Record-Breaking Ocean Heat Wave Foreshadows a Dangerous Hurricane Season | Scientific American

For 421 straight days, a marine heat wave in the North Atlantic broke — and sometimes shattered — daily temperature records.

The hot streak finally ended April 29, but scientists say the length of the marine heat wave wasn’t the only unsettling part. Another alarm bell was that daily temperature records often fell by a significant margin — on several occasions by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit.

“It’s not just that it was a consecutive string of 421 days,” said Brian McNoldy, an ocean scientist at the University of Miami. “But for so much of that time, it was breaking the records by a lot — not even close.”

And the North Atlantic is far from an outlier.

The world’s oceans — as a whole — are heating up. According to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, monthly global sea surface temperatures have been at their warmest on record for 13 months in a row. Last year set a new annual record for global ocean heat.

Source: Record-Breaking Ocean Heat Wave Foreshadows a Dangerous Hurricane Season | Scientific American

I am the Costco cart master

Saturday afternoon I made my weekend trip to Costco. Walking into the store, I pulled a shopping cart from the stack as one of the employees – a young kid – struggled with a full stack of carts pulled from the cart corrals.

As I was walking out of the store a little later, the same kid was struggling in the hot sun to fetch another stack of carts. The kid was really busting his ass. I unloaded my cart and returned it to the cart corral, where my OCD kicked in yet again.

The shitty part-time job I had in high school at the Dart Drug in Sugarland Plaza in Sterling, Virginia taught me a lot about working in retail. I will forever remember how to run a register and I will forever remember how to track down errant shopping carts. Needless to say, when I’m at Costco or other stores with carts, I can’t help but want to put them away the right way. It’s a combination of my engineering mindset, a dash of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder thrown in, and a tip of the hat to the young, hard-working store employee I once was.

Thus, on Saturday I could not just carelessly shove my cart into the corral. A full string of carts were parked in the middle of the corral, mostly stacked. I added my cart to the end and then took a moment to shove the whole stack to one side, making room for twice as many new carts to be added. It’s just what I do.

Just as I tamed the cart corral and was walking away, I heard a shout from across the parking lot. The young Costco kid was standing up from the shelter of the store’s shadow and was cupping his mouth and looking at me.

“THANK YOU, SIR!!” he bellowed across the lot with a smile.

We gotta look out for each other. I gave him a big smile and a thumbs up as I walked away.

Chiquita found liable for funding paramilitary group in Colombia – The Washington Post

Banana giant Chiquita Brands International must pay more than $38 million in damages to victims of a Colombian paramilitary group the company was found liable for financing in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a federal jury decided Monday.

The decision follows a 17-year legal battle for the victims, sparked after a 2007 sentencing agreement in which Chiquita admitted to the U.S. Justice Department that it paid more than $1.7 million to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a violent right-wing group that committed human rights abuses in Colombia and had been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government. The Justice Department characterized Chiquita’s support to the AUC as “prolonged, steady, and substantial.”

Source: Chiquita found liable for funding paramilitary group in Colombia – The Washington Post

Opinion | The Pentagon is learning how to change at the speed of war – The Washington Post

For several decades, military reformers such as retired Navy Capt. Jerry Hendrix have pleaded with the Pentagon to stop buying wildly expensive but vulnerable aircraft carriers and fighter jets and instead focus on getting vast numbers of cheap drones. But nobody seemed to listen.

“Buy Fords, Not Ferraris” was the title of Hendrix’s iconoclastic 2009 polemic for inexpensive survivable systems. Aircraft carriers, he wrote, “have become too expensive to operate, and too vulnerable to be risked in anything other than an unhostile environment.” Similar arguments applied to exquisite systems beloved by all the services.

Source: Opinion | The Pentagon is learning how to change at the speed of war – The Washington Post

Tonga’s volcanic eruption could cause unusual weather for the rest of the decade, new study shows

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (Hunga Tonga for short) erupted on January 15 2022 in the Pacific Kingdom of Tonga. It created a tsunami which triggered warnings across the entire Pacific basin, and sent sound waves around the globe multiple times.

A new study published in the Journal of Climate explores the climate impacts of this eruption.

Our findings show the volcano can explain last year’s extraordinarily large ozone hole, as well as the much wetter than expected summer of 2024.

The eruption could have lingering effects on our winter weather for years to come.

Source: Tonga’s volcanic eruption could cause unusual weather for the rest of the decade, new study shows

Ukraine’s Air Force Wanted Four Squadrons Of F-16s. It’s Getting Them.

Gen. Serhii Golubtsov, the commander of the Ukrainian air force, has said all along he needed four operational squadrons of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to have any chance of controlling the air over a single sector of the 700-mile front line of Russia’s wider war on Ukraine.

It’s taken more than a year of intensive diplomacy between Ukrainian, Norwegian, Dutch, Danish and Belgian officials, but Golubtsov is finally getting his four squadrons.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky announced Belgium would donate 30 surplus F-16s—boosting to 85 the total number of the nimble, supersonic fighters Ukraine should receive starting this summer.

Source: Ukraine’s Air Force Wanted Four Squadrons Of F-16s. It’s Getting Them.

Inside Southeast Asia’s Criminal Resurgence | TIME

It all started with a Facebook ad. Rachel Yoong was bored and fed up at work when a job posting for a casino in the Myanmar capital Yangon popped up on her phone. The purported $4,500 monthly salary was seven times what the Malaysian earned as a real estate agent in Kuala Lumpur, so she eagerly applied. Before long, Yoong was invited to two separate interviews with suave, well-attired agents. By July 2022, she was booked on a flight to Yangon and upon arrival told to rest up in a hotel. On the third day a car arrived to take her to her new place of work.

“But when I got inside there were two big, tough guys with guns,” Yoong, 30, tells TIME. “That’s the moment I knew I was in trouble.”

Source: Inside Southeast Asia’s Criminal Resurgence | TIME

How I Threw My First Punch

When I was 40, I raised my fists and did not run away from a fight for the first time since sixth grade.

It happened in a gym straight out of a Rocky movie. I was spending that year working in a rented office on the second floor of a three-story walk-up in Rome, Georgia. I filled my time staring out the office window, tapping gloomily at my keyboard on a failing project. One day, I heard banging.

Fire-escape stairs led to a newly cleared third floor. “A gym,” an intense, wiry man said. And sure enough: heavy bags, speed bags, weights. Along one brick wall: a ring, canvas duct-taped directly to the wood floor. Plaster hung in patches; the bags hung directly from exposed roof joists.The wiry man was Lee Fortune, onetime holder of the World Boxing Council’s Continental Americas middleweight title. Did I want to learn to box? Lee, a cop, planned to work the gym around his schedule. It would be $25 a month for limitless time and coaching, several afternoons a week. “Not kickboxing,” he said. “Real boxing. Sparring. You’ll wear headgear.” I said sure.

“A man you’ve never met before said for $25 he will hit you in the head,” a friend summarized. What else did I have going on?

Source: How I Threw My First Punch

How is HD Radio doing in Canada? It depends | Globalnews.ca

Back in 1999, a man in a van pulled up. “Wanna hear something cool?” Inside was a Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) receiver, demonstrating the fidelity of digital signals from an experimental transmitter in Toronto, including programming from my station, 102.1 the Edge/Toronto. It sounded great. Better than great, in fact.

Born out of a European research project in 1995, DAB promised static-free, CD-quality, better-than-FM audio. And it did. The new technology was also far more efficient, cramming more radio signals into the same bandwidth, something that was appealing to markets with AM and FM dials at maximum capacity. Its successor, DAB+, uses substantially less electricity than power-hungry AM and FM transmitters. The prediction was that it was just a matter of time before DAB replaced analogue AM and FM broadcasts. “Soon,” we were told. And then … nothing. At least in North America.

Source: How is HD Radio doing in Canada? It depends | Globalnews.ca

Elon Musk Weighs in on the Encryption Wars Between Telegram and Signal

The encryption wars brewing between the messaging apps Telegram and Signal have attracted the commentary of a high-profile critic: Elon Musk.

Musk, who previously championed Signal for its user privacy protections, now appears to have changed his tune, amplifying criticisms of the app and its leadership and saying there are unspecified “known vulnerabilities” within Signal that have gone unaddressed by the company’s leadership.

Given his influence in the tech sphere, Musk’s remarkable reversal on Signal has become central to the current conversation on encryption — and, according to one cryptography expert, is pushing users toward less secure alternatives.

Source: Elon Musk Weighs in on the Encryption Wars Between Telegram and Signal