Baseball is entering its final two series, the Bears are winning, migration is happening, it must be the millennium!

First things first:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The commander of Boeing’s first astronaut flight has pulled himself off the crew so he’s on Earth — not at the International Space Station — for his daughter’s wedding next year.

It’s the second crew switch for Boeing’s Starliner capsule, grounded until the end of this year or early next because of software problems encountered during the first test flight last December.

Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson announced his decision Wednesday. Last year, NASA astronaut Eric Boe stepped aside from the first Starliner crew for medical reasons. Both were replaced by experienced space station astronauts.

Second City, sad news:

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s Second City comedy theater — where performers including Bill Murray, Steve Carell and Jordan Peele honed their skills — has been put up for sale.

In a statement released Tuesday, co-owner Andrew Alexander said a sale presents the opportunity for Second City to succeed well into the future.

“What we are seeking is critical re-investment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right ways and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of speaking truth to power and providing vital human connection in an increasingly complex world,” Alexander said in the statement released by Los Angeles investment bank, Houlihan Lokey, which is advising Second City’s owners on the sale.

Privately held throughout its 61-year history, Second City suspended all its shows and classes in early March until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Second City also faced controversy in June when Alexander stepped down from the training and performance troupe due to allegations of racism within the company.

Nobel prize winners, and this is wonderful!

“Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on awarding the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize.

“This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.”

“The ability to cut the DNA where you want has revolutionized the life sciences” Pernilla Wittung Stafshede, member of the academy of sciences, told reporters.

Charpentier and Doudna become the sixth and seventh women to win a Nobel for chemistry, joining the likes of Marie Curie, who won in 1911, and more recently, Frances Arnold, in 2018.

In keeping with tradition, chemistry is the third prize announced every year and follows those for medicine and physics earlier this week.

The prizes for achievements in science, literature, economics and peace were created and funded in the will of Swedish dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel and have been awarded since 1901, with the economics award a later addition.

Narcissism and politics:

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A politically engaged electorate is key to any thriving democracy, but not everyone participates in elections and other political activities. New research found that people who are narcissistic may also be more politically active.

In a series of studies performed in the United States and Denmark, researchers found that people with higher levels of narcissism — a trait combining selfishness, entitlement and a need for admiration — were also more likely to participate in politics. This could include contacting politicians, signing petitions, donating money, and voting in midterm elections, among other things.

Peter Hatemi, distinguished professor of political science at Penn State, said the findings -- recently published in the Society for Personality and Social Psychology -- may give insight into how and why certain political candidates succeed in elections.

“It is hard not to think that those high in narcissism taking part in the political process appears to have some role in the current state of our democracy,” Hatemi said. “If people who are more interested in their own personal gain and status take a greater part in elections, then we can expect candidates to emerge who reflect their desires — narcissism begets narcissism.”

According to the researchers, previous work has shown that higher levels of narcissism are linked with behaviors that could be harmful to functioning democracies — for example, shifting focus from civic responsibility toward a person’s own self-interest and gratification. Higher narcissism in the general public has been connected with more conflict and civic strife, in addition to less cooperation, compromise, and forgiveness.

Hatemi said that in the current political climate in the U.S., more people are becoming politically active — but this mobilization is not evenly distributed among personality types.

K-9 camera:

SCRANTON, PA (NewsNation Now) — A Pennsylvania Police Department’s police dogs now have body cameras to get a dogs eye view of the scene.

In the city of Scranton, on-duty police officers wear body cameras. The lens is there in hopes of raising accountability and bringing awareness no matter the call or traffic stop.

K-9s in the department can now be equipped with a much bigger, more advanced camera than their handlers.

Officials said the additional device will add transparency and accountability to the police force as well as a new view of the scene.

“A more tactical situation a more high risk situation. It’s presenting a set of eyes that we’ve never had,” Robert Stelmak, K-9 Officer with the Scranton Police Department, said.

The view from the back of “Attyro” can be seen on a tablet, in 360 degrees, by an officer while Stelmak is instructing his K-9.

“You’re going to be able to send a dog and into something that you necessarily can’t see. But you’re going to be able to see what the dog can see. So the bottom of the steps you’re going to be able to have a view that you’ve never had before,” Stelmak said.

The department was approached by a non-profit near Philadelphia called “Iron Warriors.”

“My partner and best friend was killed in 2011 and he was K-9 unit,” Kyle Hummel, Co-Founder of Iron Warrior, Inc., said.

The organization is focused on empowering military veterans. In 2018, “Task Force Blue Line” was created to donate high definition cameras to K-9 units in Pennsylvania. Scranton was the most recent recipient.

“I went out in a day or two and got what they needed on their list. We don’t ask questions because once you ask questions you compromise safety and we do not compromise safety,” Hummel said.

Safety coming in at a cost of $10,000. Along with the camera, two iPads and reward toys were donated.

Wow, what one thinks about evolution is more about Who we are (our tribe) than What actually happened (science). So very true:

It’s one of the most durable myths about America’s culture wars. Religious Americans, we are told by everyone from the New York Times to The Simpsons, have always fought against science. It’s a myth that endures despite repeated debunkings by scholars. Yet it’s simply not true. When it comes to the science of evolution, for example, the big differences are not between religious people and non-religious. They couldn’t be, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, most Americans are creationists of one sort or another, and the vast majority of them have absolutely no problem with evolutionary science. Second, opinions about evolution do not actually depend on knowledge of actual evolutionary science. Rather, they are about evolution as a symbol, a side in much broader cultural conflicts. …

If so many religious people do not dispute the scientific truths about evolution, why do we keep hearing that they do? The true landscape of America’s creation/evolution dispute is not really about evolutionary science itself, but about the broader culture war in which evolution has always been embedded. In short, opinions about evolution are not really about evolutionary science, but about picking a side in culture-war politics. As science-communication scholar Dan Kahan has said, statements about evolution are not about what we know, but about who we are.

On one hand, people who say they believe in evolution tend not to know the science any better than those who say they don’t believe in it. On the other, those who say they disbelieve do not dispute the importance of evolutionary theory itself, but only what it represents. …

Americans, in the end, are not divided about the science of evolution. We are just divided, period. Evolution has become a symbol of those divisions, a flag we can wave to signal our allegiances.

Dog Discovered:

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (WOOD) — A missing dog from Kentucky is now back with its owner after being found in southwest Michigan nearly three years later.

Cass County Animal Control officers received a call on Sept. 17 that a dog had been wandering in a neighborhood near the Indiana state line. They scanned her for a microchip and tracked down the owner, Venes Mosier.

“I was kind of shocked because I was like, ‘No way!’ because it’s been three years,” Mosier said.

She says her home was broken into before Christmas in 2017 during a hospital stay and someone took three dogs.


MOORESVILLE, N.C. (NewsNation Now) — Lowe’s announced Wednesday it will give an additional $100 million in bonuses to front-line hourly employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The home improvement chain will distribute the bonuses to hourly employees in all of its U.S. stores, distribution centers and support centers on Oct. 16. Full-time workers will get $300, and part-time and seasonal workers will receive $150.

“Throughout the spring, summer and now into fall, our front-line associates have shown remarkable resilience and dedication to our communities in the most trying times we have faced together,” said Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO in a statement. “As we continue to provide extraordinary service to our customers throughout the pandemic, we are pleased to provide this additional bonus as a thank you to our associates for their perseverance and continued commitment to our customers.”

It’s the sixth time the retailer has given bonuses during the pandemic. It gave out similar ones in March, May, July and August, and it increased pay by $2 an hour for the month of April.

With the latest round of bonuses, the retailer will have paid more than $675 million in additional pay to employees this year.

Lowe’s joins a list of other national companies that have given bonuses or increased pay to employees during the pandemic, including Walmart, Target and Kroger.