betting on college
now you can literally gamble on your future
Think you're going to ace freshman year? Want to put money on that? A website called Ultrinsic is taking wagers on grades from students at 36 colleges nationwide starting this month. Just as Las Vegas sports books set odds on football games, Ultrinsic will pay top dollar for A's, a little less for the more likely outcome of a B average or better, and so on. You can also wager you'll fail a class by buying what Ultrinsic calls "grade insurance." CEO Steven Wolf insists this is not online gambling, which is technically illegal in the United States, because wagers with Ultrinsic involve skill: "The students have 100 percent control over it, over how they do. Other people's stuff you bet on — your own stuff you invest in. Everything's true about it, I'm just trying to say that the underlying concept is a little bit more than just making a bet — it's actually an incentive."
Turning to 007 for inspiration
A British court jailed two men for their role in cranking out a series of homemade firearms, including a key ring gun and a pen gun. Scotland Yard says Paul Coke, 40, and Fatmir Kadena, 26, operated a factory disguised as a nightclub and car repair garage, producing weapons that "wouldn't look out of place in a James Bond film." Firearms are far more tightly restricted in Britain than in the United States, so criminals often attempt to improvise their own weapons.
A pot — make that a plot — of corn
A southern Idaho farmer unknowingly watered and fertilized more than 300 marijuana plants while tending to his cornfields. The Jerome County Sheriff's Office says the farmer found the plot of pot growing between his tall, green stalks of unripened corn early Monday and called authorities. The 314 low-grade marijuana plants are valued at $628,000 and would have been ready for plucking in the next month or so — just before the corn harvest. The Sheriff's Office said the pot was started from seed and relocated to the field, a common way marijuana growers hide their plants.
alien to oregon
Glowing shrimp are in the pink
People who bought pink shrimp at some Oregon stores are reporting that it glows in the dark. Experts tell Eugene's Register-Guard they shouldn't worry because it's due to certain marine bacteria that can cause shrimp and other seafood to appear luminescent. They say it's not a health risk and does not indicate mishandling during processing. Specialists at Oregon State University Sea Grant Extension say the bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures, especially on seafood products where salt was added during processing.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources.