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Jupiter revealed: NASA mission finds swirling storms at poles, weird magnetic fields

NASA is learning some of the secrets of the largest planet in the solar system, revealing data Thursday from the space agency’s Juno mission to Jupiter.

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Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun, is a gas giant with an atmosphere mainly composed of helium and hydrogen, and characterized by towering clouds of ammonia and turbulent storms, including one that has raged for hundreds of years and is larger than Earth, known as the Great Red Spot.

With the initial scientific information from Juno, researchers are realizing the planet is even more complex than scientists imagined. 

The spacecraft’s camera, called the JunoCam, recorded images of Jupiter’s north and south poles that show colossus, swirling Earth-sized storms, knocking into each other as they rocket around the top and bottom of the planet. The storms covering the north pole are very different from those in the south, though.

>> Related: Space travel is measured in light years, but what’s a light year anyway?

“We’re puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn’t look like the south pole,” Juno’s principal investigator Scott Bolton said in a briefing about the new data.

Bolton said it’s also unclear whether these are permanent storms at the poles.

“We’re questioning whether this is a dynamic system, and are we seeing just one stage, and over the next year, we’re going to watch it disappear, or is this a stable configuration and these storms are circulating around one another,” Bolton said.

Juno has also revealed new information about the planet’s irregular and lumpy magnetic field and its gaseous atmosphere.

>> Related: Alien life possible on small Saturn moon, maybe on a Jupiter moon, too

Researchers are hoping to learn more about the Giant Red Spot, too, one of the “most iconic features in the entire solar system.

“If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments,” Bolton predicted.

The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, and entered Jupiter’s orbit last summer on July 4.

The results from Thursday’s briefing were collected in a Juno fly-by last August when the craft was within 2,600 miles of Jupiter’s cloud tops, NASA said.

Fox News issues statement addressing speculations about Sean Hannity’s vacation

News that Fox News pundit Sean Hannity was taking a long weekend vacation fueled speculation that he might be in trouble with his network.

Fox News provided a statement to explain Hannity’s vacation.

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“Like the rest of the country, Sean Hannity is taking a vacation for Memorial Day weekend and will be back on Tuesday,” the statement said, according to Variety.

The network also criticized the speculation surrounding his break, saying that those who suggested something else was at play “are going to look foolish.”

Related: Weeks after advertisers helped end Bill O’Reilly’s career at Fox News, “Hannity” has lost its first big name

Hannity has come under fire as of late for peddling a conspiracy theory about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich and continuing to do so even after Rich’s family asked him to stop.

On Tuesday, Fox News retracted a story about Rich from their own site. Hannity later maintained that he “retracted nothing.”

Woman uninjured after car plunges off parking deck 

A woman, who told police she was distracted by her cellphone, is uninjured after crashing through the wall of a hospital parking garage Wednesday and plunging off the deck.

The unidentified woman, who is an employee at the Children’s of Alabama, hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and crashed through the wall around 6:55 a.m., the hospital told WBRC

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The wall gave, and the car fell from the third level of the garage. 

The woman was talking on her cellphone and “the next thing she knew, the car was upside down,” Birmingham police Lt. Sean Edwards told al.com.

Ben Carson calls poverty 'a state of mind'

Retired neurosurgeon and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is certainly no stranger to controversial statements.

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Carson’s latest controversial comment was captured during a Wednesday appearance on a Sirius XM radio show.

“I think poverty, to a large extent, is also a state of mind,” he said. “You take somebody that has the right mindset, you take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you could give them everything in the world, they'll work their way right back down to the bottom.”

>> Related: Ben Carson calls slaves 'immigrants'

Carson suggested that parenting plays a large role in determining poverty.

“A lot of it has to do with what we teach children ... You have to instill into that child the mindset of a winner,” he said. “If everybody had a mother like mine, nobody would be in poverty. She was a person who absolutely would not accept the status of victim.”

Carson said government can help.

“It can provide the ladder of opportunity. It can provide the mechanism that will demonstrate to them what can be done,” he said.

>> Related: Ben Carson has a new plan to decrease government dependence, and it starts with a change to public housing

Several people criticized Carson and said he is out of touch.

Carson’s full comments can be heard below.

Chris Cornell's widow shares heartbreaking open letter to late husband

The wife of Audioslave and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has expressed her heartache in a new open letter via Billboard days before she lays him to rest.

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Last week, Cornell was found dead in his hotel room after a Detroit concert. An initial autopsy completed by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded his death to be a suicide by hanging. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed. He was 52 years old.

>> Rocker Chris Cornell dead at 52; death ruled a suicide

In the emotional letter, Vicky Karayiannis addresses her “sweet Christopher.”

“To My Sweet Christopher,

“You were the best father, husband and son-in-law. Your patience, empathy and love always showed through.

“You had always said I saved you, that you wouldn’t be alive if it were not for me. My heart gleamed to see you happy, living and motivated. Excited for life. Doing everything you could to give back. We had the time of our lives in the last decade and I’m sorry, my sweet love, that I did not see what happened to you that night. I’m sorry you were alone, and I know that was not you, my sweet Christopher. Your children know that too, so you can rest in peace.

“I’m broken, but I will stand up for you, and I will take care of our beautiful babies. I will think of you every minute of every day and I will fight for you. You were right when you said we are soulmates. It has been said that paths that have crossed will cross again, and I know that you will come find me, and I will be here waiting.

“I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone in the history of loving and more than anyone ever will.

“Always and forever,“Your Vicky”

A private funeral for the rocker will be held on May 26. Fans will be able to mourn Chris Cornell at his grave site following the family’s funeral at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

>> Related: Céline Dion was choked up as she shared this beautiful tribute to the victims of the Manchester attacks

Teen wows shoppers with impromptu performance on thrift store piano

A teenager’s talent drew an audience at a Michigan thrift store when she started singing and playing a piano while waiting on her mother. 

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Another shopper caught Genavieve Linkowski’s impromptu performance and shared the video on social media Saturday, where it has been viewed more than 700,000 times.

"I turned my head and there were all these people out with their phones and they were all recording me," Linkowski told WJRT

Linkowski, 18, who hopes for a career as a singer, was passing time while her mother was shopping and started jamming on the aged, upright piano. A group of people gathered around as her voice carried through the store.

She was about to stop when the crowd asked her to continue.

“Really? Keep going?” Linkowski said in the video. 

She continued to play. 

She is been even more surprised since the video has gone viral. 

"Yesterday morning, one of my friends texted me and he was like, 'Oh, you're famous' and I was like, 'What?!'" she told WJRT. "And I'm looking and I was seeing all of this and I was just flabbergasted. Like, nothing like this has ever happened to me."

Memorial Day 2017: Quotes about patriotism, freedom

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives in defense of the country. 

Here are a few quotes about patriotism and freedom.

  • "A hero is someone who has given his of her life to something bigger than oneself." -- Joesph Campbell 
  • "A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers and woods, it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle." -- George William Curtis 
  • "All you have to do is hold your first soldier who is dying in your arms, and have that terribly futile feeling that I can't do anything about it... Then you understand the horror of war." -- Norman Schwarzkopf 
  • "Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war." -- Otto von Bismarck 
  • "I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism. " -- Bob Riley 
  • "Only the dead have seen the end of war." -- Plato 
  • "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -- Mark Twain 
  • "The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain." -- George McGovern 
  • "The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth." -- Stonewall Jackson 
  • "The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's Tree." -- Thomas Campbell 
  • "These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor - and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror." -- Michael N. Castle 
  • "They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation." -- Henry Ward Beecher

Drug counselors overdose at halfway house, recovering addicts find them  

Pennsylvania authorities are investigating the deaths of two drug counselors at a halfway house in Chester County in metro Philadelphia in apparent separate heroin overdoses.

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The men were found unresponsive in separate bedrooms at the Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge by recovering residents at the group home on Sunday, according to WFMZ TV.

The residents tried to revive one of the counselors with the opioid antidote naloxone, but it didn’t work.

Authorities found small baggies of heroin and used needles near the bodies of both victims, CNN reported.

The counselor’s jobs included planning daily activities for the six recovering addicts at the center and supervising medication for the recovering addicts.

An investigation into the deaths is underway.

Memorial Day 2017: Should you buy it or should you wait? Here are some shopping tips

It’s nearly summer and the urge to get out and spend can be strong.

Before you head out on a shopping spree, FatWallet.com, he website that directs consumers to daily deals and saving opportunities, has a few suggestions for you.

If you are looking for that perfect pair of shorts, this is a great time to shop. On the other hand, if you want a new laptop, you may want to wait a bit. 

FatWallet.com offers these shopping tips for the Memorial Day weekend:  

Summer ClothingBUY – The kick-off of summer clothing retail season, some 34% of Memorial Day shoppers buy clothes and another 21 percent buy shoes as dozens of site-wide discounts from top retailers, including 20-50 percent off shorts, tanks, sandals and swimwear, swarm the best deals of the weekend. Be sure to utilize cash back from Ebates to add significant savings to your summer thread purchases!

MattressesBUY - 36 million mattresses are shipped each year. Traditionally, there is no better time to buy a mattress, or mattress sets, than during Memorial Day sales when all specialty sleep, furniture and department store retailers offer their biggest savings and brand selection of the year.

AppliancesBUY and WAIT – More than 62 million major appliances shipped in the U.S. in 2016. Home improvement stores like Home Depot, Sears and Lowe’s will feature Memorial Day deals with up to 50 percent off refrigerators, ranges, washers and dryers, etc. that rival their Black Friday prices.

LaptopsWAIT – Like TVs, there are always one-off sales for laptops, especially older models. While a healthy 12 percent will look for deals on electronics during Memorial Day sales, the best time to buy a new laptop is during Back to School sales in July, or on Black Friday when selection and prices on MacBooks, touchscreen laptops and 2-in-1 hybrid tablet/laptops can drop as much as 50 percent.

Patio Furniture / GrillsBUY and WAIT – A growing industry with $8 billion in sales, spring discounting on patio furniture and grills hit its peak during Memorial Day weekend. Prices go back up in June until summer clearance in the fall when these items are cheapest, but are also ready for storage.

Lawn & Garden SuppliesBUY – As annual retail sales eclipse $6 billion, May brings sweeping spring sales on lawn and gardening supplies that ramp up to Memorial Day. Holiday deals offer some of the best seasonal discounts on mulch, soil, plant food, fertilizers, pesticides and grass seed.

Power ToolsWAIT – A recent survey reports Father’s Day is the best time to buy tools, and 1 in 10 buy them as gifts for dads. Although some tool deals in May offer good savings, especially for outdoor power equipment, waiting until June offers a better over-all selection of savings options that can rival Black Friday tool deals.

Summer TravelBUY – While only 11 percent name Memorial Day as the best time for summer travel, the holiday signals urgency for securing summer vacation bookings. With 81 percent regularly go on vacations and 25 percent multiple times a year (survey), online travel sites like Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz and hotels.com compete to feature their best offers on airfare and hotel deals, cruise deals and car rental coupons for Memorial Day shoppers.

What to know about the ‘Doomsday Vault,’ why we need it and what it’s for

Deep beneath an icy Norwegian mountain, above the Arctic Circle, lies the largest concentration of agricultural diversity on Earth.

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The Svelbard Global Seed Vault, also known as the “Doomsday” vault or bank, is designed to save the world’s crops and plants if disaster strikes.

Recently, after water flooded the facility and questions about the threat of climate change arose, the Norwegian government decided to plan a redesign of the vault’s structure.

>> Related: ‘Doomsday’ tunnel entrance in Arctic flooded by melting permafrost

Here are seven things to know about the vault:

What is the purpose of the vault?

If disease pandemics, asteroid crashes, climate change or any other global catastrophes were to ensue, the seeds stored in the Global Seed Vault could be the source for humans to regrow the crops needed for survival.

But the vault was actually intended as a secure storage space for samples of other crop and plant collections at risk.

Where is it?

>> Related: Get the best view of the total eclipse

The vault is located on the Arctic tundra island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard, Norway. The icy mountain housing the Seed Vault is called “Platåberget,” or “plateau mountain” in English, according the Crop Trust.

The vault is about 400 feet deep inside the mountain.

What does it store?

More than 930,000 varieties of food crops are stored in the Global Seed Vault. It has the capacity to store 4.5 million seed samples with each sample containing about 500 seeds, so, according to the CropTrust, a maximum of 2.25 billion seeds can be stored in the vault.

One room in the vault houses seeds for more than 150,000 different varieties of wheat.

>> Related: Arctic ice shrinking to lowest levels ever for third straight year

How much did the vault cost to build?

The Global Seed Vault, which opened in 2008 was administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food on behalf of the Kingdom of Norway and reportedly cost approximately $9 million to build.

Who is in charge?

The Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust), Nordic Gene Bank (NordGen) and an international advisory council help manage the facility, its funding and operations.

Read more here.

 

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