scientists dig into stargazer brahe's past
Astronomer Tycho Brahe uncovered some of the mysteries of the universe in the 16th century — and now modern-day scientists are delving into the mystery of his sudden death at age 54. On Monday, an international team of scientists opened his tomb in the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn near Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, where Brahe has been buried since 1601. After eight hours of work, they lifted from the tomb a tin box like a child's coffin in which his remains were placed after the only previous exhumation, in 1901. It was long thought that he died of a bladder infection. Tests conducted in 1996 in Sweden, and later in Denmark, on samples of his mustache and hair obtained in the 1901 exhumation showed unusually high levels of mercury. That led to a theory of mercury poisoning — even, possibly, murder.
UK to get a feel for its citizenry
Feeling fine? Frustrated? Fantastic? The British government really wants to know and will start measuring national happiness in addition to gauging more traditional data like income levels and fear of violent crime. The decision to look beyond pounds and pence measures is part of a "science of happiness" movement that has taken root in several other countries, including France and Canada, as officials and academics study the failure of rising living standards in recent decades to be accompanied by a similar rise in personal contentment.
Golfer blinded by bad shot sues pal
Two doctors are playing golf on Long Island. One hits such a poor shot from the rough that it hits his partner, standing off to the side, in the head. Whose fault is that? New York's top court will hear arguments today about whether Dr. Anoop Kapoor was negligent and should have yelled, "Fore!" A judge dismissed Dr. Azad Anand's suit, finding he took on the primary risk by golfing. A midlevel court agreed in a 3-1 ruling, concluding that Anand was "not in the foreseeable danger zone" and his friend had no duty to yell the customary warning. Anand was blinded in one eye.
Screening refusal is an Internet hit
A man who refused a body scan and pat-down search at a San Diego airport has become an Internet sensation in the debate weighing fliers' security versus their privacy. John Tyner, 31, posted a cell phone audio recording of his half-hour encounter at Lindbergh Field. The software engineer couldn't board a flight after refusing a full-body scan that reveals an image of what's under his clothes. He also wouldn't allow a Transportation Security Administration worker to conduct a groin check. His blog says he left the airport — but only after being threatened with a lawsuit and fine.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources.