Aloysius Alaiza

Aloysius Alaiza has 877 articles published.

Watch Mars Kiss Our Cresent Moon – the Highlight of April Stargazing

in Astronomy 43 views

As we are only a week of waxing away from the full moon of April, it’s worth taking a look at other celestial sightseeing opportunities in the springing month.

Around midnight of Wednesday, April 5th, the Pink Moon will fully illuminate the sky. Also known as the Paschal Moon, it sets the date for Easter on the Sunday after the first full moon in April.

Despite cherry blossoms and other flowers heralding spring, the Pink Moon is not actually pink. The name corresponds with the early springtime blooms of Phlox subulata—commonly called creeping phlox or moss phlox, native to North America where Old Farmer’s Almanac keeps track of all the names given by a mix of settlers and native tribes.

For example, you have Moon When the Ducks Come Back (Lakota), Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs (Dakota), Frog Moon (Cree), Breaking Ice Moon (Algonquin), and Budding Moon (Tlingit).

Further out into space, the second half of April will present some excellent viewing opportunities for those with a telescope or binoculars.

On April 15th, overnight into the 16th, the planet Saturn will come within very close proximity to the Moon. They will appear just 3° apart, and while the ringed planet can be seen by the naked eye, a decent pair of binos will allow you to see the rings.

On April 20th, for those readers from Indonesia, Timor Leste, and Australia, particularly in the Ningaloo area, there will be a hybrid solar eclipse.

That means that as the eclipse travels along the path of totality, depending on where you are along it, you will see different shapes pass over the sun as the moon’s shadow affects viewing on Earth.

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Samaritan ending COVID-19 testing requirements for outpatient surgical procedures; test site to close

in Health 33 views

Mar. 28—WATERTOWN — Samaritan Medical Center will close its drive-up COVID-19 testing site on Saturday as the state relaxes its requirement for testing of outpatient surgical procedure patients.

Samaritan, per state Department of Health guidance, will no longer require testing prior to outpatient surgical procedures after Saturday, the hospital announced Tuesday.

Exceptions to this are surgical patients scheduled to be an inpatient post-surgery or any surgical patient with symptoms or at the provider’s discretion. Those patients will test on the day of scheduled surgery upon arrival and admission to the hospital. All patients will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms before the procedure. Any patient that is sick or ill will be rescheduled for their surgical procedure.

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North Carolina Church Raises Thousands to Pay Off Cafeteria Lunch Debt For Every County School

in Charity 30 views

A North Carolina pastor has been helping children in need throughout his county, whether they need clothes, housing, or even a family—with programs like his church’s Foster and Adoption Ministry.

A few years ago his City Church in Gastonia started Hope Closet, a clothing giveaway for kids who may be displaced, or kids in schools who need new shoes.

A few weeks ago he ran across a news article about the growing number of kids whose school lunch accounts remain unpaid.

School lunch debt is a problem for districts across North Carolina, including Gaston County where Pastor Dickie Spargo learned that families owe a total of $13,000.

“We decided that we were going to share it with our church, and then just take up an offering and see what would happen,” Spargo told local media.

In less than two weeks, the congregation raised $23,000.

“What a great opportunity to bless these kids,” the pastor told his congregation after delivering the check.

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New Brain Implant Device Could Restore Function in Paralyzed Limbs

in Health 36 views

A brain implant that can restore arm and leg movements has been developed by British scientists to boost connections between neurons and the paralyzed limbs, offering hope to accident victims.

The device combines flexible electronics and human stem cells – the body’s ‘reprogrammable’ master cells – to better integrate with the nerve and drive limb function.

Previous attempts at using neural implants to restore limb function have mostly failed, as scar tissue tends to form around the electrodes over time, impeding the connection between the device and the nerve. By sandwiching a layer of muscle cells reprogrammed from stem cells between the electrodes and the living tissue in rats, the researchers found that the device integrated with the host’s body and the formation of scar tissue was prevented.

The cells survived on the electrode for the duration of the 28-day experiment, the first time this has been monitored over such a long period.

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Participating in Group Sports Can Offset High Stress and Contribute to Academic Competence During Challenges

in Sports 36 views

A new study found that having an active sporting hobby offset stress and contributed to academic competence even during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The effect was calculated during the so-called two weeks to flatten the curve, and the researchers believe the observed effect was robust enough to be applicable in future periods of societal disruption.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that participation in activities such as fitness classes and drop-in sports before the pandemic was linked to lower levels of stress and higher levels of perceived competence to handle challenges and master school workload during the lockdown.

A new study found that having an active sporting hobby offset stress and contributed to academic competence even during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The effect was calculated during the so-called two weeks to flatten the curve, and the researchers believe the observed effect was robust enough to be applicable in future periods of societal disruption.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that participation in activities such as fitness classes and drop-in sports before the pandemic was linked to lower levels of stress and higher levels of perceived competence to handle challenges and master school workload during the lockdown.

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Watertown wrapping up downtown facade program

in Local News/Place 38 views

You could say that there’s an awning of a new age happening downtown these days.

Watertown is joining a trend of communities across the country giving a little shade to downtown by installing awnings on buildings.

Fifty awnings are going up on nine buildings in and around downtown as part of the city’s $460,000 facade improvement program.

“It just makes downtown more walkable and adds some character to the buildings,” said Neighbors of Watertown Executive Director Reginald J. Schweitzer Jr.

The Watertown Local Development Corp., also known as the Watertown Trust, is overseeing the facade program, while Neighbors of Watertown Inc. is arranging the work with contractors.

The work — funded by the city’s $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funds from 2017 — is expected to be wrapped up by the end of April and in time for a state-required deadline.

The improvements were originally going to be finished in the fall of 2021, so it’s now crunch time to put the program to bed, Watertown Trust CEO Donald W. Rutherford said.

The availability of contractors and materials delayed completion of the project. The COVID-19 pandemic also slowed its progress.

Causing some of the delay, Mr. Schweitzer said, was a difficulty finding awning companies in the region to do the work.

In order not to lose the state money, the two agencies had to get an extension granted from the New York Department of State, Mr. Rutherford said.

Signs & Designs in Carthage, Awning Mart in Cicero and Brownie’s Tent & Awning in Utica manufactured the awnings over the winter.

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Newborn Calf with Smiley-Face Markings is Named ‘Happy’ and Will Graze on a Farm For Rest of His Life

in Uncategorized 241 views

Happy the cow was never destined for greatness, born as he was a bull on a dairy farm.

Yet despite his inability to produce milk, Happy had another valuable skill that began working the minute he dropped onto the grass of Barry Coster’s dairy—making people smile.

The Holstein calf was born with a smiley face on one side of his body, a result of the naturally random black and white markings typical of their breed.

“We’ve seen some number sevens or love hearts on the head, and a few strange markings, but we’ve never seen anything that resembles a smiley face before,” Mrs. Megan Coster told ABC Australia.

Upon finding Happy, Brian snapped a picture and sent it to Megan who even suspected he was a victim of graffiti.

“I couldn’t believe it—I actually zoomed in at first to make sure that none of our workers had added some extra lines or anything, ” she added.

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Discount store The Pallet Place opens in downtown Watertown

in Uncategorized 328 views

Becky Leon knew she had to do something when her basement became full of merchandise on pallets that she acquired through online liquidation auctions.

So the businesswoman and Fort Drum nurse decided to go the retail route about a month ago.

“I had so much stuff I needed to open a store,” she said.

The Pallet Place opened in February in a 2,300-square-foot storefront that faces the JB Wise parking lot in downtown Watertown. The space is underneath the location of the former Wing Wagon. The storefront previously housed a tattoo shop that moved a few doors down.

“It’s kind of hard to find,” she said.

Her inventory is the result of purchasing pallets of merchandise from and other online auctions.

“It’s a little different of a concept,” she said, referring to businesses that have popped up around the country that sell pallets of goods without customers knowing what they’re buying.

In recent years, she’s made money in weekly online auctions on Facebook, she said. It easily pays for the rent at the variety store.

Her shop is stocked with all kinds of goods — all at discounted prices from Walmart and other national retailers, she said.

She offers electronics, small appliances, toys, clothing, household goods and baby gear.

She pointed out that she sells a Marvel Green Lantern action figure for $12, while Walmart has it priced at $24.99.

In another example, a DeeBot robot vacuum has been discounted from $499 to $300, she said.

And Ms. Leon was expecting 11 more pallets to be delivered over the weekend.

Ms. Leon has a previous career in retail, working for Walgreens and the Dollar Tree, and it has helped her with opening up the store, she said.

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Global Happiness Has Been ‘Remarkably Resilient’ Over the Past Three Years: World Happiness Report

in People 252 views

In the 2023 World Happiness Report, a wonderful trend has emerged from the data.

Despite a major war in Europe, and all the government shutdowns and totalitarian policing measures in front of the largest pandemic in 100 years, happiness ratings have remained much the same across Europe and elsewhere.

The report, which is a publication of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, uses the Gallop World Poll data from 150 nations looking at things like a sense of social support and positive feelings toward others to rank order countries on reported happiness.

GDP, medical facilities, and freedom to make life choices are then compared with the perception of government corruption, and sense of dystopia as factors to try and get a sense of why people in certain countries rank their happiness higher than others, though these socio-economic indicators do not contribute to overall score.

CNN reports that an average from 2020 to 2022 shows that scores have remained concretely high in Europe.

“Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness,” John Helliwell, one of the report’s authors, said in a news release.

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17-Year-old Wins $150,000 in Science Talent Search for Remarkable Way to Diagnose Pediatric Heart Disease

in Health 210 views

In the oldest and most prestigious young adult science competition in the nation, 17-year-old Ellen Xu used a kind of AI to design the first diagnosis test for a rare disease that struck her sister years ago.

With a personal story driving her on, she managed an 85% rate of positive diagnoses with only a smartphone image, winning her $150,000 grand for a third-place finish.

Kawasaki disease has no existing test method, and relies on a physician’s years of training, ability to do research, and a bit of luck.

Symptoms tend to be fever-like and therefore generalized across many different conditions. Eventually if undiagnosed, children can develop long-term heart complications, such as the kind that Ellen’s sister was thankfully spared from due to quick diagnosis.

Xu decided to see if there were a way to design a diagnostic test using deep learning for her Regeneron Science Talent Search medicine and health project. Organized since 1942, every year 1,900 kids contribute adventures.

She designed what is known as a convolutional neural network, which is a form of deep-learning algorithm that mimics how our eyes work, and programmed it to analyze smartphone images for potential Kawasaki disease.

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