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Joe Hennessey • Author at Mirror Daily

Annually five million individuals die because of pollution, and one million are only in China.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to a new report that was released this Friday, annually five million individuals die because of pollution. The majority of deaths take place in India and China where they still have coal-fired factories and power plants that fill the air with a dense smog.

According to the authors of the study, illnesses that derive from household and air pollution are the number two cause of deaths worldwide. The five million individuals that lose their life because of pollution are just behind the six million that die due to smoking, according to the Organization for World Health (WHO).

The research is part of a broader initiative that is keen on monitoring the global burden of illnesses. The paper will be presented by the researchers at the annual meeting of the Washington’s Advancement of Science American Association.

Air pollution is made out of a great variety of particulate matter that originates from transportation, open burn and power generation. More precisely it consists of the waste that cars and big power plants and factories leave behind them.

Household pollution is as dangerous as air pollution and it is generated by the burning of wood, coal or animal dung in household stoves. These materials are usually burned in stoves in Africa and India and have a double purpose of cooking and heating.

Both types of pollution can lead to serious health complications like strokes and heart attacks. Almost one million individuals die each year in China because of pollution. That is a fifth of the deaths that are registered worldwide.

India loses more than a half of million inhabitants each year and the United States registers approximately 300,000 deaths each year that are caused by pollution.

The co-author of the study, Dan Greenbaum, who is also the president of the Boston’s Institute of Health Effects declared that they used data from 2013 for their reports. But as he said, the numbers don’t change very much from year to year, so the report is not affected.

The government in China is aware of the problem that they are facing and is actively and aggressively trying to implement measures that will improve the quality of the country’s air. The government officials are forcing automobiles to be equipped with environmentally friendly technology and the power plants to lower their particulates emissions.

But the pollution in China is spreading over the country’s territory and towards the West Coast of the United States. Annually five million individuals die because of pollution and one million are only in China.

According to the estimates, the numbers could reach 1.3 million individuals by 2030 if they will not drastically change their polluting factors.

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A great number of religions include a deity that is in charge of the Underworld.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – A group of researchers concluded that societies evolved because of their belief in punitive gods. According to the researchers, people that believe in a punitive, all-knowing deity have a tendency to act more fairly when playing games because they know that they are being watched by the Supreme Being that they believe in and will be punished if they act badly.

The researchers conducted a study on a sample of 591 individuals that belonged to a variety of small-scale groups or societies from all around the world. And it seems that those who believed in a higher all-knowing and punitive entity were more inclined to play by the rules than those who didn’t.

The researchers published their findings in the Nature journal and concluded that societies evolved because of their belief in punitive gods. The belief system seems to act like an extra layer of morality making the people think twice about their actions because they were being continuously watched.

Previous studies were on the matter were not taken into consideration by the scientific community because they didn’t involve people from small societies, the basics of every evolutionary research.

In order to get away from the academic environment and find a way to determine the degree of influence that religion had on the evolution of societies, the team of researchers applied a specifically designed test to members of isolated communities.

Some of the chosen communities for the study were the Hindu from the Mauritius Island, the Christians from the Fijian Yasawa Island and the Hadza tribe in Tanzania which are among the last hunter-gatherer societies left in the world.

The test devised by the researchers consisted of a game. The individual that participated was given a six-sided die which had three colorful sides and three white ones, two glasses, and 30 coins. The rules were simple.

The participant had to put coins in either the glass that belonged to a member of the same religion but from a different tribe or the glass that belonged to them. Every time the dice would fall on the colored side the coins would go in the glass of the participant’s choice. When it fell on the blank side it would go to the opposite glass.

But the main catch of the experiment was that nobody was watching over the player. He could have easily cheated without anybody knowing about it. Except statistics that proved the odds were about 50 -50.

After convincing members of different religions to play the game, the researchers analyzed the results. It seems that those who believed in an all-knowing, moral and punitive god put 14.53 coins in the stranger’s glass. The ones that believed in a deity that was not that harsh with its people put an average of 12.50 coins in the stranger’s glass.

The conclusion of the scientists was that societies evolved because of their belief in punitive gods. A society with a strong moral code was more likely to take care of its members that were not part of the family than a society that was more lax from a moral point of view.

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Jeep’s “Portraits” commercial featured both famous and anonymous people because Jeep is for everybody.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – This year’s second Super Clio Prize was awarded to Jeep’s “Portraits”, a touching commercial that focuses more on the people that made Jeep the brand that it is today. And with a “cast” like Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, the Terminator robot and dinosaur battling Jeff Goldblum, they could not have done a better commercial.

The idea behind Jeep’s “Portraits” was not to promote the new car that the brand has developed, but rather the people that have used Jeep vehicles throughout the history. So they focused more on nostalgia and created a black and white masterpiece that won the second Super Clio Award.

The minute-long commercial was developed by Iris Worldwide and it was meant to promote the latest Fiat Chrysler. But the car wasn’t the star of the video, emotions and people were. The stunning black and white photographs were combined with quick flashes of the new Fiat Chrysler while a soothing voice explained why Jeep is the brand of the people.

And they did a magnificent job underlining the fact that Jeep always designed and manufactured vehicles that were used by all sorts of people from kings and queens to simple army men that drove them during missions in World War II.

The second Super Clio Prize was awarded to Jeep’s “Portraits” and it is clearly as black on white why.

But there were two more finalists in the battle for the Super Clio Prize and they were equally stunning from a visual point of view.

The “Marilyn” commercial for Snickers featured none other than Willem DaFoe dressed in the iconic white dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in the “Seven Year Itch” scene that has become a popular culture reference when Marilyn stands over a vent and she tries to catch her white loose dress before it revealed more than was appropriate but enough for the scene to become as legendary as she was.

The “you’re not you when you’re hungry” Snickers motto takes a whole new meaning when you see Willem DaFoe’s feet in high heels complaining about the stupidity of the iconic scene.

The third finalist for the Super Clio Prize was Grey’s “Super Bowl Choir”. The three-minute video features a cover of Seal’s “Kiss from a rose” sang by Super Bowl children. It seems that every year, exactly nine months after the Super Bowl, the town from which the winning team originated experiences a boom in childbirth. The children are called Super Bowl children.

The video is very touching and it reveals a side of the Super Bowl that has nothing to do with competing, but rather loving. And the generations of children that participated in the making of the video are a live testament that some American traditions are worth being kept. And football is the greatest American sport.

Last year’s Super Clio Prize was awarded to a Snickers ad that featured a very hungry Danny Trejo and an angry and left aside Steve Buscemi. But it seems that this year the focus fell more on nostalgia and deep emotions, rather than comedy. Although Snickers always knew how to make good comedy.

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Both the mother and her boyfriend were in the car in a sever state of alcohol intoxication.

(Mirror Daily, Unites States) – The case of the 9 years old child found driving in Wisconsin has stunned the entire United States. A careless mother and her boyfriend were severely intoxicated when they decided to let their 9 years old daughter to drive their pick-up to a local boat show. An eleven months baby was also in the vehicle, strapped to his seat.

A 911 call to the local police department complained about a pick-up truck that was driving erratically on the rural roads of Wisconsin. Because the rural roads in Wisconsin are still snowy, the police were severely concerned about the safety of the supposed inebriated driver and that of the citizens of the county.

The police officers of Polk County, Wisconsin, didn’t need much time in order to track down the pick-up truck that was described by the 911 caller. According to KMSP, a local news station that is affiliated with Fox, the vehicle in question was parked outside a public event, more particularly a boat launch.

But Jeff Hahn, the deputy that took the case, would end up seeing not a drunk driver, as he was suspecting, but two adult drunk passengers and an 11 months baby in a car driven by a 9 years old girl.

The girls seemed pretty frightened, and the baby was strapped into the car seat, without being in a special transportation unit for toddlers.

The two inebriated passengers were Amanda Eggert, the children’s mother, and Jason Roth the boyfriend of the above-mentioned mother.

According to the local authorities, they were both submitted to a breathalyzer in order for the police to determine their exact state of inebriation. When they came back, Roth results were of a shocking .25. That is above three times the Wisconsin legal limit.

Deputy Hahn testified that when the girl was removed from the vehicle, the engine of the car was still running and the stick was in “drive” position. When Roth turned off the ignition, the car began rolling down the hill backwards. The deputy was forced to jump into the moving vehicle and hit the brakes in order to stop the car.

Amanda Eggert and Jason Roth were both charged with recklessly endangering and child neglect. They both pleaded not-guilty in front of the court last Friday.

KMSP reported that the child actually drove for many miles on the snowy winding roads of Wisconsin and she was spotted multiple times gliding on the traffic lanes.

Until their mother will be sentenced, both children will be accommodated by extended family members. Luckily, in the case of the 9 years old child found driving in Wisconsin nobody was hurt.

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Mitchell (on the right) with Roosa and Shepard, his fellow Apollo 14 colleagues.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – The sixth man that walked on the surface of the Moon, Edgar Mitchell died at age of 87. The former astronaut passed away on the eve of his number 45 moonwalk anniversary on the 4th of February 2016. There are only seven astronomers left from the total twelve that had the opportunity to walk on the Moon.

Neil Armstrong, the icon of America, the first person to have stepped on the lunar surface died four years ago, on the 25th of August, 2012 at the venerable age of 82. Armstrong was a graduate of the University of Perdue and on the 21st of July 1969, when he was the first human to have ever taken a step on the surface of the Moon he was only 38 years of age.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, Neil Armstrong’s fellow Apollo 11 colleague, lived a very tumultuous life. Aldrin, who was a pilot in the Air Force, did not continue his career as an astronaut when they returned on the planet. He took a desk job instead and became a manager.

He was a very charismatic and popular character and that landed him a lot of television interviews in which he used to talk about the moon landing. In 1993, he actually assisted in the development of a Buzz Aldrin video game. He struggled with alcohol addiction and depression for a good part of his life.

The third man on the Moon, Pete Conrad, took his first step on our natural satellite on the 19th of November 1969. He was the commander of the Gemini XI, the rocket that was used in the Apollo 12 mission.

The commander of the second moon landing had a prodigious NASA career, returning to space as commander of the Skylab 2 mission. He died at only 69 years of age after a motorcycle accident.

The fourth man on the Moon, and Conrad’s companion in the Apollo 12 and Skylab 2 missions, Alan Bean, is still alive today. He retired in 1981 and is now enjoying his new hobby, painting.

Alan Shepard, the man that was also present in the Apollo 13 failure, and who was also the first American to reach outer space, put his foot on the Moon on the 5th of February 1971. He continued to work at NASA until retirement. He passed away at the respectable age of 74.

David Scott landed on the Moon on the 31st of July, 1971. He was a part of the Apollo 15 mission. Apart from that, he is also one of the only three men to have ever traveled to the moon and orbit the planet.

James Irwin was Scott’s colleague on the Apollo 15. He and the other members of the crew managed to illegally transport some stamps to the Moon and back. The stamps were sold to a German dealer and the children of the crew received a trust fund.

There were consequences for this actions, as the crew was obligated by NASA to take on non-flight positions. Irwin died in 1991 after a series of serious heart attacks.

John Young and Charles Duke were the first people to ever fly a mission that involved a space shuttle. They were a part of the Apollo 16 mission that landed on the lunar surface in 1972. Both former astronauts are still alive.

The last people that had a chance to take a lunar stroll, for now, are Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan who landed on the satellite in December 1972. They were the first and only scientists that have ever reached the lunar surface. Both are alive but retired.

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An asteroid is planetary mass object that travels through space at incredible speeds.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to NASA a big asteroid might pass near Earth next month. But don’t go calling Bruce Willis just yet, it seems that the 100-foot rock trajectory will not intertwine with our planet’s position. But the asteroid will be visible to the naked eye, the National Aeronautics Space Agency says.

The space rock was first spotted by the scientists in 2013. According to the researchers at the NASA’s Pasadena Laboratory of Jet Propulsion in California, the asteroid might get as close as 17,100 kilometers (11,000 miles) from Earth’s surface somewhere around March 5th.

The distance sounds big, but the asteroid will actually come closer to our planet than most of our artificial communications satellites that orbit our planet. The distance is equivalent to the 20th part of the distance between us and the Moon.

But you better brush up your telescope if you really want to see the 2013 TX68, because its trajectory is somewhat erratic and it could end flying by us from as far as 14 million kilometers (9 million miles) away. The good news is that all of the simulations predicted that the asteroid might venture off further, and there is no collision risk, whatsoever.

The manager from the office of Studies of Near-Earth Objects at NASA, Paul Chodas, says that the asteroid was visible in 2013 when it last approached Earth for as long as three days before passing into the daytime skies and losing its trace. For this year, he finds it hard to offer a prediction on where exactly people should look in order to see it.

The next time the 2013 TX68 will pass near our planet will be on the 28th of September 2017, and NASA has calculated that there is one chance in 250 million of an impact between the asteroid and Earth. But it is very likely that future observances of the object will reduce the probabilities.

According to Chodas, the next three visits of the asteroid will pose no danger to our planet as its trajectory will avoid our position.

The last time when an asteroid actually impacted with Earth’s surface was in 2013. Then object was half the size of the 2013 TX68 and it landed in a remote Russian area, Chelyabinsk. Even though the area was largely unoccupied, the Russian authorities reported around 1000 injured individuals.

If the 2013 TX68 will ever hit us, the predictions are far worse than in the Chelyabinsk incident. The explosion could be twice as powerful, and the number of injured people would greatly depend on the area in which the asteroid falls.

So it seems we might actually have to call Bruce Willis after all.

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Often the small head is the least of concerns for children that suffer from microcephaly.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Carolina Caceres, a 24 years old Brazilian journalist sent an essay to the BBC telling them what living with microcephaly really is all about. The young woman is a rare success case among thousands of Zika affected babies that in time lose the ability to speak and walk until entering in a vegetative state right up until death.

Carolina Caceres, the Zika survivor has managed to attend the Journalism University, to keep a blog and even write a book. But she wasn’t just extremely lucky. The young girl had to go through five serious medical interventions, 12 years of intensive medication, continuous breathing problems and seizures. But she fought valiantly along the way and now she is quite a successful person.

The problem with microcephaly is that the biggest concern is not, contrary to popular belief, the small head, but other complications of the disease who may or may not occur. It all depends on the luck of the mother and the child. In most cases the significantly smaller head is just a problem of aesthetics that does not pose the same dangers as the other symptoms of the disease.

But, unfortunately, only an average of 15 percent out of the total of infected children turn out to not be affected intellectual disabilities. Caceres was among those lucky 15 percent. But that is only a very small number compared to the thousands that were born in the current epidemic.

According to the official declarations of Brazil’s spokespersons, the current outbreak of the Zika virus is much more violent, and the majority of the babies that were born infected with it have increased chances of growing up with mental disabilities, very serious motor and speech problems and other such medical complications that will require constant and costly care.

WHO still thinks that the link between all of the microcephaly born babies and the Zika virus is strong, but not one hundred percent sure. The organization is reticent in blaming the virus because the exact ways in which it produces microcephaly is not yet determined.

A study conducted in 2014 on a similar virus determined that it affects the baby on the stem cells levels. It seems that during the early development stages of the brain, the virus intervenes and causes the development of microcephaly. But the study was not focused on the Zika virus, but on a similar one, so WHO will still not link the two officially.

Among the babies that were born this year with a Zika virus infection is the son of Marilia Lima. The baby boy, which is now three months old has a small head and problems in his leg and arm bones, hips and eyes. He also breathes with difficulty, the mother being afraid of waking up in the morning and finding the little boy dead.

Living with microcephaly is not easy, and taking into account the violence of the latest outbreak it seems that in a lot of the cases it is not even possible.

The authorities urge the women in Latin America to try and not get pregnant until the virus is eradicated. Officials started spraying the neighborhoods and giving out insect repellent to thousands of pregnant women. Abortion is illegal in all of the Latin American countries.

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Facebook modified the algorithm of the News Feed, again, in order to provide a better customer experience.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to a post on its official blog, Facebook modified the algorithm of the news feed, again. This time, the news feed will not show you what you previously clicked on, or enjoyed, but it will try to bring to your feed things that it considers should be of interest to you.

Facebook managed to keep the attention of a generation that just can’t concentrate. Teens are more focused on their news feed than they are in class, or when engaging in real life conversations. This is because the company uses complex algorithms that bring to the attention of the user only certain posts from people or pages he has interacted with before.

Until now the algorithm was based on the likes and comments a person gave to a post from a friend or a page, but now, after testing a new, more complex, and more efficient technique, Facebook will decide what to bring to your newsfeed according to everything you have clicked on in the past.

They are trying to make the “home page” more attractive by choosing only stories that could be of interest to the user. The company will continuously monitor the likes and comments a person gives in order to better decide what to bring to the top of the newsfeed and what to hide.

If this sounds a bit scary, don’t despair. Facebook will also allow users to pick who they see on their newsfeed. For the moment, this feature is only available for iOS users, but it seems it will be adapted for other platforms pretty soon.

The section is called “News Feed Preferences” and it will allow the owner of the social media account to choose the people and pages that will have a priority on appearing on the news feed. The user will be able to select up to 30 different accounts. Every time that a post of one of the accounts will appear on the feed, it will be accompanied by a star, to remind the user that the account was prioritized.

It seems that Facebook wants to decide what we should see, and what not. And things will get even more controlled after the new “reactions” buttons will be made available to the general public. Facebook will not only know what things we find interesting, but they will also know how we feel about them.

The reactions will give them an easier way of calculating our desires. Also, it will give it an opportunity to select the ads that will best appeal to the user because let us not forget that 80 percent of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile advertisements.

Facebook modified the algorithm of the news feed, again, so it can offer a “better experience” to the users. The “reactions buttons” fall into the same category.

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The Division Beta testing was extended with an additional 24 hours.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Ubisoft announced that the Division Beta testing was extended with 24 additional hours. The Beta was scheduled to end this on the 1st of February, but it was prolonged until the 2nd of February (CET 12 PM, PST 3 AM, EST 6 AM). This will give the players that have received late invitations a chance of better exploring the post-apocalyptical New York scene.

Ubisoft decided to extend the beta trial for the latest installment of the Tom Clancy series, The Division. The extension doesn’t come alone, though. The game developer also extended the number on beta testing invitations.

Players that did not make it in the first The Division Beta cut will be able to experience 24 hours of it if they were contacted by Ubisoft. According to the company, the invites were sent to those that had a pre-order access code. The receivers of the Division Beta testing invitations were chosen in the order in which they made their purchase, in order to avoid any conflict.

The beta testing was initially designed to last 3 days, 4 days for those who prefer the X-box. It seems that Ubisoft realized that the time was not enough for beta players to get a full taste of what the game has to offer, so they extended the period for one more day.

One of the reasons for Ubisoft’s decision might be the fact that they granted a restricted early access just to make sure that the game was running smoothly, with no bugs or glitches. After they (might have) patched up everything, they decided to make the beta testing available on a larger scale.

The Tom Clancy series are a massive multiplayer on-line first person shooter real-time tactics, squad-based tactics games. The story behind the latest Tom Clancy installment takes place in a post-apocalyptic town of New York.

The map available for the beta users featured a couple of important campaign missions, one of them actually unlocked the player’s operations base, the additional wings of the base that are upgradable throughout the game-play, a portion of the Dark Zone area and, since The Division Beta testing was extended, a lot of character progression, leveling, and loot.

The complete game will be launched on the 8th of March. Ubisoft believes that the game will be a success according to the beta feedback that the company has received.

All beta players that will purchase the entire game will be able to continue their missions without having to restart.

For those of you who weren’t granted access to the beta testing, you can check out the honest opinion video below.

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Humans may have led to the extinction of the Australian megafauna

(Mirror Daily, United States) – There have been various ways in which animal went extinct in time but this is a first: humans ate giant bird’s eggs to extinction.

A very long time ago, there lived a giant bird that laid huge eggs of about 3.5 pounds each. Apparently humans found those eggs to be tasty and nourishing for they ate them all, which obviously led to the extinction of the giant bird.

This giant bird we’re speaking was called by scientists Genyornis newtoni and was about seven feet tall, weighing around 500 pounds. It looks like in those times, this wasn’t the only giant animal around. Many other populated the earth and are collectively called megafauna.

The megafauna, although giant animals were in other places of the world as well, was located in Australia. For example, another massive animal in the past was a 1,000 pound kangaroo or a wombat as big as a car. However, their big size was of no help for them when the humans arrived. Humans back then were agile hunters with a huge appetite so the animals had no chance, about 85% going extinct soon after the humans’ arrival.

Although scientists knew about the Australian megafauna, they were never quite sure about how the animals went extinct. Thanks to this new research made by a team of Australian and American scientists, they now have evidence that the humans had something to do with it. The evidence consists in burns found on some eggshell fragments. As we know, the humans are the only ones playing with fire, so they were clearly responsible.

So far, it was believed that the megafauna could have been affected by some climate changes, a form of severe continental drying that happened about 40,000-60,000 years ago. However, it seems that even more dangerous climate changes have happened previously, so the animals couldn’t have gone extinct because of this.

Although it is not sure when humans first arrived to Australia, the first signs of their existence on this continent dates back to about 47,000 years ago, while the eggshells found by the scientists have an age in between 44,000 and 54,000 years.

The way the eggshells were burnt, more on one side than the other, indicated that they were cooked rather than caught in a wildfire. Eggshells of emu birds have also been found previously displaying the same marks of burning which means this new theory is much more likely to be true.

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