Squid vids, chicken parts, and insurance weasels mark this week's highs and lows
Very best & very worst of the news this week.
Every week, the Daily Dose reviews the news to select three very best and three very worst stories to come across our desk.
— The Very Best —
• The Supreme Court dismissed a case that sought to block funding of embryonic stem cell research. It’s unclear whether the two scientists behind the legal challenge were motivated by ethics or by the desire to steer more funding toward their own research on adult stem cells. The study of stem cells holds unique promise for curing diseases, but an ongoing ethical debate has hindered scientific progress.• What’s 50 feet long, haunted the nightmares of seafarers for centuries, and looks an awful lot like it belongs on the set of Alien? It’s Architeuthis, the giant squid. The world’s largest invertebrate had never been filmed living in its natural habitat, but Japanese squid whisperer Tsunemi Kubodera captured live footage of a giant squid from a submersible on a deep-sea dive about 620 miles south of Tokyo. The video will be aired later this month on Discovery Channel.
• Amid sustained temperatures of over 104º Fahrenheit, about a hundred wildfires raged across southern Australia early this week. Remarkable images captured grandmother Tammy Holmes huddling with her five grandchildren in the sea, clinging to a jetty, to save them from the fire that destroyed their home. Grandfather Tim Holmes took the pictures and later rowed the family to safety in a dinghy.
— The Very Worst —
• In Milford, Delaware, racist signs were posted for a year at two playgrounds. The signs in English read, “Parental or guardian supervision is required for the use of this playground equipment” — but accompanying signs in Spanish translated to “You must have a permit to play in this field. Violators will be subject to police action.” When Dr. Phyllis Kohel, the Milford School District Superintendent, learned of the signs, she immediately sent her husband out with his toolbox to dismantle them.
• Within the same week that television ads from American International Group thanked the American people for rescuing the company, the board of AIG met to consider suing the U.S. government. The insurance giant, which received $182 in taxpayer dollars to save its skin, said terms of the bailout were unfair to shareholders. Vermont Representative Peter Welch responded in a letter to AIG’s board chairman, “Don’t even think about it.” Lashed by an appalled public, AIG opted out on Wednesday.
• Was Justin Bieber caught holding a blunt in a photo released by TMZ? Oh wait, I forgot, I don’t care.
• The gross-out of the week comes courtesy of Colonel Sanders. UK teenager Ibrahim Langoo had already dug into a bucket o’ fun when he discovered a “horrible, wrinkled foreign body” in his KFC meal. The fast-food chain apologized and explained that the sickening photo snapped by Langoo doesn’t actually picture brains, as originally assumed, but just a deep-fried kidney.
Video still of a giant squid, near the Ogasawara islands, Japan, in July 2012 (© NHK/NEP/Discovery Channel/Reuters)
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