Author - Emily Smith

Twenty-one years old, with green eyes, pretty good teeth and currently venturing through Philosophy and Literature degree. But all that is semantics.
What’s important to know is that I have a passion for creative writing, reading and travelling and a love for deep ideas, deep people and deep tubs of ice cream.

City Life

Alibaba And Meituan Racing for The Food Delivery Service Industry

As of late, fast, affordable delivery of food has become a life-changing event for many working people in China, although there are plenty of others who prefer to prepare their own food.  Many people in the working class do not have time to pick up fresh ingredients from their local stores.

This has brought about many startup companies as well as larger companies trying to create home-cooked meals that are easy to prepare and very affordable for those with very busy lifestyles by sending fresh vegetables and meats directly to their doors.

Huge Market Growing

According to the fresh grocery sector in China, there was a total of 4.93 trillion yuan or $730 billion, total sales last year alone.  The growth has steadily grown from 3.37 trillion yuan in 2012 according to the data collected by Euromonitor and Hua Chuang Securities.

Most of these transactions are taking place inside the wet markets and supermarkets.  Online retail has only accounted for 3% of the total sales in 2016 and shows there is plenty of room for growth.

Alibaba and JD.com who are e-commerce leaders have already incorporated groceries to their online shopping malls, along with established markets that are focused on players like Tencent-backed MissFresh, which has raised $1.4 billion to date.

Adding to these numbers, the field has become even more crowded with the entrance of Meituan which is a Tencent-backed food delivery service and hotel booking mega giant that has raised $4.2 billion in the Hong Kong listing last year.

Meituan Maicai is a new app along with Meituan grocery shopping which are both separated from the company’s all-in-one app.  They entered Shanghai in January and then pushed their way into Beijing last week.  This move followed Maicai’s announcement back in mid-2028 to get a strong hold on the market of grocery delivery.

According to TechCrunch, Meituan has a plan for taking the grocery delivery market to a much higher level which is very much like the other players in this field.

Users can choose from 1,500 items in stock ranging from yogurt to pork loin. They can fill their in-app shopping carts and pay using their phones.  Then, the company will dispatch their delivery fleets to people’s doors within as little as 30 minutes.

Intricate Infrastructure

The fast delivery is possible using satellites of physical service stations stretching across neighborhoods that serve warehousing, packaging, and delivery purposes.  Placing offline hubs along with customers, allows data-driven internet firms to increase warehouse stocking, based on local user’s preferences.  In other words, those who are living in an upscale area probably eat and shop differently from those in other areas of the city.

Meituan’s incursion into the grocery shopping world has intensified its battle with Alibaba to have control over how people in China eat.  Alibaba’s Hema Supermarket has a similar setup that uses neighborhood stores as warehouses and fulfillment centers to be able to delivery within 30 minutes within a set radius.

For many years now, Meituan’s food delivery has been battling neck and neck with Ele.me which Alibaba purchased last year.  Both Alibaba and Meituan are now focusing on restaurants to get them to sign up for their proprietary software which could give owners more insight into diners and increase customer awareness.

Although Meituan wants to be the “everything” app, it has tried several new initiatives that will lead to public offerings but has been known to put them on hold in a short period of time.  This firm acquired the bike-sharing service Mobike last April but in under a year, they shut it down, due to costs.  They also placed a hold on their much-anticipated ride-hailing business.

Putting it in their word words, Meituarn’s eating business seems to be at the heart of this company.  It seems they are tapping their existing infrastructure by reaching their goals summoning its food delivery drivers to serve groceries during peak hours.  As of last year, the company noted their earnings and the grocery field could leverage its massive user base creating the largest intra-city on-demand delivery network.

As of late, fast, affordable delivery of food has become a life-changing event for many working people in China, although there are plenty of others who prefer to prepare their own food.  Many people in the working class do not have time to pick up fresh...

Lifestyle

Wrinkle Treatment at Home: 8 Natural Remedies

Many people simply choose Botox as the solution to aging skin, but there are remedies that are much cheaper and all-natural that you can do at home, and most of these treatments involve things you’d find around your house already. There are also common practices that should be avoided. Read on to learn these eight tips on having naturally, wrinkle-free skin.

Essential Oils

Essential oils heal your skin naturally and without irritation; they work best when they are diluted with argon, geranium, jojoba, lavender, pomegranate, rosemary, sandalwood, and clary sage. Applying essential oils to your face help significantly with lessening and protecting from wrinkles.

Be careful what essential oils you apply to your skin, however, as everyone’s genetic makeup is unique and responds differently. Health Line advises that you test some on your wrist, watching what it does over the following 24 hours before you begin applying it regularly to your face. If your wrist shows no sign of irritation, you’re good to go!

Avoid Soap

Companies are always attempting to sell us their latest soap formula, but what few people know is that manufactured soap is actually worsening your skin’s condition. Our skin’s natural barrier is composed of an acid mantle which has a normal pH level of seven.

According to Natural Living Ideas, the alkaline in manufactured soap increases the pH level as it’s regularly used, and the results are detrimental. It’s best if you avoid soap and stick to all-natural methods.

High-Quality Protein Diet

Your body requires protein to grow and maintain the skin’s natural glow and health. Amino acids like L-proline and L-lysine are responsible for the healthy structure of your skin tissues, so without it, your skin will inevitably grow dull, lifeless, and more wrinkled.

The denser your skin, the more strength it has to protect itself from wearing down, and keeping protein in your diet makes your skin thicker and stronger.

Banana Mask

This remedy is cheap and simple as bananas possess natural oils and vitamins that help your skin to hydrate itself. Mash up a banana, cover your face with the paste, and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off to lessen the appearance of wrinkles.

Massage

Stress is one of the largest causes of wrinkles, so if you are aware of when you are feeling stressed, simply massage your skin by pressing your fingers against the wrinkled area and moving them in gentle, circular motions.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera, like protein, is excellent for increasing collagen levels. Apply the gel from its leaves every day and you’ll see significant improvement on wrinkles in 90 days.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin C has been proven to improve skin elasticity which prevents it from sagging. Tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and oranges are some fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C. The recommended daily dosage for men is 90 mg while women should take 75 mg. If you are a smoker, you would need to increase that by 35 mg a day.

Egg Whites

Finally, the thin membrane you find between an egg white and its shell is full of collagen, as well, and as we know already, collagens are excellent for the strength and durability of your skin, lessening the appearance of wrinkles.

Many people simply choose Botox as the solution to aging skin, but there are remedies that are much cheaper and all-natural that you can do at home, and most of these treatments involve things you’d find around your house already. There are also common...

TooCool

Bizarre Spinning Ice Disk In Middle Of City

Along the banks of Maine’s Presumpscot River, surprised spectators snapped pictures of a spinning circle of ice. The strange phenomenon is being called the Westbrook Ice Disk.

The spinning ice disk is estimated to measure just over 90 meters in diameter, and reminds the residents of Westbrook, Maine of a floating moon.  Estimated at just past 90 meters in diameter, officials aren’t entirely sure exactly when the disk formed, but based on reports from onlookers, it seems to have formed overnight or during the wee morning hours of Monday, January 14.

The disk has been compared to everything from the moon, on the city’s social media pages, to alien calling cards.  Doug Bertlesman explained to the Portland Press, “It kind of looks like a crop circle.  It’s pretty wild to look at.”

Slow Whirlpool

This isn’t the first spinning ice disk to be seen in Maine, and the phenomenon happens more frequently than you’d think.  It happens when a block of ice is swept along a flowing river, bashing up against the banks as it is swirled in the current.  This area of the Presumpscot River has a circular current, which results in a naturally forming whirlpool.

According to drone footage, the disk was spinning very slowly in a counter clockwise direction.  The Press Herald interviewed some of the onlookers.  Rob Mitchell, Westbrook resident, claims that several ducks had settled on the spinning disk, calling it a “big duck-go-round.”

As can be imagined, social media lit up with the phenomenon.  Comments have been humorous: “The aliens have stationed a large rotating disk of ice in the middle of the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine.”

Another comment draws a startling conclusion: “Circles and ice? Do we really have to spell it out for you? Mother Nature is a hockey fan.”

The residents of Westbrook, Maine had good reason to predict the end of the world; the phenomenon came in the same week that the moon turned blood red in a “super blood wolf moon” alongside a lunar eclipse.

Along the banks of Maine’s Presumpscot River, surprised spectators snapped pictures of a spinning circle of ice. The strange phenomenon is being called the Westbrook Ice Disk.

The spinning ice disk is estimated to measure just over 90 meters in diameter...

Tech News

Could Two-Handed Robots Make Ecommerce Faster?

Ever since the rise of the internet as our main source of buying and selling, the speed in which we can get goods has been incredible. Every year, it feels simpler and faster to just do all of your shopping online, as it can often be delivered to you so fast and so easy. eCommerce, then, looks set to change the way in which we shop for at least a generation to come.

However, with the rise of machine learning and AI, we could be about to see another quantum leap: starting with ambidextrous robots (ambidextrous= using both hands equally well).

Massive warehouses are needed to help fulfill the incredible orders being taken online, which obviously means trying to get staff to help manage said orders. However, it looks like we’re moving towards trying to automate the whole experience instead, with the use of ambidextrous robots.

This became clear from a UC Berkeley paper which was produced in mid-January, in the Science Robots journal.

Engineers at UC Berkeley have been using decades of progress so far to come up with new algorithms that could help to compute robot pick points, allowing robots to work with a large variety of objects without having to undergo the training that they would need to normally.

The postdoctoral researcher on this project, Jeff Mahler, who is also the lead author, said: “Any single gripper cannot handle all objects,

“For example, a suction cup cannot create a seal on porous objects such as clothing, and parallel-jaw grippers may not be able to reach both sides of some tools and toys. ‘Ambidextrous’ robots offer greater diversity.”

How Might This Change eCommerce?

At the moment, the robots used in the majority of fulfillment centers will be using the standard suction cup session mentioned above. This can limit the range and style of objects that it could actually pick up and work with, which would drastically limit their usage in a warehouse environment.

With ambidextrous robots, though, this would not be quite the case. This would make them compatible with more than one gripper type, allowing for much easier for the robot to decide which gripper is most likely to succeed when picking up any given item.

This would help to ensure that, by using a reward function, ensuring that fulfillment could be much faster and far less rigid in what it can and cannot pick up.

The researchers managed to train functions for using a parallel-jaw gripper and then a suction cup gripper to a two-armed robot. The result was that it could take on 25 objects never seen before with around 300 picks in an hour, with around 95% reliability: that’s incredible.

While this might not be commonplace yet just in every warehouse, it’s definitely something that we can expect to arrive in the next few years – with massive, positive results for the already in-demand eCommerce industry.

Ever since the rise of the internet as our main source of buying and selling, the speed in which we can get goods has been incredible. Every year, it feels simpler and faster to just do all of your shopping online, as it can often be delivered to you so fast...

Galleries

Real Life Relationships of Game of Thrones Stars

They might be big stars on screen, but you’d be surprised to find out that their love life is far from it. Let’s check out their off-screen partners!

Kit Harington and Rose Leslie

Of course, we must start with these two. It is all the more endearing since they started out as a couple on the show itself! We all remember the love-hate relationship between Jon Snow and the witty Ygritte. The couple’s chemistry on the show was so strong you could almost feel it through the screen! And indeed, it moved off-screen!

They might be big stars on screen, but you’d be surprised to find out that their love life is far from it. Let’s check out their off-screen partners!
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie
Of course, we must start with these two. It is all the more...

Galleries

Celebrities With Weird Insurance Policies

Most of us have some form of insurance when it comes to our most prized possessions, whether it be our homes, our jewelry, or our cars. Celebrities also insure their most prized possessions, but it works a little differently. From Kim Kardashian’s backside to Charlize Theron’s legs, they make sure the body parts that get them famous are insured, sometimes for millions!

Julia Roberts

Her smile has won over millions of hearts, Julia Roberts is one of the most vivacious and talented women on the Hollywood scene and it largely has to do with her cheeky grin.

Smile: $30 Million

This one isn’t actually as crazy as it sounds if you think about it, cavities, broken teeth and fillings are things that happen to all of us, so Roberts was thinking ahead when she put down one hefty sum on that winning smile of hers.

Check out the next star policy

Most of us have some form of insurance when it comes to our most prized possessions, whether it be our homes, our jewelry, or our cars. Celebrities also insure their most prized possessions, but it works a little differently. From Kim Kardashian’s backside...

Inspiring Stories

80-Year Old Orphan Finds Her 103-Year Old Mom

Eileen grew up in an orphanage, Kirwan House, in Dublin and had first started searching for her family when she was 19-years-of-age.  Last year, she was on the radio show Liveline with Joe Duffy to ask for help.

She told Duffy she was very sad that she had been on this planet for so long and still did not have so much as one relative.

She was approached by a genealogist to try and help her find her relatives.  Eileen eventually tracked down her family!  She, once again, contacted the show to let Duffy and his listening audience hear about her incredible journey.

Eileen said that she believes she is the oldest orphan in Ireland.  She was born in the Bethany Home and moved to Kirwan House when she was 2-years old.

She was given someone else’s birth certificate when she turned 16 and kept that identity for 60 years.  She didn’t know that her certificate and the family was not hers until she had a DNA run.

The Pain Of Not Knowing

When talking about her mum, she was shocked to discover that she was alive and all she wanted to do was meet her.  She knew absolutely nothing about her background or had absolutely no medical history.

She couldn’t believe that doctors were constantly asking her question after question why she didn’t know this or that?  She was very upset and at one point just said “Because I’m an orphan.  I know nothing, absolutely nothing”.

The 81-year-old woman is married to her husband Ronald and has 3 children but she always wanted to find her birth family.

She could not fully understand being so alone.  Many people would ask her why she would bother with this search.  She would simply respond that she didn’t know what they meant. She said if you put yourself in my shoes and know you are on your own.

The worst thing about being alone, many different things would set her off.  She’d think if she only had a brother or a sister and then realize that it’s something inside herself because she had no blood relatives.  Well, now she does!

She has finally spoken to her birth mother over the phone and is planning to meet her very soon.  She will have to wait a bit because she cannot fly over water until after her operation.

Her mother is now 103-years-old and will turn 104 shortly. It was difficult talking to her over the phone because she could not hear Eileen.

She is across the water from her mum but she has 2 cousins who have come to help her out since they found out that she found out who her natural mother is and where she lives.

She told everyone, she wanted to go to the highest mountain and scream at the top of her lungs “I am not an orphan anymore!

We all wish her the greatest success when she can finally meet up with her mum after all these many, many years.  May she find closure knowing she is no longer an orphan but like others, she has a family.

We hope they will both find great joy and realize they now have their own small family.  Hopefully, she will keep everyone posted on her incredible journey and share her joy!  Good Luck, Eileen!

Eileen grew up in an orphanage, Kirwan House, in Dublin and had first started searching for her family when she was 19-years-of-age.  Last year, she was on the radio show Liveline with Joe Duffy to ask for help.
She told Duffy she was very sad that she had...

Earth

Watch: Burning Tracks To Help Train Pass

The sparks are flying—literally!—in this eerily beautiful video footage of fires lit on the tracks of Chicago’s famed El train this week, meant to keep the trains running during the worst cold snap to hit the area in almost a generation.

The Arctic blast that struck Chicago on January 28th and 29th was described by the National Weather Service as “brutal, historic, and potentially life-threatening.” No kidding! We’ve heard reports that the temperatures dropped into double digits below zero—that it’s so cold, mere minutes of exposure to the air can cause frostbite to set in. That’s cold!

The footage in this video shows sections of burning railway on Chicago’s Union Pacific West Line on Monday, January 28th.

Why Are They Doing It?

Chicago’s Metra railway authority, charged with the task of keeping the trains running, and safe from pull-aparts (which can cause derailment and serious injury to passengers), no matter how unforgiving the weather might get, explained the track fires and the science behind them in an Instagram post on January 21st: .

“Pull-aparts are rail defects in which two rails separate at their connection. They occur in extreme cold when the metal shrinks and the rails literally pull apart from each other. How Metra forces make repairs is by warming the metal with fire until it expands and the two rails can be reconnected.”

By around 6:50pm local time on Tuesday the 29th, the National Weather Service in Chicago said that temperatures in Rockford, Illinois, fell below zero between 3pm and 4pm, and would most likely not rise above zero until Friday morning, at the earliest.

The temperature recorded at Chicago O’Hare Airport also reached sub-zero temperatures before 6pm, and the National Weather Service noted that the temps would stay that cold until Thursday, if not longer. The result?

This unexpectedly lovely video—all shades of blue, gray, and white, the calming tranquility of which is periodically broken by bright orange flames licking up from the train tracks.

It’s definitely hypnotizing, as fire usually is for us humans, and we’re sure that Chicago area commuters, making the long trek to work in the unforgiving cold, appreciated this little spark of visual and literal warmth to accompany them on their voyage.

It’s the little things in life, after all. Still, we’re pretty sure they’ll be even happier once the temperatures finally warm up enough that lighting the tracks on fire is no longer necessary.

The sparks are flying—literally!—in this eerily beautiful video footage of fires lit on the tracks of Chicago’s famed El train this week, meant to keep the trains running during the worst cold snap to hit the area in almost a generation.

The Arctic...

Galleries

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8: Everything There Is To Know

Here it comes!!! Season 8 is just around the corner and many of us expect it to be awesome with a grand finale… but sometimes a twist is needed, and that means bad news for some, it also means an unexpected death of a favorite character... So… what’s up with season 8?

The Trailer Is Finally Here!

After months and months of fans begging, pleading, and demanding the Game of Thrones trailer, it’s finally here! With just a month to go till Game of Thrones season 8 premiers, HBO released the long-awaited trailer, and it did not disappoint. The two-minute preview focussed mainly of teasing the showdown between the living and the dead, but we broke it down bit by bit.

Arya’s Terrified Sprint

The first scene shows a clearly terrified Arya sprinting down the corridor as the voiceover states, “I know death, he’s got many faces,” she says. “I look forward to seeing this one.” Firstly, seeing Arya terrified is terrifying to us because I mean… she’s Arya, she’s scared of no one! So, we wonder if it was the dead soldiers scaring her to a panic.

Here it comes!!! Season 8 is just around the corner and many of us expect it to be awesome with a grand finale… but sometimes a twist is needed, and that means bad news for some, it also means an unexpected death of a favorite character... So…...

Earth

Mushrooms Could Save The Bees

Scientist suspect that mushrooms could possibly restore the population of bees.

The average human being usually has issues when it comes to bees. Bees help pollination and this helps everyone, but alternatively, they sting people. Most of the time, a bee sting is not fatal, but it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience either.

Although most people see bees as a nuisance because of their poor temper and their ability to sting, everyone knows that bees are needed for survival. This is why it’s been unsettling to hear the reports of populations of bees dying in masses. How would we survive without bees?

There are a lot of solid theories and reasons for the death of these bees, but a single man has decided to take the responsibility of finding a way to save the bees. It may be hard to believe, but the answer to the survival of bees is found easily and freely in nature. The answer lies in mushrooms.

What Causes Bees To Die?

Companies are usually blamed for the death of bees because of the pesticides they use, but there are many other reasons for the death of these bees. TIME reported in an article in 2017 that the number of bees in over 700 species of American bees was falling.

What’s more is that this isn’t just restricted to bees alone. It affects butterflies too. Bees are at about a 37 percent species loss. 9 percent of bee and butterfly populations could actually become extinct.

Dennis vanEngeldorp, an entomology professor at the University of Maryland, says that bee colonies are dying off because of Varroa mites. Varroa mites spread certain viruses that are deadly to bees, to their colonies. This wipes them out quite fast. This is a shockingly natural reason for the death of the bees, but it is still very worrying. Luckily the cure is also created by nature.

The Cure Is In Mushrooms

Paul Stamets was the first man to discover the antiviral properties of a mushroom – specifically for insects. Paul Stamets retails mushrooms and has thus has spent a lot of time with them. He spoke to Tuscaloosa News about the morning he made the discovery. He saw some bees interacting with his mushrooms.

He could see the bees sipping the droplets coming out of the mycelium. He had previously thought that the bees were in search of sugar, but he’d had a hypothesis that it may be something else.

The first person to really appreciate Stamets’s work was Steve Sheppard, an entomology professor at Washington State University. He pursued Stamets’ mushroom theory. He ran tests on bees who had been exposed to the mites, giving half of them a mushroom additive.

The test subjects who were given the mushroom additives were cured of the mite-borne viruses, proving Stamets correct.

The Plan To Save The Bees

Stamets sees bees as civilization’s canary in the coal mine. If the bees are dying, we will soon follow suit. He asks what important thing that we will lose that will lead to a catastrophic failure. He believes the rivet to be losing the bees. Over a third of the food we eat is dependent on bees.

Bees have been dying since the first breakout of these mites in 1980. Several other scientists fear that the extinction of bees could also be the extinction of the human race. The goal is to have 3D-printed mushroom mycelia extract feeder on our shelves in 2019. This extract will likely be sold by subscription.

Of course, this is dependent on people stepping forward and taking action to save the bees, so only time can tell how this will go. Would you help save the bees by buying this product? That might be dependent on of a bee has ever stung you before.

Scientist suspect that mushrooms could possibly restore the population of bees.

The average human being usually has issues when it comes to bees. Bees help pollination and this helps everyone, but alternatively, they sting people. Most of the time, a bee...

Galleries

Favorite Celebs Turning 70 in 2019!

In the world of Hollywood, 70 is the new 50. Just as this list of celebs who have aged incredibly gracefully and are greeting the big seven-oh in 2019. Get ready to be surprised with some of these celebrities who you would never have believed are 70!

Meryl Streep

It’s hard to believe that the iconic Meryl Streep who has won more awards during her time acting in Hollywood than anyone else is turning 70 this year! Meryl’s birthday is on June 22, 2019, marking fifty years since she started her career since 1969.

Hollywood Hero

With talent as timeless as hers, we are having trouble believing she is the ripe old age of 70. But we are positive Streep, who has been coined ‘the actress of our generation’ has many fine years to come!

In the world of Hollywood, 70 is the new 50. Just as this list of celebs who have aged incredibly gracefully and are greeting the big seven-oh in 2019. Get ready to be surprised with some of these celebrities who you would never have believed are 70!
Meryl...

Health

The Most Preventable Injury-Related Deaths

There is a higher number of Americans becoming unknowingly overdose with drugs than death through a car accident or from a fall. This is based on a recent survey.

The abuse of opioid is currently on the rise in America. Its overdose is among the cause of easily preventable fatal injuries in America alone. According to the survey, it has never happened in the US until now.

Statistics and report that can be got from the NSC (National Safety Council) observed that information from the National Centre for Health Statistics states that the abuse of opioid is higher than vehicle accidents or falls.

Deadlier Than Car Accidents

In general, abuse of opioid represented over 43,036 fatalities in 2017 alone. This is an increase of over 5000 in 2016. Car accidents used to be the highest before now. With a figure of over 40,000 fatalities in 2016 and a slight drop to 40,231 in 2017.

The death ratio, as deduced by the NSC states that there is a ratio of 1:96 of every American death happening from the abuse of an opioid. This is against vehicle accident deaths that record a 1:103 ratio.

According to the NSC, the probability of an American losing his life is dependent on what they spend their time doing, the place they live, the place they drive and their occupation, etc.

NSC’s media person, Maureen Vogel, believes that the NSC statistics show a bleak image for its people.

“Americans are ignorant of the fact that the issues affecting opioid will not affect them, as they see it as being obscure. As such, it is nothing to be worried about for their loved ones or themselves.” Vogel’s mail to the CNN “But the information reflects the extent of the situation. It is not a secret that the abuse of opioid kills Americans every day. And these statistics reveal it clearly.”

The synthetic opioids are the type that are mostly abused. They are increasing faster than before. Tramadol, fentanyl, fentanyl analogues are examples of them. While heroin records the second biggest cause of deaths from opioid overdose. And its closest rival are Morphine, hydrocodone and oxycodone.

“America’s opioid worries instigated the NSC’s bleak odds. And the issues with opioids degenerates the more we experience an increase in fentanyl.” According to the NSC’s press release.

Avoidable deaths ― Recorded deaths that are not based on murder or suicide increased by over 5percent in the last three years (2016 till now). They are second death causes to only cancer and heart disease in America.

There is a higher number of Americans becoming unknowingly overdose with drugs than death through a car accident or from a fall. This is based on a recent survey.

The abuse of opioid is currently on the rise in America. Its overdose is among the cause of...