Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The biggest and brightest moon of the year will grace the night skies tonight

April’s full moon is known as the “Pink Moon,” and is named after a pink wildflower called the creeping phlox that blooms this time of the year. Many of the names given to each of the year’s full moons come from indigenous cultures in Europe and the Americas. April’s full moon is also known as Egg Moon, Fish Moon and Sprouting Grass Moon. Tonight, the full moon will appear bigger because it will be a “supermoon” – that happens when the moon is at perigee, the point of its orbit where it is closest to Earth. (The Oregonian)


Alabama community throws huge car parade to celebrate woman’s 100th birthday

When a woman in Foley, Alabama, was turning 100, the community naturally wanted to celebrate. Her daughter, along with members of the Foley United Methodist Church, where the lady has been a member for 25 years, began planning an elaborate birthday party for the soon-to-be-centenarian. Unfortunately, with the coronavirus outbreak, plans were dashed and the party was put on hold until the family came up with an idea. With only four days before the woman’s birthday on April 2, the family got started organizing a different kind of party. Friends quickly got on board to make sure the event came together. The birthday lady didn’t suspect a thing until a police cruiser drove by, leading the way for the parade. The family was surprised by the sheer amount of people who turned out. Neighbors, as well as friends and family members, were clearly happy to be part of the celebration, too. (Fox News)


A potential pancreatic cancer killer

Researchers at Columbia University have found that a drug compound in development to treat a rare kidney stone illness may prove effective in the fight against pancreatic cancer. The drug compound has been found to starve pancreatic cancer cells in mice of an amino acid called cysteine, which they depend on to survive and spread. And because healthy cells do not require significant amounts of cysteine, such a treatment may leave normal cells unharmed. Pancreatic cancer is among the most deadly forms of cancer, with average survival rates a mere six months following a patient’s diagnosis. (New Atlas)


Turning brain activity into text

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have developed an AI-powered system that can translate brain activity into text. The system learns to pair brainwaves with words by recording the brain activity of study participants with electrode implants in their brain as they read specific passages aloud. With the help of machine learning techniques, the system can begin to produce text by simply analyzing a subject’s brain activity. It’s very early days, but such tech could one day allow people who cannot speak or type the ability to communicate with others. (The Guardian)


A gender reveal party in Florida went wrong and sparked a 10-acre fire

Firefighters were called to a home in Brevard County, Florida, after reports that a blaze was possibly ignited by fireworks, fire officials said. But when they arrived, firefighters realized some explosives had been in the mix. “We were informed that it was caused by a gender reveal using Tannerite and a weapon,” the Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief said. Tannerite is a highly explosive substance often used as a rifle target. The blaze was fast moving in heavy fueland ended up burning 10 acres before it was completely contained within hours, county fire officials and the Florida Forest Service said. No homes were damaged, the Brevard County Fire Rescue said. The county had been under a burn ban, including outdoor activities such as campfires, bonfires and trash burning, because of the dry conditions in the region. The order comes with a fine of up to $500. It’s unclear whether anyone faced a fine. (WESH)


People are re-creating famous artworks with their pets and whatever else is lying around

The art world has gotten online since the coronavirus pandemic devastated everyday life. With museums closed for now, institutions have launched virtual tours and live streams for us to enjoy while we wait for a return to normalcy. A new level of art appreciation was reached recently when the Getty Museum challenged the Internet to browse its online collection and re-create works of art at home. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users rose to the challenge valiantly, using their self-quarantined inventory to whip together bootleg artwork. No household object, or tenant, was spared in the process. Pets, children, cans of tuna, toilet paper and bonsai trees are just some of the tools used to make this magic. (The Washington Post)


Coronavirus could impact the brain

We know the coronavirus can wreak havoc on the heart and lungs. Now add to that list- the brain. “It’s not necessarily the virus, but it’s the antibodies that the patient makes that are cross reactive with the brain,” said the President and CEO of Moleculera Labs. He is studying this very connection between infections, like COVID-19, and the immune system attacking the brain at his lab in Oklahoma City. A recent study out of China found that almost half of patients with severe respiratory symptoms from COVID-19 also had neurological symptoms, including stroke, brain hemorrhage, and impaired consciousness. Recently, researchers documented the first case in the US of a COVID-19 patient developing a rare form the brain disease, encephalitis. Researchers warns even those with the coronavirus who don’t show symptoms could end up with some less severe neurological effects. Researchers are bracing for an influx of patients with these sorts of neurological problems once the stay at home orders are lifted. (Fox 25)


Couple in India names newborn twins Corona and Covid

A couple in India named their newborn twins Corona and Covid after they were delivered during the country’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown. “The delivery happened after facing several difficulties and therefore, my husband and I wanted to make the day memorable,” the 27-old mother said. Both parents say the names will remind their children as they grow up about the hardships faced during the lockdown. And, hopefully, the family’s triumph over adversity. The healthy twins, a boy and a girl, were delivered in a government hospital last week in the state of Chhattisgarh. The lockdown in India that began March 24 has resulted in the suspension of train and airline service, and effectively kept 1.3 billion Indians at home for all but essential trips to places, like food markets or pharmacies. (Fox News)


Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for virus

This is the first known infection in an animal or a tiger anywhere. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. Agriculture officials are warning people infected with the coronavirus to avoid their pets, like they would other people. “Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people,” agriculture officials said in a statement. “Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.” ( Associated Press )


Police use ‘Purge’ siren to signal curfew in Louisiana city

Police in Crowley, Louisiana blared a siren signaling the start of curfew — unknowing that it sounded similar to the alarm in the horror movie “The Purge.” Crowley police sounded the siren recently, prompting complaints from residents familiar with the horror franchise. Crowly Police Chief said he was not familiar with the movies. The department will no longer use any type of siren to note curfew hours. The siren sounded eerily similar to the alarm in the movie “The Purge,” where it signaled all crimes, including murder, were legal for a 12-hour period. (KATC)


COVID-19 can be transmitted via ‘aerosolized feces,’ study warns

Scientists are still learning a great deal about COVID-19 and how it spreads, but they have learned it can be transmitted via “aerosolized feces,” according to a new study. The research, published by Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, notes it can be transmitted via a phenomenon known as “toilet plume,” placing greater importance that people close the toilet lid when flushing. “The studies demonstrate that potentially infectious aerosols may be produced in substantial quantities during flushing,” the researchers wrote. “Aerosolization can continue through multiple flushes to expose subsequent toilet users. Some of the aerosols desiccate to become droplet nuclei and remain adrift in the air currents. However, no studies have yet clearly demonstrated or refuted toilet plume-related disease transmission, and the significance of the risk remains largely uncharacterized.” Presently, there are four known possible methods of COVID-19 transmission: direct/indirect contact, droplets, airborne (passing through the air) and the aforementioned issues with the digestive tract. (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology)


Sales on alcoholic beverages have spiked by 55 percent

According to market research firm, Nielsen, hard liquors, including tequila and gin, as well as cocktails are the favorites among consumers. Sprits sales increased by 75 percent compared to the same dates in 2019. Beer is the next most popular drink, with purchases up by 66 percent, then wine, up 42 percent year-on-year. Nielsen’s vice president of beverage alcohol, Danelle Kosmal, predicted that we’ve probably seen the peak of consumer demand for alcohol. “Data for the week ending 28 March will be very telling, and I think it will be a better indicator of the new normal in how consumers are responding to the crisis and their new normal, centered around the home.”  (Newsweek)


Tuesday Breezes In With:

  • Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide
  • International Beaver Day
  • International Snailpapers Day
  • Metric System Day
  • National Beer Day
  • National Girl Me Too Day
  • National Handmade Day
  • National Making The First Move Day
  • National Sexual Assault Awareness Day of Action (SAAM)
  • No Housework Day
  • World Health Day
  • World Health Organization Day

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