Global Insect Decline Could Cause A Surge In Pests
Feb13

Global Insect Decline Could Cause A Surge In Pests

A recent global decline in insect numbers could mean a surge in certain pests. According to a recent study published in the journal Biological Conservation, up to 40% of insect species including bees, ants, and beetles have seen dramatic rates of decline around the world. This could mean a boom in pests such as houseflies and cockroaches. Researchers say insects have been disappearing eight times faster than reptiles, birds, and mammals. Intensive agriculture, climate change, and pesticides are the main causes. “The main factor is the loss of habitat, due to agricultural practices, urbanization, and deforestation,” said Dr. Francisco Sanchez-Bayo from the University of Sydney, the lead author of the study. “Second is the increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds,” said Sanchez-Bayo. “Thirdly, we have biological factors such as invasive species and pathogens; and fourthly, we have climate change, particularly in tropical areas where it is known to have a big impact.” Insects make up a major part of the world’s ecosystem. They provide food for birds such as the Canada goose, whose numbers have increased in the last 50 years. They also provide food for small mammals like bats. But insects are more than just food. They also pollinate 75% of the world’s crops and replenish soils, including all 60 different types in Texas, to keep pest numbers in check. Previous studies have shown that individual species of insects such as bees have seen major declines in developed economies, but Sanchez-Bayo’s study takes a broader look. Researchers reviewed 73 studies that have been conducted in the last 13 years. They found that one-third of insect species are classified as endangered and that current declines could lead to the extinction of 40% of insects in the next few decades. “It’s not just about bees, or even about pollination and feeding ourselves,” said Matthew Shardlow from Buglife, a UK conservation trust, “the declines also include dung beetles that recycle waste and insects like dragonflies that start life in rivers and ponds.” Germany has seen a rapid decline of flying insects in recent years. Puerto Rico has also seen a drop in flying insects in its forests. The reason for both, experts say, is rising global temperatures. So while a 119% increase in hardwood trees in American forest seems great, it’s not enough to stem the tide of climate change around the world. “It is becoming increasingly obvious our planet’s ecology is breaking and there is a need for an intense and global effort to halt and reverse these dreadful trends,” said Shardlow. “Allowing the slow eradication of insect life...

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How The Internet Is Changing Business And Investing
Feb12

How The Internet Is Changing Business And Investing

As reliance on the internet grows, people are changing the way they’re finding and starting businesses. While this may make some aspects of starting a new business easier, this new innovation comes with increasing challenges. Innovative Technology Spurs Startups As the internet continues to expand at shocking rates, more people are harnessing the technological capabilities to create businesses entirely online. Previously, 35% of people wouldn’t have discovered a business had it not been for their sign; however, this has been changing in recent years due to the overwhelming presence of digital businesses. Websites like Kickstarter and Patreon are now also enabling individual creators to establish their own brand and earn a living entirely online by creating digital content and receiving payments through the internet. As more people are able to easily start their professional careers online with less capital, more startups are springing onto the scene. This, in turn, is changing how people are investing in various industries. Changes In Investing As the internet changes the professional landscape across the board, people have more options when it comes to investing in different types of businesses. Some more traditional methods remain popular, even among younger generations. In fact, 55% of millennials are interested in investing in real estate, the highest percentage of all demographics questioned. However, with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and more making startups more common, people are having an easier time contributing to the growth of small businesses. These platforms enable people to invest even small amounts into the start of new businesses. However, this new type of investment is not without its drawbacks. Drawbacks Abound Crowdfunding platforms, as well as many other apps and services, take a few fees and a small cut of profits as part of their agreements with creators and service providers. This is how services like these make their profits, including everything from Instacart to Uber. That means that customers tipping or investing using these platforms might not actually be giving money to their creator or service provider, with those funds instead of being redirected to the platforms and organizers. As the internet grows and expands, more services and apps like these will spring up to help creators and entrepreneurs start up their dream businesses. However, these services will continue to come at a cost to those looking to start their professional lives with the help of the digital world. Will these platforms continue to thrive, or will the costs come back to haunt them? Only time will tell if this digital phenomenon is here to...

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SEO Trends To Watch In 2019
Feb12

SEO Trends To Watch In 2019

It’s no secret that SEO trends are constantly changing from month to month or even week to week. If you want to help your business thrive, keeping your internet marketing strategy up to date is an absolute must. But where do you start? These top SEO experts weighed in on what trends to look for in internet marketing in 2019. Here’s what they had to say about how you should be handling your SEO this year. Multi-Channel Marketing As people look for a greater multimedia experience in their time spent online, companies are going to have to shift to accommodate. This means integrating more types of content into your online marketing strategy; everything from videos on Youtube to podcasts and more can be unique ways to build up your online presence. “This year we will see the rise of digital video and audio,” said Christopher Romero of Full Scale SEO. “Content that can be consumed from any device with multiple variants that answers your users’ main questions and focuses on intent will be king.” While your business may normally focus on blog posts as a means to boost your search engine results, don’t forget about up and coming forms of content creation as well. “In 2019, digital marketing has to be thought about from a full-service approach,” said Jonathan Bentz of Direct Online Marketing. “Every business may have one channel that outperforms another or an area of their campaigns that needs specific growth, but businesses that are looking at leveraging one channel are missing the big picture.” So, when building your online presence, don’t forget what platforms your customers will be using. Different platforms specialize in different types of content; for example, using Youtube to spread video content relating to your products and services. “Companies must chart a path to engage on all digital channels where their target customers interact,” says Sterling Wahl of MWI. If you know your target audience has a strong presence on a particular platform, consider catering to their needs with that platform’s specialized medium. And according to Ayokay’s Jack Shepler, personalization is key. Essentially, you must know your customers in order to properly market to them. “Stop thinking of your customers as a list that are all interested in the same things — they’re not! We can learn a lot about each customer individually from their browsing patterns, purchase history, and how they interact with your brand — then automatically deliver personalized content based on that,” said Shepler. Mobile-First While not new to 2019, mobile searches are going to continue to be important in securing your keyword rankings this year. More internet and search...

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Modern Developments: How Cosmetic Surgery Has Changed And Evolved

America has a sordid history with plastic and cosmetic surgery. In the past few decades, the controversial operations have become much more commonplace — and much less like the Pamela Anderson’s and Dolly Parton’s of years before. Despite the fact that breast implants and liposuction are more popular than ever before, body positivity is at the center of this movement. “We talk a lot about being health conscious, but the truth is we’re also increasingly appearance conscious,” says Steven Teitelbaum, a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles. “The stigma of plastic surgery is going down, the procedures themselves are getting better, and the economy is very strong right now.” The ideal candidates for liposuction are men and women above the age of 18, who are within 10 to 20 pounds of their target weight. In modern times, those candidates now possess a disposable income and a desire to do what makes them happy regardless of what anyone else thinks. Considering bodily ailments like acne plague roughly 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24, the ability to do what makes you happy with your body is an important concept. In terms of breast implants, the age of extreme plastic surgeries seems to have passed. Though the most popular sizes continue to exist in the 300- to 450-cc range, which take most patients up approximately two to three cup sizes, people care about looking natural rather than looking large. Advances in technology have permitted the U.S. to start using anatomical implants; now, shape and proportion are key players in breast augmentation consultations. One doctor even remarked on his surprise when he started receiving requests for Kate Hudson’s diminutive breasts, suggesting that they “[represent] a paradigm shift in the way we’re approaching augmentation.” Although cosmetic surgeries are making leaps and bounds both socially- and technologically-speaking, discounted services still provide serious risk to men and women of all ages. Miami has recently become known for plastic surgery, but not in a positive light: in the past six years, eight women have died from complications after their cheap cosmetic surgeries. The likelihood of injury or death from complications is extremely low when performed by a licensed medical professional, but many discount plastic surgery establishments don’t meet industry standards. If you’re going to pursue cosmetic surgery, more power to you! Just make sure to do your research and vet your doctor before heading over for a...

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Company Sells $650 ‘Thought Box’, Gets Shredded By Internet
Feb11

Company Sells $650 ‘Thought Box’, Gets Shredded By Internet

This week is a special edition of a series we like to call what won’t humans buy? The answer is there is nothing we won’t buy. There’s always someone out there looking for something to burn cash on. That’s why sites like This Is Why I’m Broke exist. We’ll buy anything and the internet has everything. Men and women are near equally guilty of embezzlement, with women tipping the stealing scale at 51%, but some products cause us to wonder at what point the sale of a “product” becomes robbery. In our internet perusal, we came across some pretty robbery-worthy products for purchase, but there was one thing that really got our attention. It’s called Thought Box. Briefly at a loss for words, we’ll use the product description the website provides. “Alone at last! The Thought Box is an original and curious piece of furniture that promotes mental efficiency in the user. Simply lift up the seat by the handle, thus freeing the unit, then sit on the stool and place the box on your head,” the description reads. A stool and a black box to put over your head. You know, to sit and think undisturbed. Cotton is a lightweight fabric that’s breathable and easy to wash, making it a pretty simple yet universally useful material. If you weren’t convinced by the Thought Box’s concept that it has the versatility of a staple like cotton, perhaps the make and included accessories can sway your opinion. “It is intended as a personal space in which to simply think. Comes complete with earplugs and 5 interchangeable (and washable) colored filters – chose a filter to suit your mood,” the Thought Box boasts. Ah, yes, the five washable filters of varying colors totally sold us. Let’s add it to our cart. Wait. It costs about $650 without shipping fees. They even note that the item is a limited edition with only 10 in stock. Perhaps there’s a reason it hasn’t sold out. Tough to tell definitively. It’s important to repair screens with holes to keep mosquitoes and other pests out and all we can think of this product as being is an incredibly expensive mosquito net for camping. For that price, it should certainly have more than one use. Collect your thoughts, keep out bugs. Plenty of people love hiking and camping to collect their thoughts, but what do we know? Predictably, Twitter got ahold of this and had an absolute riot with it. One person wondered if they’d also sell a jar to hold the thoughts collected from using the Thought Box. Another said it was a decent reflection space for people to think about the dumb purchase they’d just made. Finally, another succinctly pointed out the...

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10 Easy Fixes and No-Sew Hacks to Help Clothes Live Longer
Feb08

10 Easy Fixes and No-Sew Hacks to Help Clothes Live Longer

Many of us love the feeling of a great outfit. We all know that one shirt that makes us feel instantly professional, or those pants that make us feel a foot taller. Damaging or staining such a beloved item can feel like losing a friend— devastating. And, since the average American spends a whopping $1,800 on clothing a year, ruining too many pieces of clothing can be surprisingly expensive. If you’ve recently ruined a favorite garment, or if you’re looking to save money on your wardrobe, read on. Here are 10 clever repair tricks to help your clothes live a bit longer. Save a button with clear nail polish. Just a dab will prevent the thread from unraveling until you have time to sew it properly. No shoe polish? Try moisturizer. The oils in the moisturizer will give materials like leather and faux leather fresh shine and suppleness. Deodorize smelly gym sneakers by sprinkling a bit of baking soda in them after each use. Baking soda mixed with lemon juice also makes a great scrub for eliminating pit stains. Do your stockings have a run? Stop the split temporarily with clear nail polish. Spritzing the thin fabric with hair spray can also help prevent tears before they start. If your sweater has started pilling, try using a razor. The blade can shave away unsightly tufts of fraying fabric in a flash. Many swear by baby wipes as a method of removing deodorant stains. Simply rub the white spots until they disappear! Try using shaving cream to lift makeup and foundation stains off of a hemline. Blot the stained area with the cream, then toss in the wash. Baking soda really is a miracle ingredient. Use a toothbrush and a paste made of baking soda and water to whiten grimy sneakers. Nothing wrecks your day like stepping your favorite shoes in a wad of gum. To pull the stuff out of your tread, press ice against the area for 20 minutes. The gum should harden enough to be removed with ease. With so many ways to wreck an outfit, looking your best can be a chore. Try any of these smart tips to help your clothes last a little longer. With these clever hacks, no rip, stain, or loose thread will ruin your day...

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