iphone

First-generation iPhone Set to Sell for $50,000 at Auction

An unopened, factory-sealed 2007 first-generation iPhone went up for auction on Thursday. It is estimated to be worth around $50,000.

The owner of the phone, cosmetic tattoo artist Karen Green, appeared on the daytime television program “The Doctor & The Diva” in 2019 and said she was gifted the iPhone around its release but never broke the seal. At the time, she was happy with her current device. An appraiser on the show valued the phone at $5,000 at the time.

LCG Auctions listed Green’s phone with an opening bid of $2,500. In October 2022, another first-generation iPhone was auctioned off for over $39,000. The listing says the phone is almost 16 years old.

“The phone presents magnificently, showcasing sharp corners front and back, rich color, and ‘case fresh’ features.  The labels on the reverse are pristine beneath the seal, and shelf wear is minimal.  This is the first original iPhone in acceptable condition to hit the auction block since the record-breaking sale in October.  A truly remarkable piece with great appeal to both collectors and investors alike.”

The first Apple iPhone originally sold for $599 and offered a 3.5-inch screen, 2-megapixel camera, 4GB or 8GB of storage, internet access and iTunes. There was no app store, and it could only be used on AT&T’s 2G network. Despite its limitations, it was groundbreaking and was named Time’s Invention of the Year in 2007.

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Lev Grossman, the writer of the Time magazine article that awarded the phone with that title, accurately predicted that the iPhone would continue to rise in popularity for years to come.

“The iPhone has sold enough units—more than 1.4 million at press time—that it’ll be around for a while, and with all that room to develop and its infinitely updatable, all-software interface, the iPhone is built to evolve. Look at the iPod of six years ago. That monochrome interface! That clunky touch wheel! It looks like something a caveman whittled from a piece of flint using another piece of flint. Now imagine something that’s going to make the iPhone look that primitive. You’ll have one in a few years. It’ll be very cool. And it’ll be even cheaper.”

The introduction of the iPhone and smartphones more broadly altered so many facets of modern daily life. Technology has changed how we interact with one another socially and professionally. Many companies saw their popularity decline due to the rise of smartphones; this included manufacturers of camcorders, MP3 players, flip phones, and other portable electronic devices. However, the iPhone simultaneously spawned other businesses and startups.

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At the 2007 Macworld expo, former Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs began his keynote address with the words, “We’re going to make some history together today.” Jobs promised the attendees that the new smartphone was a “revolutionary mobile phone” that would include an iPod and would be able to communicate with the internet. The ability to use a phone as a full-fledged internet browser was a game-changer.

Of all the smartphones offered today, Apple’s iPhone still holds the largest share of the market at 28.43%. Unsurprisingly, some collectors want the original iPhone that ushered in a new era of communication and discovery.

The auction will be open until February 19 for bidders.

falls

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls Reopening After 3-Year Closure 

Havasu Falls is known as one of the most beautiful and popular features of the Grand Canyon. The Falls have been closed for the past three years after initially closing down due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

The reopening of Havasu Falls is scheduled for February 1st, however, access will initially be limited for small groups. 

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People who had reservations before the Falls closed three years ago will have the first chance to reschedule their visit.

Havasu Falls is famously known for its mesmerizing pool located at the base of where the water falls. The land itself is located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, and while it’s adjacent to the Grand Canyon National Park, the Havasupai tribe has full control over the falls.

As of right now, no new 2023 reservations are being offered to give individuals who had their trips suspended the opportunity to finally bear witness to the beauty of the falls. However, if the individuals who had their trips suspended opt out of rescheduling their visit, their spots will be made available online. 

According to the Havasu Falls official Facebook page, “the tribe says that “the only way to get a reservation for 2023 is to purchase off the official transfer list. Open an account at www.havasupaireservations.com to see what is available.”

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Individuals who had their initial trips suspended have a limited window to sign up for rescheduling, as the tribe warned that they’re implementing a “new check-in process and there may be some delays as [they] work through the system.”

According to their most recent Facebook post, the tribe sent out detailed instructional emails to trip leaders last week, specifically for groups who had trip arrival dates throughout the entire month of February this year. 

Havasu Falls was closed for so long due to the disproportionate healthcare problems faced by Native American tribes throughout the US during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We closed our Reservation in March 2020. With limited access to meaningful healthcare, closing the reservation was the best way to keep our community safe and healthy. We have remained closed to tourists since that time.” 

Additionally, in October 2022 the trails and bridges at Havasu Falls were damaged by severe flooding, the debris have recently been cleaned up, hence the February 1st reopening date. 

KonMari

Decluttering Guru Marie Kondo Has ‘Kind Of Given Up’ On Keeping Her Home Tidy 

World renowned organization and decluttering guru Marie Kondo recently spoke to the Washington Post about how she has “kind of given up” on keeping her space tidy following the birth of her third child. 

Now that she has three children, she explained that tidying up her messy home is less of a priority now.

“My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of life.”

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Following the arrival of her son in 2021, Kondo broke down how her life has changed significantly. 

“Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times. I have kind of given up on that, in a good way for me,” she explained. 

“Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.”

Kondo’s latest book titled “Marie Kondo Kurashi at Home: How To Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life,” is focused on the Japanese concept of Kurashi, which means “way of life.” 

Since she became a mother to her three children, she said that her way of life has shifted and her focus has transitioned from organization to focusing on and being inspired by life’s simple pleasures.

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Her book stated that “tidying up means dealing with all of the ‘things’ in your life,” meaning taking in the things that fill you with joy, and using them to order your life and organize your space. 

Kondo is most well-known for her tidying method known as KonMari, which was initially outlined in her 2011 book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” 

This method of organization motivated the individuals to categorize their items, such as clothing, books, and sentimental items as a means of finding what “sparks joy” and what doesn’t. 

Kondo is now living in California with her family, and no longer puts pressure on herself to maintain a perfectly clean and organized space. 

“I will keep looking inward to make sure I am leading my own Kurashi, making time for the things that really make me happy,” Kondo stated.

eye

YouTuber MrBeast Helps 1,000 Blind People See Again by Funding Cataract Surgeries

Viral YouTuber MrBeast paid for 1,000 people, who were blind or almost blind but could not otherwise afford cataract surgery, to have their vision restored. The 24-year-old is known for his large donations and philanthropic stunts.

MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, runs the fourth-most-subscribed channel on YouTube. Donaldson told viewers in a video posted on Saturday, “We’re curing a thousand people’s blindness.” The video, titled “1,000 Blind People See For The First Time,” showed a montage of before and after footage of patients seeing with clear vision post-surgery.

Donaldson also gifted some patients money up to $50,000 and gave another patient a Tesla.

Dr. Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist and surgeon, performed the initial procedures in Jacksonville, Florida. For over 20 years, Dr. Levenson has coordinated the “Gift of Sight” program, which offers uninsured people who are legally blind due to cataracts access to free cataract surgery.

In the video posted on Saturday, Dr. Levenson emphatically stated, “Half of all blindness in the world is people who need a 10-minute surgery.”

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Donaldson’s team reached out to local homeless shelters and free clinics to compile a list of people in the Jacksonville region who required cataract surgery but could not afford the procedure. Forty people made it into the final roster. Dr. Levenson spent 11 consecutive hours performing all their surgeries on the same day.

Dr. Levenson said that the patients were grateful and were in “disbelief that somebody would actually seek them out to rescue them from blindness and then have the kindness and generosity of spirit to offer the surgery.”

After having cataract correction surgery himself, he felt compelled to help others access the same procedure.

“In the days and weeks after my own cataract surgery, I was stunned by how bright and beautiful and vivid the world was. But I was shocked by the idea that there are hundreds of millions, probably 200 million people around the world, who are blind or nearly blind from cataracts and who don’t have access to the surgery.”

Donaldson explained in his video how this procedure could be performed so quickly.

“If you’re wondering how the surgery allows people to see again, it’s because the lens in their eyes got so cloudy that they can’t see through it. So, the surgeon uses a tiny vacuum to suck up the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial one. This surgery is that simple. They can see again.”

When Dr. Levenson initially got a phone call from Donaldson’s team in September, he was hesitant about the initiative.

“I had never heard of MrBeast, so I almost hung up. But I gratefully did not hang up.”

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Dr. Levenson eventually connected Donaldson’s team with SEE International, an organization for which he serves as the chief medical officer.

SEE International works to help patients in need get free eye care around the world. With the organization’s reach, the team could do corrective surgeries on a thousand patients, spanning Jamaica, Honduras, Namibia, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam and Kenya, in three weeks.

Dr. Levenson said he hopes the video, coupled with Donaldson’s popularity and generosity, will inspire “a concerted effort to end needless blindness.”

“If MrBeast can light a fire, and if we can get governmental and private support behind it, we can end half of all the blindness in the world without all that much cost and with incredible gains in human productivity and human potential.”

Donaldson shared the same sentiment in a tweet posted on Monday.

“I don’t understand why curable blindness is a thing. Why don’t governments step in and help? Even if you’re thinking purely from a financial standpoint it’s hard to see how they don’t roi on taxes from people being able to work again.”

gel

New Study Shows UV Dryers For Gel Manicures May Damage The DNA In Your Hands

A new study published in Nature Communications shows that getting frequent gel manicures using UV nail polish dryers can cause damage to the DNA in our hands, and potentially lead to skin cancer. 

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are known to cause skin cancer at high exposures, and there isn’t a lot of current research on the potential harms of UV nail polish dryers.  

The University of California San Diego recently released a press release that explained “that the common devices in nail salons generally use a particular spectrum of UV light (340-395nm) to cure the chemicals used in gel manicures. While tanning beds use a different spectrum of UV light (280-400nm) there have been studies that show tanning bed UV light is carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, however, the spectrum used for nail dryers has not been extensively studied.”

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“If you look at the way these devices are presented, they are marketed as safe, with nothing to be concerned about. But to the best of our knowledge, no one has actually studied these devices and how they affect human cells at the molecular and cellular levels until now,” said Ludmil Alexandrov, a professor of bioengineering and cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego, and corresponding author of the study. 

Researchers of the study found that using the device for one 20 minute session led to 20-30% cell death, where three consecutive 20 minute exposures caused between 65-70% of exposed cells to die. 

The UV light also caused mitochondrial and DNA damage to the skin cells, resulting in mutations with patterns that can also be seen in skin cancer in humans. 

“We saw multiple things: first, we saw that DNA gets damaged,” said Alexandrov in a press release. 

“We also saw that some of the DNA damage does not get repaired over time, and it does lead to mutations after every exposure with a UV-nail polish dryer. Lastly, we saw that exposure may cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which may also result in additional mutations. We looked at patients with skin cancers, and we see the exact same patterns of mutations in these patients that were seen in the irradiated cells.”

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation “90% of the visible signs of aging come from daily exposure to UV light. This means fine lines, wrinkling, saggy skin, sun spots, uneven skin tone,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and Prevention Medical Review Board member. 

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“In addition, it can alter one’s DNA repair mechanisms, making skin cancer possible. In general, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.”

UV-cured manicures are safest when one applies a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 around 30 minutes before the manicure, as well as when one wears fingerless gloves during the manicure. 

“UV light with manicures can always pose a risk. LED lights pose less of a risk, but could still pose some potential dangers. It’s kind of analogous to smoking a cigarette, the more you do it, the more at risk you are. If you want to be sure that no exposure is happening, use sunscreen, cover your hands with cotton gloves, or avoid manis that involve light devices,” says Dr. Gohara

“The knowledge that UV radiation exposure causes DNA mutation in the skin is not new. We know that UV radiation is a known and proven risk for skin cancer and this is why we wear sunscreen, sun protective clothing, hats, sit in the shade and ideally have regular skin checks with a board-certified dermatologist,” says Dr. Stern. 

“For anyone getting UV gel manicures, it is advisable to protect the skin with a UV protective barrier such as fingertip-less UV protective gloves as well as broad-spectrum sunscreen applied 30 minutes before the gel manicure. It is key that the sunscreen is broad-spectrum in order to protect against UVA rays,” advises Dr. Stern.

drone

US Media Reports Israel As Being Responsible For Drone Attacks At Iranian Military Plant

According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and New York Times, Israel was responsible for drone attacks on a military plant in Iran; specifically in the central city of Isfahan. The New York Times cited a senior intelligence official who was familiar with the conflict between Israel and Iran. 

A US Department of Defense spokesperson also told CNN that the US has not conducted strikes or operations in Iran. 

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“We’ve seen the press reports, but can confirm that no US military forces have conducted strikes or operations inside Iran. We continue to monitor the situation, but have nothing further to provide.”

The Israel Defense Forces and Iran’s Defense Ministry have not offered any information regarding the attack.

“An explosion has occurred in one of the military centers affiliated to the Ministry of Defense. The explosion had left some damage, “but fortunately there were no casualties,” said the deputy head of security for Isfahan governorate Mohammad Reza Jan-Nesari to the Fars News Agency.

IRNA, a state news agency, also stated “the explosion had been caused by “small drones.”

“There was an unsuccessful attack by small drones against a defense ministry industrial complex and fortunately with predictions and air defense arrangements already in place, one of them (struck),” IRNA said.

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“The air defense system of the complex was able to destroy two other drones. Fortunately, this unsuccessful attack killed no one and minor damage was sustained to the roof of the complex.”

Within the past few years there have been several explosions that have occurred around Iranian military and nuclear facilities. 

According to Iran’s Supreme Nation Security Council, as reported by CNN, “In July 2020, a fire tore through the Iranian Natanz nuclear complex, a site that has been key to the country’s uranium enrichment program, in Isfahan Province, south of the capital Tehran. Iranian authorities decided not to publicly announce the findings on what caused the fire due to security concerns.”

In 2021, Natanz experiences a blackout, which Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization labeled a “terrorist action,” with a potential involvement from Israel.

No further reports on the recent explosion have been made at this time from either nation. 

ipad

Apple Gearing Up For ‘Major iPad Pro Revamp’ For 2024

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman’s recent report in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Apple is preparing for a “major iPad Pro revamp” for next year after years of minor revisions and adjustments to the company’s tablet sector. 

Gurman reported that 2024 will be a “light year” for the new iPad lineup, while this year will likely see no major updates for the iPad Pro, as well as the entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and the iPad Air. 

In 2024, however, Gurman reports that Apple “is readying a major revamp for the iPad Pro” specifically that will likely debut in the spring. Gurman is expecting an updated design to the tablet, as well as display upgrades involving an OLED display for the first time. 

“I don’t see any major updates coming in 2023 to the entry-level models, the iPad mini or the Air. The iPad Pro for sure isn’t getting anything of note this year. Instead, look for a major iPad Pro revamp next spring, complete with an updated design and OLED screens for the first time.”

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Apple is likely going to focus on upgraded releases of their other popular devices, such as the iPhone and various Macbook lineups, within this year and leave the major iPad upgrades to next year. 

Other reports have indicated that the newest upgrade to the iPad Pro could use a glass backing instead of the current aluminum unibody design. 

Glass backing to the iPad would be in line with the current line of iPhones that also have a glass backing design. MagSafe charging similar to current iPhone models will also likely be implemented in the new design. 

Tech Analyst Ross Youngalso recently reported that the first iPad Pro with an OLED display is on track to be released in 2024 as well as an upgraded Macbook Air model with the same display. 

It’s unclear whether or not Apple will also update the size options for the iPad Pro, but there have been reports that the company is considering a potential 14 inch display, as well as a potential whopping 16 inch display option. 

Additional tech leaks are likely to occur between now and the anticipated spring 2024 launch time, for now, however, the tech blogs and experts are anxiously awaiting what new information will be revealed regarding the future of the iPad, and Apple as a whole. 

moon

Up To 100 Space Missions To The Moon To Take Place In The Next Decade 

Scientists are estimating that as many as 100 lunar missions could be completed within the next decade as interest in the moon heightens. Many nations and private companies have expressed interest in the moon, and cislunar space, referring to the area between Earth and the moon. 

According to the executive director of Astralytical, a space consulting firm based in Atlanta, Laura Forczyk: “We’re already seeing this competing rhetoric between the US government and the Chinese government. The US is pointing to China and saying, ‘We need to fund our space initiatives to the moon and cislunar space because China is trying to get there and claim territory. And then Chinese politicians are saying the same thing about the United States.”

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Both the US and China currently have plans for lunar exploration programs involving bringing astronauts to the moon, as well as researching the possibility of building habitats and infrastructure in the moon’s orbit and on its surface. 

South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, India, and Russia are also interested in planning out lunar missions. Commercial companies such as SpaceX have already begun preparing to launch a private crew on a “tourism flight in lunar orbit” this year as well, according to reports from NBC News

“During the Cold War, the space race was for national prestige and power. Now, we have a better understanding of the kind of benefits that operating in cislunar space can bring countries back home,” said Kaitlyn Johnson, deputy director and fellow of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Forczyk added that “with so many lunar missions planned over the next decade, space agencies and commercial companies will likely be angling for strategic orbits and trajectories.”

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“It might seem like space is big, but the specific orbits that we are most interested in get filled up fast,” Forczyk explained.

“Much of the increased activity in cislunar space owes to substantial decreases in launch costs over the past decade, with advancements in technology and increased competition both driving down the price of sending objects into orbit. At the same time, planetary science missions offered humanity a glimpse of the resources available in space, ranging from ice deposits on the moon to precious metals in asteroids,” said Marcus Holzinger, an associate professor of aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.

“Once people started really thinking through that, they realized that that water-ice can provide substantial resources or enable the gathering or collection of resources elsewhere in the solar system,” he stated.

“If humans intend to establish a permanent presence on the moon, and venture beyond Mars, it will be imperative to prioritize safety, sustainability and transparency, said Jim Myers, senior vice president of the civil systems group at The Aerospace Corporation.

“Those elements have to be there. Unless we do this in a very thoughtful way, unless we plan, we’re going to run into all sorts of trouble.”

netflix

Netflix Will Start Charging Users for Password Sharing in March

Netflix will stop subscribers from sharing passwords with members living outside their homes as early as March this year. The streaming giant claims that the widespread sharing of passwords affects its ability to evolve the platform.

In a letter to shareholders late last week, the company said it would “roll out paid sharing more broadly” late in the first quarter of 2023.

“Today’s widespread account sharing (100 million + households) undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix and build our business. While our terms of use limit the use of Netflix to a household, we recognize this is a change for members who share their accounts more broadly. So we’ve worked hard to build additional new features that improve the Netflix experience.”

Members will still “have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they don’t live with.” Otherwise, subscribers can transfer an existing user profile to a new account, allowing viewing history, recommendations, the “my list” feature and other data to be copied over.

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Netflix previously hinted at discontinuing its password-sharing feature back in July 2022. The company described last year as “tough.” In the first quarter, it suffered its first subscriber loss in over a decade, losing 200,000 users.

The company has not disclosed the fee it will charge for password sharing nor stated how they plan to enforce the new pricing structure. Currently, Netflix can tell when users log in outside their primary household based on their IP address, device IDs, and other information.

In March 2022, Netflix rolled out paid sharing in Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru, charging users a fee to add two “subaccounts” to a primary account. Users found the policy confusing, and many could still share their passwords without repercussions. 

An anonymous Netflix customer service representative told Rest of World that “she was instructed that if a subscriber called arguing that someone from their household was just using the account from another location, she should inquire further and tell the subscriber that they could use their account without extra charge via a verification code.” Many of the representatives still needed more clarification about the policy.

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Other users in those countries canceled their subscriptions after receiving news of the oncoming fee. The shareholder letter stated that Netflix expects engagement to fall in the short term but will pick back up soon after.

“As we work through this transition – and as some borrowers stop watching either because they don’t convert to extra members or full paying accounts – near-term engagement, as measured by third parties like Nielsen’s The Gauge, could be negatively impacted. However, we believe the pattern will be similar to what we’ve seen in Latin America, with engagement growing over time as we continue to deliver a great slate of programming and borrowers sign-up for their own accounts.”

The anticipated sharing fee comes on the heels of a new subscription tier that Netflix started offering in November, which provides customers with a cheaper “Basic With Ads” subscription option. In exchange for $3 off a monthly subscription, viewers are served up to five ads an hour. Netflix claims that rolling out the new option led to member growth.

“Engagement, which is consistent with members on comparable ad-free plans, is better than what we had expected, and we believe the lower price point is driving incremental membership growth. Also, as expected, we’ve seen very little switching from other plans. Overall the reaction to this launch from both consumers and advertisers has confirmed our belief that our ad-supported plan has strong unit economics (at minimum, in-line with or better than the comparable ad-free plan) and will generate incremental revenue and profit, though the impact on 2023 will be modest given that this will build slowly over time.”

memorial

Man Who Stopped Monterey Park Mass Shooter Speaks On Tragedy

Brandon Tsay is the individual responsible for stopping the Monterey Park mass shooter at the Lai Lai Ballroom in Alhambra, California. Tsay is being hailed as a hero who saved multiple lives after disarming 72-year-old Huu can Tran, who later died due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Tsay recently spoke to ABC News about the shooting which left him completely “shook.”

“It was Chinese New Year’s. We were hosting a social dance party. I was in the lobby. It was late into the evening, most of our customers had already left. I wasn’t paying attention to the front door — I was looking into the dance ballroom, the dance floor, and this is when I heard the sound of the front door quickly closing and instantly followed by the sound of metal objects clinking together as if they were rubbing. That’s when I turned around and saw that there was an Asian man holding a gun,” Tsay explained.

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“He didn’t seem like he was here for any money, he wasn’t here to rob us. When he was looking around the room it seemed like he was looking for targets – people to harm. I needed to disarm him or else everybody would have died,” Tsay stated.

“Something came over me – I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him. When I got the courage I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle. We struggled into the lobby, trying to get the gun away from each other.”

“He was hitting me across the face. Bashing the back of my head. I was trying to use my elbows to separate the gun away from him, creating some distance. At this point I thought he would run away, but he was just standing there, contemplating whether to fight or to run away. I really thought I would have to shoot him,” Tsay said.

Tsay then called the police after noting that the shooter walked out of the studio and into his van. The struggle with the shooter left Tsay with bruising on his body, across his face, and the back of the head.

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“After the incident, I was shook. I was shaken all night. I couldn’t believe what happened.”

“A lot of people have been telling me how much courage I had to confront the situation like this, but you know what courage is? Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to have adversity of fear when fearful events happen such as this,” Tsay explained when discussing the public hailing him as a hero.

Representative Mark Takano, who represents Riverside County near where the mass shooting took place, said the area “has vibrant communities, Asian American communities. The shooting is a tragedy of incomprehensible proportions.”

The shooting took place as the community and world celebrated the Lunar New Year, which is a very important holiday for Asian Americans.

“It’s a very joyous time of year for families to get together and to have a tragedy like this happen on the eve of the Lunar New Year is just incredibly sad and tragic,” said Takano.

“I just want to emphasize to the community that thanks to the good work of L.A. County Sheriff [Robert] Luna and his deputies, the suspect was identified very quickly. We know the suspect took his own life, so the community can feel safe from that threat,” Takano noted.