Japanese Scientists, Overperforming: Researchers at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology have developed goggles that can enlarge the image of a bite of food so that the eater might fool himself into thinking he has consumed more than he has (and thus, that his hunger might dissipate sooner). The software is so sophisticated, they said, that the food carrier (a fork, or the eater's hand) is not transformed and appears at normal size. In basic tests, according to a June Agence France-Presse report, a 50 percent increase in imagined cookie size reduced actual consumption by 9 percent.
-Well-Put: Pushing for an Oklahoma state senate bill authorizing the open carrying of guns (which eventually passed), Sen. Ralph Shortey explained in a March committee hearing that it was an incident from his past that convinced him of the need to carry a gun openly. "I was in oil and gas. I was out on a lease at one time, and I got attacked by a turkey. Wait until you get attacked by a turkey. You will know the fear that a turkey can invoke in a person. And so I beat it with a club. That was all I could do. And (then) I started carrying a gun in my truck after that without a license because I didn't want to get attacked by a mountain lion."
-Car Karma: Jerry Patterson suffered a road-rage pummeling on June 12 at the hands of three men who beat him into unresponsiveness on the side of Interstate 5 in Los Angeles, with the incident captured on cellphone video by a passing motorist. Six days earlier, Patterson had himself been arrested for allegedly administering his own road-rage beatdown of another motorist, who suffered two black eyes.
The Way the World Works
-Sentencing statutes and guidelines generally assign heavier penalties to those more culpable for criminal enterprise — but not always. Houston grandmother Elisa Castillo, then 53, was convicted in 2009 of conspiracy to smuggle a ton of cocaine from Mexico and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole (a penalty authorized by statute), despite substantial evidence that she was a minor figure and despite her previously clean criminal record. According to a May Houston Chronicle investigation, several higher-up drug smugglers, including those on law-enforcement's "most wanted" lists, have received much lighter prison terms than Castillo's, precisely because, being so high up, they have inside information that they can bargain with prosecutors over.
-When Cats Fly: In June, Dutch artist Bart Jansen showed off his latest creation,: He had his pet cat Orville (who had recently been run over by a car) stuffed with arms spread like an airplane (a "helicopter," Jansen said) and mounted a radio on the carcass so that he could control its flight. Jansen showed off Orville at the Kunstrai art festival in Amsterdam in June.