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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,332

Journal Archives

Elon Musk's flamethrower makes $3.5 million in sales

Source: CNET

The Boring Company decided to start selling flamethrower weapons over the weekend, and it appears to have become an aspiring supervillain's newest shop. Elon Musk's company has made $3.5 million in sales after the CEO announced the weapon on social media Saturday.

The flamethrower has The Boring Company's logo emblazoned on it and sells for $500 (roughly £355 and AU$620). Musk announced early Monday on Twitter that 7,000 of the 20,000 available flamethrowers have already been ordered, bringing us to $3.5 million using a little multiplication.

Musk, who is also known for leading Tesla and SpaceX, promoted his new fiery toy with glee in an Instagram video featuring him turning on the flamethrower and then running at the cameraman (Please don't do this, EVER!).

And accompanying the flamethrower on the website is a branded fire extinguisher, which The Boring Company openly advises is overpriced at $30 (roughly £20 and AU$40). Those should decide to order one should expect to receive the weapon this spring, notes the store website.

Read more: https://www.cnet.com/news/elon-musk-the-boring-company-flamethrower-makes-3-5-million-in-sales/

The End of Men? Male Sex chromosome is slowly disappearing

Source: Newsweek

The Y chromosome may be a symbol of masculinity, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it is anything but strong and enduring. Although it carries the “master switch” gene, SRY, that determines whether an embryo will develop as male (XY) or female (XX), it contains very few other genes and is the only chromosome not necessary for life. Women, after all, manage just fine without one.

What’s more, the Y chromosome has degenerated rapidly, leaving females with two perfectly normal X chromosomes, but males with an X and a shriveled Y. If the same rate of degeneration continues, the Y chromosome has just 4.6 million years left before it disappears completely. This may sound like a long time, but it isn’t when you consider that life has existed on Earth for 3.5 billion years.

The Y chromosome hasn’t always been like this. If we rewind the clock to 166 million years ago, to the very first mammals, the story was completely different. The early “proto-Y” chromosome was originally the same size as the X chromosome and contained all the same genes. However, Y chromosomes have a fundamental flaw. Unlike all other chromosomes, which we have two copies of in each of our cells, Y chromosomes are only ever present as a single copy, passed from fathers to their sons.

This means that genes on the Y chromosome cannot undergo genetic recombination, the “shuffling” of genes that occurs in each generation which helps to eliminate damaging gene mutations. Deprived of the benefits of recombination, Y chromosomal genes degenerate over time and are eventually lost from the genome.

Read more: http://www.newsweek.com/end-men-y-chromosome-slowly-disappearing-785043

NASA pulled this astronaut from a space station crew. Her brother blames racism.

Source: Washington Post

NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps, who was slated to become the first black crew member to live on board the International Space Station, was unexpectedly pulled from her June flight.

In a brief news release Thursday, NASA announced that Serena Auñón-Chancellor, a fellow member of Epps's astronaut class who was scheduled to launch later in the year, would be bumped up to take Epps's place. Epps, who had already started training for her role on Expedition 56-57, will return to Johnson Space Center in Houston, where she will be a candidate for future crews.

NASA did not give an explanation for the crew change. But Epps's brother blamed racism at the space agency.

“My sister Dr. Jeannette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist in NASA and now they are holding her back and allowing a Caucasian Astronaut to take her place!” Henry Epps wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. (The post has since been removed.) He linked to a MoveOn.org petition asking NASA to reinstate Epps.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/01/22/nasa-pulled-this-astronaut-from-a-space-station-crew-her-brother-blames-racism/?utm_term=.08782be4ad22

Sotomayor Doing Fine After Treatment by Paramedics, Court Says

Source: Bloomberg

Paramedics treated U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for low blood sugar at her Washington home Friday, but the 63-year-old justice, who has type 1 diabetes, was able to go to work and is doing fine, a court spokeswoman said.

"Justice Sotomayor experienced symptoms of low blood sugar at her home this morning," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. "She was treated by D.C. Emergency Medical Services and is doing fine. She came to work, followed her usual schedule, and will be participating in planned activities over the weekend."

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-19/sotomayor-doing-fine-after-treatment-by-paramedics-court-says

NASA's Jeanette Epps won't make history on the Space Station in 2018

Source: Mashable

Jeanette Epps, who was set to become the first-ever African-American astronaut to be a crewmember on the International Space Station, will not fly to space in 2018 as scheduled, NASA announced late Thursday.

It's not clear why Epps was reassigned from her flight. The decision pulls her from her slated mission, which was expected to launch in June.

"A number of factors are considered when making flight assignments; these decisions are personnel matters for which NASA doesn’t provide information," NASA spokesperson Brandi Dean said via email.

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor "... is taking the place of astronaut Jeanette Epps, who will return to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to assume duties in the Astronaut Office and be considered for assignment to future missions," NASA said in a statement.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/18/jeanette-epps-nasa-space-station-reassignment/#RLbo4oFSfSqb

Apple, Returning Overseas Cash, to Pay $38 Billion Tax Bill

Source: Bloomberg

Apple Inc. said it will bring hundreds of billions of overseas dollars back to the U.S., pay about $38 billion in taxes on the money and spend tens of billions on domestic jobs, manufacturing and data centers in the coming years.

The iPhone maker plans capital expenditures of $30 billion in the U.S. over five years and will create 20,000 new jobs at existing sites and a new campus it intends to open, the Cupertino, California-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Apple’s shares rose 1.7 percent to a record closing price of $179.10 in New York.

“We are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in the statement, which alluded to unspecified plans by the company to accelerate education programs.

Apple also told employees Wednesday that it’s issuing stock-based bonuses worth $2,500 each following the new U.S. tax law, according to people familiar with the matter.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-17/apple-expects-38-billion-tax-bill-on-overseas-repatriated-cash

Trump is still a dick.

'New California' campaign aims to separate rural counties from coastal cities

Source: SF Gate

Two men frustrated with what they call an "ungovernable" California have launched a new campaign to divide the rural areas of the state from its coastal cities.

Founders of the "New California" movement, Robert Paul Preston and Tom Reed, write on the campaign's website that California is "a failed state" and that "citizens of California are living under a tyrannical form of government that does not follow the California and U.S. Constitutions."

The campaign cites high taxes, and a decline in housing, health care, prisons, state parks, education, and "business climate," among other things, in both high-density and rural areas as reasons for a division.


Unlike other, similar campaigns, this is not a secession; rather, proponents of New California want to create a brand new economy with a new constitution via Article IV, Section 3 of the United States Constitution.

Read more: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/New-California-campaign-aims-to-separate-rural-12501812.php

'World's Most Magnificent Time Machine,' the James Webb Space Telescope, Leaving Houston

Source: Space.com

It survived a hurricane and is now off to earthquake territory: The James Webb Space Telescope has come out of its deep freeze and will soon leave Houston to unite with its sun shield and spacecraft bus in California to prepare for a 2019 launch.

NASA officials updated media on the megatelescope's status and described trials yet to come in a teleconference yesterday (Jan. 10) from Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"We're extremely elated to be here, especially after the successful completion of our cryovacuum and optical testing of the world's most magnificent time machine, the Webb telescope," Mark Voyton, the manager for the Optical Telescope Element and Integrated Science Instrument Module, said during the news conference.

The telescope's mirrors and instrumentation emerged from Johnson's enormous cryovacuum chamber, Chamber A, two months ago after a series of tests to confirm its enormous primary mirror — consisting of 18 hexagonal segments — and its science instruments could work to focus and track starlight in the airless cold of space. When it launches, Webb will be the largest space telescope in the world. With seven times the collecting area of the Hubble Space Telescope and ultracool operating temperatures, it will be able to detect infrared light from the earliest stars and galaxies and even analyze the atmospheres of distant planets passing in front of their stars.

Read more: https://www.space.com/39356-james-webb-space-telescope-leaving-houston.html

I cannot wait for this to be launched. The Science!!...

Walmart is raising wages and giving bonuses, citing tax cuts

Source: Axios

Walmart is boosting starting wages, providing a one-time bonus for employees and expanding benefits, the company said in a press release on Thursday, citing the tax cuts signed into law by President Trump last year. The plan benefits more than a million employees, the company told Axios.

Details: The bonus is based on length of service, with those who've worked 20 years eligible for $1,000. The company, which is the largest private employer in the U.S. and employs roughly 2.2 million people worldwide, is also raising its starting wage to $11 an hour. The current starting wage for store associates is $9 an hour. The company also said it plans to expand its maternity and paternity leave benefits.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/walmart-boosting-1515675530-f1641dc4-c92c-4002-ab00-b2e8cf35d540.html?source=sidebar

Judge again rules for Trump administration in fight for control of CFPB

Source: Washington Post

A federal judge on Wednesday sided with the Trump administration for a second time in a fight for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, denying a request by a high-ranking agency employee that she be put in charge instead of the White House’s pick.

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly on Wednesday turned down Leandra English’s request for a temporary restraining order that would prevent White House budget director Mick Mulvaney from serving as the CFPB’s acting director. “English has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits or shown that she will suffer irreparable injury absent injunctive relief,” Kelly said in the 46-page ruling.


English’s attorneys have argued that the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which established the CFPB after the financial crisis, laid out a specific plan of succession authorizing the deputy director to take over until a White House nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Also, they said, Mulvaney cannot wear two hats by simultaneously leading the independent financial regulator while serving as director the Office of Management and Budget.

“​We are disappointed in today’s decision,” Deepak Gupta, English’s attorney, said in a statement. ​”The law is clear: President Trump may not circumvent the Senate confirmation process by installing his White House budget director to run th​e CFPB part time. Mr. Mulvaney’s appointment undermines the Bureau’s independence and threatens its mission to protect American consumers.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/01/10/judge-again-rules-for-trump-administration-in-fight-for-control-of-cfpb/?utm_term=.90b1db60134c
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