Sunday Reading: Anybody want a peanut?

Hey everyone, sorry this one’s a little late, blame the Boston University water polo team. After a (basically) snow-less Winter Carnival, the weekend has almost come to an end.  But not for several hours as we all have appropriately procrastinated all of our work.  With that I bring you some non-Middlebury stories to keep your mind off the three books waiting to be read on your desk.

HEALTH?: A PhD candidate from the Royal College of Art in London has developed a model for a hypothetical roller coaster designed to humanely and with elegance, kill its passengers.  It is being marketed as the “Euthanasia Coaster.”

CRIME: Ever wondered what a modern day Robin Hood looks like? Look no further than Greece’s Vassilis Paleokostas.  Paleokostas kidnaps extraordinarily wealthy CEOs, businessmen, and other individuals and holds them for ransom.  After keeping a small cut of the earnings for himself, he distributes the rest to the poor farmers from the province where he grew up.

SAFETY: With all the news surrounding the Washington State avalanche, the part I have found most interesting is the “avalanche airbag backpack” used by one survivor.  The airbag, when deployed, acts as a floatation device to keep the victim closer to the top of the avalanche.

HUMOR: McSweeney’s, an online literary journal/publishing house of sorts, publishes an ongoing series of lists that I always find particularly entertaining.  Today’s? “Lines from The Princess Bride that double as comments on freshman composition papers.”

MAGIC: Ever wonder how magicians pull off their tricks? One magician describes how he manipulates human perceptions using a variety of techniques in this fascinating article.

SCIENCE: Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have made significant advances in the field of stem cell research, generating egg cells from human ovaries.  Although it is too early to tell, this advance may provide a solution for treating infertility.

And your video of the week: