Man with implanted chip unlocks Tesla with his hand

Man with implanted chip unlocks Tesla with his hand(Source A Utah man is blurring the line between man and machine by implanting chips in his hands that allow him to, among other things, unlock his Tesla. Ben Workman of Provo said he currently has four chips implanted in his hands, including an electronic Tesla key that allows him to unlock his car with a wave of his hand. “I play tricks on people who don`t know I have it in my hand. I try and convince them a banana is the key and then I hold a banana up and [the chip] unlocks the door,” he told KSTU-TV. The other chips in Workman’s hands allow him to unlock doors at work, log on and off of his computer and share contact information using the same technology as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

He said most of the chips were installed by a family member, but he required the help of a piercing studio to implant the Tesla key. Workman said he also has a magnet implanted in his left hand that he uses for “magic tricks.”

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on New Years Day

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on New Years Day(Source Reuters) Many pot-smoking adults in Illinois will ring in the new year on a high note when recreational marijuana use becomes legal in the state on Jan. 1. Starting New Years Day, people 21 and older will be able to legally buy up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, 5 grams of marijuana concentrate, or 500 grams of THC-infused products such as edibles at licensed commercial dealers throughout the state. Cannabis consumers are expected to flock to the handful of licensed shops across Chicago on New Years Day. On the city’s North Side, a dealer sold $250 tickets to clients who wanted to be at the front of the line when the store opens early in the morning next Wednesday. Another shop, Dispensary 33, in the city’s Uptown neighborhood, will use a paging system to usher in customers who are waiting at a bar next door. Illinois joins 10 other states and the District of Columbia where small amounts of the drug for adult use is legal. In June, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed into law marijuana legislation that also allows for some 700,000 marijuana-related records and convictions to be erased.

Deadly Typhoon Phanfone leaves destruction in its wake on Christmas Day

Deadly Typhoon Phanfone leaves destruction in its wake on Christmas Day

( Source AccuWeather)

As AccuWeather meteorologists have been warning about since last week, Phanfone made landfall in the Eastern Samar province of the Philippines on Tuesday afternoon, local time. Phanfone, known locally in the Philippines as Ursula, struck the country as a typhoon with the equivalent strength of a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic or East Pacific basins. Through Christmas day, Phanfone moved across the country bringing damaging winds and flooding rainfall. On Wednesday evening, the storm strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic Basin despite interaction with the islands of the Philippines. At least three people died in Samar from the Typhoon, near where it made landfall, according to local television reports. Inquirer Regions reported on Wednesday evening that as many as eight people were killed with several more missing. Over 23,000 passengers have been stranded at ports in Bicol, Visayas, Tagalog and Mindanao due to the storm, the Philippine Coast Guard reported. Strong winds were reported at Kalibo International Airport with the Typhoon moving through the region, causing a partial ceiling collapse. Recreational

Somalia tackles plague of locusts by frying and serving them with rice

Somalia tackles plague of locusts by frying and serving them with rice(Source

Somalia is experiencing its worst locust invasion in more than 25 years, but residents of a small town are getting their revenge on the crop pests by serving them up with rice and onions. Parts of the east African country have been plagued by locusts after unprecedented torrential rains in south and central Somalia over the last month. The locusts are destroying crops and threatening vast parts of the country with food insecurity. But residents of the Adado have begun frying the insect. “They taste delicious and there are so many of them,” said Sadaq Ahmed, as he tucked into some for breakfast. Tens of thousands of hectares(1 hectare = 2.47105 acre) of farmland is being destroyed as desert locusts swarm the region.

Germany Is Bracing for Swine Fever

Germany Is Bracing for Swine Fever(Source Bloomberg) German hunting dogs are being trained to sniff out dead wild boar, authorities are stockpiling electric fences along the eastern frontier. These are just some of the measures Europe’s top pork producer is taking to try to thwart the deadly African swine fever that’s roiled global meat trade and is moving ever closer to its borders. After it was detected in Belgium last year, the viral disease recently popped up across western Poland, placing it a few dozen kilometers from Germany on either side. A confirmed German case would disrupt an industry deeply rooted in the home of bratwurst, currywurst and frankfurters. Despite its relatively small size compared with producers like China or the U.S., Germany is a heavyweight in the global pork trade — accounting for 15% of the world’s exports in 2017. “We don’t know what will happen, but we are trained how to act and react,” German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said this week in Brussels.

China attacks US Space Force as threat to outer space peace

China attacks US Space Force as threat to outer space peace(Source Associated Press)

Rising space power China on Monday attacked the newly created U.S. Space Force as a “direct threat to outer space peace and security.” Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that China is “deeply concerned about it and resolutely opposed to it.” “The relevant U.S. actions are a serious violation of the international consensus on the peaceful use of outer space, undermine global strategic balance and stability, and pose a direct threat to outer space peace and security,” Geng said at a regular briefing. China’s space program has advanced rapidly since its first crewed mission in 2003. In a report last February, the Pentagon asserted that China and Russia have embarked on major efforts to develop technologies that could allow them to disrupt or destroy American and allied satellites in a crisis or conflict. China in 2007 conducted an unannounced missile strike against one of its own defunct satellites, creating an enormous amount of space debris. Geng dismissed such concerns, calling them “unfounded counter charges” that merely provided the U.S. with a justification for its own actions. China, he said, has consistently opposed the weaponization of space and believes international treaties on arms control in outer space need to be negotiated. “We hope that the international community, especially the major powers concerned, will adopt a cautious and responsible attitude to prevent outer space from becoming a new battlefield and work together to maintain lasting peace and tranquility in outer space,” he said. The establishment of the Space Force is seen by the U.S. military as a recognition of the need to more effectively organize for the defense of U.S. interests in space — especially satellites used for navigation and communication. The Space Force is not designed or intended to put combat troops in space. Space has “evolved into a war-fighting domain of its own,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Friday. Space has become increasingly important to the U.S. economy and to everyday life. The Global Positioning System, for example, provides navigation services to the military as well as civilians. Its constellation of about two dozen orbiting satellites is operated by the 50th Space Wing from an operations center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.

Putin says Russia is leading world in hypersonic weapons

Putin says Russia is leading world in hypersonic weapons(Source Associated Press)

President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia has got a strong edge in designing new weapons and that it has become the only country in the world to deploy hypersonic weapons.

Speaking at a meeting with top military brass, Putin said that for the first time in history Russia is now leading the world in developing an entire new class of weapons unlike in the past when it was catching up with the United States. The Russian leader noted that during Cold War times, the Soviet Union was behind the United States in designing the atomic bomb and building strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles. “Now we have a situation that is unique in modern history when they are trying to catch up to us,” he said. “Not a single country has hypersonic weapons, let alone hypersonic weapons of intercontinental range.” The Pentagon and the U.S. military services have been working on the development of hypersonic weapons in recent years, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in August that he believes “it’s probably a matter of a couple of years” before the U.S. has one. He has called it a priority as the military works to develop new long-range fire capabilities.

The U.S. also has repeatedly warned Congress about hypersonic missiles being developed by Russia and China that will be harder to track and defeat. U.S. officials have talked about putting a layer of sensors in space to more quickly detect enemy missiles, particularly the more advanced hypersonic threats.

Asked to comment on Putin’s remarks, a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department, Lt. Col. Robert Carver, said Tuesday in an email, “We have seen the reporting but have nothing to add concerning Russia’s claims.” Putin said that the first unit equipped with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is set to go on duty this month, while the air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles already have entered service.

Neoliberal Economics Has Destroyed the U.S. Economy and America’s Middle Class

Neoliberal Economics Has Destroyed the U.S. Economy and America’s Middle Class(Source we have two economies. One is the real economy of production and consumption. The other is the financialized economy of paper wealth. The former is doing poorly, and the latter is doing well. The financialized economy is growing much faster than the real economy. Indeed, the real economy might not be growing at all. The data is completely clear. The rich are becoming much richer, and the rest are becoming poorer. Michael Hudson explains:

“The creation and trading of property and financial assets at rising prices has been fueled by rising debt levels owed to the financial sector. This sector’s returns therefore are best seen not as real wealth on the asset side of the balance sheet, but as overhead on the liabilities side. And the process is multi-layered: income accruing to the financial wealth owned by the top 10 Percent is paid mainly by the bottom 90 percent in the form of rising debt service and other returns to financial and other property.

This dynamic is destabilizing, because as more of consumers’ discretionary income is drawn off to service mortgage, credit card, automobile and student debt and for compulsory health insurance, less is left to purchase the goods and services in the real economy. Consequently, credit-driven debt grows faster than the income that services it, and this impoverishes the 90%. However, for the 10%, money creation by the Federal Reserve in order to protect the balance sheets of the “banks too big to fail or jail” drives up the values of financial assets. As a result the distribution of income and wealth becomes hightly polarized. Think about the many Americans who meet their living expenses by making only the minimum payment on their credit card balance. At 19% interest their debt grows monthly. Eventually they hit a credit card debt cap and can no longer use the card to cover their living expenses. But they have the burden of a large debt balance to service without an income stream capable of servicing it. Think about the corporation that decapitalizes itself in order to produce short to intermediate term capital gains for shareholders and executives by indebting the firm in order to buy back the firm’s shares. The end result is that all income goes for debt service. In a financialized economy, the only possible outcomes are debt forgiveness or collapse.

Atmospheric river expected to slam West Coast

Atmospheric river expected to slam West Coast(Source CBS News) Wild weather will bear down on the holiday season with a soaking atmospheric river for the West, drenching tropical downpours for the South and soaring temperatures in the East. For most, dreams of a white Christmas will remain just that.  The Pacific Ocean is open for business, as a powerful Pacific jet stream will flood the U.S. with balmy air as well as some extreme weather over the next week. That includes a pseudo-subtropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico and up to foot of rain for some in the Pacific Northwest. 

Atmospheric river Starting Thursday and lasting through Sunday, the Pacific Northwest will be bombarded by what is called an atmospheric river. An Atmospheric River is a fast moving, narrow ribbon of water vapor over the Pacific Ocean that transports moisture at up to 15 times the rate of the average moisture flow at the mouth of the Mississippi River.  While the term has been around for some time, a team of scientists from Scripps Institution Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, made it official this year by devising an atmospheric river scale. Like the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, the atmospheric river scale measures the intensity of events from Category 1 to Category 5 — 5 being exceptional. This upcoming event weighs as an AR3 for many, but as high as an AR4 for parts of Oregon, rating strong to extreme.

A nuclear attack would most likely target one of these 6 US cities

A nuclear attack would most likely target one of these 6 US cities — but an expert says none of them are prepared (Source

A nuclear attack in a large metropolitan area is one of the 15 disaster scenarios for which the US Federal Emergency Management Agency has an emergency strategy. The agency’s plan involves deploying first responders, providing immediate shelter for evacuees, and decontaminating victims who have been exposed to radiation.

For everyday citizens, FEMA has some simple advice: Get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned.

But according to Irwin Redlener, a public-health expert at Columbia University who specializes in disaster preparedness, these federal guidelines aren’t enough to prepare a city for a nuclear attack.

“There isn’t a single jurisdiction in America that has anything approaching an adequate plan to deal with a nuclear detonation,” he said.

That includes the six urban areas that Redlener thinks are the most likely targets of a nuclear attack: New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These cities are not only some of the largest and densest in the country, but home to critical infrastructure (like energy plants, financial hubs, government facilities, and wireless transmission systems) that are vital to US security. Each city has an emergency-management website that informs citizens about what to do in a crisis, but most of those sites (except for LA and New York) don’t directly mention a nuclear attack. That makes it difficult for residents to learn how to protect themselves if a bomb were to hit one of those cities. “It would not be the end of life as we know it,” Redlener said of that scenario. “It would just be a horrific, catastrophic disaster with many, many unknown and cascading consequences.”