Ghostly ‘Snow Kangaroos’ Light Up Twitter After Unusual Storm In Australia

An unusual snowfall in New South Wales, Australia, over the weekend led to surreal images of kangaroos hopping through a white landscape.

“Not something you see every day in Australia,” tweeted one person, Stephen Grenfell, who captured some of the viral footage. “Kangaroos in the snow.”

Grenfell said on Twitter that the area in his clip is about three hours west of Sydney. And while it does snow a couple of times a year there, the weekend’s snowfall was the most he had ever seen.

Others also shared photos and footage of kangaroos bouncing through the snow on Twitter: 

Gmail is super busted right now (it’s not just you)

Gmail just gave you the perfect Monday gift: a legitimate excuse to ignore all of your boss’s emails. 

According to Google, some users of the company’s email service are unable to log into their accounts. The problems were first acknowledged by Google just before 12 p.m. PT today and while access for some people has since been restored, the issue is ongoing for others. 

“The affected users are unable to access Gmail,” reads the latest status update (at the time of this writing) from Google. “Users may experience issues signing into all Google services via OAuth or Chrome devices.”

Notably, Google says that if you were already signed in to your account at the time of the unspecified error you should not encounter any problems accessing your account. 

But hey, your boss doesn’t need to know that. 

UPDATE: Aug. 19, 2019, 1:11 p.m. PDT: According to Google, most people should have their Gmail access restored. 

“The problem with Gmail should be resolved for the vast majority of affected users,” reads the latest status update. “We will continue to work towards restoring service for the remaining affected users, but no further updates will be provided on the G Suite Status Dashboard.”

In other words, if you still can’t access your Gmail account… maybe take a walk around the block and try again later? Either way, it seems Google is sick of talking about it.  

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NASA releases extraordinary video of huge ‘UFO flying saucers’ hovering above Mount Etna

The strange clouds, known as “lenticular clouds”, are often mistaken for alien spacecraft. The time-lapse video, shared by NASA, shows the clouds in a series of images, lit up by orange glow of the volcano’s lava. The unusually shaped clouds are formed when moist air is forced to flow upwards near a mountain or volcano.

The clouds are formed mostly in the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere.

The clouds have often been mistaken for UFOs throughout history, due to their smooth, round structure.

The images were shared by astrophotographer Dario Giannobile on Twitter, captioned “Earthshine Moon and Lenticular Cloud Over Mount Etna Eruption”.

NASA shared the picture on Monday as its astronomy picture of the day. NASA explained: “What’s happening above that volcano? Although Mount Etna is seen erupting, the clouds are not related to the eruption.

READ MORE: Is this a Monster UFO ‘concealed by cloud’?

nasa news latest ufo mount etna today video earth

NASA news: lenticular clouds are often mistaken for UFOs due to their disc-like shape (Image: Dario Giannobile/NASA)

nasa news latest ufo mount etna today video earth

NASA news: NASA shared a timelapse video of the event (Image: Dario Giannobile/NASA)

“They are lenticular clouds formed when moist air is forced upwards near a mountain or volcano.

“The surreal scene was captured by chance late last month when the astrophotographer went to Mount Etna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sicily, Italy, to photograph the conjunction between the Moon and the star Aldebaran.

“The Moon appears in a bright crescent phase, illuminating an edge of the lower lenticular cloud. Red hot lava flows on the right.

“Besides some breathtaking stills, a companion time-lapse video of the scene shows the lenticular clouds forming and wavering as stars trail far in the distance.”

nasa news latest ufo mount etna today video earth

NASA news: the images were captured by astrophotographer Dario Giannobile (Image: Dario Giannobile/NASA)

Mount Etna is the most active volcano in Europe, with explosive activity increasing at its New Southeast Crater (NSEC) in July.

The volcano last erupted in May, spewing lava in a number of substantial eruptions.

Two fractures opened at the base of the South-East crater and on the north-eastern flank of the New South-East crater at about 3am local time (2am BST).

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nasa news latest ufo mount etna today video earth

NASA news: Mount Etna is the most active volcano in Europe (Image: Dario Giannobile/NASA)

Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily’s second-largest city, has one of the world’s longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE.

The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) said their surveillance cameras showed increased gas emissions from the base of the southern flank of NSEC, indicating that a new fissure has opened at the crater.

It created ash emissions, explosions and lava flows. The volcanic ash cloud reached 4.5 km (15 000 feet) above sea level.

Despite this, Mount Etna is considered as one of the safest volcanos in the world, with communities living around the site and a host of tourist spots present.

The eruptions are thought to have caused a total of 77 deaths in its history.

Its unpredictable behaviour sees it being one of the most guarded volcanos in the world.

Tourists are able to climb up Mount Etna, yet are urged to take extra and specific precautions and walk in groups.

George R.R. Martin is so relieved ‘Game of Thrones’ finally ended on HBO

Now that the HBO series is over, George R.R. Martin is feeling good about the future of A Song of Ice and Fire.

The books that provided the narrative foundation for HBO’s Game of Thrones is still an ongoing and not-yet-finished series. In a new interview with The Observer, Martin admitted that he had a hard time working on his own vision of Westeros while the HBO take played out.

There’s apparently a good reason he only published one book during the show’s eight season run, all the way back in 2011 (just a few months after HBO’s premiere): it wasn’t a great time for him.

“I don’t think [the TV series] was very good for me,” Martin said, in a frank admission. “The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every da]y I sat down to write and even if I had a good day … I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.'”

True to form for the author, he doesn’t put a date on when the next book, The Winds of Winter, will be coming. But he admits that it’s been “freeing” to get back to work without the show hanging over his head.

Martin has done a lot of press around the show over the years and he’s often come across as a bit of an unwilling participant. He consulted with the HBO production, but he was never the one steering that ship.

Even Martin’s farewell blog post shared after the show ended struck a bit of an ambivalent tone. It felt less like a celebratory “we did it!” and more like a rumination on success and what it’s led to. It also made a clear statement: I’m not finished yet, folks.

Now, here Martin is, months removed from the final season and it’s controversial ending. He’s come to see going to parties and engaging with fans as “work.” He’s also removed himself entirely from the online conversation around the Game of Thrones story and what it might say about what’s still to come in A Song of Ice and Fire — but he knows it’s all happening out there.

“Some of [the theories] are right and some of [the theories] are wrong,” Martin said. “They’ll find out when I finish.”

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Airport Worker Fired For Giving Traveler Note Reading, ‘You Ugly!’

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — An airport security worker in New York has been fired for handing a passenger a handwritten note that said “You ugly!!!”

The June incident came to light this week after passenger Neal Strassner obtained security video through a public records request and posted it to YouTube.

The video from Greater Rochester International Airport shows the worker handing Strassner the note after he passes through a metal detector.

Strassner says he didn’t think much of it and continued toward his gate.That’s when he says the woman yelled out: “You gonna open the note?”

Strassner says that when he did, the woman burst out laughing. He later complained to her supervisors.

The Transportation Security Administration says the woman worked for a contractor. The agency says it has “zero tolerance for this type of behavior.”

Don’t make calls with Siri or Google or you could get scammed

If you’ve ever used Siri or Google to call a business, you could be in danger of falling victim to a new scam. 

Phone calls made with voice assistants could open people up to scammers, who have found a clever new way to exploit our growing dependence on Siri and Google. That’s according to the Better Business Bureau, which issued a warning about the scheme.

Here’s how it goes down, according to the BBB: you need to call a business, like an airline, but you don’t know what number to call. So you do what many of us do and ask Google or Siri to “call [business name]” for you you. 

But instead of calling your bank or your airline, the assistant calls a scammer impersonating someone from the company, who will try to trick you into sending them money.

The scheme itself is actually pretty simple. Scammers buy search ads containing the false “company” phone numbers and pay to feature them prominently in search results. If you were to see the ads in your own search results, you might easily identify it as a scam. But assistants aren’t necessarily good at making those distinctions, and often give preference to results that rank higher in search. 

So, when you ask your assistant to make a call, it simply dials one of the top results, inadvertently connecting you to a scammer. 

The best way to avoid this is to double check any phone number before you make a phone call and only call numbers from official sources, like a company’s website. If there’s a business you frequently have to call, it might also be a good idea to save the number in your phone so you can still ask Siri or Google to dial it for you.

And if any phone call doesn’t seem right, you can always just hang up and try again. Maybe just don’t ask Siri for help.

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Laptops and tablets on sale: iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface, and more

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Tablets, 2-in-1 computers, and more on sale.
Tablets, 2-in-1 computers, and more on sale.

Image: mashable photo composite

No matter what side of the fence you land on — Apple die-hard or completely loyal to Windows-only tech — there’s always going to be something on sale for you, so let’s focus less on the “which is better” debate, and more on how much money you can save on a laptop or tablet of your choice. 

This weekend, there’s a bunch of great personal devices on sale — from regular laptops, to 2-in-1 computers, to fancy tablets. Some of our favorites this time around are a big discount on the iPad Pro, and a nice deal on the Microsoft Surface Pro, among others.

Take a peek at all the great laptop and tablet deals we found for this weekend:

Laptops $499 and below:

Laptops $500 to $999:

Laptops $1,000 and up:

Tablets on sale:


Looking for more deals, the latest news on cool products, and other ways to upgrade your life? Sign up for the Mashable Deals newsletter here.


MH370 bombshell: Does investigator’s ‘secret’ clue prove co-pilot made distress call?

MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur Airport on March 8, 2014, destined for Beijing, China, with 239 people on board. The Boeing 777 last communicated with air traffic control at 1:19am while travelling over the South China Sea, before disappearing altogether. However, a secret investigation may have discovered an emergency signal made moments before the jet vanished.

Malaysian police detailed how a telecommunication tower at Bandar Baru Farlim Penang in Malaysia detected a mobile number registered to Mr Hamid minutes before the plane dropped off the radar.

Former easyJet chief pilot Mike Keane said this supported the theory that Captain Zaharie Shah forcefully took control of the aircraft before plunging it into the sea.

He believes Mr Shah told Mr Hamid to go to the cabin before he locked the cockpit and depressurised the plane.

He theorises that Mr Hamid then used his phone in a desperate attempt to contact authorities.

He said in March: “The first officer would have been skilled in responding to depressurisation due to regular training.

“If Fariq had his mobile phone with him, he would have grabbed an oxygen bottle before taking his phone off flight mode or switching it on.”

However, telecommunications expert Matthew Sorell claims the phone may have actually been left on for the whole flight and performed a “new location area update” when approaching Penang.

He claimed: “This means the phone was on, and responded automatically when it detected the cell signal over Penang.”

Authorities in Malaysia had previously dismissed reports of the phone detection, which were first made in April 2014.

JUST IN: NYC subway station evacuated after three ‘suspicious packages’

“Imagine what it would have been like for Zaharie to see the yellow plastic cup bob down after depressurisation. 

“He would have been momentarily rattled, but with his experience, he would have realised immediately what had happened and what needed to be done.”

Ms Negroni theorises that Mr Shah tried to make it back to the cockpit, but struggled to catch his breath.

She adds: “The distance between the bathroom and the cockpit is just a few steps, but like Fariq, Zaharie was a smoker and probably more susceptible to the effects of oxygen deprivation.

“If he got out of the bathroom, if he got down the narrow corridor, if he got to the door of the cockpit without losing consciousness, another challenge would have awaited him.

“The cockpit door unlocks automatically when cabin altitude is lost. Would Zaharie have remembered that?

UFO sighting? Mystery flying object spotted in Amsterdam tornado sparks BIZARRE theories

The strange object sparked theories of possible extraterrestrial sightings  and even “dark angels”. A video showed the mystery object on YouTube channel Mavi777, which depicts a strange glowing object flying in the sky above the tornado. One user commented on the video claiming the “orb lights” are the “fallen ones”.

The user claimed that “cattle mutilations are the work of these orbs which are dark angels.”

They continued: “They are also responsible for the crop circles.”

Another said: “Unbelievable footage. We are not alone.”

However, one user offered a more mundane explanation for the flying object.

READ MORE: UFO claim: ‘Stunning’ US Navy sightings are ‘most important in 70 yrs’

They said that the objects are just weather drones sent to gauge the power of the tornado.

Another strange phenomenon was spotted this month in the skies above Brazil.

A massive shining figure was recorded flying in the cloudy sky.

The footage showed the peculiar entity changing direction whilst maintaining its shape.

A video was uploaded on YouTube showing a T-shaped shining object roughly resembling an angel in a long robe.

The cameraman said in the video: “It looks like light refraction but then again it looks like some type of energy source.

“It’s even got the harmonious appearance of an angel.”

An explanation for both events remains unclear.

Instagram tests a serious Boomerang upgrade

It looks like Instagram is getting ready to finally revamp one of its most popular features: Boomerang.

Instagram is readying as many as five new styles of looping video for its app, according to code discovered in its Android app.

The new effects were spotted by researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who has a solid track record of uncovering unreleased features in social media apps. According to her findings, here are some of the new types of Boomerang effects coming to Instagram:

  • “Hold,” which puts a slight delay at the end of a clip so there’s a bit of a pause between loops

  • “Dynamic,” which speeds up at the end of the clip

  • “Slowmo,” which loops the clip in slow motion

  • Two called “duo,” which appear to be more like a classic Boomerang, just set at different speeds

Those may not sound like huge changes, but they could open up a lot of new possibilities for Boomerangs, which have looked pretty much the same since Instagram first introduced the feature in 2015. You can get a better idea of what these might look like in action on Wong’s blog.

An Instagram spokesperson declined to comment. 

Besides the new Boomerang features, Wong uncovered a few other intriguing changes. One would add Instagram’s Layout, the app that lets you make photo collages, to the Stories camera. Another would allow users to send comments to friends the same way you can share a post via direct messages.

Another long overdue feature she spotted: notification filters. Instead of one endless list of all your notifications, which can be especially overwhelming if you have a big following, filters would let you sort notifications by type.

No word on when these features might be officially released, but if they’re as close to being ready as Wong suggests, we might not have much longer to wait.

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