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Discussion Starter #81
California man who posted regret for attending party died a day later of coronavirus

Janelle Griffith NBC News July 1, 2020, 6:15 PM EDT


A California man posted his regret on Facebook about contracting the coronavirus after he attended a party in June. A day later, he died from COVID-19.
On June 20, Thomas Macias, wrote an impassioned message on Facebook in which he lamented ignoring social distancing guidance.
IMAGE: Thomas Macias

IMAGE: Thomas Macias


"Some of you may know, but most don't," Macias, 51, wrote. "I ... went out a couple of weeks ago" and contracted the coronavirus.
Macias, who was a truck driver, expressed guilt for having possibly exposed his family to the virus.
"Because of my stupidity I put my mom and sisters and my family's health in jeopardy," he wrote. "This has been a very painful experience."
"Hopefully with God's help," he added, "I'll be able to survive this."

He died the next day.

An official from the Riverside County Office of Vital Records told NBC News on Wednesday that Macias died from COVID-19.
From late March through early June, Macias was going out only when necessary, Gustavo Lopez, his brother-in-law, said in a phone interview Wednesday.
"He was quarantining because he was overweight and had diabetes," Lopez said.

Lopez said that sometime in early June, however — after Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated that he would loosen social distancing restrictions — Macias attended a party in Lake Elsinore, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, where he lived.

Afterward, a friend of Macias' who was also at the party contacted him to say he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, Lopez said.
The friend told Macias that he was aware of the diagnosis when he attended the gathering but that because he was not showing symptoms, he did not believe he could infect anyone else.
The friend advised everyone who attended the party to get tested.
Naturally, Lopez said, Macias was upset. Still, he said, Macias took accountability for his actions, as evidenced in his Facebook post.


IMAGE: Thomas Facias' Facebook post (Courtesy Gustavo Lopez)

IMAGE: Thomas Facias' Facebook post (Courtesy Gustavo Lopez)



Lopez said that he was unsure how many people went to the party but that Macias was among more than a dozen people who contracted COVID-19.

Macias visited his sister Veronica, who is married to Lopez, at the couple's home on June 11, before he was tested. Lopez remembers being concerned for Macias after the visit.

"He did not look right," Lopez said. "He was really sweaty."

Macias, who did not marry and did not have children, soon started to feel sick and believed it was related to his diabetes.

He was tested for COVID-19 on June 16 and received a positive diagnosis on June 18. In his Facebook post two days later, Macias implored people to take the coronavirus seriously.

"This is no joke," he wrote. "If you have to go out wear a mask and practice social distancing."

He was rushed to the hospital at about 11 a.m. on June 21. He was put on a ventilator sometime from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and died by 9 p.m., Lopez said.


"I think what he wanted people to know, this is a real thing," Lopez said. "It's serious, and it kills people."


Macias is remembered by his family as a "good guy" with a lot of friends.
"He would do anything for everybody," Lopez said. "No questions asked."
He is survived by his mother, two sisters, four nieces and two great-nieces.

Veronica Lopez said her brother always greeted people with a smile and was not one to hold a grudge.
"He used to say opinions don't matter, relationships do," Lopez said.




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Discussion Starter #83
Parking Lot Donuts Result In Serious Crash
Amie Williams Motorious July 3, 2020


The careless collision left one driver injured.
What appears to be some 'harmless' parking lot hooning involving two American muscle cars took a turn for the worse. Police were called to the scene of an accident at 3:30 a.m. in San Antonio, Texas. It likely wasn't hard to piece together what had happened without witness reports as they came upon two mangled cars inside a parking lot at Grosvenor Street near SW Military Drive.

<img src=donuts-mustang-crash.png alt=A crashed Mustang after parking lot donuts>

Fox San Antonio
According to Fox San Antonio, the two cars were allegedly doing donuts around the parking lot before the two collided resulting in minor injuries to one of the drivers. Two of the cars were heavily damaged, and the parking lot where the incident took place is a well-known spot to local street racers to do donuts, according to San Antonio police.

When law enforcement rolled up on the scene, they found fresh skid marks that pointed toward donuts and other reckless shenanigans by the drivers of the two cars. The drivers told police "they were both out having some fun" went things quickly went awry. As mentioned above, one of the drivers suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.







Although not trying to assume, it appears that the new Ford Mustang, that looks to be either EcoBoost or V6-powered by the lack of 5.0 badging, may have been the crashed vehicle that resulted in injuries by the amount of heavy damage done to the entire car. The other car, a Dodge Charger, appears to have most of the damage on its passenger side, which could have easily injured anyone occupying that side of the car judging by the broken windshield. Either way, it looks like both drivers lost this one as at least one of the cars, if not both, appear to be a total loss.

A Mustang and a Charger..... sounds familiar.
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Discussion Starter #85
On this Day in History...

Building of Hoover Dam begins

On July 7, 1930, construction of the Hoover Dam begins.

Over the next five years, a total of 21,000 men would work ceaselessly to produce what would be the largest dam of its time, as well as one of the largest man-made structures in the world.

Although the dam would take only five years to build, its construction was nearly 30 years in the making. Arthur Powell Davis, an engineer from the Bureau of Reclamation, originally had his vision for the Hoover Dam back in 1902, and his engineering report on the topic became the guiding document when plans were finally made to begin the dam in 1922.
Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States and a committed conservationist, played a crucial role in making Davis’ vision a reality. As secretary of commerce in 1921, Hoover devoted himself to the erection of a high dam in Boulder Canyon. The dam would provide essential flood control, which would prevent damage to downstream farming communities that suffered each year when snow from the Rocky Mountains melted and joined the Colorado River. Further, the dam would allow the expansion of irrigated farming in the desert, and would provide a dependable supply of water for Los Angeles and other southern California communities.
Even with Hoover’s exuberant backing and a regional consensus around the need to build the dam, Congressional approval and individual state cooperation were slow in coming. For many years, water rights had been a source of contention among the western states that had claims on the Colorado River. To address this issue, Hoover negotiated the Colorado River Compact, which broke the river basin into two regions with the water divided between them. Hoover then had to introduce and re-introduce the bill to build the dam several times over the next few years before the House and Senate finally approved the bill in 1928.

In 1929, Hoover, now president, signed the Colorado River Compact into law, claiming it was “the most extensive action ever taken by a group of states under the provisions of the Constitution permitting compacts between states.”
Once preparations were made, the Hoover Dam’s construction sprinted forward: The contractors finished their work two years ahead of schedule and millions of dollars under budget.

Today, the Hoover Dam generates enough energy each year to serve over a million people, and stands, in Hoover Dam artist Oskar Hansen’s words, as “a monument to collective genius exerting itself in community efforts around a common need or ideal.”


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Discussion Starter #87
Why Idaho Hasn't Stopped Shaking Since March 31

Jennifer Leman Popular Mechanics July 8, 2020, 8:44 AM EDT

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Photo credit: Wikimedia

  • Months after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Idaho, the southern part of the state is still shaking.
  • Aftershocks are clusters of seismic activity that occur along the same fault as a major earthquake.
  • In some cases, aftershocks can occur centuries after the main earthquake.
On March 31, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake rolled through Idaho's Sawtooth mountain range, northeast of Boise. It was the second largest earthquake to strike Idaho, according to the Idaho Statesman. (The strongest temblor in Idaho history, 1983's Borah Peak earthquake, registered as a magnitude 6.9.)

But the region hasn't stopped shaking since. The area has experienced a string of aftershocks in the months following the quake, some registering as high as magnitude 4.8. The shaking has been so strong, in fact, that a popular beach along Stanley Lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area has sunk into the water.

"The most probable cause for the 'disappearing' of the inlet delta is a combination of liquefaction and compaction of saturated sediments and some possible sliding and later spreading on the delta toward the deeper part of the lake," Claudio Berti, director and state geologist of the Idaho Geological Survey, said in a statement.

The March 31 earthquake occurred 16 miles north of the Sawtooth Fault, a 40-mile stretch of fault line discovered nearly a decade ago. Geologists have largely believed the fault was inactive, but the latest round of quakes have reinvigorated interest in the region.

Geologists are puzzling over exactly what caused an earthquake in the otherwise quiet region. Some researchers suspect the Sawtooth Fault is actually longer than expected. Others believe the fault is now taking advantage of openings in Earth's crust and is slowly pushing north. One theory suggests energy from the Sawtooth Fault could have jumped to a nearby unknown fault, spurring the recent series of earthquakes.

For now, the race is on to collect more data about the region, so that geologists can paint a clearer picture of what's happening below surface. In addition to gathering seismic readings and analyzing soil samples, researchers will use LIDAR to hunt for signs of movement in the area.

What's With All the Shaking?
In the aftermath of a major earthquake, it's common for a series of smaller earthquakes, called aftershocks, to occur. Aftershocks, which usually originate on the same fault line, can last for days, weeks, months and even years following the main shock. The larger the earthquake, the longer it'll take the fault to get all that shaking out of its system.

In some cases, seismic energy along a fault line will build up over a long time. A 2009 paper in the journal Nature suggested earthquakes that occur far away from tectonic plate boundaries may be lingering aftershocks from temblors that happened centuries earlier. The pace at which two tectonic plates slide past each other could dictate how long aftershocks may last, with slower movement leading to longer last bursts of related seismic activity.

Scientists are currently working on ways to use artificial intelligence to forecast where aftershocks may occur. A team of researchers used 131,000 reported earthquakes to train a neural network to accurately forecast aftershocks, according to a 2018 paper published in Nature.

So ... What About Yellowstone?
Fear not: Even though Idaho is still rumbling, that doesn't mean Yellowstone is headed for an eruption.

Idaho lies along the northern edge of a geologically active region called the Basin and Range Province. This region, which spans eastern California to Utah and down into Sonora, Mexico, has been stretched taught over the past 20 million years, creating a series of wide valleys and vast mountain ranges. It's also chock full of old seismic faults—just like the one that sprang to life on March 31.

Yellowstone last erupted 70,000 years ago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Since then, there have been over 10,000 magnitude 6-or-higher earthquakes in the western U.S. While the temblors can occasionally spur rumblings at the national park's geysers—as a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in Colorado did in 1959—they aren't likely cause a volcanic eruption.


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Discussion Starter #88
35 Years Ago, a U.S. F-15 Blasted an Orbiting Satellite to Smithereens

Kyle Mizokami Popular Mechanics July 8, 2020, 3:24 PM EDT


Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images

Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images
From Popular Mechanics
  • In 1985, a F-15A Eagle fitted with a classified missile shot down an aging weather satellite.
  • The test of the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) was considered a huge success.
  • Task & Purpose has published a rare interview with the pilot who flew the mission 35 years ago.
One of the most remarkable feats of military engineering during the Cold War was the shootdown of an actual satellite by a fighter jet. The incident was the first and only use of the AGM-135 anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon. Although anti-satellite weapon development slowed after the end of the Cold War, it's restarted in a big way, with new weapons being fielded by the U.S., Russia, and China.
Task & Purpose published an interview with Major General Wilbert “Doug” Pearson Jr., U.S. Air Force, retired. In addition to receiving the high rank of major general Pearson is the only pilot on Earth known to have shot down a satellite in orbit. Pearson accomplished this on September 13th, 1985, in the skies over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.
Pearson’s target was US P78-1 Solwind, an aging weather satellite.
Photo credit: National Archives

Photo credit: National Archives

The AGM-135 was the largest missile ever mounted on a F-15 Eagle. The weapon, designed by Vought was originally called the Prototype Miniature Air Launched System (PMALS). It was based on the Short Range Attack Missile, a nuclear-tipped missile used by the B-52 bomber. PMALS added a second stage and modified the missile to ascend straight into space, where its infrared-guided sensor package picked up the target and guided the missile into a collision.
The U.S. had built anti-satellite missiles before, but the weapons were land-based and couldn’t move. This restricted the weapon’s ability to shoot down enemy satellites. A fighter-based missile, on the other hand, could self-deploy worldwide to hit a specific satellite at a specific time. According to military space analyst Brian Weeden, the Air Force planned to purchase 112 AGM-135s and modify 48 F-15s to launch them, basing them in Washington and Virginia.
Photo credit: National Archives

Photo credit: National Archives

The program, though promising, was considered inflammatory and many believed would end up militarizing space. The program was killed in 1988, Weeden explained at The Space Review “due to a combination of Congressional restrictions on its testing, budget restrictions, and concerns over potentially igniting a space arms race with the Soviets."
U.S. fears of igniting a space arms race may only have delayed the inevitable with the introduction of global positioning satellites such as the American GPS, Russian GLONASS, or Chinese Beidou, making anti-satellite weapons more useful than ever before. The U.S., Russia, China, and India have all tested anti-satellite weapons.
Photo credit: Anadolu Agency - Getty Images

Photo credit: Anadolu Agency - Getty Images

The U.S. SM-3 missile, designed to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles, also has an anti-satellite capability. In 2008 a SM-3 shot down a U.S. military reconnaissance satellite that had malfunctioned and threatened to shed a toxic hydrazine tank on reentry. The Ground Based Interceptor, designed to protect the continental U.S. from ballistic missile attacks, also reportedly has a limited anti-satellite capability. Worldwide, Russia has the land-based Nudol anti-satellite missile and what appears to be a AGM-135-type weapon on the MiG-31 Foxhound fighter. China destroyed a satellite in 2007 with an ASAT weapon, while India successfully tested a land-based system in April 2019.
The AGM-135 was a pioneering system but by no means the last. Although the U.S. is avoiding building mission-specific anti-satellite weapons for now, it seems inevitable the Pentagon will field such a weapon—if it doesn’t already.


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Discussion Starter #91
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COVID-19 in the USA by the numbers....
July 14, 2020


Comparison to Population:

New York City 8,398,748
Los Angeles 3,990,456
COVID-19 Cases 3,363,056
Chicago 2,705,994
Houston 2,325,502

Waco, TX 138,183
Charleston, SC 136,208
COVID-19 Deaths 135,605
Hampton, VA 134,313
Gainesville, FL 133,857
Cedar Rapids, IA 133,174


This is serious.
We cannot even safely send our children to school.



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Discussion Starter #92
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Scientists describe setting off the world's first nuclear bomb 75 years ago: No one 'even raised the possibility that what we were doing might be morally wrong'

Business Insider Aria Bendix 23 hours ago

  • US scientists tested an atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert exactly 75 years ago.
  • The launch, part of the Manhattan Project, marked the development of the deadliest and most powerful weapon in history.
  • In an excerpt published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, physicist Robert Wilson suggested that scientists didn't grapple with the moral consequences of their work until after the explosion.
Seventy-five years ago, a group of scientists and soldiers camped out at a previously abandoned ranch in New Mexico, waiting for history to be made. Their mission — to produce the world's first nuclear bomb — was so top-secret, many of their wives and children weren't privy to what they were working on. Even their mail and phone calls were monitored.
The world would later know their work as the Manhattan Project. The code name for their first nuclear test, conducted on July 16, 1945, was "Trinity." It marked the development of the deadliest and most powerful weapon in history — and the beginning of the end of World War II.

But its success was never guaranteed.

Before the test was approved, scientists debated whether the explosion could ignite the atmosphere and destroy life on Earth. The project went ahead after Nobel Laureate Arthur Compton determined the odds of that doomsday scenario were "slightly less" than one-in-3 million.

In 1943, the team assembled a secret laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The testing site, about 200 miles south, had to be remote to limit exposure to dangerous radioactive fallout. Scientists and soldiers slept on cots in humble barracks in the middle of a sweltering desert surrounded by scorpions and venomous lizards, Emilio Segrè, the physicist in charge of radioactivity research, recalled in an excerpt published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. (Segrè died in 1989.)

GettyImages 72431167

Housing for the workers involved in the top secret Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Los Alamos National Laboratory/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

About a year into the Los Alamos project, researchers gathered at small location known as "Building X" to discuss again how the bomb — nicknamed "The Gadget" — might impact civilization.
"At that time, we were perhaps overly obsessed by what we regarded as the evil of military security," Robert Wilson, the youngest research leader at Los Alamos, said, according to the Bulletin. (Wilson died in 2000.) "We feared that the military would keep nuclear energy a secret were the bomb not revealed by an actual explosion."
The scientists had become even more zealous in their mission by then, Wilson added.

"It is significant that no one at that meeting in Building X even raised the possibility that what we were doing might be morally wrong," he said. "No one suggested that we should pack our bags and leave."

A rush to complete the test

In the days leading up to the launch, scientists recalled burying their heads in their work.
"Perhaps events were moving just too incredibly fast," Wilson said. "We were at the climax of the project — just on the verge of exploding the test bomb in the desert. Every faculty, every thought, every effort was directed toward making that a success."
He added that "there was an absolutely Faustian fascination about whether the bomb would really work."

Trinity Test

This July 16, 1945, file photo, shows the mushroom cloud of the first atomic explosion at Trinity Test Site near Alamagordo, N.M. AP Photo/File

George Kistiakowsky, a Harvard physical chemist who led the explosives division at Los Alamos, recalled scientists placing bets on how big the explosion would be.

Kistiakowsky, who died in 1982, predicted that it might produce 100 tons of TNT (a measure of the weapon's force), according to the Bulletin]. But the real-life explosion was 200 times more powerful than his estimate.
"We did not know just how big the explosion would be or what its effects would be," Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves said, according to the Bulletin. (Groves died in 1970.) "Like too many things in the Manhattan Project — we were dealing with unknowns outside the realm of man's experience, and we simply had to try to imagine everything that might happen."

'The full awful magnitude of what we had done came over me'

Scientists were forced to make even more tough guesses when a storm broke out the morning of the launch. By then, the bomb had already been loaded on top of a 100-foot steel tower.
The test was originally scheduled for as early as 2 a.m. on July 16. But the inclement weather pushed the launch back to 5:30 in the morning. Before his death in 1996, Kenneth Bainbridge, a Harvard physicist who oversaw the test, reported that the weather still wasn't ideal then, but scientists weren't willing to wait another half day.

"To my distress, I found an air of excitement in the base camp instead of the calmness essential to sound decision-making," Groves said of the moments before the test.

manhattan project trinity bomb

Manhattan Project officials, including Dr. Robert J. Oppenheimer (white hat) and next to him General Leslie Groves, inspect the remains of the Trinity test tower on September 9, 1945. Los Alamos National Laboratory/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

At around 5:20 a.m., people stationed at the barracks crouched on the ground, wearing dark glasses to shield their eyes. Ten minutes later, the explosion produced a burst of light, followed by a giant orange fireball and mushroom cloud.
Residents in the nearby region noticed a brilliant flash in the sky, Segrè said. A few glass windows cracked in Silver City, New Mexico, about 180 miles away. But for the most part, the details of the test remained secret until shortly after the Hiroshima bombing in August 1945.

In the years that followed, Manhattan Project scientists grappled with consequences of their work.

"That which had been an intellectual reality to me for some three years had suddenly become a factual, an existential reality," Wilson said. "My technical work was done, the race was run, and the full awful magnitude of what we had done came over me."


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The Pentagon’s secretive UFO unit is going to make some of its findings public -The New York Times

Ed Mazza HuffPost July 24, 2020, 2:55 AM

One consultant to the agency has briefed Defense Department officials of some highly unusual discoveries ― including items retrieved from “off-world vehicles not made on this Earth,” the newspaper said.

The Pentagon has claimed it disbanded its UFO office, but it actually simply changed names and moved. A Senate committee report suggests it will be expected to make some information public every six months.

The main goal isn’t alien spaceships, but rather something much closer to home: to see if confounding sightings ― including some by the military ― are actually advanced technology from rival nations.

The Times report also hints at possible artifacts from UFO crashes, citing former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“After looking into this, I came to the conclusion that there were reports — some were substantive, some not so substantive — that there were actual materials that the government and the private sector had in their possession,” Reid told the newspaper.

Astrophysicist Eric W. Davis, who has been a subcontractor and consultant for the Pentagon, told the Times he briefed the Defense Department in March about the “off-world vehicles not made on this Earth.” He said he has examined some of the materials and concluded “we couldn’t make it ourselves.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also indicated that he was concerned that supposed UFOs could be advanced tech from foreign nations.

“We have things flying over our military bases and places where we’re conducting military exercises, and we don’t know what it is, and it isn’t ours,” Rubio, who is acting chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CBS4 in Miami last week.

He added: “I would say that, frankly, that if it’s something from outside this planet, that might actually be better than the fact that we’ve seen some technological leap on behalf of the Chinese or the Russians or some other adversary that allows them to conduct this sort of activity.”

Objects in these sightings “exhibit, potentially, technologies that you don’t have at your own disposal,” making them a national security risk, Rubio said.

The military’s encounters with possible UFOs have come under intense interest since several videos were leaked in 2017 showing encounters with fast-moving objects including one given the nickname “Tic Tac” because it looked like one of the candies. This object, still not publicly identified, dropped from 60,000 feet to just 50 feet in a matter of seconds:
“The part that drew our attention was how it wasn’t behaving within the normal laws of physics,” pilot Chad Underwood told New York magazine last year. Underwood filmed the “Tic Tac” encounter.

The military has since confirmed that the footage is real, and formally declassified it in the spring, but has said little else about it.

The Navy told UFO researcher Christian Lambright in a Freedom of Information Act request that releasing more information “would cause exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States.”


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