, At Least Now You'll Know You'll Be Bald

Good news and bad news guys. We still can't seem to find an easy cure for baldness- but at least now we may be able to tell you it's coming. Using data from 53,000 men, UK scientists have come up with a DNA-based algorithm that could someday predict whether one is likely to go bald - one that's more reliable than family history. In the study, the largest such one of male-pattern baldness to date, University of Edinburgh researchers identified 287 genetic markers linked to hair loss. That's quite a step up, given that only eight such markers had been previously identified. Study co-author Ricardo Marioni said, "We are still a long way from making an accurate prediction for an individual's hair-loss pattern, however, these results take us one step closer" and "pave the way for an improved understanding of the genetic causes." He added, "It was interesting to find that many of the genetics signals for male pattern baldness came from the X chromosome, which men inherit from their mothers." That suggests the maternal side is more to blame than previously thought. (NBC News)

Oh Come On Burger King!

Usha Ram, who immigrated to Canada from Fiji in 1987 and speaks only basic English, had worked as a cook for Burger King for 24 years when she asked at the end of her Dec. 27, 2013 shift whether she could take a meal home with her for free, because she'd forgotten her wallet. She and her manager were speaking Hindi at the time, and Ram thought the manager had agreed. She took a fish sandwich, fries, and a drink with her - but when she came back to work three days later, she was fired for stealing! It took a while, but Ram, who supported a husband with physical disabilities and an adult daughter with mental disabilities with the minimum-wage job, has finally been vindicated, with a Supreme Court judge in British Columbia awarding her approximately $35,000, the equivalent of a little more than two years' pay. The judge noted that it was clear Ram hadn't planned to steal from Burger King, made no attempt to hide what she'd done, and had no history of disciplinary problems at work. The judge also wrote in her ruling that, especially considering how long she'd worked for the restaurant's co-owner and "her economic vulnerability as a 55-year-old woman with little education," termination was not a proportionate punishment for her offense. In other words, shame on you Burger King! (CBC)

Winston Churchill Wanted to Believe!

Turns out Winston Churchill and Fox Mulder could have been BFFs. Just weeks before Britain entered WWII, the former prime minister penned an essay titled "Are We Alone in the Universe?" It was only recently discovered and Churchill's conclusion: Probably not. He wrote, "I for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilization here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures." Churchill wrote in the never-published and recently discovered essay. The Prime Minister added that he was "not sufficiently conceited" to think there aren't other, possibly life-supporting planets circling stars outside our solar system. The essay, written in 1939 and revised in the 1950s, was discovered last year in Missouri's National Churchill Museum and handed over to astrophysicist Mario Livio, who wrote about it this week. Livio says Churchill uses the "logic of a scientist" in the essay, which discusses the importance of liquid water and describes what are now known as "Goldilocks" zones. Livio says it's "moving" to see a leader involved in science when so many current politicians "shun" it. (Nature)

Need a New Job? How's Your Tweeting?

Hate your job? Hate your boss? Want a change? The Queen is hiring. Yep - Queen Elizabeth is recruiting for a seasoned social media user to run her personal Twitter account - and she'll pay you $38,000 a year to Tweet for her. The job vacancy, which has been posted on her official website says that she's looking for a new "digital communications officer" to join her "fast-paced" team. The full-time role will involve the running of the royal Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels. Your job will be to write posts about her work-documenting state visits, award ceremonies and various Royal engagements. As the advertisement states - your content will be "viewed by millions." "It's finding new ways to maintain The Queen's presence in the public eye and on the world stage." And we're pretty sure you'll get to meet William and Kate! What's not to love??? (Metro)

Super Model Risks Life For Ultimate Photo

A Russian super model was willing to risk her life for the ultimate shot! Viktoria Odintsova, 23, let someone dangle her a thousand feet in the air from the side of the Cayan Tower in Dubai with no safety gear whatsoever. After climbing out onto a narrow ledge, she put her trust and her life in the hands of a male helper who held on to her by one arm as she kicks her feet with the Dubai marina visible far below. Odintsova, who hails from St Petersburg later said, "I still cannot believe that I did it. Every time I watch this video, my palms get sweaty." She posted a video of the photo shoot on Instagram for her three million followers, where it quickly went viral, prompting many of her fans to criticize her for performing the stunt without any safety equipment. One fan said, "How can you disregard your life like that? If I was your parent I would smack both you and the guy with the beard! I hope they banned you for life from Dubaï after that you idiot, you should be boycotted for promoting dangerous behavior and arrested." The Cayan Tower was the world's tallest high-rise building with a 90-degree twist when it opened in 2013, although this record has since been beaten by the Shanghai Tower. (Metro)

What the What?

A young British couple has gone public with details of their very strange relationship. Adam Gillet, 27 and partner Beatrice Gibbs, 22, say their one-sided open relationship makes them happy and they're not concerned with what others think. Basically, she can sleep with other men but he has to remain faithful - on the condition that she doesn't leave him. Beatrice explained, "I love Adam, but I wasn't ready to settle down and commit to just one man." He, on the other hand, was terrified she'd leave him so would rather allow her to have the occasional fling than have to worry about losing her. Beatrice says she sometimes feels a little guilty about seeing other people, but after a chat and a cuddle with Adam things quickly get back to normal. She keeps things purely physical with other guys and Adam says the arrangement takes away the worry of her cheating on him. (The Sun)

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