MI6 ‘used bodily fluids as invisible ink’ [via The Daily Telegraph]
A new book by a Queen University, Belfast, professor reveals that World War I MI6 agents experimented successfully with using semen as an invisible ink for secretive information. The revelation came from the diary of a Secret Intelligence Service officer who was given the tip by SIS Chief Mansfield Cumming in 1915. The method fell out of popularity for the obvious reasons.
How goes Iraq? View from a bookstore is revealing [via the Associated Press]
The AP profiles a Baghdad bookstore that has tripled in size since 2008 yet cannot “count on safe streets, stable government and reliable electricity supplies.” The owners opened the store in 1995, when Saddam Hussein was still in power and poverty due to U.N. sanctions was extreme. Now, they supply many textbooks to universities across the Middle East nation. “The world of books will not make us rich and fat,” said Zeidan, 45 and a father of three. “But it’s not making us poor and skinny either.”
The museum that was written down [via The Art Newspaper]
Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has brought to life a museum he created for his 2008 novel “The Museum of Innocence.” In the book, the protagonist collects items from the apartment of the woman with whom he is having an affair, gathering items over nine years and creating “The Museum of Innocence, a shrine to his unavailable paramour.” The real-life version, in central Istanbul, will house 83 boxes, one for each chapter of the book, each filled with items that reflect that chapter. “It was a joy to combine the real with the imaginary,” says the author.
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‘Desperate’ Sir Tom Stoppard seeks death by bookcase [via The Daily Telegraph]
Tom Stoppard, the British playwright responsible for “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” said in a recent interview that he would like to be killed by a falling bookcase. “I have a spasm of envy for the person that was killed by a falling bookcase, as long as it doesn’t happen prematurely,” Stoppard says in the October edition of Tatler magazine. “[It] would be a good way to go. You went when you were in a good frame of mind and you were doing something pleasant and interesting. A lot of people would say, ‘I would rather have a heart attack at the height of sexual passion.’ On the whole, I would prefer to be killed by a bookcase.”
Turkey Genome Sequenced More Than 90 Percent, Including Sex Chromosomes ‘Z’ and ‘W’ [via ScienceDaily]
With Thanksgiving only a few months away, researchers are proud to announce that they have completed coding more than 90 percent of the turkey genome. “ ‘Poultry producers may be able to use the knowledge we gain from the genome sequence to grow turkeys faster and healthier, and if they can produce the same size bird in a shorter period of time, they can also save money,’ Virginia Tech researcher Rani Dalloul said. An improved understanding of genetic variation in this species and in breeding populations will also lead to development of new tools that producers can use to breed turkeys that have desirable texture, flavor, and leanness, which will directly impact consumer products.”
Fisherman catches massive 30lb ‘goldfish’ [via The Daily Mail]
A 30-pound orange koi carp—aka a giant goldfish has been caught in a lake in the south of France. There’s really not much more to this story, but the picture is a must-see. [Also, I realize this is the second fishing story in as many days, so I promise to lay off unless someone snags Jimmy Hoffa on their hook.]
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