Thursday, June 3, 2021

Anheuser-Busch says it will give away free beer if 70% of U.S. adults get at least partially vaccinated by July 4

Anheuser-Busch says that if the White House reaches its goal of getting 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4, it will give away a complimentary brew to adults over 21. People can enter to receive a free beer on the website by uploading a picture of themselves at their favorite place to grab a beer. Participants will receive a $5 virtual debit card they can use to purchase one Anheuser-Busch product. According to the contest’s rules, the giveaway starts once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm 70% of U.S. adults have been at least partially vaccinated. It will end seven days after the CDC’s confirmation. (USA Today)


Iran’s largest warship catches fire, sinks in Gulf of Oman

The largest warship in the Iranian navy caught fire and later sank Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman under unclear circumstances, the latest calamity to strike one of the country’s vessels in recent years amid tensions with the West. The blaze began around 2:25 a.m. local time and firefighters tried to contain it, but their efforts failed to save the 679-foot Kharg, which was used to resupply other ships in the fleet at sea and conduct training exercises. 400 troops on board fled the vessel, with some 20 suffering injuries. The vessel sank near the Iranian port of Jask, some 790 miles southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf. (Fox News)


President Joe Biden has suspended the sale of Arctic oil drilling leases

The decision will apply to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, located in northeastern Alaska, one of the largest areas of unspoiled natural land in the United States. The move reversed a decision made by former President Donald Trump to sell the rights to extract fossil fuels in 5% of the area. The Refuge is estimated to contain up to 11 billion barrels of oil and politicians have contested whether drilling should be permitted in the area for over four decades. (BBC)


Scientists at the University of Washington have started trials on a lozenge that rebuilds new tooth enamel

Unlike other dental solutions like fluoride or tooth-whitening strips, which fortify and whiten enamel, this lozenge produces entirely new and white enamel. Only two lozenges per day could help people drastically improve the health of their teeth. (University of Washington School of Dentistry)


The U.S. Air Force is using VR to train airmen and women about suicide and sexual assault prevention

Through the VR program, airmen engage in interactive conversations with a virtual actor in VR. For example, the actor may display suicidal thoughts and the airmen are tasked with convincing him to seek help. Based on their feedback, participants are given empathy scores and suggestions for how to improve. The branch plans to train at least 10,000 Air Force personnel using the program this year. So far, 97% of Air Force personnel who have tried the VR program said they would recommend it. Among 18 to 25-year-olds, the impact from the VR was seven times higher than other groups, as they said they would be more likely to intervene in critical situations. The Air Force views VR as an alternative to other prevention training, such as PowerPoint presentations, which appear to be not as effective as the military would like. Among all active-duty troops, the suicide rate rose from 20.4 to 25.9 suicides per 100,000 between 2014-2019. Reports of sexual assaults rose 3%, to 7,825, from 2018-2019. (Yahoo News)


The Republican governor of Florida has signed a bill that prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in female sports teams at schools

Florida’s governor signed a bill barring transgender girls and women from playing on girls sports teams at public schools. “In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports,” Governor Ron DeSantis said as he signed the bill into law at a Christian academy in Jacksonville. “We’re going to make sure that that’s the reality.” The new law, sure to be challenged as unconstitutional, inflames an already contentious discussion unfolding nationally as Republican-controlled states move to limit the rights of LGBTQ people. It also could impose severe financial consequences on Florida. The NCAA, which oversees college athletics, has threatened to relocate key games from states that discriminate against certain athletes. (NBC News)


UPDATE: Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s failed drug test has been confirmed through a second postrace sample

Both tests found levels of betamethasone above allowed levels in Medina Spirit, which could make him only the second horse in the Derby’s 147-year history to be disqualified due to a failed drug test. Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert chose the lab that conducted the second test and he maintains that betamethasone was present due to the use of the topical ointment Otomax, not injections. Medina Spirit’s level of betamethasone was double the amount legally allowed by Kentucky racing rules. The only other winner to be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby for failing a drug test was Dancer’s Image in 1968. (Maximum Security was stripped of his title in 2019 for interference.) Should Medina Spirit be disqualified, Mandaloun will be named the winner. (Sports Illustrated)


Microsoft will reveal what it calls the “next generation of Windows” at an event on June 24th

The update is expected to contain changes to Windows’ user interface and appearance, as well as enhancements for developers and in its app store. Windows users can expect updated icons and, potentially, a new logo. Microsoft is also phasing out its Windows 10X operating system, intended for dual-screen devices, and rolling its features into the standard version of Windows 10. Windows provides 14% of Microsoft’s revenue. The event will be live-streamed on June 24 at 11 a.m. ET. (The Verge)


Oregon bans guns from Capitol, demands safe storage in homes

Legislators have brought guns into the Oregon State Capitol for personal protection. Protesters have carried semi-automatic rifles onto the grounds and into the building. Later this year, doing so will be outlawed under a bill signed earlier this week by Governor Kate Brown that was earlier passed by the Legislature. The new law also mandates the safe storage of guns. The bill was named for Cindy Yuille and Steve Forsyth, who were slain in a shooting at a Portland-area shopping mall in 2012 by a man who stole a friend’s AR-15 rifle. A third person was seriously wounded. (Associated Press)


Observers of Arizona’s 2020 election audit have found breaches of several quality control measures, according to Arizona’s secretary of state

Observers of Arizona’s election 2020 recount have found security gates left open, confidential manuals left unattended and quality-control measures disregarded, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office. In one instance, a software update caused so many errors that the company handling the recount abandoned the update and went back to the old software. In other instances, prohibited items including cellphones and pens with black or blue ink were allowed onto the counting floor. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and election security experts have long criticized the audit as error-riddled, but now, the Secretary’s office is documenting the alleged infractions online. (The Washington Post)


Texas Governor Greg Abbott signals he will suspend the state Legislature’s pay following a Democratic walkout that prevented the passage of an election reform and voting rights bill

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he would veto the section of the state budget that funds the Legislature hours after a Democratic walkout killed his priority elections bill. “No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities,” Abbott said in a tweet. “Stay tuned.” Late last Sunday (5/30) night, enough Democrats left the House to break a quorum and block passage of the elections bill, Senate Bill 7, before a midnight deadline. Calling the bill’s failure “deeply disappointing,” Governor Abbott quickly made clear he would call a special session to get it passed, though he has not specified a timeline. (Texas Tribune)



Bodybuilder who wed two sex dolls is now open to dating humans

A Kazakhstani bodybuilder who wed his sex doll after a whirlwind romance is open to dating a human on one condition: They like his silicone soulmates as well. He dropped the bombshell on a radio interview. “I was in a real relationship in the past, about seven years,” the man said, who infamously married his sex doll Margo in November after dating her for eight months. A self-professed “pansexual,” he can reportedly love anything from an “image” to a “soul.” Nonetheless, “it’s interesting and important for me, and in the future maybe I will have a real person, but it’s important that she or he likes my dolls too,” the muscleman said. That might be a tall order as the non-synthetic lover would have to live in a veritable dollhouse. The muscleman revealed that he’s divorced Margo so he could take up with two new plastic playmates, Luna and Lola. He admitted to cheating on Margo with a “strange object” and a supermarket chicken while she was getting “plastic surgery” over Christmas. (The Daily Star)


Walkers stumble across a ton of cocaine worth millions of dollars

Walkers strolling on a beach near Hastings stumbled across some large packages – which turned out to be concealing a tonne of cocaine. The packages, all in waterproof bags and attached to life jackets to make them float, had a combined weight of around 960kg, which if cut and sold on the streets in the UK would have had an estimated street value of over $80 million dollars. Two separate piles of bags were found, with some floating in the water off the coast of St Leonards in East Sussex. Samples taken from the load have tested positive for cocaine, though a full forensic examination will now be carried out. National Crime Agency officers have now opened an investigation. (Sky News)


Thursday Goes Wacky With:

  • Chimborazo Day
  • Chocolate Macaroons Day
  • Egg Day
  • Repeat Day
  • Stuffed Shrimp Scholars Day
  • World Bicycle Day
  • World Clubfoot Day
  • Wonder Woman Day


Historical Events

  • 1621 – The Dutch West India Company receives a charter for New Netherlands.
  • 1839 – In Humen, China, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 1.2 million kg of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a casus belli to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Battle of Philippi (also called the Philippi Races) – Union forces rout Confederate troops in Barbour County, Virginia, now West Virginia, in first land battle of the War.
  • 1866 – The Fenians are driven out of Fort Erie, Ontario, into the United States.
  • 1935 – One thousand unemployed Canadian workers board freight cars in Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning a protest trek to Ottawa, Ontario.
  • 1943 – In Los Angeles, California, white U.S. Navy sailors and Marines clash with Latino youths in the Zoot Suit Riots.
  • 1980 – The 1980 Grand Island tornado outbreak. Seven tornadoes hit Grand Island, Nebraska takes five lives, 357 single-family homes, 33 mobile homes, 85 apartments, 49 businesses and $300 million in damages all told, according to National Weather Service and American Red Cross statistics on the deadly storm.
  • 1982 – The Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, is shot on a London street. He survives but is permanently paralysed.
  • 1989 – The government of China sends troops to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.
  • 2006 – The union of Serbia and Montenegro comes to an end with Montenegro’s formal declaration of independence.