September 19, 2013

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Dozens Dead, Thousands Stranded After Mexico Floods

Acapulco battered by hurricanes

Dozens of people are dead and tens of thousands stranded Thursday after floods and a massive landslide turned the tourist destination of Acapulco into a disaster area overnight. Fifty-eight people are also missing in the village of La Pintada, just two hours north, after a landslide through the town. Roughly 40,000 tourists were also stranded after the airport terminal flooded.

The extreme phenomena are the direct result of two hurricanes, Ingrid and Manuel, which have been hammering the Gulf and Pacific coasts, respectively, all week long. Manuel, now a category 1 storm, made landfall over Mexico’s northern flank early Thursday morning.

Reuters is reporting some looting in the town, particularly in the upscale neighborhood of Diamante. Marines have reportedly been posted near major shopping areas to prevent further theft.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t looting from need of food. It was stealing for stealing’s sake,” Mariberta Medina, the head of a local hoteliers’ association told Reuters. “They even stole Halloween and Christmas decorations and an outboard motor.”

Manuel is expected to continue churning out 75 mph winds and will drop between 5 and 10 inches of rain. Mexico’s Interior Minister Osorio Chong has warned residents that more landslides should be expected.

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

NASA Will Pay You to Stay in Bed For 70 Days

Study on microgravity

Who says there’s a job crisis in America? NASA is currently looking to pay a number of volunteers $18,000 to lie in bed for 70 days. Participants will be allowed to play games, talk to friends and family members, take classes, even work remotely for their real job, as long as they do not get out of bed for the entire duration of the experiment.

The study will simulate the effects of microgravity on the human body by having the beds tilt head-down at a six-degree angle, forcing body fluids to shift to the upper part of the body and create cardiovascular conditions similar to what is seen during real spaceflight. Scientists will also be monitoring the atrophy of muscle and bone density in the subjects.

Unfortunately, it will take more than years of experience watching marathons of The Wire on your sofa to land this position. According to NASA news chief Kelly Humphries, “subjects need to be very healthy.” Even those who make it to the short list will need to go through a modified Air Force Class Three physical, complete a battery of tests, and undergo a 90-minute examination by a psychologist.

“We want to make sure we select people who are mentally ready to spend 70 days in bed,” says senior scientist Dr. Roni Cromwell. “Not every type of person can tolerate an extended time in bed.”

If you still think you have what it takes to be a space potato, you can apply for the position here.

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