Night vision eyedrops allow vision of up to 150 feet in darkness
It might sound like something straight out of Q’s laboratory or the latest Marvel film but a group of scientists in California have successfully created eye drops that temporarily enable night vision.
Science for the Masses, an independent “citizen science” organisation that operates from the city of Tehacapi, theorised that Chlorin e6 (Ce6), a natural molecule that can be created from algae and other green plants, could enhance eyesight in dark environments.
The molecule is found in some deep sea fish, forms the basis of some cancer therapies and has been previously prescribed intravenously for night blindness.
Jeff Tibbets, the lab’s medical officer, said: “There are a fair amount of papers talking about having injected it in models like rats and it’s been used intravenously since the 60s as treatments for different cancers. After doing the research, you have to take the next step.”
The next step was to moisten the eyes of biochemical researcher and willing guinea pig Gabriel Licina’s eyes with 50 microlitres of Ce6.
The effect was apparently almost instantaneous and, after an hour, he was able to distinguish shapes from 10 metres away in the dark and soon at even greater distances.
“We had people go stand in the woods,” Licina said, “At 50 metres, I could figure who they were, even if they were standing up against a tree.”
The control group without Ce6 were only able to pick out the objects a third of the time, while Licina’s success was 100 per cent.
The effect of the chemical only lasted for a few hours and the test subject’s eyesight returned to normal the next day.
The organisation has released a paper that detailed the experiment in their website. It says that more research will need to be conducted to measure the actual amount of electrical stimulation increase in the eye whilst the long term effects of the procedure will require further investigation.
Tibbets says that this success is perfect demonstration of the work that his organisation conducts: “For us, it comes down to pursuing things that are doable but won’t be pursued by major corporations. There are rules to be followed and don’t go crazy, but science isn’t a mystical language that only a few elite people can speak.”
The signs that someone might be contemplating suicide are often missed until it’s too late. Among younger crowds, evidence that a person might need help are often written right on their social media profiles, which is why Facebook and suicide-prevention groups teamed up to release a new feature that could recognize these signs and offer help.
The feature developed by Facebook with Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, an organization at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, and other partners was announced at Wednesday’s Compassion Research Day at Facebook’s headquarters.
Here’s how it works, according to a news release from the university:
When someone sees a post that suggests its author might be considering suicide, they can click on a dropdown menu and report the post to Facebook.
That reporting activates a series of responses. The person who flags the post will see a screen with links that allow them to message the potentially suicidal person, contact another Facebook friend for support or connect with a trained professional at a suicide helpline for guidance.
Facebook will then review the reported post. If the poster is thought to be in distress, a series of screens will be launched automatically when that person next logs onto Facebook, with suggestions for getting help. The responses link to a number of positive options, including videos from Now Matters Now, an online program started by Forefront research scientist Ursula Whiteside that uses real-life accounts of people who have struggled with suicidal thoughts to provide research-based coping strategies.
“For those who may need help we have significantly expanded the support and resources that are available to them the next time they log on to Facebook after we review a report of something they’ve posted,” Facebook Product Manage Rob Boyle and Community Operations Safety Specialist Nicole Staubliwrote in a post. “Besides encouraging them to connect with a mental health expert at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, we now also give them the option of reaching out to a friend, and provide tips and advice on how they can work through these feelings. All of these resources were created in conjunction with our clinical and academic partners.”
The new features, Facebook said, will roll out within the next few months.
Even with these tools though, Facebook’s website encourages users who see a “direct threat of suicide on Facebook” to contact law enforcement or a suicide hotline as well.
“In the world of suicide prevention, we know that being connected is a protective factor,” Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor of social work, said in the university’s news release. “People are on Facebook 24/7, so there’s an opportunity to actually connect a suicidal person with someone they have a relationship with. Facebook is extremely proactive in what they’re trying to do. ”
Eddie Ray Routh Found Guilty of Murder in ‘American Sniper’ Case
BY JACOB RASCON AND PHIL HELSEL
STEPHENVILLE, Texas — A Texas jury found a former Marine guilty of murder late Tuesday in the killings of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.
Eddie Ray Routh showed no reaction as a judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole, an automatic sentence since prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty in the capital murder case. They jury rejected Routh’s insanity defense.
As one of his victim’s siblings called him an “American disgrace” shortly after, Routh looked back at the man intensely but didn’t react otherwise.
“You took the lives of two heroes, men who tried to be a friend to you,” Chad Littlefield’s half-brother Jerry Richardson told Routh after the verdict.
The jury announced its verdict at around 9:20 p.m. local time (10:20 p.m. ET) courthouse. They were given the case at 6:36 p.m. local time (7:36 p.m. ET).
“We just want to say that we’ve waited two years for God to get justice for us on behalf of our son and as always God has proved to be faithful, and we’re so thrilled that we have the verdict that we have tonight,” Littlefield’s mother, Judy Littlefield, told reporters after the verdict was read.
Chad Littlefield’s Mom: We’ve Waited Two Years For Justice
Routh, 27, admitted to killing both men at the shooting range of Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, southwest of Dallas, on Feb. 2, 2013.
Routh pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to capital murder. His attorneys have said Routh, a former Marine corporal who served in Iraq but not in a combat role, was in the grip of a medically diagnosed psychosis at the time of the killings.
Don Littlefield: “Now you will have the rest of your wasted life to remember his name. Let me remind you his name was Chad Littlefield.”
Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, was not present when the jury read its verdict. She appeared to get angry and left court as the defense presented its closing statement, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported.
Prosecutors said that Routh was drinking and smoking marijuana on the morning of the crime. They argued that he was paranoid because he was high, and that he was angry about living with his parents, relationship problems, money and his job — then exploded after he believed Kyle and Littlefield snubbed him.
Prosecution rebuttal closings: For two weeks "we have heard excuse after excuse after excuse for violent behavior." pic.twitter.com/jJY28Za9D4
Experts for the prosecution have testified that Routh knew what he was doing was wrong when he killed the two men.
Earlier Tuesday, jurors heard a recording in which Routh told a reporter nearly four months after the killings that, “It tore my (expletive) heart out what I did. I don’t know why I did it, but I did it.”
Routh, speaking to a reporter from The New Yorker magazine on May 31, 2013, also said, “I feel so (expletive) about it. I guess you live and learn, you know.”
The True Story Behind ‘American Sniper’
“American Sniper,” the movie based on Kyle’s account of his experiences as a Navy SEAL, was nominated for best picture at the Oscars. Kyle’s widow, Taya, attended the ceremony on Sunday night before flying back to Texas for the rest of the trial.
Hero teen struck by truck, still pulls man to safety
When blizzard-like conditions struck Ohio Saturday, causing a number of crashes across the state, one teenager went “over and above” to save a stranger’s life.
Dalton Surbey, a 17-year-old high school junior from Montpelier in Northwest Ohio, is being called a hero after pulling a 73-year-old man to safety after a multi-car accident, despite having just been hit by a truck.
According to The Bryan Times and Ohio State Patrol Sgt. Michael McClain, Surbey had stopped his car behind an accident during whiteout conditions on Ohio 576. Duane Ward, 73, had been rear ended by another car. Another car then struck Surbey’s in a second crash. Both Surbey and Ward stepped out of their cars to check on the other drivers.
Then a third crash: A black Ford Ranger truck struck one of the cars, and then hit Surbey and Ward, inflicting what McClain described as “pretty serious injuries.”
“I was knocked to the ground and could not get out of the way,” Ward later recalled, according to The Bryan Times. “I couldn’t move. I thought I was going to get run over.”
Ward had suffered a broken pelvis and tailbone. Surbey, it was later discovered, had fractured three vertebrae. Despite his injuries, Surbey sprang into action.
“I felt some pain when I stood up,” he told the paper. “Then I heard him scream and I started looking for him… He was in the opposite lane and I thought, ‘I can’t let him stay there.'”
Surbey apologized as he moved Ward, knowing he was in pain, but insisted: “I have to get you out of the road.”
Surbey laid Ward in a ditch by the side of the road and then “tried to make sure no one else was hurt,” he said.
When Sgt. McClain arrived at the scene, Ward was still lying by the ditch, in the care of paramedics.
Had Ward stayed laying in the road, McClain said, he would have been in “imminent danger.” Surbey had quite possibly saved his life.
“He went back into harm’s way to assist Mr. Ward,” McClain said of Surbey in an interview with CBS News. “This young man, I would say he went over and above.”
According to The Bryan Times, Ward is convinced he likely owes his life to Surbey.
“If he would not have been there, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Ward told the paper. “He could have been hit again, but he helped me. … Certainly, he is a hero.”
Surbey, a basketball player for Montpelier High School, is out of the hospital, but said he thinks it will be a while until he can return to sports. For his part, he was just an average kid trying to do the right thing.
“I don’t expect people to consider me a hero,” he told the paper. “I just thought he was in trouble and the last thing I wanted was for him to get hurt worse.”
In total, seven vehicles were involved in what amounted to three separate crashes.
An 18-year-old Palestinian man stabbed his victim, an ultra-Orthodox Jew in his mid-20s, in the abdomen.
“I was traveling in a car next to the IDF Square [Safra Sqaure] when my team suddenly saw a terrorist with a knife right next to us. I immediately jumped out of the car together with my team, [my bodyguard] pulled out his gun and together we held the terrorist until security forces arrived, we also attempted to treat the victim,” Barkat told Y Net News, an English-language Israeli website.
Barkat and the security guard were able to get the attacker to drop his knife, the Times reported. The victim was taken to the hospital but did not suffer serious injuries.
Barkat, who is 55 years old and has been mayor of Jerusalem since 2008, can be seen in the white shirt in the photos and video below.
75-Year-Old Navy Vet And Ex-Karate Coach Takes Down Suspected Shoplifter For Cop
You’re never too old to fight crime, America, especially if you were a karate instructor back in the day.
That’s the lesson imparted by Charlie Burton, 75, who helped a young whippersnapper cop take down an alleged shoplifter over the weekend.
The scene of Burton’s heroics was Washington Crown Center mall in a fairly distant suburb of Pittsburgh, the Ellwood City Ledger reports.
“I throw lumber every day,” Burton, who works at a mill, told the local newspaper.
The septuagenarian also moonlights by handcrafting pens out of bullet shells. On Saturday, before a lunchtime spent fighting crime, Burton was hawking his unique pens at a sportsman’s show at the mall.
He got hungry, so he headed down to the food court. That’s where he spotted a police officer in a fracas with a man.
“I said, ‘Do you need help?’” Burton explained to a Ledger reporter. “And somebody said, ‘Yes.’”
So, Burton did what any 75-year-old U.S. Navy veteran would do: He jumped into the melee on the side of the cop.
“He said, ‘You’re hurting my arm,’” Burton explained. “I said, ‘If you don’t stop struggling, I’ll break it.’”
Burton noted that he had been a boxer aboard the USS Forrestal aircraft carrier around 1960 or so. He also taught martial arts as a younger man.
The alleged shoplifter is Jonathan Fekete Jr., 29. Fekete has been charged with taking $200 worth of clothes from the Macy’s at the mall. He was also wanted on outstanding drug charges, notes area Fox affiliate WTXF.
Burton noted that Fekete “wasn’t that smart” if he indeed shoplifted at the mall during the sportsman’s show, which is attended by policemen, gun aficionados and 75-year-old vets who will definitely throw down if the need arises.
Pennsylvania state Sen. Camera Bartolotta helped turned Burton into a celebrity. The Republican was in attendance at the sportsman’s show and posted images on the Internet.
Burton said he doesn’t understand what the fuss is about.
“I’m dumbfounded over it,” he told the Ledger. “The guy who should be getting the attention is the cop who got him in the first place.”
The first Republican elected sheriff in Eddy County, New Mexico, became the first sheriff in 25 years to stand up to the IRS. He physically stood at the gate of a troubled citizen’s property while US Marshals threatened his arrest. The landowner filed an appeal with the court and expects his case to receive due process before his land is publicly sold. The sheriff agrees. The judge does not.
WASHINGTON, February 7, 2015—New Mexico’s Eddy County Sheriff Scott London notified the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) via letter that the sale of county resident Kent Carter’s property is canceled until Carter receives due process of law and his appeal is heard. The certified letterdated February 4 received an immediate response from the Undersecretary of the Treasury’s office. According to the Treasury’s website, however, the public auction is still slated for February 19.
“Many officers have stood up over the years for the rights of citizens being victimized by the federal government,” said Sheriff Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, “But Sheriff London is the first one to stand up to the IRS since the early 1990s.” Mack said, “His actions show courage and humility. London is setting a good example for the rest of our sheriffs.”
Approximately ten days before Christmas, U.S. Marshals broke in the door of Carter’s rental property with their guns drawn. The tenant was a young mother with a new baby—home alone while her husband was at work. Sheriff London was called to the property to intervene. He advised the Marshals that Carter’s case was in appeal and he deserved due process. They threatened to arrest London, but he stood his ground and they backed off.
Carter has battled the IRS for decades over taxes on the earnings of his modest construction business. One court document listed his debt at $145,000, a figure Carter says an assessing agent “pulled out of thin air.” Every time he challenged them, his bill would shoot up a few hundred thousand dollars. His legal complaints state that the IRS failed to adhere to its own tax code, did not use proper accounting methods, and that the collection activity was unlawful because no notices of deficiency were given.
Carter says his private and confidential information, including his social security number, was filed in public records and given to third parties. The IRS countered that it can publish and disperse the private information of Americans if it is trying to collect their money or property. A judge agreed.
Carter says the IRS is currently claiming he owes $890,000, a figure that “doubled with the stroke of a pen.”
The Taxation & Revenue Department ordered Carter to cease “engaging in business in New Mexico” until his arbitrary tax debt was paid. Carter appealed this injunction on the grounds that it was both unconstitutional and vague, as it deprived him of his right to make a living and also prohibited him from, “carrying on or causing to be carried on any activity with the purpose of direct or indirect benefit.”
“The IRS fabricates evidence against citizens by pulling numbers out of a hat and adding fees,” said Mack, “They wear people down emotionally and financially until they can’t take it anymore. No citizen should ever have to fight the IRS for decades in order to keep his land.”
“The IRS is a lie. The income tax is a lie,” said Carter. “Why should they be able to take anything? They’re worse than the mafia.”
The Carter properties have liens placed against them. A locksmith was instructed to change the locks. The IRS authorized the United States Marshal Service to arrest/evict anyone found on the premises. London, however, physically stood in front of Carter’s gate until the Marshals backed down. A public auction on the front steps of the Eddy County Courthouse is scheduled, but the local county sheriff—trained in the Constitution—resisted.
Carter voluntarily vacated his property and relocated his mobile home to an undisclosed location. “I chose to leave to keep it from escalating to something ugly—like Ruby Ridge, Idaho,” he said. Carter said he advised the Marshals and IRS Agents who publicly claimed he had armed friends on his land, “If there is going to be any violence, it is going to be you who starts it.”
Carter says 100% of his Social Security benefits is seized each month by the IRS, in addition to $2,800 the agency drained from his bank account. Legally, he says, the IRS can take no more than 15% of Social Security benefits.
Mack says banking institutions quiver when faced with the IRS’ gestapo tactics and generally hand over customers’ personal banking information, including access to accounts, without requiring a warrant or even any documentation. He encourages county sheriffs to brief every bank in their jurisdiction to refer inquiries from IRS agents to them.
Sheriff Mack is calling for the IRS to start following the law, including no “random” audits without probable cause, as they violate the Fourth Amendment. He asks them to stop committing crimes and rewarding IRS employees with bonuses for cheating on their personal taxes. “I agree with Senator Ted Cruz and others who say the IRS should be abolished,” said Mack. “It’s time they got off the backs of the American people.”
Carter says he prays daily for wisdom, and that he is surviving to be able to look into his grandchildren’s eyes and tell them he fought for their future and for America.
London is the first Republican to ever be elected sheriff in Eddy County. He distributes Bibles on behalf of Gideon International and met his wife in choir practice.
This summer, a hotel will open in the Netherlands-themed Huis Ten Bosch amusement park in Nagasaki, Japan. It will have 72 rooms. Room fees will start at $60 per night. And it will be staffed by 10 humanoid robots.
The Henn-na Hotel’s blinking and “breathing” actroids will be able to make eye contact, respond to body language, and speak fluent Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English, The Washington Post reports. They will check-in guests, carry bags, make coffee, clean rooms, and deliver laundry.
HOW MUCH DO YOU TIP A ROBOT?
The robot staff will be supplemented with a human staff…for now. At a news conference in Japan, Huis Ten Bosch president Hideo Sawada said, “In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots.”
The actroids aren’t the only futurist thing about the Henn-na. Guests will be able to unlock their rooms through facial recognition software and radiation panels capable of detecting body heat will monitor and adjust room temperatures.
This isn’t just some futuristic fever dream: the hotel is scheduled to open on July 17th.