U.S. Military Launches AV, Smart City Pilot at Fort Carson
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is currently involved in a multiyear research project to understand how smart city technologies can be used and deployed in military installations. Some of that research will center on Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This specifically includes a two-year autonomous shuttle pilot project being developed for the base as a partnership among the military, the city of Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Boulder and US Ignite, a nonprofit charged with growing smart city projects in communities across the country. US Ignite was awarded a $3.9 million contract by the ERDC to help the military explore how to integrate a shared AV shuttle into the community, serving on- and off-base shuttle needs. The project also includes testing other devices such as environmental sensors. The project will also explore the use of data, and data sharing among different entities like the city and the base, particularly as next-generation transportation platforms like ride-hailing, micro-mobility and other technologies become increasingly commonplace. “The hope is that these technologies could lead to saving money and increasing efficiency, as well as improving the quality of life and safety for service members and their families,” said a program manager with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). (GovTech)
An airline passenger is raising a stink after a fellow traveler pulled the ultimate no-no in airplane etiquette: dangling their feet over her headrest.
A photo of the offender’s space-violating soles has since gone viral on Reddit, sparking shock and revulsion over the heinous act. The image depicts a pair of dirty feet hanging over the head of an unidentified female passenger — who is visibly perturbed in the selfie shot. It appears her fellow travelers sympathize. The incriminating pic has accumulated over 1,000 comments, with many posting cries of “that is so wrong” and “this is way beyond mildly infuriating.” The poster didn’t disclose on which airline the infraction occurred. But fortunately, some social media Samaritans shared hilarious suggestions on how passengers can ward off intrusive toes in the future. “Fake a sneeze, and flick a bunch of water on their feet,” submitted one comment section comedian. “Order something to eat and use the fork to poke the feet,” advised another. In-flight foot infringements have become an unfortunate trend of late. This past September, an American Airlines flyer revolted the internet after her foot blister popped and splattered her fellow passengers with blood. (Reddit)
NASA detects oxygen changes on Mars it’s ‘struggling to explain’
Four months after the stunning announcement that NASA’s Curiosity rover detected an “unusually high” level of methane on Mars, the government space agency said that oxygen “behaves in a way that so far scientists cannot explain” on the Red Planet. The Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the Gale Crater since it landed on Mars in August 2012, has been analyzing the air using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. It found that the oxygen in the atmosphere did not behave in the same way that nitrogen and argon did, following “a predictable season pattern, waxing and waning in concentration in Gale Crater throughout the year relative to how much CO2 is in the air.” Instead, the amount of oxygen in the air throughout the spring and summer rose by as much as 30 percent, then dropped to levels that were predicted by known chemistry in the fall. “This pattern repeated each spring, though the amount of oxygen added to the atmosphere varied, implying that something was producing it and then taking it away,” NASA wrote in a statement. Mars’ atmosphere is comprised of 95 percent carbon dioxide, 2.6 percent molecular nitrogen, 1.9 percent argon, 0.16 percent oxygen and 0.06 percent carbon monoxide. For comparison purposes, Earth’s atmosphere is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 0.9 percent argon and 0.03 percent carbon dioxide and trace amounts of other elements. The researchers attempted to see if there were errors and checked to make sure SAM was working properly, but they did not find any issues, leaving them baffled. The Curiosity rover does not have any instruments that will allow for the discovery of where the methane and oxygen are originating from. NASA hopes the Curiosity rover, which “has a few more years before its nuclear power system degrades enough to significantly limit operations,” can provide additional clues about the planet prior to the launch of the Mars 2020 rover mission. (NASA)
Facebook And Instagram Removed More Than 12 Million Pieces Of Child Porn
Facebook removed tens of millions of posts, photos and videos over the past six months for violating its terms of service that restrict the use of child pornography, drug and gun sales, and terrorism. The company revealed its sweeping efforts to police its own network in its latest biannual transparency report, which includes data from Instagram for the first time. Facebook says it identifies most of the content automatically using artificial intelligence and advanced software before users can ever see it. Perhaps the most shocking detail in the report is the dramatic increase in the removal of child pornography. Facebook says that it removed about 11.6 million pieces of content it deemed to be child nudity and sexual exploitation of children in the third quarter, roughly double the number of pieces of content removed for the same reason in the first quarter. On Instagram, it removed 1.2 million photos and videos involving child nudity or exploitation over the second and third quarters. (Forbes)
The Milky Way’s black hole kicked a star out of our galaxy
Astronomers have spotted a star speeding through our galaxy at more than 3,728,227 mph. And in 100 million years, it will leave the Milky Way for good. But where did it come from and why is it in such a hurry to leave? Astronomers using the 3.9-meter Anglo-Australian Telescope at the Australian National University’s Siding Spring Observatory discovered the star and conducted follow-up measurements to track its path. The astronomers were looking for the remains of small galaxies that orbit the Milky Way. The telescope they were using can measure about 400 targets at a time. Instead, they found a star on the outskirts of the galaxy that had been kicked there by the supermassive black hole at the center. The black hole is known as Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*. The black hole is 4.2 million times more massive than our sun. If the black hole interacted with a binary star system that got to close, the results can be tragic for the star system. The star is 29,000 light-years away from Earth and it was kicked away by the black hole about five million years ago. The astronomers plan to keep tracking the star and gain a more precise measurement of its velocity and position, thanks to the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite, according to study author and ARC Future Fellow at the Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. (CNN)
FBI Reports Dip In Hate Crimes, But Rise In Violence
While the number of reported hate crimes dipped slightly in 2018, violence against individuals rose to a 16-year high, according to numbers released by the FBI. The FBI’s annual tally counted 7,120 hate crimes reported last year, 55 fewer than the year before. The main concern for extremism trackers, however, is the rising level of violence. The report showed an increase in the number of “crimes against persons,” such as intimidation, assault and homicide. Hate crimes targeting people accounted for 61% of all hate crimes in 2018, according to a co-author of a report that analyzes law enforcement data. The FBI recorded 24 murders classified as hate crimes in 2018, up from 15 in 2017. Other notable findings include:
- In hate crimes fueled by racism, African Americans continue to be the most frequently targeted, though anti-black incidents overall fell to a record low share of all hate crime in 2018.
- There was a mixed picture for religious minorities: Anti-Muslim incidents decreased for the second year in a row, but still make up nearly 15% of religiously motivated acts. Anti-Sikh attacks tripled between 2017 and 2018.
- Anti-Semitic homicides in the U.S. reached their highest level ever as a result of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people in October 2018.
- Latinos continued to experience an increase in racially motivated incidents. Such incidents rose 13% over one year and 48% over five years.
- The LGBTQ community also faced bias-motivated attacks in 2018. Incidents targeting gay males increased by nearly 7%, and anti-transgender hate crimes rose nearly 34%.
- Anti-Latino, anti-gay, anti-Asian, anti-disability, anti-transgender, anti-Sikh and anti-white hate crimes increased in 2018.
- Crimes against property, like vandalism and robbery, decreased by 19% from 2017 to 2018.
The FBI report relies on data collected from state, tribal, local and federal law enforcement agencies. In 2018, more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies participated in the Hate Crime Statistics Program, though a little more than 2,000 agencies reported hate crime incidents. The number of participating agencies decreased by less than 1%, which corresponds with the drop in incidents. (FBI)
Deadly superbugs pose greater threat than previously estimated
Drug-resistant germs sicken about 3 million people every year in the United States and kill about 35,000, representing a much larger public health threat than previously understood, according to a long-awaited report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new estimates show that, on average, someone in the United States gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds, and every 15 minutes, someone dies. Bacteria, fungi and other germs that have developed a resistance to antibiotics and other drugs pose one of the gravest public health challenges and a baffling problem for modern medicine. Scientists, doctors and public health officials have warned of this threat for decades, and the new report reveals the top dangers and troubling trends. More pathogens are developing new ways of fending off drugs designed to kill them, and infections are spreading more widely outside of hospitals. No new classes of antibiotics have been introduced in more than three decades. The report highlighted some successes. Hospitals have improved their methods for tracking and slowing the spread of resistant germs, and deaths from superbug infections there have decreased by nearly 30 percent since 2013. Experts say everyone can help control many of these pathogens by practicing basic prevention: good hand hygiene, vaccination, safe food handling and safe sex. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
President Trump pardons 2 ex-military officers
President Donald Trump on Friday (11/15) issued full pardons to two former military officers implicated in improper killings. The pardon of former Green Beret Major Mathew Golsteyn (who was accused of murdering a suspected bomb-maker while deployed in Afghanistan) circumvents a court martial that had been scheduled for February at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and has argued that the Afghan was a legal target because of his behavior at the time of the shooting. President Trump has tweeted in the past that Golsteyn is a “US Military hero” who could face the death penalty “from our own government.” President Trump also issued a full pardon for Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who’d been found guilty of second-degree murder after nine members of his platoon testified he ordered soldiers to open fire on three men, also in Afghanistan. In the same statement issued by the White House, President Trump ordered a promotion for Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Edward R. Gallagher, who had been bumped down to a lower pay grade after he was convicted in July of posing for a photograph with the corpse of an ISIS fighter while on deployment in Iraq in 2017 — but cleared of murder charges stemming from the fighter’s fatal stabbing. (Military Times)
Cops find 26 kids behind phony wall in Colorado day care
Police checking out reports of an overcrowded daycare in Colorado at first found no kids there at all — then made a shocking discovery. Day care workers had hidden 26 preschoolers in a basement behind a false wall, authorities said. Cops responded to the Play Mountain Place in Colorado Springs last week and while they didn’t see any kids at first, they began hearing noises coming from below, officials said. The sounds were coming from a phony wall which hid a secret staircase to a finished basement where two adults and the 26 kids were, authorities said. None of the kids (who were all under the age of 3) appeared to be injured or held against their will, police said. The day care’s license was suspended, but no one was charged in the incident. (KKTV)
Monday Is Magically Back With Sparkles And:
- European Antibiotic Awareness Day
- Married To A Scorpio Support Day
- Mickey Mouse Day
- National Apple Cider Day
- National Princess Day
- Push-button Phone Day