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Italy

  1. Foodies Rejoice, Italy Is Building “The Disneyland of Food”

    This is why Mona Lisa was smiling.

    According to Eat Pray Love, gaining a layer of pasta blubber is a mandatory part of any American's experience in Italy. Thankfully, Italy is now developing Eataly, a Disneyland inspired, mouth-watering theme park designed specifically to help tourists ciao down.

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  2. Scientists Named An Acne-Causing Bacterium After Frank Zappa

    Well, what the hell do I wash my face with to get rid of that?

    Scientists in Italy have discovered a new form of bacteria that they're calling P. Zappae, in honor of the famous rock singer. Even weirder? While it is a type of bacteria known to cause acne in humans, they actually found it in a vineyard. Great, now even our wine has to go through puberty.

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  3. Mouse Hunt With Rifle Ends With Man Shooting Himself in Foot

    I mean, who could've seen this ending poorly?

    An Italian man learned the hard way never to bring a gun to a mouse fight. Spooked by the sight of the offending rodent, the 43-year-old from the city of Treviso went immediately to the big guns, grabbing his father's rifle and firing on the mouse. Rather than killing the rodent, though, the inexperienced rifleman instead shot himself in the foot.

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  4. Not by the Hair of Our Chinny Chin Chins: Italian Wolves Prefer the Taste of Ham Over Venison

    The three little pigs better not be planning to build a summer villa in Italy anytime soon, since a recent study of Italian wolves showed that local wild boar accounts for nearly two-thirds of the predator's overall diet, while the remaining one-third is roe deer. Biologists learned about the wolves' discerning tastes after sifting through and analyzing numerous samples of wolf fecal matter from the population in Tuscany over a period of nine years. Based on these findings, in conjunction with the Italian wolf's behavior, there is a chance that the species can be reintroduced into parts of Europe without disturbing the land of local farmers or their livestock.

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  5. Good Practice: Astronauts Discover New Species Here on Earth

    A training seminar for astronauts from around the world ended up being more fruitful than anyone imagined earlier this year, as participants turned up an never-before-seen species of crustacean during their journey. The new species was discovered during the course of the European Space Agency's CAVES training program, which sends teams of astronauts into unusual environments to hone their skills in field geology, meteorology, and cataloging new species -- so you have to think that at least one of those objectives went down as a clear success this trip.

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  6. Italian Scientists Found Guilty of Failing to Predict Earthquake, Given Sentence of Six Years in Prison

    In general, scientists tend to gather as much data as they can before making their predictions. Often as not, these include caveats. When predicting natural phenomenon and disasters, this is pretty much how the system operates. No prediction is ever really certain when it comes to nature, as everyone's local weather forecaster showcases on a regular basis. We continue to improve our forecasting and prediction abilities, but nature will be nature, and we do the best we can. Italy apparently doesn't agree with this assertion. Six scientists and a former government official have been sentenced to six years in prison for failing to accurately predict a 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy.

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  7. Indiana Jones Cat Discovers 2,000-Year-Old Ruins In Rome

    It Belongs in a Museum!

    Having traveled to Italy this past year, I can attest to seeing quite a few cats laying about on all sorts of ancient items but this one takes the cake. While his owner was attempting to chase him down, a curious kitty discovered a set of ruins untouched for almost 2,000 years. All my cats do is sleep and lick themselves. 

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  8. Italian Scientists Indicted on Manslaughter Charges for Not Predicting Earthquake

    After a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit L'Aquila, Italy in April of 2009, ravaging the city and killing 308 people, local authorities took the questionable step of prosecuting researchers on a scientific committee for failing to predict the earthquake. In March of 2009, after smaller quakes had hit the region, the committee president had concluded that "just because a small series of quakes has been observed" did not mean that a large quake would necessarily occur, and that the near occurrence of one was "improbable, although not impossible." Infamously, the one government official on the committee appeared on television and said that "The scientific community tells me there is no danger, because there is an ongoing discharge of energy. The situation looks favorable," and some residents "quoted those statements as the reason they did not take precautionary measures, such as fleeing their homes." After the earthquake struck, prosecutors took these statements to mean that the committee had been downplaying the risk of a seismic occurrence, and charged the six seismologists and one government official on the committee with manslaughter.

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  9. Italy Says: YouTube is a TV Channel and Therefore Responsible for its Content

    Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports (in translation, original here) that the Italian Authority for Communications Guarantees has passed two resolutions on internet video and internet radio respectively, that classify YouTube, Vimeo and other sites whose content is entirely user generated as television stations. The reasoning is that if a site in any way curates their user generated content, even with automatic algorithms, "this amounts to editorial control," and the site should be held to the same rules that apply to Italy's broadcast television stations.  This would subject these sites to a small tax, would require them to take down videos within 48 hours of the request of anyone who feels they have been slandered, and to not broadcast videos unsuitable for children at certain times of day (whatever that would actually mean for a completely online service). Most importantly, however, the new resolutions would make YouTube and other sites legally responsible for all of their content.

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  10. Italian Scientists Could Be Charged with Manslaughter for not Predicting Earthquake

    Last year, L'Aquila, Italy was hit with a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that killed 308 people and devastated the city. (The Big Picture has a gallery from last year which shows just how bad the damage was.) It was a tragic event, and one year later, the town hasn't yet fully recovered. But Italian authorities have taken a baffling approach in the aftermath of the quake: Prosecuting seismologists for not predicting the quake.

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