The Daily Wrap: August 5th

It’s a new week full of new news and new gossip.  Keep up with the latest by hitting Break’s Daily Wrap.

Don’t Go to The Middle East this Week

Turns out there’s a credible threat in the Middle East after we intercepted some terrorist chatter that has prompted the US to shut down embassies in the Middle East and North Africa, for about a week.  What kind of threat do we have to worry about?  A terrorist threat!

Indeed, news about the nature of the threat, other than it being a terroristic one from Al Qaeda, is pretty slim and would make a more cynical person wonder if this is a really conveniently timed scare tactic to try to make all that NSA spying look like it’s paying off.  But that’s just what a cynic might think.  In the meantime, watch out for potential terror, but only in the next 7 days.


Human Trafficking by the Numbers

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You hear about human trafficking every so often, but do you know much about it?  Well here’s a fun fact and by fun we mean awful – there are apparently 2.4 million people being trafficked at any one moment in the world.  That’s the population of Canada’s largest city, Toronto.  Or Brooklyn, New York.  Or all of Maine and New Hampshire together.  That’s a lot of people.

For some more depressing stats, let’s use bullet points;

  • Only one in 100 victims are ever rescued
  • 2 out of 3 are women
  • Trafficking is worth $32 billion per year
  • Nearly all victims are used as sex slaves

It’s pretty awful all around and those numbers are conservative as stats on this issue aren’t well researched since people tend to not do much about human trafficking and resources are much more focused on things like drug trafficking.  See?  Depressing.


Life Imitates Seinfeld: Fake Cancer Edition

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Kody Grode, whose name is awful, was convicted of fraud after a 2012 incident in which she duped friends and coworkers into thinking she had stage 3 ovarian cancer and accepted money raised at fundraisers in her benefit.  Of course she had no cancer at all and apparently just wanted a few thousand dollars and some attention.

Grode has to repay the $5000 she received, spend 3 months in jail and 3 years on probation, during which she can do some community service with real cancer patients, who will no doubt be thrilled to hang out with her.


15 Million Year Old Whale Skulls?  You Bet!

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This story is not supported by the museum of Creationism, but for the rest of us it’s kind of cool to hear that a 15 million year old whale skull was dug up by the banks of the Potomac river.  It’s from a baleen whale and weighs about 1,000 lbs and will be on display in a nearby museum for the next few months while they clean it up and make it look pretty, and see if they can’t find the rest of the whale’s body to go with it.


Taste the World’s First lab Grown Burger

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History was made today as a pair of food critics were given the very first hamburger ever made from meat that did not come from a living organism.  Instead, stem cells harvested from cows were used to grow muscle tissue until there was enough of it to form a hamburger, then a chef cooked it up, they put it on a bun and someone ate it – lab grown meat.

The official word was that it feels like meat and the taste is almost there, but it needed some spicing.  It also wasn’t as juicy as a typical burger which makes sense when you consider the cells only grew muscle tissue making this literally the most lean burger ever made, it was 100% muscle and no fat at all.  In the end though, it was definitely a burger and that means, despite this currently being cost prohibitive (the burger was over $200,000 to produce), one day we could certainly solve issues of hunger and livestock by just producing the meat in factories instead of growing an slaughtering animals.  And if you think the idea is gross, you just need to compare it to how gross the inside of a slaughterhouse looks.