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NONE NWT_Biology NWT_Earth

Fatal Tennessee wildfire likely caused by humans

The deadly wildfires that have raged through Tennessee are likely to have been caused by human beings.

The wildfires, which have already engulfed two tourist towns close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, began some time on or before Monday. According to Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent, Cassius Cash, the fires were likely to have been caused by human actions.

According to other Tennessee state officials, the fires have caused the destruction or damaging of at least seven hundred homes and buildings. Seven people have died as a result of the wildfires. Over 53 people have also been treated for injuries caused by the wildfires.

Most of the damage has been in the city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A wall of fire was described as descending from the mountains onto Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge at a surprising speed. Many citizens of the two towns were forced to flee their homes without much time to prepare for evacuation. The fires continued to spread through Sevier County and were fed by brush according to state officials.

According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the only thing that was able to slow the wildfires was rain. All of the wildfires were put out by late Wednesday, although some ash still smoldered. The city of Gatlinburg is still under an emergency evacuation order and there was an overnight curfew put in place. There are search and rescue efforts under way currently by state entities and the Red Cross but many areas are still unreachable and the number of missing individuals has not been determined.

 

 

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Business HOUNDS_Entertainment Media NONE TECH_Technology

Facebook innovate yet another we to hook people longer to their applications

Facebook has introduced instant gaming via HTML5 to keep people hooked to Messenger.

Facebook’s success has been one of the most phenomenal achievements by any company in recent years. Many people expected it to die off, but against the belief it has managed to reinvent itself at every turn.

With Messenger struggling to compete with other instant messaging boards like Whatsapp, they have been unable to control or even tap into this avenue. However, By recently introducing instant gaming, this entices people to stay longer on Messenger.

If people stay more engaged on Messenger, it gives Facebook a perfect avenue to develop another revenue stream trough ad. Gaming companies can also use the platform to launch new games or create awareness by giving the users a little “sneak Plays” for the larger game on their platform.

But what makes this a big win for Facebook, is that the games are directly built on HTML5 a, therefore, do not need to be downloaded just played instantly.

“Facebook actually tested the potential for Messenger games by creating its own. It’s basketball shoot-out game was played 1.2 billion times, much more than the company expected,” said Josh Constine from TechCrunch. “I played all 17 of the games, and was impressed by how they quickly load in three to ten seconds considering the high-quality graphics and gameplay.”

Facebook has introduced the games to just over 30 countries as they release the first phase of the project. The games can be found directly on the Messenger app next to the stickers.

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Business Mobile NONE TECH_Technology

IPhone profits set to drop in 2018

Many analysts feel that this was bound to happen in the short run. The iPhone 7 did not perform as well as expected leading to a marginal drop in profits. But that was not the worst thing to happen to Apple during this season.

The biggest problem was the weak product created a loophole for other brands to exploited i.e. Samsung and HTC. This led to a significant drop in customer loyalty, something that Apple has in abidance.

But if the rumor is true, then the company is set to make another colossal error in judgment.
It is believed that the iPhone 8 will have a glass encasing as opposed to the traditional metallic case. However, this will result in a 20 percent rise in production and theory an increase in price.

“Expects that this all-glass design will be more expensive to produce due to a 20 percent increase in CNC machine hours to produce the chassis,” said the Fox analysis. “We think the average selling price for the next iPhone metal casing will stay at a similar level to iPhone 7/7 Plus on a like-for-like basis, but the ‘blended’ average sale price will rise as blended size becomes bigger.”

But after a public survey by Fox Business, the public believes that the glass casing is cheaper to make and therefore should make the iPhone 8 more affordable. With the already reduced customer loyalty from the previous flagship, they would lose more loyalty if they were to increase the price when the public expects it to drop, they would feel ripped off.

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NONE SPORT

Chapecoense soccer team crashes on way to title game

Brazilian futbol team, Chapecoense, crashed in an airplane on the way to the Copa Sudamerica final.

Chapecoense had climbed up the ladder of Brazilian soccer and was set to culminate their season in the final match of the international competition, but the plane on which the team was travelling crashed over the mountains in Medellin, Colombia. It is being reported that the plane called in an emergency on Monday night, complaining of an electrical failure. At the time of the crash over 70 passengers, including team members and personnel, were aboard the plane. Six people survived the crash: a journalist flying with the team, two flight crew members and three Chapecoense players. The rest were either found dead or presumed dead.

A large part of the tragedy in the plane crash besides the devastating loss of life is that Chapecoense had created an unprecedented success story. The team from the small industrial village in southern Brazil was going to make the home town proud. Many of the players on the team would have received lucrative offers from larger clubs that would have ameliorated the lives of their loved ones.

“This is a relatively small city, so everyone knows somebody who was on the plane,” said Roberto Panarotto, a 44 year old media studies professor in Chapecó, the town from which Chapecoense hails. Panaratto said that one of the presumed fatalities in the crash, a member of the coaching staff, was one of his childhood friends.

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NONE

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye Agrees to step down

With an approval rating of just 4 percent and people flooding the streets of South Korea for the past five weeks asking her to step down, President Park has made a statement to say she would if she was asked by Parliament to do so.

“I will abide by whatever arrangement the ruling and the opposition parties work out, including reducing my term,” Park said during a news conference in Seoul. “I am ready to put all things down.”

Park has been accused of several corruption charges. She is charged with defrauding the government of millions of dollars, She has been accused of giving tenders to her friends and family. The South Korean president has also been charged with using funds to purchase houses for her daughter.

Her presidency gives her immunity from prosecution, but she seems to be looking for some amnesty by agreeing to step down. She is believed to be looking for an agreement that she will not be prosecuted if she steps down. This way she will also leave office with a little dignity and respect still intact.

Suffice her agreeing to step down, she has denied any wrongdoing and says all she did, she believed it was for the betterment of the country.

“I did what I did thinking that was the best for the nation, but that cannot excuse me for the failing to manage the people around me,” Park said.

But others believe her agreement to step down is not in good faith. They think all she wants to do is avoid impeachment, which many believe is a foregone conclusion.

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CELEB HOUNDS_Entertainment Music NONE

Kanye’s mental breakdown may have started off on the Ellen Show

A few weeks ago Kanye went on a full out rant on the Ellen show. Many saw this as just another Kanye outburst. After all, the world is so used to his antics and many just thought it was another Kanye outburst.

But after his recent medical diagnosis, the rant that left Ellen speechless seems to make more sense now. It was believed that he was high on something, but now after a closer analysis of the video, he looks more confused and dazed than drunk.

During the show, Kanye started off quite well, even by Kanye standards. He answered questions with short, precise answers. Maybe he knew his condition and just didn’t want to talk too much. “Do you want more kids?” asked Ellen.

Kanye responded, “Yes.” Then Ellen asked “does Kim want more kids?” again Kanye responded with one word “maybe.”

You could see the reaction of Ellen by his answers; it was an interview, after all, an interactive segment between the hostess and the musician.

He took longer than usual to respond to the questions, and his speech seemed a little impaired.

But midway through the show, Kanye went out on a full out rant, using the F word at will as Ellen just at on her sit looking confused.

Even when Ellen tried to go on, break Kanye stopped her and insisted that he wanted to make a difference in the world.

After this interview, he went on a series of interviews that in each he seemed to spiral further than the rest. It is now a little clearer, which Kanye was not himself through these segments,

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CELEB HOUNDS_Entertainment NONE TV

Westworld directress breaks down most recent plot turns

Westworld directress, Michelle MacLaren, opened up about her recent episode.

MacLaren spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about new plot twists that she was brought aboard to bring to life on the popular HBO program. Westworld, critically acclaimed for its novel and innovative slant on science fiction television, has attracted a healthy viewership of both science fiction and western action fans.

“Westworld is unlike anything I’ve done,” proclaimed MacLaren of her role on the innovative program. “It’s so deeply in the sci-fi world. X-Files, of course, touches on that world as well, but in a completely different way. For me, it was very much a departure from what I’ve done recently. That was a challenge, and exciting. It was fun to explore so deeply a different genre.”

As Westworld comes down to its last few episodes, plot twists and mysteries have popped up left and right. MacLaren directed an episode titled, “The Well Tempered Clavier”. She spoke about the twists that occurred before her episode with one of the main characters, Bernard, and how he has been revealed to be a robot disguised as a human. MacLaren also talked about attempting to bring her own touch to new revelations in her episode.

“I was really excited to find out that Bernard was Arnold,” said MacLaren. “I had absolutely no idea. I thought it was so interesting that we got to see that he’s a host yet again, too, and the psychological impact that it has on Bernard.

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NONE SPORT SPORT_NFL

Eric Dickerson banned from Rams sideline

Hall of Fame Los Angeles Rams running back, Eric Dickerson, has been banned from the team sidelines.

Dickerson is a six time Pro Bowler and had his jersey retired with the Los Angeles Rams after being drafted by the team. Dickerson was named Rookie of the Year, won the National Football League Offensive Player of the Year, and three times won the NFC Offensive Player of the Year all with the Rams. Now the team has informed him that because of comments he has made on his radio show that he is no longer welcome on the sideline during Rams home games.

“Someone from upper management called me and said I make the players feel uncomfortable about some of the stuff I say on the radio. . . . They don’t want me on the sidelines. They don’t want me at the games,” announced Dickerson on his radio show. “Look, I love my football team. I want my team to win. You got the nerve to call me and tell me that crap? . . . These are grown men, these aren’t a bunch of girls. These are grown-ass men. . . .”

Dickerson did not say who called him on the phone but did continue with what he told the caller in response.

“If you get fired, you will go someplace else, but I will always be Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams,” Dickerson told whoever it was that called him. “That’s why I wear that gold jacket. I have the right to say what I want to say.”

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Speed of light may have been faster in early universe

Scientists have long assumed that the speed of light is an unwavering constant of the universe.  Now, a new theory may overturn that assumption.

EurekAlert reports that researchers now propose a model in which the speed of light is variable, and was faster than it is today in the early days of the universe.

The idea of a constant speed of light is essential to many theories of physics, including Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity.  Physicists have traditionally included the light-speed constant in models designed to explain how the universe behaved in its first moments of existence.

The prediction that the universe’s first light was speedier than today’s could soon be tested.  A research team looked at current evidence of fluctuations that existed as pockets of varying densities in the early universe.  These ancient fluctuations left their mark on the cosmic microwave background, detected today as the oldest light in the universe.  The mark left by the density variations is called a spectral index.

The team was able to develop a model to determine an exact figure on the spectral index, going with the assumption that the speed of light varied in the forming universe.  As additional researchers close in on precise readings of the spectral index, their results will be able to confirm or debunk the theory of a variable light speed.

The difficulty with the reigning theory that the speed of light has always been constant is that, under that assumption, light has not had enough time to travel to the ends of the universe and create the fairly homogenous density observed throughout the universe today.

If light traveled faster at first, then it would have had enough time to reach the edges of the forming universe and connect the edges as everything expanded.

“The theory, which we first proposed in the late-1990s, has now reached a maturity point – it has produced a testable prediction,” João Magueijo of the Imperial College London said.  “If observations in the near future do find this number to be accurate, it could lead to a modification of Einstein’s theory of gravity.  The idea that the speed of light could be variable was radical when first proposed, but with a numerical prediction, it becomes something physicists can actually test. If true, it would mean that the laws of nature were not always the same as they are today.”

The predicted spectral index figure and the formulas used to determine it are published in the journal Physical Review D.

Categories
HEALTH NONE SCI Science

China first to begin human gene-editing

Ongoing research on altering the gene makeup in humans has been going on for almost ten years.

A lot of progress has been achieved this year, and the US had estimated to start human trials early 2017. But China has beaten them to the punch and already carried out a procedure to a lung cancer patient and is awaiting progress.

The technology has been named CRISPR clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats. The technique involves editing the problem causing genome in the DNA. Usually, a minuscule alteration of a gene can cause significant changes to the overall structure of the organ and the organism.

However, the good thing is the genome involved is a duplication of the same structure. This discovery involves identifying the problem causing genome, copying the adjusted genome, removing the infected structure and reintroducing the cloned genome in place of the infected.

Emanuelle Charpenter is the principal discoverer of the technique and has won multiple awards for it.

“What the system does, is recognize an individual particular gene, in the genome of our cells and correct mutation by doing some copy pasting,” she said. The system can edit the gene like we do text and change the functioning of the gene.”

The scientific community has stated that this is a very significant discovery in the battle to eradicate disease on the planet. A section of scientists is looking to use the technique to introduce bacteria that will be produced by the body to a battle viral disease that many do not have a cure for HIV.

But some sections are pointing out moral and ethical practices. Especially to the Chinese who are doing embryo studies and alterations.