Best work light for mechanics in 2020

I have quite a few lights hanging in my garage, but no matter how bright they are, they never seem to shine exactly where I need them to. Whether I’m reaching down in an engine bay or hunched inside a fender liner, a little extra illumination can make a miserable car repair job… well, a little less miserable anyway.

There are plenty of options out there that address a lot of different needs. What follows are my top 10 picks for the best work light for mechanics.

Read more: Best headlight restoration kits in 2020   

Harbor Freight

The shop light I found myself reaching for most often is actually one of the cheapest here, this $35 folding unit from Braun (Harbor Freight’s house brand). While its length makes it difficult to throw in a toolbox, the strong magnet on the base means you can just pop it onto any metal surface — like, say, the side of your toolbox. The LED light bar throws off plenty of light output for bigger jobs, while the LEDs on the tip meant I could easily inspect down in the fuel tank of my tractor. I got 2 hours on a charge with the LED work light bar on full blast, so it’s maybe not the best work light for mechanics who need it for longer jobs. But it’s a great, affordable rechargeable LED work light choice for most tasks. And, if you catch it at the right time, you can get it for $27 — before the ubiquitous HF coupon!

Harbor Freight

If you’re looking to spend a little more on a portable rechargeable work light, the $50 Braun 3-In-1 Quick Connect Light Kit comes with replaceable attachments, giving you a more powerful flashlight and a snake light as well. It’s a great portable work light kit, but that means you’ll need to also keep the case and all accessories around. I much prefer the cheaper, integrated lighting option.

Harbor Freight

Another win for Harbor Freight here, with the Ultra Bright portable LED work light and flashlight. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you’ve ever visited a Harbor Freight, you probably walked out with one of these portable LED flashlight and work light units for free. And, if you’re a frequent shopper, you probably have a half-dozen scattered around your house and garage. Even at the full price of $4, it’s hard to ignore the value here. Whether you want focused or broad LED light, an underhood light, or a powerful flashlight, this will deliver. My only complaint is that the AAA batteries inside are too difficult to replace and the whole thing has a tendency to fly into pieces when dropped on a concrete floor, as mine have been. Repeatedly.

Black Diamond

When I asked for work light suggestions, a number of you indicated you prefer to use headlamps when working on your cars, and I definitely can see why. My choice is the $50

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Tropical Storm Eta ties record for most named storms in a season



a group of colorful flowers: td-29-satellite.jpg


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td-29-satellite.jpg

Tropical Storm Eta formed in the central Caribbean on Saturday, becoming the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. This season has now tied the record for the most named storms in a season, previously set in 2005.

While the number of storms in 2005 was also 28, this is the first time the name Eta will ever be used. In 2005, there were only 27 named storms, with one unnamed subtropical storm being added to the tally in a post-season reanalysis by the National Hurricane Center.

2020 has been a remarkable hurricane season by many measures. This season also holds the record for the most tropical systems to make landfall in the U.S., with 11, and ties the record for most landfalling hurricanes at six.

Unfortunately, the overactive season shows no signs of stopping, at least through the middle of November, because the large-scale pattern across the Atlantic Basin indicates at least two more weeks of favorable conditions for tropical systems to form.

As of 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Eta was located about 285 miles east of the border between Nicaragua and Honduras, moving west at 15 mph. The system has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is expected to intensify to a hurricane by Monday.

As Eta approaches the border of Nicaragua and Honduras on Monday and Tuesday, steering patterns will break down, and the system will slow down considerably. While a landfall does look likely on Tuesday just south of the border, what happens next is still not clear. 



diagram, map: The predicted path of Tropical Storm Eta as of Saturday, October 31, 2020. / Credit: CBS News


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The predicted path of Tropical Storm Eta as of Saturday, October 31, 2020. / Credit: CBS News

With weak and uncertain steering, the storm will likely meander near the Central American coast for a few days, dumping torrential rains on the region. However, some computer models show that it may eventually move back northeast into the Caribbean again. If that happens, there is some chance the system may be swept northward in the longer range — next weekend into the week after.



map


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Although the chances remain rather minimal at this time, it is not out of the question the U.S. may have to prepare for yet another tropical system landfall. While rare, tropical systems can impact the U.S. in November. It mainly happens in Florida, as fall cold fronts steer western Caribbean storms northeastward. 

In total, Florida has been hit by eight tropical systems during November, two of which were hurricanes. In 1985, Hurricane Kate hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 2, and in 1935, the Yankee Hurricane hit Miami.

2020’s extra-warm ocean temperatures make it all the more likely that tropical systems may continue to form even after the official end of hurricane season on November 30. Since the 1700s, there have been 27 tropical systems that we know of which formed in the month of December.

Currently, almost the entire Atlantic Basin has above normal sea surface

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Soviet Union launches Mars 1

On Nov. 1, 1962, the Soviet Union launched the Mars 1 spacecraft on a mission to fly by the Red Planet. While it did end up flying by Mars, the mission was not exactly a success. 



a clock sitting in the dark: A model of Mars 1, a Mars flyby spacecraft launched to the Red Planet by the Soviet Union on Nov. 1, 1962.


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A model of Mars 1, a Mars flyby spacecraft launched to the Red Planet by the Soviet Union on Nov. 1, 1962.

A Brief History of Mars Missions

After Mars 1separated from the rocket, it deployed its solar panels and started cruising toward Mars. When mission controllers were checking out the telemetry it transmitted back to Earth, they found out that Mars 1 had sprung a leak in one of the gas valves that controls the spacecraft’s orientation. 

And without a working orientation system, Mars 1 would have a hard time pointing its antennas in the right direction. It lost contact with Earth when it was about halfway to Mars.  

Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist.

On This Day in Space Archive!

Still not enough space? Don’t forget to check out our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week. 

Email Hanneke Weitering at [email protected] or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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Former Oregon Duck Troy Dye set for first career NFL start in Week 8

After falling to the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Troy Dye will get to prove he’s a starting linebacker in the NFL.

Due to Todd Davis testing positive for coronavirus Friday morning, Troy Dye will start in Minnesota’s base defense in Week 8 against Green Bay, reports Chris Tomasson.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that a Minnesota Vikings linebacker tested positive for COVID-19 Friday morning without specifically naming who. 

The former Oregon Duck was set to return from IR in time for the Vikings Week 8 matchup after missing the last five weeks, the team announced Monday. He’s listed as a strongside linebacker.

The Vikings drafted Dye 132nd overall during the 2020 NFL Draft and he saw some playing time prior to being put on IR. Especially in Week 2 when then-starting linebacker Anthony Barr suffered a torn pectoral muscle during the second quarter. With Barr declared out for the remainder of the contest, Dye stepped up and replaced him in the game.

“I thought Troy came in and did some good things,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said per the Star Tribune. “He had a couple missed tackles, but he ran pretty well. Once Barr went out, it got a little confusing because Eric [Kendricks] was trying to get the calls from the headset and then make the calls and get guys lined up, so that got a little confusing. [Eric] Wilson did fine. We still got a lot of things we got to work on with those guys, but we anticipate that they’ll continue to get better.”

 

After Barr left the game, Dye played 21 defensive snaps while dealing with an ankle injury.

Heading into his rookie season, the four-time leading tackler for the Oregon Ducks thought he could help the Vikings win and was willing to do whatever it takes, including special teams. He said it best himself, he’s “a big team guy.” 

“Any impact I can make whether it’s on special teams, whether it’s coming in on third down, whether it’s different packages. Just any way I can get out there and help the team propel to the next level I’m willing to do because I’m a big team guy,” said Dye. “And I love just winning games. So, anything I can do to help win games, I’m going to go out there and give it my all.”

Dye had lived up to that promise playing through an ankle injury sustained in the second quarter against Indianapolis, but the Vikings put him on IR shortly after.

Since his return, Zimmer again complimented Dye stating he’s “running around

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Wayfair Earnings: What to Watch

Wayfair (NYSE:W) enjoyed close to ideal operating conditions during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. With consumers flush with cash from federal stimulus payments and eager to shift spending toward online purchases for the home, sales soared through the first two quarters of 2020.

That success helped the home furnishings retailer’s stock more than triple this year, but the rally has also set a high bar for the business performance in the next few quarters. Investors will get an important window into that performance in Wayfair’s Q3 earnings report on Nov. 3.

Let’s dive into the metrics that might determine whether the stock keeps rallying into late 2020.

A woman shops using a smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Growth wins

Investors didn’t have to squint to see evidence of a major growth surge in Wayfair’s last few reports. Sales in the first half of 2020 landed at $6.6 billion, up $2.3 billion — or 54% — from the prior year. The boost was even more pronounced in the latest selling period, with revenue rising 84% in Q2.

Investors are expecting continued strong growth in Tuesday’s report as sales rise by nearly 60%. Key factors determining the quality of that spike include consumer engagement, which shows up in metrics like repeat order volume and average spending per order. Wayfair’s market share position will also be heavily influenced by how well management succeeds in converting most of its 5 million new customers into steady shoppers. Look for CEO Niraj Shah and his team to discuss their progress toward that ambitious goal this week.

Sustainably profitable

Wayfair executives said that the company’s robust earnings growth has been about much more than just the demand surge brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. “These results demonstrate the inherent strong structural profitability of our platform,” Shah told investors back in early August as the company generated $1.3 billion of gross profit equating to 31% of sales.

If that description holds true, then investors shouldn’t see much of a margin slump as demand trends settle back down toward normal. Wayfair has predicted that gross profit margin should stay between 25% of sales and 27% over the long term, to support adjusted bottom-line profitability of around 9% of sales.

The shopping stampede through the early summer months added lots of noise around these metrics, but clearer trends will start to shine through over the next few quarterly reports. Wayfair’s sales surge isn’t as valuable, after all, if it requires too much spending in areas like digital marketing.

A persistent lift

Wayfair’s e-commerce home furnishings niche was growing quicker than the broader market before the pandemic struck, and investors are excited about the potential for an accelerating shift toward its business that endures long after the virus threat has faded.

We won’t know the sustainability of that move for several more quarters. However, investors might get some clues about how Wayfair sees the health of its segment, and Wayfair’s market position, in comments executives make about the key holiday shopping season ahead.

A conservative

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International Space Station marks 20 years of continuous occupation

The space station is old. It leaks from time to time, requiring patches like the ones the astronauts installed last month. The toilet breaks. The batteries need to be replaced. It has to dodge micrometeorites — this year alone the station has had to maneuver three times to avoid getting hit. And sometimes it does get tagged, like the time in 2016 when a piece of space debris cracked a window.

But despite the inherent dangers of space, the airless void, the radiation, the bits of debris shooting around in orbit several times faster than a speeding bullet, astronauts have somehow managed to live aboard the outpost continuously for 20 years.

On Nov. 2, 2000, NASA astronaut Bill Shepard and his Russian counterparts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev became the first crew to live and work on the station for an extended period, starting a streak that continues today. This month NASA is celebrating the anniversary and the work that comes from the orbiting laboratory, science experiments that range from beginning to 3-D print human organs to growing protein crystals and studying the effects of space on the human body.

For years, the station has been not just one of humanity’s greatest engineering feats — atop the architectural pantheon with the pyramids — but a way for nations to forge unlikely alliances while astronauts learned to live and work in space, and prepare for extended missions to the moon and Mars.

But as the station continues to show its age, there is concern about what comes next, and whether the United States will find itself in a position similar to 2011 when it retired its fleet of Space Shuttles without a backup ready. That left the space agency dependent on Russia to fly its astronauts to space from until SpaceX ended an ignominious chapter earlier this year with the launch of its Crew Dragon spacecraft as part of NASA’s “Commercial Crew Program.”

Now the concern is that the station will one day need to come down — in what would be a carefully coordinated but spectacular crash into the ocean — before its successor is ready.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in recent weeks has been sounding the alarm, telling Congress it needed to better fund the efforts and plan for the future.

“We think about Apollo era, and as much as we loved it, it came to an end,” he said during a recent Senate hearing. “We had a gap of about eight years before Space Shuttle. And then after Space Shuttle retired, we had another gap of about eight years before Commercial Crew. We want to make sure that there is no gap in low Earth orbit for the United States of America.”

The next station used by U.S. astronauts likely won’t be owned and operated by NASA, but rather by a company like Axiom, which is building a commercial space station that it says would build on ISS’s legacy but cost less to assemble and be easier to

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What you can see this month [maps]



a close up of a bottle: The night sky is more than just the moon and stars, if you know when and where to look.


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The night sky is more than just the moon and stars, if you know when and where to look.

A clear night sky offers an ever-changing display of fascinating objects to see — stars, constellations, and bright planets, often the moon, and sometimes special events like meteor showers. Observing the night sky can be done with no special equipment, although a sky map can be very useful. Binoculars or a good beginner telescope will enhance some experiences and bring some otherwise invisible objects into view. You can also use astronomy apps and software to make your observing easier, and use our Satellite Tracker page powered by N2YO.com to find out when to see the International Space Station and other satellites. Below, find out what’s up in the night sky tonight (Planets Visible Now, Moon Phases, Observing Highlights This Month) plus other resources (Skywatching Terms, Night Sky Observing Tips and Further Reading).

Monthly skywatching information is provided to Space.com by Chris Vaughan of Starry Night Education, the leader in space science curriculum solutions. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu and Chris at @Astrogeoguy.

Editor’s note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you’d like to share for a possible story or image gallery, you can send images and comments in to [email protected]

Night Sky Guides:

Calendar of Observing Highlights

Monday, November 2 — Moon passes the Bull’s Face (all night)

On Monday, Nov. 2, the orbital motion (green line) of the waxing gibbous moon will carry it closely above the Hyades cluster — the collection of stars that form the triangular face of Taurus, the bull. The bright orange star Aldebaran, which marks the southern eye of the bull, will sit several finger widths below (or 4 degrees to the celestial south) of the moon. To better see the Hyades’ stars, many of which are doubles, hide the bright moon just above your binoculars’ field of view (red circle).

Wednesday, November 4 — Moon passes the Shoe-Buckle Cluster (all night)

After it rises in the early evening on Wednesday, Nov. 4, the waning gibbous moon will be positioned less than a lunar diameter below (or half a degree to the celestial south of) the large open star cluster designated Messier 35, or the Shoe-Buckle, in Gemini. During the rest of the night, the moon’s orbital motion (green line) will draw it away from the cluster. To better see the cluster’s stars, wait until they are higher in mid-evening, and then hide the bright moon just below the field of view of your binoculars (red circle). 

Thursday, November 5 — Southern Taurids Meteor Shower Peak (after midnight)

Meteors from the Northern Taurids shower, which appear worldwide from September 23rd to Nov. 19 annually, will reach a peak of about 10 per hour on Thursday, Nov. 5. The long-lasting, weak shower is derived from debris dropped by the passage of periodic Comet 2P/Encke. The debris’ larger than average grain sizes often produce colorful fireballs. Although Earth will be

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‘Like Froth on a Cappuccino’: Spacecraft’s Chaotic Landing Reveals Comet’s Softness

The chaotic crash-landing of a robotic spacecraft called Philae has yielded serendipitous insights into the softness of comets.

In 2014, the pioneering European Space Agency (ESA) lander touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, after a ten-year journey aboard its mothership, Rosetta. But rather than fix itself to the surface, Philae bounced twice and ended up on its side under a shady overhang, cutting its mission short.

After a meticulous search, an ESA team has now discovered the previously unknown site of Philae’s second touchdown—and with it an imprint that the craft left in comet ice that is billions of years old.

The imprint has allowed the researchers to measure the strength of ice beneath the comet’s surface—and they discovered that it is exceptionally soft. “It’s softer than the lightest snow, the froth on your cappuccino or even the bubbles in your bubble bath,” says Laurence O’Rourke, an ESA scientist at the European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid, who led a search to locate the wayward lander, which was found in 2016.

This is “a wonderful piece of detective work”, says Jessica Sunshine, who studies comets at the University of Maryland in College Park, and was not involved in the work. The study is important, she says, because some previous data from Philae had suggested that 67P’s surface could be very hard—which might hinder future attempts to retrieve samples of comet ice. The latest result provides evidence that the ice is weak and compressible. “I’m very excited to have proof that we can get back out there and get a sample of 4.5-billion-year-old ice,” says Sunshine. The findings were published in Nature on 28 October.

ESA scientists knew that Philae bounced on landing and clipped a cliff edge. It then tumbled towards a mystery location, before coming to rest. The landing would not have been violent: in the comet’s low gravity, the 100-kilogram probe would have weighed one gram and taken 10 seconds to drift one metre, says O’Rourke.

To hunt for the second touchdown site, O’Rourke’s team analysed images around the lander taken by Rosetta. After spotting telltale signs of bright, artificially cut ice around 30 metres away from the probe’s resting place, the researchers used images taken from all angles to build a 3D model of the area, which they nicknamed skull-top ridge because of the boulders’ shape. The team compared the landscape before and after Philae’s passage and analysed internal data from the probe to reconstruct the craft’s likely trajectory through the ridge.

They think that Philae touched the surface at four points over two minutes: it slid down a slope, cartwheeled through a crevice and hit a boulder, then bounced on its head before departing for its resting place. The third impact was the most revealing. The top of the craft made a 25-centimetre-deep imprint in boulder ice. By comparing this depth with the time taken to make the imprint—which it gleaned from how long Philae’s magnetic sensor was displaced—the researchers calculated the material’s compressive strength to be

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Saturn’s Moon Titan Could Have the Ingredients for Life

When it comes to searching for evidence that there was once life outside of Earth in our solar system, most research is focused on Mars or, more recently, on the intriguing findings on Venus. But there are other places where life could potentially have blossomed as well, and a new study suggests that Saturn’s moon Titan could be a prime location for habitability.

Researchers from Canada’s Western University used data from Cassini’s Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer to look at both visible light and infrared images of Titan, allowing them to peer beneath the moon’s thick atmosphere to discover more about this strange location.

“It’s wild. There’s no other place like Titan in the solar system,” assistant professor of planetary sciences, Catherine Neish said in a statement. “There’s more sand on Titan per area than anywhere else. And Titan has weather. It’s not unlike the Earth in that way.”

These six infrared images of Saturn’s moon Titan represent some of the clearest, most seamless-looking global views of the icy moon’s surface produced so far. The views were created using 13 years of data acquired by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument on board NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
These six infrared images of Saturn’s moon Titan represent some of the clearest, most seamless-looking global views of the icy moon’s surface produced so far. The views were created using 13 years of data acquired by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument onboard NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Stéphane Le Mouélic, University of Nantes, Virginia Pasek, University of Arizona

The sand forms desert-like regions around the equator of the moon, but at higher latitudes toward the poles it becomes wetter, with surface streams which cut through the sand. However, despite the similarities of weather patterns, there are some stark differences between Earth and Titan in terms of the composition of that weather, as Neish explained: “It’s just that the ingredients are all wrong. It has methane rain and streams cutting through the surface and organic sand getting blown around. It’s still very active just like it is here on Earth.”

The study found that when the moon is impacted, the craters expose fresh water ice from the crust which sits beneath the sand. This is a valuable source of information as they could potentially show whether there was ancient life frozen at the bottom of the craters. This encourages researchers to look in new locations for potential signs of ancient life.

“I think more and more, we’re seeing a false equivalency between life and Mars. The recent findings about Venus and all the new things we’re learning about it once being an ocean world is another game-changer,” said Neish. “Finally, people are saying, in our search for life in the universe, we really need to focus on a lot more places, and not just Mars. And that includes NASA sending the Dragonfly mission to Titan.”

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Should You Buy the Pot Stock That’s the “Disneyland of Cannabis”?

It’s unlikely that Walt Disney will ever jump into the cannabis market, but there’s a company that could be viewed as the “Disneyland of Cannabis” — Planet 13 Holdings (OTC:PLNH.F). In this Fool Live video, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and longtime Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights discuss what’s going on these days for Planet 13 and if it’s a good pick for investors.

Corinne Cardina: So Planet 13 is the first one that we’re going to talk about. This is not a multi-state operator per se because it really only has one dispensary that’s currently operating. But, boy, is it a dispensary! This is like the Disneyland of cannabis in Las Vegas.

It’s bigger than your average Walmart. You can actually see them manufacturing all the different cannabis derivatives. They’ve got restaurants, they’ve got entertainment, they have a museum, and it’s really become a destination.

Now what’s interesting is, of course, in the pandemic, places like this really don’t thrive and it’s only got one open right now. Planet 13 actually managed to do a pretty graceful pivot to delivering cannabis to locals, so shifting who their target market is. Do you have any thoughts on this stock, Keith?

Keith Speights: Yeah, they did. I will say I was, admittedly, a little skeptical about the management team, what the problems they would run into. They’ve done an excellent job of adapting to very challenging times and Planet 13, they got hit really hard. They operate right off of the Las Vegas Strip with their superstore there, and of course, when the pandemic hit, tourism just evaporated.

But the management team really moved quickly. They switched to a distribution model within the state of Nevada and serving the local market more than just tourists and really have managed to get through an extremely difficult time.

I think their last quarterly report, their revenue was actually even a good bit higher than it was in the prior-year period. So I think Planet 13 is really positioned well to come out of the pandemic quite strong.

Corinne Cardina: That’s amazing to see. Very inspiring.

Keith Speights: Yeah. Kudos to the management team. I’ve talked to them in the past and they know what they want to do. They execute well, but they adapt well. I think they’ve done an excellent job.

Corinne Cardina: Awesome. They are actually going to be opening another dispensary in the future in California, I think so. Hopefully, they can continue the success that they’ve seen in Vegas.

Keith Speights: That’s right, in the Santa Ana area. It would be interesting like you say, Corrine, to see, can they take that model and replicated elsewhere? If they can, keep your eyes on Planet 13. That stock could be going places if that can replicate their Las Vegas model.

Corinne Cardina: Definitely, we will see.

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