Headline News

  • U.S. swimming pools ban long breath-holding after deaths

    NEW YORK A U.S. Navy SEAL hopeful and his friend, an off-duty lifeguard, were barreling through underwater drills in a pool just 3.5 feet (1 meter) deep. No one realized anything was wrong until their limp, unconscious bodies were noticed beneath the surface. This summer, nearly four years after those deaths in a Staten Island pool raised alarms about a little known hazard called shallow-water blackout or hypoxic blackout, New York City is putting up warning signs at all public pools prohibiting prolonged breath holding. It is part of a movement to raise awareness of the peril that has killed accomplished swimmers and to stop it by banning lengthy breath holding in the nation’s estimated 300,000 public pools. Shallow-water blackout occurs when a person tries to swim underwater for an extraordinarily long time, typically to build endurance. Swimmers often start by taking multiple deep breaths to go a longer distance underwater, causing their blood levels …

    May 29, 2015 6:43 am


  • Donald Trump, potential 2016 hopeful, to make announcement June 16: TV station

    Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump, who has been considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, will make a major announcement on June 16 in New York, New Hampshire television station WMUR reported on Thursday. The station said a source close to Trump confirmed the date of the event at New York’s Trump Tower but stopped short of saying Trump would announce his candidacy then. Trump, 68, told Reuters in March that he had formed an exploratory committee to determine whether to run and had hired staff in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Those states will be the first to hold Republican and Democratic presidential nominating contests early next year. Trump, known by the nickname “The Donald,” said in the interview that as president he would spur job creation, for example, by cracking down on what he called China’s manipulation of its currency, a practice he said that lately had …

    May 29, 2015 5:22 am


  • Types of bonds

    U.S. Treasuries: These are the safest bonds of all because the interest and principal payments are guaranteed by the U.S. government. Interest is exempt from state and local taxes, but not from federal tax. Because of their extremely low default risk, Treasuries carry some of the lowest yields around. Treasuries come in several flavors: Treasury bills: “T-bills” have the shortest maturities — 13 weeks, 26 weeks, and one year. You buy them at a discount to their $10,000 face value and receive the full $10,000 at maturity. The difference reflects the interest you earn. Treasury notes: These mature in two to 10 years. Interest is paid semiannually at a fixed rate. Minimum investment: $1,000 or $5,000, depending on maturity. Treasury bonds: These have the longest maturities at 10 years. As with Treasury notes, they pay interest semiannually, and are sold in denominations of $1,000. Zero-coupon bonds: Also known as “strips” or “zeros,” these are Treasury-based …

    May 29, 2015 6:22 am


  • Qatar says it will go forward with plans to host World Cup despite corruption investigations

    DOHA, Qatar –  Qatar says it will go forward with its plans for the 2022 World Cup despite a Swiss investigation into allegations of wrongdoing during the vote to award the tournament to the Gulf nation. The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is leading Qatar’s development of World Cup venues and other projects, says it has “fully complied with every investigation” and will continue to do so. It was Qatar’s official comment since Swiss authorities seized documents at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Wednesday related to their investigation in the December 2010 vote that gave Qatar the 2022 World Cup and the 2018 tournament to Russia.

    May 29, 2015 6:43 am

World News

  • Fish fossils found by ‘creationist’

    Fossil finder Edgar Nernberg knew to call an expert at the University of Calgary When Calgary digger driver Edgar Nernberg came across five fish fossils in his digger bucket, he knew right away his find was “extraordinary”. The Albertan, who has a longstanding interest in fossils, was digging a basement for a new home in Calgary’s north-west. Mr Nernberg is, according to reports, a donor to Alberta’s Big Valley Creation Science Museum. However, he realised these fossils should be seen by a palaeontologist. “When the five fish fossils presented themselves to me in the excavator bucket, the first thing I said was you’re coming home with me, the second thing was I better call a palaeontologist,” Mr Nernberg said, according to a statement from the University of Calgary. The specimens were in sandstone from the Paskapoo Formation, a Palaeocene age sedimentary rock which underlies parts of southern Alberta. ‘Hasn’t changed my mind’ About 60 million …

    May 29, 2015 6:42 am


  • Minecraft to release monthly UK magazine

    The UK is to get its first magazine dedicated to the hugely popular building-block game Minecraft. Dennis Publishing is to launch a monthly magazine called Minecraft World after striking a deal with Mojang, the creator of Minecraft which was acquired by Microsoft in a $2.5bn deal last year. It will be the first regularly published title dedicated to Minecraft – Dennis has published three standalone MagBooks, a part magazine, part book product – with the print run for the first issue set at 45,000. Dennis has also signeda deal with Mojang to use certain trademark images and intellectual property to enhance the magazine, but the agreement does not extend to the title being an officially licensed Minecraft product. “Dennis Publishing will have the first unofficial Minecraft magazine on sale in the UK,” said Dharmesh Mistry, publisher of the title at Dennis. “There was a real gap in the market for a quality print magazine that …

    May 29, 2015 4:42 am


  • Stanford researchers tie unexpected brain structures to creativity — and to stifling it

    Investigators at Stanford University have found a surprising link between creative problem-solving and heightened activity in the cerebellum, a structure located in the back of the brain and more typically thought of as the body’s movement-coordination center. In designing the study, the researchers drew inspiration from the game Pictionary. The cerebellum, traditionally viewed as the brain’s practice-makes-perfect, movement-control center, hasn’t been previously recognized as critical to creativity. The new study, a collaboration between the School of Medicine and Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, commonly known as the d.school, is the first to find direct evidence that this brain region is involved in the creative process. “Our findings represent an advance in our knowledge of the brain-based physiology of creativity,” said the study’s senior author, Allan Reiss, MD, professor of radiology and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. The study, to be published May 28 in Scientific Reports, also suggests that shifting the brain’s higher-level, executive-control …

    May 29, 2015 1:02 am


  • South Korean becomes China’s first confirmed MERS case

    BEIJING/HONG KONG China said on Friday a South Korean man had tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), China’s first confirmed case, but that it had not found any symptoms in the 38 people who had close contact with him. Health authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong said it was likely the disease would spread as the patient had taken a bus, crossed a busy border checkpoint and stayed in a hotel before being taken to hospital. “As we have said before, the possibility of MERS transferring into Guangdong is very high,” He Jianfeng, director for the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control, told reporters. “In theory, it’s possible to have a second case.” He added, however, that 38 people found to have come into contact with the patient so far hadn’t tested positive. The World Health Organization said on Friday 10 people in South Korea were confirmed as having MERS, but …

    May 29, 2015 5:23 am


  • Kim Kardashian Dresses Nori In Baby Balmain For Ballet

    Posted on Thu May 28th, 2015 10:45am PDT       By X17 Staff Nori is tutu cute! Kim Kardashian was up bright an early to take daughter North to ballet class in Calabasas today, and the reality star must have had her glam squad come over before the sun came up, because she was perfectly put together. Most moms shuttle their kids around in running shoes and leggings, but not Kimmy K. The brunette beauty donned a Metallica t-shirt, leather jacket, and heels! Little North was joined by her cousin Penelope and aunt Kourtney, and the toddlers appeared to have a blast. We wonder who is better on the bar? If we asked Kanye, we have a feeling we’d know his answer! The E! starlet has been struggling to give her little girl a sibling, and now there’s all sorts of rumors flying around about how she plans to expand her family. Some outlets claim the 33-year-old has …

    May 29, 2015 5:42 am


  • Climate change: Mr. Obama, 97 percent of experts is a bogus number

    Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: Climate change is real, man-made and dangerous. President Obama tweeted that, and it has been repeated by countless others. It is tempting for a politician to claim that 97 percent of experts agree with you. But do they? The 97 percent claim was taken from a study paper by Australian John Cook, Climate Communications Fellow for the Global change Institute at the University of Queensland, and his colleagues, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in May, 2013. The paper says nothing about the would-be dangers of climate change and it counts the number of publications, rather than the number of scientists, in support of human-made climate change. Never let facts get in the way of a good story. The paper is a treasure trove of how-not-to lessons for a graduate class on survey design and analysis: the sample was not representative, statistical tests were ignored, and the results were …

    May 29, 2015 1:41 am

Odd News

  • Branded golf balls were a mistake, Ireland’s former bank regulator says

    DUBLIN Ireland’s financial regulator, whose “timid” supervision was criticized for not halting the country’s banking crash, produced branded golf balls to promote itself before the office was overhauled, a parliamentary inquiry heard on Thursday. Promotions such as golf balls or umbrellas bearing the logos of banks were commonplace in Ireland during their rapid growth a decade ago. That growth ended in the most expensive bank bailout in the euro zone when a property bubble spectacularly burst. Patrick Neary, who was head of financial regulation from 2006 to 2009, was asked on Thursday what the regulators were thinking when they handed out the golf balls. “Your job was the micro-prudential supervision of the banks. What was going on?” inquiry member Susan O’Keefe asked Neary, in the most anticipated hearing since lawmakers began to question bank executives, regulators and politicians. “It must have been a package of things that were delivered, I really don’t know much about …

    May 28, 2015 8:58 am