Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Woman dragged off plane for not wearing mask, spitting on passengers

A 23-year-old woman from Sarasota, Florida is facing multiple charges after she refused to wear a mask on a plane and spit on other passengers, police say. According to an arrest report, she was removed from a plane at Southwest Florida International Airport when she would not put a mask on. She even got so upset she spat on other people who were on the plane, the report says. The plane’s captain eventually called the Lee County Port Authority Police Department to get her off the plane. Officers said she argued with police in “a loud voice and then started to cry and yell in a loud tone of voice.” She ended up booked into the Lee County Jail and faces charges of resisting an officer, trespassing and a county ordinance violation for interference with aircraft operations. Masks are required at all airports and on planes until at least September 13, 2021, according to the Transportation Security Administration. (WTSP)


Chaos erupted on American Airlines flight 1774 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte, North Carolina, after a woman attempted to open the plane’s cabin door

Flight attendants rushed to subdue the woman and eventually duct-taped her to a seat in order to restrain her. The incident went viral after a TikTok user posted a video of the woman restrained as others were disembarking. The woman was apparently suffering from undisclosed mental issues. Passengers commented that the woman was pleading to be let off the airborne plane before angrily attacking the flight attendants while attempting to open a cabin door. American Airlines confirmed the events, stating that the woman attempted to open the front boarding gate after assaulting and biting a flight attendant and that the woman was restrained due to safety concerns. (Yahoo News)


Giant Pandas are no longer endangered

After decades of conservation efforts, Chinese officials claim that there are now up to 1,800 Giant Pandas living in the wild, and the species’ status has improved to “vulnerable.” China has created large panda reserves and has diligently progressed with breeding efforts for the animal which is notably difficult to breed, females are only able to become pregnant for 24 to 72 hours each year. (IUCN Red List)


UPDATE: School District That Suspended Kids Over BB Guns At Home Forced To Pay Up

The Louisiana elementary school student who was suspended from school last year after a teacher briefly spotted a BB gun in his room during a virtual class session has settled in a lawsuit with his school. During an online session with his teacher, Ka’Mauri Harrison had simply picked up the BB gun from the floor of his bedroom and put it away so that his younger brother wouldn’t trip over it, but the mere sight of the BB gun through the boy’s laptop camera was enough to cause the Jefferson Parish School District to claim that he had violated the district’s weapons policy, and they barred from attending class, even online, for several weeks. Not long afterwards, a sixth grader in the same district was suspended for basically the same reason; an accidental and brief display of a BB gun. Tomie Brown’s parents ended up suing the school district in federal court, along with Ka’Mauri’s parents, and earlier this week the Jefferson Parish School Board decided to settle the lawsuit instead of trying to defend the actions of the teacher and superintendent in court. The board agreed to pay Ka’Mauri Harrison’s family $92,500 and Tomie Brown’s family $72,500. In addition, the board agreed to change disciplinary records of both students to say they were suspended for disruptive conduct, removing any reference to weapons. (WBRZ)


Gen Z’s war on email

The generational divide in many offices not only spans fashion sensibilities and pop culture references. For many workers, it also encompasses how they feel about the tools they use to do their job. For instance, most Gen Z workers (those born between 1997 and 2012) loathe email, citing shortcomings like errant messages in spam folders and anxiety around timely replies. But workers over 30 say email remains a top collaboration tool, the consulting firm Creative Strategies found. Gen Z workers prefer video chats, instant messaging or live collaborative docs over email, researchers found. (The New York Times)


Voice cloning of growing interest to actors and cybercriminals

As voice cloning technology has become ever more effective, it is of increasing interest to actors… and cybercriminals. Voice cloning is when a computer program is used to generate a synthetic, adaptable copy of a person’s voice. From a recording of someone talking, the software is able to then replicate his or her voice speaking any words or sentences that you type into a keyboard. Such have been the recent advances in the technology that the computer generated audio is now said to be unnervingly exact. The software can pick up not just your accent – but your timbre, pitch, pace, flow of speaking and your breathing. The cloned voice can be tweaked to portray any required emotion – such as anger, fear, happiness, love or boredom. (BBC)


Salon owner sells business for $1 to ‘worthy’ employee

A 79-year-old Salon owner in New Haven, Connecticut took a chance and hired a hairstylist right out of technical high school 15 years ago. It has worked out so well that the owner sold his venerable business for $1. “She’s a good hairdresser, a good barber, she’s very nice. I sold it to her for $1 so we would remain friends,” he said. While the new owner will pay rent, she avoids a charge that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a salon for the equipment, supplies and clientele. However, the now former owner is now working there as an independent contractor. “Eventually, it was a dream of mine come true to be able to turn the salon over to someone worthy,” he said. He has been in business for about 56 years in various locations and forms, beginning with a barbershop in 1965. (Associated Press)


Cryptocurrency Miners Caught With Over 3,800 PlayStation 4 Consoles After Ukrainian Police Uncover The Mining Operation

The typical cryptocurrency mining setup consists of either a wealth of graphics cards on a rack or ASIC miners, but this latest cryptocurrency farm discovered by Ukrainian officials consisted of PS4s. Since getting graphics cards and ASIC miners has been pretty difficult, these Ukrainian miners took a different approach to mining cryptocurrencies. The illegal mining operation was discovered by the Security Service of Ukraine and they reported that over 50 processors, 500 graphics cards, and 3,800 PlayStation 4 consoles were seized in a raid. Yes, the miners had over 3,800 PS4 consoles set up to mine cryptocurrencies. Certainly, it’s an uncommon way to mine cryptocurrency, but it seemed to be working for these miners with the sheer amount of consoles set up for mining. (WCCF Tech)


Michigan man finds 160 bowling balls under home

A 33-year-old Michigan man made a striking discovery. He found one ball buried in the sand behind cinder blocks this month and continued finding more over the following days. He believes there are even more buried under his Norton Shores home. He contacted the maker of the balls, Brunswick Bowling Products, which had a plant in the area and said they were made in the 1950s. He said former employees contacted him and told him the workers used to take scrapped bowling balls to use as an alternative to gravel or sand. Brunswick shut down the Muskegon, Michigan plant in 2006. He said many of the balls aren’t in good shape; they don’t have finger holes and aren’t polished. He has donated some and plans to give some to the Muskegon Heritage Museum. He’ll use the rest for landscaping or to make sculptures. (Detroit Free Press)


Beyond Meat launched its new plant-based chicken across U.S. restaurants

Beyond Meat is ready to try again with a new product: Beyond Chicken tenders. Hundreds of restaurants across the US, mostly small regional chains, launched the product on their menus starting. Their team of 200 scientists examined different plant candidates, such as soy beans, peas, mung beans, and fava beans to figure out which would be the best plant to supply the protein in their tenders. They found that when they isolated protein from fava beans, they could use heating, cooling, and pressure to reshape it into a structure that mimics chicken muscle. Fava beans were also able to mimic the taste and even smell of chicken. In the lab, the scientists used an “e-nose”, an electronic nose that sniffs out the aroma molecules that come out of real chicken and then sniffs out the aroma molecules that come from various plants, to find the right match. The result: new faux-chicken tenders that are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. And the taste is only one of the benefits. There are health benefits to be reaped, too: Beyond Chicken tenders have 40 percent less saturated fat than a typical restaurant tender, they have no cholesterol, and they’re made with no antibiotics. (Vox)


Biologists identify process whereby damaged cells protect their neighbors as they undergo cell death

Scientists from the Institute Pasteur and the CNRS set out to identify the mechanisms involved in epithelial integrity and the conditions that can affect epithelial connectivity by using Drosophila (or vinegar flies), an organism studied in the laboratory with a similar epithelial architecture to humans. Using protein-sensitive fluorescent markers, the research team revealed that when a cell dies, the EGFR-ERK pathway, a cell activation signaling pathway known for its involvement in the regulation of cell survival, is temporarily activated in the neighboring cells. The scientists observed that the activation of the EGFR-ERK pathway protected neighboring cells from cell death for approximately one hour, thereby preventing the simultaneous elimination of a group of cells. “We already knew that this pathway plays a key role in regulating cell survival in epithelial tissue, but we were surprised to observe such protective dynamics between cells,” said the Head of the Cell Death and Epithelial Homeostasis Unit at the Institut Pasteur and last author of the study. (Pasteur)


South Korea’s COVID rules demand slower workout music in gyms

Plenty of gym-goers rely on a good tune to get themselves through that workout, but in South Korea their musical options have just reduced significantly under new COVID-19 rules. To the standard restrictions such as social distancing and travel curbs, South Korea has added a requirement that gyms do not play music with higher than 120 beats per minute (bpm) during group exercises such as aerobics and spinning. Health officials say the measure was intended to prevent breathing too fast or splashing sweat to other people while avoiding having to close such businesses entirely, as they have during previous waves. The rule has invited ridicule from some opposition lawmakers, who called it “nonsense”, and gym owners see the rules as barely effective or unrealistic to maintain. (Reuters)


Theft suspect arrested after taking selfies with stolen surveillance camera

A 48-year-old woman was charged after allegedly taking selfies with a surveillance camera stolen from a property several months ago. Police say they received a report of a surveillance camera stolen from a property sometime in May. “A suspect proceeded to take pictures of themselves with the stolen camera, which were remotely sent to the owner, unbeknownst to the suspect,” police said. Investigators then obtained one of the selfies and identified a suspect. Recently, police searched a home and located the camera. It was returned to its rightful owner. A woman was charged with one count of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and released on an undertaking. (CP24)


Tuesday Kicks Back With:

  • Beans ‘N’ Franks Day
  • Beef Tallow Day
  • Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day (2nd Tuesday)
  • Delaware Day
  • Embrace Your Geekness Day
  • French Fry Day
  • Gruntled Workers Day
  • International Rock Day
  • Nitrogen Ice Cream Day
  • World Cup Soccer Day


Historical Events

  • 1260 – The Livonian Order suffers its greatest defeat in the 13th century in the Battle of Durbe against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • 1558 – Battle of Gravelines: in France, Spanish forces led by Count Lamoral of Egmont defeat the French forces of Marshal Paul de Thermes at Gravelines.
  • 1794 – The Battle of the Vosges is fought between French forces and those of Prussia and Austria.
  • 1878 – Treaty of Berlin: the European powers redraw the map of the Balkans. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania become completely independent of the Ottoman empire.
  • 1905 – The verdict in the six-month long Smarthavicharam trial of Kuriyedath Thathri is pronounced, leading to the excommunication of 65 men of various castes.
  • 1919 – The British airship R34 lands in Norfolk, England, completing the first airship return journey across the Atlantic in 182 hours of flight.
  • 1962 – In an unprecedented action, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dismisses seven members of his Cabinet, marking the effective end of the National Liberals as a distinct force within British politics.
  • 1973 – Alexander Butterfield reveals the existence of the “Nixon tapes” to the special Senate committee investigating the Watergate break in.
  • 1985 – Vice President George H.W. Bush becomes the Acting President for the day when President Ronald Reagan undergoes surgery to remove polyps from his colon.
  • 2003 – French DGSE personnel abort an operation to rescue Ingrid Betancourt from FARC rebels in Colombia, causing a political scandal when details are leaked to the press.