Jan 202018

Viorica Dancila, an obscure Romanian MEP who claimed during an interview that Iran and Pakistan are members of the European Union, was appointed as the country’s first female Prime Minister.

Viorica Dancila

Viorica Dancila (credit: HotNews Romania)

How did she get to the top of the country’s government? Well, it happened after the ruling social-democrat party (PSD) kicked former PM Mihai Tudose out of his office. Practically, PSD managed the stunning “performance” of overthrowing its own government for the second time in just 7 months, after they had previosly ousted Sorin Grindeanu through a motion of no confidence.

Mrs. Dancila, who was proposed by Liviu Dragnea and accepted by President Klaus Iohannis, was a member of the European Parliament mostly known for her shopping skills than the speech/language talents.

According to local media, nothing seems to qualify Viorica-Vasilica Dancila as prime minister except her obedience to the party that she belongs to.

In early 2017 she voiced her support for OUG13, a controversial emergency ordinance that aimed at decriminalizing several offences including abuse of power. The ordinance was retracted only after hundreds of thousands Romanians took to the streets in the largest protests since the fall of communism.

Furthermore, Viorica Dancila appears to be convinced that countries such as Iran and Pakistan are members of the European Union. While interviewed by a foreign reporter about the women’s rights and gender equality, Viorica said: “Of course, we try not to intervene in the internal affairs of a Member State such as Iran or Pakistan, but I think there is a need for discussion with those who are decision-makers such that women’s rights become a reality.”

Perhaps the harshest criticism comes from PSD MEP Catalin Ivan, who is completely dissatisfied with the appointment of her former colleague, Viorica Dancila, as the Head of the Government. In a message posted on his Facebook page, Mr. Ivan wrote:

“I have been working with Viorica Dancila for over eight years at the European Parliament and the only quality that would recommend her for this position is her blind obedience to Liviu Dragnea.” I still hope [her nomination] is a joke. I refuse to believe PSD is so low. I just want to make it clear that my opinion has nothing to do with the fact that she is a female PM… This is about serious incompetence”.

“I heard that the members of the National Executive Council have been lied to and presented with the European success of Mrs. Dancila, the respect she enjoys among her colleagues, etc. Discussing with many colleagues in the Parliament, I can sum up their reactions in two words: perplexity and fun,” added Ivan.

Jan 092018

After a secretive launch on Sunday, SpaceX reportedly lost its spacecraft “Zuma” which apparently did not make it to the intended destination.

falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket lift-off (public domain)

Zuma was lifted up from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket but it failed to reach a stable orbit.

It seems that the spacecraft did not separate as it was supposed to from the upper stage of the rocket and did not reach a orbit, according to a U.S. administration official and two sources who were briefed on the matter. The sources said the payload was classified.

The mission itself was engulfed in secrecy even before the failure news emerged. The government agency that ordered the spacecraft has not been revealed.

Northrop Grumman (NOC), the aerospace and defense company that built the Zuma spacecraft, would only say: “This is a classified program. We cannot comment on classified programs.” SpaceX has also refused to provide details about the spacecraft.

Video: Zuma mission doomed after disappearance of spacecraft and secret payload

Jan 092018

Ibuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility.

ibuprofen infertility

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility (public domain)

Testicles not only produce sperm, they secrete testosterone, the primary male hormone. Ibuprofen, along with aspirin and paracetamol, are “anti-androgenic” drugs, meaning they disrupt male hormones.
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen is often taken by athletes, including Olympians and professional soccer players for example, before an event to prevent pain. Are there health consequences for the athletes who routinely use this NSAID?

The researchers recruited 31 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Of these, 14 were given a daily dosage of ibuprofen that many professional and amateur athletes take: 600 milligrams twice a day. (This 1200-mg-per-day dose is the maximum limit as directed by the labels of generic ibuprofen products.) The remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.

For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormones — which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone — became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased, a sign of dysfunctional testicles.

This hormonal imbalance produced compensated hypogonadism, a condition associated with impaired fertility, depression and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke.

For the small group of young study participants who used ibuprofen for only a short time, “it is sure that these effects are reversible,” researchers said. However, it’s unknown whether the health effects of long-term ibuprofen use are reversible.
Source: CNN

Jan 092018

Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, 41, claims he has grown 9 centimeters taller during his stay on the International Space Station (ISS) as a result of the lack of gravity, and now he is worried he won’t fit in the capsule that will bring him back to Earth.

Norishige Kanai

Norishige Kanai (public domain)

In a message posted on Monday he said:
“Good morning everybody. I have major announcement today. We had our bodies measured after reaching space and wow, wow, wow, I had actually grown by as much as 9 cm. I grew like some plant in just three weeks. I am a bit worried whether I will fit in the Soyuz seat when I go back”.

Kanai, a JAXA engineer embarked for his first space mission, arrived at the ISS on December 19th aboard a Soyuz capsule. He traveled alongside Russian Anton Shkaplerov and American Scott Tingle as crew members of Expedition 54/55.

The three astronauts, who are scheduled to stay in the floating lab for about half a year, joined Alexander Misurkin, Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba, who have been already aboard ISS since last September.

According to Russian orthopedic surgeon Vladimir Horoshev, “this bizarre stretching phenomenon is easy to explain.” “Cartilaginous tissue suffers changes in gravity-free conditions. The spine is not only formed of vertebrae, but also of cartilaginous structures such as the intervertebral discs”, the surgeon said.

“The cartilage is very flexible and susceptible to change, unlike the bones which remain unaltered in conditions of reduced gravity. In outer space, the burden on the spine is reduced tenfold and the cartilaginous tissue of the intervertebral discs stretch out leading to an increase in the length of the trunk,” Horoshev added.

Astronauts shrink back down to their normal size once back on Earth and affected by its gravity.

Jan 092018
Overheated iPhone battery leads to evacuation of Zurich Apple store / 8 people slightly injured

Eight people were injured and an Apple store evacuated in Zurich on Tuesday due to an smoking and burning iPhone battery, police said. A frantic customer entered the store on the main shopping street, near the train station, “because of an overheated battery which was releasing smoke“, the police said in a statement. The employee […]

Jan 092018
Donald Trump to undergo medical examination, but not psychiatrical evaluation

Donald Trump’s medical visit scheduled for the end of the week will not include any psychiatric assessment, the White House announced on Tuesday as some of US president’s critics are openly questioning his mental health. “No”, Hogan Gidley, a spokesman for the US Executive, said on board Air Force One, adding that the President is […]

Jan 092018
H&M in the middle of a huge scandal. The Weeknd stops collaboration with Swedish clothing retailer

Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, says he will never work again with H&M after the clothing retailer has been accused of racism because of an inappropriate advertisement. H&M representatives expressed their regrets for posting the picture of a black child wearing a hoody printed with the message “Coolest Monkey in the […]

Jan 082018
Oprah Winfrey considers running for president in 2020

Oprah Winfrey seems to consider the prospect of a 2020 presidential run, CNN reported. The media outlet cited two friends, who suggested this possibility in the aftermath of Oprah’s remarkable speech at the Golden Globes Sunday night, which sparked heated debate in the blogosphere. Some sources claim that Winfrey has been considering a presidential run […]

Jan 082018
Tesla Model X towing giant truck on frozen road (VIDEO)

A Tesla Model X performed something which was thought to be virtually impossible. A video footage shows the electric crossover being capable to tow a truck-trailer assembly that was stuck on a snowy road in the US state of North Carolina. It is officially known that a Model X can tow a trailer with a […]

Jan 082018
Battery scandal could make Apple lose $10 billion

Approximately 10% of iPhone users would change their phone battery rather than buying a brand new Apple device, according to a financial analyst at Barclays Capital. Sales of iPhone terminals could be by 16 million units lower in 2018 due to the scandal that rocked the Cupertino-based company, which admitted that it reduced performance on […]