Doing it for the kids
A group of 200 teachers and 65 other employees at a bankrupt Pennsylvania school district pledge to continue working — even after district officials told them that a budget shortfall meant they wouldn't be paid. [GOOD]

Cheech and Chong
A new government study finds that smoking large amounts of marijuana over extended periods of time does not impair lung function, and may actually improve it. [Death and Taxes]

Sun-bathing reptiles 
Australian researchers determine that warm temperatures make lizards smarter. "Climate change might not be so bad for these guys," one researcher says. [New Scientist]


Banca d'Italia
A prominent Italian business group reports that the mafia is now "Italy's number one bank," with small businesses often tempted to turn to the mob for loans as the economy limps along. [Reuters]

The Last Frontier
After being buried by 15 feet of snow, the residents of Cordova, Alaska, run out of shovels to dig themselves out. [Huffington Post]

Jewelry with a message
A jewelry store in Brooklyn finds itself in the middle of controversy over earrings that resemble swastikas. The store's manager defends the inventory, saying the earrings are a Tibetan symbol for eternity. [The Frisky]

For more winners and losers see: Good day, bad day: January 10, 2012