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CDC Readies Cruises, Complete with Human Guinea Pigs

Fingers crossed!

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As the world prepares for its grand reopening, there are a number of high value industries that are eagerly awaiting permission from medical authorities to resume operations.

First and foremost, there are the service industries:  Places like restaurants, bars, music venues, and sports arenas whose entire livelihood depends on whether or not people are being allowed to gather in public.  While many of these venues are now beginning to ramp up their capacity, there are issues bringing some of these workers back into the fold thanks to the enhanced unemployment benefits provided by the federal government.

And then there’s the tourism industry, whose regulatory structure is far more susceptible to interference by government agencies.

Now, after over a year of stagnation, it appears as though at least one facet of this wide-ranging corporate amalgam will be given a chance to sail on.

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Cruise lines can soon begin trial voyages in U.S. waters with volunteer passengers helping test whether the ships can sail safely during a pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave ship operators final technical guidelines Wednesday for the trial runs. The CDC action is a step toward resuming cruises in U.S. waters, possibly by July, for the first time since March 2020.

A spokeswoman for the cruise industry’s trade group said the group was reviewing the CDC instructions.

So, how will this work?

Each practice cruise — they’ll run two to seven days — must have enough passengers to meet at least 10% of the ship’s capacity. Volunteers must be 18 or older and either fully vaccinated or free of medical conditions that would put them at high risk for severe COVID-19.

The ship operator must tell passengers that they are simulating untested safety measures “and that sailing during a pandemic is an inherently risky activity,” the CDC guidelines state.

This will likely come as a major relief to cruise operators, who have long railed against the CDC’s unwillingness to even discuss a reopening plan with them.

There is also little doubt that this could help fuel economic recovery in the travel sector, pushing the possibility of a new “roaring twenties” every closer to reality.

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SEE IT: World’s Largest Tree Wrapped in Foil to Prevent Wildfire Damage

It may look silly, but it might just save one of our nation’s most prized natural wonders.

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For all of the technological and scientific advancements we’ve made as a species, there are still some areas in which nature will get the best of us.  The awful and awe-inspiring forces that exist around us are not to be trifled with, and no amount of bandwidth is going to change that.

And so, when the world’s largest tree found itself in the crosshairs of one of California’s most explosive wildfires, authorities turned to an old-fashioned trick to try and keep it safe.

Firefighters wrapped the base of the world’s largest tree in a fire-resistant blanket as they tried to save a famous grove of gigantic old-growth sequoias from wildfires burning in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada.

The colossal General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest, some other sequoias, the Giant Forest Museum and other buildings were wrapped for protection against the possibility of intense flames, fire spokeswoman Rebecca Paterson said.

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And there is a history of this sort of thing working.

The aluminum wrapping can withstand intensive heat for short periods. Federal officials say they have been using the material for several years throughout the U.S. West to protect sensitive structures from flames. Near Lake Tahoe, some homes that were wrapped in protective material survived a recent wildfire while others nearby were destroyed.

The execution of the plan does give an outwardly awkward appearance, however.

These giant sequoias have been targeted several times by wildfires in recent years, as California continues to face worsening weather.

For all of the technological and scientific advancements we’ve made as a species, there are still some areas in which nature will get the best of us.  The awful and awe-inspiring forces that exist around us are not to be trifled with, and no amount of bandwidth is going to change that. And so, when the world’s largest tree found itself in the crosshairs of one of California’s most explosive wildfires, authorities turned to an old-fashioned trick to try and keep it safe. Firefighters wrapped the base of the world’s largest tree in a fire-resistant blanket as they tried to save a famous grove of gigantic old-growth sequoias from wildfires burning in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada. The colossal General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest, some other sequoias, the Giant Forest Museum and other buildings were wrapped for protection against the possibility of intense flames, fire spokeswoman Rebecca Paterson said. And there is a history of this sort of thing working. The aluminum wrapping can withstand intensive heat for short periods. Federal officials say they have been using the material for several years throughout the U.S. West to protect sensitive structures from flames. Near Lake Tahoe, some homes that were wrapped in protective material survived a recent wildfire while others nearby were destroyed. The execution of the plan does give an outwardly awkward appearance, however. https://twitter.com/YosemiteSteve/status/1438727367153700869?s=20 These giant sequoias have been targeted several times by wildfires in recent years, as California continues to face worsening weather.

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Gabby Petito Investigation Takes Strange Turn to Include Double Homicide

This is getting weirder by the minute.

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Out there, somewhere, is Gabby Petito.

The young woman has been missing for weeks now, after disappearing during a cross-country, social-media-heavy trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie.  Now, Laundrie is back home in Florida, refusing to cooperate with police investigating her disappearance.

Now, in an even stranger turn of events, police are now admitting that a double homicide in Moab, Utah is being investigated as a potential connection to Gabby Petito going missing.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that it is “actively looking into any connection” between a double homicide of newlyweds at a campground outside Moab last month and the recent disappearance of Gabby Petito.

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“The Sheriff’s Office is not ruling anything out at this time and appreciate the concerns of the public and their willingness to contact this office with those concerns and information,” the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The newlyweds, 38-year-old Crystal Turner and 24-year-old Kylen Schulte, were found shot to death at a campground southeast of Moab on Aug. 18, five days after they were last seen leaving a downtown bar.

Bridget Calvert, Schulte’s aunt, told KUTV that the couple complained about a “creepy guy” who was making them uncomfortable in their campsite just days before the double homicide.

Protesters hoping to convince Laundrie to cooperate with police have begun to inundate his Florida neighborhood, as the family stays mum on the subject.

Petito’s parents have made several public calls for the Laundries to share what they know, but to no avail.

Out there, somewhere, is Gabby Petito. The young woman has been missing for weeks now, after disappearing during a cross-country, social-media-heavy trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie.  Now, Laundrie is back home in Florida, refusing to cooperate with police investigating her disappearance. Now, in an even stranger turn of events, police are now admitting that a double homicide in Moab, Utah is being investigated as a potential connection to Gabby Petito going missing. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that it is “actively looking into any connection” between a double homicide of newlyweds at a campground outside Moab last month and the recent disappearance of Gabby Petito. “The Sheriff’s Office is not ruling anything out at this time and appreciate the concerns of the public and their willingness to contact this office with those concerns and information,” the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The newlyweds, 38-year-old Crystal Turner and 24-year-old Kylen Schulte, were found shot to death at a campground southeast of Moab on Aug. 18, five days after they were last seen leaving a downtown bar. Bridget Calvert, Schulte’s aunt, told KUTV that the couple complained about a “creepy guy” who was making them uncomfortable in their campsite just days before the double homicide. Protesters hoping to convince Laundrie to cooperate with police have begun to inundate his Florida neighborhood, as the family stays mum on the subject. Petito’s parents have made several public calls for the Laundries to share what they know, but to no avail.

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