Category Archives: News

Montreux Jazz Festival Release More Than 50 Full Sets of Performances

During this unprecedented time, fans will have the chance to experience iconic performances by some of their favourite artists from their living rooms,” reads a press statement via NME, “including rare concerts from ‘The Godfather of Soul’ James Brown, who played Montreux Jazz Festival in 1981 and the legendary Nina Simone in 1976. Fans will also be able to enjoy Johnny Cash’s 1994 Live at Montreux performance, as well as the ground-breaking hip hop group RUN DMC’s electrifying show in 2001.”

“We hope that a little music and soul will brighten up your day!” the organizers continue.

Other released festival sets include Ray Charles, Nile Rodgers & Chic, and Phil Collins, as well as Wu-Tang Clan, Simply Red, Carlos Santana, and Deep Purple.

To access this treasure trove of concert videos, head to the Montreux Jazz’s official website. The festival, which is now in its 54th year, will communicate a new date for the 2020 lineup announcement soon.

In related news, Radiohead recently shared their full set from 2017’s Best Kept Secret Festival.

Read the full article at consequence of sound

Teenagers build robot to remove all 8.3b tons of plastics in every ocean

– 4 Teenagers from South Sudan have invented a robot to clean the world’s oceans of all its 8.3b plastic pollution – The team displayed their invention at the recently held First Global Challenge in Dubai – Reports indicate that over 300m tons of plastic waste is generated yearly in the world and a good amount ends up in the oceans Our Manifesto: This is what YEN.com.gh believes in 4 South Sudanese teenagers have built a robot to rid the world’s oceans of over 8.3bn tons of plastic pollution. According to Face2FaceAfrica.com, the team displayed their invention that can clean water bodies of plastics and other pollutants at the recently held First Global Challenge in Dubai.

The Global Challenge to recover “trash from the seas” using robots is an annual international robotics and artificial intelligence competition held for the first time in Dubai. READ ALSO: Married lady narrates how she cheated on her husband with another married woman Reports indicate that 300 million tons of plastic waste are generated every year. This figure is estimated to be nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire population. Research indicates that more than 8.3 billion tons have ended up in the ocean and if care is not taken there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. The disturbing levels of the pollutant that come from human activities every year, kill marine life thereby affecting global populations.

According to team mentor Richard Ring, the robot can be used to clean the Nile of plastic pollution and the Nile is one of the 10 rivers contributing 90% of Ocean plastic waste. By extension, the robot can clean other rivers and oceans if the use is duplicated. How exactly the robot works to perform the job is not disclosed. It is thought that how it operates is considered a trade secret. Speaking about the groundbreaking invention, James Madut, one of the team members said: “As a youth, our main point is to unite and make a change and work with the community to clean the oceans. We can do it together”.

A  young SHS boy from Koforidua by name Kelvin Amaniampong has come up with an innovation that can save Free SHS policy ¢4m yearly Kelvin, from a humble background, who is in the double-track system realized how much time he has had to spend being unproductive and decided to provide a solution.

He came up with an app called Scrollbooks with the help of his uncle to provide free textbooks and past questions to millions of Ghanaian students nationwide.

Source : https://yen.com.gh/143839-teenagers-build-robot-remove-83b-tons-plastics-ocean-worldwide.html

Solar Powered Barges Scoop Up 50 Tons of Plastic Daily

The ‘Interceptor” stops ocean plastic at its source, rivers

The teenage Dutch inventor behind the Ocean Cleanup has invented a solar-powered barge to intercept plastic pollution before it reaches the ocean.

The “Interceptor” is a floating robot the size of a large houseboat that skims plastic waste off the surface of the river as it flows downstream.

It’s capable of collecting 50 tons of plastic rubbish per day. The plastic is directed up the mouth of the barge, collected in dumpsters, then sent to recycling facilities.

The nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup, has been quietly developing the system over the last four years, while it continued to work on its main project—device that captures plastic trash already in the ocean.

A huge chunk of ocean plastic (2 million tons a year) enters  the sea through rivers.

Around 1% of the world’s rivers are responsible for the majority of the trash entering the ocean, and most of those are in Asia, near cities with inadequate recycling infrastructure.

Ultimately, “we need to move all the way upstream and reduce consumption and production of single-use, unnecessary plastics, and we need to better collect and recycle plastics and ensure materials are getting back into the supply chain for a circular economy,” Nick Mallos of The Ocean Conservancy tells Fast Company.

Source – ReturnToNow 

Woman designs waterproof headscarf to encourage more black people to go swimming

95% of black adults and 80% of black children do not go swimming, according to recent figures from Sport England – and a lot of that comes down to haircare. But now, a British inventor has created a unique waterproof headscarf designed to protect Afro hair, in a bid to encourage more black people to go swimming. Danielle Obe, 38 from London, came up with the idea for the headscarves – called Nemes – after her daughter Kayla, now six, began to dread going in the pool. She herself had previously given up swimming for two decades because she did not want to risk damage to her hair.

Afro hair can be damaged by the chemicals in swimming pools because it is often naturally drier and more brittle – and the time it can take to moisturise and style hair after swimming can be really offputting. TOP ARTICLES 4/5 The majority of women feel ‘inappropriately looked at’ in the gym ‘Natural Afro hair grows up and out, not down in length like Caucasian hair,’ says Danielle.

Danielle designed the scarves to help her daughter feel confident swimming (Picture: Danielle Obe/PA Wire) ‘The chlorine dries out the hair, causing it to be frizzy, brittle and “thirsty”, which is what causes breakage, hair thinning and – in some cases for women with processed, delicate hair – it falls off if the hair is not thoroughly washed out, conditioned and rehydrated.’ Danielle herself gave up swimming because of how long it would take to style her hair after a dip. ‘Getting into any type of aquatic activity then was a huge no-no. I couldn’t go swimming in the evening after work. If I did, how would I turn up for client meetings the next morning?’ she says. ‘Kayla hates getting soap in and around her face, so when it came time to wash her hair after swimming, she would scream and scream

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/05/woman-designs-waterproof-headscarf-encourage-black-people-go-swimming-12351800/?ito=cbshare

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

Minority-Owned Marijuana Business Owners In Mass. Are Being Crushed By The Wait For Licenses

chauncy spencer
Part Two | Minority-Owned Marijuana Business Owners Face Crushing Wait Time

This story is part two of a two-part series about host community agreements in Massachusetts. Read part one here. 

Chauncy Spencer is the proud tenant of roughly 10,000 square feet of empty space on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan. An old Payless Shoes sign still hangs out front, and inside, bright orange Home Depot buckets catch drops of water from a leaky ceiling. 

“Essentially, this is just carpet … and wall,” Spencer said, surveying the space where he hopes to one day open “The 420,” his recreational marijuana shop. 

Spencer started renting this space for $5,000 per month in April 2018. When he applied for a license to open a pot shop, he said, the state told him he was first in line, and his chances for getting approved were good. He said he thought he would make his rent money back in no time. 

“The city spoke the language of economic empowerment,” Spencer said. “And they encouraged us to come into this space.”

Spencer was considered “priority status” by the state because he’s black, he grew up in a Dorchester neighborhood that has been negatively and disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, and in 2003, he was arrested for growing four weed plants in his Danvers apartment and charged with drug trafficking. 

Through equity programs put in place by the state, applicants with backgrounds like Spencer’s are considered social or economic empowerment candidates, and they were told they could get first dibs to open a marijuana shop. After all Spencer had been through, he said it seemed to him like a kind of justice. 

But the law allowed communities to make demands of applicants, and bigger businesses could offer more incentives to cities and towns. And somehow, those big operators seemed to be getting licenses first. Across the whole state, 309 provisional licenses have been awarded to marijuana applicants, according to the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). 

But only 11 total licenses have been given out to the 143 participants of the social equity program and the 122 certified economic empowerment applicants, WGBH News has found.

To operate in Massachusetts, a marijuana business has to sign a contract with the city or town they’ll be working in, called a host community agreement (HCA).

Read the full article at WGBH

Plastic Bottles To Make Roads That Last 10x Longer

The creation of plastic in 1907 marks an important point in mankind and the history of Earth. It is the year in which we created one of the most durable, but also environmentally harmful materials and we are starting to face the consequences now. Because of its low manufacturing price, chances are that it will never completely disappear from our markets, but we can still make some steps towards reducing its use and recycling it.

MacRebur’s mission is to help solve the waste plastic epidemic and the poor quality of roads we drive on around the world today. Since plastic represents a great threat to our planet, a UK-based company called MacRebur, is trying to take measures to recycle it effectively. They have figured out a way in which they reuse plastic to build new and more durable roads and create cheap asphalt. Toby McCartney, the company’s CEO, came up with the idea while working in Southern India and observed people collecting plastic and melting it into pothole fillers. ©

MacRebur The best part of this new technology is that it can reuse almost any kind of plastic and create a new environmentally friendly asphalt. The plastic used in this process must come from those that are labeled as waste, and once collected it is melted and combined with asphalt concrete formula. According to McCartney, this new form of asphalt helps builders create roads that are 60% stronger than traditional ones and encourages the development of new eco-friendly technologies.

See more at: https://www.goodshomedesign.com/company-is-using-plastic-bottles-to-make-roads-that-last-10x-longer-than-asphalt/

Avocado: the ‘green gold’ causing environment havoc

The avocado boom means 11 billion pounds are consumed annually worldwide.

• Intensive production in Michoacán state, Mexico has caused environment damage on multiple fronts.

• The avocado supply chain desperately needs international monitoring and standards.

Maybe you start your day with an avocado toast, then you have an avocado salad for lunch, and you finish your day with some guacamole in your dinner. The delicious and nutritious fruit has gained immense popularity over the last years, linked to a healthy lifestyle. But the underlying truth is tough: Avocado production carries enormous environmental costs that you are probably not aware of.

Mexico produces more avocado than anywhere in the world, but the “green gold”, as it is known, is consumed mainly in North America, Europe and Asia. Each year, 11 billion pounds of avocado are consumed around the world. A few weeks ago, every six minutes, a truck full of avocados was leaving the Mexican state of Michoacán for export to the USA in preparation for the most important date for avocado producers in the year: the Super Bowl, which sees 7% of the annual avocado consumption in only one day.

Top avocado importing countries, 2018
Image: Hass Avocado Board

Michoacán produces eight out of 10 Mexican avocados and five out of 10 avocados produced globally. Avocado farming in the state has a land production size equivalent of 196,000 football fields; its regional economy is strongly dependent on a product with a market value of around $2.5 billion a year. 

Until two decades ago, US buyers did not have access to Mexican avocado. The US government maintained a ban on imports for 87 years because it was considered to represent a risk to agriculture. In 1997, Michoacán was declared free of the borer worm, and the massive export of avocado began. Exports were highly benefited by the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); by 2005, Mexican avocado was all over the supermarkets in the United States, currently the most important market in the planet for the fruit. Consumption in the US more than doubled in only 10 years. “Avocados from Mexico” was the first brand in the agricultural sector to pay for a television commercial in the Super Bowl.

Hass avocado sales in the US by year
Image: Hass avocado board

Despite this massive creation of value and success, extensive avocado production has substantial and irretrievable environmental costs and damages. Disproportionately huge demand for the fruit is creating a climate change effect. Forest lands with diverse wildlife have been destroyed to produce avocado, and many more were intentionally burned to bypass a Mexican law allowing producers to change the land-use permit to commercial agriculture instead of forest land, if it was lost to burning. 

US imports by quarter
Image: Hass Avocado Board

Shrubs and old trees are often taken down to provide avocado trees greater sunlight, contributing to deforestation and consequently to global warming and climate change. Currently, in Michoacán’s avocado-producing area, there has been an increase in temperature and erratic rainstorms. Research by the National Autonomous University of Mexico Campus Morelia identified that the state has a new tendency to be increasingly hot and dry, with less intense cold seasons necessary to maintain the environmental balance, and extended extreme hot seasons with increased irregular rainfall and greater cyclone strength. The loss of forest cover and other climate changes means the rate of arrival of the Monarch butterfly to Michoacán has also dropped.

Around 9.5 billion litres of water are used daily to produce avocado – equivalent to 3,800 Olympic pools – requiring a massive extraction of water from Michoacán aquifers. Excessive extraction of water from these aquifers is having unexpected consequences, such as causing small earthquakes. From 5 January to 15 February, 3,247 seismic movements were recorded in Uruapan municipality and surroundings, the most important avocado-producing area in the world. According to local authorities, avocado-related water extraction has opened up subsoil caverns that could be causing these movements.

Small earthquake activity in the avocado crop region
Image: Sismologico Nacional de Mexico

One hectare of avocado with 156 trees consumes 1.6 times more than a forest with 677 trees per hectare. When avocado trees are irrigated, because their roots are rather horizontal, the flow through preferential infiltration is less and makes it difficult for the water to seep into the subsoil; 14 times less compared to the pine tree. A study conducted by Carbon Footprint Ltd affirms a small pack of two avocados has an emissions footprint of 846.36g CO2, almost twice the size of one kilo of bananas (480g CO2) and three times the size of a large cappuccino with regular cow milk (235g CO2).

Intensive avocado production has caused biodiversity loss, extreme weather conditions, extensive soil degradation of the soil and is on the brink of causing an entirely human-made environmental disaster.

As we develop multistakeholder capitalism, we urgently need to start thinking about the origin of our foods and to create more sustainable consumption food chains. Awareness of the environmental impact of what we consume is the first step to reducing the climate impact of our food. The avocado situation makes it plain that not only meat is imposing a heavy environmental toll.

Source – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/02/avocado-environment-cost-food-mexico/

Portland Installs Turbines in City Water Pipes To Create Free Electricity

If you live in Portland, Oregon, your lights are now powered in part by the water flowing through your pipes.

The city recently installed new municipal water pipes equipped with four 42-inch turbines that create electricity from the water passing through them.

Historyically, hydropower has been created by damming rivers and installing turbines inside the dams, which can be damaging to fish and the river itself.

Tap-water hydropower creates virtually no effect on wildlife, as it is simply harnessing the energy of water that’s already flowing through the pipes.

“It’s pretty rare to find a new source of energy where there’s no environmental impact,” saysGregg Semler, CEO of Lucid Energy, the Portland-based startup that designed the new system.

“But this is inside a pipe, so no fish or endangered species are impacted. That’s what’s exciting.”

Another bonus about hydro-power is, unlike wind and solar, it’s always working as long as water is flowing.

The turbines can only be installed in places where municipal water pipes flow downhill, as using electricity to pump water through them would defeat the purpose.

The four turbines are expected to produce at least $2 million worth of free electricity over the next 20 years. More turbines would produce more.

A larger tap-water hydro-power system could have a major impact in places like California where 20% of total energy consumption goes toward treating and pumping water to farms, residents and businesses, Fast Company notes.

Lucid Energy already has a pilot program in place in Riverside, California, where they city’s water utility is using the turbines to offset operating costs during the day and power streetlights at night.