Hey. I am Kamau High and I am your new technology columnist. Think of me as your grandson who is good with computers that you secretly think plays too many video games.While it is true that I love video games, I also love, and fear, technology. Technology can be great. I have 500 pictures of my family on the same device that lets me read newspapers from around the world and watch select cable channels. That same device can also access some of the vilest gatherings of racists, beheading videos by fanatics, and fights in the ‘hood. All of these things are out there whether you are clicking on them or not.For example, the Southern Poverty Law Center recently published a report called Black Hole [http://www.splcenter.org/Black-Hole]. In it, the Center details how Reddit, one of the most popular sites on the internet, hosts an ugly collection of racists sections alongside non-racists sections. Advance Publications, that also publishes The New Yorker and Vanity Fair owns Reddit. People form different communities, known as sub-reddits, based on shared interests and it is possible to use the site without ever being aware of the hate groups. But the hate groups are becoming more popular and the site gives them wide leeway to operate. What does it mean when a site can host vile racists and communities wholly opposed to them?Technology is so omnipresent that sometimes it is hard to remember things weren’t always this way. My 7-year-old daughter laughs when I try to explain to her what life was like before the Internet, cell phones, and ubiquitous GPS. Her laugh gives me the same feeling I imagine my late grandmother had when she would tell me about the days when bread was a nickel, telegraphs were a common form of communication, and party lines were a thing.What I hope to cover in the coming weeks and months are the ways technology is, and is not, changing us, and I’d like your help. Is there an app you cannot live without? A new device that makes you wonder how people managed to live their lives before it was invented? Heard about some new gizmo that will revolutionize how humans live? Send them to me at email@example.com. I will look and see what’s the what with it. I cannot promise I will write about everything you send in but I will take each suggestion seriously. Some of the things already on my radar include: virtual reality, tele-medicine, smart boards in schools, wearable computers, and controlling your home heating, lighting, music and lighting with an app.I would also like this to be place to talk trends not only in the industry but also in how people actually use technology, even if it is in ways the maker did not originally intend such as burner phones for nefarious activities and bullying people via social media.What I do not want this column to be is a list of the five best apps or 10 web sites you should see before you die. The world has enough of those. (Although, have you ever used the Pulse app? It is great. I can read 40-50 publications in about half an hour with it.) What the world does not have is a place to talk about the changes technology is causing, for both good and bad, in a fun and interesting way. Let us try to change that. Together.Kamau High is a journalist living in Baltimore. He has written for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Billboard and The Baltimore Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s face it, eating healthy can be a challenge, especially those of us living on a budget. However, there are ways to have a healthy diet without having to empty out your pockets.A vegan Caesar salad with a combination of Japanese miso paste and nutritional yeast flakes mimics the rich, savory flavor this dish usually gets from anchovies and Parmesan cheese. (AP Photo/J.M. Hirsch)For me, a full-time college student and a part-time security guard, I have to budget between rent, car note, gas, car insurance, fun and of course savings. In 2013 I first moved to Maryland to attend Morgan State University. During my second semester I decided to become a vegan, meaning not only no meat but also no animal by-products like milk or cheese. At the time, I thought it just meant no meat.Two years later I am still trying the vegan life style and while I’m still consuming dairy I have no desire to eat meat, so technically I’m not a vegan but more of an aspiring vegan. Going from eating meat all your life to eating no meat can be a difficult transition.I advise anyone who is considering on becoming a vegan to start out as a vegetarian first. The one thing to keep in mind as a vegetarian is making sure you eat enough protein. Protein is what keeps you from getting hungry an hour after you eat. Meat, including chicken and fish, is a protein. For vegetarians, proteins would include beans, tofu, cheese, milk, eggs, kale and broccoli among other things.I believe that if you start off as a vegetarian you the road to becoming vegan will be less hard or stressful because you aren’t going “cold-turkey” and having to adjust to no meat in your diet. Here are some different Vegetarian diets you can try before going complete vegan:Lacto-vegetarian, diets exclude meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, as well as foods that contain those things. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are included.Ovo-vegetarian, diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allows eggs.Lacto-ovo vegetarian, diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.Pescatarian, diets exclude meat and poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.Vegan, diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products – and foods that contain these products. Had I known about the different diets the year 2013 when I first considered becoming vegan I would have definitely considered being a vegetarian first. That’s why it’s important to do your research before changing your diet and understand what changes your body will go through. For more information on healthy eating and veganism visit MayoClinic.org/healthy-Lifestyle.
In this March 3, 2016, file photo, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, left, arrives at Maryland Court of Appeals in Annapolis, Md. The stakes are high in the upcoming trial for an officer prosecutors say bears the most responsibility for the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man whose spine was snapped in the back of a police transport wagon. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)A judge gave himself until June 22 to decide the fate of an officer in whose van the neck of a young black arrestee was somehow broken.It could take much longer to repair the tense and uneasy relationship between Baltimore’s prosecutors and police, now that they’ve traded accusations of sabotage, misconduct and dirty dealings during the third trial of an officer in the death of Freddie Gray.The betrayal of the symbiotic relationship police and prosecutors maintain in most cities has been particularly unwelcome in Baltimore, where murders reached a 40-year high last year and some neighborhoods have yet to recover from the riots that followed Gray’s death.“The citizens of the city have to wonder: If the two agencies can’t work together to investigate and prosecute crime, where do we stand?” said Warren Alperstein, a prominent attorney in the city.If Circuit Judge Barry Williams acquits Officer Caesar Goodson, who also is Black, of “depraved-heart” murder, manslaughter, assault and misconduct in office, prosecutors may have to reconsider trying officers who were less involved in Gray’s death.Whatever the verdict, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby may have decisions to make.Her allegations that six officers intended to fatally injure the resistant prisoner prompted five of them to sue her for defamation. Her chief deputy, accused of withholding evidence, told the judge that the lead police investigator had pressured the coroner to falsely declare Gray’s death an accident.“It is extraordinarily rare to hear a prosecutor accuse a reputable, prominent lead detective of sabotaging the state’s case,” Alperstein said. “Calling into question a detective who the commanders appointed to lead the case sends a clear message. It breeds distrust.”Fissures had formed even before Mosby vowed last year to deliver justice to an outraged citizenry. She said the charges resulted from a “comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation,” even though police investigators said they had felt pressured to hand over their evidence prematurely.Mosby and everyone else involved in the trials are prohibited by the judge from commenting.Since Gray’s death last spring, Baltimore police have been under a microscope.The U.S. Justice Department is investigating allegations of widespread abuse and unwarranted arrests. The mayor fired her police commissioner Anthony Batts and promoted his deputy, Kevin Davis, but decided against a re-election bid amid criticism of her handling of the riots.And Maryland’s legislature updated the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill Of Rights, in the law’s first significant overhaul since it was established 1974.Still, many feel the changes didn’t go far enough. Police supervisors must still wait 5 days before questioning officers suspected of committing crimes; it used to be 10. And officers still can’t be fired without an internal review or a felony conviction, even if, like Goodson, they refuse to talk with investigators.Mosby’s office has made other decisions that frustrate police: In March, prosecutors dropped charges against nine people charged after a sweeping raid found drugs, guns and ammunition; two suspects were soon charged in new crimes, including a quintuple shooting on Memorial Day.Davis responded carefully, saying that while police and prosecutors have a “working” and “healthy” relationship, more must be done.“There’s a hyper focus on the police: What are the police doing, what’s the plan, what’s the strategy. We have those strategies and we’re making progress,” he said. “There are other pieces to that law enforcement puzzle I believe need to be held to that same standard.”Baltimore attorney Steve Levin praised police for their reforms in the past year.“The police are now wearing cameras on their uniforms, and even have cameras in their police vans,” he said. “But I think it’ll soon be time to talk about reform in the prosecutor’s office. As the judge himself said, if the most senior attorneys in the office don’t recognize exculpatory material, that’s a problem.”
Savvy Senior Shopper CEO and Owner, Katasha Smart, started a personalized senior assisting service to assist the elderly in Baltimore in their homes with everyday tasks.“When seniors get to a certain age they can’t thrive as well in a nursing home,” Smart told the AFRO. “When they live somewhere all their lives and get accustomed, then taken out of it, they can’t function well. People don’t take care of seniors especially if they don’t have people coming to visiting them [in nursing homes] everyday.”Katasha Smart, CEO of Savvy Senior Shopper, handles the tasks that home health care aides don’t. (Courtesy Photo)Starting in 2008, Savvy Senior Shopper offered a limited amount of services for seniors who needed things done, such as getting prescriptions, groceries and feeding pets.Smart started the business after her own experience of helping her grandmother.“My grandmother drove my passion to do this. When I was young she went to a nursing home and my mom had to work so we couldn’t leave my grandma home,” Smart said. “I would ask my grandmother if I could go out to outside and play and my mother would come home and my grandmother wouldn’t remember letting me go outside.”Handling the day to day operations from her home, the business currently is a nightly and weekend service. Three people, including Smart, handle tasks for the elderly.Smart said if any senior needed things done during the day, they have a designated person to handle those tasks such as document handling and Maryland Vehicle Administration services (MVA).Smart and her team do not do any medical operations in the home as they are not licensed to do so. Smart is looking for ways to expand their services because she see the needs for so much more.Smart said it is hard to move seniors from point A to point B. Therefore she would like Savvy Senior Shopper to have dedicated, “A door to door man to maneuver them in and out of their house, into a vehicle, to their destination, out of the car into and getting them to their place and back.”Local Baltimore resident Phyllis Price, 53, said her family used the service when they needed it. “My aunt and uncles used it for a year and a half,” Price said. “They needed it to do things such as getting groceries and getting medication for his prosthetic leg. These were things that my cousin couldn’t do when my aunt and uncle were alive.Price said the service filled a need. I’ve told my friends that need it for their mother’s, aunt or friends that could use it.It is a wonderful service.”For more information go to savvyseniorshopper.com.
Washington, D.C. council members Vincent Gray and Robert White want to change the way infants and toddlers are educated in the District of Columbia.D.C. Council members Vincent Gray, D-Ward 7 (left) and Robert White, D-At-large (right) introduce bills to improve early education and health services for children. (Courtesy photo)Gray, a Ward 7 Democrat, is the author of the Infant and Toddler Developmental Health Services Act of 2017 and White, an at-large Democrat, is spearheading the Bolstering Early Growth Investment Act of 2017. Given that the bills have similar goals for different age groups of young children, the council decided to have a joint hearing of the Committee on Education, the Committee on Health, which Gray chairs, and the Committee on Finance and Revenue to review the pieces of legislation on Sept. 27.The Gray bill creates a comprehensive infant and toddler structure, starting in Wards 7 and 8 and eventually expanding to the rest of the District, focused on early childhood education and infant health. White’s bill establishes a city-run Office on Childhood Development, an infant and toddler task force, expands the duties of the Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council and permits the mayor to provide financial incentives to qualified child development facilities.Gray said he has been working on early childhood education issue for some time. “When I was chairman of the council, we worked with early childhood education,” Gray said. “We wanted to make sure that every child could go to school and open classrooms to young children though they were not ready for formal education.”Gray said he got resistance to his ideas at the time because educating young children at that time in their lives was “too demanding, too expensive and the parents wouldn’t support it.” Gray said since early childhood education programs have been implemented while he was mayor, the District is considered one of the leaders nationally in the field.“We showed the doubters and naysayers who say that children are too young to learn,” he said.White said early child care is expensive in the District, with many charging $1,800 a month for the service. The council member said he experienced this first-hand when he and his wife tried to get good child care for his 15-month daughter, Madison.He said that waiting lists to get into some well-known quality programs is long. White added that many dedicated child care professionals leave their positions because they are underpaid.“The average child care worker in the District makes $26,000,” he said at the hearing. “The most dedicated workers move on and those who are talented don’t consider it a profession.”D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who chairs the Finance and Revenue Committee, supports both pieces of legislation, saying, “We need to get children in school as early as possible.“If you get a child in school at 3 years old, they’ll have a vocabulary of 1,000 words or more,” he said. “If the child starts school at kindergarten or first grade their vocabulary is 300 to 400 and is already behind.”Carrie Thornhill was one of the 53 people who testified on the legislation. Thornhill, the president of the D.C. Early Learning Collaborative, said the District needed to develop an infant and toddler education system and a publicly-funded child care center network that is affordable for residents. Nicole Odom agreed that the District government needs to do more to help struggling families.“I am a resident of Barry Farms in Ward 8,” she said at the hearing. “We need quality child care in Ward 8. My husband and I have pretty high standards for child care and we found a few but they weren’t in my ward.”Odom said she initially applied for a child care center in January but didn’t get a call back until July. She said that her child care provider is in Ward 1, and it is expensive for her and her husband to transport their child to and from that caretaker.“I am working part-time and my husband works full-time but it isn’t enough,” she said. “We use a $20 voucher for the child care but the use of the Metro, food and housing has to be taken into account for our budget. “
The “sex for repairs” scandal at Gilmor Homes in Baltimore (the public housing project where Freddie Gray lived and was injured before he died) made national headlines when women were coerced into exchanging sexual favors for repairs at their homes. Now, another sex for repairs scandal has been uncovered at Perkins Homes, another Baltimore public housing project, by The Mod Squad, Taya Graham and Stephen Janis of The Real News Network. We’ll discuss the sex for repairs scandal with Graham and Janis.This story today on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.
By KEVIN FREKING, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Now that Democrats have captured control of the House for the next two years, the party’s most senior members are poised to regain the wide-ranging power of committee chairmanships.While some of the Democrats have gained fame in feuds with President Donald Trump, others are relatively little-known outside of Capitol Hill.A look at the Black Democratic lawmakers expected to wield the gavels and shape the party’s top priorities:___ELIJAH CUMMINGSOversight and Government Reform CommitteeRep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)Cummings, 67, will likely head the committee that could make life the toughest for the TrumpWhite House because of its broad investigative powers.Cummings would likely seek Trump’s business tax returns and other company-related financial records. He said he will work to make the president accountable, but will also challenge Republicans to uphold their oversight responsibilities, saying, “I think we as a body can do better.”The Maryland Democrat, who represents parts of Baltimore city and most of Howard County, has said he would also like the committee to examine prescription drug prices and whether some states have engaged in voter suppression.“We cannot have a country where it becomes normal to do everything in Trump’s power to stop people from voting,” Cummings said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”He would also seek to bring Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross before the committee to testify about the decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.___MAXINE WATERSFinancial Services CommitteeRep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)Waters, 80, is expected to chair a committee with oversight of banks, insurers and investment firms. She has opposed Republican-led efforts to roll back the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and is promising colleagues that she will prioritize protecting consumers from abusive financial practices. The California lawmaker, whose district centers on south Los Angeles County, can also conduct aggressive oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and steps it has taken to reduce enforcement actions against student lenders, pay-day lenders and others.The president railed against Waters on the campaign trail this year, frequently mentioning her during his rallies. Waters accuses Republicans of serving as Trump’s “accomplices.”___BOBBY SCOTTEducation and the Workforce CommitteeCongressman Bobby Scott, D-V. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)Scott, 71, is poised to lead the Democratic oversight of changes that Secretary Betsy DeVos has enacted at the Education Department. The Virginia Democrat, who represents parts of the Tidewater area, has told colleagues that he would continue work to free students from the burden of crippling debt, ensure workers have a safe job environment and conduct rigorous oversight to the administration’s “deregulatory agenda.”___BENNIE THOMPSONHomeland Security CommitteeRep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)Thompson, 70, of Mississippi, will lead aggressive oversight of actions that the administration has taken on immigration, including its “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all adults caught crossing the border illegally and putting their children under the care of the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee will also examine the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, incidents of domestic terrorism by U.S. citizens and what can be done to ensure election security. He represents the western and central parts of Mississippi.___Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.
It marks the first time that Louisville has ever participated in a game that features No. 1 and No. 2 in the country. This marks the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup that hasn’t featured UConn since 2012 when No. 1 Baylor defeated No. 2 Stanford in the NCAA semifinals, 59-47, on April 1 in Denver. Arike Ogunbowale, the 2018 NCAA Tournament MOP and 2018-19 ACC Preseason Player of the Year, leads the ACC and ranks 10th in the country with 22.1 points per game. She is one of five players averaging double figures and is joined by Jessica Shepard (15.4), Jackie Young (15.3), Marina Mabrey (14.3) and Brianna Turner (12.9). Shepard ranks fourth in the ACC with 9.5 rebounds per game and fifth with a 60.5 field goal percentage. Turner leads the ACC with 2.2 blocks per game.Series History – UofL is 6-14 all-time against Notre Dame and 2-5 in South Bend. Prior to winning both games against the Fighting Irish last season, the Cards had lost 11 straight to Notre Dame. They won 100-67 at the KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 11, 2018 and then beat the Irish in the ACC Tournament Final 74-72 on March 4, 2018. Louisville has lost four straight in South Bend with their last win on Jan. 11, 2009 (W, 71-66). Walz is 3-12 against Notre Dame (1-4 home, 1-4 away, 1-4 neutral).Date: Thursday, Jan. 10Time: 7 p.m. ETSite: Joyce Center South Bend, Ind. (9,149)Radio: WKRD-790, Nick Curran, play-by-play; Adrienne Johnson, analystVideo: ESPN, Adam Amin, play-by-play; Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo, analysts; Holly Rowe, sidelineLast Meeting: W, 74-72 (March 4, 2018 at ACC Tourney Final)Series History: 6-14 (2-5 Home, 2-5 Away, 2-4 Neutral)UofL National Ranking: 2nd Associated Press, 2nd USA TodayFor the latest on Louisville women’s basketball, visit GoCards.com, follow the team’s Twitter account at @UofLWBB or on Facebook at facebook.com/UofLWBB. Print Friendly Version LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 2 University of Louisville women’s basketball travels to South Bend, Ind. to face No. 1 Notre Dame on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET. Live Stats Listen UofL is seeking its first win over a No. 1 team since their 82-81 victory over No. 1 Baylor in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals are 1-10 all-time against AP No. 1 teams (0-10 vs. UConn, 1-0 vs. Baylor). Last season, Louisville fell 69-58 at No. 1 Connecticut on Feb. 12, 2018. She ranks fourth on the team with 10.1 points per game and is shooting 31-62 (.500) from distance, which leads ACC and ranks fourth in the country. Louisville has won 11 straight ACC road games. For the fourth time in five tries, UofL has opened ACC play with a 2-0 record. The only season where they didn’t open 2-0 was 2016-17 when they opened 1-1 following a win over Syracuse (W, 91-76) and a loss at Duke (L, 58-55). In the 73-51 over Duke, Louisville held the Blue Devils to less than 15 points in each quarter (1st-11, 2nd-12, 3rd-13, 4th-15) and limited Duke to a season-low 16 field goals, two 3-point field goals, and a .154 3-point field goal percentage. In the win over UNC, she proved huge down the stretch to stave off the Tar Heels run and finished with 14 points on 4-8 shooting, 3-5 from deep, while adding three assists. In the win at Duke, she knocked down three 3-pointers in the first couple minutes to help the Cardinals jump out to an 11-2 lead. She finished the game with a career-high 23 points, while connecting on a career-high seven 3-pointers, going 7-10 from beyond the arc. No. 1 teams are 36-22 all-time against No. 2 teams. In the last matchup, No. 2 Connecticut beat No. 1 Notre Dame 89-71 in South Bend on Dec. 2, 2018. It marks the fourth time that two ACC teams have squared off as No. 1 vs. No. 2 (2007 – No. 1 Duke 64, No. 2 North Carolina 53 at Chapel Hill; 2006 – No. 2 North Carolina 77, No. 1 Duke 65 at Chapel Hill; 1992 – No. 2 Virginia 75, No. 1 Maryland 74 at College Park). Arica Carter averaged 18.5 points per game, while shooting 10-15 from deep, in wins over North Carolina and Duke to open ACC play. At 14-0, Louisville is one of three undefeated teams in the country, joined by NC State (15-0) and Ohio (12-0). The Fighting Irish rank second in the nation in field goal percentage (52.6), second in free throws made (342), third in scoring offense (89.1), sixth in scoring margin (25.6), sixth in assists per game (20.1) and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.42). They lead the ACC in scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, blocked shots (5.1), assists (20.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio. Game Notes ABOUT THE FIGHTING IRISHNotre Dame enters Thursday’s contest with a 14-1 overall record, 2-0 in conference. They have won seven straight since their 89-71 loss to UConn at home on Dec. 2 and moved up to No. 1 in the AP poll this week following Connecticut’s 68-57 loss at Baylor on Jan. 3. Watch Story Links
There will be two scheduled flights that day, one scramble starting at 8 a.m. and another at 1:30 p.m. Log in to My Cardinals Account and reserve a team to join the UofL football staff for a day of fun and golf. Print Friendly Version The cost is $500 per player, and teams will consist of five golfers plus one member of the UofL football staff, which will be chosen at a dinner reception at the Louisville Marriott East at 6 p.m. on July 25. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The first University of Louisville Cardinals Football Golf Tournament hosted by UofL head coach Scott Satterfield and Republic Bank is scheduled for July 26 at the University of Louisville Golf Club, in Simpsonville, Ky. Story Links
A number of popular wine and beer brands contain trace amounts of arsenic and heavy metals found in herbicide.As if you needed another reason to cut back on alcohol intake…CBS opened the floodgates in 2015, with news of a lawsuit against 31 wine labels for high levels of inorganic arsenic—up to four and five times the maximum amount the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows for drinking water. Reports followed (as recently as last week), revealing residues of glyphosate in other booze—a majority of which hail from the US.The alleged culprit? Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.The multinational agrochemical and biotechnology company developed its glyphosate-based herbicide in the 1970s; it was quickly adopted by farmers, who could exterminate pests without ruining crops.Monsanto argued, however, that the natural occurrence of arsenic in soil (with the average concentration some five parts per million) is 10 times great than levels reported for concentrated Roundup-branded herbicides, and 100 times greater than those products “at their working dilutions.”“It’s is therefore more likely that any arsenic detected in wine is derived from arsenic present in vineyard soils rather than glyphosate used in vineyard maintenance,” the company told Geek.Despite its regulatory approval, glyphosate formulations like Roundup are often criticized for their effects on humans and the environment.Contrasting reports make it tough to pin down the toxicity of the compound; there is limited evidence that human cancer risk might increase as a result of exposure to large amounts of glyphosate alone.But formulations which contain other unidentified substances (considered trade secrets) could raise the chances of harm if consumed in large-enough quantities. Monsanto’s ingredient information is listed online, including details on substance, mixtures, and chemicals.A study published in January revealed that more than a dozen Roundup products contained excessive levels of the lethal poison arsenic, among other heavy metals.Now, think about what happens when those products are sprayed in vineyards and grain crops before harvest.“Comparing reported detections of trace elements in a concentrated pesticide product to a drinking water standard is not a relevant or appropriate analysis,” Monsanto said in a statement emailed to Geek. “Frankly, it’s nothing more than scare-mongering.“Monsanto takes our responsibility as a scientific enterprise very seriously, and we are proud to be advocates for robust and sound science,” the company continued. “Glyphosate safety is confirmed by seven complete regulatory data sets and hundreds of peer-reviewed studies. Fourteen separate regulatory and scientific bodies since 2015 and the largest real-world epidemiological study ever conducted on the use of pesticides by farmers confirms that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.”Continuing the debate over glyphosate, nonprofit organization Moms Across America (MAA) recently tested wine brands Gallo, Beringer, Mondavi Barefoot, and Sutter Home, as well as Budweiser, Busch, Coors, Michelob, Miller Lite, Sam Adams, Samuel Smith, Peak Organic, and Sierra Nevada beers.Their results suggest that independent and organic beers contain higher levels of glyphosate than conventional brands, which tend to use cheaper ingredients like rice instead of barley, oats, rye, and wheat.“Beverages contaminated with a neurotoxic carcinogen, and now we know arsenic, too, are contributing to the skyrocketing rates of mental illness, fertility issues, and cancer in America,” MAA executive director Zen Honeycutt claims. “If manufacturers want to protect the integrity of their brands and support healthy Americans, now is the time to demand that the EPA revokes the license of glyphosate.”The Environmental Protection Agency is accepting comments through April 30 on the re-registration or denial of the license for glyphosate for another 15 years.“Safety is a top priority for us at Monsanto,” the firm said. “Roundup is rigorously tested and then reviewed by third-party scientists at government agencies. Glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup, is one of the most widely used and thoroughly evaluated herbicides in the world. Glyphosate has a 40-year history of safe use and no regulatory agency in the world considers it to be carcinogenic.”Editor’s Note: This article was updated on April 3 with comment from Monsanto. Toast to Space Travel With Zero-Gravity ChampagneGlobal Warming Forces Wineries to Relocate Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target
Stay on target Neil Armstrong’s gold medal that flew to the moon during the Apollo 11 mission recently sold for $2,055,000 at an auction.The medal, which features a beautiful gold hue and an Apollo 11 engraving, shows an early design for the Apollo 11 mission insignia that was developed by American astronaut Michael Collins, Fox News reported. The reverse side of the medal features the mission, dates, and surnames of the Apollo 11 crew members. What makes this medal rare is that only three were created for each of the Apollo 11 crew members, including Armstrong.“The obverse depicts Collins’ early and original concept for the mission insignia with the eagle carrying an olive branch in its mouth. NASA thought the sharp, open talons of the eagle looked too ‘warlike’ and the olive branch, representing peace, was moved to the claws,” Dallas-based Heritage Auctions wrote on its website. “This is one of, if not the only, major official items that renders the insignia as it was meant to be by the astronaut designer.”Auction alert: This NGC-graded Gold Robbins Medal went on the historic #Apollo11 #moon mission 50 years ago. It’s part of the Armstrong Family Collection™, items saved by Neil #Armstrong and his immediate family. The opening bid is $250,000! Learn more: https://t.co/aPUQxo5R2Q pic.twitter.com/kmQeWHTyAE— NGC (@NGCcoin) July 3, 2019The gold medal, which is made with 28-mm solid gold and classified as a Robbins Medal, has been a key item part of the Armstrong Family Collection for many years. This collectible, which was expected to fetch roughly $100,000 before it was auctioned off, was minted in Attleboro, Massachusetts. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum noted that Robbins medallions are only available to purchase through the NASA astronaut office.Armstrong’s gold medal will not be the only Apollo 11 mission keepsake to hit the auction block this year: On July 18, an instruction manual that was used by Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission will be up for sale in a Christie’s auction that celebrates space exploration and the 50th anniversary of the historic moon landing. The book, which contained almost 150 annotations and completion checkmarks, has an estimated price of $7-9 million.More on Geek.com:Watch: Video Simulates Neil Armstrong’s Cool Apollo 11 Landing ViewHere’s the Speech Nixon Would Have Given If Apollo 11 FailedWatch Inspired By Moon Landing Fetches $4.5 Million at Auction Butter Sculptures Celebrate Apollo 11 AstronautsApollo 11 Tapes Sold For $1.82M at Sotheby’s Auction
There are mixed reports floating around the internet this afternoon, some of which say that video game streaming service Onlive has laid off its entire staff and is shutting its doors. If true it’s bad news for the employees, gamers, and associated companies, like LG and Ouya, but that might not be the case. The company has denied the rumors and say it’s business as usual. The lack of acknowledgement of any changes on their Twitter feed seems to verify this.The Twitterverse is alight with conflicting claims about Onlive “no longer being an entity” and then about how the company does not speak to rumors, but as to the rumor of being shuttered, well, “of course not“. It appears that the rumor originated with messages sent to Polygon, TheVerge.com’s gaming arm, from more than one Onlive staffer (or former staffer, as the case may be).Of course, both side could be true — Online could be having layoffs and remaining open for business. Even if a large portion of the staff was let go the company could still presumably continue operations, work on established partnerships with Ouya, LG, Vizio, and others, and stream games.At this point the company has not spoken about the layoffs, but has made it clear that they are not going out of business. There have been clear statements which hopefully will be addressed before long, as this would certainly affect the future of the product.This is one of the tweets that started it all:Their employees are sending out emails that #OnLive will be closed by the end of the day.— Brian Fargo (@BrianFargo) August 17, 2012Fargo is a games industry veteran and would be a trusted source for information like this. Apparently he was sent an email speaking about the layoffs and closure, which was later recalled. The email is available here. It notes how the company is closing, layoffs will be made, and then a new company will be formed in the future.We’ll have to see how this one shakes out. For now it seems that things are stable at Onlive, as least as far as gamers are concerned. Update: 4:11pm – According to Kotaku, Onlive had an all-hands meeting this morning and announced that the company was filing for bankruptcy. A new company would be formed from the ashes and some some employees would be rehired by the new entity in order to continue operations.
Back in July Valve introduced a new system called Steam Greenlight to handle new game submissions wanting to be considered for sale on the Steam service. The emphasis was getting the community involved in helping to rate the hundreds of games Steam was being asked to sell every year.Steam Greenlight has been live for a few weeks now, and Valve has realized there’s a big problem with it. By allowing submissions for free, Greenlight is being overrun with spam entries, jokes, and content not actually suitable for Steam. At the same time there has been around 700 legitimate submissions within that mix.So how do you clear all the junk out of the system? Valve has decided that a $100 fee per Greenlight submission is the best course of action. $100 is enough to deter anything but serious entries, but at the same time Valve doesn’t want this to be seen as profiteering so all the money generated from submission will be donated to the Child’s Play charity.The decision to start charging has predictably been met with both positive and negative views. While it will certainly keep Greenlight free of spam, $100 is a lot of cash for many struggling indies. It has been suggested $20 would be a better level to operate at, but would that be high enough to stop some submissions (that shouldn’t be on Greenlight) appearing?Valve is also trying to make the Greenlight system better for gamers who want to take part and vote for submissions. With that in mind submissions will now be filtered to only show the kinds of games users have stated they like. That way the list of games seen is much shorter and ultimately more manageable for the user.Read more at Steam Community
Stay on target Thank you to the best fans in the universe! Marvel Studios’ “@Avengers: #InfinityWar” Trailer TOMORROW. pic.twitter.com/BkkDEtyk9k— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) November 28, 2017Setting aside the fact that I despise the very notion of trailers for trailers, maybe wait until you finish the thing before patting yourself on the back so hard. You know? Make sure the ball crosses the plane before you run your victory lap (yay, mixed sports metaphor.) Even the Lord of the Rings movies knew the overlong, self-congratulating clip show goes at the end of the final movie, not in a promo video six months before it. I would be even more turned off by this clip if not for the fact that the parts where it shows clips of the big MCU movies are all pretty great. The studio has given us some great moments over the last 10 years. I like being reminded of that almost enough to put up with footage of YouTubers overreacting to marketing materials.Plus, the actual trailer really was that amazing. I’ll forgive almost anything after that. Remember when footage from Avengers: Infinity War was shown at San Diego Comic Con and nobody saw it but the people who were physically there? That seems so long ago. Ever since that day, fans have been wondering when we’d finally see any footage from the movie. Finally, we have an answer: RIGHT F-ING NOW! After two days of the Russo brothers teasing us with no-contexts countdown posts, the first trailer for the movie is here.You know what, Marvel? All is forgiven. The frustratingly exclusive Comic Con footage, the long wait with absolutely no information… that trailer was well worth it. Marvel has said that Avengers: Infinity War would be their biggest movie yet, and boy are they living up to that promise so far. Bringing together every story they’ve told over the past ten years is a gigantic feat, and after this trailer, I’m even more excited to see how they pull it off. It’s something movies haven’t done before, and that’s worth seeing even if you’re feeling a bit of superhero fatigue at this point.I especially love that the Guardians of the Galaxy are being brought into things with this one. Though Thanos played a fairly significant role in their first movie, the Guardians have mostly existed off to the side, in another corner of the universe. That’s probably one reason their movies are so popular. They’re doing their own thing and you don’t necessarily have to be caught up on the MCU to appreciate the story. From the looks of things, though, they’re in it now. As much as I’ve enjoyed the separated nature of their first two movies, it’s about time they met up with the rest of their Marvel brethren. I especially want to see how Iron Man and Captain America bounce off of someone like Star Lord.Avengers: Infinity War is a huge accomplishment, and it deserves to be celebrated. But Marvel… can you wait until you actually put the thing out before you start patting yourselves on the back? Yesterday, the studio announced the trailer’s imminent release with this tweet. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Director Says This One Scene Made Him CryDid Cate Blanchett Wear the Infinity Stones to the BAFTA Awards?
Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Is Breaking In good?It’s not bad, but totally unremarkable overall.What’s it about?Gabrielle Union is the estranged daughter of a wealthy businessman who, after he dies suddenly while under investigation for unspecified criminal activities by the government, has to spend a weekend getting an old Summerhouse she inherited ready for resale with her two kids. Unfortunately, the house – which is equipped with a high-tech automated security system – is also besieged by a group of dangerous burglars looking for a safe full of cash hidden somewhere inside who take the kids hostage, forcing her to attempt a one-woman rescue from the outside.Sounds exciting, at least.It has its moments, just not enough of them. Mostly it just never rises above competent or becoming unique in any way – beyond, of course, the obvious notation that Hollywood could stand to produce more lead roles for women of color in general. But while it’s good to see Union in a major part again, she’s not given a lot to work with here beyond boilerplate thriller beats.How so?Well, there’s not much story at play here – it’s a basic home-invasion/siege movie with some light Die Hard elements dropped in, all stripped down to the essentials and moving along very fast without much in the way of nuance or digression. Usually, that’s done because the “focus” is going to be a unique central performance, a big plot twist, some unusual style of directing or storytelling, maybe even just an especially high level of violence or having the hero use a special skill or style of problem-solving. But there’s nothing like that really happening here. You keep waiting for the “hook” to show up, and then there isn’t one.Is it maybe supposed to be more of a character piece?If so, they forgot to include much. Union is engaging and well-performed, and there are flashes of an idea that she’s nursing some dark memories of this particular house and complex issues with her late father that inform her actions but don’t get fleshed out and never really come into focus. There’s a repeated refrain that “No one knows what she’s capable of,” but we don’t really see anyone she knows treat her with anything other than respect and she doesn’t really “do” anything action wise to hint at some hidden reservoir of secret skills or willingness to take the fight to dark places; and apart from dividing the four bad guys into the expected “cool-headed leader, smart guy, weak guy, dangerous-psycho final-boss guy” classes there’s no indication that they’ve got any particular outlook on her other than as an obstacle.So do you not recommend it?Well, like I said… it’s not “bad,” it’s just also nothing special. It’s largely inoffensive and works as a “get the bad guys” movie for an engaging enough third act once it comes around. And I don’t think anyone who ends up seeing it will come away being especially annoyed with it – but if it wasn’t for a studio marketing department thinking maybe it could be pushed as Mother’s Day programming it feels like something that would’ve gone straight to Redbox. MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’
This Fourth of July weekend, Stephen Colbert introduced his Late Show audience to Summer Games Done Quick, a celebration of gaming dedicated to raising awareness and donations for a number of charitable organizations.Between the explosive rise of Twitch and the electricity surrounding eSports, gaming has been thrust into the spotlight and there’s nowhere to go but up. Mainstream media giants continue to highlight gaming, with Conan O’Brien’s Clueless Gamer segment dominating YouTube with exclusive gameplay reveals, and Jimmy Fallon featuring developers of highly-anticipated titles, such as Cliff Bleszinski of Gears of War fame.Colbert has been a strong advocate of gaming, once going so far as promoting the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses orchestra as his musical guest of the night, and continues to push the medium forward. This past weekend was no different. Colbert dedicated a portion of the show to SGDQ – a movement a large portion, if not the entirety of the Late Show audience has never heard or been aware of.Mitch Fowler, known as MitchFlowerPower in the video game speed running scene, was Colbert’s guest, and spoke a bit about SGDQ and its mission. Fowler is the world record holder for “Super Mario Bros. 3 any percent,” completing the entire retro Nintendo title in three minutes and eight seconds – faster than any other gamer to attempt the feat.Ever the comedian, Colbert challenged Fowler to a race: Fowler had to complete Super Mario Bros. 3 faster than Colbert could prepare and eat a Hot Pocket and before an NCAA track team could finish a mile relay.Colbert dubbed himself the victor, but the real winner was SGDQ, bringing its cause to the forefront of late night television and showing an entirely new audience the power of gaming.