Joachim Gauck will not attend the Winter Games in Russia in February, despite Chancellor Angela Merkel’s opposition to a boycott; cats know when their owners are speaking to them, but still ignore them; meanwhile, Vermont has approved single-payer health care. These discoveries and more after the jump.
Lebanese expatriate Nadim Kobeissi, 21, is determined to “subvert governments and frustrate marketers” with a cat- and code-themed website that allows users to exchange messages and files that can’t be read by anyone but the sender and receiver.
The Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down on topical flea treatments after reports of injured pets surged 65 percent in 2008. The agency said Wednesday that it had received complaints of 44,263 injured pets and about 600 deaths for that year.
In a referendum in which 70 percent voted “no,” the people of Switzerland have decided against a proposed law that would have assigned lawyers to defend animals in court. In its defense, Switzerland already has comprehensive animal rights laws, though many feel the vote was a cat-astrophe.