Thursday, September 3, 2020

Tropical Storm Nana develops, sets yet another Atlantic record

Tropical Storm Nana developed in the western Caribbean Sea, joining Tropical Storm Omar in the basin. Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 was dubbed by the National Hurricane Center after hurricane hunter planes flew through a “vigorous” system in the Caribbean and recorded 40-mph maximum sustained winds. Just over an hour later, the system was named Tropical Storm Nana as it became better organized with a notable center of circulation visible on satellite. Maximum sustained winds had increased to 50 mph with higher gusts. AccuWeather meteorologists say the system, which they have been monitoring for days, could strengthen further as it heads toward Central America. Additional strengthening is likely as Nana tracks over warm waters and through an environment with light wind shear. “As a result, we expect Nana to become a hurricane before making landfall”, AccuWeather’s lead hurricane expert said. The longer the system remains over very warm waters in the region, the greater the chance of additional strengthening prior to landfall. (Accuweather)


Florida cuts ties with Quest Diagnostics after data dump of nearly 75,000 old COVID-19 test results

The State of Florida has severed ties with one of the biggest names in coronavirus testing, saying the company failed to follow state law and report results in a timely manner. Officials with the Florida Department of Health and Division of Emergency Management announced Tuesday that they were cutting all ties with Quest Diagnostics. According to state officials, Quest failed to report tens of thousands of results – some of them months old. According to a news release from the state, Florida Governors office was informed that nearly 75,000 test results were going to be entered into the Department of Health’s coronavirus monitoring system. Some of the test results dated as far back as April, the state says. The state says the failure to report those results means most of the data in the dump will have historical significance but little impact on the current status of the pandemic in Florida. Quest told the state they notified everyone who tested positive of their results on time. Florida officials say that means the “unacceptable data dump” is a data issue and “does not impact the health of individuals or the spread of COVID-19 in Florida.” (WFLA)


Airline pilots reported seeing ‘a guy in a jetpack’ flying 3,000 feet over Los Angeles

Two pilots on two different flights reported seeing a man in a jetpack thousands of feet in the air above Los Angeles this past Sunday, prompting an investigation by authorities. An American Airlines pilot was approaching Los Angeles International Airport when he called in the sighting to air-traffic control, according to an audio log. The unidentified flying person was at the plane’s altitude, the pilot said, about 3,000 feet in the air. “Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jetpack,” the pilot said. “Only in LA,” an unidentified person said in the audio log. Another pilot, on a Southwest Airlines flight also reported seeing the individual in a jetpack and the air-traffic controllers radioed to another airline crew to warn them. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the sighting in a statement. The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office also confirmed it was aware of the sighting. A spokeswoman for the office said the FBI was working to determine what happened. (NBC Los Angeles)


Men with waists over 40 inches are 35% more likely to die of prostate cancer

Men who store fat around their midriff are in greater danger of dying from prostate cancer, research suggests. A man with 40inch waist or above has a 35 per cent higher risk of dying from the disease than one who wears a 35inch or lower trouser size. The Oxford University study, looking at more than 200,000 men, did not find an increased risk in people with higher overall body fat if it was spread around the body. This suggests it is the specific location of the fat that makes males more prone to the killer disease. Fat stored in the belly is considered the most dangerous type because it coats vital organs, such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. This may interfere with their normal function and promote the growth of cancerous cells, the researchers said. (Daily Mail)


The commander of Fort Hood has been removed from his post following the deaths of at least 15 soldiers connected to the troubled army base

Major General Scott Efflandt has been removed from his position as commander of the base and will also no longer take on the role of commander of a division at Fort Bliss, the US Army announced in a statement. The army will announce the name of a new commander for the 1st Armored Division in the coming days. The decision comes following a string of tragedies and deaths, including Vanessa Guillen, that have plagued the Texas Army base. Fifteen soldiers connected to Fort Hood have died this year alone, with foul play suspected in five of the deaths. The commanding general of US Army Forces Command, General Michael Garrett, has directed Major General John Richardson IV to formally assume the role of acting commander at Fort Hood, the statement read. There are several open investigations at Fort Hood already but this investigation will be a ‘”ore complete and comprehensive investigation that will delve into all activities and levels of leadership” at the addled base. The investigation will also be separate from the Independent Review of Fort Hood, which began back in August. Fort Hood has come under increasing scrutiny after at least 15 soldiers have died or disappeared from the base. (MSN News)


Plasma should not be considered standard care for coronavirus, NIH panel says

A National Institutes of Health panel said there’s no evidence backing the use of convalescent plasma to treat coronavirus patients and that doctors should not treat it as a standard of care until more study has been done. “There are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19,” the panel of more than three dozen experts said in a statement posted on the NIH website. The statement, which was posted quietly, contradicts the Trump Administration’s characterization of the treatment as “historic” and a “major advance” and directly refers to last week’s emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration. “Convalescent plasma should not be considered standard of care for the treatment of patients with COVID-19,” the committee, which evaluates treatments for coronavirus, said in the statement. (National Institutes of Health)


New Covid-19 study reveals more about possible risks to pregnant women

Researchers are learning more about what pregnant women may experience if they are infected with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Pregnant and recently pregnant women who are diagnosed with Covid-19 in the hospital appear to be less likely to have symptoms of fever and muscle pain but more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, according to new research. The study also found pregnant women with Covid-19 are at increased risk of delivering preterm, but preterm birth rates were not high. The researchers reviewed 77 studies on Covid-19 in pregnant and recently pregnant women, published from December 1 and June 26. Collectively, those studies included data on 13,118 pregnant and recently pregnant women with Covid-19, and 83,486 non-pregnant women of reproductive age who also had Covid-19. The researchers also found in those studies that pregnant women with Covid-19 are at increased risk of delivering preterm and their babies being admitted to the neonatal unit, although overall rates of spontaneous preterm births were not high. Also, stillbirth and neonatal death rates were low, the researchers found. (BMJ Medical Journal)


Dunkin’ and Harpoon Brewery are teaming up for their biggest collaboration to date with the introduction of new donut-infused beers

This year’s collaboration marks the first time beers have been brewed with actual donuts from Dunkin’. Starting in September 2020, the following Dunkin’-inspired coffee and donut-infused beers will be available for a limited time:

  • Harpoon Dunkin’ Boston Kreme: A “Boston Kreme Stout” that is brewed with real Dunkin’ donuts and cacao nibs, which add extra dough-like and chocolatey notes for an easy-drinking, creamy Dry Irish Stout.
  • Harpoon Dunkin’ Jelly Donut: Brewed with real Dunkin’ donuts and raspberry purée, this slightly hazy IPA offers bright notes of jelly and citrus from the addition of fruit-forward Hüll Melon and Citra hops.
  • Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin: Inspired by pumpkin latte, “Spiced Latte Ale” is brewed with real pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and a splash of coffee for a touch of espresso-like roast.
  • Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Porter: This returning fan-favorite is a classic American Porter that combines malty notes of chocolate, caramel, and toffee with the familiar flavor of Dunkin’ Original Blend coffee.

Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin will be available on draft and in bottled 6-packs as well as in the new Harpoon Dunkin’ Dozen mix pack, which includes three cans of each seasonal beer flavor. You can find the limited releases everywhere Harpoon is sold starting in September 2020. (Chew Boom)


The EPA issued updated rules on pollution limits that haven’t been updated in over 30 years

The rules cover water pollution that results from burning coal for power, pollution that can place a variety of toxic metals into the nation’s waterways. The 2020 regulations replace an Obama-era attempt to set more stringent rules to limit pollution, with the changes motivated in part by the EPA’s decision to avoid having the added costs of control measures push any coal plants out of business. Coal is the dirtiest form of electricity generation, with a lot of its problems caused by the release into the air of particulates, toxic metals like mercury, and harmful environmental chemicals like sulfates. The EPA has estimated that this contaminated water accounts for about 30 percent of all of the toxic pollutants releases in the United States. (Ars Technica)


“The First Degree,” a long-lost silent film, discovered in Illinois basement

A 1923 Midwestern murder mystery film that was thought to be lost forever like many others has been found in a basement in Illinois, thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic. A woman who works as the director of film transfer operations at the Chicago Film Archives uncovered the 1923 Midwestern murder mystery “The First Degree” during the pandemic when she finally had time for long-neglected reels that had come from a basement in Peoria, Illinois. “This is a film about sheep farming and blackmail,” she said. “And there’s a villain with a great mustache, and there’s a great dog!” It was thought to be lost forever, like 75% of other silent films. “In the film world, this is a pretty big deal,” said she said. “There’s a lot of folklore about lost films. It’s, there’s something — I don’t know if I can say ‘sexy’? It’s pretty sexy to find something like this.” (CBS News)


Man Robs Pizzeria After Applying For Job There, Leaves Contact Info Behind

In a bizarre incident, a 22-year-old man in Penssylvania decided to rob a family-run pizza restaurant right after applying for a job there. He stole a tip jar from Pizza D’Oro in North Catasauqua. He also used a knife to threaten an employee. The strangest part about the robbery? It happened right after he had filled out a job application with his personal information on it – including his name and address. He apparently had a change of heart right after filling out the job information, and decided to make off with the restaurant’s tip jar. According to an employee at the pizza place, the robber also left behind a backpack which contained multiple items that had his name on them, along with syringes and other potential drug paraphernalia. Authorities were reportedly able to locate the thief, who was correctly identified by employees in a lineup. He was arrested, and after being unable to post bail, he was booked at Northampton County Prison. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for September 11th. (WFMZ)


Two Large Pythons Crash Through Ceiling As They Were Fighting Over A Female

A man in Australia returned to his home on Monday to find two large pythons slithering on the floor. They had crashed through his kitchen ceiling. The shocked homeowner from Brisbane, Austrailia had to contact Brisbane North Snake Catchers and Relocation service to remove the two very large Coastal Carpet Pythons (Morelia spilota mcdowelli) in his house when he got home. Both snakes were said to be the fattest snakes the service has ever seen, as in the amount of muscle they had, adding that they were “very well fed.” One of the snakes measure 9.5 feet, while the other was 8.2 feet-long. The two male snakes were fighting over a female snake which has not yet been located. The two snakes were captured safely and released into a forest. (BBC)


Like all cool cats and kittens, Carole Baskin is going to “Dancing With the Stars.”

On the Netflix series “Tiger King”, Carole Baskin, who owns a big cat refuge, sought to shut down Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s for-profit breeding of big cats. His nickname is “Joe Exotic” and her signature line is “cool cats and kittens.” The reality TV star who became a pop culture sensation with Netflix’s docuseries “Tiger King” is joining the new crop of celebrity dancers that includes TV and film actress Anne Heche, former NBA star Charles Oakley and Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean. The new season premieres on ABC TV on September 14th. (Good Morning America Twitter)


Thursday Comes Slashing Down With:

  • National Day of Prayer for Victims of Hurricane Harvey
  • Skyscraper Day
  • U.S. Bowling League Day
  • Welsh Rarebit Day

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