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Worth Thinking About

The Adventures of Life

Month: August 2023 (page 1 of 10)

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Fire at multi-story building in Johannesburg leaves at least 63 dead, over 40 injured

A fire at a five-story building in downtown Johannesburg Thursday morning left at least 63 people dead and more than 40 injured, city officials announced.

The fire in South Africa’s largest city broke out around 1:30 a.m. local time, according to the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services. When firefighters arrived at the scene, crews immediately began evacuating those inside the building and working to contain the fire.

As of 8 a.m. local time, the flames were mostly extinguished, but smoke was still trickling out of windows. 

Spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said a search and recovery operation was underway within the building and 63 bodies had been pulled out so far. The Associated Press reported at least one child was among the dead.


There were also 43 people treated at the scene for injuries, Mulaudzi said. The extent of their injuries were not revealed, but he said they were all transported to hospitals in the area for further care.

Relief for families affected by the fire has been activated by City of Johannesburg Disaster Management.


Mulaudzi said the building had been overtaken by homeless people looking for a place to live without formal lease agreements, which made it difficult to search, according to The AP.

“Over 20 years in the service, I’ve never come across something like this,” Mulaudzi told the outlet.

Witnesses told local news outlets there could have been as many as 200 people living in the building.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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Afghanistan withdrawal anniversary has our enemies celebrating our defeat and Biden’s weakness

Two years ago, I warned against the risk a hurried withdrawal from Afghanistan would cause. Now, the consequences of a Taliban takeover are a reality.

Even against the advice of his own military advisors, President Biden doubled down on a rushed process to meet his arbitrary exit deadline, resulting in the greatest U.S. foreign policy disaster of my lifetime.

By abandoning Americans and our allies, emboldening our adversaries, and making the world a less safe place, President Biden sent a signal of weakness to our friends and foes.


After two years, the devastating impact of Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal is still felt at home and abroad. And there is only one answer: we must restore America’s leadership and standing on the world stage. 

President Biden’s Afghanistan appeasement caused a domino effect around the globe.


Russia invaded Ukraine. China encroached on our own sovereign air space with their spy balloon and continues their malign spying only 90 miles from our shores. Iran has increased its efforts to build a bomb and ramped up illicit oil sales to fund its terrorist activities. North Korea has increased its intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities. And China and Russia are conducting joint naval exercises near Alaska. 

Women and girls who were just starting to enjoy their freedoms are again faced with oppression and subjugation by a ruthless Taliban regime. President Biden promised to hold the Taliban accountable to uphold women’s rights. However, since the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan has become the most repressive in the world for women and girls. And make no mistake, folks, this did not have to happen.

Our future partners will struggle to trust the United States with Biden’s track record of broken promises.


I firmly believe the United States of America is the greatest country in the world, and that is due to the brave men and women who serve and sacrifice to protect the freedoms we too often take for granted. What happened two years ago in Afghanistan was a disgrace to our servicemembers, and to those countless patriots who served, like I did, in the Global War on Terrorism. We were let down by our commander-in-chief.

As the world watched the chaos, the U.S. Armed Forces – who once freed the nation from the terrorist regime – experienced the desperate abandonment of American citizens and their longtime Afghan partners. Under President Biden’s command, one of the deadliest days for U.S. forces during the 20-year conflict occurred when a terrorist attack claimed the lives of 13 of our servicemembers assisting with the evacuation.


Marine Corporal Daegan William-Tyeler Page, from my home community of Montgomery County, Iowa, was one of those killed in action on that fateful day. And while we continue to mourn his loss of life, I will always believe Cpl. Page and his brothers and sisters in arms truly represent the greatness of our nation.

These military and Gold Star families do not simply just get over this. Their voices will continue to be heard as we honor their loved ones who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, and as we seek accountability for their deaths.

What happened in Afghanistan should always serve as a stark reminder that what takes place on the other side of the world directly impacts our safety here at home. When America is strong – the world is safer. But the moment we retreat and abdicate our authority, our adversaries fill the void. 

While our enemies celebrate the anniversary of our “defeat,” Americans should wake up and realize the urgent need to end Joe Biden’s posture of weakness and appeasement. For the safety and security of our homeland, and to restore faith to our military community, we need new, strong leadership at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 



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Windows 11 Pro on tablet

TL;DR: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro is on sale for £31.51, saving you 79% on list price.

If you have an older PC lying around that needs an upgrade, an easy and budget-friendly solution might be to upgrade the operating system. Here’s your chance to get Windows 11 Pro for a low price of just £31.51.

This operating system upgrade could do a lot to make your refurbished computer feel like it’s new. Compatible devices can take advantage of refined security features including BitLocker Encryption, advanced antivirus, Microsoft Information Protection, and support for biometrics login if your computer has the hardware for it. 

This license lets you put Windows 11 Pro on three devices for life. That means you can upgrade an old PC and still have room to bring your work computer to the modern era. And with Windows Hello for Business, you might even be able to boost your professional productivity with tools for remote deployment, multi-factor authentication, and support for certificate-based authentication. 

Not all devices are compatible with Windows 11 Pro. If your PC is already running Windows 10 and can’t run Windows 11, it won’t be able to run Windows 11 Pro either. 

Looking for a quick way to make a big upgrade to your computer? Get Microsoft Windows 11 Pro for £31.51. 

Windows 11 Pro box

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Windows 11 Pro

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I love AI because it will add decades to our lives

Who’s afraid of AI? These days, just about everybody. AI, ChatGPT and the like are coming for our jobs and will destroy our way of life, the doomsayers tell us. 

The mood is utterly different in health care, where cutting-edge physicians recognize the potential of AI to add decades to our lives and to fix the catastrophic “sick care” system, not just in the United States, but around the world. 

My life expectancy – and yours – is only going up, thanks to AI. Here’s how and why.

We don’t really have a health care system. Instead, we wait for people to be practically at death’s door before we start to treat them. That’s because by the time most potentially fatal illnesses – those affecting the heart, the lungs, the brain and the digestive system – reveal themselves, they are too far gone to be healed. 


As a result, we spend vast sums on hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceuticals trying to add a few more years to the lives of people with tragically advanced diseases. Treatment is often expensive, painful, and worst of all, ineffective.

By contrast, some members of society have access to “precision medicine,” a term describing the deepest possible dive into their health and wellness. They’ll spend the better part of a day going through an array of tests, including a CT scan, a brain scan, a heart ultrasound, an MRI, and extensive blood, urine, and stool work. They’ll have their entire genomes sequenced, identifying proclivities toward diseases that otherwise would be left unchecked until they were too far gone to treat. 

As a result, patients learn what diseases they have a likelihood of developing, and perhaps even more important, their doctors can spot brain tumors, heart problems, lung issues, and so on, while they are still small and easily treatable. 

The alternative: the tumor or malignancy grows, or blockage in an artery advances, until the patient can’t be treated or suddenly dies. Loved ones say, “It came out of nowhere.” Not true. It just remained undetected, a ticking time bomb that could have been defused years earlier.

So where does AI fit in?


The most expensive line item in precision medicine is the cost of having doctors read the results. AI can read lung and brain scans and review data from your heart, your kidneys, and other essential organs far more cheaply than doctors can. As a result, within five to 10 years, the price of precision medicine will plummet. You’ll get this same kind of testing as part of your regular health insurance. Or you’ll be able to walk into a drugstore and get the testing done for $99.

“We’ve doubled life expectancy over the last 150 years,” says Dr. Bill Kapp, CEO of Fountain Life, a precision medicine firm in Westchester, New York, offering the kind of testing described here. “We’ve taken care of infectious disease, food quality, water quality, and microbial and viral illnesses. So now we’re left with chronic diseases, which are typically not symptomatic until they are in the late stage. Thanks to AI, we will be able to diagnose you, or tell you your markers for disease, long before you become symptomatic.”

All of the above represents a massive shift for both patients and doctors. Kapp says that most of us are trained from early childhood that you only go to the doctor when you’re really sick. And for doctors, medical school training focuses on identifying symptoms and making diagnoses for sick people. They’re trained to ask, “Where does it hurt?” Wouldn’t it be better if they could keep you from getting sick in the first place?

With the democratization of precision medicine, society will shift from a mentality that says, “I’m sick and I need treatment” to “I’m healthy and I want to stay that way.”


Consider what AI makes possible – a shift from a “sick care” system to one focused on early diagnosis and treatment. Health care costs drop radically. Patients achieve better outcomes. We live longer, healthier, happier lives. We are no longer warehousing the elderly because they can remain active, living in their own homes and communities, for decades longer than before. Parents of young children aren’t exhausted because they also have to care for aging, ailing relatives.

Everybody wins.

Another area where AI makes a difference is in assimilating the vast amounts of new information about illness and treatment.

“Four thousand new articles a day are published in medical journals around the world,” Kapp says. “No doctor can keep up. Even with discoveries in basic science, there’s a 15-year gap from the time a discovery is made until it’s taught in medical school or becomes a part of treatment. No doctor can keep up with 4,000 articles a day – but AI can. This means we can get new ideas and new treatment modalities out there radically faster than before.”

Your grandmother told you that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why your grandmother would have loved AI.



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Wordle today: Here’s the answer and hints for August 28

Wordle game displayed on a phone and a laptop screen

New day, new wek, new Wordle puzzle to solve — and would you look at that? It’s the 800th one. Where did the days go? It seems like only yesterday we were being confused by those green and yellow squares popping up on what used to be Twitter. Sigh. We’re still here for you, as we are every day, with some tips and tricks to help you figure out the solution.

If you just want to be told today’s answer, you can jump to the end of this article for August 28’s Wordle solution revealed. But if you’d rather solve it yourself, keep reading for some clues, tips, and strategies to assist you.

Where did Wordle come from?

Originally created by engineer Josh Wardle as a gift for his partner, Wordle rapidly spread to become an international phenomenon, with thousands of people around the globe playing every day. Alternate Wordle versions created by fans also sprang up, including battle royale Squabble, music identification game Heardle, and variations like Dordle and Quordle that make you guess multiple words at once

Wordle eventually became so popular that it was purchased by the New York Times, and TikTok creators even livestream themselves playing.

Not the day you’re after? Here’s the Wordle answer for Aug. 27.

What’s the best Wordle starting word?

The best Wordle starting word is the one that brings you the most joy. But if you like being strategic in your approach, we have a few ideas to help you pick a word that might help you find the solution faster. One tip is to select a word that includes at least two different vowels, plus some common consonants like S, T, R, or N.

What happened to the Wordle archive?

The entire archive of past Wordle puzzles used to be available for anyone to enjoy whenever they felt like it. Unfortunately, it has since been taken down, with the website’s creator stating it was done at the request of the New York Times.

Is Wordle getting harder?

It might feel like Wordle is getting harder, but it actually isn’t any more difficult than when it first began. You can turn on Wordle‘s Hard Mode if you’re after more of a challenge, though.

Why are there two different Wordle answers some days?

Though usually Wordle will only accept one correct solution per day, occasionally it has rebelled against the norm and deem two different answers acceptable. This is due to changes the New York Times made to Wordle after it acquired the puzzle game.

The Times has since added its own updated word list, so this should happen even less frequently than before. To avoid any confusion, it’s a good idea to refresh your browser before getting stuck into a new puzzle.

Here’s a subtle hint for today’s Wordle answer:

It’s closely related to how you play Wordle.

Does today’s Wordle answer have a double letter?

Not today!

Today’s Wordle is a 5-letter word that starts with…

Today’s Wordle starts with the letter W.

What’s the answer to Wordle today?

Get your last guesses in now, because it’s your final chance to solve today’s Wordle before we reveal the solution.

Drumroll please!

The solution to Wordle #800 is…


Don’t feel down if you didn’t manage to guess it this time. There will be a new Wordle for you to stretch your brain with tomorrow, and we’ll be back again to guide you with more helpful hints.

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