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SpaceX announces first commercial lunar traveler: Yusaku Maezawa

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SpaceX announces first commercial lunar traveler Yusaku Maezawa

SpaceX, the Elon Musk company that is trying to make commercial space travel a reality, has announced its first Lunar BFR customer: bilionaire Yusaku Maezawa from Japan.

He didn’t just buy the first ticket to travel around the moon. He purchased all of them. But he’s not going alone. He intends to invite 6 to 8 artists to come with him and make their works of art following the trip. He calls it the Dear Moon project.

In standard SpaceX fashion, the company held a press event and streamed it live on Youtube to make the announcements. Journalists from around the world gathered to get a glimpse of the soon-to-be amateur space traveler. Speculation started days before that the person would be Japanese because of the prevalence of Japanese media invited to the event as well as Tweet by Musk of a Japanese flag.

It was scheduled to begin at 6 pm PST, but was delayed for unknown reasons. Musk finally took the stage at 6:14 pm. He initially seemed nervous, ignoring the teleprompters and delivering an awkward few stuttering moments. He eventually took off his heavy leather jacket and seemed more at ease.

He began by stating his goal was to help humanity become a multi-planetary civilization as quickly as possible. “There could be some natural event or some man-made event that ends civilization as we know it,” he warned.

The Big Falcon Rocket will travel around the moon and back. Though the rocket has not been built yet, they intend an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022 and a crewed flight in 2024. The screens at the event displayed what SpaceX envisioned as their Martian base of the future.

SpaceX Mars Base

The announcement came 10 years to the month following SpaceX’s first successful space flight. It was their fourth attempt. The first three failed horribly.

Musk then started discussing the BFR itself. Here are some of the visuals he shared:

SpaceX BFR

BFR Rear

BFR Shell

Maezawa has a website where he will be giving more details about his Dear Moon Project. Here’s the video from the site:

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In Jordan’s ancient Petra, sirens warn of flash floods

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In Jordans ancient Petra sirens warn of flash floods

PETRA, Jordan (AP) — In ancient times, Arab tribesmen dug diversion tunnels to protect their low-lying trading post of Petra against desert flash floods. More than two millennia later, an alarm system warns visitors if flood water rushes toward what has become Jordan’s main tourist attraction.

Earlier this month, the alarms were activated for the first time, said Hussein al-Hasanat of the Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority. Sirens blared minutes before a torrent fed by heavy rains approached the UNESCO World Heritage site carved into rose-hued rock face.

Hundreds of tourists were able to seek higher ground and were later evacuated, he said.

Amateur video posted online at the time showed visitors running through a steep, narrow canyon leading to the Treasury, Petra’s main draw, as guides urged them to hurry. Later, visitors were seen standing on a higher patch near the Treasury as knee-high water poured through the canyon.

Elsewhere in Jordan, such alarms are still missing. Thirty-four people were killed in flash floods in late September and early November.

The last fatal flash flood struck Petra in 1963 when 22 French tourists and a local guide were killed by rapidly rising waters. In response, Jordan’s Department of Antiquities built a dam to keep water from entering the canyon leading to the Treasury.

In 2014, the alarm system was installed as added protection, with sirens set to go off when flood water rises above a certain level.

On Nov. 9, the system was triggered for the first time, through a computer in the Petra Authority’s control room. The computer is connected to eight rain forecast systems and two water detection stations placed in the area, within 8 kilometers (5 miles) of Petra.

The network generates instant data allowing officials to measure possible danger and warn people by the time the water reaches Petra.

Omar Dajani, a meteorologist at the Arabia Weather company, said alarms should be installed in all vulnerable areas in Jordan.

He said urban sprawl has exacerbated the flood risk, which is particularly high in dry areas.

“Now towns have spread so much and many of them were not built with respect for the geography of the region, such as valleys for example, where the water has naturally caused floods for millions of years,” Dajani said.

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Brenda Snipes resigns as Broward County elections supervisor

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Brenda Snipes resigns as Broward County elections supervisor

The nightmare is over. Brenda Snipes, the Broward County elections supervisor who we believe is either incompetent, corrupt, or both, has submitted her resignation.

I think I have served the purpose that I came here for, which was to provide a credible election product for our voters,” she said in her resignation press conference.

Florida finalized election tallies earlier today after a hand count confirmed the original results. Rick Scott was confirmed as the next Senator, unseating Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).

It may be a bittersweet end to the 75-year-old’s tenure. She seemed more at ease during the press conference than she has since entering the spotlight once again the day after the midterm elections when Broward County failed to report ongoing results as required by Florida law.

Brenda Snipes submits her resignation as Broward elections supervisor

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-brenda-snipes-resigns-20181118-story.htmlDuring the final days of the recount, Snipes looked exhausted to people who have known her for years. And she foreshadowed an early departure as elections supervisor when she said last week “it is time to move on” but didn’t specify a timetable, saying she wanted to talk to her family.

Snipes was appointed supervisor of elections in 2003 by former Gov. Jeb Bush, after he removed a previous supervisor of elections for incompetence. Bush became one of her critics last week, writing on Twitter it was time for her to go.

Depending on when her official resignation is effective, either Governor Scott or governor-elect Ron DeSantis will appoint her replacement. The position is coming up for election in 2020.

My Take

It’s good that she’s leaving, but at least a part of me was hoping she’d stay and come under the scrutiny of governor-elect Ron DeSantis before the 2020 election. If there was corruption, then it’s important we learn about it sooner rather than later.

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Guns and Crime

Chipotle knew Masud Omar Ali bragged about dining and dashing before they fired their manager

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Some are cheering on Chipotle for doing the right thing by considering rehiring the manager they fired following a viral video showing her asking African-American patrons to pay up front before placing their order. Evidence has emerged since the firing that the poster of the viral video made a habit of “dining and dashing” at Chipotle and other restaurants, apparently vindicating the manager for her decision to protect the store from theft.

Here’s the problem. According to Matt Palumbo who contacted Chipotle about the incident, they were aware of the history of the customer before they fired their manager.

All of this stems from a viral video posted by Masud Omar Ali

on Twitter.

It ended up getting over 30,000 retweets, 72,000 likes, 5,500 comments, and an astounding 5.5 million views. Many of the comments immediately following the post claimed racism on the part of the manager and Chipotle in general because Mr. Ali is African American. His racially charged Tweet made it seem like all of this was driven by racism.

As it turned out, his own Twitter feed revealed something that he regularly practiced, “dining and dashing.” This is where someone orders food from a restaurant, eats the food, then leaves without paying for it.

Ali seemed quite proud of his thefts and very satisfied that he was able to get someone fired for trying to stop his criminal activities.

Masud Ali Tweet 1

Masud Ali Tweet 2

Masud Ali tweet 3

Now that the “victims” have been exposed as the actual criminals, people on both sides of the aisle are speaking out. Some noted that falsely calling out racism masks real racism. Others talked about the hypocrisy of getting someone fired for trying to stop theft in her store.

This video by self-proclaimed liberal An0maly calls for truth even if it doesn’t fit the narrative of mainstream media, social media, or corporate America.

It’s sad that the truth wasn’t enough to keep Chipotle from firing their manager over false racism. The backlash is what made them act. Even if they rehire her, Chipotle still looks terrible for embracing political correctness in the first place.

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