Elon Musk Says Spaceships Will Be Ready for Mars Next Year

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk told an audience at South by Southwest that his timeline for sending a space vehicle to Mars could mark its first milestone early next year.

The privately-funded venture, announced in September 2017, aims to send a cargo mission to the Red Planet by 2022. SpaceX’s ultimate objective is to plant the seeds to put a human colony on Mars.

Musk held a surprise question and answer session at the annual technology and culture festival in Austin, Texas on Sunday. The billionaire told attendees that “we are building the first Mars, or interplanetary ship, and I think well be able to short trips, flights by first half of next year.”

Mindful of elevating expectations too high, Musk hedged a bit. “Although sometimes, my timelines are a little, you know…” he said to laughter.

SpaceX’s BFR rocket system is expected to have capabilities for interplanetary travel, and be fully reusable. A flight will cost less than the initial Falcon 1 flights, which Musk pegged in the $5 to $6 million range. (Read more from “Elon Musk Says Spaceships Will Be Ready for Mars Next Year” HERE)

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Needles, Debris, Human Waste Tallied After Cleanup of California Homeless Camp

Gritty details from the cleanup of a homeless encampment in Southern California were revealed Thursday — and the numbers were stunning.

According to the figures, public works crews in Orange County collected 404 tons of debris, 13,950 needles, and 5,279 pounds of human waste during a massive overhaul between Jan. 22 and March 3, the Orange County Register reported.

The specter of the ever-increasing homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River Trail had drawn the ire of local residents, prompting city officials to take action.

Todd Spitzer, who sits on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and led an effort to address the growing encampment, says he felt compelled to take a different course than other major cities in California that have been experiencing growing homeless populations . . .

The encampment, located in the heart of Orange County, stretched from Interstate 5 in Orange to Ball Road in Anaheim along a bike trail, according to a spokesperson for Orange County Public Works. (Read more from “Needles, Debris, Human Waste Tallied After Cleanup of California Homeless Camp” HERE)

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Homeowner Holds Knife-Wielding Intruder at Gunpoint

When Robert Rodriguez and his wife awoke to an intruder in the bedroom of their Austin, Texas, home, he used his own firearm to ward off the suspect until law enforcement arrived.

Rodriguez told CBS Austin that 32-year-old Richard Brent Prieto kicked the door in, and he heard someone talking but thought it was his son. However, after his wife nudged him, he woke up and saw Prieto standing in their room with a knife in his hand.

Prieto reportedly was mumbling strange things and told him that his wife was under the house, that Chuck Norris was waiting for him, and that he was having a hard time. Rodriguez, who is a former sheriff’s deputy, slowly reached for his gun and, with the firearm pointed at Prieto, told him to drop the knife. . .

Rodriguez explained that legally — since the man was in his house — he had the right to protect his family, but he’s glad he didn’t have to pull the trigger. (Read more from “Homeowner Holds Knife-Wielding Intruder at Gunpoint” HERE)

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Amelia Earhart Mystery Solved? Scientist ’99 Percent’ Sure Bones Belong to Aviator

A scientific study claims to shed new light on the decades-long mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart.

Richard Jantz, an emeritus anthropology professor at the University of Tennessee, argues that bones discovered on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro in 1940 were likely Earhart’s remains. The research contradicts a forensic analysis of the remains in 1941 that described the bones as belonging to a male. The bones, which were subsequently lost, continue to be a source of debate.

Earhart, who was attempting to fly around the world, disappeared with navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937, during a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island in the Pacific.

The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Earhart was one of the most famous people in the world at the time of her disappearance. Thus, a number of theories have emerged about her fate.

One well-publicized theory is that Earhart died a castaway after landing her plane on the remote island of Nikumaroro, a coral atoll 1,200 miles from the Marshall Islands. Some 13 human bones were found on Nikumaroro, also known as Gardner Island, three years after Earhart’s disappearance. (Read more from “Amelia Earhart Mystery Solved? Scientist ’99 Percent’ Sure Bones Belong to Aviator” HERE)

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Famous Atheist: Let’s Eat Human Meat

Over the weekend, famed atheist Richard Dawkins had a novel suggestion for the future: eating human meat.

Dawkins was responding to a story in the Independent which described “clean meat,” or, in other words, meat grown in laboratories made from stem cells harvested from living cattle.

Josh Tetrick, CEO of clean meat manufacturer JUST, had told CNN that the first items could be available to consumers for human consumption “before the end of 2018.” He told The Guardian that the path to public acceptance of cultured meat is obstructed by “gnarly problems, communication issues, regulatory issues.” . . .

But Dawkins envisions himself as more far-seeing than everyone else. Hence this tweet:

Dawkins is the same guy who said in 2017, “When I see cattle lorries, I think of the railway wagons to Auschwitz.” (Read more from “Famous Atheist: Let’s Eat Human Meat” please click HERE)

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6 in 10 Adults Are Too Scared to Visit This Kind of Doctor

Feeling bristled? Imagine how your teeth might feel, especially if you’ve been putting off your annual checkup. If you have, you’re likely far from alone. A new study finds that six in 10 American adults are too scared to visit the dentist.

Researchers at Hello Products, a dental care startup, polled 2,000 adults in the U.S. on their oral hygiene habits, which led to some more-than-toothless findings.

For instance, among the more stunning results, the survey showed that three in 10 millennials only brush their teeth once a day. Millennials also admit they’ve gone two or three days on average without brushing at all.

Yet, a convincing majority (56 percent) expressed fear or anxiety over losing their teeth, despite possessing slovenly dental habits . . .

Going to the dentist was admittedly a phobia for most respondents — overall, 62% of adults surveyed said that they were too spooked to even visit a dentist’s office — but particularly among millennials, perhaps helping explain why their much-flaunted smiles appear to be at-risk. Millennials were more likely than those over 55 to create excuses to avoid regular dental checkups (56 percent to 36 percent, respectively). (Read more from “6 in 10 Adults Are Too Scared to Visit This Kind of Doctor” HERE)

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Olympic Athlete Charged With Stealing Car

A Canadian athlete competing at the Winter Olympics has been charged with stealing a car in the early hours of Saturday morning, South Korean police said.

A police official in charge of international crime at Gangwon Provincial Police Agency said the athlete, his wife and manager had gotten into an unlocked car which had been left unoccupied with the engine running in Pyeongchang.

The official said the manager then drove off with the car before it was stopped by police. The manager has additionally been charged with drunk driving.

Once the investigation is complete the results would be sent to the prosecution, the official said, adding that unless the alleged offence was deemed a serious crime, they would be able to leave the country after paying a fine.

At a news conference on Saturday, Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Chris Overholt said they were aware of the situation but declined to confirm the identities of the three. (Read more from “Olympic Athlete Charged With Stealing Car” HERE)

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Seattle Residents Complained About a ‘Confederate Flag.’ It Was Actually the Flag of Norway.

Over the weekend the Seattle Times jumped at a news tip: there was a Confederate flag flying beneath the American flag in the city’s Greenwood neighborhood, and residents were very concerned.

Only, it turns out, it wasn’t the Confederate flag at all. It was the state flag of Norway, and a group of friendly Norwegians were just trying to show their patriotism and support for their Olympic Team when their very concerned neighbors contacted local media.

“Hi. Suddenly there is a Confederate flag flying in front of a house in my Greenwood neighborhood. It is at the north-east corner of 92nd and Palatine, just a block west of 92nd and Greenwood Ave N.,” the tipster wrote, according to the Times. “I would love to know what this ‘means’ … but of course don’t want to knock on their door. Maybe others in the area are flying the flag? Maybe it’s a story? Thank you.”

Eager to get the scoop, reporters for the Seattle Times hopped into a car and hightailed it to view the offending flag for themselves. Only, it turned out, they weren’t in for quite the controversial sighting they’d anticipated.

“That’s a Norwegian flag,” said the Norwegian owner of the flagpole in question. “It’s been up there since the start of the Olympics.” (Read more from “Seattle Residents Complained About a ‘Confederate Flag.’ It Was Actually the Flag of Norway.” HERE)

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1st Country to Ban Male Circumcision?

Iceland could become the first country in Europe to ban male circumcision, prompting criticism from religious groups about the ritual practiced in both Judaism and Islam.

The legislation being debated by Iceland’s Parliament would impose a six-year jail term on anyone who “removes part or all of (a child’s) sexual organs” for non-medical reasons.

“It’s an attack on freedom of religion,” Ahmad Seddeeq, the Egyptian-born imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Iceland, said Monday.

Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, a lawmaker from the center-right Progressive Party, said she proposed the measure after realizing the country’s ban on female genital mutilation had no equivalent to prevent male circumcision.

Iceland outlawed female genital mutilation in 2005, in line with other nations, to prevent procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. (Read more from “1st Country to Ban Male Circumcision?” HERE)

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Man’s Best Friend Targeted by Euthanasia Drug in Dog Food Flavors

. . .Within minutes of sharing a can of Evanger’s pet food among her five dogs, she was racing the lifeless animals to the emergency vet.

Desperate for answers, the family sent the remainder of the food to a specialized lab and drove Talulah’s lifeless body to a veterinary pathologist for a postmortem examination. . .

It was pentobarbital: A lethal drug, most commonly used to euthanize dogs, cats and some horses. The deadly toxin is never permitted to kill animals that are part of the food supply and would violate federal law if it was.

“Pet food violates federal law, is openly allowed by the FDA to violate federal law, billion dollar a year companies are making profit selling illegal adulterated products to unknowing consumers in the US every day,” said Susan Thixton, a pet food consumer advocate who’s been studying and writing about the pet food industry for decades.

“Consumers have no information, “ said Thixton. “A consumer has to become a private detective to learn what’s really in their food.” (Read more from “Man’s Best Friend Target by Euthanasia Drug in Dog Food Flavors” HERE)

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