NASA Streams Cat Video From Deep, Deep Space
Technology

NASA Streams Cat Video From Deep, Deep Space

On Dec. 11, NASA engineers anxiously gathered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to view a cat video, wondering if it would be in the pristine high definition for which they had hoped.To their relief, it was. For the first time, high-definition video — this one of a lab employee’s cat named Taters — was streamed from 18.6 million miles away, or roughly 80 times the distance from the Earth to the moon, the farthest ever.The demonstration was part of NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications experiment, aimed at improving the infrastructure for communication beyond the Earth’s orbit. As one example, if humans are to go to Mars, the need exists for larger amounts of data to be transmitted over a longer distance. This demonstration marked another step toward such a possibilit...
Sean Payton’s flare-up at Russell Wilson puts coach-QB relationship back in spotlight
Sports

Sean Payton’s flare-up at Russell Wilson puts coach-QB relationship back in spotlight

(Editor’s note: This is excerpted from Mike Sando’s Pick Six of Dec. 18, 2023.)Sean Payton blasting quarterback Russell Wilson on the sideline, then suggesting he was merely upset about officiating, invited all sorts of speculation.It’s hard to fault Payton for losing his cool when officials wiped out a Broncos touchdown with an offensive offside call that seemed indefensible. As one former head coach put it, officials have “lost their minds” searching for penalties associated with Philadelphia’s tush-push plays.It’s just difficult to understand why Payton would funnel any of that rage toward his quarterback.GO DEEPERSean Payton downplays sideline flare up with Russell WilsonThe nature of Payton’s relationship with Wilson faded into the background during a five-game winning streak fueled b...
Jeanne Hoff, Pioneering Transgender Psychiatrist, Dies at 85
Health

Jeanne Hoff, Pioneering Transgender Psychiatrist, Dies at 85

In December 1977, Dr. Jeanne Hoff, a 39-year-old psychiatrist, invited a television crew into her Manhattan home. The next day, they would accompany her to the operating room for her gender-affirming surgery.“Becoming Jeanne: A Search for Sexual Identity,” the resulting documentary about Dr. Hoff’s experience, was shown the next spring on NBC, with Lynn Redgrave and Frank Field as the hosts.“It’s a very lonely moment indeed,” Dr. Hoff, a slight figure with shoulder-length brown hair, said that evening. She added, “The things we do to our bodies and our lives are very disturbing to the people around us, and I can see that fear and that confusion written on their face even when they’ve known me a long time.”Her choice to undergo surgery was years in the making. Her choice to go public, howev...
George Cohon, Who Brought Big Macs to Moscow, Dies at 86
World

George Cohon, Who Brought Big Macs to Moscow, Dies at 86

George A. Cohon, a Chicago-born entrepreneur who, by introducing the Big Mac — or the Bolshoi Mak — to Moscow in 1990, helped whet Russians’ appetite for capitalism, died on Nov. 24 at his home in Toronto. He was 86.His death was announced by his son Mark. No cause was given, but he was treated years earlier for prostate cancer.A Fuller Brush salesman in college with a flair for merchandising, Mr. Cohon (pronounced CO-hen) abandoned his law practice when Ray Kroc, the McDonald’s founder, offered him the chain’s franchise for eastern Canada. Mr. Cohon borrowed $70,000 to buy the rights and opened his first restaurant in London, Ontario, in 1968.In 1971, he traded the franchise for McDonald’s stock and in 1992 became senior chairman of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, which included some 1,...
U.S. Fines Southwest Airlines $140 Million for Holiday Meltdown
Business

U.S. Fines Southwest Airlines $140 Million for Holiday Meltdown

The Transportation Department on Monday announced a $140 million fine against Southwest Airlines over a meltdown last winter that disrupted travel for about two million people during the holiday season.Of the $140 million, Southwest Airlines will pay $35 million to the federal government. For the remaining amount, the department is giving the airline credit for providing frequent-flier points as an apology to customers affected by the problems and for agreeing to give out tens of millions of dollars in vouchers to those affected by future delays and cancellations.The fine is roughly 30 times what had previously been the department’s largest penalty against an airline for consumer-protection violations, a $4.5 million settlement with Air Canada in 2021 over customer refunds.“Today’s action ...
The E.U. Is Investigating Elon Musk’s Platform X
Technology

The E.U. Is Investigating Elon Musk’s Platform X

The European Union announced a formal investigation Monday into X, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, accusing it of failing to counter illicit content and disinformation, a lack of transparency about advertising and “deceptive” design practices.The inquiry is perhaps the most substantial regulatory move to date against X since it scaled back its content moderation policies after Mr. Musk bought the service, once known as Twitter, last year. The company’s new policies have led to a rise in incendiary content on the platform, according to researchers, causing brands to scale back advertising.In going after X, the European Union is for the first time using the authority gained after last year’s passage of the Digital Services Act. The law gives regulators vast new powers to force ...
Alcoholism, ayahuasca and the enlightenment of an NFL player
Sports

Alcoholism, ayahuasca and the enlightenment of an NFL player

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. — The Buffalo Bills have a new safety this season.He sometimes plays close to the line of scrimmage, even lining up in the gaps and banging helmets with interior linemen. They use him as a hybrid linebacker in a three-safety dime package. He has played free safety, strong safety, outside cornerback, inside cornerback, left linebacker and right linebacker. And more.Physically and mentally, he is being challenged, but he’s grateful, content and all in.The Bills’ new safety is Jordan Poyer. It’s the same Jordan Poyer who played for the team the previous six seasons, the only player in the NFL to have 500 or more tackles, 20 or more interceptions and 10 or more sacks in that time frame, a Bills captain for the fourth time, an Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2017, a...
Did Your Baby Spend Time in the NICU? Tell Us About It.
Health

Did Your Baby Spend Time in the NICU? Tell Us About It.

Across the country, neonatal intensive care units provide critical care to seriously ill babies.That care can be lifesaving but also comes at a price, as some parents report receiving multimillion dollar bills for their babies’ hospital stays. Some researchers have questioned whether too many babies are being admitted to the NICU and whether there is a profit motive at play.The New York Times is looking to hear from readers who can share their recent experiences with NICU care. Hearing from families about their experiences helps us better understand where we should focus our reporting.We will not publish any part of your response to this questionnaire without talking with you first. We will not share your contact information outside the Times newsroom, and will use it only to reach out to ...
Storm Kills 13 in Argentine Port of Bahía Blanca
World

Storm Kills 13 in Argentine Port of Bahía Blanca

At least thirteen people were killed in Argentina Saturday after a violent storm thrashed the port city of Bahía Blanca with strong winds and rain, about 400 miles south of the capital, Buenos Aires, officials said.The nation’s meteorological service warned residents of Buenos Aires that the storm, which had gusts of up to 86 miles per hour, making it comparable to a Category One hurricane, and blew roofs off in Bahía Blanca, was headed toward them. The storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall and intense winds to the capital.President Javier Milei and the mayor of Bahía Blanca confirmed the deaths.Images published by local media outlets showed harrowing scenes in Bahía Blanca, home to more than 300,000 people. Video showed blustering winds whipping the sides of high rise buildings accomp...
The Debt Problem Is Enormous. Experts Say the System for Fixing It Is Broken
Business

The Debt Problem Is Enormous. Experts Say the System for Fixing It Is Broken

Martin Guzman was a college freshman at La Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, in 2001 when a debt crisis prompted default, riots and a devastating depression. A dazed middle class suffered ruin, as the International Monetary Fund insisted that the government make misery-inducing budget cuts in exchange for a bailout.Watching Argentina unravel inspired Mr. Guzman to switch majors and study economics. Nearly two decades later, when the government was again bankrupt, it was Mr. Guzman as finance minister who negotiated with I.M.F. officials to restructure a $44 billion debt, the result of an earlier ill-conceived bailout.Today he is one of a number of prominent economists and world leaders who argue that the ambitious framework created at the end of World War II to safeguard economi...