Daily Archives: July 6, 2018

Bananas: Yellow fruit faces EXTINCTION if more not done

bananas-714514Experts say a special breed found in Madagascar could hold the key to keeping them alive.

But there are only five known trees in existence.

Scientists are racing to develop new banana varieties strong enough to survive Panama disease, which is a major threat to banana crops around the world.

Because bananas are clones, the disease is able to spread very quickly from one to another.

GETTY
RISKY: The disease is able to spread very quickly from one to another
It is currently wreaking havoc with crops in Asia – but could wipe out the world’s supply if it spreads to America.

Richard Allen, senior conservation assessor at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, told the BBC: “It doesn’t have Panama disease in it, so perhaps it has genetic traits against the disease.

“We don’t know until we actually do research on the banana itself, but we can’t do the research until it’s saved.”

via Bananas: Yellow fruit faces EXTINCTION if more not done | Daily Star

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Man takes a naked stroll through the city

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A man has decided to take a stroll in the buff through a Vermont downtown on a simmering day.

The Burlington Free Press reports the man wearing nothing but a hat, sneakers and a lime green tote bag walked around Burlington on Thursday afternoon.

When asked why he decided to go outdoors underdressed, the man said, “It’s very hot.” He declined to identify himself.

Vermont was under a heat advisory that day, with the National Weather Service predicting a heat index of 102 degrees.

The man says he’s doing nothing but enjoying himself.

Source: Man takes a naked stroll through the city

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Japanese blogger stabbed to death after internet abuse seminar

One of Japan’s most prominent bloggers has been stabbed to death minutes after giving a seminar on how to resolve personal disputes on the internet.

Media reports said Kenichiro Okamoto, better known by his blogger name Hagex, died on Sunday evening after reportedly being attacked by a man he had argued with online.

The suspect, Hidemitsu Matsumoto, allegedly followed Okamoto into the toilets after he had ended his talk at a venue in the south-western city of Fukuoka.

Okamoto was stabbed several times before staggering out of the toilets after his assailant, who fled on a bicycle, according to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.

via Japanese blogger stabbed to death after internet abuse seminar | World news | The Guardian

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Creepy Patents Show Facebook’s Relentless Drive to Track Every Detail of Users’ Lives

One of the best ways to gather intelligence on what a company is up to is to look at the patents they’ve applied for and have received. While some companies apply for patents for ideas they never use, or to block a competitor from using the idea, the patents provide a good indication of what’s important to a company, because patents can cost many tens of thousands of dollars apiece for worldwide coverage.

Sahil Chinoy of the New York Times looked at some of the patents Facebook has applied for and the results he discovered are very creepy.

One of the patents describes the use of the forward-facing camera in your cell phone to figure out how you feel from your expressions while you’re reading your Facebook feed. Apparently, clicking a “like” or “dislike” button is not good enough for them.

Another patent proposes listening to you and your surroundings using the microphone in your phone. The patent describes using the mic to listen to the TV show you’re watching in the background, listen to what you’re talking about, and track your sleeping patterns.

Source: Creepy Patents Show Facebook’s Relentless Drive to Track Every Detail of Users’ Lives

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A record number of folks age 85 and older are working.

Seventy may be the new sixty, eighty may be the new seventy, but 85 is still pretty old to work in America. Yet, in some ways, it is the era of the very-old-worker in America.

Overall, 255,000 Americans, 85-years-old and over, were working over the past 12 months. That’s 4.4 percent of Americans that age, up from 2.6 percent in 2006, before the recession. It’s the highest number on record.

They’re doing all sorts of jobs – crossing guards, farmers and ranchers, even truckers, as my colleague Heather Long revealed in a front-page story last week. Indeed, there are between 1,000 and 3,000 U.S. truckers age 85 or older, based on 2016 Census Bureau figures. Their ranks have roughly doubled since the Great Recession.

America’s aging workforce has defined the post-Great Recession labor market. Baby boomers and their parents are working longer as life expectancies grow, retirement plans shrink, education levels rise and work becomes less physically demanding. Labor Department figures show that at every year of age above 55, U.S. residents are working or looking for work at the highest rates on record.

At the lower end of the age curve, the opposite holds true. Workers age 30 and younger are staying on the sidelines at rates not seen since the 1960s and ’70s, when women weren’t yet entering the workforce at the level they are today.

via A record number of folks age 85 and older are working. Here’s what they’re doing. – Laredo Morning Times

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