Category Archives: Awesomness

Chemical In McDonald’s Fries May Cure Baldness, Study Claims

Customers at McDonald’s may want to ask for a side of hair gel with their meal, according to the claims of a new study in Japan. Scientists say that a chemical used in the cooking of the fast food chain’s french fries may hold the cure for baldness.

Researchers at Yokohama National University found that the chemical dimethylpolysiloxane, found in silicone and added to cooking oil as an anti-foaming agent, helped to mass produce hair follicles which grew new hair after being placed into mice. According to the findings, published in the journal Biomaterials, Japanese scientists were able to generate nearly 5,000 “hair follicle germs” (HFG) which the team said is one of the biggest obstacles in creating hair regenerative medicine.

“We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well,” Professor Junji Fukuda said in a press release.

Working with the modified french fry-cooking ingredient, researchers created “HFG chips” which carried batches of the new follicles and implanted them into the mice.

The chips, transplanted into the backs and scalps of the subjects, reportedly began to grow new black hair from each patch.

“This simple method is very robust and promising. We hope that this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss,” Fukuda added.


Fisherman sues after dramatic boat crash caught on video

From NY Post (Open to see video too)

A fisherman who jumped ship into bone-chilling water to dodge a speeding motorboat has filed a $372,500 lawsuit, alleging the other driver was distracted by his cellphone just before the dramatic crash caught on video.

Bryan Maess filed the suit earlier this month against Marlin Lee Larsen, 75, over the Aug. 12 crash near the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, the Oregonian reports.

A GoPro camera mounted to Maess’ 20-foot fishing boat captured the chaos in the seconds before Larsen’s 31-foot motorboat crashes into the smaller, stationary vessel. A passenger on Maess’ boat frantically waves his arms and repeatedly screams “Hey!” in a desperate attempt to get the driver’s attention.

“Oh my God,” another passenger screams just before the trio leap into the chilly water.

The video — which was later posted to Facebook — shows the moment the speeding motorboat plows into Maess’ fishing vessel.

Deputies in Clatsop County and the US Coast Guard responded to the crash in the Columbia River near Tansy Point and found significant damage to the fishing boat. Maess and his two passengers, Christopher McMahon and Roni Durham, managed to jump from the fishing boat just before the crash and were later treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office.

Drugs and alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the crash, deputies said. Larsen was cited for reckless operation, three counts of reckless endangerment and three counts of fourth-degree assault.

Larsen told investigators he couldn’t see where he was driving since he was sitting down. Larsen, who uses a motorized scooter on land, admitted that he probably should’ve been standing at the time, according to a sheriff’s report obtained by the Oregonian.

Larsen’s son-in-law, who was also on the boat at the time, told investigators that he occasionally saw Larsen using his cellphone while driving the boat. State law bans cellphone use while driving, but there are no specific laws governing cellphone use while boating.

Larsen has denied using his cellphone while driving the motorboat, claiming that allegations to the contrary were “fake news,” according to the Oregonian. He has pleaded not guilty as his criminal case unfolds.

Investigators said Maess and his passengers likely dodged serious injury or death by leaping into the water. More than five months after the crash, Maess, who is a police officer, continues to suffer vision problems, headaches and injuries to his ankle, leg and arm, according to the suit.

I got locked out of my Google account for a month

How much of your digital life would you lose if you lost a single password? Without it, you are locked out and the cold reality of using free cloud services like Google is that you don’t have a human arbiter to help you. If you think back to earlier times where, say you lost your bank book, your local banker probably knew who you were and could help you navigate the process of getting it replaced. When you lose your password, it’s not that simple — as I found out.

Imagine you have spent much of your digital life for the last 12 years on Google. You rely on their, mail and calendar, Google Drive for storage and Google Photos for your photo archive. Then imagine that one day, you get locked out after forgetting your password.

That’s what happened to me.

Who are you?

About a month ago, I went to sign into Google. I use different passwords all the time and I forgot which one I had used most recently for Google. I clicked ‘Forgot Password’ as I always had. I was asked to send a confirmation to my phone they had on file. I did that. I responded and was asked to send a confirmation code to my email. I did that and entered the code. I was asked to answer a security question. I answered it.

At that point, you would think I had done more than enough to prove that I was who I said I was. I had supplied, not one, not two, but three factors of identification, but this was not enough for Google for some reason.

I was asked to enter the most recent password I remembered. I did that. I was asked when I first opened my account. I have no idea to be honest and it’s kind of a weird security requirement because seriously, who is going to remember when they opened their Google account to the month if it was over a decade ago? It’s not information people typically keep.

I got to the end of the process expecting to be asked for a new password. I was told I was locked out and I would have to make a request to Google to get in. I followed the procedure, waited for several days (a lifetime without access to my email, calendar, documents) and I was told I was rejected.

I’m not sure how many ways you have to identify yourself to satisfy Google, but apparently all the ways I had supplied weren’t enough. There was nothing in the email about any recourse. I was simply locked out.

No where to run to, baby

I was at an impasse and not sure what to do, but use my contacts as a journalist. If I hadn’t been a journalist with such contacts, I’m not sure what I would have done, but I had them and I used them hoping to resolve this quickly. As it turned out, it would not be quick at all.

On December 5th, I sent a note to a PR contact who I work with on Google-related news and I told him about my problem. He said he had gotten my case escalated and I should hear within 24 hours.

  • Visit
  • Enter Username
  • Click on “Try a different question” at every step until they reach the question “When did you create this Google Account?”
  • Select approximate date when the account was created and click “Next”
  • Enter any contact email address that they have access to and finish the whole verification process.
  • Please ensure that regardless of whether the user knows the answer to the questions or not, they complete answering all the questions till the end. Completing the account recovery process, will create a case for us to work with.

I dutifully did this and once again got a message that Google couldn’t verify the account.

Five days later I still hadn’t heard anything, so on December 12th I contacted my PR friend again, who at this point had to be getting pretty tired of being my go-between. He did his thing and told me that the reset link was being sent to an alternative address of mine.

I got an email from Google later in the day, which I shared with my PR contact:

Hi there,

Here at Google, we’re constantly trying to provide you the best customer support experience.

You recently contacted our support team to regain access to your Google account. Since then, have you been able to successfully sign back into your account?

The choices were Yes/No. I chose No and asked for a new reset command.

Family will get $846K inheritance lost by UPS

A Canadian family whose $846,000 inheritance was lost by UPS will finally get the cash back from their bank, 10 months after their ordeal started.

The bank had originally refused to repay the family and the United Parcel Service had offered a meager $32 shipping fee refund and an apology.

But the bank had a change of heart, hours after reports of Lorette Taylor and her brother Louis Paul Herbert’s troubles were published last week.

“It was a total surprise,” Taylor said. “Never in my wildest imagination did I think something like this would happen.”

After their father died in February, Taylor was tasked with finalizing the details of his will and distributing the inheritances to her sister and brother.

Taylor had obtained the bank draft — which is like a certified check, but the money is taken from a customer’s account immediately and held by the bank until the draft is cashed — after TD told her it was the safest way to send the large sum.

Herbert, 61, said he went to his local UPS store near Cornwall, Ontario, where he was expecting the bank draft but it never came. With mounting credit card debts and no source of income, Herbert said he desperately needed the money to survive.

What followed was a 10-month battle between the family, the bank and UPS, that caused “unbelievable frustration,” Taylor said.

TD had refused to refund the money unless Taylor signed an agreement to pay back the bank if someone cashed the lost draft, which does not expire like regular checks.

By last Thursday afternoon, TD and the family reached an agreement – in the form of an indemnity contract that expires in February 2019.

“It looks like the matter will be settled,” Taylor said.


NBC isn’t protecting Matt Lauer accuser, says attorney


The attorney for the woman whose sexual misconduct allegations led to the termination of longtime “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer tells NBC News that the network has not done enough to protect his client.

In an interview aired Friday on “Today,” attorney Ari Wilkenfeld said his client is “terrified” and lives “in constant fear that people are going to track her down and figure out who she is.”

“She doesn’t want to be known. She feels terrified for herself, and she feels badly for the many other women who are suspected of being her, who are also being hounded and harassed by people who are just trying to get the details of who the woman is.”

NBC News fired Lauer on November 28 after receiving a detailed complaint from Wilkenfeld’s client about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.

Details about the accusation that led to Lauer’s firing have not been revealed, but NBC said the sexual misconduct began during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Wilkenfeld says the network hasn’t done enough to protect his client’s identity.

“NBC has a duty to maintain confidentially. That means to maintain secrecy over her name and to hold to themselves the details of her story. And they have not done a good job of doing that,” he said. “They know exactly what they’ve done, and they need to stop.”

“There’s a hunt underway to figure out who she is,” he added. “And I think that’s going to have a chilling effect on other women who might want to come forward and tell their stories.”

Wilkenfeld called his client “incredibly brave,” saying her actions have helped protect other women who work at NBC.

An NBC News spokesperson said, “The network has protected the employee’s anonymity all along and will continue to do so.”

2017 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Arrives In New York City

The holiday season is officially underway, now that the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has finally arrived.

The tree arrived around 8 a.m. Saturday morning from State College, Pennsylvania.

The Norway Spruce stands 75 feet tall and roughly 50 feet in diameter.

It’s set to be decorated with more than 50,000 lights and topped with a Swarovski Star.


Google to launch an AirDrop competitor, file manager, and cleanup utility called Files Go

Google is preparing to soon launch a new mobile app called Files Go that will allow Android users to better manage the files on their phone, transfer those files easily – even when offline – as well as free up storage space on their devices as needed. The app will become available to users worldwide in early December.

Files Go was first spotted by 9to5Google on the Play Store, where it was available in an early access program for testing purposes. The test was full, but the site was able to get a sneak peek at the app’s features by reading the description and viewing screenshots.

It appears that Files Go is basically part file manager, part file transfer utility, and part clean up wizard. The main interface shows an overview of how much storage space is being used by files and offers tools to clean the app cache, or browse through other areas where files may have accumulated – like those received from a chat application, for example.

Another screen offers a list of file types, like Images, Videos, and Audio, as well as a section for “Received” files.