Yesterday was not the day for a spring break road trip through northwestern Texas. The same massive winter storm that brought heavy rain to California and snow to Denver also delivered multiple tornadoes to the Lone Star State.
For more than six straight hours yesterday, the National Weather Service tweeted tornado warnings for the Texas Panhandle. Texans were warned to stay inside and seek shelter, as multiple tornadoes touched down throughout the afternoon.
“Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter,” said the National Weather Service advisory. “Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely.”
Naturally, meteorologists and storm chasers also took to Twitter. At 11:57 a.m. CST: “Dense fog and deep moisture across the Texas Panhandle ahead of tornado outbreak with abundant spring break traffic on the roads,” tweeted Reed Timmer, who appeared in Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” and TVN Weather’s “Tornado Chasers” series.
Timmer and his team would indeed have a pulse-racing encounter with a tornado later in the afternoon (see below). But the most-watched tornado footage of the day was captured by chance by a regular Texas resident.
Kara Naegeli, a teaching assistant at Texas Tech University, used her smartphone to film twin tornadoes near Canyon, 19 miles south of Amarillo. “Two tornadoes side by side. Both are touching down. This is insane,” she says in her video. “Wow, they’re about to converge. Holy smokes! Are you kidding me?”
So far, Naegeli’s video has garnered over 260,000 views on Twitter. It was also yesterday’s top story on the Weather Channel.
Meterorologists once believed that twin tornado events were rare, but it now seems likely that multiple tornadoes from a single supercell occur much more frequently than previously believed, according to the Weather Channel.
A bit later in the afternoon, a giant wedge tornado was spotted about 35 miles south of Amarillo near the tiny town of Happy, whose motto is “The Town Without A Frown.” This video shared by Ian Shelton has racked up 25,000 views.
The NBC News team in Amarillo was also out getting footage of what turned out to be the most destructive tornado of the day.
Many structures were damaged and power lines and a cell tower were down, but thankfully there were no fatalities or injuries.
Amazingly, the driver of a truck rolled by that tornado survived.
Around 4 p.m. CST, a rope tornado was spotted near Nazareth, about 70 miles southwest of Amarillo, and then posted to Twitter by Matt Hines, chief meteorologist for an ABC News affiliate in Central Texas.
The National Weather Service in Amarillo reported a tornado near Palo Duro Canyon with “impressive 80-85 mph winds noted on radar.”
At 5:10 p.m. CST, a tornado hit the ground near Silverton, about 79 miles southeast of Amarillo. It was the third tornado of the day witnessed by a group of Oklahoma University meteorology students.
Just before 5:15 p.m., Reed Timmer and his crew spotted a tornado north of Goodnight, 40 miles southeast of Amarillo.
About an hour later, Timmer drove right into a cone tornado near Clarendon, 60 miles southeast of Amarillo. “It’s crossing the road, guys, right in front of us!” he is heard shouting excitedly in this video clip. “Debris on the right! Debris on the right!”
Because these tornadoes touched down in sparsely populated areas, there were, luckily, no fatalities reported yesterday.
And what a difference a day makes. This morning, the National Weather Service in Amarillo is forecasting a “cool and breezy” day with highs in the lower 60s.
That means it’s time for storm chasers to move on. “Watching Dixie Alley on Wednesday for the potential of an outbreak of severe weather,” tweeted Timmer this morning. “2021 storm season is starting off with a bang.”
Elon Musk Says He’ll Pay $11 Billion in Taxes in 2021 But Twitter Wants ‘Proof’
Elon Musk took to Twitter to clarify once and for all that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes this year.
If the number of times Elon Musk could count when someone has asked him to pay the full taxes, he would be a very rich..wait, never mind. The Tesla boss is rich beyond any private individual has been in history, reports said.
Musk has increasingly been facing criticism from many politicians and many others who insist he has not been paying taxes as compared to the profits his companies have been making. On Sunday, the SpaceX CEO took to Twitter to share that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes.
For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
But some of the questions did not stop. One person tweeted how they needed to see Musk’s tax returns while yet another asked how much percentage was that of his total income.
A few were, however scathing of the government who thought they will add that amount to their pockets rather than using it for some proper development.
Wow that’s enough to give each person in the world almost $2 million but instead the government will just stick it in their pockets— greg (@greg16676935420) December 20, 2021
Why not $200 billion? Asking for a Senator— litquidity (@litcapital) December 20, 2021
Earlier this week, Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren has tweeted to say that Musk should pay taxes and stop “freeloading off everyone else” after Time magazine named him its “person of the year”.
In response, Musk shot four tweets in which he said that the senator reminded him of a friend’s angry mom who yelled at everybody. He tweeted, ““And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.” “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.”
He added further, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”
Musk responded by saying that he “will pay more taxes than any American in history this year”. This Twitter exchange left netizens divided as even though many supported Warren and agreed that Musk should pay more taxes, others felt that he was already doing enough.
Musk’s Tesla is worth about $1 trillion. Over the last few weeks, he has sold nearly $14 billion worth of Tesla shares.
The Tesla boss has been pushing for his colonize Mars agenda for years now, and has made it very clear in some occasions that he would rather spend the money on putting humanity on the red planet, than pay his taxes. “My plan,” the SpaceX founder tweeted about his fortune, “is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness.”
Twitter Admits Policy ‘Errors’ After Far-Right Abuse Its New Rules of Posting Pictures
Twitter’s new picture permission policy was aimed at combating online abuse, but US activists and researchers said Friday that far-right backers have employed it to protect themselves from scrutiny and to harass opponents.
Even the social network admitted the rollout of the rules, which say anyone can ask Twitter to take down images of themselves posted without their consent, was marred by malicious reports and its teams’ own errors.
It was just the kind of trouble anti-racism advocates worried was coming after the policy was announced this week.
“Anyone with a Twitter account should be reporting doxxing posts from the following accounts,” the message said, with a list of dozens of Twitter handles.
Gwen Snyder, an organizer and researcher in Philadelphia, said her account was blocked this week after a report to Twitter about a series of 2019 photos she said showed a local political candidate at a march organized by extreme-right group Proud Boys.
Rather than go through an appeal with Twitter she opted to delete the images and alert others to what was happening.
“Twitter moving to eliminate (my) work from their platform is incredibly dangerous and is going to enable and embolden fascists,” she told AFP.
But the rules don’t apply to “public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweets are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”
By Friday, Twitter noted the roll out had been rough: “We became aware of a significant amount of coordinated and malicious reports, and unfortunately, our enforcement teams made several errors.”
“We’ve corrected those errors and are undergoing an internal review to make certain that this policy is used as intended,” the firm added.
Jack Dorsey Post Twitter Is Chasing His Crypto, Fintech Dream
At a packed Miami conference in June, Jack Dorsey, mused in front of thousands of attendees about where his real passion lay: “If I weren’t at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on Bitcoin.”
On Monday, Dorsey made good on one part of that, announcing he would leave Twitter for the second time, handing the CEO position to a 10-year veteran at the firm. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who is often described as an enigma with varied interests from meditation to yoga to fashion design, plans to pursue his passion which include focusing on running Square and doing more philanthropic work, according to a source familiar with his plan.
Well before the surprise news, Dorsey had laid the groundwork for his next chapter, seeding both companies with cryptocurrency-related projects.
Underlying Dorsey’s broader vision is the principle of “decentralisation,” or the idea that technology and finance should not be concentrated among a handful of gatekeepers, as it is now, but should, instead, be steered by the hands of the many, either people or entities.
The concept has played out at Square, which has built a division devoted to working on projects and awarding grants with the aim of growing Bitcoin’s popularity globally. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 44.52 lakh as of 12:50pm IST on December 1.
Dorsey has been a longtime proponent of Bitcoin, and the appeal is that the cryptocurrency will allow for private and secure transactions with the value of Bitcoin unrelated to any government.
The idea has also underpinned new projects at Twitter, where Dorsey tapped a top lieutenant – and now the company’s new CEO Parag Agrawal – to oversee a team that is attempting to construct a decentralised social media protocol, which will allow different social platforms to connect with one another, similar to the way email providers operate.
The project called Bluesky will aim to allow users control over the types of content they see online, removing the “burden” on companies like Twitter to enforce a global policy to fight abuse or misleading information, Dorsey said in 2019 when he announced Bluesky.
Bitcoin has also figured prominently at both of his companies. Square became one of the first public companies to own Bitcoin assets on its balance sheet, having invested $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) in the cryptocurrency.
In August, Square created a new business unit called TBD to focus on Bitcoin. The company is also planning to build a hardware wallet for Bitcoin, a Bitcoin mining system, as well as a decentralised Bitcoin exchange.
Twitter allows users to tip their favourite content creators with Bitcoin and has been testing integrations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset that allows people to collect unique digital art.
Analysts see the transition as a positive signal for Square, the fintech platform he co-founded in 2009. Square’s core Cash App, after a bull run in its share in 2020, has experienced slower growth in the most recent quarter. It is also trying to digest the $29 billion (roughly Rs. 2,17,240 crore) acquisition of Buy Now Pay Later provider Afterpay, its largest acquisition ever.
But these ambitions will not pay off until years from now, analysts cautioned.
“The blockchain platform they’re trying to develop is great but also fraught with technical challenges and difficult to scale for consumers. I think he’ll focus more on Square and crypto will be part of that,” said Christopher Brendler, an analyst at DA Davidson.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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