World in brief

E=MC2 put to the test

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) put Einstein’s special theory of relativity to the test last week as they recorded neutrinos travelling at a speed faster than light. According to The Globe and Mail, researchers at CERN fired neutrinos travelling 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 730 kilometres away in Italy. CERN has asked other labs to independently verify the experiment, and scientists at Chicago’s Fermi lab have promised to do so. CERN theoretical physicist John Ellis, who was not involved in the project, said that these results, if verified, would turn modern physics on its head. The physicist pointed out that CERN would first have to explain why similar effects were not recorded during the explosion of a star (supernova) which was witnessed in 1987.

Something else to keep me up at night
A coroner has ruled that an Irish senior citizen died of spontaneous combustion in his own home. The Irish Independent reported that Michael Faherty, 76, was found totally burned near an open fire in his living room in Galway, Ireland. There was no other damage to the house, according to the investigation. Spontaneous combustion is caused by an internal chemical reaction that does not necessarily need to stem from a heat source outside of the body. Dr Kieran McLoughlin said it was the first time in his 25 years of working as a coroner that he has judged spontaneous combustion to be the cause of death.

Someone just give the guy a roll of quarters
A Florida man was arrested last week after breaking into a vacant home to do laundry. The Naples News Daily reported that Robert James Luther III used electricity and around 30 gallons of water while washing his clothes. The owner of the property, who was sitting in the truck near the home at the time of the incident, said Luther may have been friends of the previous residents, but did not have permission to use the washer and dryer. The investigation revealed that Luther, 23, is possibly homeless and currently unemployed.

Would-be European gigolos scammed
Job advertisements placed in national Spanish newspapers lured in over 300 men with promises of employment as high-class gigolos, Agence France-Presse reported. These would-be Deuce Bigalows payed 124,000 euros (US$170,000) in advance registrations fees. Two women suspected of running the scam have been detained by police. One of them has been arrested twice before on similar charges. Spain’s unemployment rate stands at around 21 per cent, the highest level for industrialized nations.


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