Why Earth's History Appears So Miraculous
- The holes didn’t show where returning planes were likely to get hit, but only what it was possible for later observers to see.
- Perhaps we’re truly extreme oddballs, held aloft by a near-impossible history—one free from deadly migrating gas giants and solar-system chaos, but also filled with freakishly favorable accidents, like a cataclysmic impact early in our history that created a strange, gigantic moon that stabilized our orbit and allowed complex life to flourish.
- The same eerie observer selection effects that could explain our strangely benign cosmic history might have been at work in our very recent past as well.
- Taking observer selection effects into account, our survival of the nuclear age until now might only point to unseen, towering dangers.
- Incorporating observer selection effects into his calculations, Sandberg now thinks that the close calls in our past might actually be reassuring.
Company involved in bridge that collapsed had safety complaints
- In response to the tragedy, the company said in a written statement that it was "fully cooperating" with a National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the bridge collapse at Florida International University.
- A spokesman for MCM told CNN the company has had $152 million in federally funded government projects in the past five years.
- Records show the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited MCM for 11 violations involving construction projects in Miami and Hialeah, Florida, between 2014 and 2017.
- The violations were related to a June 2012 incident in which a 52 foot-long, 10-foot-wide portion of a bridge in Chesapeake, Virginia, that FIGG was working on collapsed onto a railroad, according to a lawsuit the Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Company filed against FIGG.
An engineer with the firm that designed a Florida pedestrian bridge warned of cracks in the structure days before deadly collapse
- Denney Pate with the FIGG Bridge Group said in the voicemail that the cracks were seen on the north end of the bridge.
- The structure, which was designed to link the Florida International University in Miami with the town of Sweetwater, fell on Thursday, killing at least six people.
- In his voicemail to the FDOT, Pate said, "obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done," but Pate indicated the work was not urgent, saying "from a safety perspective, we don't see that there's any issue there," before adding that the cracks were indeed a problem that needed to be addressed.
- The Florida Department of Transportation released a transcript of Pate's message on Friday.
- The bridge had been heralded as a "marvel" of modern construction before the collapse, due in part to a method of construction that allowed the company to build it quickly and with minimal disruptions to area traffic.
A rogue suitcase was caught making a graceful escape across the tarmac at Atlanta airport
- In a video posted to Facebook by flight attendant Michael Orsini, the lonely luggage appears to elude staff as it gracefully makes its way past the airport's D and E concourse.
- Orsini told Travel + Leisure magazine that he was eating lunch on Tuesday when he noticed the lone bag.
- In the video, which has amassed over 100,000 views, Orsini can be heard laughing as the bag glides along the tarmac.
- At one point in the video, a truck slows down to seemingly inspect the suitcase but keeps driving instead, leaving the suitcase to continue on its journey down the tarmac.
- It's unknown if the bag was ever returned to its rightful owner.
- Business Insider reached out to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for comment and was asked for a link as the airport had not yet seen the video.
‘Fight Fire with Fire’: IMF Chief Lagarde Calls for Blockchain-Powered Bitcoin Regulation
- Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, wrote in a Tuesday blog post that she believes regulators can use blockchain or other distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and prevent them from being used in connection with money laundering and other financial crimes.
- Elsewhere in the post, which bears the ominous title “Addressing the Dark Side of the Crypto World,” Lagarde explained that she believes DLT and other digital technologies can be used by financial regulators across the globe to “communicate seamlessly” and create registries of customer information and digital signatures that would be linked to biometric information.
- On Tuesday, Japan became the latest country to announce that it will formally call for G20 members to discuss international cryptocurrency regulations at the group’s upcoming finance summit.
“ASAP”: China is Working Toward National Blockchain Standards
- China’s industry & IT ministry is working toward creating domestic standards to propel development and implementation of blockchain technology in the country.
- In an announcement on an official government website yesterday, China’s ministry of industry and information technology revealed it has already conducted a ‘special study’ exploring a framework for standardizing blockchain technology domestically.
- The process has seen the Ministry’s information and software services division and the China Electronics Standardization Institute propose a new technical committee to be established.
- The Ministry also said its IT and software services division will look to promote blockchain technology, fast-track the establishment of the blockchain standardization committee and back the development of the sector in the country overall.
- China joins the likes of Russia in publicly revealing an effort toward developing standards for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies [DLT].
Malaysia's Central Bank Slaps Down ICO for Logo Misuse
- Malaysia’s central bank has issued a statement seeking to warn customers and distance itself from the Coinzer cryptocurrency.
- Bank Negara Malaysia’s concern is Coinzer’s use of official logos on their proposed physical token.
- The statement outlines that Coinzer’s use of the BNM and Jata Negara logo on their prototype token website and whitepaper are unauthorized, and the project is in no way connected with the bank.
- Their whitepaper states that they are trying to become the number one cryptocurrency in Malaysia and attract international investments to the Asian country.
- Malaysia itself has taken a passive stance towards cryptocurrencies, with the head of the central bank announcing that the public would decide the technology’s future last month.
- It marks Malaysia as one of the few countries that has laid out a clear approach to the development of virtual currencies, allowing the public to decide their fate.
China's security crackdown hit a university district where restaurants were ordered to only serve 10 foreigners at a time
- Cafes and pizza bars in Wudaokou, Beijing, were reportedly ordered this week to serve no more than 10 foreigners at a time.
- Three bars and restaurants confirmed they had received the orders to South China Morning Post.
- Business Insider first saw notices posted online over the weekend announcing that the restrictions would last until two days after the end of the National People's Congress (NPC) — China's annual legislative meeting.
- Workers at two restaurants told The Post that police had made requests to limit the number of customers, particularly those of foreigners.
- An employee at another pizza bar said they couldn't let foreigners into their premises after 8 p.m. According to the staff, the orders were given last week, shortly after the NPC got underway.
- Combined with over-the-top local censorship and widespread international coverage of Xi's ability to rule China indefinitely, Beijing could be concerned about too much interaction between foreigners and local students.
Exclusive: Royal Burial in Ancient Canaan May Shed New Light on Biblical City
- The extraordinary discovery of a magnificent and untouched 3,600-year-old burial chamber in the ancient Canaanite city-state of Megiddo has stunned archaeologists, not only for the array of wealth found in the tomb, but also for the potential insight it may provide into the royal dynasty that ruled this powerful center before its conquest by Egypt in the early 15th century B.C. Located 19 miles south of Haifa, in what is today northern Israel, the ancient site of Megiddo dominated a strategic pass on major international military and trade routes for nearly five millennia, from 3000 B.C. to 1918.
- But nothing prepared archaeologists for the unexpected discovery of the untouched tomb dating to the later phase of the Middle Bronze Age, around 1700-1600 B.C., when the power of Canaanite Megiddo was at its peak and before the ruling dynasty collapsed under the might of Thutmose's army.
Dutch Finance Minister Urges Multi-National Regulation Of Cryptocurrencies
- Hoekstra will be part of the Financial Action Task Force, an international, intergovernmental which focuses on tackling money laundering and countering the financing crime and terrorism.
- He said he will dedicate himself to a European approach to regulating ICOs, which he noted can be used to finance new products, but are speculative in nature.
- The AFM, the Dutch authority for financial markets, and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have expressed reservations about the sale of derivative products including binary options to non-professional investors, given the risks involved.
- Hoekstra thinks it’s important that the regulators address the sale of these products to non-professional investors, especially those involving cryptocurrencies.
- He said he will support rapid action in the Netherlands in respect to the sale of risky derivative products (including on cryptocurrencies) to draw the attention of European supervisors.