Tuesday, March 8, 2022



British researchers from the University of Bath have discovered a new method for recycling plastics

The new form can break down poly (bisphenol A carbonate) (BPA-PC) plastics at room temperature in just 20 minutes. The new method, using a zinc-based catalyst and methanol, requires a fraction of the energy used by traditional methods and allows the plastics to be reused and recycled. Any waste produced during the breakdown can be reintroduced to the plastics as a preservative that helps stabilize them for reuse. The method can also be used on other kinds of plastics, including poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(ethylene terephthalate) at higher temperatures. While the method has only been tested at a small scale, the findings are critical to the future of sustainable tech. (Good News Network)


Your next tomato salad could get more colorful and healthier

Researchers at U.K.-founded Norfolk Plant Sciences have created a purple tomato with the nutritional value of super fruits like blueberries and blackberries. Purple-colored tomatoes already exist, but the newer variety includes antioxidants that double its shelf life. And the botanist who developed them says mice that ate her purple tomatoes lived 30% longer than mice that ate standard red ones. The new, genetically-modified tomato could go on sale in the U.S. in the coming weeks, following USDA approval. More than 90% of crops like soybeans, cotton and corn in the U.S. are genetically modified to resist disease. The USDA in 2020 also approved the pink-fleshed Pinkglow pineapple for sale. (Fast Company)


FDA approves cancer therapy by Johnson & Johnson and partner Legend Biotech

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a cell-based treatment for blood cancer called Carvykti that has shown “unprecedented” effectiveness. Johnson & Johnson’s multiple myeloma treatment is the first to be initially developed in China, and J&J later conducted separate, successful trials in the U.S. In one study, 98% of patients had a significant reduction in the proteins that indicate the presence of myeloma; 83% experienced a complete remission at a median of 22 months. Carvykti’s development process could become the blueprint for more drug collaborations between China and Western countries. (CNBC)


Holoportation for the masses

If you’ve ever wanted your boss to attend meetings as a hologram, you’re just a few hundred thousand dollars away from that dream. Companies like Google and Microsoft are increasingly interested in providing holographic communications to businesses, and a Los Angeles startup called Portl has already created a seven-foot-tall booth that can bring people into a room as life-sized holograms. Portl’s system can cost up to $160,000, and some say this holographic technology could help remote teams stay connected while cutting down on travel. Portl also sells a mini, tabletop version of their hologram system for $5,000. Holography has already been used in the music industry to resurrect late music stars such as Tupac Shakur and Whitney Houston. (Axios)


A California company recalled dozens of beef jerky brands due to possible listeria contamination

The recall covers over 1,600 pounds of ready-to-eat jerky products that are not safe to eat. The brand names include Texas Family Jerky, Humboldt Jerky Co., Smokehouse Jerky Co., Rebel’s Gourmet, and Gold Mine Jerky Company. Boyd Specialties, LLC of Colton, California issued the recall on March 4, 2022. The jerky products were made on February 23, 2022. (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service)


Researchers develop DNA test capable of screening for markers for more than 50 genetic diseases in a single pass

A new DNA test, developed by researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and collaborators from Australia, UK and Israel, has been shown to identify a range of hard-to-diagnose neurological and neuromuscular genetic diseases quicker and more-accurately than existing tests. “We correctly diagnosed all patients with conditions that were already known, including Huntington’s disease, fragile X syndrome, hereditary cerebellar ataxias, myotonic dystrophies, myoclonic epilepsies, motor neuron disease and more,” says the Head of Genomics Technologies at the Garvan Institute and senior author of the study. The diseases covered by the test belong to a class of over 50 diseases caused by unusually-long repetitive DNA sequences in a person’s genes – known as “Short Tandem Repeat (STR) expansion disorders”. The study shows that the test is accurate, and allows the team to begin validations to make the test available in pathology services around the world. (Science Advances)



Company Offers Masturbation Breaks To Employees & Sets Up VR Pods For It

According to an adult website and social network company called Stripchat, its employees should be provided proper opportunities to masturbate during work hours. Stripchat has even gone to the extent of providing all the facilities needed for their employees to ease themselves properly. The company has introduced the four high-tech pods kitted out with “masturbatory accessories” at its workplaces in Cyprus, with over 200 employees working at the particular branch. The high-tech pods are equipped with several accessories in order to help out the employees. Surprisingly, it is also equipped with an  Oculus Quest VR headset and a 4K LED screen, so that the employees can enjoy live VR adult cams. Not only that the pod also has a good stock of lotion, lube as well as tissues. The employees of the company will get to have 30-minute breaks to masturbate during work hours, with the company stating that its goal is to “provide current and attract new employees with a safe, comfortable space to rub one out.” Stripchat is also offering other companies a chance to lease out its pods for up to $50,000 for six months. This includes adding a VIP subscription to its platform. (India Times)


Sony and Honda to set up joint venture, aim to start selling electric vehicles by 2025

Sony Group Corp. and Honda Motor Co. agreed to set up a joint venture this year to start selling an electric vehicle by 2025, both sides said. The plan is to bring together Honda’s expertise in mobility development, technology and sales with Sony’s imaging, telecommunication, network and entertainment expertise. A union of traditionally different manufacturing businesses is uncommon for Japan, but it makes sense in the age of electric vehicles, which lack gasoline-powered engines and have complicated electronics. All the world’s automakers have been developing zero-emissions electric vehicles, as concerns grow about pollution and climate change, but they face tough competition from relative newcomers like Tesla. The joint venture will develop and design the product, but will use Honda’s plant for manufacturing. Sony, which makes the PlayStation video-game console and owns movie and music businesses, will develop the mobility services platform. (Associated Press)


A group of California kindergarteners created a “pep talk” hotline called “Peptoc” to share their positive attitude with callers around the country

The students at West Side Elementary in Healdsburg, California, put the line together with the help of two teachers. One of the teachers, Jessica Martin, said the hotline allows kids to share their “extraordinary advice and their continual joy” with others. Two days after launching on Feb. 26, the hotline had more than 700 callers per hour. When you call the hotline, you receive the following menu options:

  • If you’re feeling mad, frustrated, or nervous, press 1.
  • If you need words of encouragement and life advice, press 2.
  • If you need a pep talk from kindergartners, press 3.
  • If you need to hear kids laughing with delight, press 4.
  • For encouragement in Spanish, press 5.

Call the Peptoc hotline at 707-998-8410. All donated funds will go to the school’s enrichment programs. (Consumer Advisory)


Iceland plans to end whaling by 2024, when current whale quotas will expire

Although licensed whalers can hunt Minke and Fin whales in Iceland, only one documented whale killing has taken place off the Icelandic coast in the past three years. In 2018, the last year with a full whaling season, 146 Fin whales and six Minke whales were killed by Icelandic fishermen. Demand for Icelandic whale meat has declined since Japan restarted commercial whale fishing in 2019. Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture said that “there are few justifications to authorize the whale hunt beyond 2024” because there is little evidence of “any economic advantage to this activity.” (The Guardian)


The pain at the gas pump is real

The national average price for gas crept over $4 a gallon on Sunday and is within striking distance of the all-time record of $4.11, which was set in 2008. Oil prices kept soaring Monday as talks of a Russian import ban by U.S. officials continued over the Russia-Ukraine war. Russia’s invasion has also roiled global markets while prices of commodities soared over fears of supply shortages. Along with the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia are the world’s biggest producers of crude oil. (USA Today)


Researchers Are Working On AI That Identifies Mental Illness From Internet Posts

Researchers at Dartmouth College created an artificial intelligence model that identifies mental illnesses based on Reddit discussions, the college announced. “Social media offers an easy way to tap into people’s behaviors,” co-author of the research paper said. This is because social media is voluntary and public, he said. Reddit also has about half a billion active users who discuss a wide array of topics dating back to 2011, giving researchers ample data to draw on. What separates Dartmouth’s model from the many other similar developing technologies is that it analyzes emotions instead of the actual text of the online conversations, the college said. The researchers focused on what they termed “emotional disorders,” including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. They did this by searching for users who self-reported their emotional disorders compared to users who did not have any known disorders, and then trained the model to recognize these “signature patterns.” In their study, the researchers focused on what they call emotional disorders—major depressive, anxiety, and bipolar disorders—which are characterized by distinct emotional patterns. They looked at data from users who had self-reported as having one of these disorders and from users without any known mental disorders. (Dartmouth


A new sign placed in front of the Russian embassy in DC dubs the road ‘President Zelensky Way’ in honor of Ukraine’s leader

The road in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, was given an unofficial new name on Sunday: President Zelensky Way. It was a defiant tribute to the leader of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has been hailed as a hero around the world as he fends off an unprovoked Russian invasion. The street sign was placed in front of the embassy as a form of silent protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale assault on Ukraine. The sign looks somewhat professional, with a large cement base and sturdy pole. The organizer who put up the pole said he had no idea whether the Zelensky sign would stay up for a while or be removed by embassy staff, but he said that as long as attention was drawn to the sign, it had accomplished its goal. (Yahoo Finance)


Tuesday Slides In With:

  • Breast Implant Awareness Day
  • Day for Women’s Rights & International Peace
  • Girls Write Now Day
  • International Women’s Day
  • International Working Women’s Day
  • Oregon Day
  • Proofreading Day
  • Peanut Cluster Day
  • Retro Video Game Day
  • The Bikini Bottom Free (Crabcakes) Day
  • Unique Names Day (Tuesday of First Full Week)
  • Volunteers of America Day


Historical Events

1126 – Following the death of his mother Urraca, Alfonso VII is proclaimed king of Castile and León.

1655 – John Casor becomes the first legally-recognized slave in England’s North American colonies.

1817 – The New York Stock Exchange is founded. The NYSE at 11 Wall Street in New York City is the world’s largest stock exchange.

1844 – King Oscar I ascends to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

1910 – Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman with a pilot’s license. The French aviatrix was also the first woman to fly solo. She died at the age of 36 when her experimental plane crashed at Le Crotoy airfield in northern France.

1917 – The United States Senate votes to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

1920 – The Arab Kingdom of Syria, the first modern Arab state to come into existence, is established.

1924 – The Castle Gate mine disaster kills 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.

1957 – Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal after the Suez Crisis.

1957 – Ghana joins the United Nations.

1963 – The Ba’ath Party comes to power in Syria in a coup d’état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command.

1971 – In the Fight of the Century, Joe Frazier triumphs over Muhammad Ali. Ali had been stripped of his World Heavyweight Champion title in 1967 for refusing to serve in the armed forces. As he was still undefeated, Frazier had to beat him to be recognized as the world champion.

1979 – The compact disc is presented to the public. The CD was developed by Philips and Sony. The companies later collaborated to produce a standard format and CD players.

1978 – The first episode of the radio comedy The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is broadcast. Douglas Adams’ radio play was a major success with BBC Radio 4 listeners. The book version consisting of five novels – A Trilogy in Five Parts – became a worldwide success.