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Enormous Owl Finally Photographed After Eluding Ecologists for 150 Years

Shelley's Eagle Owl, though to be the biggest owl in Africa's rainforests, is notoriously hard to spot and sightings are often unconfirmed.
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Super-Ripped Cat With Bulging Muscles Due to Rare Condition Stuns Internet
The National Organization for Rare Disorders says: "Affected individuals have up to twice the usual amount of muscle mass in their bodies."
'Coming Out Colton' tracks 'The Bachelor' alum Colton Underwood's LGBTQ education
Much like Caitlyn Jenner's coming-out education in "I Am Cait," "The Bachelor" alum Colton Underwood approaches the process of telling the world who he is almost like an anthropologist in the six-part Netflix docuseries "Coming Out Colton." It's a carefully constructed showcase for someone who, like Jenner and her extended family, appears accustomed to life under the camera's watchful eye.
Colton Underwood: I didn’t come out to ‘bury the drama’ with Cassie Randolph
The former "Bachelor" came out as gay in April, just months after his ex-girlfriend obtained a restraining order against him for stalking and harassment.
Tom Brady FaceTimes with high school team after they text Sean Murphy-Bunting by mistake
Vinny Tartaglia, a member of the Notre Dame Prep freshman basketball team, was adding his teammates' numbers to a group text last week when he accidentally added the wrong number.
US, Mexico reportedly reach deal on restarting Trump-era asylum policy
The policy requires asylum seekers attempting to enter the US by crossing the southern border to wait in Mexico until their cases are heard.
Texas Longhorns donors launch Clark Field Collective, a $10 million NIL fund
Not every Texas athlete can knock out NIL deals as easily as RB Bijan Robinson. That's where Austin sports marketer Nick Shuley thinks he can help.
Cat Surprises 'Traumatized' Woman on Toilet With Live Mouse in Wild Video
The woman said she was just trying to "get a funny video of her squeezing through the window" before she realized what was going on.
Bidens reinstate tradition of first family attending the Kennedy Center Honors
President Joe Biden and Jill Biden will attend the 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors Sunday night in Washington, DC, reinstating a longstanding tradition that was interrupted by Donald Trump's presidency.
UFC's Dana White feels 'like a million bucks' after COVID diagnosis, consulted Joe Rogan for treatment
UFC president Dana White revealed Thursday he and his family all tested positive for COVID-19 after a family Thanksgiving trip to his home in Maine last week.
‘Rust’ AD backs Alec Baldwin’s claim that he ‘didn’t pull trigger’
Assistant director Dave Halls has always maintained that Baldwin's "finger was never in the trigger guard."
Style Invitational Week 1465: Put your ’22 cents in with predictions for next year
Plus “Cuomotose” and other winning new terms named after people.
‘Laverne & Shirley’ actor Eddie Mekka, ‘The Big Ragu’ dead at 69
Actor Eddie Mekka, best known for his role as Carmine "The Big Ragu" Ragusa of "Laverne & Shirley" has died. The Tony nominee was 69.
A Humble Approach to Saving Democracy | Opinion
The Summit for Democracy can be a powerful, catalyzing event—if the U.S. sees itself as a learner and convener, rather than as a promoter.
OPEC and Russia will pump more oil in January despite price plunge
Saudi Arabia, Russia and other leading oil producers have decided to stick with plans to increase supply in January despite a recent plunge in prices driven by fears of a new glut.
Idaho state trooper nearly rammed by pickup truck while helping stranded motorist: dashcam video
An Idaho State Police Trooper was helping a stranded motorist with a flat tire Wednesday morning when the pair had to react quickly to avoid an oncoming pickup truck during a multi-vehicle collision.
Tiny Galaxy Has Unusually Massive Black Hole and Scientists Don't Know Why
The discovery of such a massive black hole in a dwarf galaxy could help explain both how galaxies evolve and how dark matter is distributed throughout them.
Sonia Sotomayor may not have ‘saved baseball’ in 1995, but she set it on a path to labor peace
Years before she ascended to the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor issued a temporary injunction two days before baseball’s owners planned to open the 1995 season with replacement players.
Sonia Sotomayor may not have ‘saved baseball’ in 1995, but she set it on a path to labor peace
Years before she ascended to the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor issued a temporary injunction two days before baseball’s owners planned to open the 1995 season with replacement players.
Meghan Markle's Privacy Ordeal Could Drag on As Tabloid Eyes Supreme Court Appeal
Meghan Markle won a two-year privacy battle—but the tabloid she sued may appeal again.
What's not to love? The US savings bond that earns 7 percent with inflation protection, yet gets ignored
Treasury's I bonds have seen a spectacular rate rise, with new rates set every six months based on inflation, but still don't get love from investors
Biden Launching Winter COVID-19 Booster, Testing Campaign
The plan includes a tightening of testing requirements for people entering the U.S., regardless of their vaccination status
Lawmakers approach deadline to avoid government shutdown
The House and Senate reach agreements on a short term government funding bill but still have to reach an agreement by the end of the day Friday to avoid a government shutdown. CNN's Melanie Zanona reports.
Seth Rogen Got High And Unexpectedly Sat Front Row At ‘Adele One Night Only’
"Adele... why did you do that?"
California city boosts security budget by $2 million after 'criminal mob' ransacks Nordstrom
The Walnut Creek City Council in California approved an additional $2 million in funds to beef up its police presence.
Demand for iPhone 13 lineup plummets ahead of holidays: report
The apparent lack of demand comes after Apple reportedly slashed its 2021 iPhone production goal from 90 million to as low as 80 million amid ongoing supply chain issues.
Trump torches Biden in 'Fox & Friends' interview, says admin ‘knowingly destroying our country'
Former President Donald Trump tore into President Joe Biden in a wide-ranging interview Thursday, suggesting that the administration is 'knowingly' destroying the country and is distrusted by the American people.
Chris Cuomo's Suspension Caps CNN's Nightmare Year
2021 marked a steep decline in CNN's ratings, with the Cuomo scandal topping off a difficult year.
CNN+ host: I'd rather give my kids Jack Daniels and weed than Instagram
CNN+ host Scott Galloway tells CNN's Brianna Keilar he'd rather gives his children bourbon and cannabis than Instagram accounts. Hear why.
Look to red-hot Patriots when betting in NFL Week 13 | Lorenzo's Locks
Lorenzo Reyes is back with his three locks for Week 13 on the NFL schedule. Find out why he thinks the Patriots can win a huge divisional matchup.
Mariska Hargitay confronts singer who keeps interrupting ‘Law & Order’ filming
As if the "SVU" star wasn't badass enough: A recent clip showed the Emmy-winning actress springing into action to save a shoot from a disruptive singing man.
Brazen thieves steal diaper bag from mom, baby outside gated LA home
Police said the terrifying ordeal unfolded when the woman returned to her Hancock Park home last Sunday afternoon after she went out for a walk with her child.
Josh Duggar's sister Jill Dillard debuts new look ahead of possibly taking the stand in child porn trial
Jill Dillard debuted a massive change to her appearance ahead of her upcoming testimony at the trial of her brother, Josh Duggar.
When Will ‘Money Heist’ Season 5 Part 2 Premiere on Netflix?
It's all coming to an end.
The quest for a power grid that can withstand extreme weather
Extreme winters caused by climate change are making blackouts longer and more common. | Rick Loomis/Getty Images. America’s grid isn’t ready for climate change. Here’s how to fix that. This year, millions of Americans across the country lost power at times when they needed it most. As the US power grid deals with an onslaught of heat waves, winter storms, and stronger hurricanes caused by climate change, these kinds of failures are happening more often, taking longer to fix, and harming more people. Power blackouts, which used to be mostly seasonal occurrences, now occur year-round. But as we head into another winter — the season that accounts for the majority of the fuel used by residential customers in the United States — the power grid isn’t any better prepared for the extreme weather it is likely to face. Take Texas. In February, a winter storm froze power plants in the state, leaving millions of people without power and killing hundreds who had no way to escape the cold. Despite the toll of those power failures, Texas regulators originally had no intention of mandating winter weather upgrades from most suppliers of natural gas, which powers 40 percent of the state’s power plants. After overwhelming criticism, the regulators changed their tune on November 30, announcing a new rule that will require more than 19,000 natural gas facilities to invest in those upgrades — though they won’t need to start making any changes until 2022 at the earliest. That means Texas isn’t ready for what might come this winter. And Texas is by no means the only state unprepared for natural disasters. In June and July, heat waves in Oregon melted power cables and triggered blackouts, contributing to many of the more than 95 heat-related deaths in the state. A couple months later, Hurricane Ida knocked out power for at least 1.2 million homes and businesses across eight states, killing at least 12 Louisianans who had no way to escape the midsummer heat, among other hurricane deaths. A groundbreaking study from earlier this year linked climate change to extreme weather. The authors of the study wrote they were “virtually certain” that heat waves had become longer and more frequent since the 1950s due to greenhouse gas emissions. 2021 was the hottest summer on record since the Dust Bowl of 1936, and there’s no reason to think 2022 will be any better — which means there’s no reason to think the crumbling American grid will get a reprieve anytime soon. As extreme weather caused by climate change becomes the new normal, it’s clear the US’s power infrastructure needs fixing more than ever. So, what will it take? One of the most important fixes would be physically “hardening” the grid, which means replacing old infrastructure that’s vulnerable to extreme weather with stronger, more resilient upgrades. These are the kinds of solutions you might notice if they pop up in your neighborhood, perhaps in the form of swapping out wooden electric poles for wind-resistant steel or concrete ones, moving power lines underground, or lifting ground-level transformers out of the path of potential floods.But these upgrade projects require major investments of time and money, and utility companies are either unable or unwilling to make those kinds of investments — at least not at the scale and pace needed to keep up with climate change. As a stopgap measure, some utility companies are turning to software and artificial intelligence-based solutions that might be able to help reduce failures within the infrastructure that already exists. But AI isn’t a magic bullet, according to Romany Webb, a research scholar at Columbia Law who studies the risks climate change poses to utilities. “The vast majority of outages are caused by weather events,” Webb said. “As climate change causes more extreme weather events, those outages will happen more often.” No AI can stop the weather — it can just try to help us get through it. Sean Rayford/Getty Images. Hurricane Ida downed power lines all over Louisiana, leaving some without power for weeks. Fixing the grid is, to put it lightly, difficult. One positive development is the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill President Biden signed in November, which dedicated $65 billion in funding to improving the grid across the US, and includes $3 billion set aside for technologies like smart meters and advanced communications systems that might finally bring the grid into the 21st century. But exactly what that grid of the future will look like is still up for debate. The grid, briefly explained Sometimes called the largest machine in the world, the American power grid is a sprawling behemoth of interconnected systems, strung together over thousands of miles, that mishmashes technologies old and new. As Recode explained earlier this year, bringing electricity to American homes involves generating power through renewables or fossil fuels (38 percent of the country’s electricity comes from natural gas); sending that power across high-voltage lines to transformers and substations; and then distributing the electricity to buildings through low-voltage lines. “It’s actually kind of magic that the grid works,” Kyri Baker, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, told Recode. That’s because parts of the grid are very old, with components dating back to the 1940s, and the whole thing was never designed for a world with the energy demands created by smart devices, electric cars, and climate change. When the grid was first being built, most homes only needed enough electricity for a few light bulbs, a refrigerator, and maybe a radio. “We have transformers that are 80 years old, and their copper and insulation is breaking down,” Baker said. Even without extreme weather battering the grid, those components would need to be replaced soon anyway. The outdated technology of our grid is at odds with our otherwise interconnected world. Today’s grid is a one-way street: Electricity flows from power plants to homes and businesses, and once a month the power company will check electricity meters to bill customers for their usage. This means utility companies know surprisingly little about what happens to the electricity they generate once it leaves a power plant or transformer. In much of the country, utilities only find out about power outages when customers call them in. “Most utilities don’t have a way of automatically determining what the consumption in your house is right now,” Baker said. Instead, engineers are left to use the few sensors they do have to make educated guesses about demand at any given time; every five to 15 minutes, grid engineers manually decide how much power should be produced at power plants and generators. That reliance on manual adjustments makes it difficult to offer clean energy to Americans. “Renewable energy is intermittent,” said Baker. Solar and wind farms only generate energy when there is enough sun and wind, and grid engineers aren’t used to working with those types of fluctuations, which means they’re reluctant to make the switch to clean energy. “The grid needs to react significantly faster than it’s reacting right now,” said Baker. In other words, the grid should automatically switch to solar and wind power when they’re available, and seamlessly bring in energy from other sources if solar and wind farms aren’t producing enough power to meet demand. One way to make that happen, Baker explains, is to make the grid smart. This would allow for the flow of not just electricity but also information between power plants and customers. Sensors along power lines would give engineers a better understanding of how their equipment is working, while internet-connected smart meters would allow utilities to view and account for customers’ electricity demands in real time. AI-powered systems could use that data to respond quickly to fluctuations and outages, rerouting power and increasing generation automatically instead of waiting for manual input from engineers. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images Solar power is becoming cheaper and more prevalent, but the grid isn’t set up for effective use. The city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a good example of what a connected grid might look like. Chattanooga modernized its grid in 2009, installing smart meters in customers’ homes and digital controls that allowed the electric utility to monitor and respond to demand and outages in real time. The new technology had an immediate, simple impact: Instead of sending crews out every time a circuit breaker flipped, the smart grid allowed engineers to turn those switches back on from a control room. Power outages in the city were reduced by about 55 percent. Chattanooga’s grid is a powerful indicator of how information can help fix the grid. But Baker thinks the future American grid should go one step further, allowing not just information but electricity to flow from customers to utilities. A smart grid that allows electricity to flow in both directions (in other words, not just from the power company to the consumer but from the consumer to the power company as well) would open the door for the widespread adoption of microgrids. These self-sufficient systems generate their own power, whether from renewables such as solar panels or from fossil fuel-powered generators, and can separate themselves from the larger grid to operate on their own during a blackout — think of hospitals with backup generators that kick in during storms, for example. In the current setup, there’s no way for buildings that can generate their own power to share it with others. A smart grid would allow for that kind of electricity sharing. Grid hardening and building out a smart grid in the US would work hand in hand, and replacing infrastructure to make it more resilient is the ideal opportunity to add the kinds of sensors that could make the smart grid a reality. “We’re in the Motorola Razr stage of the smart grid transition right now,” Baker said. Having the ability to see changes in real time and incorporate clean energy and microgrids into the American grid would be like upgrading from an old-school Razr flip phone to an iPhone 13. But smart grids and grid hardening, like iPhones, are pricey. They’re also logistically complicated. Usually, utilities pass the costs of infrastructure investments down to customers, but nobody wants to pay higher electricity bills, especially for long-term investments that might take years to bear fruit. That means utilities are wary of making those investments. The recently passed infrastructure bill and the hotly debated Build Back Better bill, the current iteration of which would include big investments in clean energy, might help close the funding gap. In the meantime, utilities are looking at using AI as a potential stopgap that could help prevent outages even if Americans are stuck depending on the infrastructure that already exists. How software can tide the country over Most power outages are the result of one or two factors: weather and trees (which are often knocked down by bad weather). For decades, utility companies have paid weather companies for meteorological models to help them keep track of storms, and tree-cutting crews make routine passes along the paths of power lines to trim branches and cut trees that might be at risk of hitting power lines. But these are blunt instruments: Weather models can tell a utility what kind of weather will affect a region, but they can’t translate that data into on-the-ground effects on infrastructure. Tree-cutting crews, meanwhile, don’t account for the different ways various tree species grow. If a neighborhood contains both cottonwoods and red maples, for example, they are all trimmed at the same time — which means the faster-growing cottonwoods could grow back before the crews made their next pass, putting power lines at risk, or the slower-growing maples could be cut too aggressively, endangering the trees and the ecosystems that rely on them. J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday via Getty Images. Utilities spend billions of dollars a year on vegetation management. A team at the State University of New York in Albany is attempting to fix the weather-prediction problem with AI. “We’re trying to develop techniques that will allow us to best match the weather that likely caused the outage with the outage itself,” said Nick Bassill, a researcher at SUNY Albany’s Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. By looking at historical outage data and cross-referencing it with hyperlocal weather data from a state-of-the-art weather monitoring system installed by New York State in 2016, Bassill and his colleagues are training a machine-learning algorithm to try to predict the exact effects of any given weather event on a utility company’s infrastructure. These predictions can help companies decide how to deploy crews ahead of time so they’d be in place to respond quickly in case of a blackout. “We know that the Albany area, as a hypothetical, is highly susceptible to icing-over power lines during nor’easters because it’s in a valley,” said Kara Sulia, who runs the SUNY Albany lab developing the machine-learning algorithm. If a nor’easter — a winter storm that arrives from the northeast and tends to bring blizzards to that part of the country — looked likely to blow into the region, the algorithm would flag the risk to power lines for meteorologists and engineers at the utility responsible for those power lines. In the long term, Sulia said, the algorithm could help utilities decide where to invest in grid-hardening. In the short term, it would help those utilities better prepare for extreme weather caused by climate change. Overstory, a Netherlands-based AI company, is doing for trees what Bassill and Sulia are doing for the weather. Utilities across the country spend billions of dollars each year on vegetation management, said Indra den Bakker, CEO of Overstory, but they have very little data on the kinds of vegetation they’re dealing with. That’s because traditional surveys of wooded areas, conducted on foot and by helicopter, can take months or years to complete. Overstory aims to fix that problem by using extremely high-resolution satellite imagery to identify tree species, track their growth, and make recommendations for when and where trees should be cut. “What’s most important is reducing the risk of ignition,” said den Bakker, especially as climate change brings drought, drier trees, and a higher risk of wildfires. “What happens if a tree touches your power line? If there’s lots of dead trees with a lot of fuel load around, that can have massive consequences.” The problem of gold-plating While tools like Overstory and SUNY Albany’s machine-learning algorithm can prove very useful in the short term, AI does little to address the root of the problem, said Webb, the Columbia researcher. “The vast majority of utility planning is based on historical data,” said Webb. “Equipment is designed to operate reliably at an average temperature based on historic averages, and as temperatures increase, that infrastructure operates less reliably.” Solutions that focus on responding to outages fail to take the bigger picture into account, and researchers like Webb are concerned utilities tend to over-invest in outage prevention without considering larger investments that will have greater payoffs over time. A utility that’s focused on preventing outages might invest in a gas-powered plant that’s meant to provide power in an emergency, for example, without taking into account how that plant might be affected by or contribute to climate change — which is exactly what happened in Louisiana earlier this year. “Utilities will seek to gold-plate their systems to purportedly limit outages but will really just have limited payback in terms of future climate impacts,” said Webb. Customers are inevitably left to pay for technologies that might look and sound useful in the short term but have little long-term benefit. Instead of focusing on trying to prevent outages at any cost, said Baker, of the University of Colorado Boulder, perhaps customers and utilities should get used to a future where energy is less reliable. “Unfortunately, we’re going to have to get used to more blackouts. They’re just going to be a function of the aging infrastructure and climate change,” Baker said. “Most people view electricity as sort of a given. I think that paradigm is going to have to change.”
Where to find holiday markets around the D.C. area
Holiday markets are everywhere at this time of year, so there’s bound to be one near you.
What a government shutdown could mean for you
When there are partisan disagreements and Congress is divided on how to fund the government, the threat of a shutdown looms. Learn what one could mean for you.
Why Meghan Markle Texts Released by Bullying Accusation Aide Did Not Swing Lawsuit
Meghan Markle's private messages exposed by a former aide forced her into an embarrassing apology—but she still won her tabloid lawsuit.
Video: What was said during Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman's wholesome moment at UFC 268
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The Big Apple has a big poop problem: Survival Guide to NYC
New Yorkers put up with a lot of crap — but that doesn’t mean you should step in it. In this episode of The Post’s Survival Guide to NYC, find out the dos and don’ts of dealing with doo-doo in the city. From pet owners who fail to curb their dogs to pigeons who see...
Mark Meadows tries to clean up his disclosure of Trump’s positive coronavirus test — poorly
Meadows now says it was a false positive and this is blown out of proportion. About that...
Mark Meadows tries to clean up his disclosure of Trump’s positive coronavirus test — poorly
Meadows now says it was a false positive and this is blown out of proportion. About that...
Biden seeks to require private health plans to pay for at-home Covid tests
The change represents the core of a ramped-up effort to encourage more widespread testing.
'Money Heist' Season 5 Part 1 Recap: What Happened in the Final Volume's First Half?
The Professor and his gang of trusty thieves have had control of the Bank of Spain for quite some time, but everything starts to go wrong in Season 5.
Nancy Pelosi Letter Backs Taiwan as Political Pressure From China Mounts
The House speaker reaffirmed the United States' commitment to Taiwan's freedom, security and human rights.
How to Watch, Live Stream Biden Update on COVID-19 Strategy After Omicron Detected
The president said earlier this week that the strategy will include an increase in initial vaccinations as well as booster doses and spikes in testing.
Adam Levine debuts new rose face tattoo
The Maroon 5 frontman's body is entirely covered in tattoos — and now, he's moved on to his face.
Tucker: CNN suspends top anchor Chris Cuomo
Guests: Charlie Gasparino, Jason Whitlock, Vince Coglianese, Alex Berenson, Tracy McCray, Glenn Greenwald
Kellogg says it has a deal with union that could end 2-month strike
Kellogg said it has reached a tentative agreement with the union that has been striking at its cereal factories for two months, setting the stage for ending one of the nation's highest profile labor disputes.