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...

Fashion

The £7,500 Dress That Does Not Exist

I don’t know about you, but for me, $9,500 (£7,500) is quite a chunk of money, so spending it all on one single dress would be quite extraordinary. But Richard Ma, the chief executive of San Francisco-based security company Quantstamp, did something even more extraordinary.

Not only did he spend all of that money on one dress, but he spent it on a dress that doesn’t even exist in physical form. Yes, that’s right, he bought a digital dress for his wife.

The Fabricant designed the digital dress and rendered it onto an image of Richard’s wife, Mary Ren, so that she can use it on social media. What might sound bizarre to us now could be one of the biggest money-making schemes going forward.

“It’s definitely very expensive, but it’s also like an investment,” Mr. Ma says. Typically, neither he nor his wife spends much on clothes, so the reason he bought this piece is because he believes it has long-term value. “In 10 years’ time everybody will be ‘wearing’ digital fashion. It’s a unique memento. It’s a sign of the times.”

Mary hasn’t shared the photo anywhere public, but she has posted the image on her own Facebook page and showed others through WeChat.

Carlings, a Scandinavian company, is another fashion house that has taken up digital fashion design. Last October, they released their own digital streetwear collection which started around £9 ($11), and it sold out in just a month.

“It sounds kinda stupid to say we ‘sold out’, which is theoretically impossible when you work with a digital collection because you can create as many as you want,” explains Ronny Mikalsen, Carlings’ brand director.

“We had set a limit on the amount of products we were going to produce to make it a bit more special. You wouldn’t buy a white t-shirt digitally, right? Because it makes no sense showing it off. So it has to be something that you really either want to show off, or an item that you wouldn’t dare to buy physically, or you couldn’t afford to buy physically.”

When you’re designing only digitally, you have the freedom to be a bit more creative and extravagant.

Stunning Success

The Scandinavian company only created their digital line to promote their real products, but after its stunning success, the firm is preparing a second line of digital garments to be released at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Fabricant puts out new, free digital clothes every month on their website, but in order to truly appreciate and combine the designs with their own pictures, consumers need specific skills and software. The Fabricant will also have to find another way to make money until the digital fashion market becomes more popular.

“We make our money by servicing fashion brands and retailers with their marketing needs, selling tools, and creating content that uses that aesthetic language of digital fashion,” says The Fabricant founder Kerry Murphy.

No one really knows who exactly is buying all the digital markets that Carlings has sold so far, or downloads from The Fabricant, but according to Mr. Mikalson, Carlings has sold 200-250 pieces.

A search on Instagram to find the pieces, however, only brings up four people who independently purchased with no involvement with the company. Of course, the digital clothes may have been shared privately.

According to Amber Jae Slooten, a co-founder and designer at The Fabricant, it’s mainly just industry professionals who use CLO 3D software who are downloading their clothes. “But it’s also just people are very curious to see what the files look like. People just want to own the thing, especially since that one dress sold for $9,500,” she says.

Where is this trend heading?

The long-term impact is yet to be seen of this “amazing phenomenon” of digital fashion, as Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at market research company NPD Group, calls it. “Do I believe it’s going to be something huge and stay forever? No.”

According to Cohen, it’s just for those who want the perfect image. “If you don’t like what you’re wearing, but you love where you are, you now have the ability to transition your wardrobe, and digitally enhance the photograph to make it look like you’re wearing the latest and greatest.”

The idea partly began with the popularity of games like Fortnite where players are willing to spend money on outfits or skins for their digital characters. “The only reason we made the collection the way we did – inspired from Fortnite – was because of the whole link between buying skins and buying digital clothing,” Mr. Mikalsen says.

“When it comes to technology and the way people are living their lives, we have to be aware of that the world is changing.”

Of course, designing skins and clothes for a game is a bit of a different challenge. All of it has to fit the character as well as the story. And designing it isn’t even the hardest part. After anywhere from one to 70 attempts at designing, you have to make sure the skin actually works in the game, when the character walks, fights, dances, etc.

“For a game like League of Legends, you have to do 3D, there’s sound effects, there’s animations, all of these things have to come together to make the character feel like they’re sort of expressing a different fantasy of themselves.

“It’s less like changing clothes and more like seeing an actor playing a different role.”

All in all, it was this growing popularity and success of games like these that gave the fashion industry the courage to give digital clothes a try.

“Digital fashion will become an important part of every fashion business’ future business model,” says head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at the London College of Fashion, Matthew Drinkwater.

“It’s not going to replace everything, but it will be an important part of that.”

I don’t know about you, but for me, $9,500 (£7,500) is quite a chunk of money, so spending it all on one single dress would be quite...

Category - Lifestyle

Lifestyle

Unfollowing or Unfriending People – Part 3

Let’s face it, in the real world you know whom you want to hang out with and whom you would prefer would just go away.  Social media has tools to help you sort through how much you want to be engaged with someone or those you’d prefer to keep at arm’s length.

This is the Third Part of the “How to Unfollow or Unfriend people on your feed without feeling guilty about it” series:

Unfollow:

We all probably have someone in our family who will turn everything into a political debate about up and coming elections.  That said, a family member is not exactly some friend or a friend of a friend, they are family and should be given the benefit of the doubt regarding their comments.

You should have a heart-to-heart, face-to-face conversation with them.  If all else fails, keep in mind that elections come and go and hopefully they will eventually calm down and get back to acting like family instead of a political guru!

Unfriend:

Social media should be an uplifting experience that inspires you.  It can be a little tempting to “hate follow” someone whether a political figure, a celebrity or a past classmate you never got along with anyway.

These people can actually cause you a lot of problems. If someone is taking up too much of your space or you are spending too much time going to their page, it’s time to move on and just unfriend them.  Get out of the obsession!

Don’t Be Mean To Yourself:

There are many people who will not unfriend or unfollow others in fear of hurting their feelings, keep in mind, nine out of ten won’t even know it!  These tools do not notify people to their status such as unfollowed or unfriended!

Most people on social media have so many other people following them or they are following, they will not notice.  Understand, just because you unfriend someone doesn’t mean you dislike them, you are just setting up your boundaries on social media to make things more enjoyable for you,

How About The Block Tool?

This tool is used for serious situations on social media.  There are, unfortunately, people who use social media to stalk people, harass other people, intimidate, hurt, manipulate, and coerce people. If you fall into one of these issues and your instincts are saying you are not safe, you should use this tool.

This tool will unfriend that person but also prevent them from sending messages to you and will not allow them to see your profile.  Keep in mind, you can “report” someone using the Facebook or Instagram feature if someone is breaking the rules and regulations on these sites.

Also, if really serious, you should contact the police. This is important if the person doing this is someone you know in the real world.  Blocking people that are trying to cause an unsafe, dangerous situation is highly recommended.  In turn, make sure you never do the same to someone else.

Let’s face it, in the real world you know whom you want to hang out with and whom you would prefer would just go away.  Social media has tools to help you sort through how much you want to be engaged with someone or those you’d prefer to keep at...

Lifestyle

Unfollowing or Unfriending People – Part 2

Social media is hotter than ever! People flock to these sites to share pictures, stories, great videos, and just about everything else in between. What many might know, these sites can have an impact on your real-life and you should pay close attention to what is showing up your page.

This is the Second Part of the “How to Unfollow or Unfriend people on your feed without feeling guilty about it” series:

Unfriend:

How about your recent breakup with your ex?  There are people that do break up and still remain friends but those people are the exceptions.  Unfortunately, most breakups do not end well and both parties should go their own way.

Staying friends with your ex on social media can lead to even more headaches and make the situation even worse by showing you everything they are saying about you and whether they are actually moving on or not.

If you want to stay in a relationship with your ex in the real world you can have quality time but don’t use your digital platform. When you spend more time in the real world with those you care about you can use your time online to build better relationships with those you have on social media.

Unfollow:

So, your college roommate thinks posting pictures on a daily basis of his or her new baby, is stretching it a bit.

Although there are millions of people who enjoy seeing pictures of babies, pets, etc., it’s a little difficult to keep up with incredible joy when the parent is posting every single movement baby makes from walking through their home in the nude or covering their faces with their food during feeding time.

This can become annoying even if they don’t believe they are doing anything wrong. If these photos can be kept at bay, sooner or later she or he will get out of this phase at some point.  Once over this phase, you can always decide to follow them again.  Unfollowing will simply give you a much-needed break.

Unfriend:

Ok, so you have a friend who is always in super shape, is successful with everything they pursue in life, and leave you feeling totally inadequate.  You need to stop viewing pictures of their yacht in Maui.

Keep in mind, many pictures you see on social media are either fake or touched up and nothing more.  It might be time to just unfriend them for your own self-esteem.

Unfollow:

Ok, you might think it’s a little over the top to unfriend mom but there are other alternatives. Social media shows all posts from friends to their activities along with what they like, commented on, or purchased.

Over time, this will bog down your feed with unnecessary stuff, especially those who like to comment on absolutely everything they run across. Unfollowing some of the traffic will allow you to keep a good relationship with your mom!  You can then take your time reading her comments when you have the time and no feelings have been harmed.

Unfriend:

There’s always that friend that just cannot resist turning every single conversation into something political.  As of late, you can’t even turn on your news without listening to foul-mouthed people spurting off their hatred for those who don’t agree with them.

The tools offered on social media will help you set boundaries of what’s acceptable and what is not.  Unfriending some of these people will give you peace of mind and allow you to remain sane!  No one wants to be publicly humiliated on social media.  Also, ensure you are not a culprit of making social media mistakes that can damage your reputation.

Come visit us again for part 3!

Social media is hotter than ever! People flock to these sites to share pictures, stories, great videos, and just about everything else in between. What many might know, these sites can have an impact on your real-life and you should pay close attention to...

Lifestyle

Unfollowing or Unfriending People On Your Social Media & Why

There is a fine line between friends and enemies you have accumulated on your social media accounts. If you are dealing with people on social media you want to get out of your hair, we are going to help you sift through your feed and not feel guilty about it.

This is Part One of the “How to Unfollow or Unfriend people on your feed without feeling guilty about it” series:

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and other sites are about relationships and about sharing information, according to Diane Gottsman author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life and found of The Protocol School of Texas.

When everything goes well, social media sites are great for connecting with like-minded people, building good relationships, connecting with your friends in the real world, building followers interested in your business and other businesses like yours.

That said, anyone who has spent any time on these sites knows there is always a good chance things can go wrong by bringing people in that are nothing but huge headaches. You could have a friend who is a racist, will start an argument with others, someone at work that has an ax to grind or are on the other side of the aisle when it comes to their political views.

What was once just a fun place to hang out has now turned into a nightmare.  But, before throwing up your arms and abandoning social media, you should know about some tools that are at your disposal to clean up your site and your feed.

Unfriending Or Unfollowing People:

According to Gottsman, you should think of unfollowing someone on Facebook as taking a mini-vacation from them while unfriending is literally breaking away from the relationship.  When talking about Instagram, their set up is just a little different.  Hitting “Mute” is related to unfollowing and unfollowing is like unfriending.

Know When You Should Unfriend Vs Unfollow Someone On Social Media:

You should know how to use these tools even if you know the difference between unfollowing and unfriending someone.  We will provide you with some situations so you can follow our advice, using good etiquette, to handle some people on your social media.

Unfriend:

Here’s the scenario, you have a neighbor who throws parties for her products she’s selling online as well as offline. She is constantly hounding you to throw a party to help her make sales.

Social media has been a great place for people in marketing to show their wares and expand their down-lines,  It doesn’t matter if you are selling makeup, diet pills, clothing, essential oils, pet products or any other product out there, the bottom line, they are only there to help themselves.

These so-called friends on your site are using you to help them make more money and see to it that you follow them to the end of the sale.

If you are like-minded and want their products, that’s fine but if it’s becoming a nightmare because they are overwhelming you with their demands, you really need to unfriend them!  If your neighbor is a really good friend, sit down with them and let them know how this is making you feel and they are overloading you with demands you cannot meet.

Let them know if they continue to harass you, you will have to unfriend them.  Understand, we all have lines that if crossed are non-acceptable and causing problems.  If they are really a good friend, they will respect how you feel about this situation.

Unfollow:

It’s not a good idea to have your social media attached to your professional life.  Even if your boss is a great person, having them as a friend or follower on your social media can lead to complications.

Gottsman thinks that LinkedIn is the best site for adding and maintaining business connections.  Keep in mind, if you are already friends with someone, it could lead to problems within your business relationship, especially if you decide to unfriend them!

You could unfollow them instead, staying somewhere in the middle without totally offending them. Another avenue set a filter to not allow certain posts to show such as your recent vacation to Barbados or the neighborhood party you threw last weekend. This filter will prevent your boss from seeing them!

If you want to have people you work with, you should first check what your social media profile is saying about you.

Tune in for part 2!

There is a fine line between friends and enemies you have accumulated on your social media accounts. If you are dealing with people on social media you want to get out of your hair, we are going to help you sift through your feed and not feel guilty about...

Health Lifestyle

What Can I Do If I Can’t Sleep?

Experts believe that if you or your kids can’t sleep, trying to force it will actually make things worse. If you wake up too early and think that staying in bed will force you to go back to sleep, you’d be wrong.

Trying to make yourself sleep when you can’t, will lead to stress and tension making the situation even worse. On top of that, if this goes on for any length of time, it could lead to serious insomnia.

According to studies performed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine getting out of bed when you can’t sleep will decease 70 to 80% of acute insomnia and will not turn into chronic insomnia.

During the study, researchers observed the time in bed and the sleeping habits of 416 people over the course of a year.  Many of these participants were good sleepers before the study.  Once the study started, 20% experienced acute insomnia, having problems falling asleep or staying asleep 3 or more times in a week, expanding to 2 weeks and some cases 3 months.

45% of the participants eventually returned to good sleepers but 7% who suffered from insomnia ended up with chronic insomnia for approximately as long as 3 months.  Those who chose to restrict their time in bed were more likely to get back into good sleeping habits.  Others that chose to stay in bed were likely to suffer from insomnia and eventually become chronic.

Experts believe that if you cannot sleep, spend the time reading, writing what you have put off, or some other activity.   Chances are, you will probably go back to sleep faster and have a better night’s sleep than if you chose to stay in bed and become stressed.

What You Should Not Do:

Michael Perlis, Ph.D., director and author of the study at the Penn Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program there are stumbling blocks of prolonged sleep opportunity, which can lead to your misalignment with your actual sleeping abilities.

People with insomnia usually extend their sleep opportunities by going to bed earlier, getting out of bed late, and then taking naps.   Unfortunately, this is a short-term fix because the problem over the long-term will create an imbalance between your current sleep ability and your current sleep opportunities which can lead to insomnia.

People will often overcompensate loss of sleep by changing the sleep schedule.  Choosing to stay awake instead of forcing sleep is a better strategy for the treatment of insomnia in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which has been announced by the American College f Physicians and is a better treatment.

Sticking by a better sleep and wake-up schedule will help regulate your sleep within a matter of 3 to 5 days.

Your bed should be reserved for sleep or sex, not for reading, writing or watching television. According to Michael Grander, another author & director of Sleep and Health Research at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, believes you should limit your time awake in bed to half an hour a week.

 

Experts believe that if you or your kids can’t sleep, trying to force it will actually make things worse. If you wake up too early and think that staying in bed will force you to go back to sleep, you’d be wrong.

Trying to make yourself sleep...

Lifestyle Tech News Vacation

Virgin Galactic Unveils its Spaceport

The countdown for Virgin Galactic’s “Gateway to Space” has truly begun as it edges closer to being the first publicly-traded space tourism company to successfully take customers into space.

A week ago, the company showed off its new New Mexico spaceport to the public, and it looks like those first $250,000-ticket tourists are in for the ride of their life. The facility is part of the state-run Spaceport America in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which also hosts facilities for SpaceX, EXOS Aerospace, and other companies

The interior is reminiscent of a retro, 1960s vibe, but the technology is nothing but modern. You’ll find a barista where you can get a latte for your flight and an interactive walkway to enjoy, as well. The social hub is located on the first floor, called Gaia. Cirrus, the second floor, is where the operations center and mission control is located.

Though the third floor is yet to be revealed, the company has stated that it will be a lounge for their space-flying customers. “Each floor developed has a nice story connecting it back to social activity on Earth,” says designer Jeremy Brown. “Then moving through the mission control part of the building with lighter material references there.”

The Future is Now

Virgin Galactic’s CEO George Whitesides says, “We’re on the home stretch now.” In just a matter of weeks, the aircraft carrier will head to Mojave, where the company’s test facilities are located. There, it will pick up Virgin’s spacecraft, the VMS Unity, and transport it back to New Mexico where test flights will ensue.

Once all the kinks have been worked out and Virgin Galactic is satisfied with their finished product, they’ll be ready to take on their first commercial flight. Currently, 603 reservations have been made for spaceflight, totaling about $80 million in deposits.

They haven’t marketed for tickets since 2014, but once commercial space flights have commenced, Virgin Galactic will be offering new tickets for at least $250,000.

Back in July, the company announced that they would be merging with Social Capital Hedosophia, which will invest $800 million for a 49% stake in the company. In addition, they’ll trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

You may be thinking, “Who even has enough money sitting around to afford one of these flights?” But you’d be surprised to discover that the company received over 2,500 inquiries for reservations for the first flight in December 2018, and more are clamoring since last week’s unveiling.

When everything is set for that first commercial flight, customers will board the Unity, which will be attached to the underside of the aircraft Eve, and once the airplane flies to around 50,000 feet, the rocket will detach and launch into space where passengers will get a stunning view of both space and Earth.

For a few minutes, they’ll be free from the restraints of their seats to experience the weightlessness until it’s time to head back home. In total, the duration of the flight is going to be around 3-4 hours from take-off to landing.

The countdown for Virgin Galactic’s “Gateway to Space” has truly begun as it edges closer to being the first publicly-traded space tourism company to successfully take customers into space.

A week ago, the company showed off its new New Mexico...

Funny Stories Vacation

Delta Passenger on ‘Private’ Plane Left Out One Important Detail

Vincent Peone’s video Tweet went viral last week as it showed him boarding a private Delta flight from Aspen, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah as the only passenger. He captioned the short clip, “Last week @Delta gave me my own private jet…kind of.” It seems, however, that the award-winning director may have stretched the truth a bit.

The full story is that, though Peone did board that flight as the only passenger, it never took off! Peone later claimed that his video was “100 percent true” – before he stopped filming, that is!

Well… Kind Off

“After the private jet broke down again with mechanical problems, I took a normal one the following morning,” he confesses in his tweet.

Peone feels no contrition over his post, and though he took a flight alongside other passengers the next day, he’s enjoying the moment of viral fame.

“The footage I have tells a short, funny, and positive story – because those are the kind of stories I like to tell. I make comedy!” he wrote.

He also added, “I had some laughs with the amazing crew while living the dream.”

Delta also has no negative feelings about Peone’s post but, rather, responded to his popular Twitter with a thank you for shouting out to them. Most likely, several others had no issue with his post either as it gave them the opportunity to drool over the “hot pilot” Peone had on the would-be private flight.

Vincent Peone’s video Tweet went viral last week as it showed him boarding a private Delta flight from Aspen, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah as the only passenger. He captioned the short clip, “Last week @Delta gave me my own private jet…kind...

Fashion Science

New Probiotic Suit Fights Body Odor

A bio-engineered bodysuit could handle unpleasant body-odor with micro-organisms woven into its fibers.

Named “Skin II,” the leotard-like piece of clothing incorporats live, healthy probiotic bacteria that, when activated by perspiration, can diminish personal odors, help skin cells regenerate and improve our immune system.

“It’s not the sweat on your body that causes body odor, it’s the bacteria,” designer Rosie Broadhead told Reuters in an interview. “So we’ve incorporated healthy bacteria into the textiles to enable a healthy microbiome which will help to reduce your body odor,”

With her probiotic fabric, Broadhead hopes to revolutionize the interaction between fabric and skin. Other than its health (and social life!) aspects, she’s also keen on the environmental impact of her invention:

“My project offers an alternative to chemicals such as antibacterial finishes on clothing and cosmetics,” Broadhead says, “Due to the deodorizing effect the probiotics have on the body, it may reduce the amount of time you need to wash your clothes.”

Our modern life fixation on cleanliness makes it hard for “good” micro-organisms to survive, so Skin II is a big opportunity for sustainable fashion.

Probiotics are living micro-organisms that are beneficial to our bodies when in sufficient amounts. Probiotics are found naturally in some foods, like yogurt, and, surprisingly, pickles, but you can also take them as dietary supplements.

Broadhead collaborated with Belgian microbiologist Chris Callewaert of Ghent University to develop the fabric. Callewaert has done extensive research on the causes of body odor, and he provided her with probiotic bacteria. This bacteria are found on our skin and are different from the digestive system bacteria we all know from food products.

“A lot of focus is on the fashion industry’s unsustainable practices concerning waste and environmental impact,” says Broadhead, “However, much less is known about the use of chemical finishes on our clothing that can impact our bodies.”

She wanted to create clothing that was good for the skin, but has a minimal impact on the environment, “which meant using technology that had a deodorizing effect. By working with probiotics that are common on our skin I have developed ways to add function and performance to our clothing in a natural way.”

Broadhead and Callewaert plan to market Skin II with a full sportswear line, and in this heat – we just can’t wait for it to hit the shelves :-)

A bio-engineered bodysuit could handle unpleasant body-odor with micro-organisms woven into its fibers.

Named “Skin II,” the leotard-like piece of clothing incorporats live, healthy probiotic bacteria that, when activated by perspiration, can...

Earth Vacation

Nature Lovers Now Have 270,000 Acres of Land Open in California

Many people looking to get back into nature have a hard time finding places that are pristine, open, and ever so natural to unwind and just have a great time.

Nature lovers now have a new area in California to view breathtaking mountains, an abundance of wildlife, ancient old oak trees, fields and streams, along with so many hiking trails.  You might just discover your next excellent vacation spot without ever having to leave the country!

Tejon Ranch has donated a great deal of land so visitors can enjoy nature in the most wonderful way.  Tejon Ranch has been around since 1843 and the owner, Fitzgerald Beale, has partnered with an online travel company, Explore Ranches, to allow their members access to 270,000 acres of private land.

About Tejon Ranch:

The ranch is located 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 south of Bakersfield.  It is the largest, continual expansion in California offering 422 square miles of land. Tejon Ranch has joined other natural environments in the state, Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, and Coastal Range.  The spans of land is larger than New York City.

There are hundreds of miles of trails and roads to hike along, fields of grass, coniferous forests, ancient oak and Joshua trees, a huge diversity of wildlife, and many reservoirs and streams.

Their partnership with Explore Ranches allows visitors to choose their accommodation from 4 separate lodges that will hold 4 to 12 people at three different locations, including the Venado Cabin.

Located at the foot of the mountains, Venado Cabin offers incredible, endless views from the porch of the cabin.  You can see red-tailed hawks, an occasional condor, eagles, and deer roaming freely along the hillsides.

You can also enjoy a game of horseshoes with their private horseshoe pit.  For those who want to explore the ranch, there are miles of trails for hiking, going on driving tours, or biking.  Just below the cabin, there is an incredible fishing pond loaded with bass and bluegill and a massive meadow with huge oak trees.

If you want a really wonderful vacation away from your hectic lifestyle, visiting this property will give you access to so many activities including mountain biking, hiking, fishing, picnicking, and the incredible opportunity to take photos of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. What an idyllic way to totally unwind!

Many people looking to get back into nature have a hard time finding places that are pristine, open, and ever so natural to unwind and just have a great time.

Nature lovers now have a new area in California to view breathtaking mountains, an abundance of...

City Life

You Can Improve Your City by Growing Food: Try Guerrilla Grafting!

You might not know that you do not need a permit to make your city more attractive and abundant with food.  That said, there are gardens popping up in vacant lots that were created through guerrilla grafting but somehow fly under the radar of city ordinances.

Guerrilla grafting is one way of making your city more hospitable to their residents without relying on official guidelines.  All you really need,  take some cuttings from fruit-bearing plants, have a few very simple tools, and provide a little tender loving care.

Why Don’t Cities Plant Fruit Trees?

The reason many cities only plant non-fruit-bearing fruits, they are much easier to care for and no one has to spend a great deal of time cleaning up after these plants dropping their fruit on public places including sidewalks.

There does not seem to be a high-in-demand for people to harvest and distribute fruit nor does anyone have the time.  Adding to that, there are places like San Francisco (hold my tongue) that consider grafting as vandalism.

What many places don’t understand, planting and taking care of plants that produce fruit is quite critical for communities in need of fresh fruit such as low-income neighborhoods where these groceries are very hard to come by.

Many of the people in these neighborhoods do not have access to a car to make extra or special trips to the store and do not have the money to spend on healthy items like fruit.  These areas, unlike other neighborhoods, are prime for grafting.

Guerrilla Grafters founder, Tara Hui, was denied by city officials when she wanted to alleviate fruit foods shortage in the Bay Area.  She decided to take it on herself, she joined with fellow agricultural activists to transform their existing trees into fruit-bearing trees and collect data to prove this really does work.

The group only splices edible plants into areas where volunteers will monitor and maintain the trees to combat problems such as insects and other pests.

If you’d like to start something in your neighborhood, all you need are some fruit tree cuttings, a sharp knife, Ziploc bags, grafting tape, rubber bands, and other household items. Visit the Guerrilla Grafters website to get a manual that you can enlarge to read or download in English, German, or Spanish.  Happy Planting!

You might not know that you do not need a permit to make your city more attractive and abundant with food.  That said, there are gardens popping up in vacant lots that were created through guerrilla grafting but somehow fly under the radar of city...

City Life Tech News

Daimler & Bosch Driverless Parking Has Gotten a Thumbs Up

Without a doubt, we have come a very long way getting Artificial Intelligence-based self-driving systems.

As of date, Daimler & Bosch have received approval from the German regulators to operate their automated driverless parking facility without involving a human safety driver sitting behind the wheel.

This is the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4 parking function to be totally approved for everyday use.  The thumbs-up comes 4 years after the companies started working together on the technology end.

Bosch board member, Dr. Markus Heyn said this decision by authorities only shows that innovations like automated valet parking is now possible in Germany.

He believes that driverless parking and driving are the cornerstones for tomorrow’s automated mobility.  Automated parking shows just how far we have already come and the continued development path that lies ahead.

Look Ma No Hands!

Level 4 was designated by SAE which means the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in certain conditions without human interference.

Until now, there have been several Level 4 tests and trials in the works but they all involved people behind the wheel of the vehicle as a backup.

Bosch is considered one of the largest automotive tech and hardware suppliers in the world and they handle the infrastructure aspect of the automated parking function.

It works in collaboration with Daimler’s vehicle technology on its Mercedes-Benz vehicles.  Users can easily access the independent valet service using their smartphone app.

Bosch and Daimler started developing their fully automated driverless parking back in 2015. Their initial partnership including car2go, the which is the car-sharing unit of Daimler.

They debuted their automated valet parking function back in 2017 at the parking garage of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Then in 2018, after intensive testing, museum visitors ere able to test the automated parking service with one very important warning, a human safety driver must always be behind the wheel.

Using their smartphone app, visitors could reserve vehicles from the facility.  Their vehicle would arrive independently to the designated pick up place in the garage.

When the visitor is finished with the vehicle, they could deliver it to the drop off area.  The vehicle would then drive itself back to its assigned spot, guided by the garage’s infrastructure and onboard sensors.

The pilot program was limited in scope and restricted by a safety driver, but it served a valuable purpose for Bosch and Daimler and even other companies hoping to use automated driving in Germany.

That said, Germany does not have an approval process for automated driving without a human driver.

From the beginning, Bosch and Daimler brought in authorities from Stuttgart and the state of  Baden-Württemberg’s transportation ministry as well as experts from the German certification authority TUV Rheinland.

You would think the group would assess the safety of Bosch & Daimler’s parking function but it also helped regulators come up with guidelines for testing and the approval benchmark that could be applied beyond the pilot project in a parking garage in Stuttgart.

Bosch & Daimler tested lighting ideas on the vehicle’s pilot project.  They used turquoise lighting to indicate that the vehicle was in automation mode and informed others passing by along with other road users, that the vehicle was driving itself.

This is not the only Bosch & Daimler project that is in the works.  In 2017, they partnered to bring fully automated vehicles to urban roads within the next 10 years.  Last year, they announced plans to have a pilot robotaxi service in San Jose, Calif.

They are planning on using automated Mercedes-Benz S Class vehicles during the second half of 2019. There will be a geofenced area in the San Carlos and Stevens Creek corridor which is between downtown and west San Jose.

The pilot will have an on-demand ride-hailing service app operated by Daimler Mobility Services.  All rides will be monitored by a safety driver.

Presently, Bosch is building a $1.1 billion facility designed to assemble semiconductors used in self-driving cars, smart homes, and smart city infrastructure.

The Dresden-based chip is expected to start manufacturing silicon, commercially, in 2021 and construction is expected to be finished in 2019.

Without a doubt, we have come a very long way getting Artificial Intelligence-based self-driving systems.

As of date, Daimler & Bosch have received approval from the German regulators to operate their automated driverless parking facility without...

Tech News Vacation

The TSA is Working to Keep Your Laptop in Your Bag

The TSA is finally testing a screening method that will allow passengers, even those without a TSA PreCheck, to keep their laptops in their bags during the process. This new screening method is being tested in Las Vegas, and if it works, it will expand throughout the nation.

This month the TSA announced the opening of a new facility on the lower level of Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The new method being tested is under the Advancing the Checkpoint Environment program, or ACE, for short.

The Innovation Task Force

The director of the Innovation Task Force, Jose Bonilla, stated that this new facility will allow them to assess the new technology and processes being considered.

It will also make it easy for them to make a demonstration of the unique network of capabilities without having an effect on current operations.

The usual TSA checkpoints at Terminal 3 are found in the upper level of the building, while the ACE facility can be found downstairs. For the moment, only domestic passengers flying United Airlines will be able to go through ACE lanes.

However, this will soon be expanded to other domestic and international airlines. The ACE checkpoint is open for 4 hours every day, from Sunday to Thursday.

Passengers that go through the ACE lanes can leave their laptops in their bags even if they don’t have a PreCheck and they will be able to bypass traditional checkpoints. This process also provides faster security screening because fewer passengers are processed on these lanes.

The main ACE trials involve advanced imaging machines that make use of CT tech to look into the carry-on bags of passengers.

The images are more detailed than the traditional images produced by X-ray scans, which is why it will no longer be necessary for passengers to get their things out of their bags.

Similar machines are also being tested on other airports in the country, such as JKF Terminal 7. As ACE continues being used, newer technologies and procedures will be introduced to guarantee its evolution.

In fact, one of the main objectives of the ACE facility is to allow the testing of different types of tech and processes in conjunction with each other.

Passengers going through the ACE lanes will still have to remove liquids from their bags as well as their shoes, but it may not always be the case. The procedure will evolve alongside the technology, so many more upgrades to the screening process will follow.

The feedback from passengers who have used the ACE lanes and from the agents who manage them is important to evaluate these new processes and technologies, which will help the TSA roll out these new procedures and machines more broadly.

So far, the feedback is great on the introduced innovations, so we expect to hear more about this very soon as it will eventually appear on other airports in the country.

The TSA is finally testing a screening method that will allow passengers, even those without a TSA PreCheck, to keep their laptops in their bags during the process. This new screening method is being tested in Las Vegas, and if it works, it will expand...

Inspiring Stories Vacation

Beaches Resorts Embraces Everyone on the Autism Spectrum

Autism has become more common than ever before. Year in and year out, more and more children are being diagnosed with it. Some of the symptoms that make autism so distinguishable are sensory overloads, random outbursts, and overwhelming bouts of anxiety.

These symptoms can come out of nowhere, making family vacations quite stressful, which defeats the point of taking a vacation in the first place.

The good news is that many industry giants have taken the time to learn how to accommodate people on the autism spectrum, and Beaches Resorts is a great example of that.

In fact, the family-friendly resort is no stranger to autism, being the fist resort to complete the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) Autism Certificate (AC) training, thus becoming a Certified Autism Center (CAC) in April of 2017.

Remarkable Company

In April of 2019, Beaches Resorts continues working for more. Two years after becoming a CAC, the company has taken their commitment even further by becoming an Advanced Certified Autism Center (ACAC).

This is the very first company to obtain this designation, so it’s quite remarkable how seriously they’ve taken the issue.

However, at the end of the day, these are just credentials. What matters is what they’ve done with the knowledge they’ve acquired to ensure that families who choose their resort can receive the level of compassion and care it’s difficult to find in other places.

When you’re on vacation, you don’t want your family fun to be limited by concerns about safety or the ability of the staff to respond and interact with your children.

At Beaches Resorts, you don’t have to worry about this, which means your vacation will truly be exactly that: a vacation you can all enjoy together.

The moment you step foot in the resort, you’ll receive personalized care. This is possible because families can fill out a questionnaire with a Special Services team before traveling so they can be aware of specific preferences and requests.

If you need a private check-in or a sensory toy to keep your child busy and happy while you check-in, Beaches Resorts will provide exactly that.

Friends on Sesame Street

Beaches Resort have also partnered with Sesame Street to create an environment specifically designed for kids, which characters such as Cookie Monster, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, and more, walking around the resort.

What this means is that your family will have fun the second they arrive at the resort, which is not something you can say of every resort out there. They have even introduced a new muppet named Julia, who’s on the autism spectrum herself.

This muppet is of course exclusive to the resort and with activities such as Amazing Art with Julia, children will enjoy their time thoroughly.

Children on the autism spectrum often have trouble communicating with words, that’s why Julia encourages self-expression through art. Through this activity, your children will be able to explore themselves in an easier, better, more exciting way.

Because Julia is on the spectrum as well, some things must be noted. For example, taking pictures without her permission is a no-no. This is meant to encourage both the understanding and acceptance of autism.

Another wonderful thing about Beaches Resorts is that they’re not limited to activities for children. This year, they were allowed to include their water sports operations in their ACAC certification.

Children on the spectrum will be handled by dive team staff that has been trained on accommodating, interacting, and keeping them safe during these activities. Thus providing the opportunity for them to enjoy diving in the Caribbean, something that no other result can offer.

If you have a child on the spectrum, it’s never easy to plan a vacation. Not knowing what your options are is crippling and limiting, so knowing about the one Caribbean resort where you will absolutely have the safest, most exciting and fun experience is a joy.

Beaches Resorts will help you show your child that there’s nothing they can’t do, provided they have the support they need to explore new things and be comfortable doing what they like.

For parents, it’s a relief to know you’re child is in good hands, so your vacation will be amazing for everyone involved.

Autism has become more common than ever before. Year in and year out, more and more children are being diagnosed with it. Some of the symptoms that make autism so distinguishable are sensory overloads, random outbursts, and overwhelming bouts of...