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Power line in Puerto Rico keeps failing
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
UPDATE ( 10:40 a.m. ET, Thursday Nov. 16, 2017): Story corrected and updated to reflect statement from Whitefish Energy that the company was not to blame for the recent outage. It's been nearly two months since Category 4 Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico, leaving behind immense devastation. On Wednesday morning, the island took another step backward, as the lights went off in San Juan once again.  SEE ALSO: Google: Project Loon has provided internet access to 100,000 people in Puerto Rico Shortly after the storm, the island's government signed a controversial $300 million deal with a little-known Montana company known as Whitefish Energy to restore power to parts of the island. Yet the island continues to experience major problems with its fragile electrical grid. As of Monday morning, power had been restored to about 50 percent of the island. That's when a power line known as the Cambalache Manatee line failed, again, plunging San Juan and other cities into darkness.  Confirmed: power out in Puerto Rico - Cause unknown, as of now. It just so happens, that Gov. @ricardorossello had been heralding November 15th (today) as a goal of being at 50% generation, on the 56th day after Maria. https://t.co/4ycaEfSFQS — David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) November 15, 2017 Se reporta falla en línea de 230KV de Cambalache a Manatí. Personal de AEE se acerca al área para identificar el problema y restablecer el 50% de generación alcanzado. CC6 — AEE (@AEEONLINE) November 15, 2017 This is the second time in a week that this particular line has failed, affecting the parts of Puerto Rico that actually had restored power.  On Tuesday, the first outage was blamed on "human error" when a crane damaged the line. PREPA reports power out in Puerto Rico due to “failure of the Cambalache Manatee 230KV line” *This is the same line where there was failure last week-Yesterday, PREPA boss Ricardo Ramos said last weeks outage was caused by a “crane”, signaling human error caused it — David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) November 15, 2017 In a statement to Mashable, a spokesman for Whitefish Energy denied that work the company had done played a role in Wednesday's power failure, and instead blamed issues with the Puerto Rican utility company, known as PREPA.  "The outage in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, just like the one last week, has absolutely nothing to do with the work performed by Whitefish Energy on the 50100 transmission line. That line was turned over to PREPA several weeks ago and our crews are no longer in the area as they are working elsewhere on the island," said Whitefish Energy spokesman Chris Chiames, in an email. A statement from PREPA cited a "technical failure" with the 50100 transmission line.  On Tuesday, officials were in the hot seat for a Congressional hearing. Documents released by the House Committee on Natural Resources showed that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's (PREPA) contract with Whitefish was extremely troubling, particularly the approval of the contract despite internal calls of concern. WATCH: Puerto Rico is recovering cell service... with balloons
Spain awarded 1.6 bln euros over Prestige oil spill
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A court awarded the Spanish state 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in damages on Wednesday over the 2002 Prestige oil spill, one of Europe's worst environmental disasters. The court in the northwestern Spanish city of A Coruna also said the regional government of Galicia, off whose coast the Prestige tanker sank, be compensated 1.8 million euros and neighbouring France, which was also affected, 61 million euros. The ship's Greek captain Apostolos Mangouras and British insurers The London P&I Club were ordered to pay one billion dollars, the court said in a statement -- the maximum limit fixed by the company in its contract for the ship.
Why Jordanian mothers still can't give citizenship to their children
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Ahmed Zubeidi is a living ghost.
Russia Might Make All Outside Media Register as ‘Foreign Agents’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In apparent retaliation for restrictions on the Kremlin-backed RT
Chimpanzees Warn Each Other of Danger With Dramatic Hoots and Knowing Looks
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Contrary to the iconic image of the three monkeys, "speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil," chimpanzees display elaborate behaviors to broadcast and process vocalized warnings of danger, according to new research in Science Advances. Catherine Crockford and her team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology conducted a set of experiments that suggest chimpanzees take their peers’ visual perspective into account when trying to alert them to danger. While observing wild chimps in the Budongo Forest in Uganda, the researchers planted fake snakes near the animals and then filmed the chimps' reactions.
A Manhunt Is Underway After a Baltimore Detective Was Shot In the Head
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The detective was fighting for his life in hospital on Thursday morning
The Latest: US says Washington to remain engaged on climate
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
BONN, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the climate talks in Bonn, Germany (all times local):
Report: NSA breach may be worse than first thought
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The New York Times reports that the U.S. government may not be aware if secrets were leaked or hacked and they're not sure whether the hacker is still at work; reaction and analysis from cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright.
Massive History of Inequality Study Hints That Revolution is in Store for U.S.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Every society has a tipping point.
Franken backs ethics investigation after woman accuses him of groping her
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Sen. Al Franken apologized to radio anchor Leeann Tweeden after she said he groped her in 2006. She posted a photo of the incident.
California woman leads officers on second chase in 2 days
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say the same woman led officers on vehicle chases through Southern California on back-to-back days.
I went to Brazil for a bath, says McLaren reserve Norris
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
(Reuters) - A canceled Formula One tire test meant McLaren reserve Lando Norris effectively flew all the way from Britain to Brazil this week just to take a bath. The 18-year-old, racing in this weekend's Macau F3 race, told reporters he was soaking in the bathtub after arriving in Sao Paulo when the two-day test at Interlagos was canceled for security reasons. The Formula Three European champion then flew back to Paris, on to Shanghai and Macau.
'Thoughts and prayers': For devout, what does it mean to pray after tragedy?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
It’s a familiar performance in a long-running drama: Following a mass shooting, proponents and opponents of gun control take to the national stage, find their blocking on the scene, and recite the same impassioned lines of dialogue. When politicians doled out their automatic condolences of “thoughts and prayers,” gun control advocates responded with rhetorical jiu-jitsu. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive,” tweeted “Star Trek” actor Wil Wheaton, one of a number of Twittizens who used the cruel irony to mock Republican politicians.
In 2017, transgender community sees record political gains – and violent hostility
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Lisa Middleton ran for city council in Palm Springs, Calif., this year, she says, because she felt the time was right for her as a civil servant. Recommended: How much do you know about gay rights in America? “I didn’t get into this to make a symbolic statement about being a transgender candidate that got close,” says Ms. Middleton, who was among eight openly trans candidates who won state and local elections across the country on Nov. 7.
Should President Trump Have the Sole Power to Launch Nuclear Missiles?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing over whether Donald Trump should have sole power to launch nuclear weapons.
Ghost village perched in Jerusalem's hills may soon vanish
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Near the stone ruins of the home where he says he lived as a boy, Yacoub Odeh laments that his native village on Jerusalem's hillside may soon be transformed forever. Lifta, an abandoned former Palestinian village in a bucolic spot at the entrance to Jerusalem, is at the centre of a preservation fight over an Israeli plan to build villas there. It is a rare example of a village that still exists after its Palestinian inhabitants fled in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel, though its history extends much farther back in time.
California Gunman Was Released on Bail Before Deadly Rampage
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Kevin Neal was out on bail charged with stabbing a neighbor
Alien Planet Virtual Reality Lets You Imagine Life in Another Solar System Far, Far Away
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
If life on Earth sometimes gets you down, you may need to consider taking a journey far, far away—and you can do just that in a new virtual reality simulation that explores six different exoplanets. Taken together, the destinations show just how much the field of exoplanet studies has developed since the very first discovery of a planet orbiting another sun was announced in 1992. It's pretty much impossible to keep track of new exoplanets at this point unless you run a website dedicated to doing just that (current tally: 3,550).
Ancient Egyptian Artifacts from King Tut’s Tomb Shown for First Time After Being Locked Away for 95 Years
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Somewhere deep inside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, 95 pieces of King Tut’s beloved treasures were locked away in storage. The mysteries of King Tut's tomb has sparked theories about possible hidden chambers that contain Queen Nefertiti's tomb.
Small town Connecticut election decided by coin toss
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
BOLTON, Conn. (AP) — An election for the governing board of a small Connecticut town has been decided by a coin toss.
Scientists use a supercomputer to simulate one of history’s biggest quakes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Hoping to help improve quake defenses, researchers have used a supercomputer to carry out a simulation of the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami which caused the deaths of more than 200,000 people.
Saudi Arabia Gates of Hell: New Images Reveal Secrets of Ancient Mystery Structures
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Images taken from a helicopter flyinging at low altitude have shown in never-before-seen detail the mysterious neolithic structures dubbed the Saudi Arabian "Gates of Hell" and may shed more light on archaeological treasures yet to be uncovered in the gulf kingdom. The hundreds of 9,000-year-old structures initially baffled experts when they were seen in satellite imagery. The stone age walls, found built in volcanic fields in Saudi Arabia’s remote Harrat Khaybar region, were named the Gates Of Hell because their short, thick connecting piles of brick resembled barred gates when viewed from above.
Indonesia smugglers stuffed exotic birds in pipes: police
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Smugglers who allegedly stuffed 125 exotic birds into drain pipes have been arrested in Indonesia, officials said Thursday, as part of a bid to clamp down on a lucrative illegal trade in wildlife. Four men have been charged after 41 endangered white cockatoos and 84 eclectus parrots were discovered squashed into plastic piping that had been cut and sealed at each end by wire. Police said the men were arrested in four separate locations in eastern Indonesia, and are part of a suspected wildlife trafficking ring.
Roy Moore fights his inner demons. It's not pretty.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
When someone like Roy Moore, the GOP candidate for Senate from Alabama, runs for office as the arbiter of private morality, it’s worth asking yourself what he might be running from.
Trump's cheeseburger in Japan still drawing lines
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
TOKYO (AP) — Haruyuki Sano traveled 1 ½ hours for a taste of the same cheeseburger U.S. President Donald Trump ate with Japan's prime minister during his visit last week.
Cards Against Humanity says it's fighting border wall
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
HOUSTON (AP) — The party game Cards Against Humanity says it's bought U.S.-Mexico border land and hired a lawyer to try to stop President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.
Pope Francis Got a Special Lamborghini, Which Will Be Auctioned Off for Charity
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The proceeds will go to charity, including one helping Christians in Iraq
A Republican Poll Shows Roy Moore Way Down in the Alabama Senate Race
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Amid allegations he pursued teenage girls
Harvey Weinstein Is Being Sued for Sexual Battery
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The lawsuit also alleges the Weinstein Co. knew about his abusive behavior
President Trump May Have Tweeted His Condolences to Victims of the Wrong Shooting. The Internet Was Not Amused
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Trump appeared to tweet condolences to victims of the wrong shooting — conflating the attacks in California and at a Texas church
11 Subscription Boxes For Women That Make Easy And Unique Holiday Gifts
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Subscription boxes are becoming a new way of gifting, as the boxes contain a curated, various set of products that are sure to impress that special person in your life.
Ancient Egyptian Mummy Buried Wearing Golden Sky God Mask Discovered In Long
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Archaeologists working in Egypt have uncovered an ancient sarcophagus containing a startlingly well-preserved mummy wearing in an intricately painted gold and blue burial mask. Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement that a joint Russian and Egyptian team of excavators uncovered the mummy in the governorate of Fayoum, some 50 miles south of Cairo.
Germany's Merkel dodges coal deadline at climate talks
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
BONN, Germany (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a veteran of global efforts to curb climate change, disappointed environmental campaigners Wednesday by refusing to lay down a deadline for ending her country's use of coal.
A spider
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Inside a dark exhibition hall at the Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, a gigantic spider is crawling along the web she has built with her own silk threads inside a cubed frame. The spinning process and the sound of her creation are amplified by a microphone and the image is projected on the wall…
Scientists just used a brain implant to improve human memory, and it could change everything
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The human brain is truly a wonder, and nature has honed it to be an incredibly efficient tool for processing information and hanging on to things we might need at a later date... but it could be even better. Scientists have now done what at one time was thought to be impossible by using a brain implant to actually augment human memory and prove that it works to improve information retention by a measurable degree. Presenting the research at the Society for Neuroscience meeting this past weekend, Dong Song of the University of Southern California revealed his team's successful efforts to use manmade hardware to improve brain function. With 20 volunteers embracing the new technology and allowing the scientists to play around with their brain function, the study marks a huge leap in human augmentation and could be a sign of what's to come. Those who volunteered to be test subjects for the new memory enhancement are individuals who were already participating in epilepsy monitoring. The participants had already undergone the implantation of electrodes in their brains to mitigate the effects of the disorder, giving Song and his colleagues an easier way to test their contraption. After a brief training session which was used to calibrate the system and identify the areas of the brain related to memory retention in each individual, the team's algorithm was able to predict what areas would spark to life when engaging in new memory tests. The implants were then triggered proactively, giving the brain tiny electric shocks to boost its activity and promote the saving of memories. In testing, the system was able to give participants improved memory function of around 30% over their individual baseline scores. It's a relatively minor but measurable augment of the human brain's abilities, and this research is most certainly a sign that the science of human augmentation could turn into big business at a not-so-distant point in the future. Tech luminaries like Elon Musk have long predicted that future technological advancements will ultimately target the human body itself, turning us into something more than human but less than machine. It would seem we're well on our way towards that future.
Missouri attorney general opens investigation on Google
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley outlines antitrust violations case against Google. #Tucker
Zimbabwe's Military Has Mugabe and His Wife in Custody
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The army insists it has not staged a military takeover
How Every Republican Senator Has Responded to the Roy Moore Scandal
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
From no comment to recommending he be expelled if elected
Don't Forget Travel Vaccines This Holiday Season
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
If you're planning to celebrate the holidays overseas—or even to sneak in a quick getaway before the festivities begin—you've probably got a lot to do beforehand.   You might be tempted to skip t...
NASA Mars 2020: Watch the First Supersonic Parachute Test Ahead of Red Planet Mission
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A supersonic parachute that will be used in NASA’s Mars 2020 mission has been successfully tested at the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. “The imagery of our first parachute inflation is almost as breathtaking to behold as it is scientifically significant,” he said in a statement. It was carried up on the 58-foot-tall Black Brant IX rocket which recorded the deployment.
Joe Biden Would Beat President Trump in 2020, a New Poll Says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
But that doesn't mean he's Democrats' first choice
California Shooter Killed His Wife Before 'Bizarre and Murderous' Rampage, Police Say
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"It was a bizarre and murderous rampage"
Guppy fish have personalities, say researchers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Tiny guppy fish have individual 'personalities', according to a laboratory study by scientists at the University of Exeter in Penryn. Jim Drury reports.
Don’t hold your breath: Tiny PocketLab sensor tells you when air quality is poor
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Newly launched on Kickstarter, the PocketLab Air is a multi-sensor device that lets users gather and share ultra-localized information about the effects of climate change and pollution.
Escaped Psychiatric Patient, Once Described as a Classic Serial Killer, Could Be in California
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A court in 1993 said he still suffered from sexual sadism and necrophilia
Disruptor Alert: These 5 Companies Are Changing Healthcare
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Healthcare won't be the same in the future because of these pioneers in gene editing, gene sequencing, and artificial intelligence.
A Group of Democrats Just Officially Moved to Impeach Donald Trump as President
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The effort is a long-shot that most House Democrats want nothing to do with
Antarctica: NASA Images Show Iceberg the Size of Delaware Floating Away From Larsen C Ice Shelf
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Space agency NASA has published a series of stunning images showing an Antarctic iceberg the size of Delaware, giving a close-up glimpse of a vast body of ice previously shown only in satellite images. As part of Operation Icebridge, NASA’s continuing mission to map polar ice, the agency took sophisticated airborne shots of the Larsen C ice shelf, and the enormous iceberg that broke free from it in July, known as A-68. “I was aware that I would be seeing an iceberg the size of Delaware, but I wasn’t prepared for how that would look from the air,” wrote NASA Earth Observatory’s Kathryn Hansen in a blog about the November 12 mission.
Power line Whitefish Energy worked on in Puerto Rico keeps failing
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It's been nearly two months since Category 4 Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico, leaving behind immense devastation. On Wednesday morning, the island took another step backward, as the lights went off in San Juan once again.  SEE ALSO: Google: Project Loon has provided internet access to 100,000 people in Puerto Rico Shortly after the storm, the island's government signed a controversial $300 million deal with a little-known Montana company known as Whitefish Energy to restore power to parts of the island. Yet the island continues to experience major problems with its fragile electrical grid. As of Monday morning, power had been restored to about 50 percent of the island. That's when a power line known as the Cambalache Manatee line failed, again, plunging San Juan and other cities into darkness.  Confirmed: power out in Puerto Rico - Cause unknown, as of now. It just so happens, that Gov. @ricardorossello had been heralding November 15th (today) as a goal of being at 50% generation, on the 56th day after Maria. https://t.co/4ycaEfSFQS — David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) November 15, 2017 Se reporta falla en línea de 230KV de Cambalache a Manatí. Personal de AEE se acerca al área para identificar el problema y restablecer el 50% de generación alcanzado. CC6 — AEE (@AEEONLINE) November 15, 2017 This is the second time in a week that this particular line has failed, affecting the parts of Puerto Rico that actually had restored power.  On Tuesday, the first outage was blamed on "human error." PREPA reports power out in Puerto Rico due to “failure of the Cambalache Manatee 230KV line” *This is the same line where there was failure last week-Yesterday, PREPA boss Ricardo Ramos said last weeks outage was caused by a “crane”, signaling human error caused it — David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) November 15, 2017 It's also the line that Whitefish Energy has worked on as part of their controversial, and now canceled, contract with the island.  As Mashable's own Andrew Freedman noted, the $300 million contract breaks down like so: Those are big bucks for work on a line that seems to be repeatedly failing and already under intense scrutiny. On Tuesday, officials were in the hot seat for a Congressional hearing. Documents released by the House Committee on Natural Resources showed that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's (PREPA) contract with Whitefish was extremely troubling, particularly the approval of the contract despite internal calls of concern. This is a developing story... WATCH: Puerto Rico is recovering cell service... with balloons