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#RizzNews: First Borns are the Worst Drivers; 2016 Weather Was ‘Very Extreme’ and ‘Cause for Concern’; AND MORE


First Borns are the Worst Drivers

Younger siblings, take heart: you’re probably a better driver than your parents’ golden child, the first-born.

According to a new study, the eldest child in a family is most likely to speed, get fines for motoring offences and have road traffic collisions. 

And at the other end of the scale, youngest children tend to be the safest drivers.

The research, carried out by Privilege Car Insurance, assessed the driving habits of 1,395 motorists.

They found that 89 per cent of older siblings are likely to speed, 47 per cent to annoy other drivers by cutting them off, 46 per cent to hog the middle of the road and 35 per cent to get fined.

17 per cent of first-born children admitted to applying makeup while driving and 30 per cent to using their phone at the wheel. 

These were all higher rates than that of younger siblings, meaning first-borns have been in more collisions than middle and youngest children

In families with multiple children, the youngest turned out to be the best driver – 42 per cent cut up other drivers and 36 per cent hog lanes on the motorway.

Although technically first-born, it turns out only children are even better drivers still, being the least likely to cruise in the middle of the road or outside lane (31 per cent), or cut someone up while driving (36 per cent).

The researchers also found that excuses for bad driving varied depending on birth order. While middle and youngest children are most likely to lay the blame on other drivers annoying them (28 per cent), eldest children say they only have bad road etiquette if there’s a good reason, such as being late (18 per cent).

Charlotte Fielding, head of Privilege DriveXpert, said: “Sibling rivalry is a famous family issue, in particular when arguing over who is the better driver.

“Younger drivers with DriveXpert telematics policies are given a score based on their safe driving ability.

“This technology can not only encourage safe driving and reward those who do so with lower insurance premiums, but can also help siblings decide once and for all who is best behind the wheel.”

via The Independent


2016 Weather Was ‘Very Extreme’ and ‘Cause for Concern,’

Last year’s global weather was far more extreme or record breaking than anything approaching normal, according to a new report.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released its annual checkup of the Earth, highlighting numerous records including hottest year, highest sea level, and lowest sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica.

The 299-page report, written by scientists around the world and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, shows that 2016 was “very extreme and it is a cause for concern,” said co-editor Jessica Blunden, a NOAA climate scientist.

Researchers called it a clear signal of human-caused climate change. A record large El Nino, the warming of the central Pacific that changes weather worldwide, was also a big factor in last year’s wild weather.

“2016 will be forever etched in my brain as the year we crossed a new threshold of climate change — one that gave us a grim glimpse into our future,” said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb, who had no role in the report.

Scientists examined dozens of key climate measures and found:

— At any given time, nearly one-eighth of the world’s land mass was in severe drought. That’s far higher than normal and “one of the worst years for drought,” said report co-author Robert Dunn of the United Kingdom Met Office.

— Extreme weather was everywhere. Giant downpours were up. Heat waves struck all over the globe, including a nasty one in India. Extreme weather contributed to a gigantic wildfire in Canada.

— Global sea level rose another quarter of an inch (3.4 millimeters) for the sixth straight year of record high sea levels.

— There were 93 tropical cyclones across the globe, 13 percent more than normal. That included Hurricane Matthew that killed about 1,000 people in Haiti.

— The world’s glaciers shrank — for the 37th year in a row — by an average of about 3 feet (1 meter).

— Greenland’s ice sheet in 2016 lost 341 billion tons of ice (310 billion metric tons). It has lost 4400 billion tons (4000 billion metric tons) of ice since 2002.

“2016 was a year in the Arctic like we’ve never seen before,” said NOAA Arctic research chief Jeremy Mathis, who called it “a clear and more pronounced signal of warming than in any other year on record.”

Many of the findings have been previously released, including that 2016 was the hottest year on record for the third consecutive year. A separate study based on modeling and weather patterns shows three hot years in a row is close to impossible to be a natural coincidence.

The odds of three years in a row setting heat records without man-made global warming is only 0.7 percent, compared to 30 to 50 percent with greenhouse gases according to a separate study published Thursday in the Geophysical Research Letters.

NOAA report co-editor Deke Arndt said the only notable normal global measure in 2016 was snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere.

via NBC News

America’s total eclipse floods market with fake sunglasses

When millions of Americans turn their faces skyward to witness the nation’s first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in a century, many will reach for specially designed sunglasses, but experts caution the public to stay clear of unsafe counterfeits.

Even as makers of certified, safety-tested solar eye ware rushed to meet surging demand before the Aug. 21 eclipse, they have joined astronomers and optometrists in warning of defective knockoffs flooding the U.S. market.

“It’s a bunch of unscrupulous people cashing in on the eclipse and putting public safety at risk,” said Richard Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Staring at the sun without proper filtration, even when it is partially obscured by the moon during an eclipse, can damage or destroy photo-receptor cells of the eye’s retina, leaving blind spots in a person’s field of vision, experts said.

Special eyeglasses made with proper solar filters allow viewers to safely gaze at the sun any time for unlimited duration, the AAS said.

Although the advent of solar-safe sunglasses dates back more than three decades, they have never been so widely available to the public as for the 2017 event, which Fienberg said may rank as the most watched total solar eclipse in human history.

That is largely because this year’s spectacle will be the first in 99 years to span the entire continental United States – the world’s third most populous nation – across a 70-mile-wide (113-km) path over 14 states, from the Pacific coast of Oregon to the Atlantic shore of South Carolina.

It will also be the first total solar eclipse visible from any of the Lower 48 states since 1979.

As a measure of excitement surrounding the event, a leading supplier of solar lenses, Arizona-based Thousand Oaks Optical, has sold enough of its filters this year alone to produce roughly 100 million pairs of glasses, company owner Pat Steele-Gaishin told Reuters.

While no data exists for how many made-for-eclipse eyeglasses are in circulation overall, shady distributors of purportedly solar-safe shades abound on the Internet, Fienberg said.

The lenses of some obvious fakes allow the penetration of light from such relatively faint sources as fluorescent lamps, while the only thing one should see through authentic solar-safe filters when looking at objects fainter than the sun is pitch blackness.

Other bogus glasses have come stamped with forged logos of reputable manufacturers or with phony safety labels.

Peru State College in Nebraska, which lies in the path of the eclipse, ordered 7,500 pairs for students but discovered the shipment from a Chinese distributor was defective and came with safety certificates for ordinary sunglasses.

Peru marketing director Jason Hogue said the college has since reordered from a legitimate supplier.

The AAS and NASA have posted a list of reputable solar filter brands, retail distributors and online dealers. (here)

Prices range from as little as 99 cents for a pair of paper-frame glasses to $20 or $30 for a more stylish plastic set.

While a last-minute rush has left many dealers out of stock two weeks before the big day, the good news is that U.S. astronomy buffs have to wait only seven more years for the next total solar eclipse over North America, in April 2024.

Made from an extremely opaque black polymer film containing fine carbon powder, true solar-safe lenses are designed to screen out 250,000 times more visible light than would otherwise reach the naked eye, said B. Ralph Chou, a Canadian optometrist who led development of global standards for solar optics.

Any filter less opaque than that may cause severe eye damage that would not become evident until hours later, Chou warned.

The legitimate glasses, which offer no views outside the eclipse, carry their own hazards, however.

“When you put the glasses on, you can look at the sun, but don’t try to walk around,” Chou said.

via Reuters


Dough! Truck crash shuts down an Arkansas highway after spilling its entire load of frozen pizzas

A highway in Arkansas was forced to shut down for several hours after a truck crashed and dropped its load of frozen pizzas.

An 18-wheeler containing thousands of DiGiorno and Tombstone frozen pizzas scraped a bridge and sliced open its trailer on Wednesday.

It resulted in the pizzas being sprawled right across Interstate 30.

Arkansas highway officials shut down westbound lanes of the cross-country interstate for four hours while crews picked up the pizzas. 

No one was hurt in the ordeal.  

Department of Transportation spokesman Danny Straessle said the bridge had only cosmetic damage. 

‘But there’s a lot of frozen pizzas laying out on the interstate,’ he said.

‘Lots of pizza fatalities.’ 

The accident occurred right in front of the Arkansas Department of Transportation office. 

It took crews four hours and a bunch of heavy machinery to clean up the mess. 

The highway, which goes around the south side of Little Rock, is part a major link that connects Dallas and points west to Memphis, Tennessee. 

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