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The Things I Carried

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first_imgLive simply.It’s something I’ve always preached, one of the few things I’ll stand on my soapbox for and the underlying principle behind Live Outside and Play.In fact, I feel so strongly about the importance of living simply that I actually included it in a presentation I gave this week to a group of students from Garrett College.“Live simply,” I told them. “If you can learn to be happy with less, you’ll find more fulfillment in your lives.”I stand behind that statement and, judging from the number of nods-in-agreement that I got from the students, I think most of them do as well. But after the presentation, I opened the door to my Jeep and immediately felt like the biggest hypocrite that ever walked the face of this planet.Sweatshirts, empty cardboard boxes, a bag of almonds, hand lotion, old batteries. My passenger seat was literally buried beneath a heap of stuff.Now, I’ve never been one for OCD levels of organization. In general, my life is perfectly content to exist as, what I like to call, “organized chaos.” What may at first glance appear to be nothing more than a pile of crap is actually my organizational system. You can ask me where anything in my car is and, usually, I can tell you exactly where to find it, down to which pocket of which Deuter pack you’ll find my blue Petzl headlamp.I think I’m okay with this approach because, in general, that pile of organized chaos only contains the stuff I need. But on further inspection of my passenger seat, I realized that I had a number of things with me that were just that – things. They had no real intended purpose and I hadn’t touched them in the seven months I’d been on the road. Why had I let these things sit here for so long, cluttering up what little living space I had?The truth is, we’re all hoarders in some capacity, perhaps not to the extent that you associate the word “hoarding” with, but regardless of how simply we try to live, stuff accumulates and surprisingly quickly, too. With houses and apartments though, you can hide that hoarding pretty well. Basements and attics and crawl spaces, sheds and garages overflowing with items who’s sole purpose is to sit and collect dust. Boxes, junk drawers, baskets for old bank statements. Whether we’re out buying new things every week or not, somehow, we magically end up with more stuff than we know what to do with.Living on the road only heightens my awareness of how often this happens. I can’t live in denial about it, because that junk sits right there in the passenger seat, staring me in the face. Yet somehow, I haven’t fixed the problem. No matter how many times I clean the Jeep, all it takes is a weekend of adventuring, a few days at a festival, really anything, and it’s back to looking like an overflowing storage shed. Granted, yes, I know other people have the same issue with their cars. Even when I wasn’t living on the road, I always felt like my car acted as a second closet of sorts, a catch-all for anything and everything I might need if I was away from my house for more than a day – sleeping bags, extra sets of clothes, dishes, running shoes. It was like a yard-sale-on-wheels.But as I sat there staring at what once was my passenger seat, I decided I needed to end this once and for all, even if it was just one baby step at a time.That night, I took the first 10 things I laid eyes on and spread them out on the floor. The goal? To get rid of one thing from that pile.As I picked up each item and held it in my hand, I realized that my problem was worse than I initially thought. Not only had I let this junk accumulate, but I’d actually gone as far as to associate a memory, an emotion, an attachment to this stuff.There was the coffee mug I bought for $5 during a trip to Asheville with my best friend, a photograph of the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunrise that I’d taken on my first day of road life, a bar of handmade soap from my best friends’ wedding, a customized pocket mirror my great-grandfather made for my great-grandmother (family heirlooms warrant attachment), a palm-reader-doohickey my mother gave me during our two weeks together on the road, my first pocket knife (heavy as it is), the purple spork I’d taken to the Amazon, an empty harmonica box I’d bought with my father at Cracker Barrel (for the record, there was a harmonica in it at one point), and last but not least my road warrior Tang, a hand carved jaguar I bought on the streets of Brazil.Part of me didn’t want to get rid of any of it – they represented such positive moments in my life, memories I never wanted to forget. But the other part of me screamed, “Just throw it away and be done with it!”I mean, think about it, do I really need any of those things? Even the pocket knife I’d never used for anything more than opening boxes and spreading peanut butter. The answer is, obviously, no, but throwing the entire lot in the trash would have been a drastic step.Nonetheless, I was committed to my goal and decided to part ways with the empty harmonica box. I shed a little tear as I watched it slide down the walls of the trash can but knew that the decision was for the best – my goal now is to continue downsizing, one piece of crap at a time.###What are your thoughts on living simply? Any tips for eliminating junk from your life? I’d love to hear what you have to say!last_img read more

Portugal Designs A ‘Smart’ T-Shirt That Measures Cardiac Rhythm

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first_imgBy Dialogo July 09, 2009 Two Portuguese firms have created the first ‘smart’ T-shirt that incorporates an electronic device and a variety of sensors capable of measuring the wearer’s cardiac rhythm and reporting the data in real time. “Vital Jacket” makes it possible to administer an immediate electrocardiogram or to follow the evolution of a patient’s cardiac rhythm over the course of weeks, as the manager of Biodevices, Luis Meireles, explained to EFE. Biodevices is the firm responsible for developing the technology, together with the Institute of Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Aveiro. Compared to other devices, the principal advantage of the new system manufactured in Portugal is, according to Meireles, the continuous recording of data, making it possible “to detect cardiac anomalies that sometimes go unnoticed by the patient because they are asymptomatic.” The data obtained can be accessed in real time through several different platforms, such as a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or Bluetooth, or can be stored on a flash drive. The Portuguese firm Petratex, maker of the swimsuits worn by U.S. Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, is responsible for designing the stretchable, anti-perspiration, and easy-to-wash fabric used in the “Vital Jacket.” The new T-shirt, barely distinguished from a normal piece of clothing, can also be used in sports, since it measures variables like oxygen saturation and respiration rate, as well as activity, posture, and body temperature. Although the product is available in stores “for general use,” the Portuguese Secretary of Health, Manuel Pizarro, is expecting its clinical certification as a medical device, because it is “a more efficient and less uncomfortable product than those habitually used for administering electrocardiograms.” Authorization may take around “two months,” according to Meireles, who added that negotiations are underway for the sale of the T-shirt in Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Greece. The Biodevices manager hopes to sign agreements with several hospitals and to see the T-shirt sold in pharmacies in the future, especially in light of the “positive results” obtained in clinical trials carried out with sixteen patients in Portugal. Meireles concluded that “Vital Jacket” was designed on the basis of the concept of the ‘smart house,’ aiming at including on-line monitoring for patients in need of special follow-up at home.last_img read more

Top 7 beliefs keeping you broke

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first_img 34SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr When you sit down and turn on your laptop or desktop, you become tense.Your fingers tremble as you type in your bank’s URL and enter your username and password. You flinch because your balances are not as large as you hoped and expected. On the other hand, your credit card balances are larger which makes you sick to your stomach. If you don’t pay on time, you’ll be hit with higher interest charges and late fees.As you log out, you sigh.You feel as if you’re never going to have enough money. You have a good job and work hard, but every day you worry. You’re afraid you may lose your job and home or be evicted from your apartment. You’ll end up in a homeless shelter or living on the streets.Does this sound like you?If you’re always broke, have you ever sat down and thought about why? Could it be that you don’t understand money management? Do you speak self-defeating phrases? Or are you getting something out of it, like pity? continue reading »last_img read more

What States Did Joe Biden Win and Lose

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first_imgIn Michigan, a spike in turnout in Detroit and its wealthy suburbs, along with shrinking support for Mr. Trump among middle-class voters, helped secure the state for Mr. Biden. About two-thirds of the predominately white counties that backed Mr. Trump in 2016 moved somewhat left four years later, and a greater share of voters in those counties backed Mr. Biden than they supported Mrs. Clinton in 2016.Battleground States Biden Kept After days of vote counting, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has amassed the 270 Electoral College votes he needed to secure the presidency.All along, it was clear that Mr. Biden’s path to victory involved flipping a handful of states that then-candidate Donald J. Trump won in 2016 while also retaining the states that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in 2016, won in that cycle.- Advertisement – An initial look at county-level data suggests that Mr. Biden ran ahead of Mrs. Clinton’s performance in 2016 in most parts of the state. He showed particular strength in the suburbs around Philadelphia, an area that had been trending blue in 2016 and has only grown bluer since. He flipped the state back into the Democratic column with 37,000 more votes than Mr. Trump.Michigan (16 votes) and Wisconsin (10 votes)Four years ago, Mr. Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win either Michigan or Wisconsin in decades when he defeated Mrs. Clinton by roughly 33,000 votes in both states combined.From the start of Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign all the way to Election Day, he and his team believed that rebuilding the Democratic “blue wall” in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would perhaps be the clearest and cleanest path to winning the White House. Mr. Biden also believed that the Democratic Party had to garner support from working-class and middle-class voters in Northern industrial states — those from families like the one he grew up in.- Advertisement – New Hampshire (14 votes)The Cook Political Report considered New Hampshire competitive with a Democratic lean, and it was tightly contested in 2016. But Mr. Biden won handily, by seven percentage points, and the race was called relatively quickly. That strategy paid off, as Mr. Biden rode the support in Wisconsin’s cities and suburbs to victory. He was aided particularly by massive turnout in Dane County (home to Madison) and he ate into Mr. Trump’s margins in the Milwaukee suburbs. And although it took days to learn who had won and the race was quite close, Pennsylvania indeed proved critical to the outcome. As expected, Mr. Trump jumped out to an early lead, thanks to ballots cast on Election Day, but Mr. Biden clawed back slowly and eventually overtook Mr. Trump as more and more absentee ballots were counted.- Advertisement – Minnesota (10 Electoral College votes)Mr. Trump came surprisingly close to a victory in Minnesota four years ago, and his campaign poured significant resources into the state this cycle in hopes of flipping it. Nonetheless, Mr. Biden maintained a comfortable if not insurmountable lead in Minnesota throughout much of the race, and polling there ended up being pretty spot on.Mr. Biden won comfortably, by about seven percentage points. He ran up the margins in densely populated urban counties and made significant inroads in the suburban counties that Mr. Trump won in 2016.Nevada (Six votes)Mr. Biden managed to hang onto Nevada, a state Mrs. Clinton won in 2016, but it was a nail-biter that took days to decide. Like Mrs. Clinton, he did it by winning Clark and Washoe Counties, home to Las Vegas and Reno, which account for over 85 percent of the state’s total votes. His margin of victory in Clark County was down slightly from the margin in 2016, but it was up in Washoe.center_img Noteworthy States Biden Lost Though there were many twists and turns, Mr. Biden appears to have done exactly that. Here is a quick look at the key states he won, and what we know about why he won them.States Biden FlippedPennsylvania (20 Electoral College votes)Pennsylvania has been in the spotlight for months, and it was long considered a potential “tipping-point state” — the state where victory could determine the outcome of the entire presidential contest. Elections officials had signaled all along that it would take time to count the votes there, and that a final tally would not be available on election night. Mr. Trump won the state by less than one percentage point in 2016, but polls had Mr. Biden ahead in the run-up to Election Day. Updated Nov. 7, 2020, 5:08 p.m. ET Florida (29 Electoral College votes)Perhaps no state was more closely watched this cycle than Florida, and the results there almost immediately dashed Democrats’ hopes of a blue landslide. Mr. Trump won the state by a significantly wider margin than he did in 2016, despite polling averages that showed him trailing before Election Day.More than half of the counties in Florida swung further right than they did four years ago. And although Mr. Biden did make gains in some areas of the state, he vastly underperformed in Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, especially in precincts with a majority Hispanic population.Iowa (six votes), Ohio (18 votes) and Texas (38 votes)Optimistic Democrats hopeful for a blue wave saw Iowa, Ohio and Texas as potentially in play this cycle, but that proved to be wishful thinking. Mr. Trump thumped Mr. Biden by significant margins in all three conservative-leaning states, winning them for a second time.Of the three, Texas, where the president won by roughly six percentage points, ended up being the closest. Even as some white voters in urban and suburban areas moved in large numbers toward Democrats, many Hispanic voters in the Rio Grande Valley shifted decisively toward Mr. Trump.Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces Nearly $1 Million Approved for DCED Economic Initiative in Coal-Impacted Communities

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first_img October 27, 2016 Governor Wolf Announces Nearly $1 Million Approved for DCED Economic Initiative in Coal-Impacted Communities SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Energy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today the approval of $960,000 in funding through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) under the United States Department of Commerce and the EDA’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative to develop a plan that encourages the redevelopment of idled coal-fired power plants throughout the commonwealth.“Sites that once occupied Pennsylvania’s operational coal-fired power plants are very often in prime locations for redevelopment, boasting access to excellent existing infrastructure assets like rivers, highways, railroads, and utilities,” said Governor Wolf. “In addition to offering developer’s confidence in estimating potential project budgets, this effort is also likely to facilitate negotiations and transactions with plant owners. Efficiently returning these sites to the tax roll benefits surrounding communities and enhances the overall well-being of the commonwealth.”“Through this funding, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will identify potential redevelopment opportunities for decommissioned plants,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “Ultimately, this effort represents a coordinated and proactive business attraction strategy that will serve as model approach for incentivizing real estate transactions and transformational redevelopment of these properties.”DCED received approval for $960,000 in funding to address the redevelopment potential of closed coal-fired power plants across the state. The department, in partnership with power companies and regional and local economic development entities, will perform a combination of environmental and economic analyses at shuttered power plants in Pennsylvania to give potential developers an assessment of potential redevelopment costs and accelerate plans for reuse.Earlier this year, Governor Wolf announced the availability of $65.8 million through the Obama Administration’s POWER Initiative to develop new strategies for economic growth and worker advancement for communities that have historically relied on the coal economy for economic stability.The POWER Initiative is a multi-agency effort aligning and targeting federal economic and workforce development resources to communities and workers that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is participating in the initiative with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).The Obama administration launched the POWER Initiative in 2015 and awarded nearly $15 million to coal-impacted communities, making investments in seven Appalachian states. Congress expanded the work of POWER for 2016, providing $50 million to ARC to assist communities across Appalachia, along with $15 million to EDA to assist communities nationwide.For more information on the POWER Initiatives including eligibility requirements and application information, visit www.eda.gov/power.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

Fancy owning your very own castle?

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first_imgA castle at 79 Sheep Camp Road Mount Crosby Qld 4306 is listed for saleDeclare yourself Brisbane’s ‘King of the West’ by laying down a handsome sack of gold — or $599,000 — for this genuine contemporary castle at 79 Sheep Camp Rd, Mount Crosby.It even has ramparts and battlements to keep your enemies at bay. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoThe ye ole’ chandelier sets the toneCastles as homes is a bona fide thing you know…Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:52Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:52 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenLive like royalty in Ince Castle00:52 Related videos 00:52Live like royalty in Ince Castle00:40Dreamy Otterburn castle00:43Château de Gudanes Reno00:48Dream home: Dallas castle01:44The Castle’s house auction02:17Castle for Sale in FranceStep through the drawbridge entry (yes really!) where your squire may greet guests or announce the arrival of a messenger sent by your northern force encampment, no doubt conducting a siege on Kings Landing. Here’s the actual entry.Relax with a warm mead and turkey leg in the open plan entertaining area with easy clean walls — perfect for a wedding reception. Walter Frey would approve of the living spacesThe geometric layouts of the chambers are sure to please, while Littlefinger may have had a hand in the design of the bathroom fittings. Even the robe hooks and vanity have been specially selectedThis unique property also comes with great tracts of land — 4151sq m of the stuff — where a knight and his maiden may wander and scheme their assault on House Greyjoy so as to rid this world of ironborns once and for all!Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclairlast_img read more

Gold Coast among the most expensive regional QLD cities to rent property

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first_imgA new report reveals the Gold Coast is one of the most expensive regional Queensland cities to rent property.RENTERS on the Gold Coast are forking out some of the highest prices for properties in regional Queensland.A new report released by non-government social housing provider, Compass Housing Services, reveals the Gold Coast has the second highest median rent in regional Queensland.The report lists the median rent each week on the Coast as $440, meaning tenants would need a weekly income of $1467 to be able to afford it.While also in the top five of least affordable areas are; Noosa at $457.50, Gympie at $285, Hervey Bay at $320 and the Sunshine Coast at $430.REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman Andrew Henderson said one of the main factors affecting prices was the lack of properties available for rent as owner-occupiers were the region’s dominant buyers.He said the fluctuating number of tourists and transient workers also contributed to the property shortage as well as the type of those available, while the slow release of land for new housing estates put added pressure on the rental market.“The Gold Coast has got some unique factors,” Mr Henderson said.“That diversity is also a bit of a challenge when trying to break down those figures.”Latest data from the Residential Tenancies Authority shows suburbs in the 4217 postcode — including Benowa, Bundall, Main Beach and Surfers Paradise — were the most expensive areas to rent with $850 the median price per week for a four-bedroom house.That is $120 more than the same period the previous year.The cheapest place to rent was the 4209 postcode — which included Coomera, Pimpama and Willow Vale — with $179 the median price per week for a one-bedroom flat.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa15 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoCoomera, Pimpama and Willow Vale are among the cheapest suburbs to rent on the Gold Coast.Lucy Cole Prestige Property managing director Lucy Cole said areas in the northern corridor were cheaper because there were plenty available.“Because there’s so much competition up there, (rent) is lower,” she said.She said quality homes at the heart of the city were harder to find and offered the best of the coast lifestyle, which made them more expensive.“We know that there’s a scarcity of good properties,” she said.“The size and (number of) rooms also plays a big part.“If it’s a multimillion-dollar home … that’s where you’d expect to pay more.”CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said while house value growth was slowing across the Coast, rental growth looked to remain strong.“This is potentially reflective of the increasing number of residents moving to the region but they are choosing, at least initially, to rent rather than buy,” he said.“Rental growth is expected to continue along at a fairly strong pace, especially considering that migration to southeast Queensland remains strong.”last_img read more

Sudan Elections: Female Presidential Candidate Vies For Top Spot

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first_imgSudanese president Omar al-Bashir is widely expected to win this election, but candidate Fatima Abdul Mahmoud wants to prove that women in Sudan can reach political heights. She’s contesting the vote despite the expected landslide victory for Bashir.last_img

Indiana AG appeals court ruling, wants early-voting sites

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first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Attorney General Curtis Hill today announced he is appealing a federal court’s consent decree setting a minimum number of five early-voting sites specifically in Marion County in perpetuity, which contravenes state law requiring a unanimous vote of the county election board each year to establish satellite offices.“In filing this appeal, we are defending the ability of the local election board to make these decisions in accordance with state law without a federal court ruling binding the board to a minimum number of locations indefinitely,” Attorney General Hill said.Further, Attorney General Hill said, his office has a statutory obligation to defend the constitutionality and enforceability of state laws. In this case, a federal court overrode the operation of state law without declaring that enforcement of the law would violate federal law.While fulfilling his statutory duty, Attorney General Hill also reiterated his own strong support for maximizing the numbers of satellite voting centers in all 92 counties.“We must — as a matter of civic responsibility — ensure that as many people as possible are able to participate in free and fair elections,” he said. “In every lawful way, we should maximize the convenience and ease with which citizens may cast their ballots. Establishing a plentiful number of early-voting sites is one such strategy. I encourage county election officials across Indiana to operate multiple satellite voting locations in their counties, and I encourage voters to take maximum advantage of these opportunities.”Current court proceedings in this matter have no effect on the 2018 election cycle or current numbers of early-voting sites.last_img read more

AMA, AHA, ANA release PSA urging masks to stop COVID-19 spread

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first_imgTogether, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA), and American Nurses Association (ANA) released a public service announcement urging the American public to take three simple steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19: wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash hands frequently. The PSA is the first element of a comprehensive campaign to increase public acceptance of these essential actions and builds on the groups’ open letter to the public released last month.Physicians, nurses and hospital and health systems leaders have been joined by researchers and public health experts in this important call to action. The science and evidence is clear, following these guidelines is essential to helping to stop the spread of the virus.Following months of practicing physical distancing and staying home, both COVID-19 infections and deaths began to decline. As states began reopening, people started to abandon the essential steps needed to stop the spread. This led to a significant increase of new cases, worsening the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), tests and testing supplies and further stretching hospitals’ intensive care unit (ICU) capacity in certain states. It also exacerbated the mental and physical toll on health care teams and clinicians providing patient care. In response, the AHA, AMA and ANA have launched the #WearAMask campaign as a way to continue urging the American public to wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing and wash hands. By taking these three simple steps, everyone can contribute to stopping the spread of the virus and keeping themselves, their families and their communities safe.last_img read more