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The case for … making low-tech ‘dumb’ cities instead of ‘smart’ ones – The Guardian

Posted: January 15, 2020 at 9:47 am

Ever since smartphones hooked us with their limitless possibilities and dopamine hits, mayors and city bureaucrats cant get enough of the notion of smart-washing their cities. It makes them sound dynamic and attractive to business. Whats not to love about whizzkids streamlining your responsibilities for running services, optimising efficiency and keeping citizens safe into a bunch of fun apps?

Theres no concrete definition of a smart city, but high-tech versions promise to use cameras and sensors to monitor everyone and everything, from bins to bridges, and use the resulting data to help the city run smoothly. One high-profile proposal by Googles sister company, Sidewalk Labs, to give 12 acres of Toronto a smart makeover is facing a massive backlash. In September, an independent report called the plans frustratingly abstract; in turn US tech investor Roger McNamee warned Google cant be trusted with such data, calling the project surveillance capitalism.

For many challenges, we dont need new technologies or new ideas

There are practical considerations, too, as Shoshanna Saxe of the University of Toronto has highlighted. Smart cities, she wrote in the New York Times in July, will be exceedingly complex to manage, with all sorts of unpredictable vulnerabilities. Tech products age fast: what happens when the sensors fail? And can cities afford expensive new teams of tech staff, as well as keeping the ground workers theyll still need? If smart data identifies a road that needs paving, she writes, it still needs people to show up with asphalt and a steamroller.

Saxe pithily calls for redirecting some of our energy toward building excellent dumb cities. Shes not anti-technology, its just that she thinks smart cities may be unnecessary. For many of our challenges, we dont need new technologies or new ideas; we need the will, foresight and courage to use the best of the old ideas, she says.

Saxe is right. In fact, she could go further. Theres old, and then theres old and for urban landscapes increasingly vulnerable to floods, adverse weather, carbon overload, choking pollution and an unhealthy disconnect between humans and nature, theres a strong case for looking beyond old technologies to ancient technologies.

It is eminently possible to weave ancient knowledge of how to live symbiotically with nature into how we shape the cities of the future, before this wisdom is lost forever. We can rewild our urban landscapes, and apply low-tech ecological solutions to drainage, wastewater processing, flood survival, local agriculture and pollution that have worked for indigenous peoples for thousands of years, with no need for electronic sensors, computer servers or extra IT support.

This month, Julia Watson, a lecturer in urban design at Harvard and Columbia Universities, launched her book Lo-Tek: Design by Radical Indigenism, with publisher Taschen. Its the result of more than 20 years of travelling to research the original smart settlements, through an architects lens.

She visited the Madan people in Iraq, who weave buildings and floating islands from reeds; the Zuni people in New Mexico, who create waffle gardens to capture, store and manipulate water for desert crop farming; and the subak rice terraces of Bali. Watson walked the living tree-root bridges that can withstand adverse weather better than any human-made structure, and that allow the Khasi hill tribe in Northern India to travel between villages during the monsoon floods.

Nature is smart, and our ancient wisdom tells us how to live with nature in a smart way

There are so many different ways you can rewild cities, says Watson and its not just a case of plonking an ancient system in a city, but rather adapting complex ecosystems for different types of places with their own unique requirements. Take a current proposal she is working on for the high-rise city of Shenzhen on the Pearl River estuary by Hong Kong. It was once a fishing village, then a textile town, and it just skyrocketed, says Watson. All of the fishponds and polders and dykes and wetlands that absorb all the water in that delta landscape are being erased. So the city is developing in a way thats erasing the indigenous resilience in the landscape.

But you dont have to erase to go forwards, she says. You can leapfrog and embed local intelligence, using a nature-based traditional Chinese technology thats climate resilient, ecologically resilient and culturally resilient. And we can make beautiful urban spaces with them as well.

Kongjian Yu, a design professor at Peking University, agrees with this philosophy. Known as the sponge cities architect, Yu creates urban landscapes in China that passively absorb rainwater, using permeable pavements, green roofs and terraced wetland parks that flood during monsoon. If wetlands are situated upriver of the buildings, they will flood before the water reaches the city proper.

The parks have brought fish and birds back to cities, says Yu, and people love it. The projects, he says, are performing well, and many of them have been tested for over 10 years, and can certainly be replicable in other parts of the world. In fact, this month he has visited Bangladesh, ironically, helping their smart city project, where he has convinced the minister in charge that nature is smart, and our ancient wisdom tells us how to live with nature in a smart way.

Copenhagen, too, has opted for a dumb or, as local planners call it, a green and blue solution to their increasing flood risks: namely, a series of parks that can become lakes during storms. The city estimated they would cost a third less than building levees and new sewers, and come with the added ecological benefits of rewilding. An abandoned military site was cleaned up in 2010 and rewilded into a nature reserve and common for grazing animals, the Amager Nature Centre a vast park with not only happy people meandering and cycling around but insects, protected amphibians, rare birds and deer.

But dumb cities can be even smarter than that. Not only can functioning wetlands defend cities against floods and restore nature, they can clean wastewater. And they can do it more efficiently than sewage-treatment works all while absorbing a whole lot of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and methane, and creating a fishing industry and fertile farmland. No water, energy, treatment chemicals or fish feed required. The worlds largest such system, in east Kolkata in India, involves the citys sewage feeding the fish. It saves the city approximately $22m (17m) a year in running costs for a waste treatment plant. The water can be used for irrigation, saving a further 500,000 in water and fertiliser costs. And it enables much of the citys food to be grown locally.

Or, as waters rise globally, we can learn from Makoko, the incredible city-on-stilts in Lagos that is home to 80,000 residents. Its floating school sustainable and solar-fuelled has captured the worlds imagination. Rotterdam has already introduced a floating forest and farm, and is developing plans for a sustainable floating city.

As for dumb transport, there can be no doubt that walking or cycling are superior to car travel over short urban distances: zero pollution, zero carbon emissions, free exercise.

And theres a dumb solution to the spread of air conditioning, one of the greatest urban energy guzzlers: more plants. A study in Madison, Wisconsin found that urban temperatures can be 5% cooler with 40% tree cover. Green roofs with high vegetation density can cool buildings by up to 60%. Or you could just think like a bug: architects are mimicking the natural cooling airflows of termite burrows. Mick Pearces 350,000 sq ft Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwes capital, Harare, completed in the 1990s, is still held up as a paragon of dumb air conditioning: all it needs are fans, and uses a tenth of the energy of the buildings next door.

A few token green walls and trees wont do it. Watson calls for a focus on permaculture: self-sustaining ecosystems. If its an urban forest, she says, perhaps its in the centre of the city, perhaps its on the periphery, or it could be an interior environment an atrium designed to have a complex ecosystem thats also agriculturally productive.

There are hundreds of nature-based technologies that have never been explored. For example, Watson envisions stunning urban uses for the living root bridges of the Khasi hill tribe: They could be grown to reduce the urban heat island effect by increasing canopy cover along streets, with roots trained into trusses that integrate with the architecture of the street in essence, removing the distinction between tree and building. They could even retain their original use during seasonal floods living, physical bridges over the water.

In April, Greta Thunberg and Guardian columnist George Monbiot made a rallying video calling for more trees and wetlands and plant cover to tackle the climate crisis. Cities can be part of this push.

The idea of smart cities is born of what Watson describes as the same human superiority-complex that thinks nature should be controlled. Whats missing is symbiosis. Life on Earth is based upon symbiosis, Watson says. She suggests we replace the saying survival of the fittest with survival of the most symbiotic. Not as catchy, perhaps. But smarter.

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Who Are The 2020 Womens March Speakers? The Organization Says No One. – Sara A. Carter

Posted: January 14, 2020 at 6:42 pm

The fourth annual womens march will not feature any speakers this year and will instead host a Week of Action leading up to the event, the organization tells

A spokesperson for the Womens March told this reporter that the organization is doing things a bit differently. Instead, the spokesperson said there will be a weeks worth of events leading up to the march and included a link to the schedule of events.

The week will kick off with the first event Tuesday evening to discuss Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice, & The 2020 Landscape.

Heading the discussion will be Kelley Robinson, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund & Katie OConnor, Demand Justice, and Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Womens Law Center. Many of these women have been outspoken opponents of the Trump administration and its policies.

Tuesdays panel will feature Jane Liu, Legal Director of the National Asian Pacific American Womens Forum (NAPAWF), Aza Nedhari, Executive Director of Mamatoto Village, Monica Simpson, Executive Director of SisterSong, and Ilana Solomon, National Campaigns Director of NARAL.

Since its inception, the Womens March has been riddled with anti-Trump messaging. The organization also found itself at the center of a scandal promoting anti-Semitic speakers including Linda Sarsour and its co-chairs Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, who openly supported Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan who once called Jews termites.

Tablet Magazines extensive report on the matter exposed that. Several key supporters pulled out of the event including the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and several of its key politicians including Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

While I still firmly believe in its values and mission, I cannot associate with the national marchs leaders and principles, which refuse to completely repudiate anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wrote in a USA Today op-ed. I cannot walk shoulder to shoulder with leaders who lock arms with outspoken peddlers of hate.

In 2019, the march saw dwindling crowd sizes. Its unclear if thats a reflection of the anti-Semitism controversy or the freezing weather that day. Sara A. Carter spoke with marchers in a Hannity exclusive last year.

I think it was shocking for me it was really disturbing that a lot of the people that I spoke with didnt just take a step back and say absolutely, we condemn it. Its completely anti-Semitic. I brought out the statements that were made by Louis Farrakhan. I asked them directly: do you condemn these statements and so many people had such a difficult time actually saying that they condemned the statements and that was really disturbing, Carter told Hannity.

She continued, On the other hand, there were a lot of young people marching, some of them didnt even know what was going on the week prior, they didnt even understand what the controversy was about others just wanted to stay away from it altogether and some on the other hand did say they did not condone it, they did condemn it and that they were showing up anyways because this was part of their cause this is something that they wanted to be a part of despite the leadership.

This years march will take place on Jan. 18. Following the march, there will be a drag brunch on Sunday where Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) will be accepting via video message.

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Becky Thatcher home preserved –

Posted: at 6:42 pm

Posted: Jan. 14, 2020 2:31 pm

HANNIBAL | A Hannibal husband and wife team has helped preserve the legacy of Laura Hawkins Frazer Samuel Clemens' childhood sweetheart and the inspiration for his literary character, Becky Thatcher through more than a decade of research and restoration work at the two-story home at 210 North Fifth Street which was her final residence.

By the time Nora Creason and Don Metcalf began restoration efforts in 2008, the home's entire interior had been gutted; water, termites and other neglect also took their toll. But the husband and wife team spent more than a decade researching the architecture and stories surrounding the home built in 1895, bringing together Victorian artwork, fixtures, historic reproductions like hand-pressed wallpaper and restoring details to bring the home as close as possible to its state when Frazier lived there. Throughout the process, the couple discovered rare insights into Frazer's life and a friendship with Clemens that endured for decades.

Creason remembered the beginning of the restoration when 20 fellow members from Friends of Historic Hannibal came out for a barn raising to remove the asbestos tile that covered the exterior walls. ShecommendedBobYapp for getting everyone together for the project, and Metcalf said members of the Marion County Historical Society and local contractors helped to expose the original exterior during the barn-raising.

Creason and Metcalf searched for photographs of the home, but few existed to guide their way. But they did have a video account of the interior's contents from 1999 by local auctioneer Dale DeLa-Porte, and Metcalf found several architectural clueslike paint lines and a thin strip of tin atop a square area originally thought to be a window. During her travels to antique shows across the country, Creason found a tin facade the right size with an opening for an oval stained glass window.

Creason and Metcalf recalled the condition of the home before the years of restoration work brought the first floor and exterior back to a period-correct appearance.

Everything was stripped off out of this house, Creason said.

There were big holes in the hallway, and the mantles were gone, Metcalf said. We had to do a lot.

Metcalffoundstampings in the gutter pipes and the last name Garner behind intricately-designed wallpaper Larry Garner installed Metcalf marveled at the pride in craftsmanship the names exhibited, and Creason said it reflected the generations of Hannibal residents who lived and worked in the historic home.

As the physical restoration of the home progressed, Creason and Metcalf discovered plenty of stories through photographs, letters and postcards shared by Frazer'sdescendant, Boxwell Hawkins. She reached out to Hawkins, who provided copies of historic artifacts that weren't seen anywhere else.He even gave me a copy of his years' work of genealogy and family archives, which was very, very helpful, Creason said. In the family archives, several family members have letters between Laura and (Samuel) in their own personal possessions. They were copied for posterity in the family archives, and he gave me a copy of all of that.

In 1902, Clemens accepted an invitation by Mrs. John Garth to speak at Garth Mansion. He later spoke at Rockcliffe (Cruikshank) Mansion,and Frazer was in attendance at both events.

Rhonda Hall remembered a story told to her by her grandmother, Daisy Myrtle Lankford Brown, about Clemens meeting Joe Douglas following the event at Rockcliffe Mansion. But Clemens' portrayal of Douglas as the villian Injun Joe had caused some local residents to believe the fictitious details painting him in a negative light. She said Douglas started the bustling African-American neighborhood known as Douglasville, by purchasing tracts of land near his home behind Rockcliffe Mansion with his earnings.

On his way from home from his engagement at Rockcliffe Mansion, he stopped and he spoke with Injun Joe. They chitchatted and they talked for a while and they visited with each other, Hall said. And (Douglas) asked (Clemens), 'why have you done this to me?' And he jokingly and half-heartedly asked the question why. And (Clemens) said, 'I'm so sorry, but you made for a good story.' Douglas told Clemens that some people in town thought he was like his character, pointing out look how much I've accomplished. Hall said after their discussion, Clemens stopped using Injun Joe's name in many of his writings.

After those speeches in Hannibal, Clemens ties to Hannibal and to Frazier remained strong, evidenced in one of the letters in Hawkins' genealogy.

He gave her a list of nameschildhood friends and some schoolmasters and asked her if she would cross out the names of those who were no longer living, Creason said. Because what he was planning, he wanted a reunion of all of his old friends, Laura and the people who were composite characters in his books. And unfortunately, he died in 1910, and that didn't happen.

Frazer served as Matron at the Home of the Friendless a local orphanage for 28 years, before the former Helm mansion was demolished. W.B. Pettibone commissioned the home in memory of his wife, Laura Jones Pettibone. But for reasons that are not entirely clear today, Frazer was not retained as matron after the orphanage was relocated to North Levering Avenue.

She died the day after Christmas in 1928, and she was buried with her husband, James Frazier. The inscription on her gravestone reads Becky Thatcher under Laura H.

As Metcalf and Creason move forward with restoration work upstairs, they are enthusiastic for the chance to open the home for events and share it as both a museum about Frazier's life and artwork from the Victorian era. The couple plans to have the home fully restored this year.

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Letters to the editor Monday: – Savannah Morning News

Posted: at 6:42 pm

Bothered by automated Medicare calls

I have become the victim of a serious case of Nancyitis. The symptoms include activity interruptions, time wasting, frustration, aggravation, increased blood pressure, angry outbursts and declines in language quality. These symptoms do not lessen, only increase.

Nancyitis starts when you become eligible for Medicare and have a phone. Nancy calls as many as 13 times a day. The more frequently she calls, the worse the symptoms become. Nancy wakes you each morning and accompanies you on your bedtime snack. The calls come frequently during the day. Obtaining the "call-block" option on the phone does little to reduce the calls. The phone still rings a couple of times before the block engages.

By then, the symptoms have started. When the call is blocked Nancy rings back a short time late from a different number, resulting in two interruptions. Simply engaging the "call end" command does not disconnect the call, and if you then try to make a call Nancy is still connected. If you answer the call and wait until the end and attempt to "Push nine to cancel" it only results in a request to hold and speak to an agent.

Reaching the end of the sign-up period does not provide a lessening of the symptoms because the calls do not stop or even lessen. Is there any way to remove these Nancy calls and provide relief from Nancyitis? Are there any others who suffer from Nancyitis? I need help.

Paula Wagner, Savannah

Georgias senators: Support a proper Senate trial

As a lifelong Republican, former member of Congress, and co-founder of Republicans for Integrity, I ask: put truth before partisanship.

We have seen that President Donald Trump is a constant affront to family values, national security, the rule of law, and humility before God, yet our partys response has been to close ranks around him rather than call him out. I lament how our party has jettisoned its founding values.

Whats more, Americans have seen that the evidence of President Trumps abuses of power in the Ukraine scandal is overwhelming. Yet he has taken unprecedented steps to stop the truth from coming out, demonstrating that he believes he is above the law.

Now, all Senators, including Sens. Perdue and Loeffler, will serve as jurors in the constitutional impeachment trial of President Trump. The senators will take an oath to "do impartial justice," and all Senators should take this solemn oath seriously.

I call upon Sens. Perdue and Loeffler to follow Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins in seeking a fair trial, complete with witness testimony.

Will Georgias senators put loyalty to one man above their oath to "do impartial justice" on behalf of the people they represent?

If like me, Sens. Perdue and Loeffler believe in law and order, they will ensure that the Senate trial is both rigorous and fair to the President as well as the American public.

Sens. Perdue and Loeffler should keep in mind the fundamental values that led them to lives of public service.

Peter Smith, co-founder

Republicans for Integrity

Loeffler right person for Senate job

Sen. Kelly Loeffler penned an op-ed that published Dec. 31 and it didnt take long for the liberal termites to come out of the woodwork. Disappointment expressed about Loefflers first vote is misplaced, and she already knows whats wrong with Washington, so she can hit the ground running. The Senate is not an on-the-job-training job.

I guess I won't be our next senator, although I was one of the 500 who applied. Loeffler reads, thinks, writes and seems to be the right person for the job. The so-called impeachment is a dirty, criminal fraud. Now she's my senator and she has me as a constituent, bless her heart. I'm sure she's waiting with bated-breath to receive my first letter - though not so sure about her staff.

My message to Loeffler includes the following: Please cease using the expression "our democracy" when speaking of our United States; to openly and aggressively charge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with violation of her U.S. oath of office, and California too - it is perjury; and a thank you for her little bit of homespun philosophy regarding pulling weeds as training to be a senator. I like it.

I looked forward to seeing Loefflers swearing-in on Jan. 6, also my birthday. My regret was in not able to come to hold the Bible while she took the sacred oath of office.

Michael W. Rea, Savannah

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Modi-Shahs BJP govt has failed Indias youth and is now stuck fighting them – ThePrint

Posted: January 13, 2020 at 6:43 am

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Competitive sport follows the system of leagues upper, middle, lower, senior and junior, and so on. A contestants stature determines the league in which she plays. One who stoops down to play at a much lower level, or fight with the bachchas (juniors), diminishes her own stature.

We are applying this test to our politics, specifically to the way the BJP government is handling student protests.

A simpler way of understanding this is how our great old wrestler-actor Dara Singh handled any new challenger. He asked him to fight his brother Randhawa first, beat him and earn the right to fight the champ. I asked him why, and he said, every Lallu Panju(Tom, Dick and Harry) wants to be able to boast he wrestled with Dara Singh. Why should I lower my own standing to please them?

Back to the game of hard politics. For a month now, that is precisely what this almighty BJP government is doing: Senior, powerful men and women fighting with children. Theyve seen fires lit in campuses across the country in response to their policies. Their response especially where the BJP has been in power has been consistent. Bring down the full force of state power, internet and telecom restrictions, and at least in one case, Uttar Pradesh, collective fines.

If a government elected with such an enormous popular vote finds it worth its while to fight its students rather than reason with or listen to them, three things follow:

First, a tyrant-versus-the-underdog story builds up.

Second, it generates pictures that gravely damage Brand India globally. And you cant stop any of this from getting out.

Third, and the most significant, it inevitably creates a children-versus-uncle/aunty mood among the youth. Let me elaborate.

Also read: Indian media and policymakers should stop using the word millennial to describe the young

Every exit and opinion poll in 2014 and 2019 showed us that the young of India, all of the millennials but especially the first-time voters, backed Narendra Modi with passion. I have in my archives a string of short conversations with young people while travelling through the 2019 campaign across the country that name only one leader: Modi. You can see a couple here.

I wrote and spoke at a Centre for Policy Research debate in New Delhi on the factors I found propelled Modi to a big victory. Especially on how the young were walking out of the identity trenches of caste, language, ethnicity, in many cases even religion to embrace Modi.

The sentiment you saw in their eyes was optimism, joy, an anticipation of a better life, the storied achche din. They were not breaking their families old political loyalties because they hated someone, or were afraid of them. If 2014 was an election of hope of a better life, 2019 was the renewal of that promise in the expectation that it will take that long to redeem it fully.

Within six months, however, they find they are being delivered something entirely different. The economy is in a free fall. And its been declining for so long, so consistently, that the promise of growth and better days now looks a fantasy.

A mid-1970s kind of pessimism, even hopelessness, is growing among the young. New jobs arent available. And while all jobs are important and dignified, lets face it: Not every young person studying in a college is looking forward to delivering for Swiggy or Zomato or driving an Ola or Uber.

That isnt what Modi had promised them. Their aspirations and needs are clear and present, and not being fulfilled. And certainly they wont be compensated for the let-down either by firmness with which you control and integrate Kashmir, or how you teach Pakistan a lesson a day. Nor will their needs be met by how much you can persuade them to fear the Muslim or hate the migrant Muslim termite.

None of these will get them a job, a living, a better life. Unless, of course, they are your ideological followers. The disillusionment of the college-going youth with Modi-2 has been rapid and deep.

Also read: Indias student protests have brokenimage of national consensuson Modispolicies

Nobody should also remain under the misconception that it is just a virus specific to the few, liberal, Left, public universities infested by Urban Naxals. The anger has now spread to expensive private campuses as well, which allow no politics or unions, and cost many students parents a lot of their savings and inherited assets. I have been speaking at several in different parts of the country, and found anger similar to what you might see at JNU, Jamia or BHU.

The sentiment is a bemused and increasingly angry but this isnt what we had voted for. I can also say with reasonable certainty that a very, very large percentage of these young people voted Modi, and mostly for the first time in their lives.

Once a month, ThePrint holds an innovative free-speech event called Democracy Wall at a key campus. One of its features is a giant banner that looks like a wall where the students can freely write whats on their mind and sign their names. These have changed character dramatically over the past six months. In the last three, the change is drastic.

All these are from private or elite universities. Among an outburst of anger and disappointment on the latest one, along with clever lines like Pk The Folice and Mera Desh Jal Raha Hai.#SaveAustralia, what catches the eye most strikingly is, bure din waapas kar do(please return my bad days to me). Until about three months back, there was some criticism. Today, we see not a line, not even a word of praise. You ignore this kind of unanimity in anger among the educated young at your own peril.

At most times, a cocktail of nationalism, religion and an almighty personality cult can win you one election. But it cant win you two in succession. Six months after he rode hope to his second conquest of India, he has senior police officers (who trusts the police on its word in this country, I am so sorry to ask) holding press conferences, calling students rioters and anti-nationals, cabinet ministers speaking on TV channels telling boys and girls on our campuses how to behave and be patriotic. But todays young are smart.

They leave them speechless when they retaliate by waving the tiranga, mass-reading of the preamble of the Constitution, and singing the national anthem. Just over six months back, you had the cream of Bollywood fawningly pose for selfies with Modi. Today, many of the marquee stars, not just the usual arty ones, have lent their support to protests. And the rest may be silent, but almost no star of any consequence has risen in the governments support. You have doubts, check out the worthies who landed at the central ministers dinner in Mumbai to support CAA. You will need Google to identify some.

And, in the middle of all this, you field a second-term cabinet minister like Smriti Irani to mock and taunt Deepika Padukone. Remember, we said the league you choose to play in decides your stature. Show us a more effective way of losing Indias youth.

Also read: Biggest hope of stopping Modi govts sinister NRC project in 2020 rests on Indias youth

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Washington, DC Surpasses Baltimore to Secure Top Spot on Orkin’s 2020 Bed Bug Cities List – PRNewswire

Posted: at 6:42 am

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2018 November 30, 2019. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

"While bed bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans, they can be an elusive threat to households," said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist. "They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly which make it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs. Sanitation has nothing to do with where you'll find them."

Bed bugs, which are typically 4-5 mm in length and red to dark brown in color, can travel from place to place with ease, including luggage, purses and other belongings. Normally nocturnal, bed bugs will come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping or quietly resting humans.

According to the 2018 "Bugs without Borders Survey" by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are single-family homes (91 percent), apartments/condominiums (89 percent) and hotels/motels (68 percent). With that, hotels spend an average of $6,383 per bed bug incident.

Bed bugs are known for rapid population growth. Females can deposit one to five eggs a day and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days, often making treatment challenging.

"The key to preventing a bed bug infestation is early detection," Hartzer said. "When one or more bed bugs enter a space, we call it an introduction. During an introduction, bed bugs probably haven't started reproducing yet, but they could soon. Vigilance is key to stopping bed bugs before infestation levels."

Tell-tale signs of a bed bug introduction could include small black spots indicating bed bug feces or nymph bed bugs in places such as mattress seams, bed frames and furniture. Their small size and ability to hide make them difficult to see during the day, so it's important to look for the black, ink-like stains they can leave behind.

Here are proactive tips Orkin recommends for homeowners and travelers:

At Home:

During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to inspect for bed bugs:

For more information about bed bug prevention, visit You can also find 100 facts about bed bugs in Orkin's bed bug e-book: "100 Reasons Why Bed Bugs Are Freaky and Fascinating" and additional detection tips in Orkin's video on "How to Check for Bed Bugs in Hotel Rooms."

About Orkin, LLCFounded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects. The company operates more than 400 locations with almost 8,000 employees. Using a proprietary, three-step approach, Orkin provides customized services to approximately 1.7 million homeowners and businesses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa. Orkin is committed to studying pest biology and applying scientifically proven methods. The company collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and eight major universities to conduct research and help educate consumers and businesses on pest-related health threats. Learn more about Orkin Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary ofRollins Inc.(NYSE: ROL). Follow us onFacebookandLinkedIn.

According to Orkin's Behind the Cost of Bed Bugs Hospitality Industry Report (in partnership with The Bantam Group).


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The Modi-Shah BJP government has failed and is now fighting India’s youth – Daily Gaming Worlld

Posted: January 12, 2020 at 9:45 am


Illustration by soham sen | The pressure

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Competitive sports follow the system of leagues upper, middle, lower, upper and junior leagues and so on. The stature of a candidate determines the league in which she plays. Who bends down to play on a much lower level or to fight with the bachchas (juniors) reduces his own stature.


We apply this test to our policies, particularly how the BJP government deals with student protests.

It is easier to understand how our great old wrestler Dara Singh handled new challengers. He asked him to fight his brother Randhawa first, to beat him and to earn the right to fight the champion. I asked him why and he said that every Lallu Panju (Tom, Dick and Harry) would like to boast of having wrestled with Dara Singh. Why should I lower my reputation to please them?

Back to the game of hard politics. This is what this all-powerful BJP government has been doing for a month: older, more powerful men and women fighting with children. They have set fire to campuses across the country in response to their guidelines. Her response especially where the BJP was in power was consistent. Override state power, internet and telecommunications restrictions, and at least impose collective fines on one case, Uttar Pradesh.

When a government elected with such a huge majority of votes finds it worth fighting against its students instead of arguing or listening to them, three things follow:

First, a bully against the outsider story is built.

Second, images are created that severely damage Brand India worldwide. And you cant stop anything from getting out.

Third and most importantly, it inevitably creates a child-versus-uncle / aunty mood among young people. Let me elaborate on this.

also read: Indian media and policymakers should stop using the word millennial to describe youth

Every exit and opinion poll in 2014 and 2019 showed that the boys from India, all millennials, but above all the first-time voters, supported Narendra Modi with passion. I have had a number of brief conversations with young people in my archives as I traveled through the 2019 campaign across the country, in which only one leader was named: Modi. You can see a few here.

I wrote and spoke in a debate at the Center for Political Research in New Delhi about the factors that have driven Modi to great victory. Especially about how the boys emerged from the identity gap caste, language, ethnicity, in many cases even religion to embrace modes.

The feeling you saw in your eyes was optimism, joy, anticipation for a better life, the famous achche din. They havent broken their families old political loyalties because they hated someone or were afraid of them. If 2014 was a choice of hope for a better life, 2019 was renewing that promise, with the expectation that it will take so long to fully deliver.

However, within six months, they find that they are getting something completely different. The economy is in free fall. And it has been declining so long and so steadily that the promise of growth and better days now looks like a fantasy.

A kind of pessimism in the mid-1970s, even hopelessness, grows among the boys. New jobs are not available. And although all jobs are important and dignified, we can imagine it: Not every young student is looking forward to delivering for Swiggy or Zomato or driving an Ola or Uber.

Modi hadnt promised them that. Your aspirations and needs are clear and present and will not be met. And they are certainly not going to be compensated for failure, either by determination with which you control and integrate Kashmir, or by the way you teach Pakistan a lesson every day. Neither will your needs be satisfied by how much you can convince them to fear the Muslim or to hate the migrant Muslim termite.

None of these will give them a job, a living, a better life. Unless, of course, they are your ideological followers. College teenagers disappointment with Modi-2 was quick and profound.

also read: Indias student protests have broken the image of the national consensus on Modi politics

Nobody should remain under the misconception that it is only a virus that is specific to the few liberal, left-wing public universities affected by Urban Naxals. Anger has now spread to expensive private properties that are closed to politics and unions, and has cost many students parents and savings a lot of their savings and legacy. I have spoken in several places in the country and have noticed a similar anger to that of JNU, Jamia or BHU.

The mood is amused and is getting angry but we didnt vote for it. I can also say with sufficient certainty that a very large percentage of these young people voted for modes, and for the most part for the first time in their lives.

Once a month, ThePrint hosts an innovative event called Democracy Wall on an important campus. One of the features is a huge banner that looks like a wall where students can freely write what they have on their mind and sign their names. These have changed their character dramatically in the past six months. In the last three, the change has been drastic.

All of these come from private or elite universities. In addition to an outburst of anger and disappointment at the latest, along with clever lines like P k The Folice and Mera Desh Jal Raha Hai # SaveAustralia, whats most striking is Bure din Waapas Kar do (please give me back my bad days). Up until about three months ago there was some criticism. Today we see no line, not even a word of praise. You ignore this kind of unanimity in anger among the educated youth at your own risk.

In most cases, a cocktail of nationalism, religion, and an almighty personality cult can win a choice. But you cannot win two in a row. Half a year after his second conquest of India, he has high-ranking police officers (who trust the police in their word in this country, Im sorry) holding press conferences and calling students, rioters and enemies of the state, the cabinet ministers to talk about it on television channels how boys and girls at our locations have to behave and be patriotic. But todays boys are smart.

They leave them speechless when they retaliate by waving the tiranga, reading the preamble to the constitution and singing the national anthem. A little over six months ago, you had Bollywood cream for selfies with modes. Nowadays, many of the marquee stars, not just the usual artists, have given their support for protests. And the rest may be silent, but almost no star of any consequence has gone up in government support. If you have any doubts, find out about the dignitaries who landed at the Mumbai Central Ministers Dinner to support the CAA You need Google to identify some.

And in the midst of it all, put up a second cabinet minister like Smriti Irani to mock and mock Deepika Padukone. Remember we said the league you play in determines your stature. Show us a more effective way to lose Indias youth.

also read: The greatest hope of stopping Modi Governments sinister NRC project in 2020 is Indias youth

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Similarities between humans and chimpanzees include the ability to teach, F&M researchers say – LancasterOnline

Posted: at 9:44 am

Digging for termites also referred to as termite fishing is an important task for chimpanzees looking for a tasty snack.

But learning how to fashion the right tools and master the best techniques can be difficult for a young chimp.

Thankfully, theres help.

According to a new study co-authored by researchers at Franklin & Marshall College in addition to Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Miami, expert diggers often teach young, inexperienced chimpanzees how to harvest termites in areas where its especially difficult.

What we found is that where termite fishing is more complex and hard to learn mothers are demonstrably more willing to share with their kids essentially to help their kids learn, F&M associate professor of psychology Elizabeth Lonsdorf said.

The research, published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, sheds light on how these important traditions are passed on and hints at the evolutionary origins of complex cultural abilities in humans.

Researchers, including Lonsdorf and 2015 F&M graduate Madison Prestipino, studied chimpanzee communities in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo, and Gombe, Tanzania. Both chimpanzee communities had different ways of harvesting termites, and with that came varied levels of difficulty just like you and I eat rice with a fork and our Asian friends eat it with chop sticks, Lonsdorf said.

In Republic of Congo, where termite fishing is more complex, mothers were more likely to help by giving their offspring their digging tool or even splitting it in half so both could simultaneously dig.

In Tanzania, mothers were more likely to reject their offspring, sometimes even throwing up an elbow or swatting at their babies when asked for their tool.

The research shows chimpanzees not only have the ability to teach, they modify their helpfulness depending on the complexity of the task.

By observing this behavior, Lonsdorf said, we get an understanding of how information is handed down through generations. Its similar to the way human culture has evolved, Lonsdorf said.

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Humans, she said, arent the only animals capable of teaching, she said.

Prestipino called the research opportunity incredible.

Attending F&M and becoming involved in research like this really prepared me for success in the field of non-human primate research, she said.

Prestipino now works at a non-human primate research lab at the University of Pennsylvania.

Chimpanzee Study by Alex Geli on Scribd

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Keeping house in your absence – The Tribune

Posted: at 9:44 am

Jagvir Goyal

Handy tips

Keep the gas cylinder knob to off position.

Run the submersible pump installed as an alternative source for water supply, for some time.

Appoint a gardener to take care of house lawn and trim the grass at regular intervals.

A well-maintained lawn always generates a welcome feeling while wild growth and uncut grass add a desolate and neglectedlook to the house.

There comes a time when the house you so fondly built has to be kept locked for a long period. This usually happens when you are moving abroad for many months or you may be posted out of your city. In such times, it becomes important to take care of your house and keep it safe from any potential damage. Here are steps needed to be taken to keep the house workable even in long absence:

Protect from a termite attack

The most important step to be taken when the house remains locked for long periods is to protect it from a termite attack. Termite has an uncanny sense of judging uninhibited, abandoned places and attacks it quickly. The best way to avoid a termite attack on wood is to get post-construction anti-termite treatment done from authenticated agency at an interval of two years. These agencies come at a short notice, charge on per square-feet basis, sign an agreement with you, provide warranty of two years and complete the job in a day or so. They drill holes in the skirting area to inject insecticides, apply injections to wooden items and use anti-termite material of reputed companies.

Get done a pre-monsoon check

Make arrangement to get roof of the house examined before monsoon. Identify the spots that may allow ingress of water. These should be repaired and sealed well. Flush pointing of tile terracing and grouting of tile joints should be done wherever required. The cracks in the gola at parapet and slab joint should be repaired. Roof area should be cleaned of dust, dead leaves, bird feathers and droppings to ensure that the iron gratings fixed over rainwater pipes are free of deposits, open to receive rainwater and discharge it effectively to rainwater harvesting system without allowing ponding of water over the terrace which may result in dampness in the ceiling or walls, or even leakage from the roof.

Cleaning of AC filters

The filters of ACs installed in the house keep gathering dust and require cleaning at regular intervals. When visiting the house, these should be cleaned regularly in addition to the cleaning of aerators.

Inverter water

Most houses have battery-backed inverters for power backup. Inverters keep charging if the level of solution in the battery cells is maintained at the required level. Take note that whenever you visit a house that has been kept locked for a long period, make sure that the solution level in battery cells is made up to the required level.

Diverters stiffness

These days bathroom showers are operated with high flow diverters that allow optimum mixing of hot and cold water for bathing. Unless these diverters are used regularly, their operation becomes stiff due to deposit of salts inside their mechanism. The house owner should check the diverters, and if found stiff, authorised plumber of the company should be called for cleaning and re-fixing these and to make these operate well.

Clean the water tank

The overhead water tanks installed on the roof of the house should be cleaned after every six months. Maximum cleaning interval can be one year. Sign a contract with a tank cleaning agency to perform cleaning and refilling of water tanks of the house as and when one happens to visit it.

Caution against short-circuits

Clear the aerators

All faucets installed in the bathrooms and kitchen are provided with aerators, commonly known as jallis. These aerators retain fine solid impurities and convert water flow into a milky bar. Salts present in water often dry up on the aeratorsand block these or reduce the water flow.

The aerators are easily removable and washableif cleaned at regular intervals. Ensure that the aerators are cleaned and re-fixed.

The writer is former HoD and engineer-in-chief in a Punjab PSU

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Column: To the grocery store – every day – Milford Daily News

Posted: at 9:44 am

What began as a budgetary move soon became a way of life.

Columns share an author's personal perspective and are often based on facts in the newspaper's reporting.

I go to three or four grocery stores a day, almost every day. On Saturdays, it's not unusual for me to go to five or six (and to stop by the farmers market). I am not a candidate to join the estimated 93 million Americans who bought groceries online last year. I love shopping for food.

In the United States, we waste up to 40 percent of the food we produce, and a sizable chunk of that comes from people throwing away spoiled food, which, in landfills, releases methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Planning ahead might be good for retirement, but not for food shopping. How do you know what you're going to feel like eating for dinner next Thursday night? What if you end up working late? Or your kid's soccer game goes long and you stop for pizza on the way home? There goes the graying ground meat you planned to use tonight. By shopping daily, I throw away almost nothing, and I get to eat exactly what I want every day.

I wasn't always an avid grocery shopper. Until my wife and I blended our families in 1997, it was just another weekly chore. Suddenly there were five kids to feed. They were like termites, eating through cupboards and boxes and bags. Nothing was safe. They could consume two or three days' worth of food in hours, especially if they all had friends over. So I started shopping each morning after dropping the kids off at school, buying just what we needed for that 24-hour period. I figured if they wiped us out, we only had to survive until tomorrow.

What began as a budgetary move soon became a way of life. Daily ritual is how we make the profane sacred. On the days when I eat out with friends, and don't shop or make dinner, I feel a bit empty. I miss the baskets of dragon fruit and litchis at the Asian store near my office. I miss the bright abundance of my neighborhood grocer.

During my forays, which I now squeeze in on the way home from work or during lunch breaks, I watch people stuffing their shopping carts with what looks like two weeks' worth of provisions. A pound of spring mix in a plastic container the size of a small suitcase. Bags full of peaches that will certainly go bad or worse, never ripen. I feel sorry for them - mixed with a healthy dose of disdain. I can point out things that will end up in the garbage, like that 16-ounce tub of mushrooms: They'll use half of it, put the survivors back in the fridge and then throw the slimy things out a week later. I want to tell them, "Better to buy a few ounces of bulk mushrooms the day you need them." (Yes, I am insufferable.)

At times when money was tight, finding just the right tomatoes to make an inexpensive pasta dish shine made me feel like a good provider. These days, shopping provides a daily dose of meditation. I don't shop so much as search. That's a better way to describe the existential nature of my yearning. If I need an avocado for tonight's dinner, I'm willing to go to five stores to get a ripe one. An avocado has a window of about six hours when it's perfect, when the skin gives just a bit but bounces back, and the fruit inside is a sublime shade of lemon-yellow-green. I never buy an avocado unripe and wait; I find the one I want when I want it.

Some people think I'm crazy. My wife isn't one of them. Why? Because she hasn't been in a grocery store in years. And she hasn't cooked dinner since the first Bush administration. She misses me a bit on Saturdays when I'm doing my United Nations tour of food shops: kaffir lime leaves at my favorite Asian store, a giant bag of cumin seeds for just $3.99 at the Indo-American grocery or fennel salami at Gallucci's. At least, that's what she says, as she hands me a list of things to pick up.

Now that my kids are grown and out of the house, shopping like a normal person would put several more hours back in my week. But what would I do with all that time? Probably what most Americans have done with the extra time that progress has granted us over the years: work more. I'd rather put on my "out of office" message and get lost in an aisle of bins filled with cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks. That's my happy place.

Jim Sollisch is a creative director at an advertising agency in Cleveland, where he writes and shops.

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