Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk, announced plans of discarding the well-known social media app Twitter, which starts by replacing it with an app branded as X. Musk, who is still ranked as the richest man in the world as of July 2023, asserts that brand replacement is only part of a broader vision of deploying an “everything app.”
Doing so will facilitate Musk’s greater goal of rolling out an app capable of performing a broader range of functions; making the X app a key interactive tool in the lives of billions of users.
Moreover, Musk’s signature social media app will appear with black as its color motif, likewise replacing Twitter’s blue default color. Needless to say, a post will no longer be called a tweet but will instead be referred to as an X.
Musk Says X Has Always Been Part of His Plans Since the 90s
Although at first, Musk said he chose the X branding from an array of user-submitted suggestions, he now says that an X.com platform has always been part of his plans since the late 90s.
That was the time when he first began making a name for himself as the founder of an online payments business. According to Musk, he had always envisioned creating an “X.com” branded platform, capable of facilitating not only fee-free instant payments.
His vision included offering loans and other banking functions and services in one simplified streamlined online system. Musk asserts that his X.com platform will continue to have entertainment and social media features.
People are fascinated by fortune telling, dream interpretations, palmistry and spiritual revelations, all supposedly allowing advance assessment of risks. Still, many do not take most predictions seriously, mainly because the assessments for potential danger are not evidence-based.
The Downsides of Relying on Fortune Telling
Information acquired from fortune telling is not an accurate basis for assessments. They do not present evidence but merely assumptions of what to take as precautionary measures.
Animal lovers are not inclined to be enthusiastic about fortune telling as some methods adhere to ancient practices of sacrificing animals. Others even practice haruspication, which looks for divinations and signs in the bloody entrails of slain animals.
Academicians opine that entrusting one’s destiny to fortune telling and other practices can cause cognitive distortion. We tend to make plans and decisions based on assumptions that some things or certain events will end badly, or are bad for us.
Instead of making assessments based on results of actual personal performances and knowledge of competitors, predictions tend to limit our natural abilities. They also bar us from developing our resiliency against failures, since we constantly avoid taking risks.
While there is nothing wrong with seeking the services of fortune tellers, there are other factors to consider whether a business or a career is the best fit for our personal condition or personality. Knowing our competitors, what they can do and the resources they are using are factors that can help us gauge the challenges we face before making positive or negative assumptions.
Spiritual Revelations and Our Religious Beliefs
The greater majority are more inclined to believe in divinations based on spiritual revelations. Such revelations are disclosures of divine guidance for humanity so that lives can be transformed to create harmonious relationships.
In religion, spiritual revelations may be exhibited by way of visions, insights, spiritual experiences or mystical events.
Actually every major religion typically started out as the privileged insights of the religion’s founder, on which the faith of the followers rely. The profoundness of the founder’s insights often relate to the true meaning of life, for being the anointed messenger of God who has control of all things happening in the universe.
Spiritual revelations occur through different media such as by way of dreams, visions or auditory phenomena. In indigenous religions, spiritual revelations are often linked to mystical divination techniques.
Such methods are known and understood only by religious personas who have years of proven prophetic experience. As deliverer of the Words of God, spiritual revelations speak of certainty and therefore easier to use as bases in assessing one’s courses of actions.
While these are religions of literate societies that can discern spiritual revelations by reading religious scriptures, there are also nonliterate cultures who observe spiritual revelations using different media.
Divine guidance can be identified by way of supernatural abilities to perform miracles with the aid of amulets, ability to read stones and interpret natural formations of elements appearing in the sky as heavenly bodies.
This year’s news about hail storms told stories of how hailstones as big as grapefruit and hand fists, caused terrible damages on cars caught parked outdoors. Although the hail storms occurred in parts of the globe considered as hail spots or hail belts, the stones were massive and in sizes that were larger than expected. Actually, climate scientists had warned about forthcoming hail storms becoming more intense, but the destructions caused were totally unexpected.
News reports said the terrifying storm dropped large hailstones for about 10 to 15 minutes. The weather disturbance also caused injuries sustained from car collisions, as many drivers of moving vehicles found themselves suddenly navigating behind smashed windshields.
People were left stunned, posting photos and videos in social media sites, of broken windshields and dents on their cars. Some others recorded chilling videos of grapefruit-sized hail stones crashing through windshields and backshields while dropping like bombs on car roofs.
Historically, the largest hailstones recorded in the past were as big as tennis balls, having diameters of about six to seven centimeters. This year’s exceptionally large, grapefruit-sized hail stones measured 10 centimeters long.
Why and How Do Hail Storms Happen?
According to Canada’s CBC News, the hailstorm happened right after a tornado passed Alberta, a western province known as one of Canada’s Hail Alley.
Climate scientists explained that although hail has something to do with cold conditions, they occur during summertime when humidity is high. Humidity being that condition when much of the moisture is trapped in the atmosphere, most of which get caught in updrafts. The latter refers to strong currents of hot air that push condensed water vapor upwards; reaching high atmospheric areas that are cold enough to freeze the precipitations and form hailstones.
Now here’s the thing, the stronger the updrafts, the higher and colder the atmosphere in which water is delivered and frozen, the larger the size of the hail stone produced. Once the atmospheric area can no longer hold the hailstones, the frozen precipitations start falling at a rapid speed of 90 miles per hour.
If the hailstones are small, they melt before they reach the Earth’s surface. This implies that the grapefruit-sized hail stones were even larger when they started travelling toward the Earth.
The Need to Give Vehicles Protection Against Hail Stones
If leaving one’s car parked on the street or outdoors cannot be avoided, it would be best to put some protection by placing a car cover over the vehicle. Climate scientists have predicted that the frequency and intensity of the hail storms that are about to happen will cause greater and more serious damages.
The resulting dents left by the recent hail storms are so unsightly, car owners expect the resale value of their vehicles to drop considerably. There’s also the extra costs of replacing shattered windshields and back glass. As it is, investing on a waterproof and durable car cover is a practical solution.
Today, there are online stores from where consumers can buy car covers. Those residing in geographical locations where hail storms normally happen must make sure they are buying the durable kind. Still, as climate changes have also caused unexpected weather to take place in unsuspecting areas, a versatile, all-around car cover is presumably the best choice, whichever place one is located.
Students planning to enter college choose a course they are largely interested in. Yet they should also consider courses that have plenty of job opportunities. Computer courses are an excellent example, because much of the knowledge and training that can be learned are needed in nearly all industries.
Information Technology (IT) for one, offers great job opportunities. In many cases, companies do not always require a computer engineering degree to fill in an entry level IT position. Having completed short, 6 to 1-year IT courses could already be a big advantage when applying for an entry level IT job.
Yet the better advantage is to have completed a minimum 4-year bachelor’s degree in computer science with Information Technology as a major learning discipline.
After becoming an IT Specialist, one can advance further becoming a Computer and Information Research Scientist. In doing so, an IT professional must complete a master’s degree in computer science; or in the related field ( e.g. business, medicine, engineering) to which he or she seeks to become an expert in solving complex computing problems.
What Functions Do Computer and Information Research Scientists Perform as Line of Work
Generally, research scientists gather data to form research concepts that they will apply to computational models in order to reach a conclusion. They have to collaborate with scientists and engineers to ensure that the computer system in place is as efficient and user-friendly as possible.
A basic function of a Computer and Information Research Scientist is to determine the specific computing systems needed by a particular organization.
Businesses that provide computing services employ Computer and Information Research Scientists to design new software systems, develop computing languages and integrate tools that can help improve the way people accomplish work by way of computers.
Some computer and information research scientists take on jobs that require them to design innovative applications and programs for existing and new technology.
Some others create programs for controlling robots.
Basic Duties of Computer and Information Research Scientist
The Computer and Information Research Scientist who designed the computing system must perform experiments to test the accuracy and operational efficiency of the installed software systems.
Analyze and evaluate the results of the experiments performed.
Write and submit papers for publication and presentation to research conferences.
How Much Do Computer and Information Research Scientist Earn
According to Payscale, the average yearly salaries of a Computer and Information Research Scientist is $109,345. The pay can increase based on experience level and location of the employer company or organization. Currently, the highest paid Computer and Information Research Scientist receives $154k in annual salaries.
The San Francisco Bay Area has once again proven itself as an important agent of progressive changes by bringing back wood as primary building material. The current 21st century projections include the revival of the wood material to make construction sites much safer. The promotion of replacing concrete and steel with mass timber is supported by studies that show the cost-saving benefits as exemplified by the recently completed 1 De Haro, San Francisco City’s first mass timber high rise.
Although wood per se is expensive, the cost-efficient benefits of mass timber are realized in terms of shorter period of construction, less use of energy and fuel in its production as a construction material, more sustainable than concrete and steel, and can perform better in seismic zones.
Not to forget to mention that its aesthetic qualities are more pleasing than the seemingly austere and intimidating facade of concrete buildings. Additionally, the cross-laminated timber materials are lighter as opposed to the steel bars that often force trailer trucks to request assistance from heavy duty towing providers in managing the hilly parts of the Bay Area valleys.
About 1 De Haro in San Francisco. CA
Mass timber, specifically cross-laminated timber (CLT), has been gaining momentum as the primary building material of the 21st century. The 1 De Haro commercial building located in the Design District of San Francisco provides a case example for the Architectural/Engineering/Construction (A/E/C) industry when looking to build future mixed-material, multi-story edifices in California.
The project began in 2019 and was completed in early 2021, proving that safe and speedy construction projects are achievable, without compromising the quality and integrity of a building structure.
The 1 De Haro mixed-material concept came about after the changes in International Building Code included allowing the use of mass timber in constructing a multi-story building of six stories, up to a maximum of 18. The change increased opportunities to use wood as main materials for apartments, offices and other commercial buildings.
About Mass Timber
Mass timber are solid, engineered wood that form panels and cross-laminated timber as bearers of structural loads. They are described as engineered wood products because each piece consists of several layers of wood that are laminated and then compressed together to form a cross-laminated timber (CLT).
As building materials, CLT utilize boards pieced together at right angles to one another, and thereafter laminated to form wood panels ideal for assembling walls, floors and roofs. assemblies.
Proponents of mass timber highlight sustainability, cost efficiency, speed of completion and aesthetically-pleasing qualities as the immediate advantages over concrete and steel materials.
The perceived greater benefits of mass timber use are the long-term environment-friendly impact of the materials. That is in consideration of the heavy duty towing and hauling of steel bars, sand, gravel and cement bags from point of origin to their destinations.
According to Yale researchers and from the University of Washington, emissions related to their transportation can reach a range of about 14% to 31%. Aside from weighing only ⅕ of the weight of steel or concrete, pre-fabricating mass timber materials utilizes fewer resources than that of processing steel or traditional wood.
California’s support of mass timber use is aligned with other programs and initiatives to further reduce the state’s carbon footprint in light of the increasing devastating effects of climate change.
Last week, several civic groups filed a petition for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to revise and update the agency’s floodplain maps and rules. Concerned citizens have noted that despite the fact that flooding is now the most common disaster faced by the country, FEMA has not changed any of the floodplain rules since 1970 .
Lack of oversight in floodplain use have kept many people in the dark about the risks they face in building their home in low areas; particularly on flat lands near stream or rivers that under present conditions are likely to be inundated by water level rise. The petition was filed by several environmental and planning groups calling on FEMA to update flood maps and establish more rigid standards for floodplain construction in anticipation of the risks posed by climate change.
Atty. Joel Scata, the spokesperson for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the groups that filed the petition said:
”FEMA could have spared millions of Americans the misery they go through as they live near rising waters, had the agency updated its flood-risk maps.” “Up to now they agency has been furnishing historical data that does not accurately reflect the evident growing threats of climate change.”
The Association of State Floodplain Managers, another group behind the petition, through its Executive Director Chad Berginnis said that its imperative for the federal agency to “catch up” in order to ensure more at-risk communities will have better protection.
According to the World Resources Institute, research studies indicate that an estimated 15 million Americans, or about 5% of those who live in floodplain areas are likely to experience flooding at least once in 100 years. The problem however is that developers are still offering available lands in floodplains, and as a result have brought a growing number of people living in flood-prone areas.
Homeowners Now Confronted with Possibility of Owning Low-Value Homes
Now here’s the thing, while FEMA has given indications of acting on the petition to have their floodmaps updated, homeowners living in areas that will be designated as at risk of flooding, face the possibility of owning low-value properties. After all, water damage due to flooding have caused many insurance companies to up their premiums.
Those whose homes were built with hardwood floors suffered the most. While many took to replacing their floorings with other materials that can better withstand water damage, others can only afford to put up with the hassles of trying to save their wood flooring. In some cases, many had to do the cleaning and the repairs themselves as professional providers of cleaning and restoration services were swamped with calls, unable to respond immediately to all requests.
Water needs to be remove immediately so that wood floorings can dry as quickly as possible. Water proofing and sealants can only do so much in protecting floors, since there are numerous entry points by which water can penetrate undersurfaces. Problems caused by water damage include mold growth and wood “cupping,” which if not immediately addressed lead to more issues.
As an aside, when trying to save wood floorings, it would be best to do some heavy sanding on floorboards already showing signs of cupping. Using an orbital sander can ease out the difficulty of taking off some of the cupped areas that are likely to appear as floor imperfections.
Still, even if FEMA releases floodplain maps updated for 2021, many homeowners are faced with the dilemma of having to live in homes constantly at risk of flooding.
Today, Dec. 10, 2020, the Minneapolis City Council arrived at a unanimous decision of cutting down by $8 million, the budget of the city’s police department. The amount will instead be used to fund initiatives that will go toward crime and violence prevention. The original proposal of reducing the humber of authorized police force staffing down to 750, from the existing 888 was dropped as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey would have not approved at all.
The budget cut is a compromise to citizen calls for police defunding, ever since the senseless killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. While the calls were for the dismantling of the police force, Mayor Frey believes that doing so would be irresponsible, as the city has been seeing an increase in criminal incidences.
Still, the city’s police force has been under close scrutiny, particularly by social media users. Many are calling attention to the fact that police officers are applying, even without proper training, Brazilian jiu jitsu strangulation techniques in subduing subjects. When Derek Chauvin applied a chokehold on Floyd’s neck, it was apparent that Chauvin lacked knowledge about the possible fatal consequence of such action since he ignored Floyd’s pleas of not being able to breathe.
That being the case, many have also been suggesting to the city council to have the members of the police force undergo Brazilian jiu jitsu training as a way of reforming the police officers. However, it is still a debatable matter as others point out that Chauvin’s application of the chokehold was uncalled for, since George Floyd was not resisting arrest and was in fact, doggedly following police orders.
Why Defunding and Jiu Jitsu Training are Not the Real Solutions in Instituting Police Reform
Anyone who has knowledge of judo or jiu jitsu readily understood why Chauvin’s act of kneeling on Floyd’s neck was fatal. UFC champion Jon Jones, identified the technique as “blood choke,” a form of submission hold that compresses the carotid arteries. When applied for more than 20 seconds, the strangulation becomes fatal because blood is prevented from flowing to the brain. Although chokehold in combat sports is allowed, its use is subject to restrictions based on the age and rank of the competitors.
Still, as a trained law enforcement officer, Chauvin has knowledge that the use of lateral visceral neck restraint or blood choke, is only applied on uncooperative subjects but without causing permanent injury or death in enforcing submission. Moreover, since the early 1990s, blood choke has been widely banned in American police departments throughout the country. The nationwide ban followed suit to the Los Angeles Police Department’s 1980 decision to ban the method after news reports revealed a spate of choking deaths had occurred during the period.
Simply stated, police reformation is not just a matter of cutting down budget or maintaining a specific number of police officers as members of the police force. It’s not even the need to give proper jiu jitsu training because the method is not the problem. It’s more on the willingness to perform law enforcement duties within the boundaries of law.
In India today, the use of large, automated appliances have become part of the so-called new normals that middle-class Indian families found necessary to adopt. Large washing machines for one, are now considered as the most convenient to have as an alternative to hiring women who perform laundry services as a profession.
While many middles class Indian households tend to be large, the burden of having to do most of the house chores are traditionally conferred to female family members.
Prior to the pandemic, large appliances were not at the top of must have lists in many Indian households. However, as the reality that the pandemic will be staying in the midst of a nation as thickly populated as India, dishwashers, food processors, vacuum cleaners, coffee-making machines and even home theater equipment have found favor in most middle class Indian households. Yet the one big appliance that spurred an notable increase in demand in India is the washing machine, for both the semi-automatic and fully automatic models.
Factors that Triggered a Huge Spike in the Demand for Washing Machine in India
Whereas before, middle-class families engaging the services of women who took on laundry chores, was the norm. After all, when compared to using washing machines or using the services of laundromats, professionally-washed clothes are relatively much cleaner and less costly. Moreover the country’s social distancing mandates include a ban on the hiring of part-time maids as a way to prevent the spread of the disease.
Traditional hierarchy also influenced decisions to purchase a washing machine that women family members can use in carrying out a task that is generally regarded as difficult. In traditional families, men outranked women in the same age groups, while senior family members, whether male or female outrank the junior members. That being the case, men reserved the right not to help in menial chores like laundering, while the younger female members are the firsts in line to do most of the household tasks.
However, many modern Indian women have made it possible to attain financial independence, which in some ways helped free them from Indian traditions; including arranged marriages that prevented them from choosing to marry a partner who treats them as equals. In modern Indian households, husbands now assume equal responsibility in doing household chores. That way, they can help their wife manage multiple roles as housewives, mothers and providers of additional income.
As many looked for the best washing machine in india, many also discovered that they do not have to limit their choices to LG Collins products, being the leading brand in the country’s washing machine market. During the year of the pandemic, Bosch washing machines also gained widespread recognition. Mainly because the German manufacturer improved their washing machine technology not only with automated features, but also with energy-saving efficiency, silent washing operations and touch-screen controls.
2 Corinthians 4:16
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
The gospel tells us there is honor in aging because the process normally increases wisdom through experiences. Yet the unsettling truth about growing old is that it is often accompanied by degeneration of the physical body. While the progression of degenerative disorders can be stalled, such conditions can prevent continued participation in normal day to day activities with the usual vim and vigor.
Let us cite as an example the degenerative disc disease, which happens as a person grows older. Actually, the condition is not a disease but is a disorder that occurs as part of the ageing process. Understand that parts of the spinal column are spinal discs lodged between vertebrae. A doctor may refer to them as intervertebral discs that function essentially as a cushion between each vertebra that makes up the spine.
What Happens When a Person Has Degenerative Disc Disease?
Whenever a person moves, the soft, gelatinous inner core of an intervertebral disc makes moving about and exerting force, as well as heaving or lifting loads less stressful on the spine.
Yet as a person goes through the years of performing different activities, the inner core of the intervertebral discs degenerates, eventually losing suppleness. As a result there will be friction between vertebrae on every spine movement, causing pain at the lumbar or base of the spine.
As the degenerative state advances when a person ages, weakness caused by numbness and pain radiating down to the thigh and leg will render that person less ambulatory. In severe cases of degenerative disc disease, the afflicted person loses his or her ability to walk about, without aid or assistance.
Aging though is not the only condition that leads to intervertebral degenerative discs. Obesity, strenuous labor, frequent physical work, tobacco smoking, or an injury, may result in disc degeneration. The resulting back pain may start as a slight discomfort that is initially manageable, but could worsen over time if stress is not alleviated and treated.
Conservative and Other Therapeutic Treatments
Conservative treatments of back pain caused by degenerative disc disorder include pain-relief medication and anti-inflammatory drugs. In special cases, the attending physician may prescribe muscle relaxers or steroids. Medical treatment may be accompanied by physical and/or occupational therapy, weight loss program or special exercises.
In severe or inexorable cases, surgery or medical options such as Lumbar Fusion, Epidural Steroid Injection, Disc Replacement Surgery or other similar advanced spinal treatment may be necessary.
Sufferers of back pain due to degenerative disc disorder residing in, or around Austin, Texas do not have to go far in seeking appropriate treatment. The Central Texas Spine Institute offers full services for spinal care, conservative treatment and surgery.