69 Year Old Man Child Told He Cannot Legally Reduce His Age By 20 Years
Dec17

69 Year Old Man Child Told He Cannot Legally Reduce His Age By 20 Years

A little while back, Dutch media personality Emile Ratelbrand started making waves on the internet about his age. He’s 69 years old. In the United States, that counts as a senior, old enough to reside in one of the 19,000+ senior living centers peppered across the country. We’re not really sure what point he was trying to make by doing this nor how Dutch government works, but he attempted to sue the Dutch government over his inability to legally change his age from 69 to 49. Why? Because he doesn’t feel that old. He claimed that he wasn’t a big hit on Tinder having to say his age is 69, so he wanted to change it. Instead of taking the numerous routes around displaying your actual age on Tinder, like paying for Tinder or simply lying to the app, Ratelbrand decided to take the logical route: sue the Dutch government. What gained him the most ire and attention is that his comments about it and general reasoning were regarded as transphobic: “We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?” he asked. Unfazed by the outrage and insensitivity of his comments, he kept it up. The Dutch court, in what must’ve been the biggest judicial eye-roll of the century, reviewed his claim. A month later, they announced a fairly predictable verdict. “[Ratelbrand] is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly…amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications,” the court said. Late-life crises are fairly common, but we can think of any number of things to occupy his time rather than taking up public resources on vanity. Get a dog. Buy a sports car. Sail around the world. Clean the carpets in your house, it’s probably been a while. Even better, buy a new house. Whatever it is, try not to become a human carpet stain. Of course, age discrimination is a very real, and very serious, thing. Something that Ratelbrand is most certainly not facing. And, at 69, devaluing the experiences of groups around the world in an effort to reanimate virility is arguably the least mature thing one can...

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How To Save On Your Home Energy Bills This Winter
Dec17

How To Save On Your Home Energy Bills This Winter

As the month and year draw to a close, people everywhere are going to be receiving their utility bills again, and a good percentage of those people are going to be shocked by the number they see. Utility bills can quickly add up to be incredibly expensive, especially during the winter where it’s easy to use more energy. If you’re looking to keep your electricity bill under control, here are a few things you can do starting in the new year to reduce your energy consumption and improve your home’s efficiency. Keep Your Bills From Heating Up This is going to be one of the top ways you can cut down on your energy expenses, especially as the colder season continues to start out the new year. Heating and cooling account for 50% of energy use in the average home, so this is one of the first places you should look when aiming to reduce your spending. Make sure that you’ve properly insulated your home in every way you can. This includes checking for cracks in windows, doors, or walls that could be creating a draft in rooms throughout your home and letting precious heated air escape. Additionally, make sure your roof and attic are properly insulated. Without adequate insulation, up to 20% of every dollar spent on home heating goes right through the roof. A Bright Idea To Reduce Consumption Everyone knows that it’s good for your energy consumption to turn off the lights whenever you leave a room that’s no longer in use, but there are other clever ways to cut down on this common expense as well around the holiday season at the end of the year. If you do want to go all out for the holidays and deck the halls with as many lights as you can, make sure you use LED lighting. LED is commonly found in holiday string lighting, so this shouldn’t be too difficult to do. However, if you want to take your lighting savings a step further, see if you can switch out your existing bulbs for LED bulbs. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescents, which can lead to huge savings on your electricity bills during the winter months. Starting On Savings From Scratch If you’re planning on making any major changes to your home in the coming months as part of your New Years’ resolutions, be mindful about how you approach your construction. Using the right methods and materials can dramatically cut down your overall energy bill in the long run. Look into potentially making use of modular construction for all or part of your additions...

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Dentists And Doctors Are Using Virtual Reality To Calm Patients
Dec17

Dentists And Doctors Are Using Virtual Reality To Calm Patients

Virtual reality has started making headlines as the next big home entertainment system and digital marketing trend, but its first practical use so far is in the widely-dreaded offices of dentists and doctors. Although the exact reasons why are not yet clear, research has shown that virtual reality can help in reducing pain and anxiety. The prevailing theory around virtual reality’s calming effects is connected to the technology’s power to distract users. No matter what problems someone has or what is about to happen to them in their actual reality, the virtual one gives them an easy escape into a different emotional setting. While about two-thirds of parents worry that their children spend too much time with technology, this escape into a virtual world may shape up to be a good one. Dental patients can be transported to the tranquil settings of nature scenes while they’re getting work done by using technology from OperaVR. The startup behind OperaVR is Operability, and its founder is a dentist himself. According to the dentist-turned-founder, Bryan Laskin, the interactive VR headset is used by anxious patients as well as those who simply want to avoid the awkwardness of having a dentist just inches from their face. While the responsibility of calming patients usually falls to DANB CDA-certified dental assistants, 95% of whom view dental assisting as a career rather than a job, that duty could be handed over to virtual reality instead. According to Laskin, his dental practice even uses virtual reality more than nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Pediatric doctors are also turning to virtual reality rather than using more traditional methods of calming patients. Dr. Evelyn Chan created Smileyscope, a virtual reality adventure designed to distract children from the anxiety of more painful procedures like getting shots. About 60% of children have a fear of needles and from this small fear, children have developed anxiety into adulthood and even aichmophobia, the fear of all sharp objects. With Smileyscope, children can be distracted from their fears by going on an underwater adventure complete with searching for sea creatures, blowing bubbles, and feeding fish. The technology of Smileyscope is fairly simple, consisting of just a smartphone and a virtual reality headset made by Google. The system is currently in 20 hospitals across the U.S. and Australia, and Laskin’s virtual reality program has reached 100 dental practices across the United...

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Foreign Steel Is Still Significant In U.S. Despite Tariffs
Dec17

Foreign Steel Is Still Significant In U.S. Despite Tariffs

Foreign steelmakers still have a significant share of the steel market despite U.S. steel tariffs. According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. is still largely dependent on foreign-made steel despite the 25% tariffs placed on foreign steel since March 2018. Domestic steel producers have raised steel prices rather than isolating imported steel as the most expensive on the market. This has generated higher profits for U.S. steelmakers but has also driven up costs for U.S. manufacturers. The world produced up to 1.69 billion tonnes of crude steel in 2017 alone and the U.S. remains the world’s largest market for imported steel. “[The tariffs] made the existing companies more profitable, but there hasn’t been fundamental change yet,” said Kirk Murray, vice president of SeAH Steel America. Some domestic steelmakers such as Steel Dynamics and Nucor Corp intend to use their new revenue to expand and build new plants. However, experts say that new capacity could put too much pressure on older U.S. steel mills that are expensive to operate. Foreign steel makes up over a fifth of the U.S. steel supply and U.S. steelmakers aren’t able to produce enough to meet the domestic demand. Because of this, although the tariffs have given U.S. steelmakers a boost, the tariffs have also made steel more expensive in the U.S. compared to other countries. In the past year, the price for hot-rolled coiled sheet steel has increased by 22%, coming in at $760 per ton. That’s 70% higher than the average price of sheet steel in other countries. As a result, selling steel in the U.S. has become more appealing to European and Asian steelmakers even with the additional tariff costs. “Pushing the price up has just encouraged the imports to come in,” said Locker Associates president Mike Locker. Bill Douglass, the regional president of Chicago-based steel processor and distributor Lex Group, agrees. Lex Group has continued to sell steel from Vietnam, Germany, and other countries who are paying the 25% tariff. “The foreign mills can pay the tariff now and still make money,” said Douglass. For U.S. manufacturers that rely on foreign steel to maintain the price of their products, the news that steel imports are still significant may feel like a small miracle. Since the tariff was first announced, domestic manufacturers have worried about sales and have struggled with U.S. steelmakers over tariff relief. Approximately 50% of the world’s steel is used for building and infrastructure whereas 13% is used by the automotive industry. With winter on the way and snowmobiles selling 118,657 times worldwide in 2017 alone, it makes sense for industries to be nervous at this time of...

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