Shiny and fast: $1.5 million plane for sale

bY; Hayley FitzPatrick Neiman Marcus plaque on the side of a building

Source: Shiny and fast: $1.5 million plane for sale

Investigator claims ‘UFO wreckage’ shows aliens visited the Earth 250,000 years ago

THE discovery of an ancient piece of aluminium is being hailed as evidence that aliens visited Earth 250,000 years ago.

The mysterious hunk of metal was found in Romania during the 1970s, when thecountry was under communist rule.

This 250,000-year-old ‘UFO wreckage’ has baffled expertsNow tests at a lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, have revealed that the strange fragment of metal is made up of 90 percent aluminium and is 250,000 years old.

Aluminium was not produced by mankind until about 200 years ago, so the discovery of the large chunk that could be up to 250,000 years old is being held up as a sensational find.

Gheorghe Cohal, the Deputy Director of the Romanian Ufologists Association, told local media: “Lab tests concluded it is an old UFO fragment given that the substances it comprises cannot be combined with technology available on Earth.”

Builders working on the shores of the Mures River not far from the central Romanian town of Aiud found the objects 10 metres under the ground, where it was buried alongside two bones.

The hunk of metal features a distinctive concavo

The hunk of metal features a distinctive concave indentation
The 'UFO wreckage' has gone on display at a museum

The ‘UFO wreckage’ has gone on display at a museum

It was quickly determined that the two large bones belonged to a large extinct mammal that died between 10,000 and 80,000 years ago, but experts were stunned to find out that the third object was a piece of very lightweight metal and appeared to have been manufactured.

However, local historian Mihai Wittenberger said the object is actually a metal piece from a World War II German aircraft, although this does not explain the age of the artefact.

The metal object has now gone on display in the History Museum of Cluj-Napoca with its full history causing heated speculation after it was noted that museum officials had added a sign saying: “origin still unknown”.

Yesterday, an academic sink his teeth into claims that ALIENS landed in Transylvania – the home of the legendary Count Dracula.

Dan D Farcas claimed UFOs and their otherworldly occupants visited Romania over hundreds of years.

Source: Investigator claims ‘UFO wreckage’ shows aliens visited the Earth 250,000 years ago

We might finally be able to beat the common cold

Time and again, Martin Moore’s children get sick with a cold. He hauls them to their doctor, who then informs him that there’s nothing to be done aside from taking them home and waiting it out.

The experience is maddening for Moore — especially because he’s a virologist. For everything that virologists have learned about rhinoviruses — the cause of the majority of colds — they have not invented a vaccine for them.

In 2013, Moore wondered if he could make one. He consulted a rhinovirus expert for some advice. Instead, the expert told him, “Oh, there will never be a vaccine for rhinovirus — it’s just not possible.”

“I thought, ‘Well, let’s look into that,’” recalled Moore, an associate professor at Emory University and a research scholar at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Three years later, Moore and his colleagues now have a vaccine that has shown promising results in trials on macaques. The monkeys were able to produce antibodies against many types of rhinoviruses. Moore and his colleagues are now following up on those results with more research and hope to move soon to human trials.

They’re not alone, however. Other research groups, based at universities and at pharmaceutical companies, are making advances with vaccines of their own. After decades of disappointment and resignation, scientists think the common cold may at last be beatable.

“There’s a huge amount going on,” said Gary McLean, of Imperial College London, who is working on another vaccine.

Rhinoviruses were discovered in the early 1960s, and soon afterward a number of researchers tried to make vaccines against them. They soon discovered that rhinoviruses were a wily foe. They’ve evolved into many different forms, and so antibodies to one form (known as a serotype) usually don’t work against any others.

The last report on a human cold vaccine trial was published in 1975. Since then, there’s been nothing.

In recent years, however, some scientists have been trying to drum up interest again in a vaccine. They’ve demonstrated that the rhinovirus is not as harmless as it once seemed. “It’s getting more respect as a pathogen,” said Dr. James Gern, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine who studies colds.

Colds take an enormous economic toll on families. Between sick days and parents staying home to care for their children, colds drain an estimated $25 billion a year from workplace productivity in the United States.

Colds can also cause more physical harm than scientists previously appreciated. When most people get a cold, the rhinoviruses stay in their nose. But Gern and others have discovered that some types of rhinovirus can invade deep into the lungs. Many cases of childhood pneumonia turn out to be caused by rhinoviruses.

Rhinoviruses are especially dangerous for people who already have certain chronic disorders such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Even a mild cold can trigger runaway inflammation in their lungs. It turns out that the majority of asthma attacks are brought on by rhinoviruses.

“Rhinovirus can cause more disease in certain people, and when I say ‘certain people,’ I mean a lot of people,” said Gern.

If someone with COPD ends up in the hospital due to a cold-triggered attack, doctors can try to tamp down the inflammation, but the best treatments are not very effective. “A vaccine would stop all that in its tracks before it gets started,” said McLean.

Over the past decade, McLean and others at Imperial have been studying colds in mice to find new inspirations for a vaccine. They exposed the animals to different parts of rhinoviruses to see how their immune systems responded.

The cold vaccines that scientists had tested in the 1960s and 1970s had prompted the immune system to make antibodies only to the proteins on the surface of the virus shells. When the vaccinated volunteers got infected again, those antibodies could grab onto the rhinoviruses and summon the immune system to destroy them.

The problem with this approach is that each serotype has surface proteins with different shapes. Antibodies that can grab onto one serotype slip off another.

But our immune system can also fight rhinovirus in another way — after they’ve invaded our cells. Once viruses have worked their way inside, their shells break open and they dump out internal proteins and genes. The cells then use these molecules to make new viruses.

It turns out that cells can grab some of these molecules and push them to their surface. It’s as if they’re pushing a home invasion alarm. Immune cells can learn to recognize these viral proteins. They instruct infected cells to kill themselves and slow down an infection.

McLean and his colleagues set out to build a new vaccine based on this alarm defense. They whipped up batches of internal proteins from rhinoviruses and injected them into mice. The scientists found that the immune system of the mice could learn to recognize the proteins. If they mixed rhinoviruses with mouse blood, immune cells aggressively attacked infected cells.

What’s especially exciting about this approach is that the proteins from one type of rhinovirus can trigger a response to other types as well. That’s because the internal proteins they’re targeting are pretty much the same from one type to another. It’s probably impossible for them to evolve into different shapes, because they’d stop doing their essential work.

When Martin Moore got into the cold vaccine game, he didn’t try to find a new strategy the way the Imperial scientists did. Instead, he tried to update an approach that had been pioneered by University of Virginia scientists in the 1970s.

The Virginia team had picked out 10 different serotypes and combined them into one shot.

“It produced some antibody, but it wasn’t great,” said Bruce Hamory, one of the Virginia researchers. “If you challenged someone with a strain that wasn’t in the vaccine, there was no cross-protection.”

But Moore decided the idea was sound. The only problem was that scientists in the 1970s just didn’t have the tools to make it work. In the 21st century, those tools were now at hand.

A lot of other scientists didn’t share Moore’s optimism. “It was definitely a risk,” he said. “We broke the bank, people left the lab. You name it. But I just felt this is what I needed to do.”

To make a new vaccine, Moore needed a lot of rhinoviruses. He also needed a lot of different types of rhinoviruses. So far, scientists have identified 160 types from people with colds.

To get his hands on the pathogens, Moore contacted James Gern. He knew that Gern has gathered rhinoviruses from his patients for over two decades in order to do research on colds.

“We probably have one of the world’s biggest collections of kid snot,” said Gern.

Out of his snot collection, Gern and his colleagues can isolate many different types of rhinoviruses. They can then extract the genes for those viruses and store them. When they want to study a particular type, they simply inject the genes into human cells and let them churn out new viruses. This gene-based method lets them make viruses much faster than in the 1970s, and they can be sure they’re making exactly the type they want.

For a trial vaccine, Moore decided to ramp up Hamory’s 10-type vaccine to 50. He and his colleagues packed a large number of each type of rhinovirus into a single shot.

They injected the vaccine into macaques and then later drew blood from the monkeys. When they mixed the viruses into the blood, they got a strong antibody response to 49 out of the 50 types. Moore and his colleagues published the results in Nature Communications, and they’re now moving forward with some additional studies that they hope will open the way to a human trial.

Meanwhile, the Imperial team has filed a patent on its internal-protein vaccine and is also moving in the same direction. “To convince people to part with large sums of money, you need a lot of preclinical data. And we’ve got about as much as we can at the moment,” said McLean.

It’s still an open question which strategy will win out. It’s even possible that both will fail. McLean and his colleagues still need to show that a vaccine using a single protein can protect against the full range of rhinoviruses that cause the most colds.

McLean also wonders how well Moore’s 50-type vaccine would work in the real world. “It’s a great paper, but it’s not showing anything new except for being able to pack in 50 types of the virus into one little injection,” said McLean. “Great, you’re going to get 50 immune responses. That’s going to work for those 50, but it might not work for an extra 30.”

Gern agrees that’s a concern. “If it really takes 130 types, that’s a lot of manufacturing that would go into one vaccine,” he said. He says it might make sense for now to tailor Moore’s vaccine for just one group of people.

Only certain types of rhinovirus appear to pose the biggest risk to people with COPD, for example. Scientists might start by testing a cold vaccine for COPD. If that works, they could think about scaling up to a cold vaccine for more people.

After giving up on a cold vaccine 40 years ago, Hamory likes to hear people talk this way again. “I’m tremendously excited,” he said. “I think it’s absolutely spectacular that people are going back to an important problem that’s laid fallow for so many years.”

Source: We might finally be able to beat the common cold

The Great Diva Wars Are Upon Us: Lady Gaga Said Something Shady About Madonna

Is this thing on? 

Stefani Germanotta has been Lady Gaga for almost a decade now, but she still can’t escape the inevitable Madonna comparisons every time she puts out a record.

Ahead of the release of “Joanne” on Friday, the singer sat down with Zane Lowe on the DJ’s “Beats 1” radio show to discuss her new sound, but all anyone will remember is what she said about being compared to the Queen of Pop for the umpteenth time.

“There is another artist who has lived a very parallel existence,” Lowe said in the far-reaching interview. “Based on this story, which I’m sure you can relate to. You know Madonna tells a very similar story … overprotective father … ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ You know what I mean.”

“Madonna and I are very different,” Gaga matter-of-factly responded, shaking her head before cracking a smile.

The singer then proceeded to list the ways the two differ by essentially categorizing herself as an artist and Madonna as a pop superstar.

“I wouldn’t make that comparison at all,” she continued. “I don’t mean to disrespect Madonna … she’s a nice lady. And she’s had a fantastic, huge career. She’s the biggest pop star of all time. But I play a lot of instruments. I write all my own music. I spend hours and hours a day in the studio. I’m a producer. I’m a writer. What I do is different.”

Gaga and Madonna have been endlessly pitted against each other as early as 2011 when some, including the Material Girl herself, noted sonic similarities between “Born This Way” and “Express Yourself.” Both have repeatedly shut down the rumors of a diva feud, calling instead for women in the industry to celebrate each other’s triumphs, not their mutual destruction.

“The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt she blatantly ripped off one of my songs,” Madonna told Rolling Stone in a 2015 interview. “It’s got nothing to do with ‘she’s taking my crown’ or ‘she’s in some space of mine.’ She has her thing.”

Gaga for the most part seems to agree, telling Zane that she refuses to be “compared to anyone anymore.”

“I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way,” she stated emphatically. “I am who the f**k I am and this is me. My life story is my life story, just like yours is. The thing is we all express things in different ways.”

Watch the full interview below:

Source: The Great Diva Wars Are Upon Us: Lady Gaga Said Something Shady About Madonna 

Here’s Why Your Favorite Sites And Services Haven’t Been Working


Hackers went after a host of domain name servers on Friday, which likely explains why many people are experiencing problems with web services such as Twitter, Reddit and Spotify.

Dyn, the DNS host that fell victim to the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack,announced on its website Friday morning that people ― mostly in the U.S., according to a heat map ― would have ongoing problems trying to visit certain sites.

“Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure,” the post reads. “Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.”

Dyn reported around 9:45 a.m. Eastern that service had been restored, but Gizmodo reports that some people continued to have problems.

Services have been restored to normal as of 13:20 UTC.

Gizmodo, which first made the connection between the attack and widespread outages, explains the situation:

Domain Name Servers (DNS) act as the Internet’s phone book. Basically, they facilitate your request to go to a certain webpage and make sure you are taken to the right place. If the DNS provider that handles requests for Twitter is down, well, good luck getting to Twitter. Some websites are coming back for some users, but it doesn’t look like the problem is fully resolved.

There is no indication that this type of attack puts any consumer information at risk.

Heat maps show sweeping outages across the Eastern seaboard. This one is from about 9:15 a.m. Eastern time:


Dyn did not immediately return a request for comment.

Source: Here’s Why Your Favorite Sites And Services Haven’t Been Working

How much a 20-something needs to save every month to retire with $5 million 

By; John Rampton

How much will you need to retire?

Well, in 2014, Matthew Illian, a member of the Investment Committee at Marotta Wealth Management, Inc., wrotethat “Someone retiring now in 2014 with $1 million at age 65 can safely withdraw $43,600

a year. However, [because of inflation], today’s 20-year-olds will need over $7 million to have that same lifestyle when they retire. In 1970, they would only have needed $166,000 in retirement to have a similar purchasing power for the rest of their life.”

If that’s the the case, then a 25-year-old with a starting salary of $50,000 would have to save around 14.65% of their salary throughout their career. The problem with that scenario is that Illian determined this retirement figure if the average inflation rate over the next 45 years will be 4.5%. Currently, the inflation is around 1.4% and hasn’t been close to 4.5% since 2008.

That still doesn’t mean that millennials should only plan to retire with a million. As Robert Powell reports in USA Today, “Older Millennials — those born in the early 1980s — will need about $1.8 million salted away to maintain their standard of living in retirement while younger millennials — those born in the late 1990s — will need upwards of $2.5 million.”

There are several reasons why millennials need this much money set aside. For starters, they don’t have a pension plan like their grandparents. Also, Social Security benefits will “be less generous than today’s.” Millennials are also expected to live longer than current retirees.

Powell suggests that the “oldest millennials, assuming they have no money set aside today and that they earn 5% on their investments, will need to sock away $2,000 a month for 32 years to accumulate a $1.8 million nest egg.” While “the youngest Millennials would need to save $1,000 a month for 48 years to accumulate $2.4 million.”

How much do you need to save each month to retire with $5 million?

Let’s say that you want to play it safe and go somewhere between the two scenarios listed above. That would come out to about $5 million for your retirement. Sound impossible? It’s not if you determine what you want your retirement to look like and set goals to achieve that reality. And, you can start by following these four steps.

1. Estimate your future spending.

If you’ve already created a budget and understand your current cash flow and expenses, then you’re off to a good start. Estimating your future spending is based on what you’re currently spending each month and how much money you’re spending in expenses each month. This includes everything from your mortgage, insurance, and utilities.

Keep in mind that some expenses will disappear, while new expenses will appear. For example, your mortgage will be paid off, so that expense will no longer be a factor. You may even decide to downsize your home, so utilities and property taxes may decrease. However, you want to consider new expenses like travel and long-term care.

Deduct or add these future expenses into your monthly budget, and that should give you a ballpark estimate of how much you’ll need for retirement. If you can swing this, then you can start putting more money aside for your retirement now.

There’s actually a handy calculator that can do this for you.

2. Use a retirement calculator.

You also want to find a retirement calculator that will calculate your retirement needs, monthly savings goal, and estimate your retirement age. The calculator determines this information based on the information that you enter, so make sure that it’s accurate.

NerdWallet has a pretty solid retirement calculator.

3. Write down your retirement plan.

This doesn’t have to be a formal and complex document. It can simply be a single piece of paper that put on your fridge in order to keep you focused on the retirement goals that you’ve established.

4. Revisit your plan.

Things can change rapidly and frequently. That’s why you need to revisit your retirement plan often and make the appropriate changes, such as a new change in your lifestyle like having a child or a spike in inflation rates.

Using those steps can give you a ballpark figure on what you need to enjoy your golden years, along with a plan to keep you on-track. Once you know how much money you need to each month and how much to save, and you’re able to handle that financially, you can start setting more money aside into your retirement savings to help you reach your $5 million goal.

Tips on becoming a millionaire

Determining your future expenses and writing a retirement plan is a great starting point. But, there are a handful of other tricks that you can start doing to help you save enough money each month to become a millionaire.

Start as soon as possible.

This should be pretty obvious. The earlier you start saving the more money you’ll have in your retirement savings. For example, if you initially put aside $20,000 you would need to save $1,598 indexed at 7% annually in order to become a millionaire by age 65. That amount, when adjusted at 3% inflation, would turn out to be $3,262,038 in 40 years. Imagine if you were able to put aside $2,000 annually? You’d shatter that $5 million goal.

Keep out of debt by being smart.

Avoid student loans, credit cards, and poorly managing your finances. These prohibit you from being able to save for your retirement. If you can’t avoid these debts, then make sure that you pay them off as quickly as you can. This saves a ton of money in the long run since you’re not paying for those interest rates.

Also, consider the costs involved with major life decisions like moving or getting married. Moving can be great but it’s costly if you’re constantly on the move. And, not trying to be a downer here, but rushing into a relationship that ends in divorce is another costly experience that can impact your retirement savings. I’ve learned from that in the past, not worth it as it killed my bank account.

Invest slowly.

Don’t look for high risk/reward opportunities. Invest in a 401(k) plan if you’re employed. The reason? Your employer matches a portion of your contribution. That’s pretty much free money!

Have multiple streams of income.

The people who have been able to save millions of dollars have done so because they didn’t just rely on one source of income. They had several sources of income, such as driving for Uber on the weekends or running an online business. This allows them to pay down their debts or contribute more into their retirement savings.

Live frugally.

A recent acquaintance of mine, Mike Molinet, was able to start and grow his startup Branch to be a 90-person company while living frugally. When he started his company, he spent the first three months sleeping on friends’ couches and showering at the incubator where they were working.

Eventually, he moved into his co-founder’s garage in Palo Alto to save money after they started paying themselves a minimal salary. The garage isn’t a converted living space, but rather just a regular garage with no ceiling or insulation and with a concrete floor, water heater, and washer/dryer. Even after raising $53 million dollars, he still lives in the same garage.

I’m not saying you have to live in a garage, but the wealthy are actually known for living far below their means. Instead of owning 20 luxury cars, they have a reliable car that gets them from Point A to Point B that they can drive for years. They also never pay full price for items, they either wait for sales or use coupons.

Again, when you’re frugal you’re able to invest more money for your future.

Source: How much a 20-something needs to save every month to retire with $5 million 

The sharing economy is creating a Dickensian world 

By Satyajit Das
Uber and others are transferring the risk of economic uncertainty from employer to employee
Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection


The sharing economy benefits its creators, but this may be at the expense of those who do the work or provide the service — as well as the broader economy.

The real reasons for the sharing economy are simple.

The existing industries targeted by these platforms are frequently inefficient. Over time, regulations have accreted, evolving to serve narrow interests rather than to maintain service standards and protect users. Competition has fallen, and development has been impeded.
Proponents argue, with justification, that sharing-economy competitors frequently provide a superior product. This highlights the need to reform existing regulatory frameworks. It is not self-evident that replacing the existing system with non-professional service providers and substituting a new monopoly for an existing one is the optimal response.
The sharing economy has developed in response to weak economic growth and a depressed labor market. Workers unable to find work or needing supplemental income use these platforms to earn additional income.

Taxi drivers protest against Uber in Mexico City on Oct. 12.
The arrangements are intended to avoid labor laws that cover minimum wages, working conditions and benefits. Technically, the worker isn’t “employed” but a “contractor” not subject to these regulations, though there is debate in some jurisdictions about the exact legal status and rights of sharing-economy workers.

The sharing economy is part of the trend to contractual and temporary work, which masks the real health of the employment markets. It is also part of a global process of reducing overall labor costs.

The development affects both unskilled and skilled work. Professionals, such as engineers, radiologists and designers from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, are undercutting peers in advanced economies. It is what financier Jay Gould once envisaged: “hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.”

Sharing-economy platforms exploit these factors. In the latest gold rush, venture-capital investors are betting that low prices — due to paying providers less and avoiding expensive regulations — will create mass markets for services once reserved for the wealthy. Uber has raised more than $15 billion in equity and debt, valuing the business at around $70 billion despite the fact that the company’s car-sharing business isn’t currently profitable.

Cheerleaders frame the sharing economy in lofty utopian terms: The sharing economy isn’t business but a social movement, transforming relationships between people in a new form of internet intimacy and humanitarianism.

Exchanges are economic. Buyers are primarily concerned about access to services at low costs rather than social objectives. Providers are motivated by money, using their assets and labor to get by in an unforgiving and poor economic environment.

The major financial backers of the sharing economy aren’t philanthropists. They are Wall Street and Silicon Valley’s 1%, related venture-capital firms and a few institutional investors, such as sovereign-wealth funds. The amount of capital provided is substantial. Given the normal five-to-seven-year cycle for such investments, the pressure to deliver results will increase, bringing it into conflict with the social or altruistic objectives espoused.

Ultimately, the sharing economy will influence how traditional businesses operate. Traditional automobile makers could offer a car-sharing service, such as BMW’s Drive Now. Users can access a car as needed, paying only for usage. These types of changes may decrease rather than increase revenue as it substitutes hiring arrangements for outright purchases.

But perhaps the real issue is that the sharing economy reverses progress in labor markets. Whatever the gains from increased efficiency, it recreates a Dickensian world for a part of the population. Formal employment protects labor from exploitation and deprivation to varying degrees. The sharing economy transfers the risk of economic uncertainty from the employer to the employee with potentially tragic consequences.

Most important, the underlying economic premise is false. Consumption constitutes 60%-70% of activity in advanced economies. In 1914, Henry Ford doubled his workers’ pay from $2.34 to $5 a day, recognizing that paying people more would enable them to afford the cars they were producing. Reduction of income levels and employment security ultimately reduces consumption and economic activity, impoverishing most within societies.

Source: The sharing economy is creating a Dickensian world

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