by Anna Breuer

It’s late May, the birds are singing and the flowers are in bloom… and you have a sneezy, stuffy nose. Is it allergies, a cold, or – perish the thought – SARS-CoV-2.
Nowadays it can be downright difficult – even for a physician –  to distinguish between seasonal allergy symptoms, early signs of Covid-19, and the common cold.
On the off chance that it is Covid – odd because we still appear …

What Happens When an EV Battery Causes a Fire on Board a Car Carrier Ship? BMW Thinks it Knows Best About What Shouldn’t Happen Next

by Paul Riegler

Last July’s fire on board the MV Freemantle Highway, a car carrier owned by the Japanese shipping firm Shoei Kisen Kaisha, managed by Wallem Ship Management and operated by “K”-Line, was no ordinary shipboard fire. In fact, it probably had the ship’s captain saying, “This is not what I signed up for.”
It also highlighted how ill-prepared and under-trained seamen are to cope with hard-to-control EV battery fires, industry experts who …

Five Years Ago Today Was the Most Recent New York Blackout

by Kurt Stolz

The last major blackout in New York City was five years ago as parts of the Big Apple were plunged into darkness when a power failure hit the West Side of Manhattan. The power went out on what was the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 power failure, which left nine million people in the dark and that led to widespread looting and arson.
The blackout halted subways, disabled traffic lights, and …

Friday Update – News That Matters: 1.8 M Remain Without Power, Extreme Heat in U.S. Kills 28; Gun Violence in Chicago Wounds 109, 19 Fatally; U.K. to Protect Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Shipwreck

by Anna Breuer

“Friday Update – News that Matters” is a weekly feature that offers brief overviews of important news that might have been overlooked during a busy week. Here’s what you may have missed in the period July 10 through July 12.
WRECK OF SHACKLETON’S ENDURANCE TO RECEIVE SPECIAL PROTECTIONS
The exceptionally well-preserved shipwreck of Endurance, a three-masted ship that was part of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s exploration of Antarctica and which was discovered in …

Midweek Update – News That Matters: Beryl Creates Tornado Threat in Northeast, New York’s ‘Trash Revolution,’ Columbia Removes 3 Deans Over ‘Antisemitic Tropes’

by Anna Breuer

“Midweek Update – News that Matters” is a weekly feature that offers brief overviews of important news that might have been overlooked during the start of a busy week. Here’s what you may have missed in the period July 8 through July 10.
BERYL BRINGS MAJOR TORNADO THREAT TO NORTHEAST U.S.
What remains of Hurricane Beryl along with a passing frontal boundary will bring the greatest tornado threat in nearly 20 years …

‘Don’t Flirt with FLiRT’: The New Set of Omicron Variants Is Causing Severe Symptoms in Some Patients

by Jonathan Spira

Patients who are contracting SARS-CoV-2 and are infected with one of the FLiRT variants are reporting severe symptoms, compared to the milder symptoms that appeared with omicron sub-variants.
FLiRT is the term being used to describe a whole family of different variants – including KP.2, JN.1.7, and any other variants starting with KP or JN – that appear to have independently picked up the same set of mutations. This is called …

Japan Finally Says ‘Sayonara’ to the Floppy Disk, But the Pesky Fax Machine Still Persists in Living On

by Jonathan Spira

Japan’s love for archaic technology continues, but it at least may be winning the war on the floppy disk, a storage medium that exists in most computer users’ minds only as the icon for the “save” button.
It therefore isn’t surprising to learn that the country still relies heavily not only on 3 ½” floppy disks but also on the fax machine, sometimes referred to as the telecopier, a device that …

Weekend Update – News That Matters: U.S. West Bakes, East Swelters; French Voters Reject Far Right; 16 Men Defrauded in ‘Romance Schemes,’ and Gaza Residents Unhappy With Hamas

by Anna Breuer

“Weekend Update – News that Matters” is a weekly feature that offers brief overviews of important news that might have been overlooked during the weekend lull. Here’s what you may have missed in the period July 4through July 7.
In U.S., Intense Heat on the West Coast, Sweltering Humidity in the East
Weather in the United States was a lesson in extremes. The East Coast sweltered in heat and humidity while much …