December 30, 2015

Top News Stories –

Freak storm pushes North Pole 50 degrees above normal to melting point –
A powerful winter cyclone — the same storm that led to two tornado outbreaks in the United States and disastrous river flooding — has driven the North Pole to the freezing point this week, 50 degrees above average for this time of year. From Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, a mind-boggling pressure drop was recorded in Iceland: 54 millibars in just 18 hours. This triples the criteria for “bomb” cyclogenesis, which meteorologists use to describe a rapidly intensifying mid-latitude storm. A “bomb” cyclone is defined as dropping one millibar per hour for 24 hours. NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center said the storm’s minimum pressure dropped to 928 millibars around 1 a.m. Eastern time, which likely places it in the top five strongest storms on record in this region. [Washington Post]

Uber claims one billion journeys in five years since launch –
Uber claims to have made one billion journeys since its launch in 2010, underlining the massive growth of the ride-sharing service and its challenge to the traditional taxi industry. The company said its billionth trip was completed in London on Christmas Eve – five and a half years after its first journey in San Francisco. The figure suggests that Uber has averaged more than 600,000 rides a day since its driver-hailing app went online, although the figure today is much higher. Uber said last year that it was arranging 1 million trips per day, and has since expanded in dozens of new cities around the world. [Daily Telegraph]

Canadian Bad Santa pulls Christmas Eve heist, escapes in Hummer –
A man dressed as Santa Claus robbed a small-town Canadian jewelry store at gunpoint on Christmas Eve, before dashing away in a Hummer, police said on Wednesday. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the red-and-white-garbed robber entered a jewelry store in Stettler, Alberta, in late afternoon last Thursday. He demanded jewelry and diamonds from a clerk and left with a bag of them. No one was hurt. An employee at the store declined to comment. [Daily Mail]

Video of the Day –

How To Prevent Hangovers (With Science)

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