Oldest living man is 112 years old, had a balcony birthday

112 years old Bob Weighton, from the UK, is now officially acknowledged as the planet’s oldest man. Weighton inherited the title after prior record-holder Chitetsu Watanabe died earlier this year. The living facility where Weighton lives, arranged a balcony birthday event for him and the Guinness World Records team presented him with the record-marking certificate.

The current record for the oldest man ever is Japanese-born Jiroemon Kimura, who died at age 116 in 2013. The present record of the oldest living woman is held by Kane Tanaka, 117.

Bob was born on March 29th 1908, in Kingston-Upon-Hull, Yorkshire and was one of seven children. Today, he has 3 children, 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

When he was asked his secrets for living many years, Weighton advised setting realistic goals and expectations for life: “When you’re young, don’t think about being old,” he said. He also noted that he was never a person to want to climb Everest or sail around the world: “We should all just take the life as it comes along”.

People around the world 3D-printing masks for healthcare professionals and staff

Image: 3Dverkstan

Many people around the world have come together to produce protective medical tools for healthcare professionals and staff on the frontline of COVID-19. An initiative by Jenny Sabin of Cornell University has reached architecture studios, factories, and homes across the world in a very short time. People who don’t know how to help joined the effort and started to print their own masks at their homes. The network, which includes firms that own 3D printers, engineers, designers and software developers, came together on social media to ensure the production of medical parts, tools, and equipment by using the power of 3D printers at home or workplaces, soon coordinated and started production.

Image: 3Dverkstan

After the drawing of the medical equipment was made, the prototype was produced and shared with the people joining the network on social media, the volunteers started to produce protective face shields/masks for the healthcare workers with 3D printers from their homes and companies. Designers, engineers and many more based their products on the open-source design from the Swedish 3D printing firm, 3Dverkstan. The shields can be printed in less than 20 minutes and are made of only two elements: a 3D printed frame and a semi-rigid plastic sheet that can be easily placed on.

While 3D printer owners can join the network through the website, healthcare professionals, hospitals and healthcare organizations can also submit medical parts requests. Sponsors who want to provide rubber, PETG transparent protective plate, and filament support can also be included in the supply network. As manufacturers cannot meet the increasing demand for the mask, this effort and collaboration of people will help immensely to healthcare professionals and staff.

If you want to join this effort, you can find free-to-use files and instructions available here.

French healthcare professionals are suing the government for negligence

So far in France, there are 2,606 deaths and 40,174 reported cases of COVID-19 (numbers of March 30th), and thousands of healthcare professionals are infected, and six doctors are already dead from the disease, anger is rising among staff and medical personnel against the government. The French Government, like governments across Europe, initially tried to downplay the disease and intentionally withheld vital information from the public. In return, hundreds of health-care professionals are filing a suit charging top officials of the government with criminal negligence.

The crisis exploded after former Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn spoke to Le Monde accusing Prime Minister Édouard Philippe of not calling off the first round of local elections on March 15 and claimed that she warned the general health directorate. On January 11, she sent a message to the president and on January 30, she warned Édouard Philippe that elections should be held/postponed for now.

Buzyn claimed that top French officials knew and hid the truth by not calling for a lock-down for COVID-19’s spread and as a result, they are responsible for exposing themselves and French people to danger.

She stated: “From the start, I was thinking of just one thing: the coronavirus. We should have stopped everything. We were playing a masquerade. The last weeks were a nightmare. Every time I went to a public meeting, I was terrified.” and added: “There will be thousands of deaths.”

As the number of death skyrocketed, growing anger and disappointment with the Macron government made healthcare professionals file a suit against Philippe, Buzyn and other top officials. Hundreds of doctors and health staff represented by Fabrica di Vizio filed a suit to the Court of Justice of the Republic which has the jurisdiction to investigated high crimes by government officials. Di Vizio claimed that they are suing based on Article 233, part 7 of the Criminal Code, which declares that anyone who voluntarily doesn’t take or launch measures that would allow, without risk for himself or third persons, for fighting a catastrophe that could threaten physical persons is punished with 2 years in jail and a 30,000 euro fine.

Di Vizio claimed that health staff discovered that the government’s assurances about protective equipment such as face masks were lies. He claimed: “The government told them at the end of February that the masks would arrive. At the beginning of March, when they understood that the masks were not coming, they started hearing from the government that masks were not really needed… This was simply an admission of impotence and a lie. The plain truth is that the government had stocked no supplies.”

Although French firms are producing face masks, the British government placed their orders first, so French has to wait. As a result of this, for the entire month of March, French healthcare professionals and staff did not receive any masks and many got sick and 6 doctors died.

The fight to hold government officials accountable for this fatal mistake of underestimating and downplaying the dangers of COVID-19 pandemic has big support in the working class, which can be seen in polls: %70 of the French people does not believe that the government is telling the truth and being transparent about the pandemic.

What is more effective: Hand sanitizer or hand soap?

People think they can be alternatives for each other but hand sanitizer and hand soap are different and meant for different circumstances: Sanitizer kills germs and soap simply washes them off.

Professionals recommend washing your hands with soap and water over using hand sanitizer. Ideal way to get your clean goes like this: You wet your hands with running water and scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds (if not more), then immediately wipe them with a clean towel.

When soap and water aren’t available, sanitizer is an effective alternative, especially when you don’t have water and soap or time. Hand sanitizer is also efficent at killing germs, but not all of them. The sanitizer you are using should contain %60 alcohol, ideally between %60-90. Anything lower than that is not effective enough. Too little hand sanitizer won’t provide you the protection you hope for and too much hand sanitizer causes dry skin in your palms and dry skin can cause cracks and bleed.

The best thing to do is to wash your hands with a soap more than 20 seconds any time you possibly can and not to rely on hand sanitizers, but have a hand sanitizer that contains more than 60 percent alcohol in your bag, just in case.

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.

University of London puts an end to burgers

tomato burger and fried fries

An end for hamburgers and macaroni bolognese for students at Goldmiths University in London: beef will no longer be sold at this educational institution that intends to do so in the fight against climate change.

The ban on the sale of all beef products will come into effect at all university stores since the students’ return in September, the university’s management said in the south-east of the British capital, at a time when cattle farming is accused of high water consumption and deforestation.

Targeting its zero contribution to CO2 emissions by 2025, the university will also impose a payment of 10 pence (about 10 cents) for the purchase of non-reusable plastic bottles and cups.

It is impossible to ignore the increasingly pressing global demand for organizations to take their responsibilities seriously to stop climate change,” explained Goldsmith’s new director, who took office this month.

person holding two hamburgers

The staff and students (…) are determined to contribute to the radical change that needs to be made to drastically reduce our carbon footprint as quickly as possible.

In a report released last week, a panel of UN climate experts IPCC / Giec stresses that changing eating habits and food production is one of the drivers of the fight against global warming, without suggesting the passage. on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has denounced a “too simplistic approach” on the part of Goldsmiths and urged private or public organizations, including universities, to support the British farm and livestock sector. “The main problem is the lack of (…) distinction between British beef and elk produced elsewhere,” union vice president Stuart Roberts added in a statement.

The British beef carbon footprint is “2.5 times lower than the world average,” he said.

Other UK universities have already taken steps to reduce meat consumption, notably Cambridge.

Serious discussions in the US for Trump’s amendment for the Endangered Species Act

california condor.jpg

The administration of US President Donald Trump has issued a highly controversial amendment to the Endangered Species Act, which is used to protect the country’s most endangered plants and animals.

The Endangered Species Act, signed by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1973, protects more than 1,600 species of plants and animals today, including crediting the rescue of the California condor, the Florida manat, Whale and the Grizzly Bear.

Driu Caputo, head of environmental law firm Earthjustice, described the changes as “an attempt to destroy the protection of endangered or threatened species”.

The Trump administration’s new directives amended the law to allow information on the economic impact of adding a species to the list of protected species.

Until now, decisions regarding wildlife management can only be based on science and “not concerned with the potential financial or other impact” of them.

The government has also made changes that critics say allow threats such as climate change to be ignored.

The Trump government’s revisions, which will take effect in 30 days, will change the law, but broader, backed by Republican amendments that have failed to pass through Congress.

“The completed reviews are exactly in line with the president’s mandate to lighten the regulatory burden on the American people without sacrificing our species protection and recovery goals,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The changes were announced by the US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the US Department of Commerce’s National Maritime Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The change in US environmental regulations comes at a time when UN scientists are warning that about one million plant and animal species face an immediate threat of extinction worldwide due to human activity.

Over 2,000 species are on the list of endangered or threatened species in the US.

The announcement sparked outrage by environmental activists and Democratic lawmakers. Chuck Sumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, called the change “a slap in the face for those struggling to cope with the climate crisis”.

“Once again, the Trump administration puts the profits of the big oil companies above the health and safety of our planet and future generations,” Sumer underlined.

The bank that offers negative loan rates

jyske bank.jpg

A bank in Denmark offers mortgage loans at a negative rate, essentially paying its clients to borrow money to buy a home.

Jyske Bank, Denmark’s third-largest bank, announced last week that customers will now be able to get a 10-year fixed-rate mortgage with a -0.5% interest rate, meaning customers will pay less from the amount they borrowed.

To understand the -0.5% rate in simple terms: If you bought a home for $ 1 million and paid off your loan in 10 years, you would only pay $ 995,000 to the bank.

It should be noted that even with the negative interest rate, banks often impose debt-related charges, which means that homeowners can eventually pay more.

It’s a new chapter in the history of mortgage lending,” Jyske Bank economist Mikkel H. told Danish television, according to the Copenhagen Post website. “A few months ago, we would say that would not have been possible, but we have been surprised again and again, and this opens up a new opportunity for homeowners.”

Jyske Bank’s negative interest rate is the latest in a series of extremely low interest rate offers from banks to Danish homeowners.

According to The Local, Nordea Bank, the largest bank in Scandinavia, has announced that it will offer 20-year fixed-rate mortgages at 0% interest rate. Bloomberg reported that some Danish banks offered a 30-year mortgage at 0.5% interest rate.


It should also be noted that negative interest rates are available in Denmark for short-term mortgage bonds from May, according to Bloomberg. It has only recently become readily accessible to consumers.

It’s never been cheaper to borrow,Lise Nytoft Bergmann, chief analyst at Nordea’s home finance unit in Denmark, told Bloomberg.

It may seem unprofitable for banks to lend their money at such low interest rates – but there is a logic behind it.

Financial markets are at an unstable, uncertain point at this time. Factors include the US-China trade war, Brexit and a widespread economic slowdown around the world – and especially in Europe.

Many investors fear that there will be a significant financial crisis in the near future. Therefore, some banks are willing to lend money at negative interest rates, accepting a slight loss instead of risking more loss by borrowing money at higher interest rates that customers cannot meet.

It is an unpleasant thought that there are investors who are willing to lend money for 30 years and get only 0.5% in return,” Bergmann said.

It shows how frightened investors are about the current situation in the financial markets and that they expect it will take a very long time for things to improve.

The first country that salaries will be paid in crypto currency

ripple etehereum and bitcoin and micro sdhc card

It is now the first country to legalize crypto-wage payments, following a directive issued by the Ministry of Internal Revenue and the tax office for the experimental implementation, from September 1 and initially for a three-year period, of payroll employees’ salaries.

The reason for New Zealand.

The legislation, adopted on August 7, provides for the possibility of paying on a regular basis a part of salaried money and excluding freelancers and subcontractors.

Moreover, it requires that these cryptocurrencies should be able to be “instantly converted” into a fixed, single cryptocurrency whose exchange rate will be linked to one or more national currencies.

As the legislator points out, “not all cryptocurrencies are acceptable“, clarifying that in order to be considered eligible for “pay or allowances” they must have similarities with existing official currencies so as not to be endangered by sanctions, or prohibitions, and can be converted into a national currency.