May 17, 2022

Dogs Can Detect COVID-19 Infections; Phil Mickelson Wins PGA Championship; Kendall Jenner’s Tequila too Similar to Another Tequila Brand; Jewish Community Speak Out Against Anti-Semitism; Chicago Steel Wins Clark Cup Championship

Research Suggests Dogs Can Detect COVID-19 Infections

A new collaborative study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Durham University, and the group Medical Detection Dogs, published on Sunday, indicates that dogs may help fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scientists completed Phase 1 of a trial examining whether dogs might be able to smell and identify COVID-19 infection under controlled conditions. Under the Phase 1 trial, working dogs were trained to detect COVID-19 on pieces of clothing and masks. The researchers observed whether the dogs could distinguish between samples with positive and negative for the virus.

Phase 2 of the research will test the dogs’ detection abilities on infected people, not just samples of clothing. The results were published in a preprint study and have not yet been peer-reviewed.

The study involved six dogs with ages from four to six years old. The group was composed of Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, and Labrador breeds. The study concludes that after six to eight weeks of training, the dogs could pick up the scent of COVID-19.

“The results are extremely exciting,” said James Logan, a project lead on the study.

The results showed that the dogs have a sensitivity rate of 82%-94% in successfully detecting the virus. The COVID-19 infection has a “distinct” scent when put under a chemical analysis. Researchers are working to identify the exact chemicals responsible for the odor.

“Dogs could detect Covid with incredible speed and accuracy,” Logan said — “even if a person was asymptomatic.”

A PCR test is still the “gold standard” for detecting COVID-19, says the proponents of the study, but suggest dogs could provide a quicker and easier way to screen for the virus in dense traffic areas.

“The other thing about dogs is that they would serve as a visual deterrent, so if people knew that dogs were going to be screening at the airport, it’s very likely that people would think twice about traveling if they were infected,” Logan said.

Phil Mickelson Holds Record as Oldest Golfer to Win PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson made his mark in golf history by becoming the oldest winner of the 2021 PGA Championship. In winning the major at 50 years old, he broke the record held by Julius Boros, who won the PGA Championship at 48 years, 4 months, 18 days in 1968. Jack Nicklaus, the golf legend, won his last major at 46.

Mickelson finished ahead of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course after an outstanding final-round performance, with two shots. He finished six-over for the tournament. The recent win is the sixth major title of Mickelson’s long golfing career, with his last PGA Championship 16 years ago in 2005. 

Koepka was seeking his third PGA Championship title in four years. The decisive factor that held him back was when he struggled with his putter.

Admittedly, Mickelson was less likely to be the people’s favorites to win the PGA Championship.

By the final day, Mickelson was just a shot ahead of Koepka. The two opponents went back and forth, exchanging pars, birdies, bogeys, and the odd double bogey on the first four holes.

The Mickelson magic began to emerge on the par-three fifth hole. In a glorious winning moment on the final hole, Mickelson had two-putted his legacy into the history of golf. 

He had only won twice on the PGA Tour before Sunday’s victory. His last major victory was in 2013, and he had two wins in 2020 on the PGA Tour Champions. Winning the 2021 PGA Championship, Mickelson became the fourth golfer to win four different decades in PGA Tour history. He is now among Sam Snead, Raymond Floyd, and Davis Love III.

Tom Brady, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers star quarterback, went to Twitter with an ecstatic reaction.

“That’s my quarterback!!! LFG @PhilMickelson!!” Brady wrote on his Twitter.

Brady and Mickelson famously teamed up during a charity golf match called The Match in 2020 to raise funds for the COVID-19 pandemic. They won over the tandem of Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning, with Mickelson serving as Brady’s “quarterback.”

Kendall Jenner’s Tequila Accused of Being too Similar to Another Tequila Brand

Kendall Jenner’s recently launched 818 Tequila brand is subjected to another controversy after a Texas tequila company, Tequila 512, claims that the drink is very closely similar to its own tequila brand. Earlier this month, 818 Tequila was accused of “cultural appropriation.”

Nick Matzorkis, the Tequila 512 CEO, posted to Instagram last week the highlights of the similarities between his brand and Jenner’s new product. He included a photo from a customer pointing out an 818 Tequila bottle and asking, “Is that you, or did someone copy you?”

“Note the similarities including the color, the name, and it is made in the same distillery in Tequila Mexico as ours,” he wrote in the post, which appears to have since been deleted but was captured by the media and some fans.

Matzorkis further said that Jenner charges twice as much for her alcoholic drink, which is twice-distilled only, while Tequila 512 undergoes three distillation processes.

“And here we are getting messages like this one in this post image. Doesn’t seem very cool,” Matzorkis said.

In an interview with KXAN, a local TV station, Matzorkis said he wasn’t accusing Jenner of any wrongdoing.

“To be clear, the post does not accuse them of ‘stealing our idea,’ but does point out obvious undeniable similarities that in their entirety makes a worthy point on the face of it,” Matzorkis told the station.

Jenner’s tequila was previously accused of cultural appropriation after the release of the new ad campaign, which featured Jenner riding on horseback, wearing jeans, a loose cotton shirt over a tank top, and a cowboy hat, an ensemble being tagged as “migrant chic” and “tone-deaf.”

Jenner’s fans, however, were quick to defend the model’s latest business venture, saying that men like George Clooney, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and several celebrities have launched tequila brands without being accused of appropriating Mexican culture.

“Kendall Jenner’s 818 tequila is no different than George Clooney’s Casamigos or The Rock’s Teramana,” tweeted one supporter, with another adding, “I get why Kendal shouldn’t own a tequila & I’m for it, BUT why don’t y’all have that same energy with every celebrity who owns a tequila that isn’t Mexican ????”

Chicago Steel Wins Clark Cup Championship

The Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL) is the 2020-21 Clark Cup Champion after a 3-1 win over the Fargo Force at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D, on Saturday night. They are now two-time Clark Cup champions for this victorious season after winning the first championship in 2017.

The Chicago Steel has now captured two USHL titles in the last four Clark Cup Playoffs, appearing three times in the previous four finals. The Steel also won the Anderson Cup as the 2020–21 regular season champions.

The win proved an impressive two-year run by the Steel. They held the best record in the league before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the 2019 season short. They picked up the momentum right where they left off and maintained the lead in the league scoring for two straight seasons and achieving a franchise record of 265 goals.

During the regular season, the Steel scored in every game and only failed once to add a goal during their 7-1 playoff run. Adam Fantilli, the 16-year-old Steel forward, was awarded the Playoffs MVP, finishing the postseason with nine points, including a two-goal performance in the title game.

Simon Latkoczy, the Steel netminder, finished the Playoffs with a 7-1-0-0 record, 0.937 save percentage, and 1.73 goals-against average. Both records were second in the league’s goaltenders in the Playoffs.

Several Steel players are expecting to be part of the upcoming NHL draft.

The United States Hockey League (USHL), sanctioned by USA Hockey, is the top junior ice hockey league. The league is for players between the ages of 16 and 21 and has 14 member teams in the Midwestern United States.

The Chicago Steel is part of the United States Hockey League. Since 2015, the Steel played their home games at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, Illinois. From 2000 to 2015, the team played at Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Illinois. Rusty, the dog, is the team’s mascot. Occasionally a puppy named Rascal can also be seen at Steel home games.

Jewish Community of Chicago Speak Out Against Anti-Semitism

Hundreds of Chicago-area Jews came together on Sunday in Skokie to speak out against what they perceive as a new wave of Anti-Semitism across the United States. Israeli and American flags were displayed side by side during the mass demonstration amid the new wave of Anti-Semitism across the United States.

The Jews believed that the recent rise in attacks had been inspired by the latest wave of violence between the Palestinians and Israelis in Gaza.

“This is not a protest. This gathering today is a cry of pain,” said Rabbi Zvi Engel with Congregation Or Torah.

Last week, two Palestinian supporters were seen vandalizing Skokie’s Persian Hebrew congregation, as captured on surveillance video. The hate crime is not an outlier, as Skokie Police are investigating it.

The Anti-Defamation League said it had received close to 200 reports of possible Anti-Semitism acts in the week after the conflict began. The figure is an increase of 50% of the reported cases from the previous week. A Twitter analysis performed by the group from May 7-14 showed more than 17,000 tweets of “Hitler was right” phrases in different variations.

“I survived because a Christian family in Poland saved my life,” said Ida Kersz, an 82-year-old child Holocaust survivor. “They took me out of the ghetto. They baptized me and pretended I am their child.”

The tragic holocaust stories and the continuous fear that those memories bring unites Jews from all political and philosophical sides together.

“In this country, we have a right to practice our religion. We have a right to walk around with a Kippah without fear like has happened in NY, like has happened in LA,” said Shaanan Gelman with Kehilat Chovevei Tzion.

“American Jews are not always in lockstep with what Israel does,” added Brent Brotine. “We admit that. They admit that. But we are in lockstep and should be with Israel the country.”

“It’s not about the Palestinians versus the Jewish people. Israel is a homeland to Abrahamic cultures and religions. We just want to live in peace at the end of the day,” said Michelle Mantel.