Scientists are Worried About a Potentially Devastating ‘Moon Wobble’

The moon may look like a peaceful neighbor, but scientists are warning that it may be trying to kill us. 

“In the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience rapidly increasing high-tide floods, when a lunar cycle will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change,” NASA warned in a new report

Thank the moon’s 18.6-year “wobble” cycle, which has been observed for some 300 years.

When it wobbles one way, the high tides are lower. When it wobbles the other, however, the high tides are even higher, which could be especially destructive as sea levels rise. 

“We’re going to have sort of a double-whammy,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oceanographer William Sweet, one of the study’s authors, told The Washington Post. “It means that coastal communities — unless they adapt and fortify — are likely to expect even greater flooding than they might otherwise.”

NOAA reported 600 floods caused by high tides along the East Coast and Gulf Coast in 2019 alone. The coming wobble could worsen that, leading to “dramatic increases in flood numbers” in coastal cities around the nation.

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“We’re getting closer and closer to the flooding thresholds or tipping point in these coastal locations,” NASA Sea Level Change Team leader Ben Hamlington told NPR. “The same variability in the past that didn’t cause flooding is now going to cause flooding.”

There could even be “clusters” of floods, sometimes lasting a month or more, NASA said. 

Just one region may escape the threat ― for now. 

“Only far northern coastlines, including Alaska’s, will be spared for another decade or longer because these land areas are rising due to long-term geological processes,” NASA said. 

Tidal floods involve less water than those caused by major weather events, such as storms, and are often taken less seriously as a result. 

“But if it floods 10 or 15 times a month, a business can’t keep operating with its parking lot underwater,” Phil Thompson, an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii and the lead author of the new study, said in a news release. “People lose their jobs because they can’t get to work. Seeping cesspools become a public health issue.”

In response, NASA has created a “Sea Level Portal” to project what could happen in the future, which includes tools to anticipate flooding.

His Psychiatrist Took Control of His House, His Bank Account and His Life

Imagine this: For nearly 30 years your psychiatrist takes over your life, claims your Southampton estate and your family business, as well as your Swiss bank account as his own. He buys tables at big Jewish fundraising dinners with your money. He convinces you to become estranged from your only sister and persuades you that anyone you date is after you only for your money.

It is a story almost unimaginably bizarre. But it happened, and now the saga of the relationship between patient Martin Markowitz and psychiatrist Isaac Herschkopf has been made into an eight-episode limited series starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd.

Markowitz’s life today is radically different than it was when he was Herschkopf’s patient.

Back then, he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars a year paying his psychiatrist (in addition to the money Herschkopf allegedly took control of) and did his doctor’s bidding. That included writing and printing the invitations to the summer parties Herschkopf held at the Southampton property. At the parties, attended by many of Herschkopf’s patients —– including Gwyneth Paltrow — as well as the ‘who’s who’ of Manhattan Orthodox Jews, Markowitz served drinks, grilled kosher meat for guests and was believed by those in attendance to be hired help rather than the property’s true owner.

At Herschkopf’s instruction, Markowitz also typed up a dozen book manuscripts the psychiatrist wrote out in long hand. Most have not been published.

In all, starting in June 1981, after he had been referred to the psychiatrist by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Markowitz paid Herschkopf more than $3 million in fees, he said. Two years later, under Herschkopf’s guidance, Markowitz disinherited his sister.

The following year, at the psychiatrist’s direction, Markowitz created a private foundation. According to the Department of Health, Herschkopf kept the foundation checkbook and directed most of its donations. The psychiatrist used the money for donations to, among others, the Ramaz School, an elite Jewish school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan which his three daughters attended.

Multiple messages left for Herschkopf at his office and home phone numbers were not returned. Neither was a message left for one of his daughters, Dr. Marta Hershkopf, who is also a psychiatrist and expert in psychiatric ethics.

In 1985, again at the psychiatrist’s direction, Markowitz re-wrote his will to leave his entire multi-million-dollar estate to the foundation. Herschkopf was named the executor and his wife, the successor co-executor. Around the same time, Markowitz made his shrink the co-owner of his Swiss bank account, which contained about $900,000. In 1991 Markowitz again re-did his will, this time leaving his entire estate to Rebecca Herschkopf, the psychiatrist’s wife, and appointing his doctor with power of attorney.

In a recent interview from a New York City hospital, where Markowitz was coping with a bout of extreme vertigo, he told the Forward, “I was living a lie when I was with Ike. Ike sucked me into this cult of Ike and I was spending six or seven hours a week with him, he kept me constantly busy transcribing his handwritten books, throwing these parties, and I didn’t appreciate what was going on. He didn’t let me have a girlfriend. I would go on a date, and he’d call her a gold digger. He would say, ‘Everyone is out to get you, I’m going to protect you.’ And I was stupid enough to buy it.”

Markowitz finally broke off the relationship in 2010 after he had a hernia operation and Herschkopf did not visit or check in on him. He soon reconnected with his sister, from whom he had been estranged for 27 years. In 2012 Markowitz filed his first complaint with the New York State Department of Health. It took them seven years to begin examining Markowitz’s claims.

After a two-year investigation, New York State’s Department of Health this April took the rare step of stripping Herschkopf of his license to practice medicine.

New York State’s Department of Health, in its decision, found 16 specifications of professional misconduct – from fraudulence to gross negligence and gross incompetence as well as exercising undue influence and moral unfitness. The decision was based on records and testimony from three of Herschkopf’s patients. Markowitz is “Patient A.”

From true-crime to Hollywood

The riveting story was made into a 2019 podcast by Bloomberg journalist Joe Nocera, which Rudd heard, Nocera said in an interview, and developed into the forthcoming series.

Before production began Rudd, Ferrell and director Michael Showalter spent a day with Markowitz at his Southampton, NY home – which includes a main house and separate guest house, tennis courts, basketball court, a miniature golf course, koi ponds and contemporary sculptures throughout the wooded grounds. And, of course, a swimming pool.

“They came by themselves, no entourage, there wasn’t any joking around. It was just them asking me question after question,” said Markowitz. “After filming, Will Ferrell sent me an email saying, ‘I don’t know if you’ll like the series, but hopefully you’ll like the arc.’”

Other than that, Markowitz said, he has had nothing to do with the series, which is set to debut on Apple TV+ on November 12. He was paid $100,000 by series producers for his life rights, meaning he can’t write a book or play about his experiences, he said.

“I don’t know if they’re going to have a Hollywood premiere. I hope they invite me, but it remains to be seen,” Markowitz told the Forward. “Over 1.5 million people downloaded the trailer in the first week. The one disappointment in the trailer is that the house is nowhere near as nice as my house is.”

Prominent Jews still supporting the psychiatrist

Now, at 79, Markowitz is closing the theatrical fabrics business started by his father in 1928 and retiring. He plans to spend half the year in Thailand, where he met his current girlfriend, who he is soon meeting in Phuket.

“All I want is a nice quiet life,” Markowitz said. “I am going to retire and travel the world with my girlfriend.”

Despite the allegations and the state’s findings, Herschkopf’s friends — many of them prominent men — are sticking by him.

Richard Joel, president emeritus of Yeshiva University, testified before the Department of Health as a character reference for Herschkopf.

“Ike is a friend for 40 years,” said Joel in a brief interview. Joel currently teaches a class on the ethical and philosophical underpinnings of social work at Yeshiva University’s graduate school of social work. He declined to say more.

Another close friend of Ike’s for decades told the Forward, on condition of anonymity, that he is not aware of all the allegations against Herschkopf and doesn’t want to be. “He’s larger than life and there are eccentricities there,” acknowledged the friend. “I do know that there isn’t a malicious bone in his body. He’s my friend, he says he didn’t do anything intentionally to harm another person. I leave it at that.”

Markowitz says that he is “much happier now” than when he was under Herschkopf’s care. “It’s my 40-year ordeal. It was 29 years under his power and 11 years seeking justice. I finally got it.” What matters most is that “I got justice. That’s what I wanted.”

His psychiatrist took control of his house, his bank account and his life. Now Will Ferrell is portraying him in a true-crime TV series

Police Save Dog from Hot Car After His Owner is Killed

Missouri police officers cared for a dog that was found inside a hot car as they investigated the fatal shooting of its owner outside a Walmart Neighborhood Market on Wednesday, authorities said.

About an hour and a half into the shooting investigation, Springfield police got a call about a dog named Zeke that was left inside the victim’s car, the Springfield Police Department wrote on Facebook.

Officers found the door unlocked and removed Zeke from the hot car before taking him to a local veterinarian, police said. Officer Victoria Myers sat with Zeke sat as the pup waited to be admitted for the night. A Good Samaritan also donated $100 for Zeke’s care.

Officers again cared for Zeke the following day until he could be reunited with his family. 

“This morning Officers Adamson and Bashioum picked up Zeke and took him to his regular vet where he is waiting to be picked up by family,” police said, adding that Zeke was “doing well.”

Police identified the shooting victim as Tanner L. Stichka. The suspect was identified as Robert D. Weiser, 45, of Bentonville, Ark., who has been booked in jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, according to KY3 Springfield

No motive or details on the circumstances that led to the shooting have been released.

Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Manic’ Final Days were Filled with ‘Humiliation’

“What the f–k am I doing here?” Anthony Bourdain’s unmistakable voice comes in over the rousing opening credit montage of the new documentary “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain,” in theaters Friday. “One minute I was standing next to a deep fryer. The next I was watching the sun set over the Sahara.” 

It’s a jarring moment. Just over three years after Bourdain was found dead by suicide at age 61 in a France hotel room by his good friend Eric Ripert, he is returned to us in voiceover. Although now we know he is a uniquely unreliable narrator.

“Here’s a little preemptive truth-telling,” Bourdain’s eerie narration continues. “There’s no happy ending.”

The film’s director, Morgan Neville (“20 Feet From Stardom,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”), eschews Bourdain’s early life and starts in 1999, just before the publication of his groundbreaking best-seller “Kitchen Confidential.” The chef-turned-author’s rise to fame is portrayed as both meteoric and, ultimately, deeply alienating.

“It happened overnight,” Bourdain says in the film. “One minute I was a cook at a restaurant, and not a particularly great one … and the next, I was an author.” 

As the book climbed the charts and Bourdain made the talk-show rounds, he greeted his growing notoriety with reticence.

“It’s scary,” he says in another piece of archival footage. “Anything that happens beyond that [kitchen] door, I’m suspicious of.” 

“Parts Unknown” producers Lydia Tenaglia and Christopher Collins first worked with Bourdain on an early travel show shortly after the book came out. They remember him initially being extremely awkward in front of the camera on a trip to Japan and Vietnam.

“Tony was actually a very shy human being,” Collins says in the film. 

In 2005, Bourdain divorced his first wife, high school sweetheart Nancy Putkoski. Ripert introduced him to restaurant manager Ottavia Busia not long after, and the two married and welcomed a daughter, Ariane, in 2007.

He was thrilled to be a father and initially seemed to revel in having a quieter life as a family man, but the road beckoned and in New York, he was stopped by fans every two minutes on the street.

“Tony got really famous,” David Chang laments in the film, and he and Bourdain are shown commiserating about feeling isolated and distant from old friends. “It was just an incessant, non-stop barrage.”

Other friends and colleagues recall Bourdain saying he was becoming agoraphobic and his life was getting “smaller and smaller” because he couldn’t be out in public.

His marriage to Busia unraveled amid his near-constant travel and they split amicably in 2016, though their divorce was never finalized

Shortly after, he met Italian film actress/director Asia Argento while filming “Parts Unknown” in Rome. He quickly developed a teenage-like infatuation with Argento, with friends in the film likening it to an addiction and noting that he referred to her as “the crazy Italian actress” and said things would end “very, very badly.”

“There was a very sort of manic nature to what was going on in that last year,” Collins says. “The highs were very, very high, and the lows were very ugly.”

Chang angrily and tearily recalls Bourdain telling him he would never be a good father.

“He was projecting,” says Chang, now a doting parent to 2-year-old Hugo, with another baby on the way. “It broke his heart that he couldn’t be the f–king dad he thought he could be, the romantic version of dad.”  

Bourdain let Argento direct “Parts Unknown” in Hong Kong, after regular director Michael Steed fell ill. Veteran crew members bristled at her approach. Bourdain even fired his longtime Emmy-winning cinematographer Zach Zamboni after he clashed with Argento, who is not among those interviewed in the film.

“I just felt like at the end, I wasn’t going to get closer to him by talking to her because she has her own very clear point of view about things,” Neville has said. “She says the same thing in every interview.” (Argento has said that she and Bourdain had an open relationship.) He’s also noted that he wanted the film to be about Bourdain, not just his relationship with Argento, although that shadows much of the final portion.

Days before Bourdain’s death, Argento was photographed with French reporter Hugo Clément. In the doc, Steed recalls checking on Bourdain after the photos hit the papers, and the star mumbling “a little f–king discretion” in reference to Argento being so public with her infidelity.

“My take is that the thing that Tony was having the hardest time with was humiliation,” Neville has said. “He has taken himself so far out on the limb to be made to feel like a chump so publicly. That was the thing — not heartbreak. Humiliation.”

But, while Argento certainly doesn’t come across well in the film, Neville is careful to stop short of blaming her outright for Bourdain’s suicide. Others theorize that Bourdain never overcame the demons beneath the heroin problem of his youth.

Artist and recovering addict Dave Choe notes that he’d never met anyone else like Bourdain, who was supposedly able to quit heroin cold turkey. Bourdain had told him it was something he just worked at, something Choe initially believed before realizing he had traded it for other dependencies, including Argento.

But, “as I got to know him more, I realized it jumped,” Choe says in the film. “The addiction jumped.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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