Italy is ready to use cannabis in its food

person holding green canabis

The doors to the use of cultivated and curative cannabis in food have been opened in Italy, with the publication in the Government Gazette of the decree setting the restrictions on the incorporation of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) into food ingredients.

Italians will now know for sure if and how much cannabis will be contained in a range of nutritional products. Such are biscuits, salty taralos (traditional Apulia bread), bread, flour, oil, and a number of other products that have increased dramatically in recent years. In fact, many are using cannabis to make ricotta, tofu and organic beer.

This decree defines the limits of tetrahydrocannabinol in foodstuffs, as explained by the Coldiretti Confederation of Agricultural Products, “providing answers to hundreds of agribusinesses that have invested in this type of crop.”

As the Confederation itself points out, THC cropland in Italy has been enhanced ten fold in the last five years, from 400 hectares in 2013 to nearly 4,000 in 2018. “

The same source estimates that by 2040 the hectares used for cannabis cultivation will exceed 100,000, as the products containing it are known to have high purchasing growth, according to Italian media.

The decree of the Ministry of Health stipulates that the maximum content of THC and its treatments (flour, etc.) will be 2 mg per kg, while for cannabis oil 5 mg per kg.

Astronomers have discovered strange objects in the center of our galaxy, possibly a new hybrid star type

sky space dark galaxy

A new class of strange objects in the center of our galaxy, not far from the central “Sagittarius A* ” black hole, have been discovered by American astronomers.

These objects, called G, “look like gases and behave like stars,” according to scientists.

The G’s are curiously volatile, as they are usually like stars, but when their orbits bring them close to the black hole, they stretch and “overflow” like Tiramola or chewing gum. This is probably a new hybrid type of star, unknown up until now.

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) have published this in the journal, Nature.

Six G objects have been found so far and, according to astrophysics professor Andrea Gates, all were once giant double stars (one orbiting the other), which were once merged due to the strong gravitational effect of “Sagittarius A*”. Now some of them seem to leak their mass to the black hole every time they approach it, so they change their shape.

The first object G1 was discovered in 2005 and was then considered an astronomical anomaly until G2 was found in 2012. Now, after the discovery of G3, G4, G5 and G6 and after 13 years of observations with the Hawaii Keck telescope, scientists can speak of not an abnormality but of a new class of objects in space whose exact nature is under investigation.

Objects G are just a few light months away from the central black hole, while Earth is about 26,000 light years away in the “outskirts” of our galaxy.

The freight train connecting Las Vegas and Southern California

lighted subway

A plan to link Las Vegas to southern California with a fully electric train was revealed by Virgin Trains USA. The 290 km/h train will connect Las Vegas with Victorville, which is an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles.

Transfer time to and from Las Vegas will be 90 minutes, and is said to be less expensive than using an airplane or car.

If approved, the new rail line will be constructed alongside Interstate 15, which crosses much of California and a road running east to west in the State of Nevada.

Work is expected to begin this year and be completed by 2023. The east end of the line will be 1.6 km from the Las Vegas Strip with numerous casinos and hotels.

The construction of two stations is also planned. The project will be largely implemented on the basis of Brightline’s 112 km-long system – until the middle of the year, Virgin Trains USA operates under the brand name – connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The Florida State-run electric-diesel train, also known as Brightline, was completed in January 2018.

Superblocks, Barcelona’s innovative design that brings the city back to its inhabitants

aerial photography of city

Some of the largest cities in the world have a larger population and a larger economy even than whole countries. But as they grow in size and become increasingly complex, they also face major problems, daily threats to the health and well-being of their residents.

Overcrowding, pollution and lack of free space are some of the issues that are evolving into major problems in modern big cities, stigmatizing everyday life and living in the urban environment.

Response can be addressed, as cities can manage their resources and priorities in order to create a sustainable environment for visitors but especially for residents, while leaving room for innovation and development. And here’s the example of Barcelona, ​​Spain, where this new urban design first introduced the ‘superblocks’ in 2016.

The “superblocks” are neighborhoods of nine blocks, where vehicles are allowed only on the roads around these blocks, making the rest more freely available for pedestrians and cyclists. The aim is to reduce the pollution caused by vehicles and to rid the public of the rather undestimated, but rather harmless, noise pollution. These neighborhoods are designed to create more free spaces where residents can meet, discuss, converse and do various activities.

city spain dense

Health and Wellbeing – The Barcelona example

Today there are six such superblocks, including the first one implemented in Eixample. The change it has brought seems to be largely accepted by residents while the long-term benefits are far from negligible. Within the “neighborhood” they form, only emergency vehicles are allowed while the parking for residents is underground.

Vehicles occupy 60% of public spaces in the city,” Urban Development Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz explained in a recent interview with the BBC. “As soon as the space is redistributed and the situation is brought to a new balance, groups of citizens are supported, who until then had no access to these sites.”

After all, where did one imagine that he could find quiet corners in the bustling and vibrant capital of Catalonia? To hear only the laughter of the children playing in the playground and the peep of the birds. There should be no cars and traffic and the space that would occupy the cars has been turned over for play, green, and even a lane for running.

Obviously there are also objections from citizens who either want their cars out of the backyard of their home or have a business and are afraid that their jobs may be affected by restricting vehicle traffic.

But a recent Barcelona Institute of Public Health survey estimates that if planning for 503 superblocks in the city goes ahead as planned, traffic will be reduced by 230,000 cars a week as citizens will switch to public transport, walking or riding the bicycle.

The research notes that this could bring about significant improvements in air quality and noise levels on roads where traffic will be banned. Nitrogen dioxide levels are expected to fall by 25%, bringing the levels within the limits recommended.

The plan is expected to bring significant health benefits to residents. According to the study, 667 premature deaths could be prevented each year from air pollution, noise and heat. More green spaces will encourage citizens to go out more and adopt a more active lifestyle

This, in turn, helps reduce obesity and diabetes and relieves the workforce of health services. Researchers argue that Barcelona residents can live an extra 200 days only thanks to the cumulative health benefits of implementing the plan across the city.

The benefits relate to psychological and physical health. Access to open spaces can be an antidote to loneliness and isolation, especially for older people, as communities develop stronger bonds and become more resilient.

brown painted infrastructure beside trees

The idea of ​​Salvador Rueda

The first idea for the “superblocks” came from Salvador Rueda, director of the Barcelona Department of Urban Ecology, who says it could be applied to any city. However, the authorities who are interested in superblocks in their city should take into account a number of issues.

Such changes require significant investment. Indeed, as the roads will be transformed with the right furniture and plenty of green, the remaining roads where traffic will be allowed will obviously need to take on a greater traffic load.

Further investment in infrastructure, such as the improvement of roads around each neighborhood, may also be required to meet the increased volume of vehicles and the installation of ‘smart’ traffic management systems, which may be necessary for avoiding traffic jams. And the question remains: How will such investments be financed, given that the increase in municipal fees or any taxation is not expected to be warmly welcomed?

One has to consider – and it has already been observed – that when a place becomes more desirable it leads to increased demand for real estate. Higher prices and increased rents can create neighborhoods inaccessible to citizens and possibly ‘ostracize’ residents.

It is also important that Barcelona is an old but well-designed European city. The challenges are different in cities that are now emerging in Asia, Africa or Latin America, but also in the newer cities in the US and Australia. There are large differences in scale, population density, urban form, development patterns and the industrial context. Many large cities in the developing world face serious problems of overcrowding, uncontrolled and unregulated development and weak regulatory frameworks.

However, Seattle authorities in the US, who are looking for a similar framework, are already considering the idea.

“Copying” what is happening in Barcelona can prove to be very difficult in such places and will require much greater changes. But it is also true that the basic principles of superblocks – the priority of pedestrians, cyclists and public spaces over vehicles – can be applied, with the necessary adjustments, to any city.

In any case, successful urban planning needs a clear vision for the future and a roadmap for how that vision can be realized. A vision that is achievable when it is shared with citizens, local businesses, private and public organizations. This can ensure that all stakeholders share ownership and responsibility for the success of local initiatives.

Australia: They will kill over 10,000 camels because they drink too much water

bunch of camels in desert dune

Australia is experiencing an untold tragedy that seems to have no end. Wildfires have burned much of the country, dozens have been killed and thousands of animals have been tragically killed in the blaze.

At the same time, according to international media quoted by The Australian newspaper, over 10,000 camels are expected to be killed as they drink a lot of water!

In particular, according to reports, over 10,000 camels will be killed in an attempt to control their population in Australia, where people are suffering from wildfires and droughts.

The mass killing of animals will begin on Wednesday, January 9, at the behest of indigenous Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara leaders. The company has taken over professional shooters who will shoot the animals from helicopters.

Camels are known for their resistance to desert conditions, as well as their need for plenty of water, which they get from the fat stored in their bends.

Locals are complaining about mammal invasions looking for water on their property … as they smell it from miles.

We live in hot and difficult conditions and we feel uncomfortable because camels come in, demolish fences, get into our belongings and try to find water even from air conditioners,” said one resident.

Some people, even with such heat, are unable to open their air conditioners, fearing that the camels will attack the air conditioners for their humidity,” said a spokesman for the New South Wales Environment and Water Authority (DEW).

In fact, Marita Baker emphasizes that their need for plenty of water is not only a problem for residents but also for the local ecosystem.

As she says, the large increase in the camel population has caused a number of problems: On one hand, the soil and aquifers are contaminated by the tusks of animals dying of thirst or killing each other for some water.

On the other hand, concern about high greenhouse gas emissions has arise, as these animals emit methane equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide per year.

These animals have caused significant damage to infrastructure, danger to families and communities, increased grazing in Aboriginal lands and critical public health issues,” adds DEW.

The camel population control operation is estimated to cost $ 1.2 million and is expected to be completed in five days. According to international media, dead animals will be allowed to dry before being buried or cremated.

Camels arrived on the continent from India and Afghanistan in the 19th century for the needs of the construction and transportation sectors.

Gravitational waves from neutron star collision were probably detected for the second time

blue and red galaxy artwork

Another important finding in the science of astrophysics. For the second time, gravitational waves have been detected on Earth, that were most likely  from a distant unusual catastrophic event, a two-star neutron collision.

The announcement was made by the US-Europe international research consortium of LIGO and VIRGO observatories.

The first detection of a similar origin for gravitational waves was in August 2017, in a galaxy 130 million light-years away from our planet. The second detection, over 500 million light-years away, was done only by the LIGO detector in Louisiana, as the second in Washington was temporarily disabled while the European in Pisa, Italy, was not sensitive enough to “catch” the light. signals.

Usually, the international network uses all three of its observatories to confirm a discovery, but this time it did not.

Most of the gravitational waves detected to date (beginning in 2015) are probably from colliding black holes rather than neutron stars. The latter are very dense remnants of devastated giant stars about the size of a city, which swirl swiftly and may sometimes merge with a similar neighboring star, which sends gravitational waves into space.

Scientists calculated that the total mass of the merging second pair of neutron stars was 3.4 times larger than our Sun. Up to now, pairs of neutron stars with a combined mass of up to 2.9 times larger than the Sun have been discovered in our galaxy.

This is clearly heavier than any other pair of neutron stars that has ever been observed,” said Katerina Hadjiioannou, a Greek astronomer and a researcher with the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the New York Flatiron Institute’s Interferometer-Laser Observer at the American Astronomical Society’s annual convention in Honolulu, Hawaii. A related publication will follow in the astrophysical journal “The Astrophysical Journal Letters”, as quoted by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

She did not completely rule out the possibility of gravitational waves not coming from neutron stars, but from merging between two “light-weight” black holes (the smallest they would have ever found) or between a black hole and a neutron star. . As Hadjiioannou said, after the merging of the two star neutrons, they collided gravitationally, creating a black hole.

In any case, gravitational waves are increasingly paving the way for a new multimessenger astronomy, in which scientists have a variety of sources of information about the same phenomenon. Another relevant detector will soon be operational in Japan.

The “dance plague” that struck a French city and killed dozens

houses made of sones along a narrow cobblestone street

It happened and we know it well. It was in 1518 when Strasbourg residents “danced to death” for reasons that remain unexplained.

One woman started it all and the rest followed. Within a month, over 400 people took part and dozens died from exhaustion, strokes and heart attacks.

It may have been over 500 years ago and various assumptions have been made about the ‘dance plague’,but still a comprehensive explanation that would have garnered historical consensus has never been proposed.

Discovery Channel tells us that it all started in July 1518, when Frau Troffea went out in a Strasbourg straitjacket of the Holy Roman Empire and began dancing frantically for the following days. By the end of the week, 34 others were dancing alongside her, and before the month expired, a motley crowd of 400 nomads were jumping frantically on the city streets.

Amidst the summer heat and sweat, exhaustion and dehydration, the dance would leave dozens of victims. A prominent historian and professor at Michigan State University, John Waller, argues in his related book “A Time to Dance: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518” that he found the explanation.

After confirming from the municipal records that several dozen deaths took place, citing medical reports, chronicles of the time, and official register records, he concluded that it was a case of mass hysteria, “a stress-induced psychosis.”

Having suffered the most from the famine that had struck Alsace and decapitated Strasbourg from hunger, the inhabitants were now suffering from diseases (smallpox and syphilis). Waller believes that these conditions caused ”a massive psychological disorder“, at a time when prejudices and superstitions reigned.

His theory is more plausible than the relatively predominant, that the inhabitants were infected by a hallucinogenic mushroom containing ergotamine, the natural analogue of LSD. This fungus, however, is extremely poisonous and would probably kill the population rather than make it dance to death …