The Most Recent Topics (limited to 100)

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21
Blowing Out Birthday Candles Increases Cake Bacteria by 1,400 Percent
Posted July 29, 2017, 08:22 by Mave in News
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Blowing Out Birthday Candles Increases Cake Bacteria by 1,400 Percent

I can identify the exact moment when my relationship with birthday cake changed forever, and it was last week, when I read a study titled “Bacterial Transfer Associated with Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake.”

Of course, the more cautious (aka germophobic) among us have already thought about it in gruesome detail. One colleague said she scrapes off the top layer of frosting, a habit that suddenly made perfect sense but which I for some reason had never before considered. I had been living in ignorant, saliva-splattered bliss.

Intellectually, I knew it was fine. I’ve consumed countless slices of sheet cake finely misted with spit and suffered no particular consequences—and yet, the thought of eating another now sent visceral disgust through my body.

So I called up Paul Dawson, a professor of food safety at Clemson University and one of the authors of this study, to ask why someone would want to ruin birthday parties.

Dawson said the idea for the study came from his teenage daughter. But he’s also conducted a whole set of studies around common questions in food safety with his undergraduate students, as a way of engaging them in original scientific research. These questions are, often, the same ones your germophobic friend would obsess over, including the validity of the five-second rule as well as with how bacteria spreads with double dipping (a lot), sharing popcorn (very little), and beer pong (do you even need to ask).

To simplify things for the study, Dawson and his students dispensed with an actual cake and frosted a piece of foil atop a cake-shaped styrofoam base. His students stuck candles in, lit them, and blew. Oh actually, they did something before blowing out the candles: They ate pizza. “We also wanted to simulate a birthday party,” says Dawson. “We thought it might help the salivary glands get going.”

Next came the bacteria counting. The team diluted the frosting with sterile water and spread it out on agar plates for bacteria to grow. Each colony that ended up growing on the agar represented one original bacterial cell from the frosting. (Not all bacteria will grow on agar plates, and there are now sophisticated and expensive ways to count bacterial cells more comprehensively, but this is a classic method that gives a baseline for comparison with past studies.)

There was, of course, a lot of bacteria. But what surprised Dawson was how much it seemed to vary from blow to blow. On average, blowing out the candles increased the amount of bacteria on the frosting by 14 times. But in one case, it increased the amount of bacteria by more than 120 times. “Some people blow on the cake and they don’t transfer any bacteria. Whereas you have one or two people who really for whatever reason ... transfer a lot of bacteria.” says Dawson.”

Source and more: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/07/birthday-candle-bacteria/534987/
22
Suicidal man doused in gasoline catches fire after police use Taser on him
Posted July 18, 2017, 05:08 by Mave in News
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Suicidal man doused in gasoline catches fire after police use Taser on him



ARLINGTON A suicidal man who had doused himself in gasoline became engulfed in flames at an Arlington home Monday after an officer used a stun gun on him, police said.

The officer who used the Taser on the man believed that the man was holding a lighter in his hand and was about to use it, police spokeswoman Sgt. VaNessa Harrison said at a news conference.

Harrison acknowledged the risk of using an electrical stun gun near gasoline, but said the man was “very frantic and erratic and became a danger to everyone in the room.”

“We realize that a Taser can have some other implications, but we also know he had something in his hand,” Harrison said. “It’s unclear at this moment whether he became engulfed in flames from the gasoline and ignitable object he had in his hand or from the Taser.”

The man was taken to a hospital. His condition was unknown.

Three police officers were also taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Their injuries were not life-threatening, Harrison said.

Source and more: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/arlington/article160572509.html
23
NASA Just Announced They Can’t Afford to Get Humans to Mars
Posted July 14, 2017, 11:38 by Mave in News
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NASA Just Announced They Can’t Afford to Get Humans to Mars

NASA admitted today that under the current budget they cannot afford to get humans to Mars. NASA's next steps will depend on its funding, but now more than ever, the future of Mars colonization rests in the hands of commercial space companies.

NASA has been talking about getting humans to Mars for years, and continues to provide updated plans for getting there. Unfortunately, though, NASA’s chief of human spaceflight, William H. Gerstenmaier, just announced that the agency can’t achieve the Mars goal on its current budget.

“I can’t put a date on humans on Mars, and the reason really is the other piece is, at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 percent increase, we don’t have the surface systems available for Mars,” Gerstenmaier said during a propulsion meeting of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics on Wednesday. “And that entry, descent, and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars.”

Essentially, the SLS rocket and Orion craft have cost the agency a lot. As a result, NASA hasn’t even been able to begin designing vehicles to land on Mars or ascend from the surface.

NASA’s next moves will depend on funding. Gerstenmaier indicated the agency might be interested in a Moon exploration mission – one that is more extensive than the current plan to build the Deep Space Gateway in the Moon’s orbit. Beyond just being a launching pad for further space exploration, the gateway could “support an extensive moon surface program,” says Gerstenmaier.

Source and more: https://futurism.com/nasa-just-announced-they-cant-afford-to-get-humans-to-mars/
24
Alarm Clock Stuck In Wall Goes Off Every Day For 13 Years
Posted June 20, 2017, 07:02 by Mave in News
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Alarm Clock Stuck In Wall Goes Off Every Day For 13 Years

ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — All is calm in a quiet house on a peaceful street in the tranquil township of Ross – until the walls come alive with the sound of a 13-year-old alarm clock.

“I’ll show you where this started out from, why it was convenient,” says homeowner Jerry Lynn, climbing the stairs to the second floor. “Or why I thought it was convenient at the time.”

He says he dropped the clock, tied to a string, through an air vent. Set to go off ten minutes later, it would let him know where to punch a hole in the living room wall to pass a wire through for a TV hookup.

“As I was laying it down, all of a sudden I heard it go ‘thunk!’ as it came loose,” he said. “I thought, well, that’s not a real problem. You know it’s still going to go off. And it did.”

He couldn’t pull it back up, but figured, “Maybe, three-four months it’ll run out of battery. That was in September of 2004. It is still going off every day. And during daylight savings time it goes off at ten minutes ’til eight. And during standard time it goes off at ten minutes to seven at night.”

Jerry’s wife, Sylvia, says the sudden ring can come as a jolt to unsuspecting guests.

Source: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/06/15/stuck-alarm-clock-13-years/
25
Ukraine bans Steven Seagal as threat to national security
Posted May 08, 2017, 05:28 by Mave in News
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Ukraine bans Steven Seagal as threat to national security

Security service says it has forbidden Seagal entry into country for five years, after actor received Russian citizenship


Vladimir Putin presenting Steven Seagal with a Russian passport. Photograph: TASS / Barcroft Images

Ukraine has banned American action movie star Steven Seagal as a national security threat, making him the latest of several cultural figures to be blacklisted.

The Ukrainian security service said it had forbidden Seagal entry to the country for five years, in a letter published by the news site Apostrophe. The service’s press secretary later confirmed the ban to other media.

The letter said such a decision is made when a person has “committed socially dangerous actions … that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine’s security”. The move comes after the actor received citizenship in Russia, which has backed separatists in a simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin handed Seagal a Russian passport and told him he hoped their “personal relationship will remain and continue” during a meeting in the Kremlin last year.

Source and more: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/may/05/ukraine-bans-steven-seagal-national-security-russian-citizenship
26
Woman eats £7,000 life savings to spite cheating husband
Posted May 08, 2017, 05:16 by Mave in News
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Woman eats £7,000 life savings to spite cheating husband



A woman in Colombia has eaten her entire life savings to stop her cheating husband getting his hands on the money.

Sandra Milena Almeida wolfed down £7,000 ($9,000) in cash after finding out her husband had been unfaithful.

The 30-year-old's actions were only discovered after she was taken to hospital suffering abdominal pains.

Doctors then found bundles of notes inside her stomach.

Mrs Almeida apparently hid the cash after finding out about her husband's infidelity.
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She took the extreme steps of eating the $100 bills after he discovered the hiding place and demanded half of it.

Relatives and doctors only discovered she'd eaten them after carrying out tests.

Director of Surgery at the University Hospital of Santander, Juan Paulo Serrano, told reporters: "57 $100 bills were found and extracted by the orifice opened in the stomach.

"Some extra rolls (of money) were found in the intestine, which advanced to the colon."

Source and more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39806529/woman-eats-7000-life-savings-to-spite-cheating-husband
27
Chinese driver eludes traffic cops by drawing own parking places
Posted May 03, 2017, 05:44 by Mave in News
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Chinese driver eludes traffic cops by drawing own parking places



Find a parking spot can be a pain in any city, but a driver in eastern China has come up with a novel idea to get around the problem - he paints a new one himself, a mainland newspaper reports.

Police found the man in Jinhua, Zhejiang province drawing lines with chalk for parking space on Monday afternoon, the Qianjiang Evening News reported.

Local traffic cops had noticed the strange markings while on patrol. Compared with legitimate lines, the chalked ones were too thin and incomplete, the report said.

Source and more: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2091872/thin-white-line-van-driver-eludes-chinese-traffic-cops-chalking
28
Flower shop owner stole plants from cemetery for months, police say
Posted May 01, 2017, 06:17 by Mave in News
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Flower shop owner stole plants from cemetery for months, police say



PEQUANNOCK TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Police say a flower shop owner stole plants and other items from graves at a New Jersey cemetery for months.

Capt. Christopher DePuyt says police installed surveillance cameras at the First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pequannock Township after two plants disappeared from the mausoleum and replacement plants were stolen two days later.

He says the cameras caught a woman in a minivan taking the plants and Riverdale officers recognized her as a former police dispatcher and current flower shop owner.

Authorities charged 59-year-old Lynda Wingate, of Riverdale, with the disorderly person's offense of theft of moveable property.

DePuyt says Wingate claimed she was cleaning up old flowers from graves of people she knew, but he says that isn't the case.

A message seeking comment was left at her flower shop.

Source: http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2017/04/flower_shop_owner_stole_plants.html
29
Wikipedia blocked in Turkey
Posted April 29, 2017, 05:47 by Mave in News
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Wikipedia blocked in Turkey

A block affecting all language editions of the website detected at 8:00AM local time Saturday 29 April. The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country.

Certain subdomains remained partially available on ISP TTNet at the time of writing, while the restriction appears to by fully implemented on Uydunet, Turkcell and other fixed line and mobile service providers.



All language editions of the site are affected and the restriction is in place with multiple service providers.

The BTK/ICTA portal reports that the site has been blocked under a provisional administrative order.

Source: https://turkeyblocks.org/2017/04/29/wikipedia-blocked-turkey/

Apparently Erdogan doesn't believe in facts.
30
To avoid trip with girlfriend, travel agent sent ‘hijack threat’ to airports
Posted April 24, 2017, 05:53 by Mave in News
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To avoid trip with girlfriend, travel agent sent ‘hijack threat’ to airports

 M. Vamshi Krishna, the man who sent the e-mail, was arrested by Hyderabad police.

The Hyderabad Police on Thursday arrested a travel agent who sent an e-mail five days ago to the Mumbai police about possible hijack attempts at the Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai airports.

Though it was mentioned the e-mail sender was a woman, the person turned out to be M. Vamshi Krishna, a man. “He promised his girlfriend living in Chennai that he would take her on a jolly trip to Mumbai by flight but had no money to book the ticket,” Hyderabad Police Commissioner M. Mahender Reddy told The Hindu.

While chatting online, he tried to convince her to cancel the trip but she didn’t pay heed to his request. “Unable to explain to girlfriend that he had no money for the trip, Vamshi decided to create a situation so that flights are cancelled,” Mr. Reddy said.

Vamshi created a fake ticket in his girlfriend's name from Chennai to Mumbai for April 16 and mailed it to her. A day before the scheduled journey, he went to an Internet café in S.R. Nagar and created a fake email id and mailed the Mumbai Police Commissioner.

The e-mail sent by the 'unidentified woman' claimed that “ that a group of 23 people were going to hijack aircraft from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai airports. what she had heard could be true or untrue, but she chose to inform the authorities as she felt it was her duty to do so as a citizen". The e-mail ended with a line that read, “Don’t try to find me because you won’t be able to".

Source and more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/travel-agent-held-for-hijack-threat-e-mail/article18152020.ece
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