Monday, September 28, 2020

Gas engines in California going away?

California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order requiring all new passenger vehicles sold in the most populous state to be zero-emission by 2035. Under Newsom’s order, people can still own gas-powered vehicles and sell them on the used market, but they will no longer be able to buy new ones as the state slashes carbon emissions. The Golden State is a leader on emissions standards among states that make up a significant part of the U.S. auto market, so the move could impact the automobile industry in a major way. (CNBC)


Global income falls by $3.5 trillion

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the equivalent of $3.5 trillion in lost working hours during the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the same period last year. While an earlier estimate from the organization suggested the equivalent of 400 million full-time jobs would be lost in the second quarter of this year compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, the number is now estimated to be closer to 495 million full-time jobs lost during that time. (International Labour Organization)


Job market shows signs of stalling

The job market recovery appears to have lost momentum in September, just before the advent of cold weather risks shutting operations that moved outdoors to reduce the spread of COVID-19. New claims for unemployment benefits rose by 4,000 to 870,000 last week on an adjusted basis, about four times the level before the pandemic hit and a sign of uneven recovery from business shutdowns during the spring. The Labor Department report shows companies are continuing to lay off workers, even as others bring them back. (The Wall Street Journal)


Florida man suing McDonald’s, claims he was injured by Chicken McNugget

A McDonald’s customer is suing the company after he says he was hurt biting into a Chicken McNugget. The man claims he cracked one of his teeth on a piece of bone inside one of the nuggets. The man is suing McDonald’s for $1.1 million and is calling for a recall of all McNuggets. He ordered the food through Uber Eats from a West Palm Beach restaurant. He felt pain in his mouth and suffered headaches for three days after biting into the bone. After going to the dentist, he reportedly discovered that his tooth was cracked in two places and would need surgery to replace it. A spokesperson for the chain shared the following statement: “Providing safe, high-quality food is always a top priority,” they said. “We take these claims seriously but as this is pending litigation, we cannot comment further at this time.” He has not hired a lawyer and filed the lawsuit on his own. According to the outlet, he has done legal work in his home country of Estonia, although he is not a licensed attorney. He reportedly said that if he wins, he plans on donating $1 million to charity. (Sun-Sentinel)


Times Square will hold a digital New Year’s Eve celebration to ring in 2021

Organizers of the popular Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City will go digital when revelers welcome 2021. It’s the first time in 114 years that a massive crowd will not be packed in the iconic destination to ring in the new year. In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Times Square Alliance announced that the festivities will now be a “virtually enhanced celebration” that will come to party-goers wherever they are.  The celebration will also feature socially-distanced live elements and a limited group of in-person honorees who will reflect the “themes, challenges and inspirations of 2020,” the Times Square Alliance said in a press release. Essential workers, first responders, doctors and scientists as well as entertainers and performing artists will be among the honored guests. (CBS News)


Scientists Predict Potential Spread of Invasive Asian Giant “Murder” Hornet Through United States and Globally

Researchers at Washington State University have predicted how and where the Asian giant hornet, an invasive newcomer to the Pacific Northwest, popularly dubbed the “murder hornet,” could spread and find ideal habitat, both in the United States and globally. The team found that if the world’s largest hornet gains a foothold in Washington state, it could spread down much of the west coast of the United States. The Asian giant hornet could also find suitable habitat throughout the eastern seaboard and populous parts of Africa, Australia, Europe, and South America, if humans inadvertently transport it. Collaborating with Washington State Department of Agriculture scientists and WSU entomologists examined more than 200 records from the hornet’s native range in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, then used a set of ecological models incorporating climate data to predict likely global habitat across six continents. Native to forested parts of Asia, the Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, is a significant threat to Western honey bees, which have no natural defense. Up to two inches long, the insect also deploys a potent sting, which is more dangerous than that of local bees and wasps. Asian giant hornets are most likely to thrive in places with warm summers, mild winters, and high rainfall. Extreme heat is lethal, so their most suitable habitats are in regions with a maximum temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Based on those factors, suitable habitat for the giant hornet exists along much of the U.S. west and east coasts, adjacent parts of Canada, much of Europe, northwestern and southeastern South America, central Africa, eastern Australia, and most parts of New Zealand. (SciTech Daily)


Dads Who Are More Involved With Their Babies Are Less Likely to Become Depressed, Study Finds

New research shows that fathers who spend more time parenting during the infant stage set themselves up for better mental health later by having a lower risk of paternal depressive symptoms in that often difficult first year of parenthood. The study looked at 881 low-income dads of various races and ethnicities living in different parts of the United States. A month after the birth of their children, these dads were interviewed at home on three parenting indicators: the time spent with their infant, parenting self-efficacy (aka one’s confidence in caring for their young), and ability to provide material support (think baby clothes, medicine, child care items like diapers, and food). After looking at paternal depressive symptoms at one, six, and 12 months after birth with the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, researchers found all three indicators led to lower rates of depressive symptoms the next year. Experts agree this attention on dads is much needed. “For too long, we’ve looked at the mother and her symptoms in isolation during a time when her village is needed most after the birth of a baby. Clearly, it’s not only the mother who benefits from this family support and bonding time with the baby but also the father, a pivotal component of that village,” says the Director of adult ambulatory psychiatry at Northwell Zucker Hillside Hospital. (Parents)


Man pops the question in elaborate proposal at Connecticut aquarium

A man had quite a catch at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. He reeled in his bride-to-be. He set up the elaborate proposal ahead of time. The family was checking out one of the tanks, when a diver showed up with a very important question for the woman, “Will you marry me?” She was clearly caught off guard as a crowd gathered around them before she eventually said yes. The couple is from Charlestown, Rhode Island. (WJAR)


To conquer stress, track your time

Many of us suffer from a sense that we cannot get everything done in a day. We just don’t have enough time, we think. The truth is, many of us have plenty of time, more spare hours than professionals had in previous decades. Why do we feel so stressed, then? We’re not aware the time we have, according to researchers. When it comes to time and stress, knowledge is power. When we track our hours, we can then take better control over how we spend our days. And that sense of control can help us feel less overwhelmed. (Ted)


First man cured of HIV infection now has terminal cancer

Timothy Ray Brown, the first person known to have been cured of HIV infection, says he is now terminally ill from a recurrence of the cancer that prompted his historic treatment 12 years ago. He is dubbed as “the Berlin patient” because of where he lived at the time, had a transplant from a donor with a rare, natural resistance to the AIDS virus. For years, that was thought to have cured his leukemia and his HIV infection, and he still shows no signs of HIV. However, he said his cancer returned last year and has spread widely. He’s receiving hospice care where he now lives in Palm Springs, California. “It opened up doors that weren’t there before” and inspired scientists to work harder to find a cure, which many had begun to think was not possible, the 54-year-old man said. His first transplant in 2007 was only partly successful: His HIV seemed to be gone but his leukemia was not. He had a second transplant from the same donor in March 2008 and that one seemed to work. Since then, he has repeatedly tested negative for HIV and has frequently appeared at AIDS conferences where cure research is discussed. (San Francisco Gate)


Ron Paul appears to suffer stroke

Former U.S. Representative and three-time Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is in the hospital and stable after appearing to suffer a stroke on a live stream. His son, Sen. Rand Paul, tweeted out a picture of him in the hospital saying he was doing okay. Ron Paul was rushed to the hospital after a disturbing video showed he appeared to have a medical emergency. Ron Paul is 85 years old and was live-streaming his weekday “Liberty Report” show on YouTube. The live stream was taken down after the incident.
He is a former obstetrician and ran for president three times as a Republican under a mostly libertarian philosophy. (The New York Post)


The U.S. and U.K. signed an agreement to jointly advance trustworthy AI

The partnership, formally known as the Declaration on Cooperation in Artificial Intelligence Research and Development, will focus on AI R&D, innovations, and workforce development. It stems from a meeting last year between President Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to promote the countries’ economic growth. The agreement’s goal is to further develop responsible AI – “in line with shared democratic values” – and protect against its misuse by authoritarian countries, U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios said. The U.S. and U.K. plan to work jointly on interdisciplinary research, intelligent systems, and other “strong common interest” areas. The countries will share their AI experts as well as data and regulatory frameworks via a future R&D ecosystem. It could lead to more public-private partnerships and workforce development, and reskilling for workers and students in areas like computer science. The agreement builds on the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, international AI principles, and the U.S.-U.K. Science and Technology Agreement from 2017. The U.S. government last month announced a $1b investment in AI and quantum computing hubs, of which $140m will be given to seven AI research initiatives. (The United States Department of State)


While the pandemic will continue into the fall season, Americans are still looking for ways to celebrate Halloween safely

Yandy says it’s launched over 500 costumes and experienced sales growth, despite only 22% of 7,644 people telling the National Retail Federation they plan to attend a Halloween party. The company says it predicts people are buying sexy costumes for virtual at-home gatherings and smaller celebrations. Obviously, social media posts factor in as a way of showing off costumes from a safe distance. Also in-demand? Costumes exclusively for bedroom activities. Despite the company previously making scintillating costumes for 2017’s “Fake News” and it’s hugely controversial ‘sexy “Handmaid’s Tale” costume in 2018, the company says a racy COVID-19 costume goes too far. “I don’t think there’s anything sexy about it,” the VP of merchandising for costume company Yandy, known for its suggestive costumes, said in a statement. (Business Insider)


Monday Trips Up With:

  • Confucius Day
  • Drink Beer Day
  • Family Day (Fourth Monday in September)
  • Fish Tank Floorshow Night
  • International Day for Universal Access To Information
  • International Right To Know Day
  • Good Neighbor Day
  • North Carolina Day
  • Strawberry Cream Pie Day
  • World Rabies Day

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