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Watch Live: Blue Origin’s tourist rocket takes William Shatner into space

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Watch Live: Blue Origin’s tourist rocket takes William Shatner into space

William Shatner, the legendary Star Trek actor, will boldly venture where he’s never been before: actual space, early Wednesday morning. Shatner, well known for his role as James T. Kirk, Captain of the USS Enterprise, is poised to journey to space and back with three other passengers aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, which will launch from West Texas.

Today’s trip is the second crewed flight for Blue Origin’s New Shepard, a reusable passenger rocket designed to transport paying customers to the edge of space for a few brief moments of weightlessness. Blue Origin’s first crewed flight in July featured Blue Origin’s creator, former Amazon CEO and current world’s second richest man, Jeff Bezos.

The crew that is heading up today is diverse. Two paying customers are flying alongside Shatner: Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of small satellite business Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, co-founder of software startup Medidata and vice chair of life sciences at Dassault Systèmes, a French software company. Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, and Shatner were named as the final passengers last week.

The foursome’s flight will last approximately 11 minutes. New Shepard is a suborbital rocket, which means it won’t be able to achieve the insane speeds required to lap the Earth indefinitely. The rocket will instead take off vertically from Blue Origin’s launch facility in Van Horn, Texas. In a few of minutes, the rocket will reach an altitude of more than 62 miles (100 kilometres), breaching the barrier into space. The capsule separates from the rocket while well above the Earth, and the occupants within have a few minutes to float around and gaze out the tall windows at the Earth below.

Shatner’s journey comes just a few weeks after the publication of his new spoken word album, Bill, which features a song with Brad Paisley called “So Far From The Moon,” which is inspired by Shatner’s experience on the night of the Apollo 11 lunar landing in 1969. Shatner, who is 90 years old, will be the oldest person to have gone to space. He’ll beat out famous aviator Wally Funk, who flew with Bezos on the first crewed flight of New Shepard. Funk, 82, was part of a group of 13 women in the 1960s who went through the same testing that NASA used to choose its first astronauts but were ultimately refused the opportunity to train for space.

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Highway 70 in Northern California has been closed due to a massive mudslide

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SF highway closed

Highway 70 in Northern California has been closed due to a massive mudslide

On Sunday, multiple mudslides and debris flows closed a stretch of State Route 70 in Butte and Plumas counties, some 170 miles northeast of San Francisco, within the Dixie Fire burn scar.

The highway was closed in the Feather River Canyon, between Jarbo Gap and Greenville, a historic Plumas County town that was consumed by the Dixie Fire in August, as heavy rain soaked the region.

Brandon Clement, a photojournalist, shared spectacular photographs and a drone video of a part of Highway 70 covered in rock and mud near the hamlet of Tobin.

Cal Trans shared photographs of rocks on Highway 70 around 8 miles north of Pulga on Twitter.

A massive storm barreled into Northern California on Sunday, flooding roadways, toppling trees, and unleashing mud flows in regions charred by recent wildfires in the state’s north.

Rain and high gusts followed the arrival of an atmospheric river — a long and wide plume of moisture drawn in from the Pacific Ocean — during the weekend.

The meteorological service’s Sacramento office predicted debris flows in recent burn scars, particularly on steep hillsides, on Sunday.

A debris flow is a flowing mass of loose mud, sand, soil, rock, and water that is propelled down a slope by gravity. A debris flow can completely destroy homes and cars in its path. Areas that have recently been scorched by wildfires are especially vulnerable to flash floods and debris flows during rainstorms.

A flash flood and debris flow warning was issued for the Dixie Fire zone on Sunday morning. “Heavy rain is starting to move in and this will cause debris flows within the Dixie Fire,” the weather service’s Sacramento office reported about 6 a.m. Rainfall rates of up to an inch per hour are forecast through 3 a.m. Monday, according to the advisory.

This summer, the Dixie Fire spread over five counties — Butte, Plumas, Lassen, Shasta, and Tehama — covering about one million acres and becoming the second largest wildfire in California history.

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In the midst of a raging storm, Sacramento City Hall opens its lobby to the homeless population

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Sacramento Storm

In the midst of a raging storm, Sacramento City Hall opens its lobby to the homeless population

Earlier on Sunday, the shelter inside City Hall was nearly full.

As the homeless population sought shelter from a significant storm, Sacramento City Hall opened its doors and lobby.

The City Hall foyer reopened on Saturday night and is slated to remain open until 6 a.m. on Monday.

By Sunday afternoon, the shelter had sheltered 50 individuals from the storm and was nearly full. Three additional shelters were available at the Hagginwood Community Center, as well as at 1725 28th Street and 2450 Florin Road.

“City Hall, I know, is the place for the people to be able to access for city business, but City Hall also belongs to the people who are having the hardest of hard times. I’m really proud of the fact that we are opening up the people’s building to bring people indoors. It’s the right thing to do,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg in a video sent to Twitter by the Department of Community Response.

While the effort kept individuals indoors during the storm, it drew criticism from the Sacramento Homeless Union for being a “photo op.”

“This is your job. You don’t get points for opening a (door) the other 10,900 people are flooded in tents. Why are you videoing people without permission. This is unacceptable we already let you know that (sic),”  In a retweet on Twitter, the homeless union stated.

Janna Haynes, Public Information Manager for the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, told ABC10 earlier on Sunday that those experiencing homelessness in the Sacramento area should try to secure shelter by 2 p.m. A list of shelters is shown below.

Shelters:

  • 1725 28th St, Sacramento
  • 2450 Florin Road, Sacramento
  • Creekside Adult Center — 2641 Kent Drive, Sacramento
  •  Hagginwood Community Center — Storm Center at 3271 Marysville Blvd, Sacramento
  • City of Sacramento City Hall – Storm Center at 915 I St, Sacramento
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The prevalence of ‘flesh-eating STI’ is increasing in the United Kingdom

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STI Donovanosis

The prevalence of ‘flesh-eating STI’ is increasing in the United Kingdom

Doctors in the United Kingdom have warned that a rare sexually transmitted disease is on the rise — and it affects males more than women.

In the United Kingdom, a rare sexually transmitted disease that “progressively destroys genital tissue” is spreading.

The medical ailment is known as donovanosis, but because of its tendency to eat away at your private parts, it has been dubbed the “flesh-eating STI.”

According to the National Library of Medicine, early signs include “beefy-red lesions” that can grow on the genitals or around the anus and gradually wear away, transforming them into “raised, beefy-red, velvety nodules called granulation tissue” (NLM).

If left untreated, the infection gradually kills vaginal tissue and spreads to other parts of your body, including the thighs and lower abdomen.

The bacteria that causes the flesh-eating infection is generally found in South Africa, Brazil, and India, but it is now being seen in the United Kingdom as well.

The Sun claims that British doctors have warned that donovanosis, also known as klebsiella granulomatis, is “on the rise” after documented cases increased from 19 in 2016 to 30 in 2019.

Despite data from Public Health England indicating a drop during the 2020 shutdown, gynaecologist Dr. Shree Datta told the publication that it was getting “more common” and that people should be aware of it.

“As well as the awful symptoms, it’s important people are aware that it’s a known risk factor for the transmission of HIV,” she said.

“The early signs are lumps around the genitals or anus that increase in size and take on a beefy-red appearance.

“These can develop into ulcers that, without treatment, can become infected, which can result in pain and an unpleasant smell. It’s more likely to affect men.”

The best method to avoid catching the condition, which is treated with antibiotics, according to the London specialist, is to practise safe sex.

Dr. Karan Raj, a second British doctor, published a video about the developing STI on his TikTok account, calling it “terrifying” and explaining the testing process.

The expert warnings have alarmed frightened Britons, with some resorting to social media to warn others not to Google Image the STD, while others joked that it was time to “go celibate.”

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