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Historian Eric Rauchway gleans a lesson from 1932
A public prosecutor and two Thais were sentenced for four years Tuesday after they were caught attempting to smuggle more than a dozen rhino horns worth $1.4 million through Bangkok's main airport last year. The smugglers were caught with bulging bags of the contraband at Suvarnabhumi airport, accompanied by the senior justice official who tried to sneak them through customs undetected. The two smugglers, Thitirat Arai and Kansini Anutranusatra, fled after they were stopped by customs officials who x-rayed the bag.
Syntermes dirus is their name, world domination is their game.
While the Woolsey Fire in southern California, is largely contained (96% as of Monday night) some of the terrifying images from the last several weeks are continuing to trickle out, including the above video of an absolutely incredible rescue.  The footage is harrowing, taken from a helmet cam, as rescuers navigate a helicopter among the wind, smoke, and fire to land safely and rescue three people — and two dogs — on Castro Peak near Malibu.  SEE ALSO: Terrifying footage shows Southern California fires nipping at a highway It also offers up a rare perspective of what it takes to make these rescues, how complicated and dangerous they are and the risks taken by first responders in dire situations — in this case LAFD Air Operations pilots David Nordquist and Joel Smith.  Even more impressive is the way the pair kept calm and pulled off the rescue without a hitch. One even drily commented, "That was enough excitement for me today."  True heroism.
The company had previously listed some 200 properties in West Bank settlements
UN environment chief Erik Solheim resigned on Tuesday after an audit questioning his huge travel expenses triggered an outcry, UN officials said. The former environment minister of Norway had been at the helm of the Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP) since June 2016. A UN audit found that Solheim had spent nearly $500,000 on travel and that he claimed unjustified expenses at a time when the world body is struggling with shrinking budgets.
It's the first such system to be found in our own galaxy
If you take a look at recent events you might imagine that scientists searching for the worst year of human existence would have a hard time topping 2018. I mean, there are mass shootings every other day (and sometimes every day), wildfires destroying huge areas, hurricanes wiping communities off the map, and a planet that is slowly dying because we can't stop messing stuff up.And that's just the United States. Elsewhere there's drought, famine, disease, and never-ending conflicts.Humans are just a mess right now, but a new study by researchers at the University of Maine and University of Nottingham have determined that the worst year to be a human isn't 2018. It was the year 536.A pair of studies published in the journal Antiquity, paint a dire picture of life for humans starting in AD 536. It was then that a combination of events began to shape some of mankind's darkest days, starting with what is known as the "dust veil event" which blanketed much of the Northern Hemisphere in volcanic ash from a massive eruption. Temperatures plummeted, crops rapidly died off, and human progress hit a brick wall.As if this weren't enough, Europe was then hit with an outbreak of bubonic plague which dragged on for several decades. During this extended pandemic it is estimated that up to one-quarter of the entire human population of Earth was wiped out. The 'Black Death' continued to flare up for centuries, taking out huge chunks of the population.These dire events, combined with readings of ice samples that show the smelting of precious metals took a century-long dip during this time period, led the researchers to conclude that mankind was essentially in a standstill while it tried to recover.This generations-long downturn meant that if you were alive in AD 536 you would likely die in a world that was significantly more harsh than you had ever seen. If you were born in the years immediately following these events, you were forced to roll the dice and there was a good chance you wouldn't make it.Humans as a whole did, of course, make it. We survived incredible hardships and that's why we're still here today. The Earth, on the other hand, may have preferred that we didn't.
Spending too much time in a chair is bad for your health
A suicide bomber targeted a gathering of hundreds of Muslim religious scholars in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, killing at least 50 people, Afghan officials said.
Guatemalan authorities declared a red alert and evacuated around 4,000 people Monday after the Fuego volcano erupted for the fifth time this year, sending bursts of ash and lava down the mountain before its activity decreased and then stopped. Memories are still painfully fresh of the volcano's eruption in June, which swept away villages and left nearly 200 people dead and 235 missing. The Institute of Volcanology's director Pablo Oliva said the volcano's activity level had dropped significantly by late Monday.
“Additional criminal charges will be brought against Lance Mason relating to the death of Aisha Fraser.” Shaker Heights Police Said.
One week before the next Mars mission is due to land, NASA has chosen the landing site for its next next Mars mission. Jezero Crater will be where NASA’s yet-to-be-named rover will land on Feb. 18, 2021, the space agency announced today. “It’s a Thursday,” said Allen Chen, who’s leading the entry, descent and landing team for what’s currently known as NASA’s Mars 2020 rover. That touchdown is due to come seven months after the mission’s launch in mid-July 2020. Jezero Crater is thought to be the site of an ancient river delta on the western edge of Isidis Planitia, a… Read More
Elon Musk is famously ambitious and his projects often sound like science fiction, or at least somewhat futuristic. He wants to connect our brains to computers, terraform Mars, tunnel under cities, build a hyperloop, and line our roofs with barely visible solar panels. But last month he announced a more down-to-earth endeavor—Musk plans to make…
The sidewalk cafes of this Silicon Valley city, usually packed at lunchtime with workers from Google and other high-tech companies, were mostly abandoned Monday afternoon. San Francisco reported unhealthy air quality for the 12th straight day on Monday. Purple Air, a private company that monitors air quality worldwide, last week ranked Northern California as having the foulest air around the globe.