Watch the world's largest firework explode in Steamboat Springs

The night sky looked like day for a few moments at Colorado's Steamboat Springs Annual Carnival Saturday night with the world's largest firework on record.

From The Denver Post:

At 7:56 p.m., fireworks expert Tim Borden successfully captured the world record for the largest single firework when the 2,797-pound behemoth illuminated the crowd during the Night Extravaganza at the annual Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival.

The 62-inch shell was launched from a 26-foot long mortar from atop Howelsen Hill, reaching nearly a mile in the air when it detonated, putting on quite the show.

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A Cape Town diner wins Guinness World Record for most milkshake flavors

If you dined at Gibson's Gourmet Burgers and Ribs every Saturday night, it would take four years (minus one weekend) to try every milkshake flavor on the menu. So it's for obvious reasons that this burger and milkshake joint in Cape Town, South Africa, that offers 207 different milkshakes, earned the Guinness World Record for "Most Varieties of Milkshakes Commercially Available." Read the rest

Vermont's GOP governor on Trump: "The president abused his powers...He shouldn't be in office."

Mitt Romney doesn't have to feel completely alone after his courageous vote to convict Trump during the impeachment trial. Vermont Governor Phil Scott, one of the first republicans to support the impeachment inquiry last year, also spoke his conscience yesterday at a news conference:

“I believe that the president abused his powers. It’s hard, in some respects for me, because I’m not a supporter," Scott said. “I didn’t vote for the president, and I don’t believe that he should be in office...I think it’s for the voters to decide in November whether he should continue in that role.

"I believe he abused his position of power; withholding those funds is inappropriate..I believe, as Sen. Romney did, that he shouldn’t be in office."

From ABC:

Romney announced his decision Wednesday two hours before the GOP-dominated Senate voted to absolve Trump. He said the impeachment oath required him to render “impartial justice.”

Since he took office in 2017, Scott has been a frequent critic of Trump, has repeatedly called for an end to the divisiveness in American politics, and has criticized many of the president's policies, including on climate change and immigration.

Not surprisingly, Scott was voted one of the most liked governors in the United States in 2017 (while Chris Christie, of course, was voted the most disliked).

Image: By US Embassy Canada - Flickr, Public Domain, Link Read the rest

A humorous comparison of Trump and Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

Still seething from the impeachment trial (and if it wasn't that, it would be something else), Trump had a hard time containing himself the following morning at the National Prayer Breakfast. His morning speech was full of his usual narcissistic vitriol. What makes it even more amusing is the comparison between him and Barack Obama in Jimmy Kimmel's montage above. Read the rest

Chinese doctor who tried to warn about coronavirus early on but was censored has died from the disease [Updated]

[UPDATE 2/6/20 12:09pm PT: According to the CNN, the doctor is alive but in critical condition. "Hours earlier the same state media organizations reported that he had died."

"Wuhan Central Hospital said on its official Weibo account that Li Wenliang, 34, had become seriously ill. 'In the fight against the pneumonia epidemic of the new coronavirus infection, our hospital's ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was unfortunately infected. He is currently in critical condition and we are trying our best to resuscitate him,' the statement read."]

A Chinese ophthalmologist in Wuhan who tried to warn his colleagues on December 30 about seven patients who had come down with a SARS-like virus but was censored by the Chinese government – and and then detained two days later for "rumor mongering" – has died from the disease.

After being detained for two days, Li Wenliang, age 34, helped patients with the novel coronavirus who streamed into his overrun hospital, until he himself became infected with the coronavirus and was hospitalized.

From The Washington Post:

The full outlines of his story, which came to light in recent weeks as the Wuhan outbreak exploded into an international emergency, set off a swell of outrage in China, where citizens have long chafed at the government’s penchant for relentlessly snuffing out any speech deemed threatening to social stability.

Many, including China’s judicial authorities in a rare rebuke of the police, have wondered whether the epidemic could have unfolded differently had Li not been silenced at a critical juncture ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in late January...

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Arizona CEO who calls black Uber driver the N-- word is banned from app, suspended from job

After the CEO of Agroplasma, an Arizona fertilizer company, is told to sit in the back seat by a black driver, the CEO is greatly offended and argues relentlessly. The driver, an Arizona State University student, remains calm and polite and also firm about his no-front-seat-passengers policy. The CEO, Hans Berglund, 72, asks, "Is that because I'm white?" And then, finally calls him the N-- word. (Watch the exchange below.)

Agroplasma has suspended Berglund while they investigate what happened, and Uber has banned him from the app.

From NBC:

“In light of the events of this past Friday, Agroplasma CEO Hans Berglund has been relieved of his duties while the company performs a full internal investigation,” the firm said, adding, "The incident is not at all reflective of Agroplasma’s values and ethics.”

Uber told KPNX that it would ban Berglund from using its app, saying, “Discrimination has no place on the Uber app or anywhere.”

Berglund in a telephone interview with KPNX said he had been drinking and regrets his comments. “I apologize to the guy. I shouldn’t have said what I said.”

The driver has had a strict policy of not allowing anyone to sit in the front seat unless it's a party of 3 or more since someone sexually assaulted him last year.

Here's the Uber exchange, starting at (:30):

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Futurist from 1989 is astonishingly accurate about homes in 2020

From 1965 to 2003 the BBC aired a series called Tomorrow's World, and the segment above, predicting homes in 2020, describes Nest, Alexa, and other IoT conveniences to a tee.

The futurist in the video, Christine MacNulty, is founder and CEO of Applied Futures. Some of her predictions are yet to be seen, so I'll just have to wait for my window to turn into a wall. Read the rest

Florida men arrested after hiding drugs in bags labeled "Bag Full of Drugs"

Two gentlemen in Florida couldn't have been more accommodating in pointing police to their massive stash of narcotics. When an officer stopped the duo – Ian Simmons and Joshua Reinhardt, both 34 years old – for speeding at a mere 95mph, he easily spotted two bags in their Kia that were labeled "Bag Full of Drugs."

From The Washington Post:

And police say it led to a jackpot: 75 grams (2.6 ounces) of methamphetamine, more than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the date-rape drug GHB, 3.6 grams (0.12 ounces) of fentanyl, plus ecstasy, cocaine and assorted paraphernalia. The driver and passenger were both booked on multiple felony drug charges, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, with a hand from Prince [the drug-sniffing pooch] of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Image: pxfuel Read the rest

Watch: Playful coyote excited to pal around with a badger

Coyotes in my neighborhood usually kill unsupervised smaller animals like cats and dogs (or in my case, chickens), so it's fascinating to see this frisky coyote buddy up with a badger. It looks genuinely excited as it waits for its friend to catch up so that they could trot through a pipe together.

Apparently badgers and coyotes have been known to hunt together. From Peninsula Open Space Trust on YouTube:

We know from scientific studies and Native American records that coyotes and badgers have been known to hunt together. But this is the first documentation (that we know of) where a coyote and badger use a human-made structure to travel together safely.

This video was captured recently as part of our research to better understand how wildlife moves across the southern Santa Cruz Mountains. We have more than 50-remote sensor cameras helping us capture scenes like this which we use to inform our land conservation work.

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Watch Trump refuse Pelosi's handshake and Pelosi rip up his speech at last night's State of the Union address

Last night, Trump snubbed Nancy Pelosi by ignoring her gesture to shake his hand before his State of the Union address. At the end of the address, she snubbed him back by ripping up her copy of the speech. "It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative," she later told reporters. And then later added, “It was a manifesto of mistruths.” Read the rest

Vibrators weren't always the sleek little machines they are today

Until the latter part of the 1900s, vibrators were big industrial-looking objects that might have scared off many a humans back in the day. Sexologist and curator of the Good Vibrations Antique Vibrator Museum Dr. Carol Queen shows us some of these beauties as she answers questions from Atlas Obscura about vibrators of the late 1800s to the 1970s. Read the rest

Watch Japan's first robot bartender mix and serve a cocktail

Robotic employees such as hotel concierges and English teachers are nothing new in Japan, but here is its first robotic bartender. QBIT Robotics created this chatty robot that works in one of Tokyo's Yoronotaki izakaya restaurants. Read the rest

Take a tour inside Wuhan's new coronavirus hospital, built in just 10 days

As the novel coronavirus in China was picking up speed in January, its epicenter in Wuhan needed more beds, fast. So they built a hospital with almost 800 beds (two per room) in a mere ten days. Now ready to admit patients (even though, according to this video, some showers still need to be installed and glue is still drying), here is a quick peek inside.

And for the actual build, here's am amazing time lapse video of the construction. Read the rest

Police ask cafe near London attack to evacuate, cafe wants 30 minutes so people can eat

During the chaos of London's Streatham attack on Sunday, in which a man went on a stabbing rampage, a police officer bursts into a nearby cafe to tell customers to evacuate. And the cafe responds by asking if they could have 30 minutes for the customers to finish up (and pay the bill, which wasn't said, but...)

"Sorry guys, you're going to have to close, we have got to evacuate, I'm afraid," the officer says. "There's been a terrorist incident down there. We are closing everything down. You guys want to stay safe you will listen to me."

As customers react and start collecting their things, an employee says, "Just give us half an hour, people are just starting to eat."

"Madam, a terrorist has been shot dead just down there," the officer replies. "They've got a possible IED vest on them, which is a bomb. If you want to stay open for half-an-hour and you want to put people's lives in danger, be my guest."

Hmm, run away from a terrorist attack, or polish off my Reuben sandwich?

More details at Business Insider Read the rest

Creepy video of drones in china scolding those who aren't wearing masks

Drones are now hovering over people in the streets of china, scolding those who aren't wearing face masks to protect them from the coronavirus, and it's quite eerie. Watch the video in the tweet below from the Communist Party's Global Times of the different folks the drone calls out, including an older woman: “Yes, auntie, this is the drone speaking to you. You shouldn't walk about without wearing a mask. Yes you'd better go back home and don't forget to wash your hands.”

Source: The Washington Post Read the rest

Watch: A pet goat enjoys morning pastries before riding away on a motorcycle

This goat knows the routine as it excitedly jumps on the man for its morning pastries. It then jumps on the back of the man's motorcycle and embraces him as it reaches for more of the sweet stuff. Proof that goodness still exists in the world. Read the rest

Watch and rewatch this optical illusion to figure out how it's done

"Twisting reality, one video at a time," VFX artist Kevin Lustgarten regularly churns out amazing optical illusions like this one for our visual pleasure. Read the rest

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