According to a report by IFP, Shahrvand newspaper on Tuesday, December 27, published an article about the life of homeless people who have to sleep in prefabricated graves in a cemetery near the Iranian capital at the freezing nights of winter.In reaction to the report, acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi wrote an open letter President Hassan Rouhani, which reads as follows:
“Today, I read this moving report about the living conditions of the men, women and children who sleep in prefabricated graves in one of the cemeteries in the outskirts of Tehran to brave the freezing nights of winter. Now, I am overwhelmed by shame and have a lump in my throat. Through this very letter, I would like to share with all those who have held positions over these thirty some years [after 1979 Revolution], this feeling of embarrassment and shame.
Source: Homeless Junkies Living inside Graves Draw Widespread Reactions in Iran » IFP News
– Pope Francis might have a job for life, but residents of Vatican City with less job security can now fall back on flipping burgers: As NBC News reports, there’s a new McDonald’s in town, and this one is controversially located on Vatican-owned property a stone’s throw from St. Peter’s Square. The new restaurant, dubbed the “McVatican,” opened Friday to noticeably little fanfare after public outcry greeted its initial announcement; one cardinal had even called the Church’s move to rent the 5,800-square-foot space to McDonald’s “aberrant” and “a perversion,” while lamenting the “disgrace” of hawking “unhealthy” food “that I would never eat.” But the price tag—more than $30,000 a month paid to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See—was apparently enough to overcome such sentiment within the church at large. And yes, you can have WiFi with that.
Source: Behold, Mickey Dee’s Latest: the ‘McVatican’
|The objective of this project is to successfully design and construct a linear electromagnetic accelerator capable of accelerating a lightweight payload to velocities greater than 1000m/s so that high velocity erosion in the rail/armature interface can be studied and a means for minimizing this erosion be investigated.
Rail Guns are not by any means a new technology; 50 years ago when the first true rail guns were built and fired it was believed that they would provide a means to accelerate objects to virtually any desired speed, replace conventional weapons and provide cheap orbital launches for small payloads. Today, despite enormous advances in the technology, the maximum muzzle velocities attainable are nowhere near what was once believed possible, and railguns remain confined to the laboratory where some times the rails need to be removed and resurfaced after every shot. The cost of obtaining high acceleration through electrical action between sliding contacts is the rapid destruction of those contacts through arcing and friction. I am not alone in believing that we are very close to a solution to this erosion problem, and it is my belief that once this solution is found it will have profound implications our understanding of materials science, power transmission, high velocity friction, and open new doors to the fields of transportation, defense, manufacturing, and more.
As I embark on this research once again to further my knowledge in various fields of science I hope to make a significant contribution to the field of electromagnetic acceleration, which has fascinated me ever since I first learned about it, and hopefully secure a job offer in this field.
After months of speculation, scientists have finally identified the most likely source of a creepy audio recording from the deepest part of the ocean.According to a new study, the eerie 3.5-second recording that was picked up by an autonomous vehicle deep in the Mariana Trench is a new type of baleen whale call that no one has ever heard before, and it’s still not clear what it actually means.”It’s very distinct, with all these crazy parts,” says one of the team, Sharon Nieukirk from Oregon State University. “The low-frequency moaning part is typical of baleen whales, and it’s that kind of twangy sound that makes it really unique. We don’t find many new baleen whale calls.”You can hear the recording below, which features five different sounds ranging from metallic to biological, and has been nicknamed the Western Pacific Biotwang:
Source: Scientists have identified that mysterious, metallic sound coming from the Mariana Trench – ScienceAlert
A Florida teen needs to ask for a refund on his shark-repellent wristband.Just days after getting the Shark Banz magnetic band for Christmas, Zack Davis went surfing off North Hutchinson Island near his home of Vero Beach, Fla., and was promptly attacked by, you guessed it, a shark.“It was supposed to keep sharks away and the first time I wore it, and I go surfing a lot, but the first time I wore it, I get bit.” Davis told local TV station CBS 12.The shark, believed to be a black tip, chomped down on Davis’s right arm, gashing him for 44 stitches in the shape of a shark jaw. He was able to shake free of the beast after “two or three seconds” and quickly got out of the blood-stained water before being attacked a second time.
Source: Teen wearing shark-repellent wristband attacked by shark | World | News | Toront
As urban cycling continues to increase in popularity, bike commuters still face the same challenge: carrying a clunky helmet with them wherever they go. For part-time, on-demand cyclists in places with bike share programs the problem is even more pronounced: hopping a ride is simply not a safe option unless they happen to have headgear handy.Hence the EcoHelmet by Isis Shiffer, a graduate of the Pratt Institute of Design in New York. Her collapsible helmet is designed to be low-cost (around $5) and easy to pack into vending machines paired with bike sharing stations.
Source: Flat-Pack Bicycle Helmet: Portable Paper Head Protection for Cyclists | Urbanist
It’s hard to be mad at a child when they get in trouble for doing something straight out of Mission Impossible.Ashlynd Howell recently ordered $250 of Pokemon toys from her mom’s phone.
The 6-year-old waited until her mother was asleep, grabbed her mom’s thumb, and used it to unlock the fingerprint security that guarded the phone.According to The Wall Street Journal article that revealed the story, Howell’s mother thought she had been hacked after she received 13 order confirmations for Pokemon toys.
No, Mommy, I was shopping,” Ms. Howell said her daughter told her. “But don’t worry—everything that I ordered is coming straight to the house.”
Source: 6-year-old uses sleeping mom’s thumb to break into phone to buy $250 in Pokemon toys – SFGate
So, we just wrote about Obama administration’s tepid response to claims that Russians “interfered” with the Presidential election. In that post, we noted our concerns about the fact that we seem to be escalating a situation based on claims where we’re not allowed to see any of the actual evidence. I’ve seen a bunch of people arguing that anyone who won’t automatically accept that Russia interfered in the election should be dubbed either Putin supporters or, at the very least, “useful idiots” but we should be very, very careful about where this leads. I certainly think that there’s a tremendous possibility that Russian forces did intend to interfere with our election, but I’d certainly like to see some actual evidence — and the “evidence” provided so far shows no such thing. And this should scare you. Not because it means that anyone is lying, but because it’s setting the stage for very dangerous things. If we’re setting the precedent that the US government can escalate situations based on purely secret knowledge, what’s to stop them from doing so over and over again? Put another way: for those who dislike Trump, but are happy about the White House calling out and sanctioning Russia, how will you feel when President Trump makes similar claims about some other country (perhaps one blocking a new Trump hotel?), and proceeds to issue US government sanctions on that country — but without releasing any actual evidence of wrongdoing beyond “government agencies say they did bad things.” Won’t that be concerning too? Matt Taibbi, over at Rolling Stone, has an excellent article comparing this to when we started the war in Iraq — noting the similarities, in that the government (and the press) kept insisting that because certain government agencies said something (“Iraq has WMDs”), it must be true:
Source: Whether Or Not You Believe Russia Interfered In The Election, We Should All Be Worried About Escalation Based On Secret Info | Techdirt
For one New York family, it’s a very special holiday as 7-month-old Vincent Bono celebrates his first Christmas.His parents say it’s much more than a milestone — it’s a blessing.“My pregnancy, I was worried everyday,” mom Nicole Bono recalls.Baby Vincent was born with a type of craniosynostosis, a rare birth defect that causes a ridge on the forehead. For some children, surgery is necessary to allow the brain to grow and develop normally.“If it’s not fixed in infancy, it becomes a deformity that really limits their ability,” Dr. Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at Stony Brook Medicine, told CBS News.7-month-old Vincent Bono, after recovering from skull surgery. CBS NEWSEgnor and his team reconstructed Vincent’s skull with the help of 3D printing technology.With the help of CAT scans, they created 3D-printed models of Vincent’s head, allowing doctors to explore the “before and after” from all angles.“The 3D modeling technique makes the operation considerably safer,” Egnor said.Doctors also used the models to practice taking the skull apart, removing the deformity, and putting it back together again, allowing for more precision.
Source: Innovative skull surgery helps baby celebrate first Christmas – CBS News
Tuesday’s death of actor Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in “Star Wars,” set off waves of remembrance among fans – but also speculation over her character’s return in yet-to-be-filmed episodes.
Filmmakers are tapping advances in digital technology to resurrect characters after a performer dies, most notably in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The film, in theaters now, features the return of Grand Moff Tarkin, originally played by a long-dead actor.
The trend has sent Hollywood actors in the here-and-now scrambling to exert control over how their characters and images are portrayed in the hereafter.
“Celebrities are increasingly involved in making plans to protect their intellectual property rights,” said Mark Roesler, an attorney and chairman of CMG Worldwide, an agency representing celebrity estates. “They understand that their legacy will continue beyond their lifetime.”
Roesler said at least 25 of his clients are engaged in actively negotiating the use of their or their loved ones’ computer-generated images in movies, television or commercials. Employment contracts govern how they can be used in a particular film or commercial, while a performer’s will can address broader issues.