Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Europe’s oldest person, a 117-year-old French nun, survives COVID-19

Europe’s oldest person has survived COVID-19 after testing positive just a few weeks before her 117th birthday. Sister André, a nun who was born in 1904, tested positive for the virus on January 16th, according to the communications director at the Sainte Catherine Labouré nursing home in Toulon, southern France, where she lives. André, who was born Lucille Randon, showed no symptoms. “I didn’t know I had it,” she said. “No, I wasn’t scared because I wasn’t scared of dying.” The Sister celebrated her 117th birthday on February 11th, with her her favorite birthday meal includes foie gras and baked Alaska. (Reuters)


Man back behind bars for carjacking 16-year-old girl just 20 minutes after prison release

A man has found himself back behind bars for allegedly carjacking a 16-year-old girl just 20 minutes after he was released from prison. The incident occurred on Saturday (2/13) in Spokane, Washington, when the Spokane Police Department received a call reporting a carjacking, according to a statement from the Spokane Police Department. Authorities say that the 31-year-old suspect, who was released from prison just 20 minutes before, approached the 16-year-old girl and indicated that he had a gun before demanding her car and driving off. The Spokane Police Department said they immediately began scouring the city for the vehicle and short time later, an alert patrol sergeant was able to locate both the car and the suspect and quickly identified him as the person who robbed the victim a couple of hours earlier. The investigation showed in 20 minutes the suspect had traveled the roughly 1.5 miles from jail to the incident location and robbed the juvenile victim, according to the Spokane Police Department said in their press release. The suspect was already a convicted felon and booked back into Spokane County Jail for the felony charge of robbery in the second degree. (ABC News)


A young driver lost control of his vehicle, this in turn rammed a parked car which smashed through a wall of a house

A 21-year-old driver smashed his vehicle into a parked car in and the force of the impact “pushed the parked car against the wall of the house in the bathroom of the house,” said a police spokesman. The 21-year-old and his 19-year-old passenger fled from the scene of the accident on foot, but were later rounded up by officers. The driver was seriously injured and was taken to a hospital, his companion and the residents of the house were uninjured. According to the police, the 21-year-old was probably driving at excessive speed when he collided with the parked car. The fire department report states that the damage to the wall was significant, the opening in the wall was temporarily closed, though the house is not in danger of collapsing. According to the police, a blood sample was taken from the 21-year-old to determine any factors that may have contributed to the accident. The total damage was estimated at $74,035.70. The investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing. (RTL)


Walmart readies for vaccination role

Walmart is set to play one of the larger roles in the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program involving drugstores and grocery store pharmacies. The retail giant will receive around 200,000 of the 1 million doses planned for the program, which initially involves 6,500 pharmacies. The program comes on top of state vaccination ones and will eventually expand to some 40,000 outlets. (The Wall Street Journal)


Amazon sues in work safety clash

Amazon is suing the New York Attorney General to head off potential legal action by the state on how the tech giant has handled worker safety during the pandemic. Amazon wants to prevent charging the company over safety concerns at two New York City warehouses. The complaint says the New York Attorney General “threatened to sue” if Amazon didn’t meet demands on safety protocols as well as reinstating an Amazon worker fired after saying the company wasn’t doing enough to protect employees. Amazon is defending its safety measures and accuses the New York Attorney General of overstepping her authority. (The New York Times)


Ebola outbreak declared in Guinea, with at least three people killed so far; the West African country was the origin of a 2013-16 outbreak that killed more than 11,000 people

Guinea has officially declared that it is dealing with an Ebola epidemic after the deaths of at least three people from the virus. They – and four others – fell ill with diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding after attending the burial of a nurse. Newly developed vaccines will be acquired through the World Health Organization (WHO), officials said. In response to that epidemic, which mainly affected Guinea and its neighbors Liberia and Sierra Leone, several vaccines were trialed, which have since been successfully used to fight outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “The WHO is on full alert and is in contact with the manufacturer [of a vaccine] to ensure the necessary doses are made available as quickly as possible to help fight back,” the WHO representative in Guinea said. An Ebola vaccine was first trialed over four months in 2015 in Guinea and drugs that can increase the survival rate of patients have also been developed in recent years. (BBC)


Wildlife officials investigating after mutilated pelicans found at Florida pier

More than a dozen mutilated pelicans have been found at a popular Florida fishing pier, prompting a plea from a rescue group devoted to the sea birds for heightened enforcement by state wildlife officials for an area becoming known as “pelican death row.” he Friends of the Pelicans group has found 16 mutilated birds since Jan. 9 at the fishing pier on the south side of the Skyway Bridge. Some of the birds were found as recently as last week. The group has been able to save all but one of them. The group rescues nearly 35 pelicans daily at the fishing pier. They have rescued about 600 in the last two months. Most of the birds are tangled in fishing line or snagged with hooks. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it is investigating reports of pelicans being intentionally injured. (Spectrum Bay News 9)


Woman unwittingly carried winning $1.4 million lottery ticket around for a month

An Australian woman carried around a winning lottery ticket for a month, unaware she won a $1.4 million jackpot. Because her TattsLotto ticket entry was unregistered for the January 9th drawing, the gaming group had no way to contact her. So, the agency waited. The woman learned she won earlier this week. She only found out because she went to buy a ticket for the drawing this week and stumbled upon the older ticket. She had the clerk check it and found out she won $1,428,571.43. “The first thing I will do is pay off my mortgage,” she said. “I am going to get myself a few diamonds as well. I am working right now, but tonight, I am definitely going to be spoiling myself to something nice for dinner to celebrate.” (TattsLotto)


It might be the season of love, but two surveys confirm many partners are keeping a secret

Financial infidelity can look different ways, but it boils down to secret keeping and lying about finances. This could mean secret spending, secret accounts and even secret debt. A survey from says it found 40-percent of Americans who are either married or living with a partner are keeping some kind of secret, with the most common being secret spending, with Millennials being even more likely to have committed this behavior. More than 20-percent admitted to committing financial infidelity. The top reasons they lied about finances were because they wanted to control their own finances or because the spending was tied to some sort of addiction. 51% of millennials have duped their partners in money matters, but only 41% of Gen Xers, and 33% of boomers admitted to swindling partners, according to a new financial infidelity poll. (Credit Cards)


Archaeologists in Egypt think they may have unearthed the world’s oldest known brewery

At a site some 280 miles south of Cairo, researchers found a facility consisting of eight 65-foot sections containing 40 pottery basins each that they say were used to mix grains and water to produce beer. Researchers think that the Abydos brewery was able to produce 5,900 gallons (22,400 liters) of beer at a time. The brewery dates back to the reign of King Narmer, about 5,000 years ago. It’s located in Abydos, a burial ground known for its monuments celebrating Osiris, ancient Egypt’s god of the underworld. Archaeologists have found evidence that beer was used in ancient Egypt for rituals and to make offerings. (CBS News)


A new study argues that dinosaurs were killed after a fragment of a comet, and not a meteorite, crashed into Earth

The authors, two Harvard University astrophysicists, theorize that the sun’s tidal forces broke a comet into pieces when it came too close, sending shards across the Solar System. According to the study, one of those shards impacted our planet creating the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico that paved the way for the end of the Cretaceous period. The researchers say tests show that the bolide that formed the crater contained carbonaceous chondrites, a rocky material found in asteroids that predate the formation of the Solar System. They say that impact craters in South Africa and Kazakhstan may have also been created by comet impacts. The origin of the extraterrestrial object that produced the crater is still an open question, but many researchers believe that it was a meteorite and not a comet fragment. Natalia Artemieva, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., said that the new study argues that the comet fragment was four-mile-wide, which would have been too small to create the Chicxulub crater. (Nature)


Couple who were born on Valentine’s Day got married on February 14th

Morrison, Colorado was so frigid last Sunday (2/14), even zero degrees was not what one couple dreamed up for their wedding day, but they still considered the conditions perfect. “We got married!” the newlyweds shouted outside the Willow Ridge Manor in Morrison. The couple scheduled their wedding day on a holiday because they needed another reason to love Febuary 14th. The special wedding date was agreed upon pretty early on, according to the new brid. “When I met him, I was like, ‘if we get married, we’re getting married on our birthdays,’” she said. Over the past few years, the couple has gotten used to the routine of pulling out their IDs to prove their birthday connection. “I think everybody we tell, they all freak out and they don’t believe us,” she added. The couple will always share the special day and one last layer of love. Because the groom’s last name is Valentine. “Now, she has ‘Valentine’ as her last name,” he said. “And now it’s our anniversary so he can never forget!” From here on out, the couple will celebrate two birthdays, an anniversary and a holiday on the same day. “When your soulmate is out there, then they will find their way to you,” she said. (MSN)


Hyundai unveiled a working concept for an electric vehicle that would switch between wheels and legs, allowing it to traverse more difficult terrains

The Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot Experiment, or Tiger X-1, will be fitted with legs that would be able to extend out and rotate and lift over obstacles. Tiger X-1 would be self-driving and capable of surpassing the limits of today’s “most capable off-road vehicles,” according to the Vice President and founding director of Hyundai Motor Group’s New Horizons Studio. Hyundai says it could begin developing beta prototypes for testing as early as 2023. In December, Hyundai acquired a $1.1B controlling stake in robotics maker Boston Dynamics, developer of “Spot.” A month later, the automaker unveiled an AI-enabled robot, named DAL-e, that it says can provide customer service in its showrooms. (IEEE Spectrum)


Wednesday Shakes Things Up With:

  • Analog to Digital TV Day
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Cabbage Day
  • My Way Day
  • PTA Founders Day
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day
  • World Human Spirit Day