Monday, September 14, 2020

Postal Service offering $50,000 reward for info related to mail carrier shooting

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person who shot a mail carrier in Chicago’s South Side last week. Chicago police said the 24-year-old woman was working when she was shot in both legs, her right buttock, her stomach area and the back of her head. Two speeding cars were firing shots out the window, witnesses at the scene told police. Chicago police do not believe the mail carrier was the intended target. If you have any information about the shooting, call 1-877-876-2455 to report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. (ABC 7)


Research suggests we are at our most miserable around the time we reach the age of 48

The study shows that our happiness levels resemble a U-shape, getting progressively worse until we’ve almost reached the half-century mark. By this point, our stress levels are at their highest, finances are stretched and those who still have hair are going rapidly grey. But on a more positive note, the only way is up. From the age of 48.3, life begins to turn a corner and we are practically full of the joys of spring by the time we reach our 70s. The study included data from some 500,000 individuals in 145 countries and found little difference between First World and developing nations. Respondents were asked the question “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?” and found those in their late 40s gave the most negative replies. The finding revealed that wellbeing in mid-life likely adds important support to the notion that being in one’s 40s and 50s exacerbates vulnerability to disadvantages and shocks. (Daily Mail)


California allows inmates to become firefighters

The California Governor signed legislation allowing inmate fire crew members to have careers as firefighters after completing their prison sentences. The new law comes as the state battles its worst wildfire season in recorded history. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said dozens of fires have burned some 3.1 million acres of land in recent weeks. The new law, AB 2147, eliminates barriers that previously barred former inmates from pursuing permanent jobs as firefighters. Under the law, former inmates can petition the state to expunge their records and waive parole time in order to have careers in emergency response. (Office of California Governor)


Kanye West’s ballot battle in Wisconsin has been dealt another blow, this time, by the strike of a grandfather clock

A circuit court judge ruled that the rapper, who missed a filing deadline by 14 seconds last month, cannot appear on the swing state’s presidential ballot as a third-party candidate. Kanye West’s campaign filed a lawsuit August 29th after the Wisconsin Board of Elections rejected his nomination papers over the missed deadline, arguing that state election law gave him until 5:01 p.m. local timer to file. But it’s not over yet: the case will likely be appealed to the state supreme court – which is dominated by conservatives. Kanye West, who has visited President Trump in the White House and calls himself a former supporter, has acknowledged that his campaign could damage former Vice President Joe Biden’s White House chances. He has spent nearly $6 million on his unlikely bid, almost all of it drawn from his own $1.3 billion fortune. Kanye West has already qualified to appear on at least 12 states’ ballots in November, mainly in Trump strongholds like Arkansas, Idaho, and Kentucky. He’s also a candidate in hotly contested Minnesota, which Trump lost by a razor-thin margin in 2016 — helped by the presence of third parties on the ballot. (Green Bay Press Gazette)


Naked man loiters at Dollar General

A naked man was arrested at the Dollar General in Gainesville, Florida after employees called authorities to report a suspicious man in the back of the store, sheriff’s deputies said. An arrest report states two female Dollar General employees called the police about a man they said was “lurking” inside and outside the store, and staring at them in a way that made them uncomfortable. When deputies arrived, the report states they found the man naked in a room marked “employees only.”  He told deputies that he was sexually frustrated, and the store employees had offered to have sex with him, which they both vehemently denied. Upon his arrest, deputies said he told them he was going to expose himself to the employees. He also said methamphetamine was fueling the exposures, the report said. The 39-year-old was charged with second-degree loitering. He was booked in the Alachua County Jail, and his bail set at $2,000. (The Gainesville Sun)


A woman who deliberately sawed off her hand has been jailed for insurance fraud

A 22-year-old woman from Slovenia, agreed with her boyfriend to sever her left hand above the wrist to claim about $700,000. But investigators found they had signed contracts with five insurance companies a year earlier. Her boyfriend was sentenced to three years in prison while his father received a one-year suspended sentence. She was given two years behind bars. In the hospital, she said she injured herself while sawing branches. Authorities said they left the hand behind to ensure the disability was permanent, but police recovered it and it was reattached. Prosecutors said that days before the incident, her partner searched online for information about how artificial hands work. (Daily Mail)


What to do when plans fall apart

The pandemic has thrown a wrench into just about everyone’s 2020 plans, big and small. The kinds of uncertainties we face today can rattle even the sturdiest among us. One way to cope with these shifts? We can try out “temporal distancing,” which lets us zoom out so we’re thinking beyond days and weeks to years and decades, according to researchers. Asking ourselves how we’d like to think back on these times can give us perspective that may ease our worries about day-to-day stumbles. (The New York Times)


62-year-old python at St. Louis Zoo lays eggs — apparently without male help

It’s been about two months since zookeepers at the St. Louis Zoo found a ball python believed to be about 62 years old coiled around a clutch of seven eggs she had laid. But the surprise has not worn off. Not only had the snake not had contact with a male python for at least 15 years; it also had already outlived its life expectancy by more than two decades. It’s rare but not impossible for ball pythons, one of the smallest python species, to reproduce asexually. The zoological manager of herpetology at the St. Louis Zoo said that snakes typically live only about 30 or 40 years. It’s “kind of crazy” the python made it past 60, he said, let alone laid eggs. (Saint Louis Post Dispatch)


Opening eyes to a frontier in vision restoration

Researchers from Monash University in Melbourne are preparing for human clinical trials of a cortical vision device that could one day help restore vision. The system requires a wearable camera to send a signal to a vision processing device that extracts the most useful information and then transmits it wirelessly to the 9x9mm implant. The implant then converts the data into electric impulses, which will stimulate the brain via hair-thin microelectrodes. This bypasses the damaged optic nerves of people who are clinically blind. A Professor from Monash University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, said cortical vision prostheses aim to restore visual perception to those who have lost vision by delivering electrical stimulation to the visual cortex, the region of the brain that receives, integrates and processes visual information. (Media Net)


Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were reportedly ambushed in Compton on last Saturday night, while they sat in their patrol vehicle

The officers were critically wounded after being shot but were not killed in what authorities described as an “ambush” that was captured on surveillance video. The video, released by the department, shows a man walking up to the deputies’ parked patrol car, pulling out a gun and firing several times into the front seat area from the passenger side. The assailant is then seen running from the scene. Officials asked for the public’s help to locate the person who opened fire. “One male deputy and one female deputy were ambushed as they sat in their patrol vehicle. Both sustained multiple gunshot wounds and are in critical condition. They are both currently undergoing surgery,” the department said in a statement. The department later said both were out of surgery. Law enforcement officials say that at least one of the deputies was shot in the face and the other in the head. Officials also said one of the injured deputies as a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy and the other as a 24-year-old man. He said both deputies were sworn into office just 14 months ago. (The Los Angeles Times)


Internet searches for gastrointestinal symptoms predicted coronavirus hot spots, researchers find

Internet searches for gastrointestinal symptoms preceded the rise in coronavirus cases weeks later, indicating where pandemic hot spots would form, a study by Massachusetts General Hospital found. The study utilized an approach used more than a decade ago to monitor pandemic influenza trends, which researchers realized could be utilized to track COVID-19. Researchers found that patients regularly complained of similar GI symptoms, including ageusia, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, anorexia, diarrhea, and vomiting. Using Alphabet Inc.’s Google Trends tools and Harvard Dataverse COVID-19 database, researchers studied search trends during the period between Jan. 20 to April 20. During that time, results indicated that search trends most strongly correlated with cases in New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts and Illinois, which all presented high case numbers three to four weeks later. The time frame of four weeks yielded the “strongest correlation between symptom search volume and COVID-19 case volume.” (Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology)


Vinyl record sales surpass CDs for the first time since the 1980s

This year, Vinyl records accounted for $232.1 million of music sales in the first half of the year, compared to CDs, which brought in only $129.9 million, outpacing CD sales in the United States for the first time since the 1980s, according to a report from the Recording Industry Association of America. Vinyl records, also known as “records pressed on wax,” were commonplace before other formats, such as cassette tapes and CDs, become the preferred mode of listening to music. But that hasn’t stopped vinyl records from making a resurgence. Since 2005, sales for vinyl have grown consecutively. In the first half of 2020, vinyl revenue was up 4%, while CD revenue was down 48%, according to the RIAA. (Billboard)


Shooting near Rutgers University kills at least 2, wounds 6 others

At least two people were killed and six wounded after a shooting broke out at a party early yesterday morning around 1:30am local time near Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., according to reports. The Rutgers University Police Department confirmed the off-campus incident happened when unknown assailants opened fire on Delafield Street. Two male victims were pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The motive behind the shooting remains unknown. Officials said there is no apparent link between the shooting and Rutgers or its students. The police are investigating and asking anyone who may have information to step up and contact the police department. (Tap Into New Brunswick)


Monday Sticks Out With:

  • Boss/Employee Exchange Day (First Monday after Labor Day)
  • Cream Filled Donut Day
  • Eat a Hoagie Day
  • Live Creative Day
  • Sober Day



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