In a Mentor’s life, Mentees come for: 1. A Reason 2. A Season, 3. Or for life and accept him/ her as Life Coach. After a longish Five and half month I bid adieu to a worthy mentoree finally today.
Adieu Free verse by Jay (On Cloud Nine:Meaning: Having strong feelings of happiness or satisfaction. ) Congratulations, however hard you try, I Will always Praise. Do congratulations make you shiver? do they?
The communion that’s really anathema, Above all others are the serenades. Do serenades make you shiver? do they?
All that is little is not hello, hello, by all account is big. Down, down, down into the darkness of the hello, Gently it goes – the liberal, the high, mighty fellow.
Adieu is faces of death music. faces of death music is Adieu. “a strolling guitarist serenades the diners”. “a strolling guitarist serenades the diners”, “a strolling guitarist serenades the diners”. Adieu
… that today is Harry Potter’s Birthday? The boy wizard Harry James Potter was born on July 31, 1980, to James and Lily Potter (the same birthday as the author, J.K. Rowling, born in 1965). Trivia fans: The HP books have been translated into over 62 languages!
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“May all the negative energy trying to bring you down come to an end. May the dark thoughts, the overthinking, and the doubt exit your mind right now. May clarity replace confusion. May hope replace fear. May blessings and success fill your life. May the light of your spirit shine so bright that nothing can dim your glow.”
Down For The Count Meaning: Someone or something that looks to be defeated, or nearly so. – No I would like to see WIN WIN for all I deal with.
Back To the Drawing Board Meaning: Starting over again on a new design from a previously failed attempt. Yes. I did not get to my target of weight loss as 31st July deadline ended. Need to go back again to drawing board. SEt new date, do something different. Something more. something less. Growth has occured. Now time to shrink.
Cry Wolf Meaning: Someone that calls for help when it is not needed. Someone who is lying. Hmmm. No comment
A Dime a Dozen Meaning: Something that is extremely common. Yes Random, mundane people who I try to make them do extra so they turn Extraordinary.
Cut To The Chase Meaning: To get to the point, leaving out all of the unnecessary details. I like this. Always hit the nail on the head.
Keep On Truckin’ Meaning: To keep going, pressing forward; never stopping. Yes that’s who I am. A Trucker 1
Right Off the Bat Meaning: Immediately, done in a hurry; without delay. Call it impulse, or whatever, I call it quick finishiative.
Wouldn’t Harm a Fly Meaning: Nonviolent; someone who is mild or gentle. Hmmms…
Fish Out Of Water Meaning: Someone being in a situation that they are unfamiliar or unsuited for. I follow WEan to WIN strategy in my coaching/ mentoring and couldn’t care more
Playing Possum Meaning: Pretending to be dead, or to be deceitful about something. I hate pretenders, hypocrites, pseudos and make it known from the rooftop!.
Many businesses are facing a critical shortage of experienced professionals, with industries such as accounting citing lack of skilled personnel as the No. 1 challenge for three quarters in a row. Much of the conversation is centered on the skills gap, high retirement rates for so-called boomers and the inability to find the skills employers are looking for in the younger workforce.
Share“By 2020, more than 50 percent of the workforce will be over the age of 55.”
What employers must realize is that even though boomers are retiring from the office, they aren’t leaving the workforce.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 40 percent of people ages 55 and older were working or actively looking for work in 2014. That number, known as a labor force participation rate, is expected to increase fastest for the oldest segments of the population – most notably, people ages 65 to 74 and 75 and older – through 2024.
In contrast, participation rates for most other age groups in the labor force aren’t projected to change much over the 2014 to 2024 decade. Another study from Prudential found that one-third of independent contractors are boomers – a subset of the economy gearing up to be a mighty and powerful force.
For hiring managers to attract top talent, they must view the aging workforce through a new lens. Today, we consider those 65-plus to be “older” and less skilled or capable. But we must shift our perspective on age.
The average life expectancy for a man is 80 years old, and for a woman, the average is 85 years. A 50 year old, therefore, is no longer a “senior.”
A shift in perspective
By 2020, more than 50 percent of the workforce will be over the age of 55. We have CEOs and politicians in their 70s and still at the top of their game.
In fact, recent research on the aging brain found that past the age of 50, our brains get better at problem-solving and decision making, skills that will be crucial as AI becomes more prevalent.
Share“Vintage employeeshave a high level of job commitment, employer loyalty and diverse knowledge.”
Employers that recognize this challenge, and the opportunity that comes with hiring “vintage” employees, are finding new talent with a high level of job commitment, employer loyalty, openness to mentor a younger generation of professionals and a diverse knowledge base that can be applied to a variety of business challenges.
Let skills speak for themselves
The process of hiring a vintage employee is not the same as any other job candidate, but organizations like Work at Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE) are dedicated to carefully matching older, qualified professionals to the talent needs of companies. They help employers overcome the preconceived notion of an older workforce, using blind hiring practices to let competencies and skills speak for themselves.
When hiring managers mobilize the older workforce, it’s a win-win. Companies get highly skilled workers with the talent they need, and retiring workers get to continue their career.
The proliferation of nuclear families, and higher income has led to a surge in demand for trained domestic help. MyChores is tapping technology to connect employers and workers to resolve this problem.
At a Glance
Founder: Andrew V
Year it was founded: 2016
Where is it located: Mumbai
The problem it solves: Reliable domestic help
Sector: Service providers
A medical emergency in 2011 forced Andrew V to seek the services of a trustworthy domestic help. But that didn’t happen, and he was forced to take a long leave from TATA Capital, where he worked then. That one incident led him to think deeper and Andrew, who has over 23 years of experience in sales and marketing at companies like Anagram Finance Ltd and TATA Capital Ltd, decided to start up.
MyChores Team MyChores took shape in 2014 to help people get the help they needed at home – be it maids, caretakers, cooks, drivers, or pet custodians. Founded by industry professionals with a combined experience of over 50 years, the online assisted search service helps search, screen, and shortlist the best candidates in any category of domestic help, and quickly.
It also provides help for specific services such as baby care, elderly care, and deep cleaning of homes.
Andrew’s idea was to be “the most dependable platform” for employers and helpers to seek each other out through technology. He, along with co-founding member Vikas Kumar hired tech people to build the backend and technical platform for the venture.
Domestic helps only need to register with MyChores, instead of going door-to-door or checking for vacancies with security guards at apartments. Domestic help registered with MyChores are paid between Rs 6,000 and Rs 15,000.
MyChores targets double-income nuclear families and households. Its USP includes a strict screening process and the speed with which it sources help. The startup has its own worker database, and does not depend on other local agencies.
Founder Andrew V However, the most challenging task, Andrew says, was getting workers on board. “It was not easy to source workers, but over the years we tried a host of ways, including outreach programmes through NGOs, print ads, SMS blasts, referrals etc. Today we know what works in which area to source workers – that’s our secret sauce. We currently have over 50,000 maids registered with us across Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai,” Andrew says.
MyChores, which started operations in Mumbai with a two-member team, has now grown to a 25-member team spread over sales, IT, and operations.
How it works MyChores receives customer inquiries online. Its system screens requirements and puts out a job opening for relevant candidates in the area. The placement team follows up and connects with relevant candidates. They further re-screen candidates who respond and match them with client requirements. A phone interview is followed by a personal interview with the client.
“The best part is that all this happens within two days. The worker gets placed within one to two days of a customer registering his or her requirement,” Andrew says.
A token advance of Rs 1,000 needs to be paid for registration, after which the selected help has a two-day trial period to gauge customer fit. At the end of the trial period, the customer pays a one-time placement fee of Rs 500 to Rs 15,000 depending on the category of help hired.
The services provided include police verification and a replacement in case the help chooses not to continue.
Since the helpers work in households and not in establishments, labour laws are not applicable. Though two days of leave every month and an annual leave of 7-10 days during festivals is discussed informally, it is not enforced; leaves can be modified, according to households and helpers.
MyChores acquired initial customers through geography-specific marketing activities. It opted for newspaper inserts, direct mailers, and small marketing activities before moving to digital marketing.
It seems to have worked for the startup, which now claims a client list of more than 5,000 people, including quite a few celebrities. Their clients include Schauna Chauhan, CEO, Parle International; and sport shooter Heena Sidhu, among others.
“The traction we get in a day now is what we used to get in a month during our initial days. Revenue growth has been fantastic and we are growing at over 300 percent year-on-year,” Andrew says.
MyChores was bootstrapped with a capital of Rs 1 crore, and later raised Rs 60 lakh from an individual investor in June 2017. As of March 2018, it reported total sales of over Rs 60 lakh with a profit of Rs 5 lakh. With monthly revenue of Rs 7 lakh currently, MyChores is targeting revenue of Rs 1.5 crore in the current financial year and a profit of Rs 20 lakh.
The startup is also in talks with a few angel/individual investors to raise Rs 5 crore to strengthen its worker outreach programmes, and expand to other metros. By 2022, MyChores has plans of going for an IPO.
Maid in India? Andrew says there are about 150 million semi-skilled and unskilled workers in India, of which 20 million are domestic help.
Every urban family now depends on their domestic help to keep their homes running. Author Tripti Lahiri, quoting census data in her book Maid in India, writes that the decade after liberalisation saw a whopping 120 percent rise in the number of domestic workers in India – from 740,000 in 1991 to 16.2 lakh workers by 2001. Delhi Labour Organisation data reveals there are over 5 crore domestic workers in India, most of them women.
“The biggest challenge in this emerging and developing market is to reach and mobilise workers as most of them don’t use online tools. It will take some more time for them to get used to the idea of reaching out to a platform to find jobs. Once they get used to the idea, it will snowball and we will see the hockey
Birds of a Feather Flock Together Meaning: People tend to associate with others who share similar interests or values. Have to find more and more likeminded people going forward that people poles apart.
Rain on Your Parade Meaning: To spoil someone’s fun or plans; ruining a pleasurable moment. No. Not happening. Won’t do that.
Hit Below The Belt Meaning: A boxing term. Also often used to refer to inappropriate words, or comments that are too personal. NEVER.
Poke Fun At Meaning: Making fun of something or someone; ridicule. Not happening, I am in a learning mode. Learnt a bit of self=hypnosis on Udemy and will try and find internal peace. have a Heavy head though 🙂
Quality Time Meaning: Spending time with another to strengthen the relationship. Yes meeitng coming up. started a new startup too.
Fool’s Gold Meaning: Iron pyrities is a worthless mineral that resembles gold. May write another poem today on this topic.
Tug of War Meaning: It can refer to the popular rope pulling game or it can mean a struggle for authority. Have no tug of war situation except one tough pricing negotiation coming up tomorrow..
Curiosity Killed The Cat Meaning: Typically said to indicate that any further investigation into a situation may lead to harm. I think enroling in 58 couses on Udemy is ENOUGH !
Throw In the Towel Meaning: Giving up; to surrender. No. Never. Not happening.
Eat My HatMeaning: Having confidence in a specific outcome; being almost sure about something. Yess. Will begin teaching SCM Logistics course again and take up paid coaching/ mentoring assignments for Branding/ Hyperscaling of startups.
Stop Making Excuses for Who and Where You Are
Because a lot of small choices can make a big difference.
Dan Waldschmidt September 9, 2016
What you do matters.
Everything. The big stuff. The little stuff. Even the annoying stuff.
It matters that you waste time. It matters that you blame others for your failures. It matters that you are lazy at times.
It matters because achieving your goals matters. And eliminating excuses is the pathway that takes you there. It’s the same path that every great achiever has followed.
Related: Stop Using These 3 Excuses If You Want to Be Successful
Sigmund Freud was booed off the stage the first time he presented his theories to a group of scientists in Europe. He went on to win the Goethe Award for his work in psychology.
Winston Churchill failed sixth grade and lost every public election he ran for until he was elected Prime Minister of England at the age of 62.
Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4 years old, couldn’t read basic words until he was 7 and was expelled from school. He eventually revolutionized physics with his Theory of Relativity.
Henry Ford failed at farming, at being an apprentice and as a machinist, and went bankrupt five times. He modernized mass production.
Stan Smith was rejected as a ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because he was “too clumsy.” He won eight Davis Cup championships and is considered one of the greatest doubles tennis players of all time.
Charles Schultz had every cartoon rejected that he submitted to his high school yearbook. He was rejected by Walt Disney. He went on to create the most popular cartoon series ever: Peanuts.
Van Gogh only sold one painting his entire life—to a friend’s sister for about $50. He painted over 800 masterpieces, seven of which are cumulatively worth almost $1 billion.
Leo Tolstoy flunked out of law school and was labeled “unable to learn” by his professors. He went on to become one of the world’s greatest novelists (think War and Peace).
John Creasey failed as a salesman, a desk clerk, a factory worker and an aspiring writer, getting 754 rejection notices from publishers. He wrote more than 600 novels and is considered one of the greatest mystery writers ever.
Hank Aaron failed tryouts with the Brooklyn Dodgers and went 0-5 in his first game in the majors. He went on to set the MLB record for homeruns and held that record for 33 years.
“To dwell in Nirvikalpa Samadhi is to experience the God state, in which the soul knows itself to be God because it has shed all the limiting factors that had hitherto contributed toward false self-knowledge. The God state of the Siddha stands out in clear contrast with the body state of the worldly.
The worldly individual takes himself to be the body and dwells in a state dominated by the body and its wants. His consciousness centers on the body. He is concerned with eating, drinking, sleeping, and the satisfaction of other bodily desires. It is for the body that he lives and seeks fulfillment. His consciousness cannot extend beyond the body; he thinks in terms of the body and cannot conceive of anything that has no body or form. The entire sphere of his existence is comprised of forms, and the theater in which he lives and moves and has his being consists of space.
The first step toward the God state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi is taken when the body state is transcended. Shedding the body state means entering the sphere of existence comprised of energy. The soul then dwells in a state that is no longer dominated by forms or bodies. It is lifted up to the domain of energy.
Body or form is a solidification of energy, and to rise from the world of forms to the sphere of energy amounts to an advance toward a more primary and purer state of being. The energy state is free from many of the limitations that obtain in the world of forms. In this state, consciousness is linked with energy and continuously vibrates in and through energy.
In the energy state, the eating and drinking of the body state are paralleled by the absorption and assimilation of energy. At this level the soul acquires full control over energy and seeks fulfillment through its use. But its actions are still within the domain of spiritual limitation. It can see, hear, and smell many things that are inaccessible in the body state, and can perform many feats (for example, producing light in the dark or living for innumerable years only on energy), which seem to be miracles for those who are in the body state. The entire sphere of the soul’s existence is comprised of energy and is dominated by energy. All that it can conceive of or do is in terms of energy and is achieved by means of energy.
The energy state is the state of spiritually advanced souls; but it is far from being the state of Perfection, which expresses itself through the Nirvikalpa Samadhi of the Siddha.”
“True love is no game for the faint-hearted and the weak.
It is born of strength and understanding.
In its enthusiasm for the highest ideal, wise leadership can never afford to lose sight of the relative and practical. Human evolution proceeds by gradual stages from selfish violence to unselfish violence, and then from non-violence of the brave to the pure and incorruptible non-violence of truth as infinite love. Each individual exists at some point in this succession, and his duty in time of war is indelibly determined by that position.
All narrowness limits love. In the East, as in the rest of the world, humanity is breaking itself into narrow groups based upon caste, creed, race, nationality, religion or culture. All this is due to ignorance, prejudice and selfishness. It can only be mended by fostering a spirit of mutuality which will derive its strength from a sense of the inviolable unity of all life.
Creative leadership will have to recognize and then emphasize the fact that all men are already united, not only by their co-partnership in the great divine plan for the earth, but also by the fact that they are all equally the expression of the one life. No line of action can be really fruitful unless it is in complete harmony with this truth.
There must be love for friend and foe, good will, patience and forbearance. Man must try to remedy his own defects instead of clamoring about the faults of others. The world will soon realize that neither cults, creeds and ceremonies on the one hand, nor passionate striving for material welfare on the other, can ever bring about real happiness — but that selfless love and universal brotherhood can accomplish it.
The future of humanity is in the hands of those who have this vision, and the role of the East in that future will be an irreplaceable one if it knits its spiritual and human resources together into a creative synthesis of its ancient heritage.”
In my morning walk gerar today complete with The Shirt, jeans, hunter shoes, baton and all!
While at a the shop, buying Vicks tablets some auto/ truck drivers came.
One of them asked – are thefts common in this colony?
I said no..
He said are you a watchman ? ??
I smiled 😀👍❤️❤️❤️🙏
I said no. Why do you ask?
He said some one stoke diesel from my truck!
I said it is sad.
I remembered the old saying – you are anti-social social if you don’t get labelled!
I got a new one today!
Maybe, time for a makeover has come. I like to don a baton or s mountaineer stick while walking. I like black T’s. I love hunter shoes and broad belts. In love caps! Golf, Nepali, sports, balaclava, scarves, and I seriously thought maybe time to be social and invest in new walking gear ,😀👍❤️🙏
Identical twins have tried gaming the law ever since they learned they could. Visual differences are often difficult to pinpoint. DNA does not help, either, because identical twins are from the same fertilized egg. As a result, they have the same DNA.
Many times, one twin will commit a crime and blame it on the other. Sometimes, they will not pass blame but will just refuse to talk. Twins have tried escaping justice this way. Sometimes, they are successful, and sometimes, they are not.
A set of twins identified only as Hassan and Abbas O. escaped prosecution despite one or even both of them being involved in a jewelry heist. In the early hours of February 25, 2009, three men raided the Kaufhaus Des Westens (KaDeWe) luxury store in Germany and stole watches and jewelry worth €5 million.
The men were caught on CCTV. One of them also left a glove behind. Police extracted DNA samples from the glove, but it led to twin brothers Hassan and Abbas O. Police could not determine which brother had committed the heist or whether both brothers were involved. The men never confessed, either.
The CCTV footage was useless because the criminals were masked. The police finally freed both brothers even though the jewelry remained missing. In appreciation, the brothers thanked the state for allowing them to go scot-free after it could not establish the exact identity of the criminal.
Albert Ebenezer Fox And Ebenezer Albert Fox looked so alike that their parents needed to attach colored ribbons to their clothes to tell them apart. Their similar names also allowed the brothers to get away with most of the crimes they committed.
The Fox twins never went on their robbery sprees together. That way, both could claim innocence of the crime, leaving the police confused about which one was the real criminal.
The brothers had such frequent run-ins with the law that the police started taking their fingerprints and identifying them by their scars. The Foxes were the reason that research into fingerprint identification was fast-paced. In 1904, they became the first people to be prosecuted using fingerprint evidence.
The brothers lived on poaching and stealing fowl from farms. They also had a few legal jobs, including capturing foxes from farms and building a police station. Ironically, they were later detained in that same police station. Despite the confusion they often caused regarding their identification, they were convicted over 200 times throughout their lives.
Charles and George Finn served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. George served as a flight instructor while Charles was a B-17 pilot. In 1952, the brothers purchased a World War II–era C-46 airplane from the Bakersfield school district with the intention of modifying it for their new airline.
The US government stopped the purchase because the school district was not allowed to sell the airplane. The brothers refused to return the plane, and one of them flew it into the Nevada desert to hide it from the government.
The FBI recovered the craft and arrested the brothers. A federal grand jury decided against prosecuting the Finns because the witness could not identify the twin who flew the airplane into the desert.
7Sathis And Sabarish Raj
In 2003, police officers in Malaysia arrested one of Sathis and Sabarish Raj for being in possession of 166 kilograms of cannabis and about two kilograms of opium. The arrested twin had been transporting the drugs to the house where he was busted. Shortly after, his twin arrived at the house and was also picked up.
Officers soon found themselves in a fix when they could not identify which twin they had arrested for being in possession of the drugs. DNA tests were inconclusive, and the brothers were not talking.
Although the twins were put on trial, the judge discharged them because she could not determine which had committed the crime. The errant brother would have been executed if he had been found guilty.
Outside a nightclub in Arizona, a fight broke out on the night of February 12, 2011. By the time it was over, 19-year-old Sir Xavier Brooks had been shot dead. A month later, police picked up Orlando Nembhard for the murder. The investigation quickly became complicated after police realized that Orlando had an identical twin brother named Brandon.
Police had no DNA to pinpoint the brothers for the murder, although it would have done little. The murder weapon was also missing, so police could not get fingerprints. They only had visual identification. But that was unreliable because witnesses kept alternating between the brothers. Some said Orlando was the shooter, some said it was Brandon, and others just refused to talk.
The judge presiding over the case termed it inconclusive and reduced Orlando Nembhard’s bond from $500,000 to $10,000. The shooter remains unknown. Brandon had no criminal record, while Orlando had been previously arrested for burglary and marijuana possession.
On July 18, 2008, someone shot and killed Genai Coleman at a train station and stole her car. Police later recovered the abandoned vehicle. Inside, they found a cigarette butt. DNA from the cigarette butt led them to Donald Smith, who had earlier been sent to prison for drug crimes. Donald denied the crime and said that the murderer was his twin brother, Ronald.
To confirm that it was Ronald, Donald asked investigators to show his relatives the CCTV footage of the murderer. Investigators did, and Donald’s relatives confirmed that it was actually Ronald.
Ronald was arrested a few days later. Fingerprints taken from the vehicle implicated Ronald, and some witnesses had seen him around the area where he had abandoned the car. He had also made phone calls around the same area.
Ronald confessed to the crime, although he claimed that it was a case of accidental discharge. However, he backtracked during the trial when he denied being the murderer and said that it was Donald instead.
Ronald’s attorney added that Ronald’s fingerprints were in the vehicle because he had helped Donald to clean it. This excuse did not fly with the jury, and Ronald was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
4Darrin And Damien Fernandez
In summer 2001, police arrested Darrin Fernandez for breaking into the home of a lady in Dorchester, a Boston neighborhood. The lady was awake during the break-in and had heard the window shatter. She called the police. They arrived to find Darrin trying to escape from the home. He had not attacked the lady and had injured himself during the break-in.
Police ran Darrin’s DNA through their database and discovered that it matched two earlier rapes committed in the area. In both instances, a man had broken into a lady’s home while she slept and raped her. The investigations soon hit a brick wall when police realized that Darrin had a twin brother named Damien who could have committed one or both rapes (and not Darrin).
Police were able to convict Darrin for the first rape because the victim correctly described the tattoo on his arm. The second case remained inconclusive even after Darrin was tried twice. At the first trial, investigators attempted to pin the rape on him by claiming that he had been in the area around the time it happened. That was unsuccessful because they could not prove that Damien had not been in the area.
During the second trial, Assistant District Attorney Mary Kelley took the jury to a Dorchester home where Darrin had been employed as a painter. There, she showed them how Darrin had climbed a ladder to survey the neighborhood and scout out his next victim. Although this made sense to some jurors, the case ultimately ended in a hung jury.
On January 19, 2016, police in Cheltenham, England, arrested Patrick Hennessy for dangerous driving, causing an accident, and being in possession of a pocketknife. After his arrest, he was treated at a hospitaland released to appear in court on a later date. Patrick appeared in court on that date, only to deny that he had been arrested or treated.
He said that it was his twin brother, James, who had been arrested and not him (Patrick). Prosecutors tried to match the DNA found at the accident scene with one of the twins, but it led nowhere. The court freed the brothers because it could not determine which one was guilty.
Between September 2012 and February 2013, a rapist prowled Marseilles, France, committing a series of rapes and attempted rapes. DNA recovered from some of the crimes led police to identical twin brothers, Yoan and Elvin Gomis. The brothers looked so much alike that they were almost indistinguishable.
Investigators became more confused after they realized that both brothers lived in the same house and shared a car, phone, clothes, and Facebookaccount. The brothers denied any involvement in the assaults. Instead of letting them off the hook, the police just sent them to jail, where they remained for 10 months until police determined that Yoan was the attacker.
He was found guilty after his victims stated that the attacker stuttered when talking. Yoan was the one who stuttered because he suffered from partial deafness. He apologized for not talking earlier and for putting his brother in jail. Elvin was not offended.
One night in November 1999, an unnamed 26-year-old student at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, had just finished a night class and was on her way to her car when she was attacked and raped. DNA tests led police to Jerome Cooper, but they soon realized that his twin brother, Tyrone, could have been the attacker. Both brothers were registered as sex offenders and lived in the same area.
At the time, limitations in DNA technology meant that investigators could not determine which brother was the rapist.
Police thought that they had found a solution after a new type of DNA test implicated Dwayne McNair (one of another set of twins) in an unrelated rape and robbery in Boston. Prosecutors believed that they could use the same DNA test to expose the rapist in the Cooper case in Michigan.
The new DNA test was not accepted in the Boston court even though Dwayne was convicted for the crime based on other evidence. This meant that the DNA test for the Cooper brothers might not be accepted in Michigan, either.
Another issue was the expense associated with the test. In the Boston case, the cost was $120,000, an amount that would have taken a considerable chunk of law enforcement budgets. As a result, the Boston police and the district attorney’s office agreed to split the bill in that instance.
We all love a good cup of coffee to start off the morning, but this beverage can be used in several other ways. Just like coffee is good for our bodies, it has other benefits that can make our lives easier.
Next time you think about throwing those used coffee grounds away, think again. They can be recycled and used throughout your home or garden. Here are 10 creative ways to enjoy coffee besides drinking it.
Mosquitoes are pesky and annoying. The little bloodsuckers can ruin a relaxing night outdoors. You will find yourself busy swatting them away instead of enjoying the time with friends and family.
Coffee grounds are an unusual solution to this annoying little problem. According to the EPA, coffee grounds are a safe and effective way to repel mosquitoes and other troublesome insects. A study also showed that coffee grounds and caffeine could kill larvae by preventing the development of adult mosquitoes. The insects were not able to build a resistance to coffee.
To burn coffee grounds to use as a repellent, start by grabbing your used grounds and placing them in a bowl covered in foil. Once the grounds have dried, burn them like incense. It is best to choose a spot upwind of your location, and you can add fresh bay leaves to the fire for extra repellent.
This is a cheap and effective way to prevent those bothersome insects from ruining your night.
Everyone is always looking for DIY projects around their house. Staining wood furniture is one of the many projects that people attempt to tackle. There are a lot of manufactured wood stain products on the market, but you won’t need to buy any of them if you have coffee at home. The method of staining wood with coffee is natural and chemical-free, and the finish is exceptional. The coat will also get darker as it becomes older.
To stain wood with coffee, simply start by brewing a pot of coffee. Then allow it to cool. The stronger you brew, the darker the stain will be. Use fine sandpaper to sand the surface that you plan to stain. Pour the cool coffee into a plastic container along with alum to help it adhere to the wood.
Use your sponge, rag, or cloth to spread the coffee over the wood surface. Don’t worry about using too much because it will absorb. Let the wood sit for 10–15 minutes, and you can repeat if you would like the wood to be darker.
How satisfying is it to know that you stained your wood furniture with a natural and nonchemical substance found in your home!
We are always coming into contact with unpleasant smells, whether it is from the kitchen, bathroom, living room, or even your vehicle. Sometimes, you have to freshen up those areas with an air freshener.
Don’t have one handy? Make it yourself from coffee found in your home. Most air fresheners only cover up the odor, but an air freshener made from coffee can absorb the odor to keep it away.
Coffee beans act like baking soda does in a fridge. They help to absorb the smell and eliminate it. An air freshener can be easily made from coffee grounds to help any area smell better. All you need is a pair of old socks, your favorite brew, and a tall glass or cup.
Stick the sock down in the glass, and roll the excess over the outside of the glass. Then pour some coffee grounds or beans into the sock, pull the sock out, and tie it in a knot. Stick the air freshener anywhere that needs some help. For those who want to get fancy, you can stick the sock in a decorative bowl to hide it.
We all love to consume our favorite coffee in drink form, but did you know that it is also delicious to eat? If you have extra brewed joe or grounds lying around, you can spice up almost any food. Coffee is a spice that brings rich, deep, and earthy flavors to food. You’ll mostly find it on red meats and desserts to add an espresso-like taste.
Coffee can be added to a marinade for roast meat, braising liquid for beef short ribs, barbecue sauce for grilled chicken, a sauce for fried eggs, or a pancake topper. You can even mix it with your favorite spices to create an amazing dry rub for burgers, spice-crusted pork, or lamb.
Using coffee while cooking can really add the extra flavor to make many dishes pop. There are several recipes available if you are looking to experiment with cooking with coffee.
6Exfoliate Your Skin
Not only does coffee have some great benefits for the inside of your body, but it is also valuable for your skin. The grounds can help balance the pH of the skin. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants that battle free radicals and is a great product to exfoliate the skin. It helps you to shed dead and dry skin to reveal a glow, and it adds extra shine to your hair.
Many of the ingredients you need to make a face mask or exfoliating face scrub are found in your home. Making a scrub with natural properties will be beneficial to your skin as it eliminates lines and dry skin. Coffee can also be mixed to create body scrubs, hair masks, and foot scrubs.
Try making a homemade mask or scrub one day, and you will be amazed at how well it treats your skin.
Instead of letting your old coffee grounds end up in a landfill, use them in your garden and compost pile. Using coffee grounds in your garden helps to add nitrogen to your compost pile.
You can simply throw the grounds into your compost pile, or they can be used as a fertilizer. Using grounds as a fertilizer adds an organic material to your soil, which improves drainage, water retention, and aeration in the soil.
Coffee grounds can even repel slugs and snails in the garden. If you want to add coffee grounds to your compost or fertilizer, stop by your local Starbucks. Participating stores give out free bags of used coffee grounds as part of their Grounds For Your Garden program.
The company does this to recycle and help reduce waste. Use this organic resource in your garden to help reduce the amount of products going to a landfill.
Since coffee is a great deodorizer like baking soda, it can be used to freshen up garbage disposals. They often start to release an unpleasant smell, and coffee grounds are an excellent solution to this problem. You don’t have to waste good coffee for this little DIY trick. Used grounds are just fine.
To make a garbage disposal cleaning pad, you will need coffee grounds, Epsom salts, baking soda, and vinegar. Once you properly mix the ingredients, you will use a measuring spoon to create the small cleaners and allow them to dry overnight. Then you can drop one in your garbage disposal when needed. Turn on the disposal and water to enjoy a wonderful new smell coming from your kitchen sink.
If you live in areas that experience a lot of snow during the winter, then you probably know all about using salt on your sidewalks. Salt is effective in melting the ice to prevent slipping, but it can be destructive to the environment. Salt can also restrict plants from absorbing the proper amount of water and nutrition. If you are looking for a safer alternative to salt, try using coffee.
You probably had a hot cup of brew to help keep you warm on those winterdays. Save the coffee grounds, and generously sprinkle them across the snowy sidewalk as you would salt. The grounds work just as sand or salt would and give you the opportunity to walk across the sidewalk. The acid of the coffee even helps to melt away the snow more quickly.
Save those coffee grounds to stay environmentally friendly during those snowy days!
Instead of drinking coffee, try throwing it on your hair during a shower. There are many advantages to washing your hair with coffee because it has a lower pH than water. The rough grounds exfoliate the scalp and stimulate hair follicles to help growth. Coffee is found in many shampoos now because of the benefits it provides.
The caffeine in the coffee is great for your hair, too. It helps stimulate the hair roots and may deter baldness and hair loss. The caffeine will block the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and enables hair shafts to grow faster.
It also has a way of making your hair shine more. You can use coffee to make a hair rinse to enhance hair color and texture, a hair mask to make it softer and shinier, and a hair oil to stimulate the roots of the hair.
1Protect Dog From Fleas
Everybody loves a good cup of coffee, except fleas. They hate coffee, but they do love your dog. If you notice that your dog is itching from those pesky fleas, then save your coffee grounds from that cup of joe you had this morning. The grounds can help to get rid of the fleas when mixed with the dog’s shampoo.
Start by giving your dog a bath as usual. After you have shampooed Spot, generously rub the coffee grounds through the dog’s hair. Then rinse the grounds from the animal’s hair and be sure to look for those loose grounds that haven’t shaken off. The coffee will act as a natural repellent and help remove the fleas that were annoying your dog.
Painted Rocks: A Hidden Treasure For Inspiration
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They can be found anywhere and everywhere. So often we just pass them by and don’t give a second thought to the potential that exists from a relationship we can create with ordinary rocks.
Yes, rocks have great potential!
From serving as a canvas to having significant meaning for us, rocks can provide a sense of purpose, give us a reason to collaborate, and allow us to express ourselves during pivotal moments in our lives.
Painted Rocks: A Hidden Treasure For Inspiration
1. How It All Started
I was hiking on a Saturday evening a few weeks ago. I didn’t want to go hiking due to my phobia with snakes and my friend was taking me to the mountain trail where rattlesnakes are residents and I’m not trying to step in their territory. I was also reluctant because, I admit; I’m lazy and rather eat.
I knew that my hesitations were juvenile and decided to accept the invite and just go.
I put the idea of looking for heart shaped rocks in my head as a way to give this hiking thing a sense of purpose for me. I had done this before with my children. We would get outside, take a walk, and look for unique rocks that maybe resembled something familiar or just reminded us of something distinctive.
So long story short, I gathered 8 rocks that somewhat resemble hearts. I suspect that I decided on “heart” as being the shape of choice in my hunt, because the friend inviting me is also my childhood crush. I have been smitten about him since second grade.
2. From Rocks To Painted Rocks
He thought it was silly as I kept my eyes glued to the ground during the hike. Needless to say, I collected them, took them home, washed them and decided to color them and make each one unique and add definition, turning them into painted rocks. I have them displayed as a nice memento of the occasion and it didn’t cost me anything.
I’ve grown to appreciate more of the simple things, such as painted rocks, over the past few years. When financial burdens take hold and kids just stare bored expecting to be entertained, I figured rock gathering and decorating, was a nice way to get the family involved in an activity that could be done together.
3. How Painted Rocks Inspired Me
Now that I look back at the idea, rocks are the “take-a ways” to remember those cherished times. I’ve collected little round rocks that I painted into a ladybug family. I’ve written song lyrics, quotes, jokes, and used them in all kinds of ways… from paperweights and door stoppers to centerpieces and labels; rocks have been instrumental in helping me when times get tough.
If you search “rock art” on Google, you will find amazing creations. As you can see I’m no Picasso but I’d like to think I can get by making creations that don’t embarrass my kids too much. Rocks can serve as a gift when there isn’t one to afford. Depending on what you do with that rock it can be something meaningful if you intentionally want to express that.
To follow up on that not so bad hike, I decided to express a sentiment from that day and wanted to do something that said I cared.
I already sent him the first rock and when he received it, he chuckled and took it to keep as a memento.
I’m going to give him a rock each time I see him until he has them all.
I’m hoping he will get a hint as to how I feel and hopefully initiate a date or something.
Worst thing that can happen is he’ll toss them aside somewhere and if that happens then I’ll accept it and simply move on.
Based on his reaction to receiving the first one, I think he’s like what I did.
It’s pretty neat to view this rock idea as a pre-screener to see if the guy finds meaning in simple things. Just as my kinds find the joy in rock hunting and making memories happen, so will the new guy in my life. He will have to be someone that can appreciate the simple things. Rocks are a hidden treasure I recommend discovering for you.
Share this story with your friends and family, so they can get inspired, or, even inspire you with their own painted rocks.
Desiree Espinoza. After seventeen years teaching & coaching, I am at a pivotal point in my life where making a meaningful dent in the world is my goal & this I’m hoping to accomplish through teaching, inspiring & helping others. I’ve been working on a project to open a nonprofit charter school for high functioning autistic children: The Animal School Learning Institute, & have been gradually gathering the pieces necessary to make it possible.
… that today is Chicken Wings Day? In 1977, the city of Buffalo, New York, declared July 29th as Chicken Wing Day, immortalizing the delicious food originating from that city. Celebrate with some Buffalo wings today!
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right.”
Wake Up Call Meaning: An occurance of sorts that brings a problem to somebody’s attention and they realize it needs fixing. Just wondering, how many wake up calls one needs? One per day? For those day dreaming? Multiple times a day:)
Like Father Like Son Meaning: Resembling one’s parents in terms of appearance or behavior. Hmmm…. Appearance is OK. Behavior – may be not! 🙂
In the Red Meaning: Losing money. Being in debt. But the people in Red so get habituated of high living and dependence on others money – they seldom come down from their high horses.
A Chip on Your Shoulder Meaning: Being angry about something that happened in the past. Yes. It happens to me all the time. Difficult to let go of the past.
Mouth-watering Meaning: Delicious; something that looks or tastes appetizing.
Foaming At The Mouth Meaning: To be enraged and show it. Ha Ha ha – I do it without foaming at the mouth – I type!
Cry Wolf Meaning: Someone that calls for help when it is not needed. Someone who is lying. Hmmm… many recent cases of false alarms responded – leading to waste of time and going into a spin unnecessarily.
Easy As Pie Meaning: Something that is easy. Nothing is? Is there anything easy at all?
Tough It Out Meaning: To remain resillient even in hard times; enduring. Tough minded optimision, grit, determination and a firm commitment – yes, that’s what it is for me.
If you ever happen to look a woman’s to-do list, the number of tasks on it may surprise you. Challenges at the workplace and at home notwithstanding, women have to continuously fight gender bias, patriarchy, social norms and the multiple ideals that they are expected to follow. It is not just exhausting but painful.
The best way to overcome these challenges is to look yourself in the mirror and reiterate to yourself that “you can do it,” just as the popular ad tells you to. Remember to tell yourself, you are courageous, strong, and unstoppable.
Here are some motivational quotes that will inspire you and help you along the way.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. – Maya Angelou, author, poet
I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist. – Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM
In my life I’ve gone through a lot of really hard times. I went through depression and had so many challenges that I overcame. And I overcame because I just decided to be happy. – Lilly Singh. YouTube sensation
As you become more successful, the gender barrier disappears. The credibility challenges you have during your growing up years starts disappearing when you start demonstrating success. – Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, businesswoman
If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers. – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the US
You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own. –Michelle Obama, American lawyer, writer, former First Lady of the US
“Subtler than space, finer than time, My Presence is ever accessible, though not necessarily easy to reach. Silent dialogue with Me is one of the ways of feeling My presence. If your inner attention is focused on Me, you will sense a delicate tug within you, regardless of the activity you are engaged in.
And you will become aware that I am caring for you, anxious to help you. No activity is insignificant.” “ But you should feel deep in your heart that you need Me in them. Call on Me in the little – nay, in the littlest — things that you do. For then they sprout tiny yet mighty wings which will gracefully transport you to the higher and subtler realms of My presence within you.”
Intimate Conversations With The Awakener, p 8-9
By Bal Natu
Copyright 1998 Sheriar Foundation
Photo inside Baba’s Tomb
By Goodwin harding,
Courtesy Of The Awakener Magazine, vol 17 no 2
With another week gone, let’s wind down and check out some of the stories that made the headlines. Click here to read about all the important goings-on of the world, but otherwise, press on for a dose of the unusual and offbeat.
There were a lot of space-related stories over the last few days. Mars, in particular, had a busy week with news of an underground lake, a dust storm for the ages (more on that below), and efforts to name a new Martian rover. (Yes, they thought of “Rover McRoverface.”) We also check out some bizarre animal behavior, Olympic Games for robots, and footage of the world’s loneliest man.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a new initiative to develop tiny robots that would work in tough environments where large-scale robots are not effective. The new program, dubbed SHort-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms (SHRIMP), will seek proposals from third parties, and the best bots will compete against each other in a series of “Olympic-themed competitions.”
Founded 60 years ago, DARPA is an agency of the United States Department of Defense. It has staged these kinds of grand challenges before in efforts to advance revolutionary research with military potential. According to SHRIMP program manager Dr. Ronald Polcawich, this time, the goal is to develop tools which could prove useful in disaster relief, emergency search and rescue, prosthetics, and steerable optics. DARPA is planning to invest $32 million across the projects accepted into the SHRIMP program.
The first step is to receive and review proposals for suitable robots. They need to be smaller than a cubic centimeter and weigh less than a gram to qualify. Eventually, the best designs will be built and will compete head-to-head in a series of challenges, including steeplechase, vertical ascent, shot put, weightlifting, and rock piling. The SHRIMP Olympics is currently slated for 2021.
According to a new study published in Nature Astronomy, scientists believe that there once was another galaxy similar to our Milky Way which was “devoured” by Andromeda two billion years ago.
Both Milky Way and Andromeda are part of an aggregation of galaxies simply called the Local Group. It contains over 50 galaxies, although the aforementioned two are, by far, the largest ones. Research conducted at the University of Michigan (UM) indicates that there once existed a third galaxy of similar dimensions which was cannibalized when it merged with Andromeda.
The fact that Andromeda, also known as Messier 31 or M31, likes to gobble up its galactic neighbors isn’t news. In fact, this is exactly what UM researchers Richard D’Souza and Eric Bell were studying when they made the discovery. They were running computer simulations to try to piece together the mergers that occurred over the eons. In a self-described “eureka” moment, the duo realized that most of the stars found in the faint outer reaches of Andromeda’s “halo” came from a single merger.
Further simulations revealed a few details about the Milky Way’s departed sibling, dubbed M32p. It was at least 20 times bigger than anything our galaxy ever collided with, and it merged with Messier 31 around two billion years ago. Most interestingly, researchers believe that M32, a satellite galaxy currently orbiting Andromeda, is the remnant of the long-lost galaxy, left over after the galactic giant was finished feasting.
8Amazon Footage Shows Last Surviving Tribesman
Brazilian officials have recently released rare video of an indigenous man living in the Amazon who is believed to be the last surviving member of an uncontacted tribe.
The footage belongs to the country’s National Indian Foundation (Funai) and was actually shot in 2011. The organization hesitated to release it due to not being able to obtain the man’s consent. However, it eventually relented in the hopes that the video will draw attention to the plight of over 100 isolated tribes living in the Amazon whose territory is under threat by loggers, miners, and farmers.
It is believed that the last of the man’s fellow tribesmen were killed in 1995 or 1996, following a run-in with ranchers. Funai has monitored him ever since. They usually keep a safe distance, although they did attempt to make contact in 2005 and were met by a volley of arrows.
Barring that one interaction, the tribesman has been living alone in the jungle for over two decades. The only other image of him is a still from an early-1990s documentary that showed his face partially obscured by foliage. His tracking team refers to him as “the Indian in the hole” due to an unusual pit he dug. Their last sighting was in 2016, but they can tell he is still alive from traces left behind such as footprints, planted fruit, or cut trees.
7Why Do Crows Have Sex With The Dead?
Considered some of the most intelligent animals on the planet, crows have complex reactions when it comes to their own dead. They will alert other crows to the presence of a body. They will remember and avoid people or places connected to the demise of their brethren. Sometimes, they will even gather around a dead crow and hold a “funeral.” And, on rare occasions, they will have sex with the corpse.
Necrophilia in the animal kingdom is a poorly understood subject, but we have a few tidbits of information regarding the practice by crows, thanks to a new paper published by University of Washington student Kaeli Swift.
Back in 2015, Swift was trying to get footage of a crow “funeral” and was filming a taxidermied bird. To her amazement, another crow arrived, but it began flaring its wings and bobbing its tail up and down, displaying behavior anticipatory of sex. Since then, Swift expanded her study and used an array of taxidermy animals to observe the behavior of hundreds of crows.
Her research presented the cases of 309 breeding pairs of corvids. Twenty-four percent of the birds had some kind of physical interaction with the corpses, while four percent tried to have sex with them. Most attempts at necrophilia were also paired with other aggressive behaviors such as mutilation and dismemberment.
As far as a possible motive goes, Swift believes it has to do with a hormonal frenzy. Her study took place between April and August, bookending the breeding season. Most cases of necrophilia happened in late spring, when crow testosterone is at a high. Other crow researchers think this could be the case but believe another study during winter could prove more conclusive.
6Martian Dust Storm Might Destroy The Opportunity Rover
While Earth is experiencing a searing heat wave, Mars has its own weatherproblem—a series of storms created a dust cloud so great that it has almost engulfed the entire planet.
This kind of phenomenon occurs once every six to eight years. It started off as a small-scale storm on May 30, and less than a month later, it had gone global. By now, it has become the strongest dust storm we have ever observed on Mars, and it will last, at least, a couple of months more.
Scientists still don’t know how the storm forms or evolves, so they have every available instrument studying the tempest for clues. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, Curiosity, and the Mars Odyssey are all on the job.
Notable by its absence is the Opportunity rover, which is currently on the surface of the red planet yet has sent no response as of July 18. Because it runs on solar energy, NASA scientists have chosen to suspend scientific activities to preserve the rover’s batteries. They believe the dust layer will act as an insulator which will protect Opportunity from nighttime temperatures it can’t handle but also fear that it will take weeks or even months before such a layer settles. Currently, they estimate it won’t be until September that the dust will clear out enough to enable communication with Opportunityagain. Until then, we won’t know if the rover survived the Martian storm.
A tomb found in Alexandria garnered a lot of media attention over the past few weeks. It had been untouched for 2,000 years and contained a mysterious black sarcophagus. People let their imaginations run wild, even speculating that it could be the long-lost grave of Alexander the Great. Then we opened it, and the results were underwhelming. A similar discovery went under the radar this week. Archaeologists found an intact grave on the Greek island of Sikinos.
This time, however, opening the tomb didn’t disappoint. The skeleton was intact, her jewelry was still there, and we even know her name thanks to an inscription—Neko. She was a noblewoman buried around 1,800 years ago during the Roman era in the vault of the Episkopi Monument. The structure was later turned into a Byzantine church, but Greek archaeologists now believe that the whole thing was a mausoleum originally built for Neko.
Alongside the skeleton, there were golden rings, wristbands, a necklace, a buckle, vases, and fragments of clothing. Dimitris Athanassoulis, director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades, believes the grave managed to elude robbers due to its hidden placement in a blind spot between two walls. Scholars are eager to learn more about Neko and her possible connections to the island of Sikinos.
After almost 40 years in show business, Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel is retiring. The 39-year-old novelty act had its final performance on Sunday during the X Games in Minneapolis.
Some of you might be aware that squirrels don’t live that long. In fact, this is the seventh Twiggy to don a pair of Styrofoam skis and race around a pool at the back of a remote-controlled boat. Her “mom,” Lou Ann Best, raised and trained all of the squirrels. The first one she found as an orphan after Hurricane David in 1979, and she noticed that it liked to ride on people’s shoulders as they swam in the pool.
Twiggy’s popularity led to several appearances in movies and TV shows, including a cameo as Nutty the water-skiing squirrel in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Lou Ann has been using the show to teach kids about water safety ever since her husband drowned over two decades ago. But now she plans to retire to a senior community, and Twiggy is coming with her. She is open to selling the business and letting someone else carry the tradition as long as they will continue promoting water safety.
3A New Scale To Measure Alien Interactions
A team of scientists from the University of St. Andrews and the SETI Institute published a redefined version of the Rio Scale intended to quantify the significance of alien reports.
First devised in 2001, the Rio Scale was mostly used by astronomers to communicate to the public how “excited” they should be following a story potentially involving extraterrestrial phenomenon. The updated version seeks to become more compatible with the world of social media and 24-hour news coverage. Researchers involved are hoping that Rio Scale 2.0 will become somewhat similar to the Richter Scale for earthquakes and will be used automatically whenever there is a story involving possible alien interaction.
The ranking system comes with a Rio Scale Calculator available online, which anyone can use to determine the value of an event. The scale takes into account the likelihood of the event and the reliability of the source but also considers how such an event, even if real, would impact humanity. The final value is a number between 0 (None) and 10 (Extraordinary). Rio Scale 2.0 is awaiting official ratification by the International Academy of Astronautics Permanent Committee.
2Naturists Versus Crested Larks
An attempt by Belgian naturists to open the country’s second nudist beachwas met with opposition by wildlife officials, who complained that their presence and “subsidiary activities” would pose a threat to the crested lark.
At the moment, there is only one nudist beach in Belgium, in Bredene. However, Koen Meulemans, chair of the Belgian Naturism Federation, says that is no longer enough. More and more people in the country are looking for holidays where they can cast off their clothes and go back to nature. The federation has 17 clubs and 8,200 paying members, an increase of 600 from two years ago. A quiet spot near Westende would have made a perfect location for a second nudist beach, as there are no buildings or dykes that look out onto it.
However, officials from the Flemish Agency for Nature and Woodland objected to the proposition due to the effect this would have on the crested lark. Specifically, they worry that sex in the dunes will scare off the locally treasured birds. Meulemans criticized the practice, saying such behavior is not indicative of true naturists, but it does happen.
The initial solution involved the building of a barbed wire fence surrounding the dunes where the larks breed. However, this was shut down by Bredene mayor Steve Vandenberghe, who said that barbed wire would not be a strong deterrent against a man without clothes.
One of the processes predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity is called gravitational redshift. When an object approaches something with an incredibly powerful gravitational pull, the light it emits is stretched to longer wavelengths, becoming redder. We have proven the concept with lab experiments but have never actually seen it “in the wild,” until now. Scientists finally made the observation after decades of waiting when a star experienced gravitational redshift as it passed near the black hole at the center of our galaxy.
Astronomers first started tracking the star, dubbed S2, in the early 1990s. Since then, they’ve been patiently waiting for it to complete its elliptical orbit around the black hole, located roughly 26,000 light-years from us.
S2 got as close as it’s ever going to get on May 18 this year. Instruments from all over the world were pointing at it. When it reached its periapsis, the star accelerated to 7,600 kilometers per second (4,700 mi/s), or three percent the speed of light. The results, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics by an international team of scientists, confirmed that light from the star was affected by the gravitational pull of the black hole and experienced a redshift.
The story of the Amber Room has all of the elements of an Indiana Jonesfilm: the bounty of kings, the spoils of war, theft by dastardly Nazis, a tireless search by the Soviet Union, mysterious deaths, and a priceless treasure waiting to be found.
Construction of the opulent “Eighth Wonder of the World” began at the command of the king of Prussia in 1701. Although estimates of its size vary, the Amber Room was believed to span about 55 square meters (592 ft2) after 18th-century renovations. It contained over six tons of amber backed by glittering gold and set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
As a peace symbol between allies, the Amber Room was moved from its place in Charlottenburg Palace twice—once to Winter House in St. Petersburg and then to Catherine Palace in Pushkin. As an act of war, the room was moved once more before being lost forever.
In 1941, invading Nazi soldiers tore down the room, packed its panels into 27 crates, and shipped it to Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad), Germany. When the city was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1943, the room went missing.
In subsequent years, governments, historians, archaeologists, bounty hunters, and treasure seekers alike have sought it out, interviewing thousands of witnesses, poring over records, digging up locations all over Europe, and spending fortunes along the way. As of this writing, the room has never been found.
Although the prominent theory holds that the Amber Room must have been destroyed by the bombs which rained down upon the city then called Konigsberg, some evidence contradicts this. In over 1,000 pages of reports compiled by the decade-long Soviet investigation, no witnesses attest to any unusual odors as the city burned. Officers involved in this investigation believed that it would be impossible to miss the equivalent of 6 tons of incense burning at once.
In 1997, a German raid in Bremen lent credence to the idea that the room had survived the bombing. One of its Florentine mosaic panels turned up for auction. After its seizure, the panel was authenticated but the seller claimed ignorance as to its origin. His father, a deceased Wehrmacht soldier, never shared the secret of the panel, not even with his own flesh and blood.
Helmut Gaensel was a bounty hunter. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the bounty he hunted was the bejeweled panels of the Amber Room. Former SS officers living in Brazil had tipped him off to a location. According to them, the panels were deposited in the 800-year-old Nicolai Stollen mine near the border between Germany and the Czech Republic.
Gaensel was not the only man to hear the tale. While he and a team of engineers, mining experts, and historians attempted to dig into the mine from the German side, a rival group led by Peter Haustein, then mayor of the town of Deutschneudorf, tried burrowing in from the Czech side. Though the competition led to international headlines and legal headaches, neither team proved successful.
8Covered In A Murky Lagoon
The mayor of the Lithuanian town of Neringa believed that the Amber Room was hidden beneath the dirty waters of a nearby lagoon. According to Stasys Mikelis, SS soldiers were seen attempting to hide wooden crates in the shoreline near the end of the war. They did not count on rising sea levels to submerge their loot.
Not only did Mikelis believe it, he assembled a research team in 1998 to find it, hoping to put his town on the map. His dream was not realized.
7Lost In A Bavarian Woodland
Georg Stein was a strawberry farmer and an avid treasure hunter. His heart was set on finding the Amber Room, but he got too close according to some sources.
Stein claimed to have discovered a secret radio frequency and to have listened to the last-known communication about the transfer of the Amber Room. This message was reportedly sent from the Castle Lauenstein on the border of Thuringia on a direct shortwave to Switzerland.
Stein then arranged to meet a “search competitor” in Bavaria. The meeting was not to be. In 1987, Stein was found dead in the woodland. His body was stripped, his stomach slashed open with a scalpel. The death was ruled a suicide.
Pensioner Karl-Heinz Kleine believes that he knows the location of the Amber Room and who hid it there. According to Kleine, the Nazi’s chief administrator in East Prussia, Erich Koch, secreted the treasure in his hometown of Wuppertal in the industrial Ruhr area.
It would not be a far stretch to imagine it of Koch. Even the Nazis were appalled by his brazen thefts and use of concentration camp inmates for personal gain. Koch was tried for corruption before a Nazi court in 1944 and sentenced to death. Later reprieved, he returned to favor and continued amassing his personal fortune until the end of the war.
Once captured in Poland, he was sentenced to death for the murder of 72,000 Poles and for sending another 200,000 to labor camps. But he escaped his sentence yet again. Koch’s ill health prevented Poland from carrying out his death sentence, and he lived in prison for 27 years, unrepentant to the last.
The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff on the night of January 30, 1945, was the worst disaster in maritime history. Under the press of the Red Army and rumored defeat, a great evacuation of German civilians began on the Baltic Sea. Every seaworthy vessel was placed into service.
So it was that the Wilhelm Gustloff, a luxury liner designed for fewer than 2,000 people, carried 10,582 shivering evacuees on that fateful night. It was flanked by only one military escort, which stood no chance when a Soviet submarine fired three torpedoes at the Gustloff. Each torpedo hit its target. An estimated 9,343 people died that night, half of them children.
The exact location of the Gustloff has long been known and searched. But some still claim that it may contain the hidden remains of the Amber Room. As the wreckage of the Gustloff is recognized as a war grave, diving to it, penetrating it, or both is illegal. But a lack of resources has left Polish authorities unable to protect it.
4Aboard A Ghost Train, Walbrzych, Southwest Poland
It has long been said that a Nazi train loaded with treasure was lost in secret tunnels under a mountain in Walbrzych. Nobody knows the name of the train, its mission, or from where its precious cargo came.
Some speculate that the lack of written evidence of the train strengthens their hypothesis. Secrecy, the theory goes, was more important than paperwork, even to the Germans. Some theorize that the train may have carried the stolen wedding bands and other personal jewels of interned Jews, while others insist that the train bore the crated panels of the Amber Room.
In 2015, two men, a German and a Pole, claimed to have found the train. The local government of Walbrzych refused to comment on the matter except to warn that the train may be booby-trapped by mines if it exists.
In 2016, officials of the Mamerki Museum reported to have found a hidden room inside a World War II–era bunker using geo-radar. Bartlomiej Plebanczyk of the museum believed it possible that the panels of the Amber Room were hidden inside.
His theory was based upon the testimony of a turncoat Nazi soldier. In the 1950s, the former Nazi told Polish soldiers that he had witnessed heavily guarded cargo trucks delivering their load to the bunker in winter 1944.
2Buried In Tunnels Under The Ore Mountains In Eastern Germany
In 2017, treasure hunters Leonhard Blume, Peter Lohr, and Gunter Eckhardt claimed to have deduced the location of the room via archival and radarsleuthing. Both the East German and Russian secret police held years-long searches for the Amber Room. It is from their records that these men reportedly found a clue as to the room’s whereabouts.
Eyewitnesses claimed that a shipment of crates had been hidden inside the tunnels. The entrance to the tunnels, they said, was then blown up. Blume, Lohr, and Eckhardt eagerly surveyed the “Prince’s Cave” near the Czech border, and the results were astounding.
Mr. Blume said, “We discovered a very big, deep, and long tunnel system and we detected something that we think could be a booby trap.” Their search continues.
The impending raid of Winter Palace was known to the officials and curators of Catherine Palace. According to the official record, they attempted to disassemble and hide the Amber Room. When the brittle panels began to crumble, they chose to wallpaper over them instead. But they could not outwit the Nazis, who discovered the trick almost at once.
This conspiracy theory holds that Joseph Stalin fooled the soldiers after all. The panels they stole were replicas, while the real Amber Room had already been shipped off and hidden elsewhere. If true, the Amber Room may have been cleverly saved, only to be lost forever.
One of the biggest Indian startup news stories of the week was that an Amazon delivery boy and employee were arrested for cheating. Also, US-based footwear brand Skechers has been offered an out-of-court settlement by the walmart-backed company Flipkart. Let’s have a look at these and other important startup news stories of the week.
This week 19 startups raised around $152.46 Mn funding altogether. One of the biggest Indian startup funding this week was raised by Bengaluru-based insurtech startup Digit Insurance raised $44 Mn. In another development, there are speculations around online retailer eBay to join forces with ecommerce company ShopClues to relaunch its platform in India.
Once fallen to below $5K, slowly and steadily, Bitcoin is getting its charm back. Riding high on Bitcoin which is currently trading at $8.2K, the cryptocurrency market cap too, is ready to hit $300 Bn. Meanwhile, the Law Commission of India in its report submitted to the Minister of Law and Justice has recommended cryptocurrency as one of the cashless means for gambling transactions. Let’s take a look at this week’s development in cryptocurrency!
This week Mobikwik’s Chief Risk Officer, Puneet Agarwal has resigned from the company. Also, another shaker of the week was Sagar Das, the co-founder of Autoportal, who announced that he has quit the company. Let’s have a look at some of the other movers and shakers in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Uttar Pradesh govt to build blockchain infra for data security, TRAI taps blockchain to curb unsolicited calls, Walmart pilots blockchain project to procure farm produce in UP, Google partners with digital asset, BlockApps to push blockchain development & much more…
To discuss the growing trend of freelancing among Indian women, Inc42 and PayPal hosted a webinar — Nailing The Balancing Act: Women Freelancers in India — as part of the ongoing webinar series — The Rising Freelance Economy. Incase you missed it, get all the insights here…
During the media interaction, when asked about an inspiring global business personality, Sharma said, “I’ve interacted with Jack Ma (Alibaba) and Masayoshi Son (SoftBank). I also saw Steve Jobs (Apple) at a close distance. I wish I had interacted with him. But for this (occasion), I will pick Masayoshi Son (Softbank). Masa is not a man of a few billion dollars, but hundreds of billions.”
… that today is Tupperware Day? Celebrate the birthday of Karl Silas Tupper (1907) today, inventor of Tupperware, an airtight plastic container for storing food. The formerly patented “burping seal” is a famous aspect of Tupperware, which distinguishes it from competitors.
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“Let’s not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees Meaning: Suggests that money is a resource that must be earned and is not one that’s easily acquired. I sometimes wonder how deep the negotiations go into cutting into teacher’s courses. I found it absurd when the negotiator of an educational institute was so unreasonable – he was happy if I said I will teach ProBono 🙂 I said NO!
Give a Man a Fish Meaning: It’s better to teach a person how to do something than to do that something for them. I TOTALLY agree after this year’s lessons I learnt. Doing things for free, offering free advice has no Value. People like PRICE these days and are mostly unwilling to pay or negotiate hard for a ProBono bargain. The attitudes are so horrific.
What Am I, Chopped Liver? Meaning: A rhetorical question used by a person who feels they are being given less consideration than someone else. Playing Victim, playing damsel in distress like ( even guys do this 🙂 ) is characteristic of some Millennials I have dealt with in the recent past.
On the Same Page Meaning: Thinking alike or understanding something in a similar way with others. Rare to find agreements and I like to push forward with even a few agreements.
Poke Fun At Meaning: Making fun of something or someone; ridicule. Is this second nature in marathi families ? We love to poke fun, pun, pull legs so much that when we do this to others who come close – it demagnetises and repulses them.
Off One’s Base Meaning: A person that is crazy or behaving in idiotic ways. Body language, facial gestures, awkward neck and eye movements all depict disinterest – why don’t people be cogent enough to say it on the face.
When the Rubber Hits the Road Meaning: When something is about to begin, get serious, or put to the test. The real tests hopefully start for a new Revenue making stint next month onwards.
Yada Yada Meaning: A way to notify a person that what they’re saying is predictable or boring. Wonderful expression. I like it. 🙂
Keep Your Shirt On Meaning: Keeping calm. Usually said by someone who is trying to avoid making others upset. What I have come across this year mostly are those who offer their shirts when they are REALLY naked.
Down For The Count Meaning: Someone or something that looks to be defeated, or nearly so. Hmmm… That’s not me ! Never. 🙂
No one is perfect. But that’s a very lame excuse! No? I read this article and said. Oh, Gosh! I have the same habits which surface at wrong times. Interesting article for deeper personal introspection and improvement. LIked and shared.
Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few — the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).
In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 descriptions of people based on their perceived significance to likeability. The top-rated descriptors had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top descriptors were sincerity, transparency, and capable of understanding (another person).
These adjectives, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in the social side of emotional intelligence. TalentSmartresearch data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable; they outperform those who don’t by a large margin.
Likeability is so critical to your success at work that it can completely alter your performance. A University of Massachusetts study found that managers were willing to accept an auditor’s argument with no supporting evidence if he or she was likeable, and Jack Zenger found that just 1 in 2,000 unlikeable leaders were considered effective by their colleagues.
Being likeable is as much about avoiding behaviors that decrease your likeability as it is about magnifying those that increase it. To help you with this, I did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that hold people back when it comes to likeability. Make certain these behaviors don’t catch you by surprise.
It’s great to know important and interesting people, but using every conversation as an opportunity to name-drop is pretentious and silly. Just like humble-bragging, people see right through it. Instead of making you look interesting, it makes people feel as though you’re insecure and overly concerned with having them like you. It also cheapens what you have to offer. When you connect everything you know with whoyou know (instead of what you know or what you think), conversations lose their color.
People are averse to those who are desperate for attention. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to show them that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than who you know.
My company provides 360° feedback assessments, and we come across far too many instances of people throwing things, screaming, making people cry, and other telltale signs of an emotional hijacking. An emotional hijacking demonstrates low emotional intelligence. As soon as you show that level of instability, people will question whether or not you’re trustworthy and capable of keeping it together when it counts.
Exploding at anyone, regardless of how much they might “deserve it,” turns a huge amount of negative attention your way. You’ll be labeled as unstable, unapproachable, and intimidating. Controlling your emotions keeps you in the driver’s seat. When you’re able to control your emotions around someone who wrongs you, they end up looking bad instead of you.
We all know those people who like to brag about themselves behind the mask of self-deprecation. For example, the gal who makes fun of herself for being a nerd when she really wants to draw attention to the fact that she’s smart or the guy who makes fun of himself for having a strict diet when he really wants you to know how healthy and fit he is. While many people think that self-deprecation masks their bragging, everyone sees right through it. This makes the bragging all the more frustrating, because it isn’t just bragging; it’s also an attempt to deceive.
Whipping out your phone
Nothing turns someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all of your energy on the conversation. You’ll find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.
Having a closed mind
If you want to be likeable, you must be open-minded, which makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is unwilling to listen. Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace, where approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require that you believe what they believe or condone their behavior; it simply means that you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick.
The biggest mistake people make in conversation is being so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost. A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People like to know you’re listening, and something as simple as a clarification question shows that not only are you listening but that you also care about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.
Being too serious
People gravitate toward those who are passionate. That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested, because they tend to get absorbed in their work. Likeable people balance their passion for their work with their ability to have fun. At work they are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers, remembering what people said to them yesterday or last week, which shows people that they are just as important to them as their work is.
People make themselves look terrible when they get carried away with gossiping. Wallowing in talk of other people’s misdeeds or misfortunes may end up hurting their feelings if the gossip ever finds its way to them, but gossiping is guaranteed to make you look negative and spiteful every time.
Sharing too much, too early
While getting to know people requires a healthy amount of sharing, sharing too much about yourself right off the bat comes across wrong. Be careful to avoid sharing personal problems and confessions too quickly. Likeable people let the other person guide them as to when it’s the right time for them to open up. Over-sharing comes across as self-obsessed and insensitive to the balance of the conversation. Think of it this way: if you’re getting into the nitty gritty of your life without learning about the other person first, you’re sending the message that you see them as nothing more than a sounding board for your problems.
Studies have shown that people who over-share on social media do so because they crave acceptance, but the Pew Research Center has revealed that this over-sharing works against them by making people dislike them. Sharing on social media can be an important mode of expression, but it needs to be done thoughtfully and with some self-control. Letting everyone know what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with how many times you walked your dog today will do much more harm than good when it comes to likeability.
Bringing it all together
When you build your awareness of how your actions are received by other people, you pave the way to becoming more likeable.
This question makes me cringe. It’s not that I don’t want to help. I do — I really do. It’s just that when someone asks me to be their mentor, I don’t know what I’m signing up for. The question feels like a marriage proposal from someone I’ve never met, an indefinite labor contract with unspecified terms of service, and a giant pile of responsibility on an already full plate.
But I understand where people are coming from. We’ve been spoon-fed the idea that finding a mentor is a prerequisite for success. Countless business books and self-help guides preach the importance of a good mentor. Under this image we have nurtured, a mentor takes a mentee under their wing, like Socrates and Plato, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, and Mr. Miyagi and Daniel. The relationship then blossoms, and the mentee achieves philosophical greatness, makes billions, or wins the All Valley Karate Championship.
I hate to be a buzzkill, but this isn’t how things work in real life. We wait for a good mentor to arrive like a prophet, whisk us from our canyon of despair, and push us up the ladder of success. But that mentor often doesn’t come, at least not in the form that we’re expecting. We then use the lack of a mentor as an excuse for not getting started.
The solution to this quandary appears in a scene in Good Will Hunting, one of my favorite movies. In the scene, Sean McGuire, the therapist played by Robin Williams, asks Matt Damon’s genius character, Will Hunting, if he has a soulmate—someone who challenges him.
After some meandering, Will replies: “I got plenty. Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Frost, O’Connor, Kant, Pope, Locke.” Sean mocks this answer: “That’s great. They’re all dead.” Undeterred, Will says: “Not to me, they’re not.”
Will is on to something. We assume our soulmates and sources of inspiration have to be real-life mentors who are a quick phone call or an email away. But that assumption is false. As Elizabeth Gilbert writes, mentors “live on the shelves of your library; they live on the walls of museums; they live in recordings made decades ago.”
No one has taught me more about democracy than the Czech writer and politician Vaclav Havel. He’s not alive. No one has taught me more about writing than Stephen King. I’ve never met him. No one has taught me more about humility than the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. He’s been fertilizing daffodils for nearly two thousand years. No one has inspired me more about leveraging failure for success than Sara Blakely. I saw her on the television show Billions once, but our paths have never crossed.
All I had to do to learn from these incredible people, and many others like them, was to study their lives. Take, for example, Stephen King. I treat his fiction like a textbook. I highlight, underline, circle, and review. I’ve learned more from studying his writing than I ever could from a formal “mentoring” session where I would ask him if he has any advice on writing (to which he would probably respond, “Go read my books.”).
You can channel the power of these teachers without holding a seance. Pick your favorite source of inspiration and ask yourself this question: What would they do if they were in my shoes? What would Elon Musk do when faced with this challenge? How would Elizabeth Gilbert tackle this creativity problem? How would Jane Austen develop the character in my novel? If you’ve done your homework, and studied their works, you’ll know what the answer is.
So, to those of you looking for real-life mentors, I say, stop looking.
Your mentors are already all around you.
You just have to open your eyes to see them.
Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist turned law professor and bestselling author. Click here to download a free copy of his e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only).
Keeping up with the news is hard. So hard, in fact, that we’ve decided to save you the hassle by rounding up the most significant, unusual, or just plain old mind-blowing stories each week.
The last full week of July was marked by tragedy. An inexplicable shooting in Toronto, a dam collapse in Laos, and a horrific wildfire in Greece all wreaked havoc on humanity. But while sadness was part and parcel of this week’s news, there were more upbeat stories, too—alongside plenty that were just straight-up newsworthy.
It was one of the worst wildfires to ever hit Greece. On Monday afternoon, a blaze started in the village of Mati on the edges of Athens. Thanks to the dry conditions, it quickly became an inferno. The coastline, the nearby countryside, and some districts of the capital were engulfed in fast-moving flames. At the time of this writing, over 80 have been confirmed killed, with another 40 still missing.
Among the dead were tourists and children, including one group of 26 charred bodies found clutching each other at a cliff’s edge. They are thought to have been a family. In many ways, it could have been even worse. Extremely close proximity to the sea allowed hundreds of people to escape the fire by running into the ocean.
An investigation has now been opened into the possibility of arson. Greece has a track record of wildfires springing from attempts to clear forest land for new buildings. It could be that the deaths of these 80 people rest on the conscience of a single idiot.
9A Mass Shooting Caused Grief (And Mystery) In Toronto
On Sunday night, Faisal Hussain took a gun and walked onto busy Danforth Avenue in Toronto. There, he opened fire, killing one teenage girl and one child and wounding 13 others before committing suicide. He left in his wake not only heartbreak, but a horrible mystery.
While many mass shootings appear to be motiveless (we still don’t know why Stephen Paddock killed 58 people in Las Vegas last year), the actions of Hussain seem almost cruelly unfathomable because there are perhaps too many possible motives to count.
He was friends with some Islamic extremists, yet the police say it wasn’t a terrorist attack. He was on the fringes of Toronto’s gang culture, yet the shooting was too random for gang violence. He was mentally ill, yet doctors believe that it was not to a degree that might have triggered a massacre.
Ultimately, we may never know why such bloodshed came to Toronto on Sunday. All we do know is that, for whatever combination of reasons, two people are now dead because of Hussain.
8We Heard The Shocking Details Of MGM’s Plan To Sue The Vegas Shooting Victims
For centuries to come, this will be the lawsuit that gets trotted out whenever anyone wants to prove that the legal system is screwed beyond hope. At a press conference on Monday, we learned the shocking details of MGM Resorts International’s plan to sue the victims of last year’s Las Vegas shooting. Filed in court last week, MGM’s lawsuit would drag survivors of America’s worst-ever mass shooting through the trauma all over again.
MGM is not seeking money from the victims. Instead, it is seeking to avoid having to pay damages to those who were wounded—some 850 people. MGM contends that the shooting was an act of terrorism. As a result, they believe that they are not liable under a federal act passed after 9/11. This is despite both federal and local authorities saying that the shooter, Stephen Paddock, was not a terrorist.
To call this lawsuit insane would be an understatement. Aside from making MGM look like the bad guys in a Hollywood flick about heartless corporate scumbags, it will ensure that many of the survivors are forced to relive the massacre in court.
This week, a group of Italian scientists published a paper that could well change how we view our solar system. They discovered an underground lake of liquid water on Mars. If confirmed, the finding could represent our best chance for locating alien life in the near future.
Briny water isn’t unheard-of on the Red Planet, but it has previously always been either seasonal or frozen inside chunks of ice. This lake would be unique because it seems to be in a permanently liquid state. A stable source of water is one of the essentials for life (as we know it) to arise.
If the lake is for real, though, getting to it will be a problem. It exists 1.5 kilometers (0.9 mi) below the surface of the Martian south pole, a tall order for exploring.
6Hackers Stole Data On A Quarter Of Singapore’s Population
It was the eye-watering numbers that really made it headline news. Last Friday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong declared that a massive cyberattack had hit the country’s biggest health provider, making off with the data of 1.5 million patients—over a quarter of the city-state’s population. While the majority of those targeted only had their most basic details stolen, another 160,000 had details about their prescriptions snatched.
Although the main focus was on the numbers, perhaps the most chilling part was the political nature of the breach. Prime Minister Lee was among those targeted, alongside several other ministers.
Lee claimed that the attack was seemingly carried out with the backing of a nation-state, likely one looking for embarrassing or blackmail-worthy material. With a number of countries recently flexing their hacking muscles on the world stage, identifying the culprit could be even harder than it seems.
Forget Stormy Daniels. The big sex scandal to hit the White House now goes by the name of Karen McDougal. On Wednesday, a secret recording from 2016 was broadcast on CNN, detailing a conversation between Trump and his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, about paying hush money to McDougal over a kiss-and-tell she planned to publish in the National Enquirer.
The real story of the tape wasn’t its contents. Although it appears to confirm that Trump had an affair with McDougal, it offers no evidence that he actually broke the law by authorizing hush payments. No, the real story was the tape’s origins. It was released by Cohen.
A longtime lawyer for Trump, Cohen was disgraced during the Stormy Daniels scandal and forced to walk away from the president. Now he appears to have decided to turn on his old boss, and he presumably has the tapes to make Trump’s life very uncomfortable. He’s also hired lawyer Lanny Davis, a Democratic stalwart and Clinton ally who specializes in attacking Republicans.
It seems likely that this tape is just the opening salvo in an upcoming Trump-Cohen war.
4A Bizarre Scandal Threatened To Bring Down Emmanuel Macron’s Presidency
Whatever you may think of him, French President Emmanuel Macron is usually adept at staying on top of things. Which is part of what makes the huge scandal currently rocking his presidency so bizarre.
On May 1, Macron’s personal bodyguard, Alexandre Benalla, was filmed impersonating a police officer to rough up two rock-throwing protesters. The government was told, and Benalla was given a slap on the wrist. The footage was then made public last week, and people began to ask why Benalla hadn’t been punished properly.
Macron’s response? He fell completely silent for five whole days.
If there’s one thing that Macron likes to do, it’s talk. Endlessly. So his sudden absence made journalists wonder if there was more to the story. They started digging and discovered that Benalla was being paid an inflated salary of €10,000 a month. He also had his own government car with a siren for cutting through traffic and his own key to the house shared by Macron and his wife in northern France. Clearly, something very unusual was up.
Benalla has since been fired, but the scandal is being compared in the Paris press to Watergate. A vote of no-confidence in Macron has been arranged, but don’t expect it to succeed. He will almost certainly survive this scandal. His reputation may not.
3Colombia’s Ex-President Stepped Down To Face Bribery Charges
For a country with a long track record of impunity for the rich and powerful, it was a bombshell moment. On Tuesday, former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe stepped down from the Senate to face charges of corruption and witness tampering. His summons marked the first time a Colombian court has ever asked an ex-president to testify.
The charges are largely of Uribe’s own making. For years, the former president has been suspected of funding right-wing death squads to carry out atrocities. Those charges are unproven. But when lawmaker Ivan Cepeda tried to open an investigation in 2012, Uribe demanded an investigation into Cepeda.
Colombia’s Supreme Court dismissed the charges against Cepeda. In reviewing the case, however, they found evidence that Uribe had bribed witnesses. Cepeda was cleared, and a case was opened against Uribe.
Now that he’s left the Senate, Uribe’s case will be transferred to the Public Prosecution Service, which critics say will be far easier for the former president to pay off. Yet his resignation still marks a defeat. Uribe was one of the most powerful anti–peace deal voices in Colombia. His exit makes it far less likely that the deal will be undone.