garage door 

Updated April 22


The World's Oldest Person Has Died at 117 - April 22

The great-great-great-grandmother regarded as the world's oldest person has died in Japan at the age of 117. An official in the southern Japanese town of Kikai said Nabi Tajima died in a hospital on Saturday night (April 21). She had been there since January. Ms Tajima was born on August 4, 1900, and reportedly had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren. Her town of Kikai is in Kagoshima prefecture on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands. She became the world's oldest person seven months ago after the death of Violet Brown in Jamaica, also at the age of 117. Guinness World Records certified 112-year-old Masazo Nonaka of northern Japan as the world's oldest man earlier this month, and was planning to recognise Ms Tajima as the world's oldest person. The US-based Gerontology Research Group said another Japanese woman, Chiyo Yoshida, was now the world's oldest person in its records. She is due to turn 117 in 10 days.


oldest person

Grey's Anatomy, ABC's Longest-Running TV Series

Hollywood Reporter - April 22

ABC announced the formal renewal for the medical drama Grey's Anatomy late Friday at the wrap party for the Shonda Rhimes drama. With the season 15 renewal, Grey's Anatomy becomes ABC's longest-running primetime drama ever, passing The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (which ran for 15 seasons and 435 episodes). Only seven dramas in the history of television, Gunsmoke, Law & Order and its SVU spinoff, NCIS, CSI, ER and Bonanza, have had more seasons than Grey's. (And Grey's will now be tied with ER as TV's longest-running medical drama.) "Grey's Anatomy' has a special place in my heart and millions of viewers feel the same way," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said. "Thanks to fiercely loyal fans who have been on this journey since the beginning, and new generations of viewers who continue to discover the joy and drama of Grey Sloan Memorial, the show is as strong as ever." A decision on a record-breaking 16th season will likely rest with Ellen Pompeo, as creator Rhimes has always maintained that Grey's will run "as long as Ellen wants to do it."



Mary Berry and the "Flour Incident"

Page Six - April 21

Mary Berry has revealed she was once arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking in the US, after packing flour in her suitcase. The 83-year-old opened up about her shocking brush with the law during an appearance on "The Graham Norton Show", admitting the experience was "alarming." She said: "I was arrested 25 years ago. I was going to the US to do some cookery demonstrations and was worried that there might be problems so I weighed out all the ingredients, flour, sugar, and put them all in little plastic bags. "When I arrived at the airport the sniffer dogs made a bee-line for me. Suddenly I was surrounded by uniformed people and my assistant and I were put in separate cells." Mary, who was promoting her new BBC One series "Britain's Best Home Cook," continued: "It was alarming. When I was asked if was going to make money from the stuff, I said, 'I do and my fee has already been agreed.'" The TV star is best known for her work on "Great British Bake Off" but was a well-known chef during the '70s and '80s. She quit "Bake Off" in September 2016 after it was revealed the show would be moving to Channel 4.


Mary Berry

Hubble Celebrates Its Birthday By Sending Us a Treat

Mother Nature Network - April 21

When you're drifting through space on your birthday, you have to find a way to celebrate as best you can. The Hubble Space Telescope spent the 28th anniversary of its launch focused on the stunning Lagoon Nebula, sending us images that seem to say, "Wish you were here!" Hubble, which was launched into space on April 24, 1990, snapped two new photos of this well-known nebula. The image below on the left, snapped by Hubble's Wide Field Camera, shows only a small portion of this massive nebula that is 400 light-years from Earth. The second image on the right, Hubble sent back was taken with the telescope's infrared capabilities. Here, stripped of its cosmic wrap, the nebula shows off an array of stars. Most of the stars are background stars, located behind the nebula itself, but some are young stars in the nebula itself. Having both views of the nebula gives astronomers an understanding of what's happening inside it, and getting different views of the same object is something Hubble does pretty well. Here's to another 28 years among the stars, Hubble!


Nebula 1Nebula 2

Why Are Credit Card Numbers on the Back Now? - April 21

If you've recently received a new credit card, you may have noticed a change. Perhaps what was missing caught your attention. A growing number of credit cards have a sleek design on their faces without bulky, raised account numbers running along the bottom. Don't panic. It's not a scam. Flip the card over, and you'll see that the numerals have been moved to the back with the rest of the card information. It's a trend that has taken off across the industry in the past few years, from elite cards like American Express Platinum to low-cost accounts like Capital One 360. Although it's difficult to determine exactly when this style started taking off, credit card companies have increasingly modeled their cards in this fashion as they search for new ways to make users feel confident and look classy while using their cards, a spokesperson for credit card manufacturer CPI Card Group told Slate.

The biggest reason for this innovation might be that physical numbers are no longer needed for a card to function. Years ago, numbers had to be raised on the front of the card; when it ran through a card reader, an imprinted image of those numbers would appear on a slip of paper for customers to sign. But traditional magnetic strip cards, which required a customer's signature for security reasons, have largely been replaced by chip cards that encrypt cardholder information into a unique code that is difficult to copy. The microchip's added layer of protection renders embossed numbers unnecessary, allowing credit card makers to issue cards that have a decidedly different look.

As issuers experimented with design, traditional embossing continued to fall out of favor. The technique, which is more susceptible to wear and tear, was also harder to apply on metal cards, which became more popular in the late 1990s because of the "plunk factor," designed to get cardholders noticed when they put down a heavy metal card on the counter to make a payment. As a result, embossing was largely phased out in favor of laser printing that not only prolonged the life of cards but also made them look more appealing to customers. Aesthetic elements continued to become more important over time, evolving the face of the card into a platform for design and personalization.


credit cards

YouTube Has a Huge Public Relations Problem - April 21

Advertisements from more than 300 companies, including such top brands as Adidas, Facebook, Hershey and Under Armour, have run on extremist YouTube channels promoting conspiracy theories, white nationalism, pedophilia and other unsavory content, according a new investigation from CNN. The report, published Thursday afternoon, also reveals that five U.S. government agencies also had advertisements that appeared on the channels. When CNN reached out to the companies in the investigation, many responded that they had used YouTube filters to exclude sensitive content. They told CNN they had not known that their ads had been placed on those channels. Under Armour said that it was pausing its spending on Google-owned YouTube while it works with the company to "understand how this could have slipped through the guardrails." 

The report comes after a rocky year for the relationship between YouTube and its advertisers. Last year, several advertisers pulled their budgets from YouTube after their ads were found alongside hateful and exploitative videos, including from top YouTuber PewDiePie, who came under fire for a series of anti-Semitic jokes. YouTube introduced new settings designed to provide greater control to advertisers over where their spots run. And in December, CEO Susan Wojcicki said YouTube would grow its trust and safety teams to more than 10,000 in 2018 to help it crack down on channels that post content that violates its terms of service. 

But there have continued to be high-profile incidents of the YouTube algorithm not catching inappropriate content. Earlier this year, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Network pulled ads from YouTube after they appeared on the channel belonging to right-wing commentator Alex Jones, who is known for spreading conspiracy theories. CNN reports that Fox film ads also streamed alongside a Nazi YouTube channel before it was taken down. A co-branded ad from Disney and Nissan also ran on the channel. 

"We have partnered with our advertisers to make significant changes to how we approach monetization on YouTube with stricter policies, better controls and greater transparency," a YouTube spokeswoman told CNN in a statement. 



Massive Attack Re-Releasing "Mezzanine" into DNA - April 21

Friday marked the 20-year anniversary of Massive Attack's beloved album Mezzanine. To celebrate, the band has announced they're putting it on a new format: DNA. According to a press release, this marks the first time an entire album has been encoded into DNA and it's "an acknowledgement that it could be an answer to the problem of archiving the increasing amount of information that the world is creating." Massive Attack are accomplishing this feat using technology developed by STEM university ETH Zurich, in Switzerland. According to the university, the album's digital audio files will be converted into "920,000 short DNA strands," which will then be stored in "5,000 tiny (nanometre-sized) glass spheres." Mezzanine will be the second-largest file ever stored using DNA. Last year, it was announced Miles Davis' "Tutu" would be one of the first songs to be encoded in DNA.


Massive Attack

Art For Art's Sake? - April 21

A 4-year-old boy is set to be the youngest artist in 40 years to show at the ArtExpo New York. Advait Kolarkar of Pune, India has already sold 38 paintings. His work has been described as "action painting grasped in a flurry of colors that breathe life into varied objects." His interest in art began when he was less than one, when he started playing with food coloring and made a mold on the kitchen floor. ArtExpo New York is located at Pier 94 at West 55th Street and West Side Highway and runs through Sunday, Apr. 22.



'Smallville' Actress Arrested on Sex Trafficking Charge - April 21

Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan for 10 seasons on the Superman TV series Smallville, was arrested Friday (April 20) in New York on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. She was indicted along with Keith Raniere, the alleged leader of a self-help program and purported pyramid scheme being investigated for operating a shadow society of female "slaves." Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years to life in prison if convicted. According to prosecutors, Mack is credited in publicly available materials with co-creating a program called The Source, which recruited actors. "As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere," United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said today. "The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants' benefit." The investigation was led by the FBI, assisted by the New York State Police, the FBI Albany Field Office, the New York State Office of the Attorney General, the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York. Smallville ran on the WB and then the CW from 2001-11 and starred Tom Welling as the young Clark Kent/Superman. Mack, who was a regular on the show for its entire 10-season, later appeared on FX's Wilfred and had a voice role on the Amazon animated series Lost in Oz.



Electronic Dance DJ Avicii, Dead at 28 - April 21

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday (April 20). He was 28. Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish performer, born Tim Bergling, was found dead in Muscat, Oman. No more details about the death were provided. Avicii was an international pop star, performing his well-known electronic dance songs around the world for feverish fans, sometimes hundreds of thousands at the music festivals, where he was the headline act. His popular sound even sent him to the top of the charts and landed onto U.S. radio: His most recognized song, "Wake Me Up," was a multi-platinum success and peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. On the dance charts, he had seven Top 10 hits. He was part of the wave of DJ-producers, like David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia, who broke out on the scene as lead performers in their own right, earning international hits, fame, awards and more like typical pop stars. Avicii even collaborated with high-profile acts, producing Madonna's "Devil Pray" and the Coldplay hits "A Sky Full of Stars" and "Hymn for the Weekend." Avicii was nominated for two Grammy Awards, two MTV Europe Music Awards and one Billboard Music Award.



Showtime's 'Homeland' To End After Season 8

Hollywood Reporter - April 19

Homeland will end with its upcoming eighth season. Star Claire Danes on Wednesday confirmed the news in an interview with Howard Stern on his Sirius XM show. "Yeah, that's it," she said when the host brought up the fact that the next season is rumored to be the CIA drama's last. A representative for Showtime said that the network has not made a decision beyond season eight. The series is currently airing its seventh season, the finale for which is set to air on April 29. Showtime renewed Homeland for a seventh and eighth season ahead of its sixth season premiere. Sources say the pay cabler has been reluctant to say that the series will end after that because there's been talk of keeping it going with a new showrunner and new cast. In February, showrunner Alex Gansa told The Hollywood Reporter that season eight would likely be his last year. Though he's long hinted that season eight would be the end of Carrie Mathison's story, he noted that he wasn't sure that would be the case for the other characters on the show. 

"It's definitely going to be my last year," said the executive producer and writer ahead of the seventh season debut. "I can't speak for Claire or [co-star] Mandy [Patinkin], but it will be my final year and it will be designed to be the end of an eight-season story. If Showtime, Fox, Claire and Mandy want to take the show further, that's their decision, and we would leave some room for that to happen, if there's an appetite."



What Does Toner Do For You?

Mother Nature Network - April 19

You wash your face, you moisturize, but do you use toner? Toner is often the middle step in a daily skincare routine. If you remember, as a teenager, you might have swiped your skin with some stinging liquid and a cotton ball, hoping to erase your acne. That was some of the earliest toner available. These days, there's a wide range of products that fall under the toner label. The umbrella term can include skin fresheners, tonics, bracers astringents, clarifying liquids, flower waters and humectants, and they all do different things, depending on the type. Whether or not you need one in your skincare routine is up for debate, say dermatologists.

The changing face of toner

"Way back when, toners were essentially synonymous with alcohol and were for the purpose of removing oil from the skin," Boston-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch tells MNN. "There has been an increasing awareness that reducing oil via astringent is rarely the suitable approach and, these days, there are all kinds of toners. Some are alcohol-free, which would never have happened back then." In addition to making the skin less oily, those early toners were used to return the pH of the skin back to normal after using soap, says Dr. Sandra Marchese Johnson, board-certified dermatologist based in Fort Smith, Arkansas. "What we know, however, is that type of toner is no longer needed since we have gentle cleansers, and those alcohol-based toners actually cause the skin to make more oil."

What today's toners do

Newer toners promise dewier, balanced skin. They don't have alcohol and act more like beneficial water. "To put it simply, toner looks like water and acts like water. But I swear it's not water," writes Allure's Devon Abelman. "It's packed with so much more than hydrogen and oxygen. Depending on the toner, it also can contain acids, glycerin, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories. If you want to talk science, a toner is a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers skin a quick hit of hydration and helps remove some dead cells off the surface of the skin." There are toners that promise to address all types of skin care needs. "More novel products function almost like a primer and provide better hydration," says Hirsch.

Toners loosely fall into three general categories: traditional toners or tonics, astringents and fresheners, according to HowStuffWorks.

• Traditional toners/tonics include oils, moisturizers and any extracts that soothe your skin. They may contain a small amount of alcohol and a humectant to moisturize.

• Astringents have higher levels of alcohol. These are older-type toners that work to remove oil and tighten pores and skin.

• Fresheners don't have alcohol. They are mostly water and a humectant.

How to use toners

If you're adding a toner to a three-step beauty routine, it goes after cleansing and before moisturizing. Unless directions say otherwise, apply it after your skin is still wet from rinsing to make it more easy for ingredients to penetrate your skin. For people with a serious commitment to skin care, Korean beauty routines have become more popular. They require a little more time and devotion. The "7 Skin Method," which is popular in Korea, involves applying toner to your face seven times. Yes, seven. The toner step happens after you cleanse and before you moisturize. "By layering your toner multiple times, your skin gets to absorb more of the hydrating ingredients, ultimately giving you hydrated and healthy skin," explains Young-Ji Park, founder of Korean beauty skin-care brand Purpletale, to Allure.



SNL Heading Towards its Season Finale

Page Six - April 19

Tina and Amy are back … sort of. NBC has announced the final two hosts of "Saturday Night Live's" 43rd season. First up is Amy Schumer, who is set to return for her second hosting stint on May 12 with musical guest Kacey Musgraves. Then on May 19, Tina Fey is back to headline the season finale, with musical guest Nicki Minaj. As previously announced, Donald Glover will pull double duty on Saturday, May 5, when he also serves as musical guest under his rap pseudonym Childish Gambino. Schumer is currently promoting the big-screen flick "I Feel Pretty," which hits theaters on Friday. Fey, meanwhile, just launched "Mean Girls" on Broadway.



A "Tectonic Time Bomb" in San Francisco - April 19

The San Andreas long has been the fault many Californians feared the most, having unleashed the great 1906 earthquake that led to San Francisco's destruction 112 years ago. But new research shows that a much less well-known fault, running under the heart of the East Bay, poses a greater danger. A landmark report by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that at least 800 people could be killed and 18,000 more injured in a hypothetical magnitude 7 earthquake on the Hayward fault centered below Oakland. Hundreds more could die from fire following an earthquake along the 52-mile fault. More than 400 blazes could ignite, burning the equivalent of 52,000 single-family homes, and a lack of water for firefighters caused by old pipes shattering underground could cause some to emerge into conflagrations, said geophysicist Ken Hudnut, the USGS' science advisor for risk reduction.

"This fault is what we sort of call a tectonic time bomb," USGS earthquake geologist emeritus David Schwartz said. "It's just waiting to go off." The Hayward fault is so dangerous because it runs through some of the most heavily populated areas in the San Francisco Bay Area, spanning the length of the East Bay from the San Pablo Bay, through Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, Fremont and into Milpitas. It is one of the most dangerous faults in the nation "because of the density of the population directly on or astride it, which would include San Francisco, and the amount of infrastructure that crosses it," Schwartz said.



Actress, Casting Director Barbara Remsen, Dead at 88

Hollywood Reporter - April 19

Barbara Dodd Remsen, an actress turned casting director who helped boost the careers of Tom Selleck, Tea Leoni, Kevin Costner, Pierce Brosnan and others, has died. She was 88. Remsen died March 8 in Los Angeles, her daughter Kerry Remsen Cates announced. Her late husband was Bert Remsen, a character actor who entered the casting profession after he suffered severe back and leg injuries when he was struck by a crane while on the set of the 1964-65 ABC comedy No Time for Sergeants. Bert Remsen had an office at Raleigh Studios, where he worked as the head of Aaron Spelling Casting at 20th Century Fox. His wife, who had appeared on such series as Leave It to Beaver, Gunsmoke and The Dick Van Dyke Show, joined him there, then launched Remdin Casting with another former actor, Dick Dinman.

She received three Artios Awards over the next three decades while helping the likes of Selleck, Leoni, Costner, Brosnan, Vince Vaughn and Billy Bob Thornton build their acting résumés. "She had a belief system about people and actors, that we were all possible if we could be found," Leoni said in a statement. Barbara Dodd was born on New Year's Day in 1930 in Somerville, New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers University, worked as a page for NBC and appeared in a hair commercial. She came to Los Angeles and signed with a talent agency, and in 1957 she appeared as a librarian on an episode of Leave It to Beaver. She went on to work on Johnny Staccato, Wendy and Me, The Fugitive, Bewitched, Mod Squad, S.W.A.T. and other shows. Bert Remsen, her husband of 40 years, eventually returned to acting after his accident, becoming a favorite of director Robert Altman. He died in April 1999 at age 74.


Barbara Remsen

95% of the World's Population Breathing Bad Air

Mother Nature Network - April 19

Take a deep breath - but maybe not too deep. According to the Health Effect Institute's 2018 State of Global Air Report, more than 95 percent of the world's population is breathing in air that exceed pollution levels deemed safe by the World Health Organization. Developing countries are bearing the bulk of this burden as economic development outpaces environmental safeguards. Relying on satellite data and air monitoring systems from around the world, the report highlights the density of outdoor polluted air, or ambient air, with a particular focus on air particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Worldwide exposure to this particulate matter contributed to 4.1 million deaths in 2016, the year from which the most recent data is available, making it the sixth leading cause of death around the world behind high blood pressure, smoking and various diet-related causes, according to the report. Household air pollution generated by solid burning fuel sources like coal and wood led to another 2.6 million deaths.

China and India accounted for about 51 percent of ambient air deaths, but both countries are making changes to their air quality. "There are reasons for optimism, though there is a long way to go," Bob O'Keefe, vice president of the institute, told The Guardian. "China seems to be now moving pretty aggressively, for instance in cutting coal and on stronger controls. India has really begun to step up on indoor air pollution, for instance through the provision of LPG [liquefied petroleum gas] as a cooking fuel, and through electrification." Unrelated to the Health Effect Institute's report, the American Lung Association released its own State of the Air report. Their study found that four out of 10 people living in the United States live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone and air pollution.



5 Foods to Eat Daily

from Melissa Breyer of - April 18

Navigating the massive maze of nutrition advice that has descended upon us over the last few decades feels pretty much like a fool's errand. "Truths" are proved wrong over time, concurrent studies contradict each other, and the pure volume of guidance is enough to make one's head spin.

It really shouldn't be so hard to know what to eat ... but we're been bombarded with so much insipid food that's either been stripped of its nutrients or never had any in the first place, that eating well can take some effort. In general, I subscribe to eating the whole foods of a Mediterranean-style diet, mostly plants, healthy fats, limited sugar and processed items, etc. But to simplify things even more, I like this idea offered by Kelly Bilodeau, Executive Editor of Harvard Women's Health Watch, who notes that, "sometimes making better decisions for your body can be about adding, not taking away. This may create a more palatable option for those looking for a health boost that feels like a bonus, not a burden."

With that in mind, she asked asked Teresa Fung, adjunct professor in the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, for advice on "what foods pack the biggest nutritional punch to a daily diet." Fung offers five options that she recommends eating daily, or as frequently as possible. (And in some cases I'm including sensible substitutes because variety matters too.)


It's no secret that blueberries are super, especially given that they are one of the all-time superstars of the superfoods family. Fung explains that they are high in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, as well as vitamin A and fiber. Other dark-colored fruit, like pomegranates or cherries, are good too. If you don't have access to a fresh supply of local dark fruits; buy them frozen and add to smoothies (instead of ice!), oatmeal, yogurt, etc.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts have had a roller-coaster ride, from most disdained vegetable ever to hipster darling ... though some of us have loved these underdogs forever. Fung recommends them for providing a parade of vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate. "Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts feature bioactive compounds, such as antioxidants, which are chemicals that help prevent cell damage inside your body," Fung explains. If you have had bad experiences with Brussels sprouts thank to over-exuberant boiling, try them again with a kinder cooking method, like sliced thinly into coins and sauteed with garlic and olive oil, or oven-roasted whole to the point of crispiness. And if you can't handle Brussels sprouts everyday (which is asking a lot, even for those of us who are most devoted) go with other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, or cabbage.


Nuts are in high in calories, but that doesn't mean they should be avoided, because they are also high in healthy oils, protein, and vitamin E. Fung says to select any type of nuts: almonds, walnuts, even peanuts (technically a legume), or mixed nuts.

Plain yogurt

Yogurt is beloved for its probiotics, the advantageous bacteria that help keep your gut happy and boost overall health; it also comes with protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, and some key fatty acids. Vegans can opt for probiotic-rich alternative milk yogurts. The one thing to avoid is flavored yogurts that are rife with added sugar. This can be hard to know because food labels don't always differentiate between added sugars and natural ones, like the lactose in a dairy product. If you compare the labels of a plain yogurt and a flavored yogurt of the same brand, look to see the difference in sugars to get an idea of how much has been added to the flavored one.


Bilodeau and Fung admit that eating salmon everyday might be a stretch, but note that eating it at least once a week is still a good idea for its protein and omega-3 fatty acids, "which benefit both your heart and your brain," as well as vitamin D. Of course, eating fish sustainably adds a whole other complication to this scenario, and the whole endeavor becomes impossible for anyone dedicated to a plant-based diet. While plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids don't contain the same set of acids that animals provide, you can still get healthy doses from chia seeds, flax seeds, hemo seeds, and walnuts, among others.


healthy foods

NPR's Carl Kasell, Dead at 84 - April 18

Newscaster Carl Kasell, a signature voice of NPR who brought his gravitas to "Morning Edition" and later his wit to "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" has died. He was 84. NPR said Kasell died Tuesday (April 17) from complications from Alzheimer's disease in Potomac, Md. He retired in 2014. Kasell's radio career spanned half a century, starting as a morning DJ and newscaster at WGBR-AM in Goldsboro, N.C. He spent a decade at radio station WAVA in Arlington, Va., going from morning anchor to news director. He was a newscaster for 30 years on "Morning Edition" until 2009. Kasell then became the official judge and scorekeeper of the Chicago-based show "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" in 1998. He left his voice on hundreds of answering machines as part of that show's prize. "He was, and remains, the heart and soul of our show," Peter Sagal, the host of "Wait, Wait," tweeted Tuesday. NPR's Melissa Block said of Kasell: "A beloved voice. A radio man through and through. And the kindest colleague you could hope to find."

Kasell joined NPR as a part-time employee in 1975 for "Weekend All Things Considered" and then announced the news on the first broadcast of "Morning Edition" in 1979 alongside host Bob Edwards. "I look out the window in the morning sometimes, and the sun is rising, and the people are going to work," Kasell told NPR on his retirement. "I look at Washington as being that big, sleeping giant, just stretching and waking up, and going about its business. And to know that I'm working in the capital of the most powerful nation in the world, I feel good about that."


Carl Kasell

Kendrick Lamar Wins the Pulitzer Prize

Page Six - April 17

Kendrick Lamar better make room in his Grammy case: The award-winning lyricist etched his name into the history books on Monday by becoming the first rapper ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for music. The 30-year-old won for his album "Damn," which was released last April to much fanfare. His emotional and politically charged lyrics made the record a hit among music experts and hip-hop enthusiasts, with many praising Lamar for his "self-expression." "I don't want anybody to classify my music," Lamar explained while speaking to comedian Dave Chappelle last year during a sit-down for Interview magazine. "I want them to say, 'This is somebody who's recognizing his true feelings, his true emotions, ideas, thoughts, opinions, and views on the world, all on one record.' I want people to recognize that and to take it and apply it to their own lives. While the Pulitzer board has handed out awards to musicians in the past, such as Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and Duke Ellington, they've never given one to a hip-hop artist. Lamar has been lauded for combining his rap lyrics with spats of spoken word, jazz, poetry, soul and funk. The Compton, Calif., native speaks about a wide range of issues on his albums, including police brutality and being black. He has won 7 Grammy Awards and has been nominated for 29.


Kendrick Lamar

Apple's Stern Warning

New York Post - April 16

Apple warned its employees that leaking details about the latest iPhone could land them in jail. In an internal blog post, the notoriously secretive tech giant has attempted to scare off any would-be leakers by suggesting that it might mean the end of their careers, or worse, should they be caught. "People who leak, whether they're Apple employees, contractors or suppliers, do get caught," according the blog post which, ironically, was leaked to Bloomberg. "And they're getting caught faster than ever." The Cupertino, Calif.-based company also warned employees to be wary of members of the press, saying "it's important to remember that you're getting played."

It goes on to say that it's not just a employment at Apple that's at risk, and that "the Apple employee who leaks has everything to lose." "In some cases, [leakers] face jail time and massive fines," Apple said, adding that in 2017, it caught 29 leakers, 12 of whom were arrested. "These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere." Apple ended the threatening memo with a plea to employees to consider "the impact of their actions," on the rest of their colleagues.



Why Isn't Carob More Popular?

Mother Nature Network - April 16

Just because one food looks like another doesn't mean it will taste the same. Take cauliflower rice, for instance. It's really popular right now. It can be used in place of rice in many dishes like fried rice or stuffed peppers. But, no matter how much it looks like rice, it has none of the same flavors or properties of rice. The same can be said of zoodles, zucchini cut into noodle-like strips with a spiralizer. But zoodles aren't spaghetti, no matter how much pasta sauce you pile on top. The same sentiment can be applied to carob, a food that looks remarkably like cocoa and has been touted as a substitute for chocolate. But just because carob in powder form looks like cocoa powder and can be substituted one for one in a recipe for cocoa powder, it doesn't mean the end result will taste anything like cocoa. Health food proponents and recipe developers have tried to treat the two powders as one and the same over the decades, but chocolate lovers have just never bought it.

Carob powder comes from the ground pods of a carob tree. The trees are native to the Mediterranean, although they grow throughout North America because they were brought here in the late 1800s. Inside the pods are seeds that need to be removed before the powder is made. Instructables demonstrates one method of creating carob powder by boiling the pods, cutting them in half, removing the seeds, drying the pods completely and then grinding them into a powder. Other methods roast the pods before grinding to make their color darker, and therefore more resemble cocoa. Either way, the powder ends up looking almost identical to cocoa powder, especially when roasted, but does it taste like cocoa powder?

It does not. It has its own naturally sweet taste and it's a little nutty. Some people like it. Others do not. But if you taste carob powder next to cocoa powder, you'll realize the two are different foods. And although carob can be turned into carob chips that look like chocolate chips, if you put them in your cookies, everyone will know the difference. Carob does have its benefits though. It's considered by some to be healthier that cocoa. Healthline says it has lots of fiber, antioxidants and unlike cocoa, no caffeine.



Jupiter's Massive Cyclones

Mother Nature Network - April 16

The swirling, massive storms raging across Jupiter's north and south poles are unlike anything else ever encountered in our solar system, NASA researchers announced in early March. The agency provided that statement, along with some stunning new imagery of the planet, as part of a treasure trove of new findings gathered by the Juno spacecraft. "Prior to Juno, we did not know what the weather was like near Jupiter's poles. Now, we have been able to observe the polar weather up-close every two months," Alberto Adriani, Juno co-investigator from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Rome, said in a statement. "Each one of the northern cyclones is almost as wide as the distance between Naples, Italy and New York City, and the southern ones are even larger than that. They have very violent winds, reaching, in some cases, speeds as great as 220 mph (350 kph). Finally, and perhaps most remarkably, they are very close together and enduring. There is nothing else like it that we know of in the solar system."

Jupiter's north pole (shown below) features one cyclone surrounded by eight similarly sized cyclones with diameters for all averaging between 2,500 to 2,900 miles. The dark areas represent temperatures of around minus 181 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 188 C), while the lighter areas are as warm as 9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 12 C).



In Search Of.. The Boss Burger at Chili's

Food Beast - April 16

Most culinary quests involve obtaining rare-to-find, delicious items that are worth the trip to the destination. Chili's has decided to give its fans a similar mission, launching a behemoth of a burger that's gonna require some tracking down to locate.The new Boss Burger lives up to its name, with an astounding five meats stacked on it. These include a half-pound beef patty, bacon, jalapeno-cheddar smoked sausage, pulled rib meat, and smoked brisket. Cheddar, ranch, BBQ sauce, lettuce, and tomato round out the fillings to this colossal creation, which checks in at 1,650 calories. You need a lot of gusto to take this burger down in one shot, but even more is required to find it in the first place. Chili's debuted the Boss Burger at their test kitchen recently, and everyone there had a chance to try it for themselves. Since then, it has been a test release at a few select locations around the nation. Chili's isn't disclosing which of their restaurants has the burger, so if you really want a piece of this, you'll have to do some sleuthing yourself.


Boss Burger

A Great Excuse Not to Do the Dishes - April 16

An Australian dishwasher has captured the moment they had a surprising helper in the kitchen. But their eight-legged assistant wasn't a typical doting spouse or disgruntled child, rather an Australian tarantula. The photo features the hairy, brown spider positioned next to a sponge in a domestic kitchen sink, seemingly ready and willing to help. For those with a fear of spiders and an aversion to dishes the image may strike up visions of disgust, but users on the Reddit thread where it was posted disagreed. Its original poster expressed potentially sarcastic delight saying 'it's always nice to have some help with the Sunday morning dishes.' Contrary to popular belief, a tarantula's bite is not fatal, although it may leave its victim in pain for up to six hours. While it is not known whether the eight-legged friend was a pet or temporary visitor, many would agree willingness to help with Sunday dishes is always a welcome trait.  



Cardi B Easily Takes the Top Spot

Billboard - April 15

Cardi B blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with her debut studio album, Invasion of Privacy. The set, which was released on April 6 through The KSR Group/Atlantic Records, earned 255,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 12, according to Nielsen Music. That's the second-biggest week of 2018, trailing only the arrival of Justin Timberlake's Man of the Woods, which bowed with 293,000 units on the Feb. 17-dated chart. Of Invasion's total unit bow, 103,000 were in traditional album sales, the biggest sales week for an R&B or hip-hop album in 2018. The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Invasion's solid album sales figure of 103,000 is notable, considering many hip-hop albums by newer artists tend to be largely driven by streams and have relatively little album sales. Invasion has the largest sales week for an R&B or hip-hop album since Eminem's Revival bowed with 197,000 copies sold.

At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars scores its second top 10, and highest-charting album ever, as America debuts with 62,000 units. It surpasses the band's previous high, logged when Love Lust Faith + Dreams debuted and peaked at No. 6 in 2013. Of America's starting unit total, 54,000 were in traditional album sales, the act's second-largest sales week ever. Its only bigger week was logged by the 69,000 start of This Is War in 2009. (America's sales bow was enhanced by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with the band's upcoming tour, which starts on June 6.)

The Weeknd's My Dear Melancholy slips from No. 1 to No. 3 in its second week, (down 69 percent). The soundtrack to The Greatest Showman climbs one rung to No. 4 (up 10 percent), following the film's DVD and Blu-ray release on April 10. XXXTENTACION's ? dips 3-5 (down 20 percent), Migos' Culture II is up a spot to No. 6 (down 9 percent) and Black Panther: The Album falls a slot to No. 7 (down 15 percent). Rich The Kid's The World Is Yours tumbles 2-8 in its second week, (down 38 percent), while Post Malone's Stoney shifts 8-9 (down less than 1 percent).

Closing out the top 10 is rapper Lil Xan, as he bows at No. 10 with his debut album, Total Xanarchy. The set tallied 28,000 units in its opening frame, of which 14,000 were in traditional album sales. The album was preceded by the single "Betrayed," which hit the top 30 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Songs and the airplay-powered Rhythmic Songs chart.


"Invasion of Privacy"Thirty Seconds To Mars

Dwayne Johnson, a Very Bankable Star

Box Office Guru - April 15

Action king Dwayne Johnson anchored yet another number one hit with his latest offering Rampage which debuted in the top spot at the North American box office with an estimated $34.5M. The Warner Bros. pic was based on the videogame of the same name and averaged a strong $8,413 from 4,101 locations. Fans ignored the mixed reviews and came out for the escapist, some would call mindless, entertainment. Starpower certainly was a big factor for the PG-13 film as The Rock is coming off of the runaway success of Jumanji which shocked the industry grossing over $950M to date. Rampage's healthy Saturday bump beat out other recent action titles from this spring indicating good word of mouth and kid appeal. The CinemaScore was an A- and the audience breakdown was 55% male and 63% over 25. Johnson has proven that he is part of that increasingly rare breed, a bankable Hollywood star who can open all different films, sequels and non-sequels alike.

Knocked out of the top spot, but showing terrific legs for a scary movie, was the fright sensation A Quiet Place which is quickly becoming one of the highest grossing horror movies of all time. The Paramount hit took in an estimated $32.6M and declined by only 35% in its second weekend. Cume is a stellar $99.6M with the R-rated pic set to break $100M after only 11 days. That beats out most every horror movie hit including Get Out and The Conjuring which both needed 16 days, Split which did it in 19 days, and Paranormal Activity 3's 23 days. The $17M production might end its domestic run with a gross that is nine or ten times its budget.

Blumhouse used Friday the 13th to launch yet another low budget horror hit with Truth or Dare opening to a strong $19.1M this weekend according to estimates. The PG-13 chiller averaged a solid $6,299 from 3,029 and skewed to a younger female crowd. Universal data showed that the audience was 60% female, 60% under 25, and 56% non-white. The performance was especially impressive given the competition from Quiet Place.



"Unconscionable" Increases in Price of Generic Drugs

The Washington Post - April 15

A Maryland law crafted to deter companies from instituting large price increases on old, off-patent drugs was struck down by a federal appeals court Friday, in a decision that could give pause to other states considering similar legislation. The Maryland law, which went into effect in October, was seen as a model for other state-based efforts aimed at curtailing massive price hikes on generic drugs in Louisiana and Illinois. The court found that the law violated the Constitution because it would have regulated sales outside of the state. "Although we sympathize with the consumers affected by the prescription drug manufacturers' conduct and with Maryland's efforts to curtail prescription-drug price gouging, we are constrained to apply the dormant commerce clause to the Act," Stephanie Thacker, judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, wrote in the majority opinion. The law was challenged by the Association for Accessible Medicines, the lobby for the generic-drug industry, which includes companies such as Mylan, Sandoz and Teva.

"This law, and any others modeled from it, would harm patients because the law would reduce generic drug competition and choice, thus resulting in an overall increase in drug costs due to increased reliance upon more costly branded medications," said Chester "Chip" Davis Jr., president of the Association for Accessible Medicines. Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said in a statement that his office was evaluating next steps.

Reflecting public anger over Martin Shkreli, who drew national outrage for taking an old anti-parasitic drug and raising the price more than 5000 percent, the Maryland law targeted "unconscionable" increases in the prices of generic drugs deemed "essential" medications. But the court found, in a 2-to-1 vote, that the law was not constitutional because it regulated sales in other states, since drug manufacturers sell their products to wholesalers outside Maryland before they reach local consumers. In a dissenting opinion, Judge James A. Wynn Jr. wrote that the majority opinion concludes that generic-drug companies are "constitutionally enabled to impose conscience-shocking price increases on Maryland consumers" as long as the companies initially sell their drugs to out-of-state intermediaries.


drug prices

Road Cameras in Australia - April 14

Distraction is one of the leading causes of fatal road crashes in Australia but new hi-tech cameras that detect drivers using their mobile phones without them even knowing could soon change everything. A New South Wales Police spokesman told that officers currently "use a variety of methods to detect drivers using their phones while driving". "Line-of-site, by trained officers is the primary method of detection, however, long-ranged cameras have been used with success, and helmet cameras in motorcycle police continue to be used," the spokesman said. But that technology could soon be replaced by stationary cameras that automatically issue an infringement notice without the driver even realising they've been sprung.

NSW Police Highway Patrol boss, Assistant Commissioner Mick Corboy, told the Nine News there were "emerging technologies coming out". "So the way we are going to defeat this is by video evidence, by photographic evidence and we are looking at everything possible around the world at the moment and we think we'll get something in place fairly quickly," Mr Corboy said. His comments came after NSW Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey put out a call on Tuesday for potential providers to present "practical, technology-based solutions to address the problem" of mobile phone use in cars. "Developing this technology would be a world-first and is one of the priorities of our Road Safety Plan 2021 that we announced," Mrs Pavey said.



Actor Eugene Francis, Dead at 100 - April 14

Eugene Francis, an actor, writer and longtime SAG Foundation board member who broke into show business in 1940 as one of the East Side Kids, has died. He was 100. Francis played Algernon "Algy" Wilkes alongside Leo Gorcey and Bobby Jordan in the 1940 films Boys of the City, That Gang of Mine and Pride of the Bowery and 1941's Flying Wild. He later guested on a few TV shows and wrote for series including Justice, Appointment with Adventure, The Loretta Young Show, The George Sanders Mystery Theater and Matinee Theatre. A former SAG vice president and recording secretary, Francis also was a founding board member of the SAG Foundation, on which he served for 33 years. At the Foundation, he was a longtime advocate of children's literacy, growth in performers' programming and scholarships, and the establishment of its Robin Williams Center in the heart of New York's theater district, attending its opening in 2016. He continued as an active member of the Foundation's board and finance committee in his role as emeritus board member, attending board and committee meetings by Skype and phone when he couldn't attend in person. A World War II vet, he also served as member of the Actors' Equity council.


Eugene Francis

The Rapture is Coming: April 23 - April 13

Is the Rapture finally here? One Christian numerologist says a biblical sign strongly suggests it. David Meade tells the U.K.'s Daily Express newspaper that on April 23, the sun and moon will be in Virgo, as will Jupiter, which represents the Messiah. For a certain branch of evangelical Christianity, Revelation 12:1-2 describes the beginning of what is known as the Rapture and the second coming of Christ. The passage reads: "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth." In the passage, the woman is represented as Virgo.

According to Meade, the alignment represents "the Lion of the tribe of Judah," marking the Rapture, the belief that Christ will bring the faithful into paradise prior to a period of tribulation on earth that precedes the end of time. Meade said he believes the so-called Planet X, which is also known as Nibiru, will appear above the sky on the April date, causing volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes. NASA repeatedly has said Planet X is a hoax. Speaking to the Express, Meade described it as "a unique once-in-a-century sign exactly as depicted in the 12th chapter of Revelation. This is our time marker."

However, author Jonathan Sarfati remains skeptical. He told the Express: "As usual with any astrology (or Christian adaptations of it), one cherry-picks the stars that fit the desired conclusion. "There is nothing to suggest that April 23 is a momentous date for biblical prophecy, and Christians need to be careful about being drawn into such sensationalist claims.


The Rapture

Of Course He Did! - April 13

A dozen senators called on the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Sinclair Broadcasting Group for distorting the news, and to pause its review of the pending acquisition of Tribune Media. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai immediately shot down the request, saying it would conflict with his commitment to the First Amendment and freedom of the press. Eleven Democratic senators and one independent, Bernie Sanders, took issue with Sinclair forcing local news anchors to read scripts. One that captured national attention denounced the "troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country," and criticizing some members of the media who "use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think." Senators said these must-run mandates from Sinclair harm free speech and turn local journalists into "mouthpieces for a corporate and political agenda."

"We are concerned that Sinclair is engaged in a systematic news distortion operation that seeks to undermine freedom of the press and the robust localism and diversity of viewpoint that is the foundation of our national broadcasting laws," the senators wrote. The senators called on Pai to review whether Sinclair has violated the public interest obligation as a broadcaster and whether it's fit to retain a license. They also urged the FCC to pause its pending examination of the $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune pending the outcome of this process. "We are concerned that if the Sinclair-Tribune merger continues without a thorough review of these new facts, Sinclair's practices of news distortion will proliferate to even more local stations which Americans rely upon every day for fair and impartial news," the senators wrote. Sinclair owns 193 stations in 89 markets, which would expand to 223 stations reaching 72% of American households.



What's Next? .. HD Vinyl

Pitchfork - April 13

"High Definition Vinyl" has moved closer to a turntable near you. In 2016, a European patent filing described a way of manufacturing records that the inventors claimed would have higher audio fidelity, louder volume, and longer playing times than conventional LPs. Now, the Austrian-based startup Rebeat Innovation has received $4.8 million in funding for the initiative, founder and CEO Günter Loibl told Pitchfork. Thanks to the investment, the first "HD vinyl" albums could hit stores as early as 2019, Loibl said.

The HD vinyl process involves converting audio digitally to a 3D topographic map. Lasers are then used to inscribe the map onto the "stamper," the part that stamps the grooves into the vinyl. According to Loibl, these methods allow for records to be made more precisely and with less loss of audio information. The results, he said, are vinyl LPs that can have up to 30 percent more playing time, 30 percent more amplitude, and overall more faithful sound reproduction. The technique would also avoid the chemicals that play a role in traditional vinyl manufacturing. Plus, the new-school HD vinyl LPs would still play on ordinary record players.

What's next? Rebeat Innovation has ordered a big laser system, for about $600,000, with hopes that it will be shipped by July, Loibl said. Once that system is up and running, Loibl said he plans to produce test stampers for five to-be-determined "early mover" pressing plants. In September, the first test stampers would arrive at those plants. "Our goal is to officially present our test stampers at the Making Vinyl conference in October," Loibl said, referring to the vinyl trade event held in Detroit. "It will take another eight months to do all the fine adjustments. So by summer 2019 we shall see the first HD vinyls in the stores."


HD Vinyl