Saturday News Dump

I spend a lot of time reading on-line and I run across stories that are news but news that few pay attention to for some reason…..and Saturdays I try to stay away from the typical news stories and bring some interesting and entertaining news for their consumption.

Let’s begin with some disturbing news about a long dead bacteria….

Scientists are busy working on reviving ‘zombie viruses’ that have been lying dormant for tens of thousands of years, and while it sounds absolutely terrifying, it could be important when it comes to protecting us all in the future.

One of the many worrying things about global warming is the melting of the permafrost in the arctic.

The frozen layer of soil beneath the surface is thawing at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world, as the Arctic continues to warm up four times quicker than the rest of the planet.

It means that viruses which have been lying dormant for up to 50,000 years could reemerge and prove a threat to adult and human life.

Have these people never seen a movie?   This sort of thing seldom ends well for us humans.

Then there are those ‘time travelers’ from Tik Tok, who seem to pop up with this dire prediction or that….well they are back with news of World War 3…..

Self-described “time travellers” on TikTok continue to fascinate social media users, and the latest viral account has made one of the boldest predictions yet.

The figure, who goes by the name “Trevor the Time Traveller”, is the latest person to claim they’re from the future on the platform and they bring with them bad news.

Trevor claims to be posting videos from two decades in the future, and he also says he’s on the hunt to find his friend “Roger” aka “Chronos”.

“Remember this date 2/21/2024 – something very big will happen,” he wrote.

“29/5/2030 – A third world war will start, lasting 7 years between the north and south.

“2037 – The war ends and a second baby boom happens, growing the population too high.”

Mark your calendar….

I admit it….I hate clowns and I realize I am not alone….but why do we fear clowns?

You’re not alone in your coulrophobia—far from it, in fact. A stunning 53.5% of people are afraid of clowns, a phobia that doesn’t generally seem to stem from bad encounters with clowns at all, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of South Wales surveyed 987 people ages 18 to 72, with more than half responding they were scared of clowns to some degree. Some 5% said they were “extremely afraid,” which is a higher percentage than reported in surveys on other common phobias, including fear of animals (3.8%), heights (2.8%), closed spaces (2.2%), and flying (1.3%), researchers write at the Conversation.

A follow-up survey given to respondents who reported some fear of clowns asked them to choose from eight options that might explain their trepidation, as detailed in the study published last month in Frontiers in Psychology. A scary experience with a clown was actually the weakest contributing factor, per New Atlas. The strongest factor was hidden emotional signals as a result of clown makeup. “We cannot see their ‘true’ faces and therefore cannot understand their emotional intent. So, for example, we don’t know whether they have a frown or a furrowed brow, which would indicate anger,” according to researchers.

They were left wondering if “faces painted as animals also create the same kind of effect,” or if there’s “something more particular about the makeup of clowns that drives this fear.” It could be that hidden emotions seem especially hazardous given negative portrayals of clowns in popular culture, their unpredictable behavior, and a feeling of repulsion toward near-human-looking objects—all strong factors in coulrophobia, researchers found. Overall, women were more likely to report fear based on physical appearance and behavior, while men were more likely to report fear derived from experience and learning. The good news is that, like with other phobias, fear of clowns is found to decrease with age.

Recently I have seeing really weird ‘sports’ starting showing up….’sports’ like cornholing, teqball, pickleball and now I see there is a ‘slap fighting’ sport….and this one could be more dangerous than corn holing…..

The competitors stand rigidly upright with their hands behind their backs, waiting to absorb a brutal slap to the face. When the open-handed blow is delivered, there’s a sharp report and the reaction can be dramatic. Some fighters barely move, while others stumble backward or fall to the floor. Some are knocked out. UFC President Dana White is selling slap fighting as the next big thing in combat sports, putting his money and the resources of one of the world’s foremost mixed martial arts organizations behind the Power Slap League. “It’s a home run,” said White, among several UFC officials involved in the league, per the AP. Power Slap fights are typically three to five rounds. The fighters take turns hitting each other in the face with an open hand; those on the receiving end stand with their hands behind their backs. A fighter has up to 60 seconds to recover and respond after receiving a blow.

Fighters can earn up to 10 points based on the effectiveness of the slap and the defender’s reaction. Fights can end in a decision, knockout, technical knockout, or disqualification, such as for an illegal slap. Present at the events are a supervising doctor and a physician or physician’s assistant, plus three EMTs and three ambulances. Some slap-fighting beat downs have gone viral, including a video from Eastern Europe showing a man who continues to compete even as half of his face swells to seemingly twice its size. White has touted the safety record of the UFC, but he hasn’t talked specifically about injuries in the Power Slap League. The Nevada Athletic Commission has already sanctioned the league for Las Vegas matches.

Questions have arisen about the safety of slap fighting, particularly the risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head. A former chair of the commission, which regulates combat sports in Nevada, says OKing the league was a mistake. Chris Nowinski, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, agrees, calling slap fighting “one of the stupidest things you can do.” White says slap fighting is safer than boxing or mixed martial arts, as each contestant usually takes only three blows per bout. In boxing, White says, that number could be 400 or more, and that doesn’t include the shots taken during sparring. There’s no sparring in slap fighting, he notes.

Just another ‘blood sport’ to entertain the peasants.

Ever feel like ‘flippin’ someone off?

Flipping the bird is “a God-given” right in Canada, a judge has ruled following a dispute between neighbors, a case the judge suggested he’d like to literally throw out the window. “To be abundantly clear, it is not a crime to give someone the finger,” Quebec Court Judge Dennis Galiatsatos concluded in the Feb. 24 ruling, which cited Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, per the Guardian. “Flipping the proverbial bird is a God-given, charter-enshrined right that belongs to every red-blooded Canadian.” Galiatsatos went on to chastise Michael Naccache of the Montreal suburb of Beaconsfield for having “weaponized the criminal justice system in an attempt to exert revenge on an innocent man.”

Epstein, 45, testified that it was actually Naccache who’d uttered a death threat on May 18, 2021. He’d allegedly held up a drill in a menacing manner, hurled insults, and said, “You’re f—ing dead.” Only then did Epstein tell Naccache to “f— off” before giving him the finger with both hands while walking away, the court heard. It “may not be civil, it may not be polite, it may not be gentlemanly,” but “it does not trigger criminal liability,” Galiatsatos ruled. He added that though court cases aren’t literally thrown out, in this case, “the court is inclined to actually take the file and throw it out the window.” Epstein, a teacher and “caring father of two young daughters,” committed “no crime whatsoever,” said the judge.

That is my news of the weekend…..

Have a great Saturday….Be well….Be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”