Monday, August 10, 2020

CBD in the Magic Kingdom results in trouble

A 69-year-old North Carolina grandmother who claims she was arrested at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for having CBD oil in her bag is following through with her threat to sue for a huge payday. A Civil rights attorney just filed suit against Disney, the Orlando Police Department, and the Orange County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department on behalf of the grandma. According to the lawsuit, she was arrested and detained by cops at Disney World in April 2019, even though she claims the CBD oil was purely for medical purposes related to her arthritis, and didn’t contain THC. She claims to have been handcuffed in front of her 8 and 10-year-old grandchildren, and says the entire ordeal was traumatizing for the little ones. In the documents, she admitted she panicked while being placed in the back of a police car and began vomiting, but was denied medical attention and subjected to a miserable 15-hour ordeal. She was further humiliated because cops allegedly made her strip down at the jail for a cavity search. Prosecutors did not pursue charges and closed the case against her, although she said cops even tested the CBD oil and found no trace of THC. In her suit, she is alleging assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment, defamation, emotional distress, and she wants more than $18 million in damages plus additional damages for her husband and other family members. (TMZ)


Satellite images reveal Antarctic penguin haunts

British scientists say there are more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than previously thought based on evidence of bird droppings spotted from space. A study published recently by scientists at the British Antarctic Survey counted 61 emperor penguin colonies dotted around the southernmost continent, 11 more than the number previously confirmed. Scientists used images from Europe’s Sentinel-2 satellite mission to look for smudges on the ice that indicated large amounts of penguin guano. The majestic emperor penguin breeds in remote areas where temperatures can drop as low as minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Researchers have long relied on aerial photographs and satellites to spot colonies of the flightless marine birds. Emperor penguins are vulnerable to the loss of sea ice predicted to occur because of man-made global warming. Some researchers suggest the number of colonies could drop by more than 30% by the end of the century. Some of the newly discovered colonies are located far offshore, on sea ice that has formed around grounded icebergs and which is particularly at risk of disappearing. A British Antarctic Survey geographer and the study’s lead author, called the latest count “good news” but noted that the newly spotted colonies were small. (ABC News)


Here are the worst roads in the nation

By forcing many Americans to stay home, COVID-19 created a rare opportunity for states to accelerate much-needed road repairs without interrupting daily commutes. With traffic reduced, departments of transportation across the country went to work fixing bridges, highways, and mass transit systems—many of which were long overdue for repair. According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, 26% of major urban roads in the United States are in poor condition. Research from AAA showed that potholes lead to $3 billion per year in vehicle repair costs across the country. Some statistics for the entire United States:

  • Percentage of all major roads in poor condition–26.4%
  • Interstates and freeways in poor condition–5.8%
  • Arterials in poor condition–26.4%
  • Minor arterials in poor condition–34.5%
  • Daily vehicle–miles per capita–24.9
  • Miles of road per 1,000 people–4.9

Top 5 Urban areas with the worst road conditions:

1. San Francisco–Oakland, CA
2. San Jose, CA
3. Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, CA
4. New York–Newark, NY–NJ–CT
5. Detroit, MI



Tourist damages 200-year-old Italian sculpture while posing for a photo

A historic sculpture in Italy is now missing some of its toes, thanks to an overeager tourist. The man damaged the 200-year-old sculpture recently while posing for a photo, the museum said. The tourist, who is from Austria, broke several toes off of the original plaster of, “Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as Venus Victrix,” at the Museo Antonio Canova in Possagno. The museum said the visitor was leaning on the sculpture, trying to mimic its pose for a photo op. Video footage confirms that the man was sitting directly on the sculpture as another person appears to take a photo. The man stands up, turns around to view the apparent damage, before quickly walking away. The visitor left the museum without notifying anyone of the damage, the museum said in a Facebook post on Saturday. A museum official noticed the damage a few minutes after the incident occurred and declared an emergency situation. The sculpture was commissioned in 1804 by Prince Camillo Borghese and cast by Antonio Canova, one of Italy’s most prominent neoclassical sculptors. The one displayed in Northern Italy is the original plaster cast for the iconic marble version, which is in Rome’s Galleria Borghese. The museum said that it has identified the tourist responsible for the damage based on surveillance footage and a new log of visitors required since the country reopened from its coronavirus lockdowns. Since then, the man has since turned himself in. (CBS News)


Thousands of coronavirus deaths ‘will be wiped off the UK’s official toll’ after urgent review into counting fiasco that included people who had recovered and died of other causes in the toll

UK’s Health Secretary last month ordered an urgent review into how daily death counts are calculated in England because of a ‘statistical flaw’. Academics found Public Health England’s methods meant ministers count victims as anyone who died after ever testing positive for Covid-19 — even if they were hit by a bus after beating the disease months later. It would’ve meant that, technically, no-one could ever recover from the virus and all 265,000 of England’s confirmed patients would eventually have had their deaths attributed to the disease. The blunder could see up to 4,000 deaths removed from England’s official toll of 41,749, according to reports. One of the leading experts who uncovered the flaw said that more than 1,000 people have had their deaths wrongly recorded as caused by Covid-19. The statistical flaw was uncovered by professors from Oxford University and the University of East Anglia. (Daily Mail)


Insurers’ pandemic profits soar

America’s biggest health insurers are reporting mammoth profits. With expensive elective surgeries postponed due to the pandemic, and people generally frequenting doctors’ offices and hospitals less due to a fear of contagion, companies such as Anthem, Humana and UnitedHealth Group are revealing blockbuster earnings. Under the Affordable Care Act their profits are capped, with the excess to be distributed through rebates, but it’s unlikely consumers will see any extra money soon. (The New York Times)


Is the job market slowing?

More indicators are suggesting the job market recovery slowed in July as a growing number of coronavirus cases prompted a new wave of business closures. While new jobless claims slipped to almost 1.2 million last week (the lowest since the outbreak began in March) they’ve now held above 1 million for 20 straight weeks. Private payroll data show a sharp brake in hiring last month, with companies adding 167,000 jobs after a revised 4.31 million in June. (Bloomberg News)


As many as 100 people involved in brawl at Anaheim, California, hotel

Two people suffered stab wounds and two were arrested after a large brawl at a Southern California hotel that involved as many as 100 people, police said. Officers found 60 to 100 people involved in a fight in a parking lot outside and in the lobby of the Cambria Hotel, according to an Anaheim police spokesman. “People did arm themselves with makeshift weapons. It appears they used broomsticks and the legs of chairs,” the spokesperson said. “It was obviously a chaotic scene.” Two people suffered lacerations that were described as stab wounds, but the injuries were not life-threatening. Every officer available, about 50 or 60, was dispatched to separate the two groups, as well as 10 officers from Orange County. There were no injuries to police or hotel staff, and the fight was contained to guests. The fight and what prompted it are under investigation. However, witnesses said that the fight was sparked after someone accidentally pushed a child into a pool. (KTLA)


‘Space dads’ Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken made prank calls in SpaceX’s Dragon capsule following splashdown in Gulf of Mexico

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken spent an hour waiting inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Capsule after splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico and to pass the time, the ‘space dads’ made a few prank calls. Doug Hurely revealed the mischievous endeavor during a press conference, saying the roller-coaster like trip home was ‘a lot to process’ and joked they were ‘making prank satellite phone calls’ – and suggested SpaceX CEO Elon Musk foot the bill for the calls. Hurley and Behnken made their historic water landing inside SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule – the first time this has been attempted in 45 years. Although the team did not elaborate on who they phoned while trapped in the capsule, NASA flight director Anthony Vareha shared he was pranked. Behnken’s wife, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, also received a call from the newly returned Crew Dragon. (Daily Mail)


President Trump has issued an order that would effectively ban TikTok in 45 days

Trump had already urged TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app’s U.S. unit before September 15th. The order alleges that TikTok obtains personal data from its users that could potentially be accessed by the Chinese Communist Party. The White House argues that Chinese authorities can use the app to track the movements of federal employees and use that information to “blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.” The government says the app “may also be used” by the Communist Party to spread misinformation. In a statement, TikTok said that collecting user data is “an industry standard for thousands of apps around the world.” It said that the app has never shared any user data with the Chinese government and accused the Trump administration of stoking fears “with no substantiation.” Microsoft is negotiating a possible deal with ByteDance over the acquisition of TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. (CNBC)


77 million-year-old fossil in Canada reveals dinosaurs got cancer too

A badly malformed Centrosaurus leg bone unearthed in the Alberta, Canada badlands in 1989 had originally been thought by paleontologists to be a healed fracture. But a fresh examination of the growth under a microscope and using a technique also employed in human cancer care determined it was actually a malignant tumor. “The cancer discovery makes dinosaurs more real,” says one of the study co-authors. “We often think of them as mythical creatures, robust and stomping around, but [the diagnosis shows] they suffered from diseases just like people.” Most cancers occur in soft tissues, which are not well-preserved in fossil records, noted a dinosaur enthusiast and chair of McMaster University’s medical faculty in Canada. Osteosarcoma is an aggressive bone cancer that still afflicts about three out of one million people each year. (RFI)


Beer brand and leather store unwittingly named after Māori word for ‘pubic hair’

A Canadian brewery and a leather store in New Zealand have found themselves in a hairy situation after using te reo Māori to unwittingly name their respective brands after pubic hair. Canadian brewery, Hell’s Basement, called its New Zealand Pale Ale Huruhuru, while a shop in the New Zealand capital, Wellington, gave its entire outlet the name. “Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation,” te reo Māori exponent and TV personality Te Hamua Nikora said on Facebook, after explaining that most Māori would use the word “huruhuru” as a reference to pubic hair. Nikora said he had contacted both the store and the brewery informing them of their mistake. (The Guardian)


10-year-old starts Little Advocates foundation to help those in need

A 10-year-old Anaheim, California boy started a foundation called Little Advocates to help with a variety of needs, from food drives to raising money for Make-A-Wish. For his upcoming 11th birthday, the boy set out to grant a wish for an Orange County boy diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. In a month, he surpassed his goal of $7,500 for the Make-a-Wish foundation. To celebrate all the good work, he organized an appreciation parade for the Anaheim police department. He’s just happy to help and grateful for those who join him. “My heart feels warmer than ever,” said admitted. “And I could totally see the future is bright because all these amazing kids are helping me.” (ABC 7)


Monday Comes Swooshing In With:

  • Assistance Dog Day (Monday of Assistance Dog Week)
  • Connecticut Day
  • Duran Duran Appreciation Day
  • Lazy Day
  • Paul Bunyan Day
  • Shapewear Day
  • Skyscraper Appreciation Day
  • Smithsonian Day
  • S’mores Day
  • World Lion Day

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