A story of Biblical proportion:
’A diver in South Africa survived an experience out of a biblical passage last month when he ended up almost being swallowed by a whale.
Rainer Schimpf, 51, was snorkeling off the coast of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, when he ended up in the path of a Bryde’s whale, which opened his jaws and engulfed him headfirst.
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“We were very astonished that out of nowhere this whale came up,” he told Sky News. “I was busy concentrating on the sharks because you want to know if the shark is in front of you or behind you, left or right, so we were very focused on the sharks and their behavior – then suddenly it got dark.”
Schimpf, who has worked as a dive operator for over 15 years, said he was in the water with two others for just a matter of minutes before the whale appeared. He had happened to be with a group recording a sardine run, which is where marine animals such as dolphins, whales, and sharks gather fish into bait balls.
The 51-year-old said once the whale grabbed him, he felt pressure around his body but soon realized he was too big for the whale to swallow him whole which was “kind of an instant relief.”
“So my next thought was that the whale may take me down into the ocean and release me further down, so I instantly held my breath,” he told Sky News. “Obviously he realized I was not what he wanted to eat so he spat me out again.”…’
Via Fox News
What Americans Need to Know:
’Starting in 2021, Americans, as well as others from visa-free countries, will have to do a little more work before they’ll be able to visit a number of European countries. Now, getting into places like Germany, France, and Spain just requires your U.S. passport, but in a little under two years you’ll also need to apply for entry into those countries and several others before you go. Curious what that means? Here’s a rundown of what you need to know…’
A number of news outlets have been reporting that you will need a visa, but this is erroneous. One applies through the European Travel Information and Authorization System, ETIAS, and pays a fee estimated to be around $7. About 95% of applications will be approved, within a few minutes of an online submission, and authorization lasts 3 years. One applications covers travel to all countries in the Schengen Area, comprising: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Courts can grant human rights to nonhuman entities such as rivers, forests, mountains, and nonhuman animals. When this is done, harm against the entity carries the same punishment as harm against humans.
New, ethically controversial, era of neurointervention:
’A team of scientists in Spain is getting ready to experiment on prisoners. If the scientists get the necessary approvals, they plan to start a study this month that involves placing electrodes on inmates’ foreheads and sending a current into their brains. The electricity will target the prefrontal cortex, a brain region that plays a role in decision-making and social behavior. The idea is that stimulating more activity in that region may make the prisoners less aggressive.
This technique — transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS — is a form of neurointervention, meaning it acts directly on the brain. Using neurointerventions in the criminal justice system is highly controversial. In recent years, scientists and philosophers have been debating under what conditions (if any) it might be ethical.
The Spanish team is the first to use tDCS on prisoners. They’ve already done it in a pilot study, publishing their findings in Neuroscience in January, and they were all set to implement a follow-up study involving at least 12 convicted murderers and other inmates this month. On Wednesday, New Scientist broke news of the upcoming experiment, noting that it had approval from the Spanish government, prison officials, and a university ethics committee. The next day, the Interior Ministry changed course and put the study on hold.…’