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Hot stories of the day
May 19th 2021
Amazon announced a ban on its facial recognition software called “Rekognition“ to police. The ban comes after growing concern over false positives and privacy concerns. Amazon employees pushed the company to scale back efforts after documented racial bias and imperfections in the software could exacerbate police violence against minorities
- The day after this announcement, Microsoft announced that it would halt providing police with facial recognition services as well.
- The week after this announcement, IBM stated that it would stop developing or researching facial recognition tech altogether
Roe Vs Wade
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed on Monday to hear a case that could have longterm impact on women’s right’s to have an abortion across the 50 states. Most americans today agree that women should not be barred from having the option. Most people also favor having some restrictions on abortion.
- The court is set to start hearing the Dobbs Vs. Jackson Woman’s Health Organization case in the coming months.
- The case involves a Mississippi law that seeks to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is about two months earlier than Roe and subsequent rulings
- Notably the 1992 decision (Planned Parenthood V Casey) that has largely superseded Roe, does give states the right to regulate abortion, but only after the point of fetal viability
Parler is back
Parler, the right wing social media app, has returned to the Apple App store after being banned. The app was initially removed because Parler due to “inadequate moderation policies” per Apple’s terms of services. Shortly after, they were subsequently removed from Amazon Web Services virtually booting them from the internet altoger.
- After the January 6th Insurrection on the Capital, services like the App Store cracked down on sites used by the rioters to organize and plan.
- The App was used to pass along images, maps, locations leading up to the event.
- This comes as Apple itself has been facing scrutiny over policies showing “excessive control” over content on it’s services.
May 18 2021
A 100 year old invention from Nikola Tesla has resurfaced as a potential solution to modern problems. The Tesla valve is a one way valve that uses no moving pieces. The design allows for a fluid to easily pass through in one direction but almost impossible in the other direction.
- The tear shaped loops pushes a fluid against it’s own flow in one direction which causes the resistance
- This valve was originally titles the “Tesla Macrofluidic Valve”
- “While Tesla is known as a wizard of electric currents and electrical circuits, his lesser-known work to control flows or fluid currents was truly ahead of its time,” Leif Ristroph, professor at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
China’s Space Station
The U.S. Intelligence chief announced in the Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intel. Community that China’s upcoming space station poses a national security threat. The station is intended to “gain the military, economic, and prestige benefits that Washington has accrued from space leadership,”
- “[The People’s Liberation Army] will continue to integrate space services — such as satellite reconnaissance and positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) — and satellite communications into its weapons and command-and-control systems to erode the US military’s information advantage,”
- “China has already fielded ground-based ASAT missiles intended to destroy satellites in LEO and ground-based ASAT lasers probably intended to blind or damage sensitive space-based optical sensors on LEO satellites.”
(Micro) Micro chips
Columbia engineers have developed the smallest single chip system ever. This chip is a “Chip as system” that is the chip alone and nothing else such as casings or other components.Being so small, one couldn’t see it with the human eye.
- The chip has an antenna, integrated circuit to transduce acoustic energy into electrical energy, ultrasound sensor
- Researchers are contemplating using this tech to monitor pregnancies and tumor growths caused by cancers
- Study leader Ken Shepard: “We wanted to see how far we could push the limits on how small a functioning chip we could make,”
May 11th 2021
The conflict between Israel and Palestine is escalating to a near war-like scenario. The Israeli police force has been clashing with Palestinian protesters for weeks. The protests started in response to potential evictions of Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Israel launched missiles to Palestine early Tuesday.
- On Monday, Israeli police carried out a violent raid against Palestinian protesters and worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
- The Mosque is considered the third holiest site in the world in the Muslim religion.
- Over 300 people were injured as officers bombed and gassed the Mosque while patrons were inside.
Pfizer: kids edition
Pfizer-BioNTech has received F.D.A. approval for children under 12-15 years of age in the U.S. on Monday. This isn’t the last step as an advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to meet shortly to review the data and make recommendations for usage in that age group.
- In a clinical trial, Pfizer enrolled 2,260 participants ages 12 and 15 and gave them either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo three weeks apart.
- The researchers recorded 18 cases of symptomatic coronavirus infection in the placebo group, and none among the children who received the vaccine.
- The trial results were a “trifecta” of good news according to Dr. Bill Gruber, a senior vice president at Pfizer and a pediatrician.
Congressional Republicans are expected to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as the third highest ranking member in the House of Representatives. This is mainly due to her non-willingness to perpetrate the Big Lie that Donald J. Trump won the 2020 Election.
- 70% of self proclaimed Republicans believe that Joe Biden is president due to election interference according to recent polls.
- In a fiery speech on the floor of congress, she spoke out against Trump calling him a “threat” to the Republican party.
- “Millions of Americans have been misled by the former president. They hear his words but not the truth,” Liz Cheney
U.S. Nacy Cruiser intercepts a “floating arsenal” of illicit weapons
- The USS Monterey discovered thousands of weapons after stopping a Dhow in the North Arabian Sea.
- They were carrying at least 2,000 assault rifles, machine guns, anti-tank rocket launchers, and anti-tank missiles.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft starts it’s 2 year long trip back to earth
- OSIRIS-REx is a NASA asteroid-study and sample-return mission.
- The mission obtained samples from the astroid Bennu, and will take about 2 years to return with the samples.
May 10th 2021
The U.S. was hit with a ransomware attack earlier in the week. The company Colonial Pipeline was hit with the attack, disrupting half of the jet fuel and gas to the east coast. The Department of Energy is leading the investigation into the incident, with help from the DOD, CIA, and FBI.
- The attack originated in Russia, by a criminal cyber group called Dark Side.
- The attack compromised 5,500 miles of pipeline forcing them to close.
- President Joe Biden said that since the attack that struck the jugular of America’s pipeline system, he has received regular briefings on the matter.
To The Moon!
Self proclaimed “Dogefather” Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live over the weekend. His episode was the third most watched behind Dave Chapelle, and Chris Rock. Elon hyped the crypto currency Dogecoin leading up to the event, pushing the price up. The coin dropped over 30% as soon as he started his monologue.
- Members of the cast objected to him hosting the show, citing his actions towards workers in his Tesla factories in California during the pandemic lockdowns.
- During a skit Elon tried explaining how crypto currencies like Dogecoin work. He went on to refer to Doge as a “Hustle” pushing the price down even further.
The April jobs report stunned the market by falling well short of expectations. The data showed 266,000 new jobs created, which was about a quarter of what was expected. Many employers are struggling to find employees, as the pandemic has shifted the workforce.
- President Joe Biden used the opportunity to push his massively ambitious Jobs program.
- Some members are blaming the slow growth on the increased unemployment benefits passed by congress.
- Other members note that industries looking for the most work are low-wage transportation and warehouse positions. Business positions are low as well, but due to working from home allowing companies to hire fewer employees.
Space X is set to launch the “DOGE-1” satellite to the moon next year
- The satellite will be fully funded by Dogecoin.
- The mission will apparently be the “1st crypto (currency) in space” and the “1st meme in space”.
A NASA and National Science Foundation award funds a professor’s research on how planets form
- Astronomy professor Wladmir Lyra will use the funds for a 3 year program using super computers to create a roadmap on the formation of planets.
May 7th 2021
A Chinese rocket booster is expected to fall to earth uncontrollably on Saturday. The massive rocket body measures 98 feet long and 16.5 feet wide and weighs 21 metric tons, according to the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit that performs technical analyses and assessments for a variety of government, civil and commercial customers.
- The latest data from the U.S. Space Force has narrowed the reentry window for the rocket body to: 9 to 11 p.m. ET.
- Space Force won’t know the precise landing location until after the rocket body has already landed
Fungus Among Us?
A team of researchers claim in a new paper to have evidence of “fungus-like Martian specimens”. They believe they have found photographic evidence of a variety of fungus-like organisms, some resembling the shape of puffballs, a round cloud-like fungus found in abundance back here on Earth, on the Red Planet.
- Lead researcher Rhawn Gabriel Joseph has gained the nick-name “Space Tiger King” from making wild claims such as finding a field of skulls on Mars.
- Many in the scientific community aren’t impressed with the paper, claiming that the use of only photographic evidence falls short when making such a strong claim.
- The photos referenced were taken by the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers.
Signal VS. FB
Facebook has blocked an add campaign by the company Signal. The campaign was intended to alert users to the types, and sheer volume of data held by Facebook and it’s subsidiaries. The adds were to be personalized to each user using this data. Signal didn’t break any of Facebook’s rules but the public embarrassment seemed to be a bit too much for them to handle.
- The adds were slated to run on Instagram which is owned by Facebook.
- Signal is an end to end encrypted messaging app and was hoping to show users that the platform had information, that they probably weren’t aware of.
The Obamas announce the death of their dog BO to a battle with cancer
- “Today our family lost a true friend and loyal companion. For more than a decade, Bo was a constant, gentle presence in our lives—happy to see us on our good days, our bad days, and every day in between,” Obama wrote
96% of iOS users have chosen to use Apple’s new privacy feature asking to not be tracked
- In iOS 14.5 Apple gave users the ability to ask apps not to track them between apps.
- Social media companies like facebook have shot back at apple with prompts of their own. Some of these prompts threat to make users pay for services if they chose to block tracking.
May 5th 2021
The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General has announced the launch of a formal evaluation into The Pentagon’s actions regarding “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” or UAP. This comes as the long awaited UAP Task Force brief to be sent to the Senate.
- As an independent, objective agency, the Office of Inspector General functions as the official Pentagon watchdog, that has almost unlimited access to investigate matters within the Pentagon.
- The decision to launch the evaluation was prompted by complaints from congressional leadership regarding the DoD’s handling of the UAP topic.
- “The objective of this evaluation is to determine the extent to which the DoD has taken actions regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).”
Pandora says it will no longer sell mined Diamonds and will switch to all Lab grown diamonds. CEO Alexander Lacik says the change was part of a broader sustainability drive headed by the company. Diamond mines are often located in poor countries consisting of difficult manual labor.
- Mined diamond production peaked in 2017 at 152 million carats a year, and fell to 111 million carats last year.
- While lab diamonds grew to 6-7 million carats a year, they are far outpaced by natural diamonds.
- Notably, Lab diamonds are a third the overall price of acquisition compared to their underground counterparts.
Ex-President Donald J. Trump has returned to the world’s stage with the unveiling of his new “social media platform”. The Blog is styled like twitter hosted as a running blog of twitter-length commentary from Trump. Titled “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump”, we expect this to be just the beginning.
- You can share his posts to twitter and facebook “if they meet the guidelines” but the twitter function doesn’t seem to be working at the moment.
- Responding to the fact that you can share these posts directly to twitter, a spokesperson said the feature “is permitted as long as the material does not otherwise violate the Twitter Rules.”
Facebook’s independent oversight board ruled that the permanent ban of Donald Trump should be upheld
- The decision is binding and though he seems to be a twitter person, this will block him from garnering an online presence as easily.
- The board will revisit this decision in the coming months and may change their position between now and then.
Bentley will make all production models electric by 2025 in cooperation with Audi
- Battery weight remains the top concern, and Bentley will focus on weight savings and aerodynamics as a result.
- CEO Adrian Hallmark “The future of Bentley will be fully electric,”. “We are not only working on one electric car but a full family of electric cars.”
The US has signaled approval of waiving intellectual property laws for vaccines
- “The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines,” US Trade Rep. Katherine Tai
- This will allow generic brands to produce vaccines cheaper, and with less R&D time.
May 4th 2021
Facebook and Instagram are threatening that users will need to pay for their services. But only if users don’t allow the pair to track them from app to app after installing iOS 14.5. IOS 14.5 has a feature that prompts users to “allow” or “ask not to track” whenever apps try to use their personal info.
- Facebook (who owns instagram) is suggesting that users can “help keep Facebook/Instagram free” by allowing ads.
- It is also notable that the App Store rules forbid apps from offering incentives for users to allow themselves to be tracked.
A briefing on suspected energy attacks on US intelligence officers turned contentious last week, as senators demanded more information about the mysterious incidents from the CIA and accountability for how the agency has handled them.
- Reportedly, the senate got pretty contentious because the briefers made it clear that they believe the attacks overseas are ongoing.
- Officials believe the attacks are the result of some type of weapon that aims pulsed radiofrequency energy at it’s victims.
World’s longest bridge
On Sunday Portugal finished the Arouca Bridge which is now the worlds longest suspension bridge at about 1,700 feet or almost 5 football fields. You can only walk across, and you’d need to be accompanied by a guide
- The bridge is a metal walkway held up by suspension cables hanging 574 feet above the Paiva River which flows over a waterfall.
Pandora stops selling diamonds that come from mines
- For now, they say that they’ll be sticking with Lab-grown variety.
- As the worlds biggest jeweler, this decision will surely make an impact on the luxury diamond market.
The California governor Gavin Newsom will face a recall election
- A recall campaign submitted 1,626,042 valid signatures to recall the governor.
- Caitlyn Jenner has announced a run in the election
President Biden announced that the refugee cap will be lifted to 62,500
- The administration changed a Trump era policy that stopped refugees to claim asylum from the Middle East and Africa.
- This comes after he took heat from the left for proposing the cap stay at 15,000.
May 3rd 2021
The NYPD started patrolling the streets with their 4 legged Boston Dynamics Robot named Digidog in December. Last week mayor Bill DeBlasio returned the robot to Boston Dynamics. The police signed a $94,200 contract for the robot, one $74,500 spot unit and one 360-degree “Spot Cam” camera for $21,800.
- In comments to the press, the mayor said: “glad the Digidog was put down,” citing the optics of the situation.
- Adding via a spokesperson: the robot is “creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers.”
N. Korea Responds
North Korea responds to Biden’s address to congress last wednesday where Biden called the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea a “serious threat to America’s security and world security” and promised to respond through “diplomacy and stern deterrence.”
- North Korea responded angrily, saying the comments were “intolerable” and reflected the “usual story” from the United States
- The U.S. will face worse and worse crisis beyond control in the near future if it is set to approach the DPRK-U.S. ties, still holding on the outdated policy from Cold War-minded perspective and viewpoint,”
Bill and Melinda split
Bill and Melinda Gates announce that they will split after 27 years of Marriage. A statement released from the Gates foundation reads: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,”
- Bill and Melinda Gates met at Microsoft, and the two got married in 1994.
- The two will keep working together on philanthropic efforts, which have addressed education, gender equality and health care.
Florida house passes bill to fine social media companies who ban political candidates
- The bill proposes a daily fine of $25,000 if the representative is not running for office.
- If the candidate happens to be running for election, the fine will be bumped up to $250,000 per day.
Cryptocurrency Ethereum hits $3,000, marking a quadruple in value in 2021
- On Monday, the crypto-coin outshone it’s bigger competitor Bitcoin.
- The going is up 325% for the year so far, which outpaces any other coin on the market at the moment.
Senate passes “Long overdue” bill ensuring clean drinking water
- The $35 billion bill looks to tackle our aging and underfunded water systems.
- 40% of the funds are to go to underserved, rural, and tribal communities.
April 30th 2021
2 incidents are being investigated by the pentagon and other agencies including one near the White House that could be possible directed energy attacks. The varying set of complaints includes ear popping, vertigo, pounding headaches and nausea, sometimes accompanied by a “piercing directional noise.”
- Pentagon involvement in the investigation is notable given these incidents took place in U.S. soil.
- That name refers to unexplained symptoms that US personnel in Cuba began experiencing in late 2016.
- “When this officer came in and I knew his background and he explained in an extraordinarily detailed but more military style that I could understand, I was like this is actually for real.”
Preping for Impact
Nasa ran a hypothetical impact scenario has been run all through this week to the April 26th. They highlighted possible impact effects, ranging from an in-air explosion that causes no damage to a mass extinction event.
- The hypothetical astroid was between 35 and 700 meters in size. It landed near the border of Germany and Austria with an average impact energy of around 40 Mt, or 40,000,000 tonnes of TNT.
- In the end, they found: “Had a more sensitive asteroid survey such as NEOSM or Rubin Observatory (LSST) been in place in 2014, it would almost certainly have detected the scenario object, and the 7-year warning of potential impact would have opened up a host of different possible outcomes.”
Labor Secretary Walsh made waves Friday morning with comments on gig workers when asked about drivers working for delivery apps such as Uber, Postmates, and Doordash. As many as 55 million people in the United States or 34% of the workforce, were gig workers in 2017, and the total was projected to rise to 43% in 2020.
- Following his statements, the stock prices of the largest delivery apps fell 8% – 12%
- “We are looking at it but in a lot of cases gig workers should be classified as employees… in some cases they are treated respectfully and in some cases they are not and I think it has to be consistent across the board.”
- “These companies are making profits and revenue and I’m not (going to) begrudge anyone for that because that’s what we are about in America. But we also want to make sure that success trickles down to the worker.”
Elon Musk is set to host SNL with expected skits about Dogecoin, and Space travel
- The price of Dogecoin has gone up 6% friday and is expected to ride sharply after his appearance.
- Saturday Night Live’s decision to pick Elon Musk as host has drawn backlash on social media, including from some of its cast members and writers.
President Biden will commemorate Amtrak’s 50th birthday in Philadelphia
- Nicknamed “Amtrak Joe”, Biden commuted to the Capital Hill daily using the rail service during his career in the Senate
- He will use the opportunity to push his $1.8 Trillion infrastructure plan
Disneyland officially reopens in California on Friday after being closed for 13 months
- Park attendance will be capped at 25% with guests and employees wearing masks. And you won’t be able to give Daffy a hug
- Some park goers were seen in tears as they wandered the park, many lining up for hours before entering
A poll found that 85% of viewers approved of Biden’s joint session address
- Many are quick to point out that the viewing audience consisted of 54% (D) and 18%(R) with 25% identifying as independent
- The survey was based on 943 interviews of adults who tuned in, and drawn from a pool of 10,000 people who participated in a YouGov survey
April 29th 2021
President Joe Biden addresses congress marking the 100’th day into his administration. Flanked from behind by Vice President Kamala Harris on his right, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on his left. He used the opportunity to list his accomplishment and goals.
- President Biden discussed the passing of the $2 Trillion Cares Act noting key accomplishments like cutting child poverty by 50%.
- He also called congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- Biden pushed gun reform and the uselessness of firearms with capacities over 100 rounds joking wether deer wear bullet proof vests.
Amazon tips the scale
Organizers allege Amazon’s agents unlawfully threatened employees with closure of the Bessemer, Alabama warehouse if they joined the union and that the company emailed a warning it would lay off 75% of the proposed bargaining unit because of the union.
- This comes after workers at the facility voted 738 to 1798 against unionizing earlier this month.
- The National Labor Relations Board said on Wednesday, “…this prevented employees from a free and uncoerced exercise of choice” on whether to create the company’s first U.S. union.
Stop the count
The U.S. Census Bureau delivered the 2020 Apportionment Results to the President. The population grew by 7.4% overall which is the slowest rate in decades. The current tally lands us at 331,449,281 residence. The electoral, and congressional apportionments favored republican voting blocks.
- Congressional gains: Texas +2 Colorado +1 Florida +1 Montana +1 NC +1 Oregon +1
- Congressional losses: California -1 Michigan -1 NY -1 Illinois -1 Ohio -1 Pennsylvania -1 WV -1
- South grew the fastest out of the 5 regions with the Midwest growing the slowest.
China launched an unmanned module containing the living quarters for a “permanent space station”
- Named Tianhe or Harmony of the heavens, this marks the first launch of 3 main modules to be assembled in low earth orbit.
- It will take 11 total missions to complete the station by 2022 with an life expectancy of at least 10 years.
Nvidia is designing a “Metaverse” of artificially created environments where companies can simulate future products
- They hope to have digital re-creactions of New York city and Shanghai with “digital twins of every single factory and every single building.
- This program is an evolution of their Omiverse 3-D software used by tech companies for R&D for future products.
Consumer Reports finds Teslas can drive with no one in the driver’s seat despite safely measures
- Over several trips across half-mile closed test track, the Model Y automatically steered along painted lane lines, the magazine said.
- “In our evaluation, the system not only failed to make sure the driver was paying attention, but it also couldn’t tell if there was a driver there at all,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of Consumer.
April 28th 2021
On Wednesday evening, a North Carolina Judge denied the public release of police body-worn camera footage in the public “execution” of Andrew Brown Jr. at the hands of N.C. police
- Witnesses on the scene claim that Brown was shot while driving away from authorities.
- The Judge ruled that the family shall be granted access to view 25 seconds of 1 out of 5 videos.
- Brown’s family held a press brief after the decision. with the results of an autopsy they requested showing a bullet to the back of the head being the cause of death.
America’s “most wanted” Mayor
Federal Investigators execute search warrants on Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office as part of an investigation into wether he broke lobbying laws as the Ex-president’s lawyer.
- The warrants used were filed under A.G. Barr but were actively blocked.
- Authorities confiscated electronic devices belonging to Giuliani.
- This shows an escalation of the federal probe into his business dealings in Ukraine.
A New York Post reporter resigns after claiming she was ordered to write a false story claiming federal officials gave Kamala’s 2019 children’s book “SUPER HEROES ARE EVERYWHERE” to young kids held at migrant shelters in “welcome kits”
- The reporter Laura Italiano tweeted:
- “The Kamala Harris story – an incorrect story I was ordered to write and which I failed to push back hard enough against – was my breaking point.”
- “It’s been a privilege to cover the City of New York for its liveliest, wittiest tabloid – a paper filled with reporters and editors I admire deeply and hold as friends. I’m sad to leave.”
Navy Destroyer teams up with drones to sink ship 250 miles away
- Using drones to act as scouts for the crewed ship allows the warships to remain hidden, protecting them from enemy attack.
- Unlike typical commercial propeller drones, the “drones” mentioned here are virtually un-manned jet planes
Hong Kong passes law to stop people from leaving
- Hong Kong has passed a new immigration law that includes powers to stop people entering or leaving the city, raising fears of Chinese mainland-style “exit bans” in the international business hub
- Activists, lawyers and some business figures have sounded the alarm over provisions in the bill, including one allowing the city’s immigration chief to bar people from boarding planes to and from the city
Encrypted messaging app Signal responds to DOJ subpoena for user data
- The app centered around privacy says it can’t comply with the request because “It’s impossible to turn over data that we never had access to in the first place”
- A similar subpoena was filed against Signal in 2016 receiving a similar response
Japan Holding back on the electric future
- Japan is the No. 1 producer of hybrid vehicles
- As other countries are ramping up production of fully electric cars, Japan seems to be taking a back seat
- Recently Volvo, BMW, and GM have all dedicated themselves to going fully electric by 2035 or earlier
- Japan plans to take advantage of the crossover period while relatively low gas prices and high milage that still make “Old School” engine cars an attractive option
NASA is working on a Mars Ascent Vehicle to return rock samples to earth
- NASA has tapped long time defense contractor Northrop Grumman to develop the Mars Ascent Propulsion System or “MAPS” for the Mars Ascent Vehicle or “MAV”
- This will be the engine powering the rocket that will leave the martian surface
- The contract with Northrop has a total value of $84.5 million.
- Samples should be reach earth in 10 to 12 years
Joe Biden’s dog Major moved from White House following “behavioral issues”
- Major, one of Biden’s 2 dogs, has reportedly been Jumping, barking, and charging at White House staff and security
- Both Major and Champ were removed
- Major is the White House’s first Shelter Dog
- “They have to take the elevator, they’re not used to that, and they have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them. So that’s what I’ve been obsessed with, getting everybody settled and calm” -Dr. Jill Biden
Plasma Space Hurricane
- A swirling mass of plasma above the North Pole was observed for the first time on earth
- The phenomena was caused by solar winds consisting of electromagnetic radiation
- We have spotted this before on Jupiter and Saturn but they have much stronger magnetic fields than Earth
- It has been theorized for years that this might occur here on earth but never observed on earth before
Perseverance rover takes it’s first steps…or rolls
- After landing successfully, NASA is testing the onboard mechanisms to check for damage or malfunction
- So far key parts such as the camera array, robotic arm, and other sensors seem to be working perfectly
- The rover moved forward in a straight line 13.12 feet (or about 2 Michael Jordans)
- It then turned 150 degrees to the left and went back 2.5 meters or (1 and 1 tenth the height of Shaq)
Scientists have discovered that flatworms can see color without eyes
- Flatworms have “cup shaped” eye like divots with one photoreceptor each, allowing them to vaguely sense light and dark
- In a new discovery, they have been shown to be able to distinguish between colors which is seemingly impossible
- Flat worms can regrow a new head and brain after decapitation
- Using this trait, scientists discovered that colors were only distinguishable after allowing the brain to develop enough connections to grow
- This shows that even the pinpoint brain of a flatworm has the complexity to infer color from shades of light and dark
Today, astroid 99942 Apophis will pass through the zone of High-Altitude satellites
- The astroid will pass by again closer on April 13, 2029
- Apophis is roughly 1,000 feet across and was discovered in 2004
- Early estimates suggested a collision with earth in 2029 but scientists have ruled that possibility out
Amazon faces off with Union seeking employees in Alabama
- Employees at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama are preparing to vote on the formation of a Union
- The company has posted advertising around the warehouse to “Inform employees of all the details associated with joining a union”
- In other words they are actively discouraging employees to unionize with fright tactics
World’s first space hotel to begin construction in low Earth orbit in 2025
- The first private space station is set to be complete with restaurants, cinemas and rooms for up to 400 guests
- Experts from Orbital Assembly Corporation plan to build a circular “spinning wheel” with over 25 pods attached around the outer edge
- So far there have been no details of what it will cost to build or stay in have been revealed by the firm
- Could be operational by 2027
Dolly Parton receives Modern vaccine, which she helped fund
- She received her shot from long time friend Dr. Naji Abumraad at Vanderbilt Hospital
- Dr. Abumraad was the person who convinced her to make a donation to Moderna
- Before receiving her shot she said: “I just want to say to all of you cowards out there: Don’t be such a chicken squat. Get out there and get your shot!”
Amazon starts campaign for $15 minimum wage
- Amazon is fighting for a national minimum wage increase amongst Union quarrels
- The company raised it’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018
- Studies have shown that businesses in areas with amazon warehouses have seen a disproportionate hike in average wages since 2018
China sends warning shot to India
- A skirmish on the china, India border last year at the remote Galwan Valley led to troops bashing each other to death with rocks and clubs
- A study shows that as the standoff continued in the Himalayas, taking at least two dozen lives, Chinese malware was flowing into the control systems that manage electric supply across India, along with a high-voltage transmission substation and a coal-fired power plant.
- 20 million residents in Mumbai are now without power and China is the leading culprit
- This appears to be a warning shot to india to discontinue border skirmishes or risk losing power across the country
SolarWinds Officials Blame an intern for their infamous hack
- In a joint hearing on Friday, former SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson testified before representatives from the House Oversight and Homeland Security Committees
- The password “solarwinds123”, which protected a server at the company, was “related to a mistake an intern made, and they violated our password policies.” Thompson explained to lawmakers
- “As soon as it was identified and brought to the attention of my security team, they took that down,” Thompson said.
- The password security problem dates back to at least 2018, although testimony provided by SolarWinds on Friday indicates that it could go back even further.
Pilot sees “Cylindrical object” fly overhead
- Blogger Steve Douglass accidentally intercepted a radio transmission from American Airlines flight 2292 with a radio scanner at 1:19 p.m. CST on Sunday
- The pilot of the plane saw and reported a cylindrical object moving overhead at high speeds to the control tower
- The control tower didn’t have any targets on radar corresponding to the sighting
- After an investigation the FAA released this statement: “A pilot reported seeing an object over New Mexico shortly after noon local time on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. FAA air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes.”
Trump to claim control of the GOP
- Trump will speak at CPAC as the keynote speaker
- He is reported to declare himself the “…presumptive 2024 nominee”
- 2022 primary challenges to republicans who have “crossed” him are to be expected
- “I may not have Twitter or the Oval Office, but I’m still in charge.” Donald J Trump
Endangered species cloned for the first time
- For the first time, scientists have cloned an endangered U.S. species: a black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann, whose donor has been dead for more than 30 years.
- When Willa the ferret died in 1988, scientists froze her with hopes to return her genetic material to the ferret species.
- All black-footed ferrets today were bred from a group of just seven surviving animals.
New gene-editing Cancer therapy shows potential
- In a new study, Dr Daniel Rosenblum, and his team at the University of Tel-Aviv have developed a cancer therapy which uses CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to kill cancer cells
- clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats
- CRISPR: walks along the DNA and can precisely find, and edit specific sections of the sequence
- Eliminated muscular dystrophy, cure liver disease, make human cells immune to HIV
- Current treatments aren’t precise and have many side effects. This would be painless, and infinitely more precise
Rep Alexandria Acasio Cortez raises 1 million dollars for Texas relief in 4 hours
- The representative announced an attempt to raise money for five separate Texas organizations
- The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Ending Community Homeless Coalition (ECHO), Family Eldercare, Houston Food Bank, and Feeding Texas
- Within a couple of hours, Ocasio-Cortez announced they’d amassed $325,000 and announced a goal of $1 million by midnight.
Feds Seize over 1000 pounds of drugs in the Bay Area found in tires
- One of the biggest busts in history
- This seizure was worth Hundreds of thousands of dollars
- 12 members of the Sinaloa Cartel were indicted on trafficking charges
- The Sinaloa Cartel is one of the biggest cartels in Mexico
Mars Lander touches down today
- Mars Rover Perseverance will touch down today after a 7 month Journey
- They are going to a site called Jessero that is thought to have the best chances of finding life
- The Lander will glide through the atmosphere using thrusters to steer towards the landing sight
- 5th rover from NASA to land on mars
World’s first commercial space station raises $130 million
- Axiom Space completes it’s Series B funding round
- After finishing a NASA ISS addition, Axion plans to build a 100% private space station
- They have made the first private modules on the ISS
- They are also working with Tom Cruise to film a reality show where contestants fight over a seat on a commercial flight to the new station
- Tom cruise is also slated to film a movie in space with Axiom
Texas Governor calls investigation into grid operator
- The ERCOT ordered rotating power outages to manage high demand for electricity
- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” Abbott said in his statement. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable.”
Discovery links Stone Henge to its original site
- A series of stone holes and a circular mound identical to stone henge was found in Wales
- The found henge has an identical 110 meter diameter and stone holes aligned on the Midsomer solstice
- The henge was apparently dragged 140 miles from Ireland to England 900 years ago
- They found an identical cross-section hole for the bluestone which certified the match
- The original myth around the henge is the Merlin the wizard leading men to Ireland to capture a magical stone circle called the “Giant’s Dance” and rebuilt it in England
Magic Toad Going extinct
- The Sonoran Desert toad AKA the Bufo Alvarius
- These toads are harvested for their secretions containing 5-MeO-DMT
- Due to a gain in popularity in recent years, they are being constantly abused and driven to endangerment
- Classified as endangered in California, and “threatened” in New Mexico
Pirate skeletons found from 1717 off of Cape Cod
- 6 skeletons were found off the coast of Cape Cod from 300 years ago
- Thought to be the remains of “Black Sam” based on DNA analysis
- Captain Samuel Bellamy was the wealthiest Pirate in recorded history and a face of the “Golden Age of Piracy”
- The shipwreck was found with with treasure chests of Gems, Gold, silver spoons and other artifacts
Potentially habitable planet spotted in Earth’s backyard
- Proxima B was found orbiting Proxima Centauri 4.37 light years away
- It is in the Habitable zone, which is a lot closer for red dwarfs
- Part of the Alpha Centauri system
- Probably tidal locked
- Red dwarfs can live hundreds of times longer than our sun
Fin whale songs can reveal hidden features of the ocean floor
- The sounds can penetrate Earth’s crust as seismic waves, illuminating its structure
- Fin whale call among loudest in the ocean
- Recorded by seismic instruments on the ocean floor
- As loud as 189 decibels and were thought to be pulses from earthquakes
- Scientists used their sounds to map the ocean floor for 2.5 to 4.9 hours long using 54 ocean-bottom seismometers in the northeast Pacific Ocean
China’s Tianwen-1 enters orbit around Mars
- Entered Orbit on Feb 10th following a 202 day journey
- Initiated a 15 minute burn to slow down into an orbit
- 530 pound rover to descend in May or June
- Orbiter equipped with High powered camera, radar etc
- Rover equipped to search the distribution of water ice in and beneath the surface
Elon Musk says Neuralink monkey can play video games with its mind
- During an appearance on the app Clubhouse for about an hour and 37 minutes
- “We’ve already got a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull, and the tiny wires, who can play video games using his mind,”
- He says “One of the things we’re trying to figure out is, can we have the monkeys play mind-Pong with each other?” “that would be pretty cool”
- Senior VP of PETA Kathy Guillerma “Elon Musk is no primatologist, or he’d never suggest a monkey who’s strapped to a chair with a metal device implanted in his skull and forced to watch video games all day is anything but miserable,”
- We should have new video’s on their progress in a month
Microsoft patents AI that lets you talk to the dead
- images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages
- “The specific person [who the chat bot represents] may correspond to a past or present entity (or a version thereof), such as a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, a celebrity, a fictional character, a historical figure, a random entity etc”
- The specific person may also correspond to oneself (e.g., the user creating/training the chat bot
- 2D or 3D models of specific people being generated via images and depth information, or video data
Reddit banned a group of WallStreetBets moderators after they staged an attempted coup
- WallStreetBets’ moderators staged an attempted coup on Wednesday to kick out dissenting mods
- Two waves of bans hit the WallStreetBets mods, one from themselves and one from Reddit
- Some old moderators have been reinstated but the future of the sub remains unclear
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