Swimming-FINA votes to restrict transgender participation in elite women’s competition.

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Swimming’s world governing body FINA on Sunday voted to restrict the participation of transgender athletes in elite women’s competitions and create a working group to establish an “open” category for them in some events as part of its new policy.

Transgender rights has become a major talking point as sports seek to balance inclusivity while ensuring there is no unfair advantage.

The debate intensified after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I history after winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle earlier this year.

Thomas has expressed a desire to compete for a place at the Olympics but the new FINA rule would block her participation.

FINA’s decision, the strictest by any Olympic sports body, was made during its extraordinary general congress after members heard a report from a transgender task force comprising leading medical, legal and sports figures.

Continue reading “”

Which predator do whitetail deer fear the most?

I suspect this reaction depends a lot on the area and the past hunting pressure. Yes, man is the most lethal predator on the planet, but different experiences can mean different reactions in prey species.
When Dad & I were living in Kentucky, we had a literal herd – often up to 21 deer – that moved back and forth across the properties, inside the city limits, and often stayed and grazed right outside the back door. Dad could sit on the back porch and the newer fawns would often play around within feet of him, only being warned by their does if they got to close for their liking, and Dad quite often talked to them, giving them ‘lectures’ about the coyotes we had pass by from time to time. Sometimes they actually seemed to pay attention to him.

The Fake-Meat Revolution Has Stalled
Consumer trends suggest a meatless near future is increasingly unlikely.

Recent reports suggest there’s a growing realization among consumers, industry, investors, and others that overheated predictions of a meatless future—one in which steaks, bacon, chicken nuggets, and other foods made from dead animals will be supplanted by plant-based imitations of meat dishes and lab-grown meats made from animal cells (the latter of which is still exceedingly rare)—may have been based on wishful thinking.

As Food Dive reported this week, sales of imitation meat products are faltering. The website cites remarks and earning reports from Beyond Meat—a leader in the plant-based sector that counts among its fans none other than me—that combine a bleak present reality of “negative growth and high net losses” with fears over whether this market downturn could be permanent.

Continue reading “”

Burger King pulls Whopper off discount menu; parent RBI to hike prices

Feb 15 (Reuters) – Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International Inc (QSR.TO) said on Tuesday that it stripped its most famous sandwich, the Whopper, from discount menus and will raise menu prices again this year as to offset higher costs.

U.S.-listed shares of the company rose more than 3% after it topped results estimates for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, led by soaring online sales and better-than-expected same-store sales growth at Burger King in the United States and Tim Hortons in Canada.

Restaurant chains are raising prices because they are paying higher costs for shipping, labor, and commodities including chicken, coffee and cooking oils amid COVID-19 related disruptions.

Continue reading “”

How to wash a cat:

  1. Thoroughly clean toilet and add desired amount of shampoo, leaving both lids open

  2. Find, catch, and soothe the cat while you carry him to the bathroom

  3. In one fluid motion, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids (you may need to stand on them to prevent escape. Make sure you don’t get any part of your body close to the edge because your cat may try to grab on to anything in reach)

  4. The cat will self-agitate which will create ample suds. Do not worry about the sounds the cat is making- he is actually enjoying this

  5. When you think your cat is clean, flush the toilet four or five times to provide a power rinse

  6. Have someone open the front door and make sure no humans or animals are in the way

  7. Stand back and quickly open the toilet lids. Your now clean cat will rocket out of the toilet and out the front door, drying itself in the process

Sincerely, The Dog

Study: Sound improves detection of electric cars for pedestrians.


Louder vehicle = easier to hear coming at you.

Electric vehicles are quiet enough to create a safety concern, particularly for visually impaired pedestrians, even with artificial sounds implemented, a study presented Tuesday during the Acoustical Society of America meeting in Seattle found.

In the analysis, in which participants were asked to push a button upon hearing an approaching electric vehicle on an adjacent roadway, none of the tested vehicles achieved a 100% detection rate, the data showed.

However, artificial sounds added to the vehicles improved detection ranges — or the distance at which they could be heard — and all of those tested exceeded current National Highway Transportation Safety Administration minimum standards, the researchers said……………….

Commentariat states;

Ask and ye shall receive…………………………..

As the Black Bear is at the top end of the food chain, hunting them can be a ‘reciprocal’ event

Missouri’s first black bear hunting season begins Monday

MISSOURI (KY3) – Four-hundred people will be allowed to participate in Missouri’s first black bear hunting season, which officially begins Monday.

The black bear hunting season runs from Monday, Oct. 18 to Wednesday, Oct. 27, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The approved regulations limit bear hunting to only Missouri residents and restrict it to designated areas of southern Missouri. Conservation agents will limit hunters to one bear, and hunters may not use dogs to assist.

The Missouri Conservation Commission gave final approval of MDC’s season framework, permit and harvest quotas, and other related regulations for hunting black bears in Missouri at its March 26 open meeting.

Officials say the bear population in Missouri has been growing. Conservation agents now estimate there are 600 to 1,000 black bears in the state.

“Being able to add this iconic species to the long list of hunting opportunities for Missourians is a testament to the decades of bear research and management by MDC staff,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “A limited annual hunting season will help manage the growing number of black bears in the state.”

“A bear-hunting season in our state will provide opportunities for Missourians to participate in the sustainable harvest of this valuable wildlife species,” said MDC Bear Biologist Laura Conlee. “As our black bear population continues to grow, a highly regulated hunting season will be an essential part of population management into the future. The timing and length of the season, allowed hunting methods, and a limited permit allocation coupled with a limited harvest quota will ensure a sustainable harvest of our growing bear population.”

MDC proposed a limited and highly regulated black-bear hunting season following several years of public comment, including informational open houses in 2019 and a public-input process throughout 2020.

The selected hunters are allowed to participate any time from half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset during the 10-day hunting season.

For more information on the state’s first black bear hunt, CLICK HERE.

This revisionary BS is what passes for ‘higher education’ these days.
And if your children aren’t instructed about the truth earlier, they’ll suck this up as if it was real history.

UNC course says WWII was ‘Japan’s attempt to roll back Euro-American colonialism.’

The UNC course syllabus also characterizes Japan’s military aggression during World War II as ‘the first global attack on white Anglo-American hegemony.’
As part of the curriculum, students will give presentations on topics that involve their classmates’ romantic lives as they relate to race.

The University of North Carolina is offering a class called “Global Whiteness,” which involves student presentations on Trump and interracial hookups on campus.

Campus Reform obtained the fall 2021 syllabus, covers the concept of race since the 19th century, but also contains what appears to be revisionist narratives of American history, specifically World War II.

Specifically, the syllabus appears to place blame for the Pacific Theater on America and the West. The course overview describes World War II in the Pacific as “the first global attack on white Anglo-American hegemony” and “Japan’s attempt to roll back Euro-American colonialism.”

A previous iteration of the course, taught in 2019, included a class session titled “Nasty, Angry White People,” according to an earlier syllabus reviewed by Campus Reform.

Continue reading “”

Vox: It’s time to reconsider air conditioning for the sake of ‘cooling justice.’

Thursday Vox published a piece about the need to reconsider air-conditioning in order to promote “cooling justice.” The article is based on a book on the same topic but this interview with the author is a bit vague. What exactly is “cooling justice” and what would that look like in practice? I confess I’m a bit curious if only because I like to know what it is that the left has planned for all of us. Here’s the author not quite telling us what that is:

What I hoped to do with the book was by tracing this history people could consider a radically different way of living, one that doesn’t have to be suffering. It can actually be pleasurable. I think a lot of people are too afraid to even try that because they think they have to give something up. I hope that it can open the door just a little bit for people to really re-contextualize what it means to be comfortable. I think there’s something to be said about making us a bit more comfortable with the discomfort of outside air.

Get “comfortable with discomfort” doesn’t sound like an improvement. Anyway, it has to be done because air-conditioning is racist, hence the need for “cooling justice.”

Continue reading “”

Wendy’s reformulates its French fries

Culinary leaders from the Dublin, Ohio-based burger chain said the process of reformulating the skin-on fries was a months-long journey.

The new French fry was designed to retain heat and crispness for between 15 and 30 minutes to accommodate the brand’s growth in drive-thru, carry-out and other off-premises sales channels, said John Li, Wendy’s vice president of culinary innovation.

“They are cut above, literally,” said Emily Kessler, Wendy’s senior specialist for culinary and innovation, in a Zoom press conference Thursday. “And that’s because these not-exactly-square French fries are by design.

“One side is built with a thicker side, and it’s built for heat retention, while the other side is thinner and that’s really to enhance crispiness because we know our customers want hot and crispy fries every time,” Kessler said.

The company last overhauled its fries in November 2010 when it moved to skin-on potatoes.

Continue reading “”

Amazon US customers have one week to opt out of mass wireless sharing

Amazon customers have one week to opt out of a plan that would turn every Echo speaker and Ring security camera in the US into a shared wireless network, as part of the company’s plan to fix connection problems for its smart home devices.

The proposal, called Amazon Sidewalk, involves the company’s devices being used as a springboard to build city-wide “mesh networks” that help simplify the process of setting up new devices, keep them online even if they’re out of range of home wifi, and extend the range of tracking devices such as those made by Tile.

But Sidewalk has come under fire for the apparent lack of transparency with which Amazon has rolled out the feature, as well as the limited time available for users to complete the tricky process required to opt out. Other critics have expressed concerns that failing to turn the setting off could leave customers in breach of their internet service provider’s terms and conditions.

“Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices work better,” the company said in a Q&A document for users. “In the future, Sidewalk will support a range of experiences from using Sidewalk-enabled devices, such as smart security and lighting and diagnostics for appliances and tools.”

The feature works by creating a low-bandwidth network using smart home devices such as Amazon Echoes and Ring security cameras. At its simplest, it means that a new Echo can set itself up using a neighbour’s wifi, or a security camera can continue to send motion alerts even if its connection to the internet is disrupted, by piggybacking on the connection of another camera across the street. Other devices that don’t need a high-bandwidth connection, such as smart lights, pet locators or smart locks, can use Sidewalk all the time.

But the company’s plans have caused alarm among observers. Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technology officer of the US Federal Trade Commission, told the tech site Ars Technica: “In addition to capturing everyone’s shopping habits (from amazon.com) and their internet activity (as AWS is one of the most dominant web hosting services) … now they are also effectively becoming a global ISP with a flick of a switch, all without even having to lay a single foot of fiber”. The feature may also break the terms and conditions of users’ internet connections, which do not allow such resharing, warned Lydia Leong, an analyst at Gartner.

Users can disable Sidewalk in the settings section of the Alexa or Ring apps, but have until 8 June to do so. After that, if they have taken no action, the network will be turned on and their devices will become “Sidewalk Bridges”.

Amazon is not the first company to look to create such a network. Apple has taken a similar approach with the company’s range of AirTag item trackers, which can connect to the internet through any compatible iPhone they come into contact with, not simply their owner’s. And BT, through a long-term partnership with Fon, ran a service from 2007 until 2020 that allowed broadband customers to share spare bandwidth in a public wifi network.

 Commercial space clean-up service could be ready in 2024:

A space junk removal truck could start picking up dead satellites in 2024.

Japan-headquartered space services company Astroscale, which recently launched its ELSA-d space debris removal demonstrator, might be ready to start cleaning up the mess in Earth’s orbit by 2024.

The company, which has offices in the U.K., U.S., Israel and Singapore, has signed a $3.5 million deal with would-be megaconstellation operator OneWeb to work together on advancing debris-removal technology. OneWeb currently operates over 180 satellites in a constellation meant to reach about 650 satellites, but has asked the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve over 6,300 satellites in its “Phase Two” strategy. OneWeb is partially owned by the British government.

Plans of companies such as OneWeb, SpaceX and Amazon to launch constellations of thousands of satellites cause serious concerns in the global space flight community as the already cluttered orbital environment is at risk of becoming overcrowded. Satellite operators already report a growing number of situations when two satellites come close to colliding. OneWeb’s cooperation with Astroscale might help attenuate some of the concerns.

“This partnership with OneWeb demonstrates their commitment to space sustainability and is the next step towards maturing our technologies to develop a full-service debris removal offering by 2024,” John Auburn, managing director of Astroscale U.K. and group chief commercial officer said in a statement.

The new service targets constellation operators and is called ELSA-M. The program would enable the removal of multiple retired satellites in a single mission, thus reducing cost for the client, the company said in the statement. The orbital junk collector would push each satellite into the atmosphere to burn up, then return for the next defunct piece.

“This funding will help us evolve key rendezvous and proximity operations technologies and capabilities beyond ELSA-d towards an end-of-life servicing offering for a range of constellation customers,” Jason Forshaw, Astroscale’s head of future business, Europe, said in the statement. “In parallel to this project, we’re developing our next generation docking plate (DP), which is fitted to clients before launch, and is designed to enable a servicer to grapple the client. We are encouraging constellation customers to fit DPs to future-proof their satellites in case of need for removal due to failure, or at end of life, or to provide future in-orbit servicing.”

Astroscale’s ELSA-d demonstration mission, currently in low Earth orbit, will carry out a series of rendezvous and close proximity debris capture and release manoeuvres this summer. The results of the test campaign will inform further work on the ELSA-M program, Astroscale said.

The funding is part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) program called Sunrise, developing flexible reprogrammable communication satellites.

Europe unveils plans to bring ‘GPS’ and Skype to the moon with satellites.

SSTL and Telespazio lead two European consortia tasked with developing concepts of a lunar navigation and telecommunication constellation. (Image credit: ESA)

The European Space Agency (ESA) has kicked off the development of a future satellite constellation that will orbit the moon and provide navigation and telecommunication services to lunar explorers.

If all goes according to plan, the new system could be in place in the late 2020s, only a few years after the expected landing of NASA’s crewed Artemis 3 mission near the lunar south pole.

ESA believes that Earth’s celestial companion is set to become a busy destination in the coming years, with commercial companies and nations from across the world all wanting a slice of the “eighth continent.” The new constellation, called Moonlight, will make it easier and cheaper for a fledgling lunar economy to blossom, ESA officials suggested in a news conference on Thursday (May 20).

“Having a navigation and telecommunication network to relay what we learn on the moon back to Earth will be key for sustainability of future missions,” Elodie Viau, ESA’s director of telecommunications and integrated applications, said in the news conference. “You can imagine astronomers setting up observatories on the far side of the moon. And as we have all now become accustomed to virtual meetings, who knows? We could be doing Skype on the moon.”

He wasn’t just interested in Edison’s medicine.

Nikola Tesla invention from 100 years ago suddenly makes more sense today
The eccentric inventor is known for dabbling with electricity, but his Tesla valve is impressing scientists anew.

Inventor Nikola Tesla has long been recognized for a body of work that ranges from brilliant (AC electricity) to baffling (an “earthquake machine“?). Scientists have studied one of his lesser-known inventions  in new detail, and they think they may have found new uses for it in the modern world.

Tesla’s macrofluidic valve — often just called the Tesla valve — is a sort of odd-shaped conduit for fluids in which a main channel is interspersed with a series of diverting teardrop-shaped loops. The loops are oriented in such a way that fluids easily flow through in one direction, but when reversed, the flow is almost totally blocked.

Continue reading “”