Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The CDC now says the coronavirus can spread farther than six feet through the air

In new guidance published on its website, the agency also said particles can stay in the air “for minutes or even hours,” especially in poorly ventilated spaces. As a result, it can infect others, even if the carrier has left the room. But the agency said that type of spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines are still effective. The guidance was posted on the CDC’s website last month, but the agency said it was added prematurely and removed it. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)


Hurricane Delta is taking aim at the resort hotspot of Mexico’s northeastern Yucatan Peninsula before targeting the U.S. Gulf Coast later this week

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Hurricane Delta is now a Category 2 storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph as it is located 370 miles east-southeast of Cozumel moving west-northwest at 15 mph. “Delta rapidly intensifies into a Category 2 hurricane,” the NHC said. The storm rapidly intensified overnight from having 80 mph winds into a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph gales and is expected to strengthen even further as it moves north into the Gulf of Mexico. Delta is expected to become a Category 3 hurricane or higher by the time it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday and remain a powerful storm over the Gulf of Mexico through at least Thursday. Forecasters from the NHC noted that Delta is expected to reach a Category 4 storm while in the Gulf of Mexico. (United States National Hurricane Center)


Three Scientists Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for Black Hole Discoveries

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists for their work on black holes. British cosmologist Roger Penrose will receive half of this year’s prize, with the remaining half split between German astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel and American astrophysicist Andrea Ghez. Andrea Ghez is only the fourth woman in history to receive the venerable physics prize. “This year’s prize is about the darkest secrets of the universe,” said the Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Academy recognized Roger Penrose for his “discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity,” while Andrea Ghez and Reinhard Genzel were awarded “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy.” (Scientific American)


New testing platform for breast cancer cells

Scientists at Purdue University have developed a novel testing platform to evaluate how breast cancer cells respond to the recurrent stretching that occurs in the lungs during breathing. The technology is designed to better understand the effects that the local tissue has on metastatic breast cancer to study how metastases grow in new tissue. In this magnetically moving cell culturing system, the cancer cells can be grown in 3D on a suspended extracellular matrix protein that is abundant in early metastatic lung tissue in order to evaluate the impact of mechanical forces. They were able to incorporate the strain amplitude and rate of breathing in this tissue mimic. The scientists found that the cells quit dividing under these conditions. (News Medical)


High Court Rules Witness Signature Required On South Carolina Ballots

The Supreme Court has ruled that a South Carolina law requiring witnesses to sign mail-in ballots will be in effect on November 3rd. The law was challenged by a group of voters and the state’s Democratic Party. They argued the measure could endanger people and lead to a decrease in the number of people who vote. Voting is already underway in South Carolina, and some 150,000 mail-in ballots have already been distributed to its voters. (ABC News)


Employee accused of stealing at least $1.3 million in printer toner from Austin Public Library and re-selling online

An Austin Public Library employee is accused of fraudulently buying and stealing at least $1.3 million in printer toner, storing it in the garage of his home and selling it online. The employee is also accused of misusing a library credit card to buy electronics and home goods for personal use. According to an investigative report by the City of Austin’s auditor office, the employee’s alleged activity highlights “the library’s poor practices and procedures.” The employee was identified as an accounting associate, responsible for making and approving purchases, cash receipts, billing and other accounting transactions. In lieu of being fired due to “an unrelated issue” in August 2019, the associate resigned, the report said. According to the report, the findings have been reported to the Austin Police Department due to the potentially criminal nature of his actions. The investigation found that he allegedly bought at least $1.5 million worth of printer toner between October 2007 and July 2019. The city auditor estimated that APL would have needed about $150,000 worth of printer toner during this time period. Investigators reached out to the toner reseller the man was allegedly selling to, but could not determine how much he profited from the sales because they could not provide payment records. According to the report, the auditor office showed a screenshot of security camera video taken on one of those days which allegedly shows the man taking printer toner from his office to the parking garage where his car was parked. The man is accused of using the APL credit card to buy $15,000 worth of electronics, including video games, virtual reality headsets, robotic vacuums and a drone. Along with using City credit cards to buy over $140,000 worth of items from two retailers. The investigation is currently on-going. (KENS)


England’s National Health Service will officially recognize “Long Covid” and advise doctors on how to treat long-lasting symptoms including exhaustion and breathing problems

The NHS will officially recognise “Long Covid” and draw up guidelines for doctors on how to treat the debilitating condition. As many as 60,000 people in the UK are thought to be suffering from long-lasting effects of coronavirus, which linger after the original illness has cleared up. Shortness of breath, exhaustion, weakness and even problems with vital organs including the heart, liver, kidneys and brain can result from a bout of the disease. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today announced it will work with doctors to draw up guidance on how to help patients who are suffering from Long Covid. The move means the illness will be officially written into NHS paperwork and doctors will be given concrete advice about the condition. (Daily Mail)


A fired Amazon employee led a protest in front of Jeff Bezos’ $165 million Beverly Hills mansion over workers’ wages and job protections

Protesters led by a former assistant manager at Amazon took their frustrations to the gates of Jeff Bezos’ home in Beverly Hills, California over the weekend. The group got together at Will Rogers Memorial Park before proceeding to Bezos’ mansion and protesting work conditions, calling for free healthcare and an increase in hourly wages. Jeff Bezos paid a record-breaking $165 million for the Warner Estate in California, and has since reportedly paid another $10 million for the house directly next door. The demonstrators demanded adequate protective equipment and cleaning supplies, as well as an increase of $2 per hour for hazard pay. Furthermore, attendees reportedly carried signs that read “Tax Bezos” while chanting the words too. Amazon faces multiple lawsuits from employees over its working conditions during the pandemic. (Los Angeles Times)


News Anchor Says “Cocaine” instead of COVID-19

Since President Trump  was diagnosed with coronavirus this past Thursday (10/1), it has been tough at times to know quite what is going on inside the White House, who has the virus, and what precautions are being taken. A host on the New York City news channel NY1, had a big gaffe on Monday (10/5) when he said White House Press Secretary was “another member of Donald Trump’s inner circle testing positive for cocaine.” He quickly apologised  on Twitter for the mistake, writing, “There’s enough going on without adding another dimension. Apologies for the error.” He did also joke, however, about “2020. When anything can happen.” (Zendelle Adriel Twitter


Google’s competitor to Microsoft Office is being rebranded as Workspace and getting new pricing tiers

Google parent Alphabet announced that its G Suite group of productivity apps, including Gmail, will be rebranded as Google Workspace and get more pricing tiers. The new name better reflects the way various applications, such as the Google Meet video-calling service, are available from other applications, such as Google Docs. The changes might help Google increase revenue and become a more formidable challenger to Microsoft, whose Office 365 applications are more popular for business use. Any growth could lift Google’s cloud business, which reduces Alphabet’s dependence on Google’s advertising business, an operation that faltered in the second quarter under the pressure of a pandemic and a recession. (CNBC)


Over 80% of hospitalized coronavirus patients experience neurological symptoms

While respiratory issues are a well-documented symptom of coronavirus, researchers have found that over 80% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients experience some type of neurological manifestation as well. In examining 509 patients admitted to a Chicago hospital network, researchers found that 419 of them presented a neurological issue at some point during the course of their COVID-19 infection. The patients involved in the study were admitted to the Northwestern Medicine Healthcare system between March 5 and April 6, and all had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The team noted neurologic symptoms based on a review of clinical notes, diagnostic studies, and physician-documented diagnoses taken during the patients’ hospitalizations. The patients ranged in age from 16.9 years old to 58.5 years old, and 134 required mechanical ventilation during their stay. The researchers noted that patients with neurologic symptoms experienced longer hospital stays than those without, but discharge functional outcomes and mortality were not significantly different between those with and without. They also found that those experiencing neurologic issues were found to be younger than those who were not. (Wiley Online Library)


Woman threatens to kill her boyfriend’s family pet after they changed the WiFi password and left the couple without access in their basement apartment

A woman crazily threatened to kill her boyfriend’s family’s dog after they changed their WiFi password and refused to give her the new one. A five-minute video of the unnamed tenant freaking out on the family’s front doorstep. The shocking footage was filmed by the person’s friend, whose brother lives in the basement with the woman. The woman boldly threatens to poison the dog, saying she has ‘just the thing for him.‘ She insists that ‘threatening a dog is not against the law’ because ‘it’s not a human being.’ The woman then mocks her boyfriend’s sister’s appearance before referencing the teen’s mother losing a case, likely referring to attempts to get them evicted from the basement. The tenant then tries a different approach: blaming the teen’s mother. The woman goes on to claim that the family is going to be charged with a felony, alluding to them making ‘false’ reports against her. This is the fourth time that the family has called the police because of the woman’s threats. (Daily Mail)


A 103-year-old man has become the worlds oldest tandem skydiver

Alfred Al Blaschke jumped out of a plane in Texas to break the Guinness World Record for skydiving. He had first dived back in 2017 to mark his 100th birthday and kept a promise to return to the skies to celebrate his grandsons graduating from college. He jumped from 14,000 feet while strapped to instructor. The centenarian spent around five minutes in the air before landing safely. He said everything went perfectly. Skydiving is a very safe sport these days. Statistically, its more dangerous to get snacks out of a vending machine. (UPI)


Wednesday Brings The Blues With:

  • Balloons Around The World Day (First Wednesday)
  • Coffee With A Cop Day (First Wednesday)
  • Chocolate Covered Pretzel Day
  • Frappe Day
  • Forgiveness Day
  • Inner Beauty Day
  • LED Light Day
  • Pumpkin Seed Day (First Wednesday)
  • Pick A Tune Day
  • Random Acts of Poetry Day (First Wednesday)
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day
  • Walk To School Day (First Wednesday)
  • You Matter To Me Day

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