Happy Labor Day to my fellow Lizards and their families. Here is a brief history of Labor Day from Wikipedia. encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com
What Was Fake on the Internet This Week: Date-Rape Nail Polish, ‘Two Moons’ and the Return of ‘Breaking Bad’
Ready? Here’s what was fake on the Internet this week:
1. Nail polish can’t actually prevent date-rape. The media, social and otherwise, cheered the invention of an “anti-date rape” nail polish at North Carolina State University, where students claimed their polish would change colors when exposed to common date rape drugs. Unfortunately, the “claim” is … just that. As my colleague Gail Sullivan noted in the Morning Mix, the vast majority of date rapes don’t involve the four drugs the nail polish detects. More problematic? In many a laboratory study, the chemical test used by the new polish often fails to detect the drugs in question, while turning up false positives for lots of other benign things. That makes the date rape polish a great headline, but a more or less useless tool. “We like simple fixes,” writes the drug columnist at Animal New York — but this one, alas, is “a false panacea.”
2. There are never — never! — “two moons.” Despite the repeated dissuasions of peeved astronomers, late summer marks the arrival of an annual Internet tradition: promises that Mars will soon be close enough to Earth that it’s as large and as visible as the moon. Needless to say, this makes zero scientific sense. (Just look at a scaled diagram of the solar system.) But the photos that circulate with this hoax are obvious frauds, too: In the popular image below, for instance, the “second” moon is a clear clone of the other. NASA has helpfully supplied a real photo of Mars approaching Earth — needless to say, it’s not quite so impressive.
I missed this when it occurred, but since we covered this event extensively I thought it good to post this follow up.
Rabbis from across Asia commemorated the re-opening of a Jewish center in Mumbai, which was attacked in 2008 by Pakistan-based terrorists. For the Indian Jewish community, it was an overwhelmingly emotional moment.
25 rabbis from across Asia - including some from Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong - came to Mumbai on Tuesday, August 26, to commemorate the historic re-opening of the Chabad House Jewish cultural centre.
The attacks on the building and other iconic locations in India’s financial capital six years ago claimed the lives of 166 people. Among them were six people from the center, including Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife - founders of the Chabad House. Indian forces regained control of the Jewish center several days later and killed two gunmen there.
German state coffers are bulging with cash as councils and social security logged their biggest surpluses in more than a decade. The achievement is doubtful, however, as it came at the expense of investment and growth.
Germany’s statistics office, Destatis, reported Monday, that Europe’s biggest economy posted a budget surplus of 16.1 billion euros ($21.1 billion) in the fist half of 2014.
Destatis data showed that the federal government alone accumulated a surplus of 4 billion euros in the first six months of the year - the first time it has not registered a deficit in the period since 1991.
The overall surplus, which also includes the budgets of regional and local governments as well as the social security system, amounted to 1.1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from the airport of the eastern city of Luhansk following clashes with pro-Russian rebels, military officials say.
The announcement came after the two sides were engaged in all-night fighting.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged negotiators meeting in the Belarus capital, Minsk, to make an “immediate ceasefire” their priority.
Some 2,600 people have died in eastern Ukraine since fighting began in April.
Melting ice is fuelling sea-level rise around the coast of Antarctica, a new report in Nature Geoscience finds.
Near-shore waters went up by about 2mm per year more than the general trend for the Southern Ocean as a whole in the period between 1992 and 2011.
Scientists say the melting of glaciers and the thinning of ice shelves are dumping 350 billion tonnes of additional water into the sea annually.
This influx is warming and freshening the ocean, pushing up its surface.
“Freshwater is less dense than salt water and so in regions where an excess of freshwater has accumulated we expect a localised rise in sea level,” explained Dr Craig Rye from the University of Southampton, UK, and lead author on the new journal paper.
A tweet from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s verified account Sunday night included a disparaging image of the Democratic district attorney who is at the center of his criminal indictment on charges of abuse of power.
The tweet was later deleted, followed by another from Perry’s account that disavowed the post.
“A tweet just went out from my account that was unauthorized. I do not condone the tweet and I have taken it down,” the later post said.
Apple explicitly states that consumer health information is off-limits to data farmers, as the tech firm has updated the language in the license for its HealthKit platform.
Developers who create software using Apple’s HealthKit application programming interface (API) may only gather user data to enhance services clearly outlined in the associated apps’ descriptions. Selling that data off to advertisers has been forbidden.
“Your application must not access the HealthKit APIs unless it is primarily designed to provide health and/or fitness services, and this usage is clearly evident in your marketing text and user interface,” states Apple’s HealthKit license. “You and your application may not use the HealthKit APIs, or any information obtained through the HealthKit APIs, for any purpose other than providing health and/or fitness services in connection with your application (eg not for serving advertising).”
A federal judge has temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing its restrictive new abortion law. But lawyers and advocates appeared to disagree about whether the judge’s order affects doctors at all five abortion clinics in the state or only those at three clinics whose lawsuit challenges the measure.
U.S. District Judge John deGravelles wrote that authorities cannot enforce the law until he holds a hearing on whether an order to block it is needed while the case remains in court.
The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. The lawsuit claims doctors haven’t had enough time to obtain the privileges and the law likely would close all five clinics.
Doctors claim the process of applying for those privileges is long and often unsuccessful, notes CBS Shreveport, Louisiana affiliate KSLA-TV.
Hong Kong police used pepper spray to disperse pro-democracy activists on Monday as the Asian financial center braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China’s decision to rule out full democracy.
China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee set the stage for a political showdown on Sunday when it rejected democrats’ demands for the right to freely choose Hong Kong’s next leader in 2017, leading scores of protesters to take to the streets.
Scuffles broke out on Monday during a tense stand-off at the entrance to a center where a senior Chinese official was explaining Beijing’s decision, prompting police to use pepper spray amid chaotic scenes inside and outside the venue.