May 2, 2013;
Vatican’t leave: Retired Pope Benedict XVI, 86, apparently couldn’t find a place in Florida. Thursday, he returned to the Vatican, where, for the first time, a former pope will live side-by-side with the current pope. His new home is a converted monastery behind St. Peter’s Basilica. Benedict will live with his personal secretary and four women who care for him. Pope Francis, 76, who is close to Benedict, has yet to tweet anything about the new neighbor.
Blood money: A British businessman who made a fortune selling fake bomb detectors deployed to protect the “Green Zone” in Iraq is going to prison for 10 years. James McCormick sold almost $1 billion in bomb detectors that used the same technology found in a $20 golf ball finder. He sold 6,000 of the devices to the Iraq military for more than $40,000 each, as well as to the United Nations and other security forces. McCormick’s ruse was discovered after a lab cracked a bogus bomb detector open and found a single circuit board connected to nothing. “The device was useless, the profits outrageous and your culpability as a fraudster has to be placed in the highest category,” said the judge. “I am wholly satisfied that your fraudulent conduct in selling so many useless devices for simply enormous profit promoted a false sense of security and in all probability materially contributed to causing death and injury to innocent individuals.”
The eyes have it: We probably won’t see robots take over the Earth anytime soon, but when it happens, robots will probably see their former oppressors with eyes that resemble an insect’s more than a human’s. Scientists have developed a “bug-eye” camera that uses 180 lenses stretched over a tiny dome that enables a “immense depth of field” and a “very wide-angle view.” But scientists have their work cut out for them if they want to catch up to the humble housefly, whose compound eye is comprised of 28,000 small eyes that can focus on many different objects at the same time.
The cruelest animal: The cruel act of “Trunking” has nothing to do with elephants. Instead, animal rescue workers in Miami say it is the practice of throwing two dogs in a car trunk, shutting it and driving around while the animals fight to the death. A group of dogs believed to have been treated in such a way were rescued recently, and, unlike their former owner, appear to be loving, kind creatures.
Hot hirsute: Having trouble with the ladies? A new study suggests a more slovenly approach to grooming may help. The study, conducted in an Australian university’s “Sex Lab,” 351 women (and 177 heterosexual men) were shown pictures of men in various stages of beardation — clean shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble and Grizzly Adams. Heavy stubble (10 days of unattended growth) was the clear winner among women with an eye for sexy. But “full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring.”