The Fibonacci Sequence is everywhere- Even the troubled stock market

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The Fibonacci Spiral

 The curious set of numbers shows up in nature and also in human activities.

On Friday, as the U.S. stock market closed out its worst week since 2008 amid coronavirus-related turmoil (before recovering somewhat early this week), investors were left with a glaring question: Is it all downhill from here? Amid such economic turbulence, some market researchers look to a familiar, powerful set of numbers to predict the future.

“Fibonacci retracement” is a tool that technical analysts use to guide their outlook about buying and selling behavior in markets. This technique is named after and derived from the famous Fibonacci sequence, a set of numbers with properties related to many natural phenomena. While using these numbers to predict market movements is a lot less certain than using it to calculate sunflower seed patterns, the appearance of the sequence in the field of finance is yet another testament to its power in capturing the human imagination.

  Continue reading… “The Fibonacci Sequence is everywhere- Even the troubled stock market”

The coronavirus is showing us how clean the air can be if electric cars were the norm

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With all the loss of lives and financial destruction that the coronavirus has brought us, it’s hard to look at silver linings from this crisis, but there’s one that’s becoming obvious: cleaner air.

It might not last for long, but it’s giving us a glimpse at what we could experience if the world was to rapidly transition to electric transportation.

With shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders all over the world, passenger car traffic has been way down and people have been burning way less petrol.

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Americans on the move to escape the coronavirus

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Lisa Pezzino brushes her teeth at her retreat in Big Sur, Calif., 140 miles from her city home in Oakland.

The mass migration looks urgent and temporary but might contain the seeds of a wholesale shift in where and how Americans live.

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Back home in Oakland, California, Lisa Pezzino and Kit Center built a life that revolved around music and the people who make it – the musicians who recorded on Pezzino’s small label and performed in places where Center rigged the lights and sound equipment.

Where they are now, deep in the redwood forest near Big Sur, 140 miles south along the California coast, there is mostly the towering silence of isolation. A tiny cabin, an outdoor kitchen, just one neighbor. This is life in the flight from the virus.

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Helicopter drone is made to drop bombs on forest fires

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The QilingUAV JC260, loaded up and ready to go

 One of the good things about drones is the fact that they can safely be flown in conditions that would prove hazardous for crewed aircraft. That’s where the JC260 unmanned helicopter comes in, as it’s designed to fight forest fires.

Created by Chinese manufacturer QilingUAV, the JC260 can be equipped with two of the company’s retardant-filled “fire extinguishing bombs.” Dropped separately or in unison, each of the bombs can reportedly cover a flaming forest area of 50 cubic meters (1,766 cu ft).

Lift is provided by two sets of counter-rotating rotor blades, measuring 3.6 m (11.8 ft) in diameter. These are powered by two 34-hp water-cooled gasoline engines, taking the aircraft to a claimed cruising speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). One tank of gas should be good for a flight time of three to four hours.

Continue reading… “Helicopter drone is made to drop bombs on forest fires”

Dallas Exterminator treats ‘5 to 10’ ride share cars a week for bed bug infestations

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 If the shady business practices, abuse of drivers or straight-up possible negligent homicides don’t make you pause before hitting that Uber or Lyft app, maybe this will: at least one Dallas exterminator is doing big business killing bed bugs in ride-share vehicles.

Dallas is up there in terms American cities experiencing bed bug infestations. Both Orkin and Terminix place the city in the top 10 most buggy cities in America, according to WFAA. The news station spoke to Don Brooks, owner of Dallas-based Doffdon Pest Control about the problem.

“Quite frankly, they’re not racist at all and they don’t care about how much money you have,” Brooks said. “They’re bloodsuckers.”

Continue reading… “Dallas Exterminator treats ‘5 to 10’ ride share cars a week for bed bug infestations”

Planet Plastic : How Big Oil and Big Soda kept a global environmental calamity a secret for decades

 

Recycling Company, SKM, Declared Bankrupt In Melbourne

Every human on Earth is ingesting nearly 2,000 particles of plastic a week. These tiny pieces enter our unwitting bodies from tap water, food, and even the air, according to an alarming academic study sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, dosing us with five grams of plastics, many cut with chemicals linked to cancers, hormone disruption, and developmental delays. Since the paper’s publication last year, Sen. Tom Udall, a plain-spoken New Mexico Democrat with a fondness for white cowboy hats and turquoise bolo ties, has been trumpeting the risk: “We are consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic each week,” Udall says. At events with constituents, he will brandish a Visa from his wallet and declare, “You’re eating this, folks!”

With new legislation, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020, Udall is attempting to marshal Washington into a confrontation with the plastics industry, and to force companies that profit from plastics to take accountability for the waste they create. Unveiled in February, the bill would ban many single-use plastics and force corporations to finance “end of life” programs to keep plastic out of the environment. “We’re going back to that principle,” the senator tells Rolling Stone. “The polluter pays.”

The battle pits Udall and his allies in Congress against some of the most powerful corporate interests on the planet, including the oil majors and chemical giants that produce the building blocks for our modern plastic world — think Exxon, Dow, and Shell — and consumer giants like Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Unilever that package their products in the stuff. Big Plastic isn’t a single entity. It’s more like a corporate supergroup: Big Oil meets Big Soda — with a puff of Big Tobacco, responsible for trillions of plastic cigarette butts in the environment every year. And it combines the lobbying and public-relations might of all three.

Continue reading… “Planet Plastic : How Big Oil and Big Soda kept a global environmental calamity a secret for decades”

What’s in your water? Researchers identify new toxic byproducts of disinfecting drinking water

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When phenols, compounds that are commonly found in drinking water, mix with chlorine, hundreds of unknown, potentially toxic byproducts are formed.

Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States’ most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, says Carsten Prasse from Johns Hopkins University and his collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and Switzerland.

The researchers’ findings were published this past week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

“There’s no doubt that chlorine is beneficial; chlorination has saved millions of lives worldwide from diseases such as typhoid and cholera since its arrival in the early 20th century,” says Prasse, an assistant professor of Environmental Health and Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University and the paper’s lead author.

“But that process of killing potentially fatal bacteria and viruses comes with unintended consequences. The discovery of these previously unknown, highly toxic byproducts, raises the question how much chlorination is really necessary.”

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The sun is still a burning mystery. That may be about to change.

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The historic launch of the new European Solar Orbiter helps foster a golden age for understanding our nearest star.

On Sunday evening, a rocket lit up Florida’s nighttime sky as it ferried a spacecraft toward a first-of-its-kind adventure to the sun.

Even though our home star smolders every day in our skies, humans have only ever seen the sun from one perspective: face-on, from within the plane of the planets. The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter, or SolO, is about to change that, as it is designed to perform a detailed reconnaissance of the sun that will allow it to see the star’s previously invisible polar regions.

From this unique vantage point, SolO’s suite of 10 instruments will help uncover how the star sends streams of energetic particles called the solar wind throughout our planetary system. It will also help answer what controls the sun’s 11-year magnetic cycle, which varies in intensity and creates unanticipated fluctuations in solar activity.

“We fundamentally really don’t understand that,” says ESA’s Daniel Müller, SolO project scientist. “Hopefully, we’re filling in that gap with Solar Orbiter.”

Continue reading… “The sun is still a burning mystery. That may be about to change.”

Company to harvest green hydrogen by igniting oil fires underground

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Injection wells at the Superb oil field in Canada. To make hydrogen, workers heat the reservoir with steam and feed it air, setting off underground oil fires.

This month, on the frozen plains of Saskatchewan in Canada, workers began to inject steam and air into the Superb field, a layer of sand 700 meters down that holds 200 million barrels of thick, viscous oil. Their goal was not to pump out the oil, but to set it on fire—spurring underground chemical reactions that churn out hydrogen gas, along with carbon dioxide (CO2). Eventually the company conducting the $3 million field test plans to plug its wells with membranes that would allow only the clean-burning hydrogen to reach the surface. The CO2, and all of its power to warm the climate, would remain sequestered deep in the earth.

“We want to launch the idea that you can get energy from petroleum resources and it can be zero carbon emissions,” says Ian Gates, a chemical engineer at the University of Calgary and co-founder of the startup, called Proton Technologies.

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Hydrogen is a bad car fuel, but it’s the perfect boat fuel

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Because boats are cars too

There are issues inherent with hydrogen as a fuel for cars. It is incredibly expensive and energy intensive to create, it is difficult to pressurize and transport, and the infrastructure for hydrogen as fuel is far less developed than battery electric charging. A few automotive manufacturers, chiefly Honda and Toyota, have hung their zero emissions program hat on the hydrogen peg, but it’s still a very small sliver of the automotive market. It’s pretty much only viable in a small area of Southern California near the fueling stations. As a car fuel, hydrogen straight up sucks.

 Toyota and the Energy Observer are proving that hydrogen might be best served as a fuel for traversing the high seas, however. Toyota has adapted what it has learned from the Mirai hydrogen experiment to the Energy Observer, a former racing catamaran which now travels the world preaching the gospel of maritime ZEVs.

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The ‘forever chemicals’ fueling a public health crisis in drinking water

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About 700 PFAS-contaminated sites have been identified across the US while those exposed to enough chemicals can face devastating health consequences

Recent tests revelaed dangerous levels of PFAS in rain, a range of foods and sewage sludge that farmers spread on cropland as fertilizer.

In 2002, the French multinational Saint-Gobain boosted production of chemically weatherproofed fabrics that it produced in its Merrimack, New Hampshire, plant. Soon after, serious health problems began hitting residents living near the facility.

The Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water (MCCW) advocacy group says people there suffer from high levels of cancer, cardiovascular issues, autoimmune disorders, kidney disease and developmental disorders. That includes an alarming number of children facing rare and aggressive cancers, said MCCW’s Laurene Allen, who lives in the city of about 30,000 that sits an hour north of Boston.

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Everything you know about recycling is probably wrong

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A refresher for the new decade.

The next time you pass a recycling bin, do yourself a favor and take a peek inside. See anything unusual? Let’s rip the Band-Aid off right now: Turns out many of the things we drop into recycling bins don’t go on to beautiful second lives as bespoke greeting cards or shiny new bikes — a large percentage of this stuff actually ends up in landfills.

If you’re just tuning in, some background to our current recycling problem: In 2018, China, which previously bought and processed 70%(!) of the US’s recycled plastics, changed its policies about what kinds of recycled waste it would accept. China banned imports of certain types of paper and plastic, and cracked down on contamination (like leftover food scraps) in the materials they still process and recycle.

As long as we were shipping our recycling overseas, Americans never really had to deal with the repercussions of being, to quote Alana Semuels at The Atlantic, “terrible at recycling.” We tend to just throw everything into the bin without much thought about whether everything is actually, you know, recyclable. Now that US towns and cities are scrambling to figure out how to deal with recyclables, Semuels explains, they have two options: “pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away.”

Continue reading… “Everything you know about recycling is probably wrong”

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