Thursday, April 22, 2021

Archaeologists conclude a mass Tyrannosaurus grave site discovered in Utah suggests the predator may have been a pack animal, not a solitary hunter as previously believed 

Paleontologists from the University of Arkansas examining a mass tyrannosaurus death site near the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah concluded that the dinosaurs had all died in the same location, rather than seen their bone fossils washed in from the surrounding area. A biology professor at Macalester College, said the researchers’ geochemical analysis of the site, where the remains of multiple species of fish, turtles and other dinosaurs have also been found, represented a “good start” but said that more evidence was needed to determine the extent of the species’ social habits. “It’s possible that these animals may have lived in the same vicinity as one another without traveling together in a social group, and just came together around dwindling resources as times got tougher,” one researcher said. The Utah canyon site has been known as the Rainbows and Unicorns quarry since 2014 when Bureau of Land Management palaeontologist Alan Titus discovered a treasure trove of fossils there. (Independent UK)


Lack of sleep identified as a risk factor for elderly dementia; three-decade study shows less than six hours of consistent sleep in your 50s and 60s is linked to a 30% increased risk of dementia in your late 70s 

If you’re trying to get by on about six hours or less of sleep a night during the workweek, you’re setting up your brain for future failure, according to a new study published. After following nearly 8,000 people for 25 years, the study found a higher dementia risk with a “sleep duration of six hours or less at age 50 and 60” as compared to those who slept seven hours a night. In addition, persistent short sleep duration between the ages of 50, 60 and 70 was also associated with a “30% increased dementia risk,” independent of “sociodemographic, behavioural, cardiometabolic, and mental health factors,” including depression, the study said. (Nature Communications)


Two new neural network computing approaches allow researchers to solve families of partial differential equations in record time

researchers have built new kinds of artificial neural networks that can approximate solutions to Partial Differential Equations orders of magnitude faster than traditional PDE solvers. And once trained, the new neural nets can solve not just a single PDE but an entire family of them without retraining. To achieve these results, the scientists are taking deep neural networks, the modern face of artificial intelligence, into new territory. Normally, neural nets map, or convert data, from one finite-dimensional space to another finite-dimensional space. But the new deep nets do something dramatically different. They map between an infinite-dimensional space and an infinite-dimensional space. Such techniques will speed up many models that involve PDEs. (Quantum Magazine)


7-year-old dies after being shot by uncle during filming of music video

A Gastonia, North Carolina child has died a week after she was shot during the filming of a music video, and now her uncle is charged with murder. The child was shot in the head in her home on April 13 and was flown to the hospital with serious injuries, where she later died. A music video was being filmed inside the home when the shooting happened, and the child’s uncle was handed a gun and fired it, sending a bullet through the wall, which hit his niece. Witnesses told police that there were both real and fake guns being used for the video. Court documents show that he went to the hospital with his niece and her father and that’s where he was arrested. The man was originally charged with assault with a deadly weapon, discharging a weapon into occupied property causing serious bodily harm and possession of a firearm by a felon, but those charges were upgraded to second-degree murder during his arraignment and is now being held without bond. (WCTI)


World’s first wooden satellite slated for launch

UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld announce today a joint mission to launch the first ever wooden satellite, WISA WOODSATTM, into Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021. WISA Woodsat’s mission is to gather data on the behavior and durability of plywood over an extended period in the harsh temperatures, vacuum and radiation of space in order to assess the use of wood materials in space structures. WISA Woodsat is a nanosatellite designed and built by Arctic Astronautics, and it is based on the Kitsat educational satellite. The satellite measures roughly 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighs one kilogram. A suite of on-board sensors, including two cameras will be used to monitor the specially coated WISA-Birch plywood. One of these cameras is situated on a deployable boom for exterior imaging. The space materials laboratory of the European Space Agency will also provide a novel sensor suite for the mission. And all of this will be powered by nine small solar cells. WISA Woodsat will be launched to polar orbit by Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle. The launch will take place from the Mahia Peninsula launch complex in New Zealand. The satellite will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 500–550 kilometers, completing a full orbit every hour and a half. (Wisa Plywood)


Workers clearing up an old building in the French town of Morez found five gold bars and 1,000 gold coins

The French town of Morez’s Mayor administration bought a three-story building when the owner died with the idea of renovating it to attract young families to the center of Morez, a small town near the Swiss border. When they started clearing up the building, officials found three jars filled with gold bars on a shelf. They later uncovered a safe behind a cupboard that contained hundreds of gold coins. The treasure is worth around $720,000, which the town’s council will invest in a special public project that has not yet been decided. It is not clear how the gold ended up there, but the Mayor said that the building belonged to a family that lived “frugally” and never threw anything away. (Sputnik News)


European countries have agreed to halve carbon emissions by 2030

Under a new climate change law agreed to on Wednesday, the 27 EU member countries will reduce emissions by 55% from 1990 levels, a target that will pave the way for net-zero emissions by 2050. The EU’s carbon emissions targets are now enshrined into law, meaning that the bloc is legally obliged to issue policies to help countries reach those goals. Scientists say that if countries across the world can reach net zero emissions by 2050, humanity should be able to stop temperatures from rising about 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, hence preventing the worst effects of the climate crisis. The bloc has already reduced emissions by 24% from 1990 levels and environmental groups were pushing for a 60% target. (Reuters)


An Indonesian submarine with 53 people on board went missing near the island of Bali, triggering a search and rescue operation

Indonesia’s navy is searching for a submarine that went missing north of the resort island of Bali with 53 people on board, the military said. Military chief said the KRI Nanggala 402 was participating in a training exercise when it missed a scheduled reporting call. The submarine is believed to have disappeared in waters about 60 miles north of Bali. Tjahjanto said the navy has deployed scores of ships to search the area, including a hydrographic survey ship, and has asked for help from Singapore and Australia, which have submarine rescue vessels. The Defense Ministry said the submarine lost contact after being granted clearance to dive. It said a helicopter later spotted an oil slick near the dive’s starting position. The submarine was carrying 49 crew members, its commander and three gunners, it said. The navy said an electrical failure may have occurred during the dive, causing the submarine to lose control and become unable to undertake emergency procedures that would have allowed it to resurface. It said it believes the submarine sank to a depth of 2,000-2,300 feet. Indonesia currently has a fleet of five submarines and plans to operate at least eight by 2024. (Associated Press)


Florida Couple Attempts to Hold Wedding in Vacant Mansion Passed Off as Their Own on Invitations

A couple in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, attempted to host their wedding at a vacant mansion that they falsely passed off as their own on Saturday, ultimately resulting in police intervention. The couple invited guests to a 16,313-square-foot home with nine bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a bowling alley, a theater and an 800-square-foot bar, and labeled it “our dream home” on the wedding invitation. The couple referred to themselves as “the Royal Couple,” and invited their guests to a ceremony that was to take place at the sprawling mansion in Southwest Ranches, which they dubbed “the Wilson Estate,” on April 17th. The wedding was also set to include a “Red Carpet Cocktail Hour,” followed by a reception that was to last until 2:30 a.m., and then a Sunday brunch gathering the following day, but the bride and groom failed to disclose one important detail: the mansion did not belong to them, and they were planning to trespass on the property that they believed was vacant. When the groom showed up Saturday morning to set up for the day’s events, he was met by the disgruntled owner of the home, who swiftly called the police. According to the owner, he had put the estate up for sale for $5.7 million two years ago, and lived on a different home located on the property. Police showed up to the property on Saturday and escorted the groom-to-be away from the home, without pressing charges. (Sun-Sentinel)


Arkansas to honor country legend Johnny Cash with holiday

The Man in Black is about to get his own day in Arkansas. The Arkansas House on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill that would make February 26th “Johnny Cash Day,” voting 92-0 to send the measure to Governor Asa Hutchinson, who will sign it, according to his office. The state Senate approved the bill earlier this month. The day won’t be a legal holiday but instead will be a memorial day marked by an annual proclamation from the governor. It is the state’s latest effort to honor Cash, who was born in Kingsland, a tiny town about 60 miles south of Little Rock. The Legislature in 2019 voted to replace its two statues at the United States Capitol with ones of the country music legend and of civil rights leader Daisy Bates. A fundraising effort is underway for both statues. (ABC News)


School board terminates teacher accused of taping students to desk

The Greene County Tech School Board voted in a special board meeting to terminate a teacher after she was accused of taping students to a desk. School officials provided seven reasons why the teacher should be terminated after reportedly taping two students to a desk. “We felt like there were definitely some policies violated here, and sometimes you have to back those policies. It’s not pleasant, and we don’t hold any harsh feelings towards anyone,” officials said. “She admitted to her supervisor she taped two male students with Scotch tape on their mid-thigh for under 30 seconds.” The kindergarten teacher claimed that was a joke asking her supervisor if she should quit, saying, “If I were a parent, I would want me to quit.” While the teacher was defending herself, she demonstrated what she claims she did to the two students. She said, “I don’t think I was being mean to them, harmful, or hateful. If joking around isn’t allowed anymore, I’d hate to see where our schools are headed.” Initially, after the incident, one of the students claimed that he was confined to his desk for the remainder of the day, and when he tried to get up, his desk was stuck to his back “like a turtle.” The teacher says this is not true because the tape would have broke if the child tried to get up. Her attorney says they are evaluating their options to appeal to the circuit court. (KAIT)


Thief returns stolen money to Restaurant

A brazen thief caught on camera stealing money out of the tip jar at a popular Murfreesboro, Tennessee restaurant, returned the money and apologized. Security video at the restaurant shows a man approaching the to-go counter and asking to buy a jar of seasoning. When the employee behind the counter turned around to get the jar, he grabbed cash from the tip jar and stuffed it in his to-go bag. The owner said the man entered the restaurant with a woman. They had dinner and spent more than an hour in the restaurant before the crime. Four days later, the man called the restaurant and said he made a mistake and wanted to return the money. He returned to the restaurant and gave the money back. There was around $150 dollars in the tip jar at the time. The owner said the incident was especially frustrating because it came as the restaurant industry struggles to recover from the pandemic. He said every dollar in tips goes a long way in helping employees. While the restaurant is already equipped with security cameras, there weren’t plans to increase security measures. (News Channel 5)


Bill requiring women to bury or cremate aborted fetuses heads to TN Senate

After passing the house, a bill that requires mothers to bury or cremate an aborted child is heading to the Tennessee State Senate. The bill passed in the House earlier this week, 69-22. If it’s signed into law, mothers must pay for a burial or cremation of their child at their own expense. Lawmakers opposed to the bill say it doesn’t allow women to make the best choice for themselves. Currently, 10 other states have similar laws in place. Supporters of the bill say the legislation does not limit or restrict an abortion; it only guarantees an acceptable level of respect for an aborted child. (WSMV)


Thursday  Keeps Us Thrilled With:

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association Day of Action
  • Celebrate Teen Literature Day (Always Thursday of Library Week)
  • Chemists Celebrate The Earth Day
  • Earth Day
  • Girl Scout Leaders Day
  • Global Selfie Earth Day (NASA)
  • “In God We Trust Day” Day
  • International Girls in Information and Telecommunication Technologies Day (4th Thursday)
  • International Mother Earth Day
  • Jelly Bean Day
  • Teach Children To Save Day
  • Take Your Daughters & Sons to Work Day (4th Thursday)