There’s room in heaven for dogs, pope assures little boy

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Pope Francis blesses Asia, the guide dog of Italian radio journalist Alessandro Forlani. Photo by L’Osservatore Romano / Associated Press Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/198635092.html#PeYuADtyC0JYHEpR.99

In his first meeting with the media as pope in March 2013, Francis made news by blessing Asia, the guide dog of Italian radio journalist Alessandro Forlani. Photo by L’Osservatore Romano / AP

Well, it wasn’t by accident that he chose the name Francis, the patron saint of animals.

During a papal audience in November, Pope Francis tried to comfort a boy whose dog had died, the New York Times reports, by telling him: “One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all God’s creatures.” Continue reading

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Map: Which country is downing the most brewski?

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Map courtesy of the Telegraph. You can check out the Telegraph's interactive map here.

Map courtesy of The Telegraph. You can check out the Telegraph’s interactive map here.

Although the Chinese (population 1,355,692,576, in the CIA’s July estimate) drank the most beer (14 billion gallons) this year, Czechs consumed the most (37 gallons) per person, The Telegraph reports. Americans lagged behind, lapping up a mere 19 gallons per head, which means we didn’t even make the Top 10 (see below). Continue reading

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Planes could give tobacco the thumbs up

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Don’t expected to see the “smoking permitted” light to flash the next time you fly.

But Boeing does hope to make tobacco part of regular flights.

The aircraft manufacturer is working on biofuel experiments. A new type of tobacco seeds may provide the jet fuel of the future, Smithsonian Magazine reports.

The plant, which is being grown in South Africa, produces oily, nicotine-less seeds that can be converted into aviation biofuel,  according to SkyNRG, the company that’s working with Boeing and several airlines, including Air Canada, Qantas and KLM.

Read more here and here.

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