Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The cushiest prison in the world, lucky family wins multiple lotteries, and a glowing dog that could help find cures for human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Good Morning Humboldt County!

The coffee sure smells good this morning. Glad you could join me. Let’s see what’s happening in this crazy world we live in. Pull up a chair and have a stare:

Luxury digs in store for Norwegian mass killer

Norway's unrepentant mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik, is now under arrest. And he should count himself lucky for -- if entirely undeserving of -- a penal system in that country that is among the cushiest in the world. There's no capital punishment, and the longest jail term allowed is 21 years (a caveat: if a prisoner is deemed to still be a threat, his sentence can be extended in five-year blocks indefinitely, though it's highly unlikely, according to Norwegian officials). In Norway, rehabilitation is the guiding principle, not punishment -- a somewhat difficult notion to swallow given the gravity and callousness of his crimes.

Norway's newest jail may hold rapists and murderers, but Halden Prison -- the country's second largest and most secure facility -- looks more like a posh sleepaway camp. In fact, architects say they purposely tried to avoid an "institutional feel." When it opened in 2010, some news accounts called it the "most humane" prison in the world.

Indeed, one of the many perks at Halden is flat-screen televisions in inmates' rooms. There's no HBO, though, so reruns of Oz and The Wire are contraband. Still, prisoners get private cells with mini-fridges and large windows to let in more sunlight. Here, then, is a quick tour of what luxuries may await Breivik behind bars. (That's a figure of speech, of course: There are no iron bars at Halden.) GO HERE and be prepared to be surprised.

Haul in the family: one lucky clan wins its third lottery

Wondering where all your good luck has gone? Maybe the McCauleys of Charlotte, N.C., have it. For the third time in 20 years, a member of the family has won the lottery. A buzzy article from the AP delves into the details. Back in 1991, the family won $15.5 million from the New York Lotto.

This was their biggest haul, but not their last. Sixteen years later, Amy McCauley held the ticket to $160,000 in the North Carolina Education Lottery. Then, in 2009, Amy picked up two more prizes, each worth $1,000.And now, in 2011, Kimberly McCauley (daughter of Amy) won $100,000 on a scratcher card.  image source


South Korean scientists create glowing dog – report

South Korean scientists said on Wednesday they have created a glowing dog using a cloning technique that could help find cures for human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, Yonhap news agency reported.

A research team from Seoul National University (SNU) said the genetically modified female beagle, named Tegon and born in 2009, has been found to glow fluorescent green under ultraviolet light if given a doxycycline antibiotic, the report said.

The researchers, who completed a two-year test, said the ability to glow can be turned on or off by adding a drug to the dog's food.

Time to walk on down the road…

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