Four Ways to Stay Sane if You Move Frequently
Oct23

Four Ways to Stay Sane if You Move Frequently

Most people in the U.S. move several times throughout their life. College, marriage, and job hunting all pull people to new towns and new homes. In fact, every year around 35.1 million people in the U.S. move. Some people, however, move a lot more frequently than others, sometimes relocating every year or several times a year. Whether you’re someone who likes adventure or someone who moves frequently for work, use these four tips to pack efficiently, move quickly, and stay sane. Purge Often This may seem obvious, but having less stuff means having less stuff to move. A good rule of thumb is to discard any items that you haven’t used in a twelve-month period. Remember to go through and get rid of items while you’re staying somewhere, and not just while moving, so that you don’t give up and just throw it all in a box. Sorting through and donating unwanted items is also a good way to stay organized, so that you can more easily put essentials in logical boxes for quick packing and unpacking. Unpack as Quickly as Possible Leslie Price, writer for Man Repeller and someone who moves often, recommends unpacking as soon as you move to a new place. In Price’s experience, waiting to unpack dooms you and your family to living among boxes and storage totes for months. You’ll be able to enjoy more of your belongings for a longer period of time, and you’ll be less likely to forget something and go buy an item that you already have, if you just buckle down and unpack. That being said, if you have items you want to save for when you’re more settled, feel free to label them and store them properly. You can even rent a storage unit to keep boxes for later use out of your way in your current home. Consider Keeping Your Boxes Finding boxes, bags, and storage bins can be a nightmare for frequent relocaters. If you know that everything fit nicely the last time you moved, TheBarefootNomad.com recommends saving your storage items the next time you move. You’ll already know where everything goes, especially if you label the boxes and totes. You’ll save money on new boxes, and you’ll know how many new things you accumulated at this home (and have an idea of how much to get rid of when you purge). Give Your Family a Break Price from Man Repeller writes that asking friends and family for moving help during your early years is acceptable, but relying too much on connections in later years can put a strain on relationships, especially if you rarely return...

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New Study Sparks Concerns Over Declining Insect Populations
Oct22

New Study Sparks Concerns Over Declining Insect Populations

A recent report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed an alarming decline in the insect populations of Puerto Rico. The authors of the study point to climate change as a factor in the loss of tropical insect life. The study focused on Puerto Rico’s large national forest, El Yunque. This forest is the only tropical rain forest in the National Forest system and has been protected for even longer. Spanish King Alfonso XII named the jungle a 19th-century royal preserve, and just a few decades later Theodore Roosevelt made it a national reserve. Bradford Lister, a biologist from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, first studied Puerto Rican rainforest insects in 1976 when he and a team of colleagues traveled there to measure the resources. Those resources included the insectivores as well as the insects, including the birds, frogs, and lizards. When Lister went back to El Yunque almost 40 years later with his colleague Andres Garcia, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, they could see the decline in birds and butterflies even before they took any measurements. Lister and Garcia measured the forest’s insects and arthropods, a species classification of invertebrates that includes spiders and centipedes. While the very first microscopes were developed to study insects, these researchers needed a method of study that could handle a larger subject capacity. They trapped the arthropods in plates covered in sticky glue placed on the ground and in the tree canopy. They also swept nets over the brush to collect insects there. Every collection method showed a significant decrease in the number of insects and arthropods in the forest. The catch rate in the sticky traps fell by 60 times between 1976 and 2013. The net sweeps only captured between and 12.5% and 25% of the sweeps in previous years. Lister and Garcia also set out to measure the population of anole lizards, which eat arthropods, in El Yunque. Compared with counts from visits in 1976 and 1977, the anole biomass dropped by over 30% and some anole species have disappeared completely from the interior forest. Other insect-eating frogs and birds have also dropped significantly in numbers, indicating that the food web is collapsing from the bottom up. According to Garcia and Lister, this obliteration is a result of climate change. The average high temperature in the rainforest has increased by four degrees Fahrenheit over the same 40-year period as the arthropod decline. Even this slight change in temperature is detrimental to tropical species, as they are adapted to live in certain temperatures and cannot regulate their internal heat to...

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Border Patrol Agent’s Explosive Gender Reveal Party Goes Up In Flames
Oct20

Border Patrol Agent’s Explosive Gender Reveal Party Goes Up In Flames

Natural disasters and emergencies have been numerous in the past couple of years. The raw power of nature does what it will without regard for the best-laid schemes of mice and men. Though, sometimes, we’re responsible for the sparks that light the wildfires. It’s been a dry, hot summer in Arizona, again, and the west coast has been battling destructive wildfires for the entire season. Life Safety Code requires that workplaces, healthcare facilities, schools, and other occupied buildings have evacuation protocol that’s routinely practiced, but wildfires the magnitude of ones we’ve seen this past summer have disrupted even the best-laid plans. When a massive wildfire comes knocking, these emergency protocols are put to the test. One wildfire in particular had a very unlikely source, one that changed a man’s life before anyone could get control of the situation. Border Patrol Agent Dennis Dickey was going to have a baby. Naturally, he hosted a gender reveal party for friends and family. For the gender reveal, he had purchased Tannerite, which is an explosive substance activated by high-velocity projectiles, i.e. bullets. The idea was that when he shot the target, it would explode either blue or pink. Fun, right? “Dickey had placed Tannerite, a highly explosive substance, inside the target, intending for it to detonate when shot by a high-velocity firearm bullet,” said the U.S. attorney’s office in a later statement. When he shot the explosive target, it ended up starting a fire that was difficult to contain. In drought conditions, even walking on dry grass can cause lasting damage to the plant and its roots. Of course, Arizona is no stranger to dry, drought conditions, and even a single spark can cause a lasting, and deadly, blaze. Dickey called the authorities immediately, but the Arizona climate had been so dry that even with 800 firefighters working to contain the blaze, it still amassed more than $8 million in damage over a two-week span. Because he did not spark the blaze intentionally, the fire was not ruled arson. “Dickey fired shots at the Tannerite target, ultimately causing an explosion that started a fire that spread and resulted in damage to more than 45,000 acres of land managed by the State of Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and various private landholders,” said federal officials. In a moment that would change his life forever, he’s now looking at a plea deal that has him paying $100,000 up front and $120,000 more over 20 years. Along with those fines comes five years probation and being the face of a Forest Service PSA. In a statement, he said he feels horrible about the whole incident. Even though it was an accident,...

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New Racing Series For Women Will Ease Path To Formula One
Oct16

New Racing Series For Women Will Ease Path To Formula One

A push for women to break the glass ceiling of racing will begin next year. The new W Series will be an international motorsport series for women that aims to find the female Formula One champion. Over the past two decades women have had success on a national stage in the top levels of Nascar and IndyCar racing. In contrast, the international stage has been devoid of women since 1976, when Lella Lombardi started a Formula One race. Men tend to dominate the industry in all aspects, including driving, maintenance, and vehicle creation. Catherine Bond Muir, a British sports lawyer and corporate financier, conceived the W Series three years ago while she was on maternity leave. According to Muir, other sports that allow men and women to compete equally simultaneously run segregated events. These events are meant to give women the opportunity to increase their numbers of participants and get their foot in the door of the major events that men can more easily enter. The W Series will be free for women to enter. It will begin in May 2019 and consist of 30-minute races on the most famous European circuits, many of which have hosted Formula One grand prix for decades. In future series, the races will expand to North America, Asia, and Australia. Participating racers will driver the Tatuus model, which is often used in Formula Three races. Formula Three is considered a stepping stone to Formula One. Modern Formula One vehicles can accelerate to 62 mph in under two seconds and hit a top speed of over 200 mph. When compared to a vehicle that can drive on any roadway, these vehicles reach intense speeds. While still impressive, the 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe can go 60 mph in just over five seconds with a top speed of 151 mph. The racers in the W Series will be able to build up to Formula One speeds when using the Tatuus model, and they will also receive a monetary prize to help them get to Formula One. The total prize fund for the W Series will be $1.5 million and the overall winner will receive $500,000. The remaining prize money will be awarded to nearly all participants. There will be an estimated 20 drivers racing and the money will be distributed down to 18th place in the final placements. According to David Coulthard, winner of 13 grands prix in Formula One, female drivers tend to hit the glass ceiling at the Formula Three level due to a lack of funding, not a lack of talent. The prize money is meant to boost that funding for talented female drivers around the...

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The Problem With Pinktober: Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month Working?
Oct15

The Problem With Pinktober: Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month Working?

As most people probably know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or Pinktober. Expect to see dozens of pink ribbons in support of breast cancer on every product, screen, clothing item, or surface you can imagine. When any woman living in the United States has a one-in-eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer, surely raising awareness is a good thing, right? Unfortunately, a lot of Breast Cancer Awareness Month isn’t nearly as helpful or supportive as you’d be led to believe. Pink Ribbons and Promotional Material Many breast cancer survivors argue that the excessive amount of pink ribbons and marketing material exposes a sensitive time in the life of many women, a time that most would not like to have romanticized in the way that much of Pinktober does. Many survivors feel that much of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign does not appropriately address the trauma that breast cancer survivors go through, and that the “gentler” image for public consumption can be deeply uncomfortable to see for an entire month. The practice of “pink-washing” has gotten old, and many survivors are tired of it. Missing the Point Additionally, while making some survivors relive past traumas, Breast Cancer Awareness Month doesn’t necessarily do what it was initially created to do. While the Susan G. Komen Foundation formerly used a portion of all pink-ribbon product profits to provide breast cancer screenings for women who could not otherwise afford it, the organization no longer partners with the same providers. This means that fewer dollars overall are going towards breast cancer prevention and research, largely defeating the purpose. Despite October having been Breast Cancer Awareness Month for years now, there has been little change in the rate at which women are diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 40,000 women and men die from the disease annually, and that rate has hardly been impacted by Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Perhaps it is time to stop raising awareness with pink ribbons on every commercial product, and start promoting affordable treatment and care for this deadly...

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Drug Companies Are Complicating Patents To Monopolize Products
Oct11

Drug Companies Are Complicating Patents To Monopolize Products

A former chairman of the opioid giant Purdue Pharma has been listed as an inventor on a new patent for a treatment of opioid addiction. Some in the pharmaceutical field are now questioning if this double-dipping in the formation and treatment of opioid addiction is an overstep of patent laws. David Herzberg is an associate professor at the University of Buffalo and a historian with a focus on the opioid epidemic and prescription drugs. Born from his knowledge of the industry, Herzberg fears that the new patent for the opioid treatment will make it difficult for poor addicts to afford treatment if it keeps the prices high. The new treatment doesn’t have a name yet, but is labeled Patent No. 9861628 and is in the form of a fast-dissolving wafer that contains buprenorphine. The patent is held by Rhodes Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Purdue Pharma. According to their vice president and general counsel, James P. Doyle, no money has been made from the patent as they do not have a product that has been developed or approved yet. Doyle says that the buprenorphine-based patent was developed over a decade ago and that if they do develop a product under the patent in question, they will not gain profit through commercialization. The issue of profiting is an important one, as intellectual property laws are designed to give their owners the exclusive right to profit from a work in a set period of time. As that period of time dictating exclusive rights for drug companies is usually less than 10 years once a drug goes on the marketplace, the pharmaceutical industry has taken to creating a series of protective patents around products. To extend their monopoly over a certain drug, companies will layer in secondary patents with tactics called “product-hopping” or “evergreening.” According to patent law expert Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, this patent strategy gives the pharmaceutical industry a greater financial return than seen in any other industry. A drug company can win a new patent by making small tweaks that are enough to meet the standard of being new and non-obvious. Often, these changes are as minor as making a twice-a-day pill into a once-a-day pill. According to Dr. Robert Pearl, a professor at Stanford University, allowing a pharmaceutical company a monopoly on a certain drug can hurt patients. When a person has a particular disease with a single treatment in the form of a sole-source drug, the drug company that owns that drug’s patent can keep other providers out of the market and create exorbitant prices. The patient then falls into a hole of medical debt or they suffer without the treatment they need. In...

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