City Life Cool Stories Tech News

Lamborghini Now Registers Cars On the Blockchain

Italian luxury brand Lamborghini Adopts Salesforce Blockchain The Italian luxury sports car maker has adopted the Salesforce blockchain platform to certify heritage cars securely.  The platform also speeds up the process of tracing and authenticating these vehicles.

The move was announced in November 2019 following Salesforce’s launch of a hyper ledger-based blockchain platform back in May.  This will now mean that a network can be implemented, joining together many trusted participants who will be able to carry out checks each time a  Lamborghini’s is resold.

It is good news for both sellers and buyers because now every Lamborghini vehicle will have its own record of service.  Under the old system, the vehicle would be taken to  Sant’Agata Bolognese, Lamborghini’s Italian HQ to undergo around 800-1,000 checks for the vehicle to be resold.

It is a long and involved process involving collaboration between a network of photographers, repairs shops and auction houses to verify the vehicle’s parts and service history.

Fighting Counterfeit Vehicles

With the introduction of the blockchain certification, Salesforce and Lamborghini have announced that every car will be resold with a full record of service, including parts, previous owners and any restoration work.

The new system will mean that there is less risk of buyers being sold a counterfeit vehicle as all the entire process of authentication is conducted by Lamborghini and its trusted partners within the network.

In August 2019, Lamborghini’s conducted a pilot trial of Salesforce Blockchain when it certified it’s Lamborghini Aventador S.  This unique car has been protected as a work of art and certified using the  Salesforce Blockchain when it took part in the  Monterrey Car Week.

Italian luxury brand Lamborghini Adopts Salesforce Blockchain The Italian luxury sports car maker has adopted the Salesforce blockchain platform to...

City Life Lifestyle

The Power of Plants Actually Increases Your Productivity at Work!

Being tied to your desk all day long not only drains the life out of you, but your energy is shot to heck!  Many companies have been searching for solutions to increase their employee’s productivity. Well, it seems plants take the gold medal as the perfect solution!

According to a Canadian employer, they gave each one of their employees a plant and their productivity increased by 30%. Well, science is here to tell us why plants give employees what they need to keep them energized during the workday.

Plants Rock!

 Not only are plants decorative for your office, but plants give off many health benefits for our bodies and minds. Research by the National Institute of Environmental Health Services has shown that plants keep the air indoors much cleaner and improves our ability to concentrate.

It’s a known fact that furniture, cleaners, paint, and other elements in an office environment send off many toxic compounds which, in turn, contribute to our inability to think clearly.

Some of the best plants for ridding of unwanted compounds from our office air include bamboo palms, rubber plants, and snake plants plus they look really great.

The appearance of green plants around an office gives employees greater relaxation and removal of stress.  Plants also improve our mood conditions and we are able to stay focused for longer periods of time.  Companies have found that by implementing certain décor, employees’ morale and productivity are on the rise.

This includes indoor trees, planter boxes, and other natural elements to encourage natural, positive vibes.

Research has shown that looking at plants actually stimulates our brains and we will more easily enter into a more relaxed mode.  On top of that, a well-designed office with good light and plants, are a great benefit to the company’s bottom line.

 The Connection Between Plants & People

 According to studies, there is a strong need for people to be surrounded by nature.  Even though many of us live in a very fast-paced environment surround with chrome and glass, nature is a vital part of our society.  Also, when people are engaged in the modern world, they are completely immersed in their frontal lobe.

Being exposed to nature, the hyper-active frontal lobe is deactivated, encouraging happiness and stimulates creativity. So people wonder if you would have the same benefits if the plants in your office were fake.  Plants emit natural elements that benefit people, artificial or fake plants are just that, fake.

 Productivity Solutions

Companies for many years have been in debates and discussions trying to find out how much money or time is lost when their employees are unhappy, sick, or totally disengaged. Billions of dollars are tossed out the window due to issues with productivity so finding solutions are integral for expansion and profits.

Money is constantly spent in team building, developing an inclusive office culture, and extracurricular activities to promote increased productivity.  A Canadian business owner took a piece of advice from his wife, giving each employee a plant to place on their desks.

Employees were exposed to all available plants to find the perfect match. The results were astonishing, he discovered that each employee was doing approximately 30% more business.  He also added, that on top of improved metrics, all the plants were doing really well after five years of being introduced.

It seems his employees also seem to have developed green thumbs and have responded very positively to their new desk partners.  The employees each received their plants with a name tag that read “My Name Is…” which seems to have fostered an incredible relationship.  Adding plants and greenery to the workplace is a positive benefit for absolutely everyone involved.

Being tied to your desk all day long not only drains the life out of you, but your energy is shot to heck!  Many companies have been searching for...

City Life Lifestyle

Surveys Show That Baby Boomers Might Not Buy Groceries Online

Surveys have shown that Baby Boomers have not jumped on the bandwagon to shop for their groceries online, unlike the number of Millennials.  Other surveys show that delivery services and online services have increased, especially in comparison to younger generations.

Criteo conducted a survey of 1,000 US consumers, asking the participants about their use of online grocery delivery services.  The results revealed that with each new generation, there are fewer consumers using them.

It shows that 48% of Millennials and Gen Z surveyed said they do use some online grocery delivery services such as Walmart InHome, Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Stop and Shop’s Peapod.  Only 37% of the next generation Gen X, said they ordered from online grocery services.

The oldest generation is the Baby Boomers and only 30% said they have used these services.  23% of Gen Z and Millennials said they do browse various websites for better selections compared to 20% of Gen X and only 10% of Baby Boomers.

Surveys also showed that Gen Z and Millennials think it’s valuable to have the ability to gather product information with only 18% of younger consumers wanting more information in comparison to 7% of Gen X and 6% of Baby Boomers.

Walmart Launches An Unlimited Grocery Delivery Subscription

 Shipping alternatives seem to be the least concern for shoppers.  Only 8% of Gen Z and Millennials thought this was important, 3% of Gen X and only 2% of Baby Boomers believed that comparison shopping was not of any value.

Mobile-only sales made up 26% of all digital US grocery sales.  Healthcare and beauty supplies were significantly over-the-top in mobile digital grocery sales. According to Criteo’s survey, this is 37% and 31% of products ordered through an online grocery service.

 Amazon Now Offers Free Grocery Deliveries As Part Of Their Prime Membership

 Amazon Fresh delivery vans have been parking at Amazon Fresh warehouse in Inglewood, CA since June 2013.

 Last year, the online grocery market has been valued at $632 billion and doubled its market value between 2016 and 2018, according to this year’s Business Insider Online Grocery Report.

This report revealed a total of 10% of US consumers, who regularly shop for groceries online, are a small portion of the larger overall grocery market.

 After all surveys, it seems online grocery markets are on the rise.  Annual reports showed that established participants in the industry and newcomers are getting into the industry to gain a better portion of the market share.

Surveys have shown that Baby Boomers have not jumped on the bandwagon to shop for their groceries online, unlike the number of Millennials.  Other...

Category - City Life

Animals City Life

St James’s Park Gets Three New Pelicans

Wonderful News! There are three brand new arrivals to St James’s Park in London.  Their names are Sun, Moon, and Star.

James’s Park is famous for their pelicans who are able to roam freely but they seem to prefer staying close by the lake.  All three pelicans came all the way from the Prague Zoo and will soon be joined up with permanent residents Isla, Tiffany, and Gargi.

Actually, all three arrived here toward the end of May but have been kept out of public sight so they can settle into their new surroundings.

Hugh Smith, the Senor Wildlife Officer for The Royal Parks, believes it will take a few weeks for the two flocks to come together. There will be little interaction between the new pelicans and the established pelicans.

They will need a period of adjustment for bringing together three relatively tame birds with three semi-wild birds.  They do not see any disagreements just a little apprehension or suspicion while they get to know each other.

It will not take very long for these birds to start using the Pelican Rock because it’s natural for them.

A Gift For a King

Pelicans first arrived at St James’s Park in 1664 when the Russian Ambassador sent a gift to King Charles II.  This is the third time the Czech capital has sent pelicans to live in this very famous park which is located next to Buckingham Palace.

The Prague Zoo sent four in 1995 and another three in 2013.

Miroslav Bobek, Zoo Director, said he was honored to help St James’s Park to keep this 350-year tradition alive.  We believe that Sun, Moon, and Star will have a very happy life along with the other pelicans.

You can visit the park every day between 5 AM and Midnight and say hello to the Pelicans.  You can go to Duck Island Cottage between 2:30 PM and 3 PM to watch them being fed fresh fish.

Wonderful News! There are three brand new arrivals to St James’s Park in London.  Their names are Sun, Moon, and Star.

James’s Park is famous for their pelicans who are able to roam freely but they seem to prefer staying close by the lake.  All...

City Life Cool Stories

Beyond the Streets: Early Brooklyn Graffiti Exhibition

Beyond the Streets, a show exhibiting the work of celebrated artists who spent years illegally working on the streets, first opened in Los Angeles last year.

It’s curator, Roger Gastman, has now opened a second iteration of Beyond the Streets in Brooklyn, NY, where visitors get to view the work of over 150 street artists from around the world.

Gastman, a well-known graffiti historian and “urban anthropologist” is known not just for these shows, but also for co-authoring books on street art and co-producing films like Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Two floors of wall-breaking art

You can check out this latest show, including conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, feminist art collective Guerrilla Girls, Shepard Fairey, and Takashi Murakami, at the new 25 Kent Avenue space on the edge of Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

The art takes up two whole floors of the space and also offers sculptures, works on canvas and, immersive installations alongside a Beastie Boys installation featuring “artifacts and ephemera” from the band’s 4-decade history, a functioning tattoo parlor by Bert Krak & Alexis Ross and a room of puppets made of trash by Paul INSECT and BAST.

Gastman has long had a passion for celebrating art that was first done illegally under the cover of night. In recent years, developers that are changing cities have desired officially sanctioned murals around as a way to “clean up the neighborhood.”

But the artists in these shows are ones who broke the rules, shaped what we know as street art, and, at times, paid the price for pioneering the way, says Gastman. Though many of them now have their own profitable studio practice, their beginnings were anything but.

“You know, this culture—which was started by youths writing their names over and over again for the sake of fame and fun and notoriety—has ballooned into a worldwide cultural phenomenon,” says Gastman in an interview with Artnet.

“So many of the pioneers are still with us today. A lot of them are getting older. But let’s learn from them. Let’s respect them. And let’s preserve the history as much as we can while they’re with us, before it’s too late.”

The exhibition opened up on June 21st and will remain open until the end of August this year. If you’re not able to make it to Beyond the Streets NYC, you can see the artists’ work on the website. They’re worth checking out, even if not in person.

Beyond the Streets, a show exhibiting the work of celebrated artists who spent years illegally working on the streets, first opened in Los Angeles last year.

It’s curator, Roger Gastman, has now opened a second iteration of Beyond the Streets in Brooklyn...

City Life Health

Science Proves Cat Ladies Aren’t Crazy

This is for all you cat-lovers out there – it turns out that you were a lot smarter than you thought when you decided to have a cat for a pet as studies are showing they’re the solution to decreasing stress, anxiety, and improving your cardiovascular health.

Somewhere around 68% of American households have pets according to NIH, and all animal companions provide positive benefits, but scientists are seeing that cats are exceptional mood and health boosters.

Yes, they’re entertaining and great for keeping away loneliness, but they’re also good for your heart. Scientists at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute actually did a ten-year study to discover how cats benefit cardiovascular health with over 4,000 participants. The results were phenomenal; it turns out that cats are crucial for decreasing stress and anxiety.

Compared to humans who don’t own cats, cat-owners may have a reduced risk of experiencing a heart attack by 30 percent. In addition, since cats simply love getting petted on your lap, they’re perfect for those times when you need a morale boost – both physically and emotionally.

While you’re petting your cat, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels all go down. Dogs can do similarly, but the problem is that they also encourage stress since they require more attention than cats do.

Cats Are Good For You

Some people might have a thing against cats because of allergies, but actually, if you are exposed to cats more as a child, you’re less likely to develop allergies and infections. In fact, living with a cat can also reduce the likelihood of your developing asthma! The scientists also found that after interacting with a cat, kids with autism displayed better communication efforts.

And there’s more! A cat’s purr has healing powers – no, I’m not pulling your leg on this one. The frequency of a cat’s purr falls between 20 to 140 Hz, which helps mend broken bones and wounds. Cats help keep depression away, which has been associated to developing various types of illness.

Doctors should be prescribing a 15-minute dose of playing with a cat every day as it improves your mood and keeps you active! Cats know how to slow down, take it easy, and take a nap. Take a cue from them, and do the same sometimes!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but there are cat videos and posts all over the internet – they seem to be taking over. There are a ton of cat lovers out there, and the war of whether cats of dogs are better has been going on for quite some time, but from the results of these studies, it seems that cats have finally come out the victor!

They’re low-maintenance, relaxing, laid-back, empathetic of human feelings, and easy to be around. So, if you don’t already have one, the doctor’s orders are in: go get a cat – or two, or three!

This is for all you cat-lovers out there – it turns out that you were a lot smarter than you thought when you decided to have a cat for a pet as studies are showing they’re the solution to decreasing stress, anxiety, and improving your cardiovascular...

City Life Fashion

Ideas For Easy Makeovers For Your Home

Redesigning your living areas can be quite a time consuming and often overwhelming. Have you ever sat down and just stared at an area you want to upgrade but have not found the motivation to get to work?

We have found the best way to deal with your anxiety and lack of motivation is to start with something small.  If you have a large project for a living area, break it up into small “to-do” jobs, you will be amazed how quickly the entire project will move along and each small makeover will give you a lot of satisfaction.

First off, taking a large project and breaking it into smaller jobs will be a great deal more manageable and you will become even more motivated to move on to the next one.  Here are some really great ideas for upgrades that shouldn’t take longer than an afternoon but will deliver excellent results:

A Small Wallpapering Project:

Consider wallpapering just a certain area of your room vs trying to wallpaper the entire area. Consider adding a really nice print to an access wall or maybe the back of a display case. The idea is to create something that will visually draw someone’s attention.

Choose a pattern or color for your wallpaper that will compliment the rest of your room.  One thought might be choosing a wallpaper that has a simple interesting design.  Find something that will work with your décor but not become overbearing.

Using wallpaper on a piece of furniture such as a bookcase or display case that has very plain lines, can spruce it up.  This is a very easy project that you can finish in just a few hours at tops.

Dress Your Furniture Up With New Hardware:

Sometimes, the simplest project can actually have a huge effect.  Why not replace your old handles on your dresser with new, intricate brass or a nice floral design on knobs?  Try a whimsical design for your nightstand such as leather pulls or in a child’s room – animal faces printed on knobs!

If you are redoing your kitchen, there are so many wonderful kitchen themes to choose from for your cabinets.  Handles shaped like tomatoes or lettuce or apples and pears, the sky’s the limit! Maybe your cabinets came out of the fifties and you want them to be retro and modern.  You do not have to go crazy just shop around for modern, sleek designs for the hardware.

Add Some Interesting Artwork To Your Walls:

Artwork has a habit of bringing new life to a room while covering up scratches or imperfections in your painted walls.  You can shop around for artwork or get a little creative and pull out all those wonderful pictures you stowed away and frame them!

Another idea, get a large frame and make a collage of your favorite pictures.  Have a nice simple material for the background, add simple frames to each image and then place them in the large frame.  This small project will not take much time but will give your room a whole new look!

Another idea, have someone make a box with sectionals and place small antiques such as wooden soldiers in each section.

Add Shelving To Display Your Collectibles:

If you are a collector of small teacups, why not have shelves installed on your walls to show them off instead of hiding them somewhere to collect dust.  Really simple floating shelves do not require a lot of work and are quite easy to hang.

The one tool you will need is a stud finder to decide where to hang your collectibles.  Also, depending on their weight, make sure you have the right hardware that will be strong enough to hold the objects.  If you need some advice, talk to someone at your home improvement store.

Add The Magical Touch Of Lighting:

I’m not sure there is anything that adds a more impressive look than new lighting fixtures. Add a new chandelier or wall sconces. Trade out your tired old fifties chandelier with something really modern, sleek, and retro!

You would be amazed by how modern your space will become.  Unless you know how to rewire, it is strongly suggested you bring in a professional who can get the new wiring done in a very short period of time.  If you have an overhead ceiling light, why not trade it in for a really nice fan with lights that matches your décor and colors.

You can have your electrician add a dimmer switch to boot!

Give Your Plants Something To Rejoice In:

Too often, we buy plants and just place them in a corner in the same old pots they came in.  Over time, this is not healthy for the plants due to a lack of needed nutrients and the roots will start outgrowing their space.

Think about placing them in beautiful new planters that accentuate your room and will make your plants very happy! You can choose from ceramic planters, terracotta, or other interesting materials.  If you want to go with colorful planters, pick an accent color that is already a part of your room.

Redesigning your living areas can be quite a time consuming and often overwhelming. Have you ever sat down and just stared at an area you want to upgrade but have not found the motivation to get to work?

We have found the best way to deal with your anxiety...

Animals City Life

Finding the Right Dog Walker

Dogs needs to be exercised every day in order to stay healthy.  This is essential for their physical and mental well-being so if you are unable to walk your dog daily you will need to find a suitable dog walker.

This can be a difficult decision because although anyone can call themselves a dog walker, it doesn’t mean that they have the experience, qualification or expertise to be the right walker for your companion.

Take a look at this guide for choosing a dog walker that meets all your pet’s needs:

Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

Getting good recommendations from other dog parents is probably the best way to start when looking for a dog walker of your own.  Ask them what their experiences have been, talk to other dog owners at the park or ask your vet if they have any particular dog walker they are happy to recommend.

If you do get a good recommendation then be sure to check them out thoroughly before deciding to hire them.

Meet and Greet

Always invite a potential dog walker to meet your dog because your dog needs to be comfortable with them.  If your dog feels shy or wary when they meet new people you need to keep this in mind and give them some time. However, the walker should not be phased by this.  Ideally, they will be calm, assertive and able to read your dog’s behavior and body language.

Ask questions

 The sort of thing you need to know is what will be happening while your dog is with their walker.  Consider the following questions:

  • Where will my dog be walked?
  • Can you accommodate my dog’s needs? If your dog is not particularly well socialized, for example, would the walker be willing to walk him/her alone?  Would they be able to introduce your dog to others gradually?
  • How long will my dog be walked? Make sure you are clear about the specific amount of time your dog will spend walking with their new companion.
  • Will anyone else walk my dog? Many dog walkers work alone, but some are part of larger businesses.  If this is the case you’ll need to know who is likely to be walking your dog.
  • What training do you have? If you are employing a dog walker you want them to have some experience of dogs, ideally professional experience. This is a crucial question to ask or you could end up with someone walking dogs just to earn some extra cash.
  • Have you been walking dogs for long? You need to know how much experience this person has in walking dogs.
  • What training methods do you use? If their training methods do not dovetail with your own you might want to choose someone else.
  • Do you have the relevant licenses and insurance? A legitimate dog walking business is required to have a license and proof on insurance.
  • Are you able to deal with emergencies?
  • Are you trained and certified in canine first aid?

And finally, take the walker for a test walk:

Ask the walker if you can come along for the first walk.  Although they will obviously be on their best behavior you can still get an idea of how they interact with your dog and if your dog likes them.  See how they relate to your dog’s needs, for example, are they sensitive if your older dog needs to walk slowly?

Look to see if they are a good fit.  Look at your dog – how is their body language?  Do they look happy and comfortable with this person? Never feel rushed into making a decision, it is important that your dog feels happy and comfortable on his or her walk and that they are safe.

Dogs needs to be exercised every day in order to stay healthy.  This is essential for their physical and mental well-being so if you are unable to walk your dog daily you will need to find a suitable dog walker.

This can be a difficult decision because...

City Life

Two Words You Should Stop Using At Work

‘No Problem’.  Two seemingly innocuous words that people use all the time, especially at work.  Often we use it instead of saying other common phrases such as, ‘of course’, or as a way of saying, ‘you’re welcome’ when something thanks us for doing something.  It is pretty harmless, right?

Wrong.  For some reason, these two words really have a tendency to rub people up the wrong way.

Many workplaces have an unofficial blacklist of irritating phrases and ‘no problem’, is often on it right alongside ‘no worries’.

It’s fair to say that most people who use these common expressions do so to be polite, personable and professional but unfortunately if you are one of these people you need to be aware that you could be giving off the total opposite impression to the very people who matter most.

Consider the Meaning

Now this can all seem a little harsh, especially if it is not something you’ve considered to be remotely annoying.  As a young professional it may seem slightly churlish for someone to point out that this particular phrase can be super-irritating especially if you use it yourself as an alternative for saying, ‘sure’.

It’s only when you start to look at it from the point of view of someone like a manager who has people directly reporting to them that the penny drops.  If you ask someone to do something and they say, ‘no problem’, it can be something that starts to annoy.

Firstly, it can be seen as a slightly dismissive; an off-the-cuff response which undermines their supervisory position and secondly, there is an unspoken implication that one day if they are asked to do something that there could be a problem.

In a business context when said to a professional superior it implies that you are doing them a favor when in fact, you are doing your job and it is your responsibility to do the tasks you have been assigned.

There are plenty of other ways to convey that something is not going to be a problem without ever using those two words.  It could have a generational component to it but I have heard a number of people say that they simply cannot stand it when people use this particular phrase.

If this is making you doubt whether or not you should use the phrase maybe its time you moved on to more universally acceptable ones like ‘any time’, or, ‘my pleasure’ or even ‘yes, absolutely’. For many people, the phrase “no problem” really is no problem, but is it worth taking the risk?

‘No Problem’.  Two seemingly innocuous words that people use all the time, especially at work.  Often we use it instead of saying other common phrases such as, ‘of course’, or as a way of saying, ‘you’re welcome’ when something thanks us for...

City Life Science

Women Think Better in Warmer Rooms, Study Suggests

While the study hasn’t been completely conclusive, recent findings have suggested that women think better in warmer rooms while men work better in lower temperatures ones.

Such findings may cause workplaces to think more deeply about their room temperatures and the effect it has on employees’ productivity.

The study occurred in Berlin where 542 students were recruited by researchers to take math, cognition, and verbal tests. Forty percent of the participants were female. First, the tests were taken in a room kept at 61.14 F, but then they were taken in another room at 90.63 F.

Overall, the women performed better on math and verbal tests in the warmer room while the men did better on those tests in the colder room. However, the cognitive tests were unaffected by temperature.

Warmer is better for everyone

“Our findings suggest that gender-mixed workplaces may be able to increase productivity by setting the thermostat higher than current standards,” the authors wrote.

Study co-author Agne Kajackaite, head of the Ethics and Behavioral Economics research group at WZB Berlin Social Science Center, told Newsweek: “There have been many studies showing that women prefer higher indoor temperatures than men. However, nobody looked at the effect of these differences in comfort on performance.

“We show that the battle for the thermostat is not just about comfort. It is much more—in our experiment, women’s cognitive functioning is the best at high temperatures, whereas men’s [is] at low temperatures. Importantly, the positive effect of increased temperatures on women’s performance is much stronger than the negative effect on men.”

Kajackaite continued: “This is just the first study looking at the effects of temperature on cognitive performance by gender. We ran the experiment with a homogeneous sample at a German university. More research looking at different groups—age, educational background, country—and different cognitive tasks is needed.”

Wouter Van Marken Lichtenbelt, a professor of ecological energetics and health at Maastricht University who has also published research on body temperature, told Newsweek that the study was written as if men had an opposite response to that of women, but “there is not one statistically significant effect observed in the data of the men.”

Wei Luo, a Ph.D. student at Maastricht University working with van Marken Lichtenbelt, confessed that the methods used were not wholly sufficient as the order of the different tests was fixed and the participants could have simply been tired. “This makes comparison between tests difficult,” said LuoHe.

The paper also lacked any information concerning participants’ clothes or the length of the tests, said van Marken Lichtenbelt, and this information could have had a significant impact on the results.

However, the results still strongly suggest that offices would be more productive if they slightly increased their room temperatures, agreed Van Marken Lichtenbelt, who also did a study in 2015 that found that exposures to temperatures outside our comfort zone could affect things like diabetes and obesity.

While the study hasn’t been completely conclusive, recent findings have suggested that women think better in warmer rooms while men work better in lower temperatures ones.

Such findings may cause workplaces to think more deeply about their room...

City Life Earth

Could We Put AC Units To Better Environmental Use?

When you feel the heat of the sun beating down on you and your home, the last thing you want to do is just sit and sweat. Rather than perspire until we expire, most of us do what you would be expected: you put on the AC unit.

But, rising energy costs and rising worries about the impact of such hardware on the environment leaves us with both financial and moral considerations. However, despite being vilified by some, air conditions could play a more active, meaningful role in turning around atmospheric carbon dioxide: some believe we could use it as a source of fuel.

This problem has been one that is spoken about on a regular basis. Excess carbon dioxide in the air is not a good thing. It can be used for numerous things, such as for pumping into a greenhouse to feed plants or feed the growth of trees. However, we could also find other uses for it – including the potential for turning atmospheric carbon dioxide into a fuel.

The ideas been going around for some time and could be delivered in the near future. Analytical scientists have started to argue that using AC units that can pull in the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turn it into fuel could be a goer. These would be hugely useful for solving excess carbon dioxide in the air, and for dealing with rising energy bills.

This would be a much more effective alternative to using things like fossil fuels to help power our lifestyles. For many, it would be the perfect antidote to both stabilizing the cost of living and in making a more conscious effort to help the environment.

Is this going to be possible?

Sadly, for now, it’s more theory than a possibility. It’s still something that is being worked on. Thankfully, major names such a Climeworks, Siemens AG and various other firms, such as Green Energy, are getting involved in correcting this issue.

More resources are going into the creation of this kind of green tech, which could go a long way to making sure we have more of an opportunity to stop such needles wastage moving forward.

According to researchers on the project, the aim would be to create a system that is going to separately capture the CO2 from the air and then isolate the hydrogen from the water. This would then be used to produce the fuels needed.

The challenge, then, is creating a system that can do all of this at once. While it’s apparently not difficult to do in theory, the practice is seemingly a fair bit tougher.

It’ll be interesting, then, to see what comes next. If these were able to be created, then we could be producing enough fuel to help run many cities, according to research in the Nature Communications journal.

With the need for more renewable forms of fuel that can also cut down on our production of carbon, this could be a fantastic solution to turn the tide in the battle for a healthier planet.

When you feel the heat of the sun beating down on you and your home, the last thing you want to do is just sit and sweat. Rather than perspire until we expire, most of us do what you would be expected: you put on the AC unit.

But, rising energy costs and...

Animals City Life

A Spring-Cleaning Guide for Cat Parents

Spring is here, and we all know what that means – spring cleaning!

It’s time to move the couches, see what’s growing behind the dresser, and get into every nook and cranny of your house. It’s also a great time to get into all your cat’s toys, beds, carriers, and more, and here are some tips to help you start!

Deep Clean Everything

First off, you definitely need to get in the habit of washing your cat’s bedding regularly – every week, even, if you can. Just as we should be washing our sheets weekly, cats need a clean place to lay as well!

You’ll want to make sure that the cat bed you have is easy to remove and wash. It’s even better if you use blankets and pads and such so that you have somewhere for your cat to sleep while its bed is being washed. Be sure you use unscented detergent as cats are averse to scented laundry soap.

We also often never think to wash our cat’s toys, but these also could use a deep cleaning this spring. You can place plastic ones on the top rack of your dishwasher or hand wash them with mild soap. If they’re catnip toys, it’s probably time to throw them out anyway, so you’d be wise to replace them with refillable catnip toys that last much longer – you’ll be able to wash and refill them!

And then there are the carriers. I know we usually don’t pull these out very often – maybe just to take a trip once a year and then those visits to the vet. So, it’s not very dirty, right? But think – when is the last time that you washed it? Have you ever washed it?

This spring, it’s probably about time you took it outside and scrubbed it down with warm, soapy water. If you want to really disinfect it with bleach, dilute one ounce of bleach in a quart of water, and be sure to wash it off thoroughly.

Of course, if you have carriers with fabric or cushions, it’s a bit more complicated, but usually, you can place those in the washing machine or wash them by hand. Remember, only unscented detergent!

Get Organized

Now you’re ready to enter spring with all of your cat belongings fresh and clean. It’s time to get organized:

  • If you live in a warm climate, this should already be taken care of, but if not, spring is the time to get your cat ready for flea and tick season with some prevention.
  • When is the last time your cat had a check-up? Make sure you are up-to-date on your vet visits and vaccines.
  • Maybe you’ve never thought to check the expiration dates on your cat food, but their food expires too. Look through your pantry, and toss any expired items.
  • Does your cat have a microchip implant? Is the ID up-to-date? Or is the number and address on its collar correct?

Spring Saftey

Last but not least, if you love your cat, you won’t want it to be able to get itself into any dangerous situations.

This means checking your windows and screens and repairing any holes or damage, paring your cleaning products down to just what is safe for cats, and perusing your yard to make sure that all of the plants you have are safe for cats. And be sure you don’t track any of the insecticides inside. Safety first, and happy spring!

Spring is here, and we all know what that means – spring cleaning!

It’s time to move the couches, see what’s growing behind the dresser, and get into every nook and cranny of your house. It’s also a great time to get into all your cat’s toys, beds...

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...

City Life

Training Your Cat to Love the Carrier

Our world is full of tragedies and emergency situations, but we often have the tendency to think, “Yea, but that will never happen to me.” Sadly, that thought deters us from preparing for whatever may come our way.

It’s always in your best interest to think about your family and your pets in the event of an emergency. One key factor with a quick evacuation is being able to get your cat into the carrier without a fight. It’s because of this small detail that pets are so often left behind, never to find their families again when disaster strikes.

It’s so crucial to begin training your cat now to head straight to their carriers or kennels in case of emergency situations. That means it must be a place of safety and comfort to them. There are various ways to do this, depending on your cat’s preferences and personality, but there are some universally common ways that almost always work.

Get a Comfortable Carrier or Kennel

You may have to go through a few trial and errors to find a carrier that your cat likes, but it’s always best to have a hard-sided kennel even though it may not seem like the most comfortable. You can always begin the process with a cozier one, such as the Sleepypod.

Not only is the Sleepybod luxuriously comfortable, but it’s easy to clean and take apart. The top is easily removable, and the interior can be removed and placed easily in the washer. You can even add a bed warmer! Make sure that the carrier is always open and accessible so that it seems safe and protected to your cat.

Once you’ve found the carrier for you and your cat, here are some ways to make it even more appealing:

Use Treats

You know your cat better than anyone else, what it will do literally anything to get, whether it’s a delicious treat or its favorite toy. Whatever it may be, use that item to coax your cat into the carrier, and give it as a reward once he or she is in. Make sure you only make this item available within the carrier. Never trap him inside, but let him explore and get comfortable at his own pace, keeping the reinforcement positive.

Drape a Towel Across the Carrier

You know how cats absolutely love cardboard boxes? They enjoy carriers in almost the same way, so draping a towel over the carrier can help encourage your cat to go inside.

Feed Your Cat in the Carrier

This doesn’t always catch on, so don’t force it. However, when it does work, it works marvelously. Place the cat’s food towards the back of the carrier so that he has to enter to be fed.

Never Use the Carrier as Punishment

Your cat needs to only view the carrier as somewhere he is safe and comfortable, so never use it as a place to trap him when he’s behaved badly. Cats just don’t learn by punishment, and this will only result in making him afraid to go into the carrier. Therefore, the carrier will be the last place he’ll want to go in the event of an emergency – or even just to get to the vet!

You’ll be making life a lot easier for you, your family, and your cat if you use these tips to train your cat to love the carrier.

Our world is full of tragedies and emergency situations, but we often have the tendency to think, “Yea, but that will never happen to me.” Sadly, that thought deters us from preparing for whatever may come our way.

It’s always in your best interest to...

City Life

Google Maps Will Tell You About Speed Traps

Who hasn’t been rolling along, not paying much attention to your speeds, and seen the familiar blue lights or the flash of a speed trap camera?  Now you’ve got a speeding ticket, complete with fines and points on your license.  While posted speeds are law, we frequently treat them like suggestions and pay the price.

Google has decided to give the average driver a hand with its new feature; it displays the speed limit of any road you are on as well as just how fast you are traveling.  These guides will be shown on the lower left side of your Google map app.

Want more?  Google has devised a way of warning drivers audibly that they are approaching a speed trap, giving them time to tap the brakes and slow down before they see the flashing lights behind them.

The Google feature isn’t a new concept, but it was provided exclusively to certain locales, such as Rio De Janeiro and the San Francisco Bay areas, who have enjoyed the tech for a year.

Available In These Countries:

Mashable has researched a claim first leaked by the Android Police and can confirm that speed limit and speed traveled alerts will be available in Denmark, the US, and the UK.  Speed camera alerting will be available for drivers in India, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Russia, the US, Mexico, and the UK.

Google has historically had to rely on drivers to send speed trap alerts, but this new Maps offering will allow drivers to see them in real time while using the app.

Waze is a popular mapping app that offers speed trap alerts, making it more user-friendly than Google maps. Google took over Waze in 2013, buying the company for around $1 billion USD.   Users wished that Google maps had the feature, but for nearly five years, they didn’t seem inclined to incorporate the upgrade.

These alerts will not only save drivers from costly speeding mistakes but will also keep the roads safer for everyone.

Who hasn’t been rolling along, not paying much attention to your speeds, and seen the familiar blue lights or the flash of a speed trap camera?  Now you’ve got a speeding ticket, complete with fines and points on your license.  While posted speeds are...