A Truly Green Roof: Storage Facility In DC Unites The Power Of Solar Panels And Plants

We’re living in an environmentally-conscious era. As we learn more about the devastating (and potentially irreversible) consequences of our wasteful habits, more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One storage facility on Taylor Street in Washington, DC, decided to combine two of the greenest technologies available: solar panels and green roofs. The Strength Of Sustainability Renewable energy is a staple of many forward-thinking businesses and homes. From windmills to solar panels, we are able to harness the remarkable power of nature without doing any harm to it; in just 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day. By taking advantage of just a fraction of that energy, we can power our homes, office buildings, and manufacturing plants. Add in the fact that most solar panels can supply renewable energy for more than 30 years, and you’ve got a win-win situation on your hands. As of December 2017, there was only 49 GW of total solar capacity in the United States. We have a long way to go. Green roofs are newer on the scene and involves, at a minimum, high-quality water-proofing, root repellent system, drainage system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium, and plants. Though the benefits are less well-known in North America, they do still exist: in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, they contribute to stormwater management by retaining and reusing rainwater. In the summer, green roofs retain 70% to 90% of the rainwater that falls on them; anything that is not absorbed gets naturally filtered. Considering the fact that the average roof can collect over 600 gallons of water with just one inch of rainfall, the impact on water pollution and waste is profound. Plus, having a store of plants on the roof of your home acts as your very own air filter. A Green Capital Given the positive results both systems offer, it’s surprising this combination has taken so long to emerge. That being said, it couldn’t have happened in a more fitting place; Washington, DC, is no stranger to green living. With one of the best tax incentives in the country (a 30% tax credit for residential and commercial buildings with solar systems), it’s no wonder the compact city has over three million square feet of green roofs, and 50 MW+ of solar installations. If more people are able to realize how complementary solar panels and green roofs truly are, the sustainable possibilities are...

Read More
High Housing Prices Are Turning Potential Homebuyers Into Renters
Mar21

High Housing Prices Are Turning Potential Homebuyers Into Renters

Recent hikes in housing prices may be turning U.S. homebuyers into renters. According to a new report by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University, hot housing markets in Houston, Dallas, and Denver where housing prices have skyrocketed are seeing an increase in renters over homeowners. Researchers traced housing markets in 23 cities for the report and found that 16 were in rent territory according to the Beracha, Hardin, and Johnson Buy Vs. Rent Index. Those 16 cities include Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami (the median home value in Florida is $209,623), Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis. Each of the 16 cities has been experiencing a decline in demand for homeownership, but Dallas was listed as the most unfavorable for homeownership. “Of the metros in our index, Dallas is the highest and exhibiting the greatest downward pressure on the demand for homeownership,” said Ken Johnson, the real estate economist of FAU’s College of Business. “The extraordinary appreciation in the area is a major driver of this score.” Since the Great Recession, the Dallas housing market has soared. Now over 70% of homes in Dallas are priced above what they were in 2007 when the housing market took a nose-dive. Unfortunately, real estate market analysts say many of these houses in the U.S. are overpriced. Current prices aren’t due to the value of the house but the demand for it because of the nation’s low housing supply. In fact, up to 47% of foreclosed properties are still occupied. But it isn’t just the rising housing prices that are turning more potential homebuyers into renters. It’s also rising property taxes. A recent analysis by consumer financial website WalletHub found that New Jersey has the highest property tax rate in the country. Compared to Hawaii, which has the lowest average real estate tax of $525, New Jersey’s real estate tax is as high as $4,725. With high property taxes and high house prices, many potential homebuyers are unsure whether buying a home is worth it. This is especially true of millennials, who currently make up 34% of the U.S. housing market. In major metropolitan areas, it could be up to 20 years before the average millennial homebuyer has enough saved up for a down payment. And that number is just because of student loan debt and credit card debt. It’s true that the average American spends $1,800 a year on e-commerce transactions and the nation as a whole spends $26.6 billion annually on floral products. But research has found that despite $1 trillion in student loan and credit card debt,...

Read More
2019 And Beyond: The Strategies Shaping the Future of Digital Marketing
Mar15

2019 And Beyond: The Strategies Shaping the Future of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using technologies, many across the Internet, but includes mole phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. Digital marketing is always changing; companies develop new ways to utilize technology to succeed, former innovative strategies become antiquated and fade away, and new ideas emerge that have revolutionary ripple effects across the entire sector. Some new approaches offer only minuscule advantages, but are certainly important. Conversely, some digital marketing strategies can change entire industries and can even reshape the way advertising is thought of, studied, and utilized. It’s true that 2019 will certainly feature a few strategies that have been in the works for years, but there is a buzz among digital marketing professionals when it comes to innovative new approaches. We reached out to some of the leaders across the digital marketing industry to find out what they are expecting, emphasizing, and looking forward to throughout 2019 and beyond: Local approaches and social monitoring No matter what happens throughout 2019, large national retailers will likely reign supreme. But that doesn’t mean local businesses are going down without a fight. Local businesses, for that matter, aren’t going anywhere. “It’s exciting to see the ‘buy local / shop local’ movements happening all over the country,” said Dani Owens, of Pigzilla. “I’m hoping to see a trend in 2019 of small independent businesses taking back some of the market share.” Perhaps the best way marketers can improve their local revenues is to monitor local consumers’ social habits, rather than simply relying exclusively on Google searches (which is still obviously vital). “One of the most effective SEO strategies in 2019 will be using social monitoring to generate topic ideas before your competitors can research these topic keywords,” said Keller Tiemann, of Leadsurance. “The strategy is quite simple really, by using social monitoring for keyword research rather than Google’s keyword data, you are going to find opportunities before your competition does.” Once again, Content remains King In January 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay titled “Content is King,” which was published on the Microsoft website. Certainly, the digital landscape has been completely changed multiple times since the late 1990s, but one thing remains the same: content is still king. “I think the ‘quality content’ and fresh content is something that can rank your sites up and even beat your competition,” added Umer Idrisi, of All Blog Things. “Fresh and quality content is the only way of doing SEO for a long-term ranking plan.” Idrisi isn’t the own digital marketing professional who’s stressing the importance of quality content in 2019 — not by a long shot. “Publishing...

Read More

Boozy Brigand Apprehended After Crushing Six Pack In Target Dressing Room

We’re being constantly inundated with news of destructive factors beyond our control that it calls for a break in the breaking and a shift that focuses on the avoidable destructiveness that is human behavior. Since 2010, floods have cost the United States over $40 billion. Just one among many costly disasters, natural phenomena are difficult to avoid. The only avoidable natural disasters are human beings doing ridiculous things. Very avoidable. Do humans take steps to avoid such ridiculousness? You’d be surprised. Here’s this week’s winner. Shoplift? No, More Like Shoplit Yeah, so in the racing world, there are short tracks, speedways, and superspeedways that range from 0.5 miles long to 2.5 miles long. However, the woman in question was involved in a different kind of race. A case race in a Target dressing room. If you’re unfamiliar with what a case race is, it’s a binge drinking challenge that pits a team against a case of beer. The object is to finish it as fast as possible (not recommended). This woman was by herself, therefore went for an individual case race challenge. Her bout with dressing while intoxicated began with her casually entering the Target dressing room with several items of clothing in addition to a six-pack of Stella Artois. In the truest sense of the expression, perhaps she needed some liquid courage for her next feat. She reportedly spent an hour in the dressing room, finished the six-pack of beer, left the dressing room, then attempted to exit the Target without paying for about $200 in merchandise. Burglary and property theft in the United States has been on the rise, with 110.7 victims per 1,000 households in 2015 to 118.6 in 2016. Theft from commercial businesses sees an exponential amount more than that, a fair bunch of it unanswered. Well, our brazen Stella swilling shoplifter must’ve muddled her wits in the hour it took to crush a sixer because her exit attempt was thwarted by Target security. Shortly thereafter, she was handed over to the police who found that she’d been in additional trouble with the law before her mid-afternoon happy hour. “After consuming the six beers, Johnson exited the store without paying for any items. She had over $200 worth of items in her possession. The Target loss prevention detained her and she was later booked in the San Joaquin County Jail for shoplifting along with three additional warrants,” the Lathrop Police Department wrote on Facebook. She’s currently being held for $60,000 bail and will be held accountable for her additional warrants. Public records indicate the three outstanding arrest warrants were for petty theft, battery, and resisting,...

Read More
Prevalence Of Dementia In Adults With Down Syndrome Causes Concerns For Caregivers
Mar12

Prevalence Of Dementia In Adults With Down Syndrome Causes Concerns For Caregivers

In his younger days, Craig Cambeis was a competitive swimmer, equestrian, Special Olympics gold-medal winner, and avid New Jersey Devil’s hockey fan. At 59 years old, Cambeis now lives with dementia and no longer shows interest in these previously-beloved pastimes. Adele Barlow is both sister and caregiver to Cambeis, who has Down syndrome, and is struggling to communicate with her brother as his dementia progresses. While nearly 70% of Americans turning 65 will require long-term care at some point, this concerning turn for Cambeis came earlier than 65. According to Barlow, Cambeis first starting showing signs of dementia about one-and-a-half to two years ago, when he began to have trouble talking and completing self-care tasks. Before that time, Cambeis easily followed his daily routine, ate meals on his own, and changed channels on the television. Now, Barlow says that she dresses him, brushes his teeth, and shaves him. As he started having trouble with these actions, Cambeis also lost the ability to remember the names of Barlow and other family members. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, estimates show that Alzheimer’s disease, a common form of dementia, affects about 30% of adults with Down syndrome in their 50s and nearly 50% in their 60s. This high percentage isn’t a total shock to genetic researchers, as there is a known connection between Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome. A person who has Down syndrome has an extra copy of chromosome 21. This same chromosome also carries a gene that creates one of the key proteins involved in Alzheimer’s. By having three of these chromosomes instead of two, people with Down syndrome produce more of these proteins, resulting in a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Nurse practitioner Leone Murphy, and mother to a 45-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, says that this connection is gaining more attention because the first generation of children with Down syndrome to live at home — rather than at potentially harmful developmental centers — have grown up and are living longer than those with Down syndrome did in the past. While the population of people with Down Syndrome has decreased by 30% because of prenatal screening, the life expectancy of this population has drastically increased. In the mid-1960s, an individual born with Down syndrome had a life expectancy of about 21 years. According to the National Institute of Health, that number has now tripled. As Murphy, Barlow, and others are facing the relatively unknown world of caring for aging loved ones with Down syndrome, they are looking to each other for support. Murphy co-founded the first statewide support group for caretakers of those with Down syndrome and dementia...

Read More