The Daily Moth 2-28-17

February 28, 2017



SpaceX Announces Plans to Send Tourists to Moon, Racist Georgia Couple Sentenced to Prison for Terroristic Threats, American Cancer Society Announces Young Adults at Increased Risk for Colon/Rectal Cancer, Small Plane Crash in Riverside, Two Instances of Cars Hitting Mardi Gras Crowds, Indiana Deaf School Wins Midwest Regionals, and Trump To Address Congress Tonight. 




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, February 28. Ready for news?




SpaceX, the rocket company owned by Elon Musk, announced they plan to send two paying customers to go on a trip around the Moon. 


The two people will be in a Dragon capsule, launched into space by a Falcon Heavy rocket. The capsule will do a loop around the Moon — not landing on it — but skimming close to the surface before going back to Earth. It will take a week and the total distance is 300,000 to 400,000 miles. 


SpaceX said the two customers have already made a big deposit and are serious about the trip. 


Elon Musk said the cost was about the same as a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) — which makes it around $80 million per seat — since that is how much it costs NASA to send their astronaut on a Russian Soyuz mission. SpaceX hopes that this will become a big source of revenue for them. 


So, if you have around $80 million, maybe you can go in the future. Who do you think the two people are? Elon said they know each other. We’ll find out later who the two are. 


The capsule will be fully automated, so the two customers don’t have to pilot it — but the two will undergo training later this year in case of an emergency. Elon Musk said the two are serious and knows there is “some risk.” 


The FAA Federal Aviation Administration will have to license the trip. SpaceX works closely with the NASA. 


The timeline for SpaceX — and they plan to send a Dragon capsule with no people on it to the ISS by the end of this year, then six months later SpaceX will do another mission with a NASA crew. Then six months after that — that’s when the trip around the Moon with the two customers will happen. The timeline could easily become delayed — we might see this launch in 2018 or 2019. 


It’s exciting, space tourism is getting closer. 




In Georgia — a young couple was sentenced to several years in prison for being a part of a convoy of 7 pick-up trucks with confederate and military flags who went to a 8-year old black child’s birthday party, threatened them with shotguns, and said they would kill all of them — using the (N-word). Terrible. 


This was in July 2015. When the family called the police, they saw that the trucks were on the family’s property but allowed the people to leave without making any charges or arrests, saying there was no evidence of them making threats with weapons.


But in October 2015, after a police investigation that included looking through the Facebook accounts of the people involved, a grand jury charged 15 members of the group — which was named, “Respect the Flag,” with violations of Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism Act and with making terroristic threats. 


The young couple, Jose Torres and Kayla Norton, was found guilty by a jury trial earlier this month. Apparently Jose was the one who pointed the shotgun and threatened to kill the party-goers while Kayla encouraged him to shoot the children. 


Both were sentenced yesterday — Jose got 13 years in prison and Kayla got 6 years in prison. Both will have to serve extended probation after prison and are banished from Douglas County, GA. The judge said their actions were motivated by racial hatred. 


The couple cried as they were sentenced. Kayla said she was so sorry and that it was “not me, not him” — that they would never walk up to them and say those words. 


One of the people at the party said what the couple did affected her and her children’s lives, but that she forgave the couple and the others. 


It is not clear what will happen to the remaining 13 people from the group. Apparently some of them pled guilty and got shorter sentences.




Researchers from the American Cancer Society announced that for Millennials (those born between 1980-2000) and Gen X people (those born between 1960-1980s), there is a serious increase in cancer risk — for colon and rectal cancer. Anybody born after 1990 has double the risk of early colon cancer and quadruple the risk of early rectal cancer compared with someone born in 1950. 


Researchers can’t pinpoint the reason for the increase, but they believe it is related to obesity, inactivity, and poor diets. They say they have been successful in reducing colon/rectal cancer because of increased screening and awareness for older people, but the risk has increased for younger people. 


Even though there is an increased risk, no health group has recommended young adults to get screenings — but there might be a change. People over 50 years ago are still recommended to get screening. It’s interesting — I thought screenings are always a good thing, but they can be negative — due to the risk of either a false positive or a false negative report. Some screenings also are invasive and bring a risk of a medical accident.




Yesterday afternoon in Riverside, California, a small Cessna 310 plane with five people in it crashed into a home near a local airport — three miles away from CSD Riverside. 


The plane hit one house, crashed into another, and the fire destroyed a third house. Two homes were completely destroyed, one damaged. 


Fortunately there were no people inside the homes — but three people inside the plane died. 


There was a teenager, three women, and one man in the plane. Who died: the man, a woman, and the teenager. 


One woman was ejected when the plane split into half but survived — she is in stable condition at the hospital. The second survivor is in critical condition. 


There is an investigation on what happened.;-ntsb-on-scene/1777309/




This morning in Alabama — a car plowed into a high school marching band while they were were marching in a Mardi Gras parade. 12 people were injured, four critically. The driver of the car was a 73-year old man who accelerated before hitting the band. Police believe it was an accident. It is fortunate that none of the 12 died. Hope the four makes a speedy recovery.


It is the second Mardi Gras accident in recent days — on Saturday in New Orleans, a 25-year old drunk driver plowed his truck into a crowd during a big Mardi Gras parade and injured 28 people and sent 21 to the hospital. The driver is in jail on various driving charges. 




Last week was the Midwest Regional Academic Bowl tournament at the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis: 


The champions are the Indiana School for the Deaf, 2nd place Hinsdale South High School (mainstream program in Illinois, near Chicago), third place is Oklahoma School for the Deaf, and fourth place is Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD). 


Congratulations to Indiana. The top four teams will go to the Nationals tournament at Gallaudet University on April. 


The next (and last) regional tournament is the East region — next weekend (March 10-13) in Rockville, Maryland.




Tonight President Trump will give an address to Congress — his first as President and it is his second speech to the American people since his inauguration on January 20. It will be at 9 pm Eastern time. 


He is expected to talk about his proposed increases in military spending, his vision for tax reform, repealing/replacing Obamacare, his plans on immigration and the border wall, his travel ban, proposed road building/infrastructure projects, remarks on what his administration has accomplished so far, and his vision for the year. Maybe he will say something negative about the media.  


There might be applause and cheers from Republicans and some signs of protest by Democrats. I’ll be watching and will give you a recap tomorrow. 




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 



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