Brian Hoyer finally pulled by Patriots for Jarrett Stidham, who immediately gets first career TD pass

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It took a while, but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick ran out of patience with Brian Hoyer.

Hoyer got the start on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs because Cam Newton was out. Hoyer got the nod over Jarrett Stidham, presumably because of his experience.

Hoyer’s experience didn’t matter much. He threw a bad interception in the first quarter, made a ridiculous mistake getting sacked to end the first half when the Patriots could have kicked a field goal and then he got hit and fumbled late in the third quarter.

At the time of Hoyer’s lost fumble, the Patriots trailed 6-3. The Chiefs took over after the turnover and finally got a touchdown. At 13-3, it was time to go to Stidham.

Stidham looked like the presumptive starter for most of the offseason after Tom Brady left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before Newton was signed, so it was telling that Hoyer started on Monday night and didn’t get pulled even after taking the sack at the end of the first half. Stidham immediately led a drive that ended with a touchdown pass to N’Keal Harry. It was Stidham’s first NFL touchdown pass.

The Patriots didn’t have much margin for error on Monday night, and starting Hoyer looked like a regrettable decision.

a group of baseball players standing on top of each other: Brian Hoyer was benched near the end of the third quarter against the Chiefs. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Brian Hoyer was benched near the end of the third quarter against the Chiefs. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Cargo Spacecraft Carrying New Toilet to ISS Finally Launches

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After several scrubbed attempts, a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket has taken off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, launching an uncrewed Cygnus cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying a total of 8,000 pounds of crew supplies and science experiments for the ISS.

The mission had been expected to originally launch on Tuesday, September 29, but this had to be pushed back due to unfavorable weather conditions. The new launch date was set for Thursday, October 1, and the rocket was fueled and ready to go but was then scrubbed again after an issue with ground support equipment. The launch was pushed back once more to late on Friday, October 2, and this time the launch went ahead as planned at 9:16 p.m. ET.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket launches to the International Space Station on Oct. 2, 2020, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. The rocket is carrying a Cygnus spacecraft with 8,000 pounds of supplies and experiments.
A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket launches to the International Space Station on Oct. 2, 2020, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. The rocket is carrying a Cygnus spacecraft with 8,000 pounds of supplies and experiments. NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

The Antares rocket made it safely into orbit and the Cygnus spacecraft deployed its solar array successfully. The craft is now traveling toward the space station, where it is expected to arrive at 5:20 a.m. ET on Monday, October 5. It will be captured using the station’s robotic arm, controlled by NASA astronaut and Expedition 63 commander Chris Cassidy, from where it will be installed onto the station’s Unity module.

Included on the Cygnus are a new crop of radishes to be grown in the microgravity of the space station in order to learn more about how plants grow in space and to provide more nutritious and fresh food for astronauts in the future, an investigation into drugs used to treat leukemia which could be made


Mose flood barrier finally holds the waters back for fragile Venice

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VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – A long-delayed flood barrier successfully protected Venice from a high tide for the first time on Saturday, bringing relief and smiles to the lagoon city following years of repeated inundations.

“Today, everything is dry. We stopped the sea,” city mayor Luigi Brugnaro told reporters after raising a glass in celebration with some of the engineers and officials responsible for the multi-billion euro project known as Mose.

“Lots of bad things have happened here, but now something wonderful has happened,” he said.

The network of 78 bright yellow barriers that guard the entrance to the delicate Venetian lagoon lifted from the sea bed as the tide, driven by strong winds and rain, started to climb.

City officials had forecast a tide of 130 cm (4.27 ft), well below the devastating 187 cm tide that battered Venice last November, but enough to leave low-lying areas deep under water.

Expecting the worst, workmen had laid out raised walkways in especially vulnerable places, including the often packed St. Mark’s Square. In the event, the tide only amounted to 70 cm, leaving the city’s piazzas and pathways unscathed.

“Today is an important day, an historic day because we should have been full of water by now and instead we are dry,” said Massimo Milanese, manager of the Lavena Cafe in St. Mark’s Square.

The worst floods in more than 50 years left St Mark’s Square submerged under a metre of water last November, underlining the growing environmental threat to one of the world’s most famous cultural sites.

Engineers had promised that Mose would save the day, but sceptics questioned whether the system, plagued by corruption, cost overruns and prolonged delays, would be up to the task.

Venice’s floods, “acqua alta” (high water) in Italian, are caused by a combination of factors


There’s a giant ‘Green Banana’ off Florida’s coast, and researchers have finally gotten to the bottom of it

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

If you haven’t heard of the “Green Banana blue hole” you might imagine a tropical cocktail you can order in Key West, or a dessert you ordered after a night on Bourbon Street.

Forget that. This Green Banana is actually a mysterious sink hole. More specifically, it’s a huge, underwater cavern off the coast of Florida that humans had never fully explored—until last month.

Scientists say the Green Banana could hold clues to the formation of toxic red tides, algae blooms that are devastating to Florida’s shoreline, and the extent of the aquifer that supplies the state with most of its drinking water.

Maybe even the origins of life.

Blue holes—sink holes that form under water—are not unusual in the Gulf of Mexico. In the mid-1970s, a boat captain sailing about 60 miles west of Sarasota spotted one about 160 feet under water, and an unripe banana peel floating above it. It became known as the Green Banana.

Scientists believe it may have formed more than 10,000 years ago when a sink hole opened to form a cavern 265 feet deep and 425 feet below the surface of the Gulf, further than typical scuba divers are capable of reaching.

It’s not just the depth of the Green Banana that’s a challenge for explorers. It’s wide base created by an hourglass shape had never been fully explored until advanced diver Marty Watson did it in August with a team of scientists and researchers.

“What’s it like?” Watson asked. “I’m not an astronaut, but it’s got to be the closest thing in the world next to it.”

Blue holes are thought to be ecological hot spots whose nutrients help supply the food chain around the world. It starts with the phytoplankton that feed on those nutrients, which attracts


NASA finally tracks down air leak on ISS, but it’s not fixed yet

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The ISS has a small but pesky air leak.


A longstanding space mystery is almost solved. NASA and the ISS crew have been bothered by an air leak first noticed in late 2019. The leak seemed to pick up the pace recently, sending NASA on a hunt to track it down. A new round of tests has finally narrowed down the location.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner have conducted a series of tests that involved closing hatches around the station so NASA could monitor the air pressure in each section. Their latest efforts led NASA to the main work area of the Zvezda Service Module.

The Russian-built Zvezda Service Module contains living quarters along with life support, communications and propulsion systems. “Additional work is underway to precisely locate the source of the leak,” NASA said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The space agency emphasized that the leak poses no immediate danger to the crew.

Flight controllers woke up the astronaut and cosmonauts late on Monday night to have them troubleshoot the leak “that appeared to grow in size.” The crew used an ultrasound leak detector to collect data for analysis.

The leak may be more consistent than it first appeared. “The size of the leak identified overnight has since been attributed to a temporary temperature change aboard the station with the overall rate of leak remaining unchanged,” NASA said. 

The crew is back to regular activities, which includes getting ready for a busy October on the ISS. The station will be expecting a new cargo delivery as well as a fresh crew