Daily Archives: January 20, 2020

Poker Players That Have Lived in Vegas – 5 Las Vegas Poker Pros – BestUSCasinos.org

Posted: January 20, 2020 at 5:52 am

For most poker players around the world, setting up shop in Las Vegas represents reaching the pinnacle of their profession. And its been that way through several generations, too, with serious poker pros settling in Sin City since the 1970s.

Before that, the best players in America were typically based in either Texas or New York City, but everything changed in 1970, when infamous casino owner Benny Binion invited the games greatest figures to an event which he dubbed the Texas Gamblers Reunion.

By 1972, Binion shifted gears to host the event, which he rebranded as the World Series of Poker (WSOP), as a $10,000 buy-in, freezeout format No Limit Holdem tournament. The field grew in size every year afterward, and just like that, Las Vegas became what the 1998 movie Rounders proclaimed to be the center of the poker universe.

From then on, any poker player worth their salt simply had to pick up stakes and relocate to Las Vegas, either permanently or as a second home to ply their trade during WSOP season.

As a passionate poker fan, its my honor to present the top five best pro poker players to ever call this one of a kind city their home.

Picture if you will, Larry Bird or Michael Jordan suiting up in 2019 to take on pro basketballs modern crop of superstars in a legitimate NBA game.

Obviously, those Hall of Famers advancing age would quickly turn such an affair into a farce. With that in mind, what Doyle Brunson continues to accomplish at the age of 86 is truly mind-boggling to behold.

Sure enough, Brunson continues to play the biggest poker game in Las Vegas even as hes approaching his 90th birthday. Between taking part in the original World Series of Poker (WSOP), winning the WSOP Main Event in 1976 and 1977, and continuing to grind locally some 50 years later, Brunson obviously takes the top spot on this list.

Brunson was born in Longworth, Texas, but hes called Las Vegas home ever since those halcyon days in the 1970s. Over that span, hes captured an astounding 10 gold bracelets at the WSOP here in Vegas, while recording a 3rd place run at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2005. That tournament has since been named the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, a fitting tribute to the games founding father.

All told, Brunson has accumulated over $6.1 million in live tournament earnings over his storied career. And of his 87 live cashes, 79 of them have come in his adopted home of Las Vegas.

Brunson was the man for poker enthusiasts in the 1970s and beyond, but he has since passed the proverbial torch to Daniel Negreanu.

Known affectionately as Kid Poker, the Toronto-born Negreanu arrived in Las Vegas as a fresh-faced 22-year-old back in 1996, looking to take his game to the next level. Predictably, the local hustlers quickly beat Negreanu for his entire bankroll, but his persistence paid off in a big way.

After returning home to hustle up another bankroll playing poker and pool, Negreanu returned two years later to compete in the 1998 WSOP at Binions Horseshoe.

In his very first gold bracelet event on the WSOP felt, Negreanu outlasted the 229-player field to claim victory in the $2,000 Pot Limit Holdem tournament.

That first-place finish was worth $169,460 in prize money, and from that launching pad, Kid Poker never looked back.

Since that breakthrough win, Negreanu has captured six gold bracelets at the WSOP, along with an absurd $41.8 million in live tournament earnings. That haul, which for over a decade put Negreanu at the top of the Hendon Mobs all-time tournament earnings list, includes an $8 million score from a single tournament, the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop at the 2014 WSOP.

Now 45 years young, Negreanu is still going strong. He regularly plays in the Big Game at Bobbys Room, while also appearing in the highest-stakes tournaments held at the WSOP and the Aria.

And hes become a fixture in the Las Vegas philanthropical scene as well, hosting the Big Swing charity golf event at Harrahs Golf Course since 2009 among other contributions.

Originally born in Riverside, California, in 1977, a young Phil Ivey made his way to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he discovered Seven Card Stud Poker cash games in the 1990s.

Despite being underage at the time, Ivey procured a fake ID which he used to enter local casinos like the Taj Mahal and sit in small-stakes Seven Card Stud games. Because he wasnt based in Atlantic City, on losing nights, Ivey would simply sleep under the famous Boardwalk before returning to grind the next morning.

This habit led fellow players to nickname Ivey No Home Jerome, a play on the faux first name labeled his fake ID.

Ivey eventually found a true home in Las Vegas, building a multimillion-dollar mansion estate in the upscale suburb of Summerlin. That home has since been put on the market, but while he spends much of his time at the tables grinding ultra high-stakes cash games in Macau, Ivey still has property in Sin City.

Iveys greatest exploits in poker have taken place here too, as hes racked up 10 gold bracelets to match Brunson and former two-time WSOP Main Event champ Johnny Chan for second place on the all-time leaderboard. With over $26.3 million in live tournament earnings to his credit, Ivey currently holds the 14th position on Hendon Mobs all-time tournament leaderboard.

The first player on the list who is unfortunately no longer with us, David Chip Reese flew under the radar for most recreational poker fans.

But during his lifetime, Reese impressed fellow pros to such a degree that even Brunson himself once called his best friend certainly the best poker player who ever lived.

Reese was born in Centerville, Ohio, in 1951 and went on to attend Dartmouth University after turning down an offer from Harvard.

Despite his affinity for card games, the economics major seemed like a shoo-in for the academic or corporate life, especially when Stanford Law School invited him to make the cross-country trip to California.

On his way there, however, Reese took a pit stop in Las Vegas and found his way into a poker game. Having started with just $400 on the table, Reese walked away from the game up $66,000. One day later, his bankroll had been built to over $100,000, prompting Reese to abandon his law school plans in favor of a career as a poker pro.

As a member of the Beta Theta Phi fraternity, Reese schooled his brothers in bridge, poker, and other games to pass the time. Today, the den within the frats Dartmouth chapter is officially known as the David E. Reese Memorial Card Room.

Reese won two gold bracelets (1978 and 1982) at the WSOP in the series early days, but he preferred to grind the biggest cash games in town while avoiding the limelight. But, in 2006, prompted by an urge to play on TV so his children could see him in action, Reese entered the inaugural $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament at the WSOP.

In what was the largest tournament ever held at the time, in terms of buy-in, Reese defeated the 139-player field to earn $1.7 million and his third career gold bracelet.

Less than two years later, Reese passed away in his sleep due to complications from pneumonia and blood clots. He was only 56 years old when he died, but as this moving obituary makes clear, Reese left a lasting legacy in both Las Vegas and the wider world of poker.

After his death, WSOP organizers began awarding winners of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Poker Players Championship with the David Chip Reese Memorial Trophy in honor of the late legend.

Despite his youth, Stu Ungar dropped out of school in the 10th grade to pursue gin rummy in his native New York City.

Ungar was born in 1953, and by the 1960s, the precocious player was winning gin rummy tournaments all over the Big Apple by virtue of a photographic memory and a preternatural card sense. Eventually, his prowess in that card game led to fellow pros refusing to give him action, so Ungar took up poker as a fallback.

He arrived in Las Vegas in 1977, whereupon Ungar immediately began relentlessly beating the local gin rummy players like he did back home. Once again, however, his action dried up, forcing Ungar to take his bankroll to the local poker tables over the next few years.

Like clockwork, The Kid dispatched Las Vegas poker legend Billy Baxter for $40,000 in a heads-up game. Rather than hold a grudge, Baxter saw an opportunity and offered Ungar a staking deal in the upcoming 1980 WSOP Main Event.

Playing the game of No Limit Texas Holdem for the first time, Ungar easily won every chip in play, beating Brunson heads-up for the title of pokers World Champion.

He returned one year later to successfully defend his title, one of his five career WSOP gold bracelets.

Unfortunately, a hard-partying lifestyle and cocaine addiction caused Ungar to focus on all the wrong things. He never fully realized his potential, choosing instead to hang out in seedy Las Vegas motels to indulge his bad habits.

Ungar sobered up in 1997 at the behest of Baxter, who once again entered The Kid in that years WSOP Main Event. Only 34 at the time, Ungars years of drug abuse had clearly taken their toll, but he was still an almost supernatural talent at the poker table.

Ungar wound up winning it all for the third time, an unprecedented feat in modern poker.

One year later, a debilitated Ungar couldnt even make it to the WSOP to defend his title, and November of 1998 he was found dead of a drug overdose.

Before he passed on, however, Ungar made it clear in an interview that he believed himself to be the best card player to ever walk Las Vegas streets:

Someday, I suppose its possible for someone to be a betterNo LimitHoldemplayer than me. I doubt it, but it could happen. But, I swear to you, I dont see how anyone could ever play gin better than me.

Las Vegas has served as the focal point for professional poker players for five decades and counting, and for good reason. Dozens of world-class card rooms combined with a steady stream of tourists serving as the games fish combine to create an oasis of poker in all of its forms.

And as the five legendary Las Vegas poker figures listed here prove, the best place on the planet to play naturally attracts the best players on the planet.

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Poaching is a crime, you are its victim – Hudson Valley 360

Posted: at 5:51 am

On December 18, 2019, the Hunter Town Court adjudicated a deer poaching case initiated by Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Mike Arp.

A big four and one half year-old buck with impressive 153-inch antlers was illegally shot by a subject in early November during the early archery/crossbow season.

He had already killed and tagged a seven-point buck earlier that season and lacking a valid tag for the big buck, sought out his uncles tag, then illegally tagged the big bruiser with it. The defendant plead guilty to taking the buck and paid $750.00 in fines.

The shooter did not get to keep the ill-gotten trophy since he did not possess a valid privilege or tag at the time it was taken. Its been reported that the subject legally harvested a third buck during the gun season.

Some people consider deer and other poaching to be a victimless crime. That could not be further from the truth. Poaching is a crime, and you are its victim. Theres no question in my mind that hogging game has a negative impact not just on hunting, but as an affront to fairness in general within and outside the hunting community.

Poaching deer is a type of property crime. Poachers steal deer from legitimate hunters, and the general public.

Law abiding hunters and members of the non-hunting public alike, benefit from the harvest limits and other rules set by wildlife managers and enforced by ECOs. Enjoying deer can involve the legal harvest of a nice buck or doe, or simply by non-hunters who like to watch deer in their front yard.

Its been shown that the majority of the non-hunting public are agnostic about hunting. That is to say, they feel if hunters obey the rules and limits, and utilize the game taken, they support hunting. That support is drastically reduced when poaching or even hunting for trophies enters the formula.

Some hunters may feel that illegally using someone elses deer tag is one of those minor, petty offenses not only not worth reporting, but a practice that has no impact on deer populations.

Sound wildlife management practices set limits for the harvest of deer and other game to protect species for all to enjoy. It simultaneously attempts to achieve the proper population balance for that game in a given habitat.

Most hunters abide by the rules and do not cheat when it comes to over harvesting. Thats why its important that those who flagrantly break the rules by killing over their limit be brought to justice as was the case with the big buck illegally taken in the Town of Hunter.

That investigation, and for that matter, most other poaching arrests could not be made without the aid of responsible citizens who report such wildlife crimes. In many ways, ECOs, are only as effective as the public they serve allows them to be. ECOs rely on cooperation from our citizens as partners with skin in the game in combatting wildlife crime.

Lets consider the big picture. The amount of poaching cases prosecuted compared to the extent of illegal hunting taking place is minimal. Even effective, aggressive wildlife enforcement only just scratches the surface of the world of illegal hunting.

For example, on November 18, 2019, a Gilboa man was charged with shooting an 8-point buck from the road in the Town of Prattsville.

He plead guilty and paid $752.50 In the Town of Prattsville Court. There are many similar cases as ECOs across the state make scores of such arrests in the hope of having some deterrent effect. Its safe to say that many of these arrests would not have been possible without some help from concerned citizens.

So, the next time you may become aware of a serious poaching problem; consider doing your part by getting that information to your local ECO. For those who recoil and say they dont want to be a rat or snitch, realize what youre saying.

That language derived from, and thrives in the criminal culture, and not within the average, law abiding community. Awareness of serious poaching presents us with a choice of which of the two cultures we value and wish to associate with.

Every week, a few lines down in this column, youll see a reminder to report poaching by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS. Im confident most will make the obvious choice and do the right thing if and when the time comes.

Happy Hunting, Fishing and Trapping until next time.

Canaan Conservation Clubs 21st Annual Hardwater Fishing Derby

This event will take place on February 15 from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. at Queechy Lake, Canaan, NY. Register online starting January 15 at https://canaanconservationclub.weebly.com/ or, in-person at 6 a.m. on the day of the event at Adams Point Beach. Entry fee for adults 16 and over is $15 and $5 for kids 15 and under.

Three cash prizes for largest trout, perch, pickerel, and crappie with a gas powered auger standing in for the grand prize. Other prizes include hand augers, tip-ups and jigging poles. For more information contact Julia Horst at 518-567-4302 or by email at canaanconservationclub@yahoo.com

Save the Date: February 15, 2020

The Catskill Mountain F&G Club/Stony Clove F&G Club Youth Ice Fishing Derby

The date for this event is scheduled for Saturday, February 15; ice conditions permitting.

Sign-in begins at 9 a.m. with youth fishing from 10 a.m.-noon. There will be prizes for all kids attending, plus refreshments will be available. For more information call Bob Monteleone at 518-488-0240.

Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.

*If you have a fishing or hunting report, photo, or event you would like to be considered for publication, you can send it to: huntfishreport@gmail.com

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Poaching is a crime, you are its victim - Hudson Valley 360

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Lake City man headed to prison on meth-related convictions – Cadillac News

Posted: at 5:51 am

CADILLAC A 37-year-old Lake City man was sentenced recently in both Wexford and Missaukee counties after he was found guilty of multiple methamphetamine-related offenses and charges associated with domestic violence.

In Wexford County, Robert Alan Kanouse was sentenced to between 1.5-10 years in prison with 130 days credited for a guilty plea to possession of methamphetamine and 93 days with 130 days credited for a guilty plea to operating while license suspended, revoked or denied regarding his connection with two separate incidents. One of the incidents occurred on Aug. 16 in Cedar Creek Township while the second occurred on Aug. 24 in Cadillac.

In Missaukee County, Kanouse was sentenced to 150 days in jail with 117 days credited for a conviction of attempted interfering with electronic communications, i.e. a 911 call, and 93 days in jail with 117 days credited for a domestic violence conviction. Missaukee County Prosecutor David DenHouten said Kanouse was arrested on July 11 in Missaukee County and was out on bond when he committed the acts in Wexford County.

Wexford County Prosecutor Jason Elmore said the cases against Kanouse again prove drugs are not victimless crimes. He also said methamphetamine is the No. 1 problem in both Wexford and Missaukee counties.

Kanouse endangered everyone while on the road. The connection of this (the two Wexford County cases) and the domestic violence cases is evidence that drugs hurt those around the addicts, Elmore said. Drugs endanger the user, family, friends and the community.

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Lake City man headed to prison on meth-related convictions - Cadillac News

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$9,000 raised after donations stolen from Woodland Salvation Army Service Center – The Aggie

Posted: at 5:51 am

Christmas break-in resulted in two doors being badly damaged, police still investigating

Thousands of dollars that had been raised through donations were stolen from the Salvation Army Service Center in Woodland over the holidays. The burglary occurred at 413 Main Street between late Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019 and 12:30 on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019, and resulted in damages to the service center of up to $1,000.

Sam Jarosz, the public relations director for the Del Oro branch of the Salvation Army said employees who were returning to work after Christmas break found two doors that were just pretty much destroyed.

Upon searching the buildings more, they found that $2,413 in kettle donations which had been raised in the two days leading up to Christmas Eve were stolen, Jarosz said.

According to Jarosz, the total losses added up to around $3,500, a blow to the holiday fundraising campaign and the efforts by the Woodland Salvation Army Service Center.

The last couple days in the red kettle campaign are usually some of our biggest days, Jarosz said. We really push to get those donations.

The red kettle campaign, in which volunteers stand outside businesses with a red bucket for donations and a signature bell, generally operates between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The donations collected provide a large amount of funding for community programs offered throughout the year by the Salvation Army.

This year, with Thanksgiving later in the month of November and fewer donations in general, the Salvation Army was already behind on its fundraising target before the break-in occurred.

The Salvation Army mentioned the effects of the burglary in a KCRA article, stating although no one was injured, this is far from a victimless crime and that these crimes push the service center further away from its fundraising target and could mean some people in need may not be able to receive services.

In response to the burglary, the Salvation Army set up another donations page to recover the losses. According to Jarosz, the fundraiser raised almost $9,000 in the weeks since it was created.

No suspects have been apprehended in the burglary, and the Woodland Police Department is currently investigating the incident.

The Woodland Salvation Army Service Center provides a food pantry, Christmas rental and utility assistance and additional services in the Yolo County area. In Northern California, the nonprofit is known for supplying emergency shelters, transitional living centers, workforce development programs and adult rehabilitation programs for those in need.

Jarosz described one of the most impactful Salvation Army programs for the Northern California and Nevada regions, Camp Del Oro.

Its a wonderful experience to just be kids and learn about the outdoors and each other, Jarosz said. Its been really helpful for children of Camp Fire survivors too.

According to the Camp Del Oro website, donations to the Salvation Army help reduce the price of overnight camp by $32, and additional scholarships help children from low-income families afford the experience.

Written by: Madeleine Payne city@theaggie.org

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The Search for Exoplanets Have Revealed a Cold Neptune and Two-Super Earths by Land Based Telescopes – Science Times

Posted: at 5:50 am

Scientists looking up into sky have found good leads that reveal a frigid Neptune and dual Earths bigger than ours. All these are part of five extraterrestrial worlds that are part of five exoplanets, eightexoplanetsin orbit near red dwarfs. This discovery was reported by Carnegie's Fabo Feng and Paul Butler, published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

Both earths might be hospitable to future colonization, they revolve around thestars GJ180 and GJ229A. These red dwarfs are the nearest to the sun in terms of distance, observing them will be of import to gain more data via land-based telescopes. Both earths are bigger by 7.5 and 7.9 times more than our earth, they orbit in a duration of 106 and 122 days from calculations made. Nearby is Neptune size planet that is in orbit around GJ433, with indications of frozen water that could be imaged with earth-based telescopes. One of the researchers noted that this Neptune-like planet is the closest to our solar system.

Using the radial velocity method to look for exoplanets in the cosmos aided in the discovery, which is important to astronomers and astrophysicists looking for outer worlds.Radial Velocityworks by detecting planetary wobbles that are a result of the gravity of a planet and a star, this minute and increment changes are detected by advanced tools to measure it. The mass of red dwarfs is lower than other types of stars, the primary types of stars near habitable planets when are found.

Red dwarfs or M dwarfs are usually not as hot as our sun, and widespread all over the galaxy. Where there are an M dwarfs, there will be planets that can contain life and water as well. Lower temperatures of red dwarfs are conducive to have more habitable and water-laden planets, called the habitable zone compare to other stars. This life-giving condition is a boon for astronomers and astrophysicists looking for alternative worlds to terra-form and transfer humanity as another "earth", or a collective of habitable worlds to choose from.

Planets that orbit around these red dwarfs will be tidally locked, which is the same rotation axis is shared by the host M dwarf that is the same. This synchronicity is the same mechanics as the earth and the moon. Synchronous spinning at the axis by exoplanets has a cold and hot side that raises inhospitable conditions for colonizing, which should be considered. One of the better options is GJ180d, which is not locked to the local stars gravitation well, so it will be a better place to live in and it might have existing flora, and fauna.

An alternative option isGJ229Ac, and it is as temperate as our world, but it is super-sized with a brown dwarf. Brown dwarfs are not able to process hydrogen fusion, compared to other stars, it is not as hot. Another brown dwarf called GJ229Ac is one of the first to have its appearance seen, but whether exoplanets is supported that is not known. More is needed to understand how a brown dwarf forms, in brown dwarf based "binary system".

Finding moreexoplanetsand finding more habitable worlds, developing the right tools, and mechanics are important. These will reveal more of the cosmos all the secrets to learn until better tools are available to observe the fringes of the solar system.

Read: 'Cold Neptune' and two temperate super-Earths found orbiting nearby stars

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SpaceX has ambitions to carry a million people to Mars by 2050, tweets Musk – Technowize

Posted: at 5:50 am

In a series of Tweets recently, Elon Musk said that SpaceX plans to ferry 100k people to Mars by 2050 on its Starship and Super Heavy Rocket system, which is designed to service all Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars.He tweeted that a 100 Starships were needed a year to send about a 100k people to Mars whenever the two planets orbits are aligned.

This happens every 26 months when the distance between the Earth and Mars decreases. Musks ambition is to send a 1000 Starships into orbit during this short window of about a month, and transport people to Mars taking advantage of the decreased commuting time.Travellers would still be looking at months of travel aboard the Starship transporter before reaching their destination. When questioned on the validity of the numbers by a follower, Elon Musk agreed that the Starship could be carrying about a million people to Mars from Earth by 2050.Musk further elaborated on the mechanics of this ambitious plan. He tweeted that a crazy amount of cargo capacity will be needed to build a human colony on the Red Planet.

Megatons per year to orbit are needed for life to become multiplanetary, he tweeted. For a yield of one megaton per year, each Starship needs to deliver 100 tons per flight, according to Musk.

SpaceX says that the Starship and the Super Heavy rocket have a 9 m payload compartment, which is larger than any such payload available at present, or soon. This will enable it to deliver satellites to Earths orbit and beyond, at a lower marginal cost per launch than the current Falcon vehicles. Starships pressurized forward payload volume is greater than 1,000m3, enhancing utilization capacity for in-space activities. The aft cargo containers can also host a variety of payloads, according to a statement on the companys website

He added that there will be a lot of jobs on Mars once the colony is established.The Starship transportation system is still in the design stage.

The Starship transportation system is a two-stage vehicle made up of the Super Heavy Rocket, the booster, and the transport pod--the Starship.

SpaceX intends to ultimately replace its Falcon 9 rocket systems by creating a single reusable transportation unit to service its interplanetary commuting ambitions. The space company intends to redirect resources from Falcon 9 series to the Starship, to help make it an affordable option for people wanting to travel to the moon and more.

The first cargo mission to Mars is planned in 2022. This initial mission will establish the possibility of life on Mars, look for water sources, and establish a small infrastructure.

Another mission in 2024 is planned with cargo and crew both. They are hopeful of setting up a more secure base on Mars to facilitate future missions and the beginnings of colonization of Mars.

SpaceX has already announced its plans to carry fashion innovator and art curator Yusaku Maezawa to fly around the Moon in 2023. Only 24 other people have made it to the Moon to date, the last one being in 1972.

SpaceX will be conducting the first private flight to the Moon, it will be a fly-by of the moon on a weeklong trip.

SpaceX has ambitions to carry a million people to Mars by 2050, tweets Musk - Technowize

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After 1-Day Weather Delay, SpaceX Succesfully Conducts Abort Test – Weatherboy

Posted: at 5:50 am

A dummy known as Ripley flew to the ISS on the SpaceX Crew Demo flight. After todays test flight of another Crew Dragon craft with other dummies, humans may soon occupy it on a trip to the International Space Station later this year. Image: SpaceX

A day after weather interfered with plans for a test flight, SpaceX had a successful launch and splash-down this morning, putting it on the path to be the first company certified to bring humans to space from U.S. soil since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

At 10:30am today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon lifted up from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The purpose of this mission is to show the spacecrafts capability to safely separate from the rocket in the unlikely event of an inflight emergency.

This critical flight test puts us on the cusp of returning the capability to launch astronauts in American spacecraft on American rockets from American soil, said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. We are thrilled with the progress NASAs Commercial Crew Program is making and look forward to the next milestone for Crew Dragon.

NASA and SpaceX teams conducted the companys in-flight abort test this morning. Image: SpaceX

As part of the test, SpaceX configured Crew Dragon to trigger a launch escape about 1.5 minutes after liftoff. All major functions were executed, including separation, engine firings, parachute deployment and landing. Crew Dragon splashed down at 10:38 a.m. just off the Florida coast in the Atlantic Ocean while the Falcon 9 was terminated; it had previously flown three missions into space.

As far as we can tell thus far, its a picture perfect mission. It went as well as one can possibly expect, said Elon Musk, Chief Engineer at SpaceX. This is a reflection of the dedication and hard work of the SpaceX and NASA teams to achieve this goal. Obviously, Im super fired up. This is great.

The past few days have been an incredible experience for us, said astronaut Doug Hurley. We started with a full dress rehearsal of what Bob and I will do for our mission. Today, we watched the demonstration of a system that we hope to never use, but can save lives if we ever do. It took a lot of work between NASA and SpaceX to get to this point, and we cant wait to take a ride to the space station soon.Prior to the flight test, teams completed launch day procedures for the first crewed flight test, from suit-up to launch pad operations. The joint teams now will begin the full data reviews that need to be completed prior to NASA astronauts flying the system during SpaceXs Demo-2 mission.While rare, launch problems do occur from time to time. In October 2018, a Russian rocket carrying Russians and American to the International Space Station suffered from an anomaly shortly after launch. In that mishap, the crewed Soyuz capsule successfully deployed from the rocket and returned the people safely to Earth.Todays test shows that SpaceX has a similar program to keep astronauts safe should a problem pop-up as they travel into space.

The Crew Dragon, containing dummies fitted with sensors to collect data on the journey back to Earth, will be recovered and examined over the next several days and weeks. Once all test results are final and SpaceX completes necessary paperwork, they could become the first entity certified for human space travel, with a possible crewed launch to the International Space Station as soon as later this spring.

Beyond the Crew Dragon, SpaceX is also working on another rocket/spacecraft project to bring people and cargo to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Musk hopes to be able to bring a million people to Mars by 2050 as part of colonization plans there.


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MOMTOURAGE: Are you struggling to figure out why your child struggles with reading? – Greenwich Free Press

Posted: at 5:49 am

By Lauren Hagerty

As parents, we are taught to start reading to our children from birth (if not while in the womb!).

Reading is a very complicated and complex task for a young mind, and it includes a lot of different parts of the brain and senses to come together to accomplish this. Kids will learn to read instinctively, or by practicing and memorizing sight words in school. But what if this is not enough? What if your child, no matter how hard they work, still struggles, and you dont know why?

If youre a mother of a child where reading is a challenge, your responsibilities as a parent can be overwhelming and stressful. At first, you will be perplexed and repeatedly ask yourself: Why is my child struggling? You will scour the internet looking for answers. Then will come the real struggle; your child will not want to read because they feel inadequate, which will only compound the problem.

There are a plethora of reasons why your child could be having difficulty with reading, and we hope to shed some light and share some resources based on our own experiences.

Two moms from The Momtourage will share their stories in the hopes to help you on the journey of helping your child become a better reader. Their names and childrens names will not be shared. As you can imagine, this struggle can be quite emotional. We want to protect these children.

MOMTOURAGE MOM #1: My son is a bright, happy, intelligent child. Ive noticed that when he reads, all of the words on the sentence come out, but not in the correct order. Ive also seen that his bs and ds are always mixed up. Additionally, he struggles terribly with spelling. Hes understanding what he reads, but is having trouble reading.

CAUSE: Eye-tracking disorder; a developmental delay. It was not noticed or acknowledged by his regular ophthalmologist, teacher, or pediatrician. It was an ophthalmologic specialist, Dr. Stephen Shaby, who helps children with eye-related learning disorders, who made the determination.

How can you self-check for a tracking disorder? Hold a spoon in front of your childs face, ask them to follow it with their eyes, and, if present, you will most likely see their eyes skip. Some exercises can help strengthen these muscles, such as go-fish games, popping bubbles with a pointer finger, and more. There are, of course, other reasons for this as well, but this eye-tracking disorder caught us off guard.

MOMTOURAGE MOM #2:My daughter struggles with handwriting. We spent years trying everything to help her. We used Handwriting Without Tears, hired tutors, played dozens of fine motor games, such as Operation, and bought excessive amounts of tools online (specialized pencils, grips, various lined papers, rulers, workbooks and more) and even had her in consistent occupational therapy for years.

Still, my child was getting older, and her handwriting was barely improving.

As amount of required writing in school increased as she got older, my daughters hand was always tired, and even though she tried and worked so hard. No one could read was she was writing.

Letters were big and small. Spacing between words was nonexistent. And capital letters,punctuation, and spelling were inconsistent and often incorrect. We were all tired, frustrated, and confused.

CAUSE: Dysgraphia. After much digging around and testing with a Neuropsychologist, our child was diagnosed with Dysgraphia, a learning disability affecting handwriting and fine-motor skills. There is obviously much more involved in this diagnosis, of course, but quite simply, there was relief because there was a specific reason as to why our daughter was struggling so much. Talk to your school about your concerns with Dysgraphia, or ask your pediatrician for a list of Neuropsychologists in the area if interested in further testing. Occupational Therapy, handwriting practice and continuing to work hard are all still essential, but now we have a reason as to WHY.

MOMTOURAGE MOM #3:My child can read but refuses. Period.

CAUSE: Boredom or lack of interest. If your child knows how to read, but doesnt want to log in her reading time for school or read for fun, here are a few tricks weve learned along the way:

Leave a few magazines and kids books in the bathroom. Hey, a few minutes of reading on the toilet is still reading, and theyll reach for one without even thinking about it.

Subscribe to a few magazines your child loves, such a sports magazines, Boys Life or Girls Life, Highlights, Car magazines your family also enjoys anything to get them interested.

Be very, very open to graphic novels kids are obsessed with this genre, and they are comfortable, fun reads.

Some kids love non-fiction and hate fictionthats okay, too. Go to the library and get books on history, sharks, Legos theyll learn a lot about something they love.

Learning to read and write can be stressful for your child, making it even more stressful for you when they are struggling. If you are a mother whose child is having difficulty, please give us a shout out, we can always meet for coffee and do our best to help.

Medical Disclaimer: Momtourage Media, LLC content is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Lauren and Colleen, from The Momtourage

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How Deus Ex: Human Revolution Perfectly Predicts The Future – Fiction Talk

Posted: at 5:48 am

Well, 2020 officially kickstarted a new decade and with it, speculations on what the future promises. It has only been a couple of weeks, and yet we find ourselves witnessing changes on a global scale. Video games, much like real life, convey the same level of change, mostly depicting our reality in a darker and bleaker fashion. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one title that comes across as a pure model, more than most games on the market today. After revisiting this game recently in my spare time, Ive come to realize that a lot of elements mimic that of our inevitable future. So how does this cyberpunk action RPG foretell the direction in which humanity is going? Well, were here to take a look and make our analysis.

The most noticeable first pick would be the increasing rise of augmentations and prosthetics. By recent analysis, 7.00% of the global population is categorized as being born with a defect. One of the most common is that of congenital amputation, a birth defect of lacking a limb or two. As with the growth of this percentage, prosthetics are more and more massively produced. However, while this is nothing unheard of, science is continuing to innovate with prosthetics much more than before. Innovations in the field of robotics opened up new frontiers.

The possibility of commanding enhanced prosthetics with a mere thought was something unheard of. Companies like Open Bionic, Cyberdyne, and DEKA are some of the most well known, that continue to experiment and research the possibilities of prosthetics. Much like the protagonist of Deus Ex, these sorts of bionics are set to evolve with the coming tide. A chance for all to live a regular life, despite of their defect.

Deus Exs most recurring theme is that of Transhumanism. If by any chance, you havent come to terms with this movement, we will indulge you. The simplest explanation on the matter is that basically, Transhumanism is a philosophical movement that supports human enhancements. In Human Revolution, players are introduced to a variety of companies, which deal in research and manufacturing of augmentations.

Sarif Industries is one such company that mimics that of Japans Cyberdyne. While they, unlike their video game counterpart, do not openly support this movement, they strive for the same goals. A better, faster, stronger future for all. Then they are companies like BiChip in Denmark, which are promoting their chip implants. Now with the idea of reading medical records, identification, and even connecting to wifi. Their most recent update was a built-in cryptocurrency reader, allowing payment via microchip.

The BBC made a lengthy article on this topic in late 2019, discussing how everyday items, such as car keys, are now portable via this method. Who knows, maybe in time, these things will become mandatory. And with more users each year, who knows, perhaps we will all be soon connected by a much similar AI algorithm. However, with each significant change, humanity rebels, and the case is the same in the game.

One of the biggest things that marked 2019, in terms of global trends, was civil unrest. The Arab protests, France, Catalonia, Latin America, and most notably, Hong Kong. These protests were mostly to show dislike of the current regimes in these countries. Yet, if people are more open about protesting then ever before, who says that it cant happen when it comes to Transhumanism. As shown in Deus Ex, people are afraid of rapid change, especially at its climax.

In the game, the epilogue focuses on the corruption of augmentation chips. Augmented humans become hostile and openly attack non-augmented ones. In the wake of such a disaster, how could humanity not step up and present their concerns? Governments are known to manipulate their countries into unspeakable acts, and humankind, on countless occasions, fights back. In the wake of significant evolution, especially one that is rapid and forced upon, people also tend to revolt. Much like in the game, it will inevitably lead to that. The only question is, will it resolve more peacefully, or turn into all-out urban chaos?

We are going slightly back to the topic of robotics, specifically Artificial Intelligence. By now, everybody knows that it all started with Alan Turing. A man who left a legacy behind that shaped the future generations and is still continuing to evolve to this day. From primitive computers to elaborate algorithms that think on their own, AI will play a prominent role in the future, that much is certain. When it comes to global media, AI has now evolved to a point where it has access to all information. In the game, a certain anchorwoman shows our protagonist the power of the news industry and how she feeds off different data.

Eliza Cassan is the primary example of how AI would work in the future. As an artificial intelligence, she displays uncanny skills of gathering news to peak precision. She is more than just a simple machine, demonstrating compassion and feelings, just like any individual. And like any human being, can lie, which she does on occasion to the protagonist. News media also relies on this a lot, and this card tends to be played, now more than ever.

The final piece of proof comes not in what one can see, but what one can feel. The primary focus in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is powerplay, be that of the Illuminati, or major corporations. Casting a shadow and rising, way above their respective governments, one cannot help but feel that there is a larger scheme here. While it is no secret agent villain scheming, its most definitely sinister. Call it superstition, or a conspiracy. But one thing is clear. Monopolies of large industries tower over government positions.

And while seats of power rise and fall over a single night, major players with vast industries standstill. You need not look far from Sarif Industry, Darrow Industries, Tai Yong Medical, and VersaLife. Examples of in-game organizations that pull all the string in the Human Revolution. And yet, there always seems like there is a third hand guiding and ushering new ideas and power seats. While there are other games that represent what humanity could be like, Human Revolution manages that way too realistic. A possibility, or near-perfect example of what the world could look like?

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Religious keep momentum of Amazon synod alive in wider Latin American, Caribbean region – Global Sisters Report

Posted: at 5:47 am

The Seminar on Integral Ecological Conversion, held Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2019, in San Jos, Costa Rica, focused on the challenges and roles of religious life with the conclusion of the Amazon synod. (GSR photo/Soli Salgado)

San Jose, Costa Rica As one of just 10 women who participated in the Amazon synod, Sr. Daniela Cannavina returned to Latin America eager to impart the wisdom from her experience at the Vatican to fellow religious, with anecdotes and summaries of the lively discussions from inside the hall.

But mainly, Cannavina returned eager to keep the momentum of the synod alive.

"We didn't want to waste time," she said, adding that to wait for the pope to publish his final document on the synod, which has not yet been released, risked spoiling the "nutrients" within the working drafts. (A Capuchin Sister of Mother Rubatto, Cannavina attended as a representative of the International Union of Superiors General.)

At the synod, which explored the Amazon's pastoral and environmental concerns Oct. 6-27, 2019, every participant was granted four minutes to speak. Cannavina chose to spend her brief time advocating for women deacons and for the region's ministries to have a more elevated, "feminine, Amazonian profile," she said.

She told Global Sisters Report that the many committees and seminars of the Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean Religious (CLAR), of which she is general secretary, are almost entirely made up of women, so "it is up to us to create our own visibility, to continue that formation and build a synodal church."

She took this message and all her reflections from the synod back to Latin America, where, not even two months later, her representative role was flipped: Cannavina, an Argentine, was now tasked with communicating her experience to a small room full of Latin American religious, all of whom gathered in San Jos, Costa Rica, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, ready to localize the synod.

Sr. Daniela Cannavina, a Capuchin Sister of Mother Rubatto, is CLAR's general secretary and participated in the Amazon synod as a delegate for the International Union of Superiors General. (GSR photo/Soli Salgado)

Amazon region's challenges apply to all

The group of roughly 40 women and men religious, priests, deacons and lay theologians came from all over Latin America for the CLAR gathering. But most of their respective countries are geographically untouched by the Amazon.

Alirio Cceres Aguirre, a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Bogot, Colombia, who spent 15 days at the synod, said one of the triumphs of the synod was the understanding that the Amazon is a "laboratory," meaning all the challenges and issues discussed with respect to that specific region "still apply to other 'little Amazons,' the planet as a common home that contains pluralities, different cultures fundamentally linked by ecology," he said.

A chemical engineer and theologian, Cceres attended the CLAR gathering in Costa Rica on behalf of the Episcopal Conference of Latin America and Caritas' integral ecology program.

He described the synod as a "confluence between an ancestral, indigenous, Latin American worldview and the European structures of Catholic thought."

"The fact that the synod happened is, in and of itself, a success," he said. That many Catholics on the outside, including his own friends and family, saw the synod as controversial accusations of pagan practices and fear for the church's future, he said, contrasted the beauty and fraternity experienced within the synod serves as "a kind of diagnosis on where we are as a church."

"It's an invitation to think: How is it that we are going to achieve communion?" he said, adding that those meeting in Costa Rica were privileged to live out the lessons imparted by the Amazonian people: Words must become actions; beware of letting good intentions stay trapped in discussion.

The three-day CLAR summit included presentations from religious and laypeople on various environmental challenges they face in their regions and how they've worked to address them, which was a source of inspiration for those gathered.

Ariana Daz Acua is a 33-year-old lay theologian and the deputy director of the Laudato Si' Observatory, which the Catholic University of Costa Rica launched in 2017 to influence environmental public policy in developing countries in the spirit of the encyclical.

While education is a key focus of the observatory, promoting workshops and projects throughout Latin America, Daz said she and her colleagues also educated local bishops several months ahead of the synod who knew only rough details about the pastoral and ecological challenges in the Amazon.

At the CLAR gathering, she presented scientific information from the observatory's Environmental Development Index, which measures environmental impacts of countries all over the globe.

"We already have a lot of theological depth on this topic, but sometimes, we don't know the science as well," Daz said.

But being among men and women religious who see the negative effects of climate change firsthand, she said, was a powerful reminder of the greater purpose of her academic work.

"I could feel the pain of the people who suffer from drought, who are up against mining, whose homes are destroyed," Daz said. "The work I do in the observatory, the synod, this seminar, it leaves me restless and makes me think, on a personal level, about what decisions I can make in 2020 to help the disadvantaged in my community."

But while smaller day-to-day deeds at the individual level are necessary, Cceres emphasized that "it is at the institutional, community level where meaningful change happens."

"Our response should not be through a rigid, business-like structure, but rather, through networks, alliances and coalitions that create concrete action," he said, adding that they ought to replicate the synodal process in its inclusivity and open dialogue.

"This is how the global Catholic movement can offer guidance and inspiration to all of humanity."

The Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2019, CLAR gathering was an opportunity for religious involved in ecology in their respective Latin American countries to network and share experiences. (GSR photo/Soli Salgado)

Religious must be involved

Sr. Marleen Renders, a Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Belgium, has been ministering in Guatemala since 1986. She's spent much of the last decade accompanying Guatemalans who have been resisting a mining operation on their land outside Guatemala City.

"It hurt this community that the church wasn't present on this issue," she said, noting that parish priests hesitated to get involved because some in the community were in favor of the mine. In 2012, locals then turned to Guatemala's conference of religious, CONFREGUA, for which Renders was then the secretary.

A few times a week, Renders joins the protests that take the form of overnight campgrounds in the middle of the street to prevent the mining trucks from reaching the pueblos.

"Those fights are never just about the people today, but about future generations, the animals dying in exchange for gold extraction," she said. The more time she spent with them, Renders added, the more she understood the overlap between the Earth and their spirituality.

"I've been a part of so many experiences like these, where you see people who are willing to put their lives on the line for their environment, for their community," she said. "As religious, we can't be on the outside looking in."

Participants discuss their countries' issues at the Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2019, CLAR gathering. (GSR photo/Soli Salgado)

Even though the focus of the synod was the Amazon, Renders said, "you still feel Guatemala's indigenous in all of this, the people who live in the ravines.

"You can't look at the Amazon like one specific place in the world. The conversation is bigger than that. We're talking about all the territories who share those problems and concerns," she said. "And I have a lot of hope."

Moving forward, CLAR's role in supporting the religious in the Amazon, Cannavina said, will be through strengthening the Panamanian ecclesial network, REPAM, ensuring that "the process that was lived in the synod does not fall through the cracks, but that it continues to mobilize us." She added that CLAR will also reflect on and revisit its structures, such as how they can expand their presence in the regions where it's needed.

At the synod, Pope Francis encouraged creativity and novelty in addressing the challenges before the church, which Cannavina emphasized as a key takeaway but, ultimately, an ongoing process.

"Creativity isn't just born in a few days of meeting; it's all the possibilities that come from the reception of the synod," she said. (The CLAR gathering concluded with a final document summarizing the group's reflections and calls to action, available here in Spanish.)

"We as a church have to be allies with the people who are most exploited, who are most in need of a presence to walk beside them," she said. "With that alone, we have a lot on our plate."

The synod more than anything demonstrated "emerging points," Cannavina said, such as developing formation houses inspired by Amazonian cultures, an observatory for Latin American research, and for religious life to see themselves as pilgrims in a process that is at once intercultural, intercongregational and itinerant.

"I'll never forget at the synod when the pope was told he is not alone in this, that there were many of us accompanying and supporting him," Cannavina said. "It was like an invitation for the pope to keep paddling, to keep sailing inland because we'll go with him a church in communion. We're all in this process of looking for a new way of being a church."

Like after all CLAR gatherings, the group wrapped up the three days in San Jos, Costa Rica, with a cultural party, this time with a local Costa Rican dance troupe kicking off an evening of music and dance. (GSR photo/Soli Salgado)

[Soli Salgado is a staff writer for Global Sisters Report. Her email address is ssalgado@ncronline.org. Follow her on Twitter: @soli_salgado.]

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