Categories
Cute LOL

Adorable Greyhound Has The Funniest Reaction To A “Scary” Halloween Story

For how small she is, Emma the Italian greyhound has a big personality.

All dogs have their own little quirks, but for whatever reason, certain words tend to set off seriously cute reactions from little Emma. Her particular triggers? Guava melon, Chihuahua, and mama. In the spirit of Halloween, her dad decided to incorporate two of these into a “scary” Halloween story.

“Once upon a time, in the deep, dark woods, there lived a little girl named Emma. But she was not alone in the deep, dark woods,” her dad starts out.

 “Because also in these woods lived the evil Chihuahuas and the guava melons…”

‘NOT the GUAVA MELONS,’ Emma seems to say with her howls!

“And they would steal her treats and she would cry because she didn’t have any, and they would sing their song… ‘Guava, guava’… and she would cry for daddy to come save her.”

 

“And daddy would, and she would be okay.”

Daddy, or Bo Webb, had Emma for over 13 years before she, unfortunately, passed away.

Watch below to see (and hear) this sweet greyhound’s reaction to her bedtime story, which hopefully didn’t give her nightmares. According to Bo, she got plenty of treats after.

Categories
Business NONE TECH TECH_Technology

New iPhone debuts facial-recognition technology, raising privacy concerns

Apple’s new iPhone X will be the first iPhone that users will be able to unlock with their faces. Apple’s new FaceID software will make a three-dimensional scan of its user’s face and store it in its memory bank so that it instantly recognizes the user with no log-in password or PIN needed. This would make it the first hand-held phone to feature facial-recognition technology.

Apple said that numerous privacy safeguards will be in place. The facial-scan data will be stored on the phone only and not in any external database, for example.

Not everyone finds these added safety steps reassuring. Some privacy advocates worry that putting facial-recognition technology into mobile phones creates new risks of law enforcement, marketers, and others exploiting it.

“There are real reasons to worry that facial recognition will work its way into our culture and become a surveillance technology that is abused,” said Jay Stanley, a policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Facial-recognition technology is already in widespread use among police and national-security professionals, according to Claire Garvie, a Georgetown University Law School associate. She led a 2016 study that found that law-enforcement databases have the stored facial images of nearly half of all Americans, almost all without the individuals’ consent.

Garvie also found that the databases have erroneously linked some facial images to innocent individuals. If the technology spreads, the risk arises of police wrongly identifying innocent people as criminals, she warned. She added that police could also use it to more easily track individuals who participate in political demonstrations.

Garvie said that Apple is not using facial-recognition in a harmful way but that others might. She expressed concern that the spread of facial-recognition technology throughout society could make consumers more easily trackable by law enforcement, marketers, or even stalkers.

Categories
NONE

California wildfire death toll climbs to 40

Northern California’s out-of-control wildfires have killed at least 40 people as of Saturday, following a Sonoma County government statement that its coroner had confirmed two more dead. Sonoma County is the location of 22 of the deaths, and the historic town of Sonoma and its wineries are reported to be within the pathway of the flames, which have been razing farms, neighborhoods, and natural ecosystems since August in the deadliest known bout of wildfire in California history.

High winds and dry weather across the state have been fanning the flames, state officials said. The flames have destroyed 5,700 homes and businesses and forced 100,000 state residents to evacuate, including 3,000 who fled Saturday from Santa Rosa, about 50 miles north of San Francisco.

“This is truly one of the greatest tragedies that California has ever faced,” Gov. Jerry Brown said. “The devastation is just unbelievable. It is a horror that no one could have imagined.”

Brown has been issuing emergency orders and making efforts to secure federal aid. California’s fire department has received reinforcements from hundreds of out-of-state volunteers arriving from Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and other states, as well as some crews from Canada and Australia.

More than 9,000 firefighters altogether are at work combating the fires. But they are up against 17 large blazes that are still ravaging the northern part of the state.

Daniel Berlant, a California Fire Department spokesman, said that crews have spent days digging ditches near residential areas to keep the flames from reaching more homes and properties. With winds reaching 20 miles per hour or more, however, they worried that neighborhoods behind the ditches might still be in danger due to embers flying through the air and crossing ditches, he said.

Categories
HEALTH

Puerto Rico declines to examine nearly a thousand post-hurricane deaths

Puerto Rican authorities have approved the cremations of 911 Puerto Ricans who died since Hurricane Maria’s September 20 arrival but have not carried out postmortem examinations of any of them, the island’s Department of Public Safety confirmed yesterday. The announcement raises speculations that no one will ever know for sure just how many of these deaths are hurricane-related or, ultimately, exactly how many Puerto Rican lives Hurricane Maria took in all.

Secretary Hector Pesquera, secretary of Public Safety, said Saturday that the cremation authorizations came from the Institute of Forensic Sciences, a Puerto Rican agency that certifies deaths. He said that the institute ruled each death as due to “natural causes” and made no request for further examinations.

“The Institute of Forensic Science must, by law, authorize all of the cremations that are solicited by relatives of the deceased,” Pesquera said in the statement. “In this process various documents are analyzed, among them, the death certificate, proof of death, the medical summary or the document that certifies and shows the circumstances of the death.”

Pesquera also said that the “official” hurricane death tally is 51 dead. Many critics inside and outside Puerto Rico believe that it is much higher.

For example, crematorium staff told reporters that the cremated bodies include some people who when dialysis or oxygen machines they were on shut down in the hurricane-related power outages. None of them made it into the official death count, they said. Nor did some victims of leptospirosis, a waterborne disease that spread in the storm waters, according to local doctors.

Categories
Business NONE TECH TECH_Technology

New Apple iPhone X sells out in minutes

Apple’s new iPhone X is its most expensive one yet, but that didn’t stop customers from buying every last one in Apple’s inventory this morning in less than 10 minutes after the phone first became available for pre-order. The new phone’s sales rate contrasts with comparatively glacial sales rates for the iPhone 8, which accounted for only 16% of all iPhone sales this quarter—probably because so many customers were holding out for the X, suggests Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, a private research firm.

“It seems when Apple announced the forthcoming iPhone X, it changed the market dynamic, and probably depressed demand for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus,” said Mike Levin, co-founder of CIRP. “Rather than waiting for and buying the iPhone 8, it looks like buyers in this quarter either bought existing models, or decided to wait for iPhone X, later in the year.”

The X—pronounced “10”—sells on a sliding price scale that starts at $999 per phone. A buyer who pays $1300 can get an X with an extra-large 64 gigabytes of storage, while $1500 will buy an X with 256 gigabytes of storage. At $1500, the 256-gigabyte X is more expensive than three of Apple’s full-fledged computers.

Buyers who pre-ordered could get their phones shipped as soon as they became available. Apple’s website said that the iPhone X can be delivered in two-three weeks, but some buyers today received messages saying that their phones would not ship for four to five weeks.

An Apple spokesperson said in a media statement that demand is “off the charts” but that Apple is working to get a phone out to every customer who wants one “as quickly as possible.” The statement added that Apple stores will have the phone in stock on November 3.

Categories
NATURE NONE SCI Science

Ocean model error shows climate change may be worse than expected

Models used to estimate past ocean temperature may be flawed, which could call into question many current perceptions of climate change.

This new discovery comes from a team of European researchers, who found that our ancient seas may have been much cooler than previously estimated. That in turn means Earth’s current warming trends are much more powerful than scientists believe.

While researchers cannot definitively know the state of ancient oceans, they estimate them on the belief that their temperatures were preserved inside tiny marine organisms known as foraminifera. By looking at the ancient creatures, scientists determined that the deeper parts of the tropical oceans some 100 million years ago were about 60 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they are today.

However, that may not be true.

“What appeared to be perfectly preserved fossils are in fact not,” said lead author Sylvain Bernard, a mineralogist from the French National Center for Scientific Research, in a statement.

The team found this discrepancy by analyzing how the chemistry of the calcite in the foraminifera’s shells could change over time. They did that by putting some of the organisms in artificial sea water that contained just isotopes of oxygen-18. Then, they raised the temperature and used a nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometer to analyze changes in the calcite’s oxygen ratios.

That revealed the ratios did shift over time. As a result, any evidence based on the organisms may be incorrect. In fact, the new data shows that ancient waters were not much warmer than they are today. 

The new findings suggest Earth’s oceans are getting hotter at a faster rate than previously thought. Now that they know this, the team plans to go back to square one and take a look at existing data. They hope that will help them figure out what difference the changes make to historical records and give them a better idea of what shifts may occur in the future.

“To revisit the ocean’s paleotemperatures now, we need to carefully quantify this re-equilibration, which has been overlooked for too long,” said study co-author Anders Meibom, a geochemist from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, according to Science Alert“For that, we have to work on other types of marine organisms so that we clearly understand what took place in the sediment over geological time.”

The new findings are detailed in the journal Nature Communications.

Categories
Inspiring WOW

How Becoming A Dad Completely Changed Me In 5 Huge Ways

Almost 3 years ago, I became a father. My daughter was born November 2014 and our lives have never been the same.

People told us things would be different. Some tried to tell us life would be extremely different. But I’m here to tell you, it’s completely different.  The things we think about, dream about, and talk about are all different than they were before. The items we purchase, the conversations we have…all different.

And it’s a good different.

Some people think of parenthood and picture vomit, diarrhea, and not sleeping. Those things are definitely present (in vast quantities at times), but fathering a tiny human is far more than that. I’ve learned more about myself and what it means to have the heart of a Father.

Below are 5 things I’ve learned since becoming a Dad:

#1 – I’m capable of WAY more than I thought.

Nothing spells exhaustion like getting less than 5 hours a sleep a night…for a whole month. But even when running on fumes, I was still able to wake up in the morning, go to school to work on my Master’s degree, then go to my part-time job, and come home to help cook/clean/give-my-wife-a-break. I was still able to have friendships. (And boy did I value friendships during that time…thanks for the free meals friends!)

Looking back at those first few months of my entry into fatherhood, I realize that I’m capable of way more than I thought. I could actually function as a partial human being! I did say partial…

#2 – My heart can explode every day.

Seriously. This is no joke. I look at my daughter and I feel my heart pulsating with love and pride. “Look at my most bestest creation!” It’s incredible to think that this beautiful little person is part-me and part-my-wife.

Being a Dad makes me say things like:

“I just want to eat your FACE!”

“I could just squeeze you to death!”

“I wanna nibble your toes…”

And other canniballistic-type things…but I promise it’s out of love, not sadistic hunger. I have so much love for my daughter that I’m pretty sure I die once a day of an overstimulated heart.

#3 – I can experience the full range of emotions in 60 seconds.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, can make me teeter on the edge of utter insanity and complete euphoria…at almost the exact same time…

Except for being a parent.

This child that I love so much can do the most absolute sweetest thing that makes me dote all over her, and then half a second later do something that makes me want to scream and throw her across the room (Is that too real? If it is…you’re not a parent. I now know why you’re shown a “don’t shake the baby” video at the hospital.)

If you’re like me, you love to take personality quizzes and tests and figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Some of my strengths are things like responsibility, connectedness, and learning. My weakness? I don’t have enough emotion. The quizzes I’ve taken basically say, “Are you even human? You don’t feel anything!” My wife can attest to that.

But being a Dad? I’ve discovered all the emotions…and can span the entire emotional spectrum in a very, VERY short amount of time. I even cry more. It’s terrifying.

#4 – My desire to love, protect, and provide is strong.

When I first entered in to marriage, I realized a lot about myself. I wanted to love, protect, and provide for this woman God gave me. And in the almost 7 years we’ve been married I’ve vowed to do just that.

But over the last two years since my daughter’s been born, my desire is the strongest it’s ever been. My wife is a full-grown adult who can take care of herself all on her own. She doesn’t need me.

But my daughter? If left to herself, she would die. She needs her parents to take care of her. To feed her. Clothe her. Put her to bed. Sing to her.Pray for her. And the list goes on…

The lover and protector in me are fully alive in full force. I’m constantly thinking about how to provide for my family in the best way possible. How to keep them safe. How to keep them happy and healthy.

And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

#5 – My marriage has to come first.

When you become a parent, it’s easy to get sucked into only thinking about the needs of the child. But I had to remind myself of this truth: children are a temporary assignment. Marriage is for life.

Now hear me: my children will ALWAYS be my children. Nothing can change that. But eventually, they’ll grow up, move out of the house, meet someone, and have a family of their own.

But my wife will be the person I go to bed with every night for the rest of my life.

As important as it is to keep our children alive and train them up in the way they should go, I cannot neglect my marriage. We long to be a good example of what a strong marriage is for our children. So that when they get married, they have an example to look up to.

My wife is my partner. My lover. My confidant. And my best friend. She has to come first. There will be seasons (like the newborn stage) when much of our focus and attention will be on providing for that child. But we must always come back to what’s most important: our relationship with each other.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it definitely encapsulates a lot of what I’ve learned.

Being a Father is hard, but so incredibly rewarding. There’s absolutely nothing like it.

Categories
NATURE NONE SCI Science

Newly discovered dinosaur had a “bandit mask”

A new dinosaur species unearthed in China had a “bandit mask” pattern on its face that is similar to modern day raccoons, a new study published in Current Biology reports.

The prehistoric reptile — known as Sinosauropteryx — existed between 133 and 120 million years ago in north-eastern China. It had feather, a long tail, and short arms.

Researchers from Bristol University made this discovery by analyzing three well-preserved fossil specimens. This revealed it had a banded tail and a specific color pattern known as “counter-shading,” meaning it was dark on top and lighter on the underside.

Such patterns are found in numerous modern species, including raccoons, badgers, and nuthatches. This is the first time it has been observed in a dinosaur, but scientists are not sure the reason behind the pattern because its use differs from species to species.

“In raccoons and badgers, it’s an advertisement of the fact that they’re aggressive,” explained lead author Fiann Smithwick, a paleontologist at the University of Bristol, according to BBC News. “If you’re a predator and you mess with them, they’re going to fight back. We think that’s probably unlikely in Sinosauropteryx because there’s no real anatomical evidence that it could have defended itself well. It’s a small dinosaur and quite gracile (lightly built).”

Rather, researchers believe the reptile’s mask served a function similar to ones noted in modern birds. Some avian species have patterns around their eyes in order to reduce glare from light reflected off of their feathers. That would have useful to Sinosauropteryx because it lived during a time with a lot of direct sunlight. In addition, there is a chance the mask could have helped camouflage the reptile as well.

The team discerned the dinosaur’s coloration by looking at fossilized pigmented feathers. They then used cross-polarizing filters — which reduce glare and reveal dark-pigmented areas — to capture high-resolution photos of the specimens.

Those methods revealed the unique patters and could give researchers insight into Sinosauropteryx’s habitat and behavior. The team plans to continue their research into the strange animals to see what they could tell them about other dinosaurs that lived during the same time.

 

“By reconstructing the color of these long-extinct dinosaurs, we have gained a better understanding of not only how they behaved and possible predator-prey dynamics, but also the environments in which they lived,” added Smithwick, according to USA Today.

Categories
HEALTH NATURE NONE SCI Science

Heart surgery may be safer in the afternoon, study reports

The body’s internal clock may make heart surgery safer in the afternoon than in the morning, a new study published in The Lancet reports.

Our internal clock — also known as circadian rhythm — drives large changes in the way the body works. It is the reason we sleep at night, and it also drives certain biological changes throughout the day. In the new study, a group of researchers from the Institut Pasteur de Lille also proved that it could make the heart stronger and more able to withstand surgery during the afternoon.

In order to perform operations on the heart, doctors typically need to stop the organ. This reduces oxygen flow to the tissue and puts the heart under an enormous amount of stress.

To get an idea of how that stress is linked to time, the team looked at how complications — including heart attacks, heart failure, or death after surgery — changed from morning to afternoon to night. This showed that 54 out of 298 morning patients had adverse events, compared to just 28 out of 298 afternoon patients. In addition, patients who went into surgery during the afternoon had half the risk of complications.

While the team does not want to discourage people from having life-saving surgery, they do hope to make doctors more aware of the best times to operate.

“If we can identify patients at highest risk, they will definitely benefit from being pushed into the afternoon and that would be reasonable,” study co-author Bart Staels, a researcher at the Institut Pasteur de Lille, told BBC News.

Previous research has already shown that heart health fluctuates throughout the day. The risk of a heart attack or stroke is highest first thing in the morning, while the heart and lungs work at their peak in the afternoon.

While some people speculate that surgeons being tired in the morning is the reason for those differences, the team showed that was not the cause. Not only did they analyze DNA samples to show different genes changed throughout the day, but they also altered the activity of one of those genes in mice, which reduced the risk of death.

However, while this is compelling evidence, more research needs to be done before the link between heart surgery and time of day can be confirmed. There are many factors at play and scientists hope they can better narrow it down for future study.

“What this research suggests is that an intrinsic body clock within cells of the heart may render these cells more susceptible to injury during cardiac surgery in the morning versus the afternoon,” said Bryan Williams, chair of medicine at University College London who was not involved in the study, according to The Guardian. “This would be needed to change practice because the logistical implications of doing so would be huge and require definitive proof that there is a real benefit.”

Categories
NATURE NONE SCI Science

Irrigation drives urban cooling, study reports

While climate scientists fear global warming will cause cities to become much hotter than rural areas, new research from researchers at Purdue University suggests some urban regions may experience a cooling effect instead.

In the study, researchers found that over 60 percent of urban areas in India experience a day-time cooling effect. While the process has been noted in past research, this is the first time scientists have been able to identify the cause: lack of moisture and vegetation in non-urban areas surrounding the city.

“When the areas around cities are running low on water and they aren’t being irrigated, they turn into hot, dry, barren fields,” said study co-author Matthew Huber, a professor of earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences at Purdue University, according to Phys.org. “When that happens, there’s actually more water available to evaporate in the cities than the surrounding countryside. It’s like the cities are sweating.”

Typically, the so-called “heat island” effect causes cities to be warmer than their rural surroundings. This occurs because cities lose vegetation as they develop. Without that shade and moisture, the regions become hotter over time.

However, the findings show that is not always the case.

In the study, the team collected temperature data from 89 cities in India and then used a climate model to determine the effects of irrigation. This showed that urban temperatures are largely driven by both agriculture and moisture availability from irrigation. Season and region play big factors in regional heating or cooling as well.

However, while most of the urban centers looked at in the study cooled during the day, almost all of them became warmer at night. The effects of night-time warming were especially intense in the semi-arid western region of India.

This is important because intense warming can be deadly. In May of 2015, a massive heat wave led to over 2,000 deaths, and such temperature spikes are expected to become more frequent as time moves on.

The team hopes their new findings will show officials how to use land in a way that will create cooling effects. That could then lead to more effective urban planning and improve public health. 

“[T]hat has implications for water use,” added Huber. “Are you going to impoverish the countryside and leave those areas barren, and the cities lush? These are the kinds of questions we’re asking: what are the tradeoffs?”

This research is detailed in Scientific Reports.