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China’s Mars rover makes its first landing on the Red planet




China’s first Mars rover has powered down from its landing platform and is now exploring the red planet’s surface, according to China’s space administration on Saturday.

The solar-powered rover landed on Mars at 10:40 a.m. Saturday Beijing time (0240 GMT), according to the China National Space Administration.

Last Saturday, China landed the spacecraft carrying the rover on Mars, a technically impossible feat more difficult than a moon landing and a first for the world. After the United States, it is the second nation to do so.

The rover, named after the Chinese god of fire, Zhurong, had been conducting diagnostic tests for several days before it began its discovery on Saturday. It will be deployed for 90 days to look for signs of life.

The United States also has a Mars mission in progress, with the Perseverance rover and a tiny helicopter exploring the surface. NASA anticipates that the rover will gather its first sample in July and will return to Earth as early as 2031.

China has grandiose space dreams, including the launch of a crewed orbital station and the landing of a human on the moon. China became the first nation to land a space rover on the moon’s little-explored far side in 2019, and returned lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s in December.

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With no end in sight, how MN’s current COVID wave differs from the previous three



With no end in sight, how MN’s current COVID wave differs from the previous three

Minnesota is in its fourth surge of the coronavirus pandemic and health experts say this wave of cases and infections is different and doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon.

Unlike previous waves, this one is driven by the more contagious delta variant that has sickened tens of thousands, sent thousands to hospitals and killed hundreds. Health officials don’t see a quick or easy way out.

“We have a lot of COVID right now. It’s raining COVID and we need to do everything we can to decrease transmission,” Dr. Ruth Lynfield, state epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health, said last week on a call with reporters.

Unlike the past surges, much of the state has been vaccinated against the virus and more younger Minnesotans are getting sick. And where in the past surges saw a quick spike in infections followed by an eventual retreat, this time the growth has been an unyielding crawl upward.

About twice as many kids are getting sick during the latest surge than last fall when Minnesota saw its biggest spike in COVID-19 cases. More than half of teens are now at least partially vaccinated, but children under 12 are not yet eligible for any of the three shots.

Additionally, the number of severe cases in unvaccinated residents is trending younger roughly nine out of 10 seniors have been inoculated.

However, more than 2.2 million Minnesotans have yet to get the shot and residents in the 18- to 49-year-old age group are the most likely to not be vaccinated.

Vaccines are not perfect and breakthrough infections are on the rise. Yet, more than 99 percent of the 3 million fully vaccinated Minnesotans have not reported a breakthrough infection.

Nevertheless, there have been 18,790 breakthrough cases, 1,095 hospitalizations and 108 deaths of fully vaccinated people. Health officials say nearly all vaccinated people with severe infections are elderly and most younger people with breakthrough infections have mild or no symptoms.


The fact the summer surge is now stretching toward the fall has health officials concerned.

Schools are back in session and more activities are moving indoors as fall weather approaches. Since the pandemic began, more than 415,000 of the state’s nearly 682,000 cases, 19,400 of the roughly 37,000 hospitalizations and 4,820 of the nearly 8,000 deaths have occurred in fall and winter months.

“When people gather, transmission happens. A layered approach to prevention is highly, highly recommended for anytime we are in large gatherings,” said Jan Malcolm, state health commissioner. She noted that more than 150 infections have already been tied to the Minnesota State Fair.

Health officials say multiple layers of coronavirus mitigation includes getting vaccinated, wearing masks and social distancing in crowded places, being tested when exposed and staying home when ill.


So far, this summer’s surge has been more of a slow upward crawl rather than the past spikes Minnesota saw earlier in the pandemic. That appears to be almost entirely due the effectiveness of the three vaccines available in the U.S.

A few key differences:

  • The peak in new cases in past surges happened around 30 days in, then the numbers began to fall. The current surge continues to grow, slowly, as it nears 60 days.
  • It’s the same with hospitalizations. The rate of new hospitalizations peaked after a few weeks in past surges. Hospital beds continue to fill up in this surge.
  • Test-positivity rates are nowhere near as high as they were before vaccines were widely available.
  • Daily deaths are down this time around. The seven-day rolling average of this surge has never topped 10, so far. Each of the past surges did, with the fall of 2020 topping 70.

But that doesn’t mean Minnesota is out of the woods. Vaccine hesitancy, younger people who are not yet eligible for the shot and the more contagious delta strain have threatened to push the fourth surge past previous thresholds. And there are no more statewide mandates on masks, business capacities and gathering sizes to help stem the virus’ spread.


Public schools are one of health officials’ biggest concerns, especially considering that vaccines have not been approved for those younger than age 12; and that 47 percent of those ages 12-15 and 41 percent of those ages 16-17 remain unvaccinated.

School has only been in session two weeks and health officials are getting hundreds of reports each day of cases tied to public schools.

Unlike last fall, there is no statewide emergency in place, so districts are left to decide the best ways to manage the pandemic. Approaches vary from mandatory masks, social distancing and quarantining of those who have been exposed to more hands-off approaches.

The number of school buildings with confirmed outbreaks of five cases or more grew from six to 26 in just a week.

Vaughan-Steffensrud Elementary School in Chisholm in northern Minnesota hasn’t yet made the state list of confirmed outbreaks, but on Thursday leaders announced students would learn remotely for two weeks because of substantial transmission.

The school is located in St. Louis County, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says community transmission of the coronavirus is high. Nearly all of Minnesota’s 87 counties have similar levels of virus spread.

“That’s exactly the reason for some of the concern at this stage of the game. We start the school year at much higher community-transmission rates than we were at last school year and more cases among kids,” Malcolm said.


There’s also continued concern about hospital capacity, especially in rural areas were options may be more limited.

There were more than 700 patients hospitalized last week, including more than 200 in critical condition. That’s the most critical patients recorded all of this year and overall hospitalizations are rivaling the spring 2021 surge.

The number of hospitalized patients peaked at more than 1,800 last December during the state’s worst surge.

Hospital capacity is strained with available beds dwindling in much of the Twin Cities and southeastern part of the state, health department data show. Hospital leaders say that’s not just due to COVID-19; the pandemic caused many to put off care and the number of patients with ailments like heart attacks and strokes is near double what is normally seen.

But the true concern is over the availability of the highly-trained staff needed to treat seriously ill patients. Doctors and nurses are leaving the profession, health officials say.

“There are fewer health care workers on the job today than there were last year,” Malcolm said, “due to the extreme stress and burnout they have experienced for 18 months now. ”

Malcolm added: “It is getting harder for some hospitals to find open, staffed beds at the right level of care for critically ill patients. This is an issue statewide impacting small, rural facilities and large metro systems.”


Health officials maintain that robust coronavirus mitigation measures are one of the easiest ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the more contagious delta strain.

But there are also some coming decisions by federal regulators and the CDC and Food and Drug Administration that could help increase protection.

As soon as this week, federal regulators are expected to decide whether vaccine booster shots are needed for much of the population. There are concerns over whether the protection vaccines provide wanes over time and could make people who’ve been inoculated more susceptible to virus variants.

The White House has encouraged boosters for everyone eight months after their last dose of vaccine. The World Health Organization has criticized the idea while so many in developing countries haven’t had access to any vaccine.

“We will learn more very shortly about the data and (federal regulators) deliberations,” Dr. Lynfield said.

There’s also continued talk about whether Pfizer, and possibly Moderna, will apply for emergency authorization to administer their vaccines to children ages 5 to 11. That decision is anticipated sometime this fall, possibly by the end of October.

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Shortage of mechanics spurs competition for talent



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SEATTLE — When Mike Zebley took a job delivering tools to Seattle-area car shops this year, he quickly learned that what most of his customers needed wasn’t tools so much as people who knew how to use them.

Nearly every shop on Zebley’s route was so hard-up for skilled mechanics that many promised Zebley up to $1,000 for anyone he could recruit. Despite the incentive, however, Zebley hasn’t been able to deliver a single mechanic. “Everybody that I go to needs techs,” he said. “They’re pretty desperate.”

Demand for repairs and maintenance is rebounding from the pandemic. But many garages are so short-staffed they’ve had to delay work or send customers elsewhere — despite, in some cases, offering hefty signing bonuses and six-figure salaries for experienced candidates.

Seattle isn’t the only place short on mechanics, collision specialists and other automotive technicians — the problem is national

What’s driving the shortage? Some garage owners, echoing complaints in other industries, blame the $300-a-week federal pandemic unemployment benefit that was added to regular state jobless benefits in response to the job market’s sluggish recovery from COVID-19-related layoffs.

Yet while those enhanced benefits, which expired Sept. 4, may have contributed to the shortage, especially for entry-level workers, automotive specialists were scarce long before COVID-19, industry experts say.

One longstanding problem: Across the country, fewer people want to work on cars.

Even before COVID-19, enrollment was slipping in automotive technician programs at many community colleges and vocational schools. Many high schools no longer offer automotive shop classes and fewer students seem interested in fixing cars.

One reason, experts say, is that automotive repair often clashes with our evolving attitudes about what counts as a “good” job.

Physically, fixing cars is “is hard on your body,” said Jerry Barkley, owner of Crown Hill Automotive in Seattle.

Yet increasingly, it’s also a job that demands high-level technical know-how and problem-solving skills, especially as cars have become more computerized. These days, a mechanic is “somebody who is able to analyze data and process that information,” said Amber Avery, a former mechanic who now teaches in Shoreline Community College’s automotive program. Those demands, which help explain why the industry prefers “automotive technician” to “mechanic,” will only intensify as electric drives replace internal combustion engines.

The problem, industry officials say, is that students with the aptitude for today’s automotive technology choose engineering or programming jobs.

A person’s job status isn’t the only barrier. An experienced master automotive technician or collision specialist can indeed earn upward of $100,000 a year. But many entry-level techs will make close to the minimum wage.

The mechanic shortage is expected to worsen as the profession, which now has a disproportionately large share of older workers, starts seeing more retirements.

It’s also certain to spur fiercer competition for talent.

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Think summer’s over? Provincetown has other ideas



Think summer’s over? Provincetown has other ideas

Labor Day has passed and the wild crowds heading to the Cape have thinned a bit.

It’s the perfect time for you to visit Provincetown.

P’town started summer off strong. But when the delta variant had one of its first spikes there and the news went international, visits dropped, leaving the famed tip-of-the-state destination struggling.

There’s good news, however. Because while summer in Provincetown is delightful, second summer is possibly even better. This is the time to treat yourself to a great day trip or getaway, and help a community at the same time.

“The COVID cluster that happened here mid-summer caused a drop in day trippers and is behind us,” Anthony Fuccillo, Provincetown director of tourism, told the Herald.

“The situation was mitigated thanks to safety measures put in place swiftly by the town and supported by the businesses. Now that fall, the most beautiful season of the year, is upon us, we’re thrilled to welcome visitors when the days are still warm, nights are cool and the skies are the deep blue you only see in New England. It’s my favorite time.”

It could be yours too.

Second summer in P’town is all about more room to breathe and move around, with plenty still to do. The crowds thin out but the fun — and the weather — still cooperate. Expect, for the most part, warmer days and cooler nights; the kind when a sweater is just right.

A few must-dos for a second-summer visit include:

Climbing the Pilgrim Monument ( The view from 1 High Pole Hill Road is worth it on its own, but there’s also a super interesting museum there that will shed more light on the settlers of this nation than you thought possible. Admission gets you access to the monument and grounds as well as to the art and history exhibits within the museum.

Dune tours ( Provincetown’s dunes are legendary. Exploring them via these tours afford you all the views, and your guides know all the history. Second summer is a lovely time on the dunes — the sun’s slant this time of year makes for a special natural light (Insta ready!), and should it be a cooler day, beach viewing and walking in a sweater are perfection.

You can choose from a one-hour tour, sunset tour or even a specialized group tour.

The Province Lands bike trail ( You can jump on this trail at the trail’s visitor center at 171 Race Point Road in Provincetown and then ride about seven miles (or less if you choose) through the dunes, past Herring Cove and famed Race Point Beach, along Bennett Pond and even through Beech Forest, a spot that just feels magical.

Bring your bikes or rent some.

The art scene: The town is home to what is said to be the longest continuously run artist colony in America, and it shows. From galleries and their art museum to special displays, you’ll find all kinds of amazing art all across town. Second summer, those spots are less crowded and easy to access.

Festivals and more: Provincetown does not stop after Labor Day. In the second summer and early fall months, you can visit during ArtProvincetown Festival (Oct 8-10), Women’s Week, (Oct. 11-17), the Provincetown Beer and Wine Festival (Nov. 4-7) and other special events.

Hotels and restaurants (and bars and clubs) remain solidly open through the fall.

No matter what you choose to do on your second-summer visit, one thing remains constant: No matter who you are, how you dress, how you choose to share your love and more, you are accepted.

That, said Fuccillo, is the foundation of the magic that is Provincetown.

“We’ve always been welcoming,” he said. “Everyone feels comfortable here, because we have no need for conformity. No one cares, everyone is loved.”

You can learn more about second summer, festivals and more at

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Sharing a home during divorce can work



Sharing a home during divorce can work

I am considering entering into a long-term nesting agreement with my husband because we have three kids in high school and neither of us can afford to buy the other out or otherwise stay in this town. Two of the kids are seniors and one is a sophomore. Three years seems like an eternity but both our parents live in town so we each have somewhere else to stay during our off times. We are thinking of doing week on week off with the change over happening at dinner time on Sundays.

Our mediator is encouraging this but my friends keep telling me not to do it. If I agree, are there rules you can recommend I put in place? And what would my options be if the arrangement is just impossible to live with?

While I tend to agree with your friends here, I also understand wanting to do the right thing by your children and uprooting them all at the end of their school careers seems very unfair. Nesting, even in short durations, can create many problems and lead to higher levels of discord so if you are going to do it, it is very important to establish clear rules at the outset, to be on the same page in your household including parenting rules, and to have a mechanism in place if either of you decides you can no longer do it.

The biggest issue I see is with new partners. The rule really needs to be that no new partners are allowed in the nesting home. This eliminates complaints of finding a new partner’s underwear in the former marital bedroom — something no one ever wants to find and the surest way to torpedo the nesting arrangement.

The second rule relates to cleanliness of the home. Both parties have to commit to stripping the bed and washing the sheets before the other takes over. Likewise, there cannot be piles of laundry, dirty dishes and general clutter waiting for the other parent to take over and tidy up. This is where you need to involve the children in the rules. They are old enough to understand that you are entering into this arrangement because it will allow them to stay in the same town/house until graduation. But, if they want this, they have to pitch in at home and keep their clutter in their rooms, help with the dishes and do their laundry.

The other critical piece is an escape clause. If one of you decides you just cannot take it any longer, you need the ability to give notice to the other that nesting is over. That notice should trigger a return to mediation to try to figure out what to do from there. It may be a new cost-sharing measure gets implemented — whoever stays pays more — with a slightly unequal division of equity upon a sale once the youngest graduates. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Email questions to [email protected]

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Pearpalooza features a new art gallery in Capital Region’s Art Scene



PearlPalooza returning to rock-out, in-person, for its 12th year

ALBANY. N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Saturday, Pearl-Palooza also feature a new art gallery “Etrice Gallery,” to the Capital Region’s Art Scene, which opened on July 15, showcasing some of its finest artists.

The Etrice Gallery is a museum-style gallery that focuses on street art, creating a platform for a variety of mediums to include a regular representation of two and three-dimensional work, in addition to fashion and live performance events.

The gallery provides a space for a diverse roster of creative artists meet and greets, poetry, and curated music events.

Gallery owner Davion Brink credits his mother for getting him interested in the Arts Brink said, and wanted to bring a new kind of creativity to the Capital Region.

For more information on the gallery’s calendar events, Arts, and music visit the Etrice Gallery website.

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  • Pearpalooza features a new art gallery in Capital Region’s Art Scene

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New characters live ‘The Wonder Years’ in ABC reboot



New characters live ‘The Wonder Years’ in ABC reboot

As a widely beloved, much-honored series gets a reboot, others live “The Wonder Years.”

Though the original show’s “Kevin Arnold” still is on board — since his portrayer, Fred Savage, is an executive producer now — Dean Williams is the central character, played by Elisha “EJ” Williams, in the new ABC version that premieres Wednesday. The program still charts a youngster’s coming of age in the late 1960s with his adult self as narrator (Don Cheadle’s voice this time), but the formerly suburban setting has been changed to Montgomery, Ala.

“When you think of this time period in Black America, you don’t really think of middle-class Black people,” fellow executive producer Lee Daniels said. “You think ‘impoverished’; you think of what the media portrayed us to be. This really sits with me and Saladin (K. Patterson, also an executive producer, who developed the new ‘Wonder Years’) because we are around the same age. This is our story, a story that hasn’t been told to America.”

Elisha “EJ” Williams stars in a new version of “The Wonder Years” premiering Wednesday on ABC.

As the 12-year-old whose eyes that time is reflected through, star Williiams noted his mission is “giant, just trying to figure out how (people) maneuver, as well as just trying to learn what they learned in that time. Obviously, as history goes on, you’re going to learn about what happened in those days. Now that I’m playing a character who lived in those times, it’s more of an, ‘OK, well, what is going on?’ than an, ‘OK, I remember our teacher telling us about it.’ ”

Dule Hill (who also worked with Patterson on “Psych”), Saycon Sengbloh and Laura Kariuki play Dean’s family (in the slots Dan Lauria, Alley Mills and Olivia d’Abo first had), while Milan Ray portrays Keisa, who is to Dean who the original iteration’s Winnie (Danica McKellar) was to the long-admiring Kevin. Cheadle succeeds Daniel Stern as the comedy-drama’s literal voice.

As suggested by his involvement in the new show, 1988-93 “Wonder Years” star Savage (often a TV director now) is comfortable with the changes to the initial concept, which earned the Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding comedy series for its first season.

“There’s a lot of elements of this show that feel very comfortable and familiar, to me and to an audience as well,” Savage said. “We’re maintaining a similar tone, a similar blend of comedy and truth, the same idea of a narrator looking back on his youth with the wisdom of age … but there are things that are incredibly unique about this show. The fact that it’s a brand-new family and brand-new characters allows us to maintain some of the things we loved about the original, while also telling a wholly unique and new story.”

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Amsterdam holds their 5th annual ItaliaFest



Amsterdam holds their 5th annual ItaliaFest

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The City of Amsterdam held it’s annual Italiafest on Bridge Street on Saturday.

“You just have to love good food and good company, this festival is for you,” says NYS Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara. You should probably come to the festival on an empty stomach, that’s what Amsterdam Native Rocco Natale did. He won the spaghetti eating contest, he also won in 2019. “I usually fast during the day, so I did my normal routine just fasting and then I eat whatever I want for dinner and it’s worked two times in a row,” says Rocco.

ItaliaFest had live music, games, rides and wine tasting…something for the whole family to enjoy. Italiafest has been an event many people have been waiting for. “Judging visually from what I see, this may be the best turnout they ever had for this festival for any festival on the south side,” says Assemblymember Santabarbara.

The even brought the community together and shinned some light on the local businesses. “They are great businesses, a lot of these people a lot of these names have been in our city for 100 years. It’s a very historical neighborhood with a lot of historical people who have been in these businesses for years. Today is a great celebration for them as well,” says Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti.

Mayor Cinquanti says this event is what the community needed. “It has been such a long time for us to be able to put an event on like this and to see all these people here and everyone enjoying it it does our heart good. It’s a great thing for our city and it’s a great thing for the people of our city.”

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‘Evan Hansen’ star brings powerful show to big screen



‘Evan Hansen’ star brings powerful show to big screen

Julianne Moore knew the minute she saw Ben Platt’s electrifying performance on Broadway in “Dear Evan Hansen,” a Tony Award was coming.

“Let me say,” Moore said, sitting next to Platt for a Zoom interview, “I was there very early in the process because I like to see Broadway musicals too.

“Ben was downstage center and he started singing two minutes into it and he was exquisite, intelligent. Different than anything I’d seen on a Broadway stage. Ever.

“I turned to my daughter, I said, ‘Oh my God! I’ve never seen anything like this!’ I really did. Then I said, ‘He’s going to win the Tony!’ My daughter is 14. She said, ‘Shut up Mom.’

Moore plays Evan Hansen’s mother in Friday’s film version.

“It’s a beautiful show. But when you say ‘a career-defining performance,’ what Ben brought to it is so original and electric that suddenly everyone is, ‘Oh my God.’ That’s really special.”

A high school story, “Evan” expands from tragedy to a communal understanding. Following the suicide of Connor (Colton Murphy), a classmate, socially anxious high school senior Evan Hansen (Platt) is mistakenly considered the boy’s only friend by Connor’s mother and sister (Amy Adams, Kaitlyn Dever).

Platt, who turns 28 the day “Evan Hansen” opens nationally, has been here from the start. When did he realize this was life-changing for him?

“Just doing it in the first place, I already felt like a dream was coming true because since I was 6 years old my greatest dream was to get to originate a role that was entirely original.

“I realized this was going to be something a little bit larger than that average experience when we started in Washington, D.C.

“We all love the piece but there’s no way to anticipate the kind of emotional reaction this always seems to have. Audiences were not only moved but were tangibly altered by it, and consistently.

“No matter what the walk of life, there was just consistent tears and sharing of real difficult conversations afterwards. People were coming back, bringing their parents. It’s such a powerful icebreaker.

“Now I’m just incredibly grateful I’ve been afforded the opportunity to finish that journey and be the one to carry him over to the kind of final Evan resting place that he will live in always.

“Which is this film version. I know that’s a very rare opportunity for someone who performs onstage. So I feel really lucky.”

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TikTok removing ‘devious licks’ videos from platform amid complaints from schools



TikTok removing ‘devious licks’ videos from platform amid complaints from schools

(NEXSTAR) – TikTok is removing videos that show students bragging about stealing items from their schools after the trend started to take off earlier this month.

The “devious licks” trend, as it’s known on social media, had resulted in students stealing items from their schools, or, in some cases, literally ripping off fixtures of their school’s bathrooms, according to educators in numerous districts. Videos later posted by some of the students showed them removing the ill-gotten goods from their backpacks, bragging about the “devious licks,” or thefts, they were able to get away with.

Other times, the students are simply destroying school property, an act also attributed to the trend by educators in some districts.

“We’ve seen students ripping soap dispensers off of the walls and throwing them across the bathroom,” Ben Fobert, the principal of Mountain House High School in Mountain House, California, said in a statement provided to KTXL. “We’ve also seen paper towel dispensers completely ripped off of the walls. Students have ripped off the dividers between urinals in the boy’s bathrooms.”

In addition to warning students against such behavior, some schools, like Cram Middle School in North Las Vegas, have had to send letters to parents or otherwise notify the community after connecting a spate of stolen items and vandalism to the social-media trend.

“Please, check your child’s cell phone. Check their social media accounts. See what they’re doing,” Cram Middle School’s principal, Gary Bugash, told KLAS. “That will help us here in our education system.”

TikTok confirmed Wednesday that it was in the process of removing videos connected to the “devious licks” trend, which are in violation of the platform’s community guidelines.  

“We expect our community to create responsibly – online and [in real life],” the company wrote on Twitter. “We’re removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools & teachers.”

As of Thursday morning, however, TikTok has not been able to scrub all videos pertaining to the trend, as some users began using similar but slightly different hashtags to continue sharing the clips.

TikTok’s efforts to remove the “devious” videos come shortly after the platform announced that it was banning videos related to the “milk crate challenge,” which tasked social-media users with ascending and descending an unsecured makeshift staircase made from milk crates. The trend soon prompted warnings from doctors, police, and even whole municipal health departments, one of which warned participants to “check with your local hospital to see if they have a bed available for you” before attempting the dangerous stunt.

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Grossman: Where climate change is concerned, history’s irrelevant



Grossman: Where climate change is concerned, history’s irrelevant

Climate change made the floods in the Northeast from Hurricane Ida worse.

So proclaimed stories in major media: CNN, The Washington Post, ABC News and many others. Get used to it, scientists and politicians told reporters. “More storms (like this one) are coming more frequently,” the governor of New Jersey opined, “with (even) more intensity.”

In August 1955, before it is said that humans began having a major impact on the climate, I (a little boy) was awakened by a sound truck coming through our Waterbury, Conn., neighborhood proclaiming, “Do not use your gas unless it is an extreme emergency.”

I soon learned from my father, who couldn’t get to work that morning, why that truck woke me. The whole of the Naugatuck Valley was flooded, he reported. Water several feet high rushed through the valley destroying nearly everything in its path. From a hilltop vantage point near my grandparents’ house, I watched in amazement and horror as trees, roofs, houses, cars and much more came rushing along the streets that bordered the usually placid and polluted Naugatuck River.

The flooding occurred from the remnant of Hurricane Diane. There was flooding from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. Nearly 400 people died and the cost of damage was in the (inflation-adjusted) billions.

Of course, one-off disasters occur as we know so this was a once-in-a-hundred-year storm, right?

No. There had been an even more devastating Northeast hurricane only 17 years before. That storm, unnamed, killed 600 people. According to The New York Times, in Bridgeport, Conn., just down the road from Waterbury, “the streets were turned into torrents.”

In fact, just the year before Diane, Hurricanes Edna and Carol spread devastation to the Northeast, even as far as Canada.

This isn’t ancient history. It tells us that really bad hurricanes and floods resulting from them have happened recently, in the lifetimes of many of us. Dangerous storms have spread devastation over large swaths of the country, killed people and destroyed property. But somehow we’re supposed to believe that it’s all new, all because of human-caused climate change.

Of course, it’s undeniable that the world is warming and it’s quite likely that human activity is a significant reason for it. But is it really causing historically more extreme weather, more often?

Not if you go farther back in history than some people want to go. A historic study of Atlantic hurricanes from 1900 to 2019 shows that, in fact, the frequency of hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. has declined, albeit slightly. The intensity isn’t rising either.

But for some people. history only covers the years 1980 to last year. In that time period, storm intensity has risen, but only to the level of the 1940s and 50s.

Scientists and politicians should be careful of using recent bad experiences to make predictions about how the climate will behave. They are almost always wrong. James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, for example, predicted New York City’s Westside Highway would be underwater by the early 2000s. It isn’t.

Still, here’s a safe prediction: There will be more bad hurricanes in the future — as there has always been in the past.

Peter Z. Grossman is the author of several books on energy. This column provided by InsideSources.

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