Police in eastern France are investigating the theft of 700kg (1,500lbs) of cheese. According to the BBC, a gang broke into a dairy near the city of Besançon in an overnight raid and made off with comte, raclette and morbier cheeses, with a value of 900 euros ($1,800; £600), up to 40kg of butter and two knives.
Police said the investigation would try to establish what kind of criminal would be interested in such a haul.
The BBC's Alasdair Sandford in France says morbier is a soft cheese with what has been described as a slightly objectionable smell.
The owner, Jerome Monnin, said this was his second burglary in a year, after 30 years in the business with no problems.
In Miami Dade county, Florida, a thief took two cases of mozzarella balls from Anco Fine Cheese at 501 NE 183rd St. about 10:05 a.m. Jan. 27. The cheese was valued at $30.
Meanwhile in Kettering, Ohio, Johnny D. Green, 39, was arrested for theft after he was found to have placed a ham, two sub sandwiches, Velveeta cheese and a block of cheese in his pants and exited the store without paying for them.
And finally (crime-free story)... Stuck inside? Tired of watching paint dry? Try this.
A recent essay available on the SSRC website, Religion and Spirituality among University Scientists, by Elaine Howard Ecklund, assistant professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, examines the religious and spiritual beliefs of academics in the natural and social sciences at twenty-one major universities in the US.
Based on research completed during 2005-2006, it finds that: 1) Scientists are not very religious compared to the general public, although a significant minority is religious. 2) Scientists are surprisingly interested in spirituality. 3) While most are ambivalent about discussing religion in academic settings, a significant minority is seeking resources to engage students about religion. 4) University scientists who do view religion or spirituality as important are beginning to play a crucial role in mediating dialogue between the scientific community and the broader American public.
The supporting research included a survey which elicited 1,646 responses and 271 in-depth interviews with faculty.
When asked their beliefs about God, nearly 34 percent of academic scientists answer “I do not believe in God” and about 30 percent answer “I do not know if there is a God and there is no way to find out,” the classic agnostic response. This means that over 60 percent of professors in these natural and social science disciplines describe themselves as either atheist or religiously agnostic. In comparison, among those in the general U.S. population, about 3 percent claim to be atheists and about 5 percent are religiously agnostic.
A surprising number, says Ecklund, do, however, view spirituality as important. When asked “to what extent do you consider yourself a spiritual person?” some 66 percent of the natural scientists and 69 percent of the social scientists described themselves as spiritual.
And what did these respondents mean by spirituality? Analyses of the in-depth interviews reveal definitions that vary from “a vague feeling that there is something outside myself” to “a deep and compelling, other-centered worldview that directs how research and interactions with students are conducted.” ...For many of those who consider themselves spiritual, spirituality means simply having a larger purpose or meaning that transcends daily concerns. For many of the natural scientists, in particular, knowledge of the spiritual comes directly from their work. For example, according to one physicist,
When I travel to observatories...and when I finally just have enough time to try to think of my place in the world and the universe and its vastness, it’s then that I feel the connection to the world more than I do, say, sitting here in my office. And so that for me, that’s the closest I can come to a spiritual experience.
Bonus nutter-watch for those who've made it to the end of this post: here and here.
The Conservative leader, David Cameron, said Mr Blair needed to realise "it is over". He added: "I look along the front bench and I see the health secretary and I wonder is she thinking about the current crisis facing our health service or is she wondering if she will have a job in four months' time?
Could she not be thinking about both? Is our Dave not capable of entertaining two thoughts in his head at the same time? (Just asking.)
"This is a prime minister treading water while his cabinet moves on," Sir Menzies said. "There is resignation in his voice. He should go sooner rather than later. Until he does the British people themselves have no chance to move on."