A letter … do kids still write by hand these days?
NEWSER) – English teacher Jessica Barrish apparently doesn’t follow international news: Just 6 months ago, a French teacher came under fire for asking her class of 13- and 14-year-olds to pen a suicide note; it didn’t end well. Barrish apparently did the very same thing in May, asking students of the same age at NYC’s tony York Prep (tuition: north of $40,000 a year) to write a suicide letter from the point of view of a character who takes her own life in theSecret Life of Bees, reports the New York Post. Read the assignment: “How would you justify ending your life? What reasons would you give?”
The headmaster says no parents have complained; thePost tells a slightly different story, having talked to one parent who calls the assignment “outrageous.” Barrish isn’t alone when it comes to teachers in the news: The Local reports that a French teacher apparently decided that his math class needed a lesson in sadism on Monday. He allegedly showed his 11-year-old students the film Saw, telling them, “This will be your first horror film.” He received a one-day suspension.
New York Post Article…
SOLAR STORMS/TORNADO ACTIVITY FLARE UP
(NEWSER) – Plant City, Florida, is abuzz over a random act of kindness—possibly at the hands of the biggest solo lottery winner in US history. A woman who apparently looked like 84-year-old Gloria MacKenzie had an early-bird dinner at BuddyFreddy’s on Sunday, leaving the restaurant with her two companions around 4pm. But as the Tampa Bay Times reports, she came back and paid for the meals of all 180 diners. Total bill, about $2,600.
“Everybody got up and applauded and started hugging her,” says the restaurant’s manager, and though the woman apparently denied she was the big winner, it “sure looked like” MacKenzie, she says. Who may not have been clapping? The five servers, who each walked away with $50—just shy of a 10% tip.
GMO Feed Alters Pigs’ Stomachs
PIGS FED GENETICALLY MODIFIED GRAIN HAD HIGHER STOMACH INFLAMMATION: STUDY
(NEWSER) – If the thought of eating genetically modified food makes you a bit sick in the stomach, you’re not alone. A new study has found that pigs who were fed a diet of GM corn and soy had a higher rate of stomach inflammation than those who strictly ate regular feed. Of the 168 pigs slaughtered then autopsied in the study, 32% of the GM-fed porkers showed severe stomach inflammation, versus 12% of those consuming non-GM food, Reuters reports. The difference was more profound in male pigs, though the GM-fed female pigs displayed a remarkable change of their own: uteri that were 25% heavier than those of their non-GM counterparts.
“The thing about a pig is that their digestive system is very similar to that of a human,” the lead researcher told ABC Radio. “So the fact we’ve got these results in the stomachs of pigs means that we should really start looking to see if we’re getting similar effects in the stomachs of humans.” Reuters notes that no variations were observed in terms of weight gain or mortality rate. The study follows previous claims that the proteins produced by GM genes could trigger digestive issues. (See photos of the two types of stomachs here.)
Read This Before Your Bank Account Gets Hacked On Your Phone
X-Ray Reveals 216-Year-Old Opera Aria
STANFORD LAB ABLE TO READ SCRUBBED-OUT NOTES OF LUIGI CHERUBINI
(NEWSER) – Stanford physicists have made it possible to listen to a renowned opera in full for the first time in more than 200 years, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Scientists at the university’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used X-rays to reveal the closing aria from the 1797 opera Medee that composer Luigi Cherubini had scrubbed over in charcoal. (Critics had complained the piece was too long, according to music legend.) The scientists used powerful rays from a device called a synchrotron to zero in on the iron (from the ink used by Cherubini) and zinc (from the musical staffs printed on the paper) hidden beneath the charcoal, explains Phys.org andWired.
“It’s similar to a dot matrix printer,” says one researcher. “Whenever we saw iron we would put a little digital red ink blot down, and whenever we saw zinc we’d put a little green dot down.” The newly illuminated notes were then transferred to a computer screen. “It is indescribable,” says the Berlin music scholar who suggested the experiment. You can listen for yourself to the recovered music here.
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