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Dedrone has named Ben Wenger, a two-decade enterprise software sales veteran, as chief revenue officer and appointed Mary-Lou Smulders, strategic
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Q. I was following my wife as she was driving her 2017 Toyota Camry down the highway last week heading to Maine. When she first got on the highway there must have been a gallon of water that came out of the tailpipe. Is this serious?
A. When an internal combustion engine burns a gallon of gasoline it makes nearly a gallon of water. Generally, this water gets so hot it disappears as steam vapor. If your wife’s car in driven primarily short distances the water collects in the muffler. When she accelerated out on the highway the collected water was forced from the exhaust system. This is completely normal and also explains why muffler systems rust from the inside out.
Q. I have a 2002 Hyundai Elantra that has a crankshaft seal leak. The mechanic is suspicious that the engine has a problem. As of right now he is saying that I might be looking at as much as $2500 to fix the oil leak. Can you supply me some advice?
A. There have been problems with the thrust bearing wearing on the 2.0-liter four cylinder engines in some Hyundai models. When these bearings wear or in some cases fall out all together the crankshaft “walks” in the engine block and causes the crankshaft seal to leak. To replace the bearings is a big job, taking nearly 13 hours. At 20 years old it may make more sense just to live with the oil leak.
Q. My check engine light came on and I had a diagnostic check, and nothing was wrong. Since then, the light comes on once every two weeks. What should I do?
A. If the check engine light comes on there is a problem of some kind. When the light is on, go back to the repair shop and have them check the car for a trouble/fault code. This code won’t pinpoint the exact cause of the problem but will lead the technician to the proper repair.
Q. Electric vehicles are always in the news and in fact I don’t go a day now without seeing some electric vehicle. But my question is when will we see real self-driving cars?
A. Self-driving cars are divided into different levels of autonomy from 0 to 5. At Level 0 you are in full control, Level 1 is typically smart cruise control, Level 2 has some steering assist and Level 3 the car drives itself until it can’t and then the driver needs to jump in and take over. Level 4 is full self-driving on certain roadways and finally level 5 is completely self-driving on all roads and in fact the car may not have a steering wheel. Currently Mercedes Benz is offering some Level 3 car in Europe and may be offering them here sometime next year in their new line of EQ electric vehicles.
Q. My car coolant and transmission fluid started mixing causing my transmission to fill up with a yogurt like substance. I believe the head gaskets are blown out what is the best solution for this?
A. If it were a head gasket there would be coolant in the oil and oil in the radiator. In the case of your car, there is oil in the coolant and coolant in the transmission fluid, which indicates the transmission oil cooler has failed. The transmission cooler is part of the radiator. Depending on how long the fluids have been mixed together the transmission may need an overhaul and cooling system completely flushed out as well as the hoses and thermostat replaced. Sometimes you can get lucky and flush out the cooling system and the transmission and the everything will operate as designed.
Q. I always read your column, and but now I would like your honest opinion. I have a 2003 Mazda Miata that I bought new. It has 115,000 miles and is well taken care of and I love this car. However, I just paid $1200 to have a new brake line replaced, an axle seal leak fixed and some other maintenance stuff. I have been averaging $1000 for repairs every year for a few years, sometimes a bit more. Friends say get rid of it, it’s too small, it’s too old, I’m too old and it’s a money pit. The problem is short of buying a new Miata there isn’t anything I like better. I like the simplicity of this car, and how much fun it is to drive. Is this crazy? My other car is a 2015 Lexus LS, what do you think?
A. Repairing an old car is always cheaper than buying a new car. If the Miata is structurally sound (some Miatas can get very rusty), fairly dependable and satisfies your needs, spending $1000 a year isn’t crazy. For many cars today $1000 would be two and three months of car payments. Although at some point you may need to consider a replacement when dependability becomes more of an issue. Since you also own a very dependable Lexus, I vote to keep and repair the Miata. By the way, who says you are too old to drive a Miata, certainly not me.
Q. Do you really send a personal replay to every question you get? I think you once wrote that there are no stupid questions. I have a couple of questions that I want to send and feel they may be too trivial.
A. Yes, I will try to answer every question, in fact readers if you don’t hear from me in a few days, email me again. And like my fourth-grade teacher said, the only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask. Although just to prove the point, I think the original source of that statement is Confucius who said “the man who asks a stupid question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask a stupid question is a fool for life” So readers was it Confucius?
Got a car question, email The Car Doctor for a personal reply. email@example.com
Plastic production, use, and disposal have significant impacts on human rights. Plastics contain toxic chemical additives, which can pose significant threats to human health. Because they are made of fossil fuels, plastics are driving the climate crisis, which in turn threatens human rights.
On November 28, 2022, countries around the world will begin to negotiate a new Global Plastics Treaty. The negotiations are based on a resolution by the United Nations Environment Assembly, mandating the creation of a legally binding instrument by the end of 2024 to end plastic pollution. The world is drowning in plastic, and the creation of this mandate recognizes the urgency of addressing the problem for the benefit of human beings and the environment. As negotiations proceed, the countries involved should ensure that the treaty addresses plastics in a way that protects human rights.
Each year, more than 300 million metric tons of plastic is created. Many plastic products are single use, cannot be recycled, and remain in the environment for decades or centuries. Only 9 percent of plastic ever produced has been recycled, while the remaining plastic waste is dumped, landfilled, incinerated, or litters the environment. Of all plastic produced, 79 percent has accumulated in landfills, informal dumpsites, or the natural environment, and 12 percent has been incinerated.
This document examines the ways that plastic production, use, and disposal threaten human rights, and why governments should take immediate steps to limit plastics to meet their human rights obligations.
Why are plastics a human rights issue?
The production, use, and disposal of plastic generates harmful effects on human health and the environment. International human rights law obligates governments to address such harms and to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights to health, water, access to information, and a healthy environment.
The plastic life cycle begins with oil and gas extraction. Ninety-nine percent of plastics are made of fossil fuels, including oil and gas, and plastics and petrochemicals are estimated to drive 30 percent of the growth in oil demand by 2030 and nearly half of the growth in oil demand by 2050. Oil and gas production can emit toxic chemicals through drilling operations, mechanical equipment, storage tanks, and transportation of fuels. For example, benzene, a carcinogenic compound, is often emitted from petroleum operations into the water, soil, and air, which can threaten the health of nearby communities.
Plastic production and manufacturing turns fossil fuel raw materials and chemical additives into plastic that can be used to make packaging, consumer products, and other goods. The refining and manufacturing processes pose threats to human rights, particularly to communities living close to petrochemical production facilities and refineries, by emitting harmful pollutants into the air and water. Refineries and plastic production facilities are often located in low-income and marginalized communities and communities of color, which are disproportionately impacted by pollution and environmental harm.
Plastic products are then used by consumers and in industrial activities. Some studies have linked ingested plastic particles with impacts on cell function, chronic inflammation, and disruptions to the endocrine system. Currently, plastic producers around the world are not required to identify chemical additives in their products, so consumers are not able to access information about the chemical makeup of plastics and their potential impacts on their health.
After use, some plastic is recycled and returns to the plastic production stage. Most plastic is disposed of in formal landfill or informal dumpsites or is incinerated at an industrial facility or disposed of through open burning. When plastic is dumped or landfilled, it naturally breaks down into microplastics, polluting the soil, water, air, wildlife, and human bodies. Methods to dispose of plastic waste, including incineration, contribute to short-term and long-term health effects as harmful chemicals and particulate matter are released into the air.
Why are plastics an increasing problem?
Since the 1950s, plastic has evolved from being a less common, multiuse material to being ubiquitous in modern equipment, packaging, textiles, and other common goods. Global annual plastic production has soared from two million metric tons in 1950 to 380 million metric tons in 2015, a 190-fold increase.
Not only has plastic use increased over recent decades, but plastic production is also projected to triple from 2015 to 2060. Plans to scale up the plastic industry are largely driven by the world’s largest oil and gas producing companies, alongside consumer goods companies. As countries around the world begin to address their dependence on oil and gas as a source of energy, fossil fuel producing companies are increasing investments in plastic and petrochemical production, as well as increasing capacity to make plastic, as an alternative area of growth.
The same fossil fuel companies have led decades-long disinformation campaigns to advance the myth that plastic is recyclable, while internal industry documents as early as the 1970s show that plastic producers knew recycling wasn’t an acceptable solution.
How do plastics contribute to the climate crisis?
Plastics are a major contributor to climate change. The extraction, transport, and refining of oil and gas, their conversation into the raw materials for plastics, and the transportation and burning of plastic waste all emit significant quantities of greenhouse gases, which are contributing to the climate crisis. In 2019, global production, disposal, and incineration of plastic emitted 850 million metric tons of CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, as much as would be emitted by 189 500-Megawatt coal power plants.
If plastic use continues to grow as projected, by 2050 the greenhouse gas emissions from plastic production and incineration will reach 15 percent of the global carbon budget, making global climate goals extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reach.
What makes plastics toxic?
Chemical additives are added to plastics during production to change or enhance performance, functionality, or other properties of the plastic production. While chemical additives supply plastic products qualities that make them useful, they can also be toxic environmental pollutants and harmful to human health. For example, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are common chemical additives in plastic that are known to harm human health and are linked with cancer and harm to reproductive systems.
How do plastics affect at-risk groups and marginalized communities?
Exposure to toxins in plastic products – and emitted during disposal – can have particular and unique impacts on children, women, and pregnant and older people due to biological factors. Women exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals, including BPA, are at increased risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome and recurrent miscarriages. Exposure to these chemicals prior to and during childbearing years can result in increased likelihood of children being born with disabilities. Children, when exposed to the same levels of air pollution as adults, are at risk for more acute health impacts due to their rapid development. Children growing up in areas with high levels of industrial air pollution are likely to have reduced lung function. Exposure to chemicals may lead to harmful effects that do not appear until puberty or adulthood.
Older people are also particularly affected. As the human body ages, changes in organ functioning may make it harder for people’s bodies to process environmental pollutants, including toxins emitted during plastic recycling. A slower metabolism, coupled with earlier-life exposure, can lead to pollutants remaining in older people’s bodies for a longer period than for younger adults, increasing their exposure to toxins.
Isn’t recycling the solution to the plastics crisis?
No. While recycling is often portrayed as a positive, environmentally friendly practice, when plastic is recycled, it releases pollutants and toxins into local environments, threatening the health of those working in and living nearby recycling facilities.
Human Rights Watch documented that plastic recycling in Turkey – the largest recipient of plastic waste exports from the European Union – is harming people’s health. Pollutants and toxins emitted from recycling affect workers, including children, and people living near recycling facilities. Workers and residents of neighboring communities described respiratory problems, severe headaches, skin ailments, lack of protective equipment, and little to no access to medical treatment for occupational illnesses. Many of the facilities Human Rights Watch visited were located dangerously close to homes, in contravention of Turkish laws and environmental regulations.
Why is plastic waste being shipped around the world?
Countries in the Global North, including the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and European Union member states, have routinely exported their plastic waste as “recycling” to countries with weak or nonexistent environmental regulations, low labor costs, and little government oversight on environmental and labor rights violations. They do so because they lack the physical infrastructure to recycle it domestically, and profits can be made by selling it to companies in other countries for processing. In this way, they externalize the health, environmental, and economic costs of their high consumption economies instead of reducing levels of consumption or investing in waste management.
For decades, China was the world's single largest importer of plastic waste, importing approximately 45 percent of global plastic waste from 1992 to 2016. Due to the high environmental impacts of plastic waste, the Chinese government created what it calls its National Sword Policy in January 2018, which banned the import of most plastic waste. So exporting countries have searched for new places to send their waste, and Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Turkey have recently become key destinations for the world’s plastic waste exports.
What is the Global Plastics Treaty?
In March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly agreed to draft a multilateral environmental treaty addressing the global plastics crisis. The mandate paves the way for countries to establish a legally binding instrument to address the impacts of plastics throughout their lifecycle.
What are some key steps governments can take to ensure the Global Plastics Treaty enhances respect for human rights?
Governments in the UN Environmental Assembly should negotiate and adopt a plastics treaty that protects and respects human rights. A comprehensive and rights-respecting Global Plastics Treaty requires the meaningful participation of civil society. Such participation should include representation from people most at risk from the harm of plastic production, use, and disposal, including Indigenous people, people with disabilities, older people, children and young people, women, waste pickers and workers in the informal economy, labor unions, minorities, and people living in poverty.
Some key elements of a global plastics treaty that would protect human rights are requirements to:
VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 29, 2022 /CNW/ - Principal Technologies Inc. (the "Company") (TSXV: PTEC.P), which is building a diverse portfolio of investments in healthcare technologies companies, is pleased to provide this corporate update to shareholders.
The Company is pleased to announce that it has initiated proceedings of a potential $500,000 private placement financing that will be finalized as soon as the delayed financial filings are delivered, which is expected by December 15, 2022 or earlier, and the CTO is removed. The funds will be used in parts to secure options for participations in targets that will increase the intrinsic value of the company. Details about the financing will follow in due course.
The company is also pleased to announce it has expanded its advisory board by adding high profile individuals from the fields of business & finance as well as technology.
Dr. Gerald (Geri) Rainer, former CEO of one of the largest Swiss Private Banks and trustee on several international multi billion dollar trusts (among other experience), and Dr. Ivo Ivanovski, former Information Technology Minister of the Republic of Macedonia.
Besides from Dr. Rainer's business acumen and his generally extensive international network, the Company expects benefitting in particular from his institutional investor contacts and their financial backing of larger transactions and participations we plan on conducting in the new year.
Dr. Ivanovski, who is currently among others member of the Advisory Committee of the prestigious World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), will be instrumental in the appraisal of international technology trends, especially with regard to cloud-related healthcare technologies solutions for hospitals where large telecommunication companies hold strong footholds.
His Serene Highness Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein, Chairman of the Board of Directors (the "Board"), as well as the rest of the Board, warmly welcome Geri and Ivo to the company. Dr. Rainer, will serve as Chairman of the Advisory Board.
In the meantime, the Company's portfolio companies, E&E CRO Consulting and Vision Surgery AI (VSAI), are performing very well. These investments are further described in the news releases dated July, 8, 2021 and March 10, 2022.
VSAI is currently marketing a placement based on a substantially higher valuation than the one used when we participated earlier this year (at the time valuation was USD$20 million) as they have advanced their development accordingly.
The Company earned a dividend of approx. EUR 97k compared to the EUR 100k paid in cash purchase consideration the year prior from E&E CRO.
The Company will provide more in depth information, especially on acquisition targets for 2023, after the closing of the proposed financing.
About Principal Technologies Inc.
Principal Technologies Inc. (TSXV: PTEC.P), is building a diverse portfolio of investments in healthcare technology companies with a focus on those with global distribution potential, that have achieved regional success. Principal Technologies will also focus on companies that have IP capable of enhancing medical treatment quality and efficiency, cost efficiency, optimization of the patient pathway, and implementation of point of care technologies. In addition to providing growth capital, the company also aims to support the growth of its portfolio with the expertise of its management team, board, and advisers.
Learn more: https://principal-technologies.com/
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Jerry Trent, Chief Executive Officer
Principal Technologies Inc.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains statements which constitute "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws (collectively, "forward-looking statements"), including statements regarding the plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations of the Company with respect to future business activities and operating performance. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the words "may", "would", "could", "should", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect" or similar expressions and includes information regarding: (a) expectations regarding whether the Transaction will be consummated including whether the conditions to the consummation of the Transaction; (b) the timing for completing the Transaction, if at all, and the conditions to such transaction; and (c) expectations for other economic, business, and/or competitive factors.
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but instead reflect the Company's management's expectations, estimates or projections concerning future results or events based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed thereon, as unknown or unpredictable factors could have material adverse effects on future results, performance or achievements of the resulting issuer. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are the following the ability to consummate the Transaction; the ability to obtain requisite regulatory and shareholder approvals and the satisfaction of other conditions to the consummation of the Transaction on the proposed terms and schedule; the potential impact of the announcement or consummation of the Transaction on relationships, including with regulatory bodies, employees, suppliers, customers and competitors; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; changes in applicable laws and regulations both locally and in foreign jurisdictions; compliance with extensive government regulation; the risks and uncertainties associated with foreign markets; and the diversion of management time on the Transaction. These forward-looking statements may be affected by risks and uncertainties in the business of E&E, the Company and general market conditions, including COVID-19.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although the Company has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended and such changes could be material. E&E and the Company do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update the forward-looking statements except as otherwise required by applicable law.
Completion of the Transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including but not limited to TSXV acceptance. There can be no assurance that the Transaction will be completed as proposed or at all.
Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the filing statement prepared in connection with the Transaction, any information released or received with respect to the Transaction may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon. Trading in the securities of the Company should be considered highly speculative.
Neither TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
SOURCE Principal Technologies Inc.
For further information: Investor inquiries, please contact: [email protected]
Ah, Christmastime: the most wonderful time of year. The season for cozy sweaters, holiday parties, and tree decorating, is also the season for gathering to reminisce, reconnect, and make new memories. Whether planning a holiday soiree with friends or adding festive ideas to an annual family tradition, a game of fun-filled trivia is sure to brighten up any holiday celebration. We’ve got you covered with Christmas and holiday trivia Braindumps guaranteed to make your event sparkle.
Why trivia for the holidays? Stephen Walsh, owner of the independent trivia company Walsh Trivia in Baltimore, Maryland, says December is by far his busiest time of year, hosting both public and private holiday-themed trivia competitions for companies, families and friends. His in-person and virtual holiday events routinely attract hundreds of participants, and Walsh believes trivia is a unique niche that people of all ages can experience together.
“Trivia is unique because it's something everyone can have fun with,” he says. “It’s low-pressure, keeps players engaged and the questions are often catalysts for great conversations. Participants are learning something new about their teammates as they play. Trivia adds laughter and light to the holiday season while also remaining accessible for everyone.”
Below, Walsh shares top Christmas and holiday-themed trivia Braindumps that will enliven any gathering. Read on for knowledge that will dazzle the room this season!
Answer: The sixties. Following years of requests for a holiday stamp, the U.S. Postal Service issued its first Christmas stamp in Pennsylvania in November 1962. The department printed its largest number ever for a specialty stamp—350 million—and quickly sold out. The supply was replenished, and by the end of the year, 1 billion stamps had been printed. The rest is history! The tradition continues today with new holiday stamps unveiled each year.
Answer: More than you think! Nearly $1,000, according to the latest data from the National Retail Federation. Roughly one week’s median salary, the amount consistently goes up each year, with an estimated 96 percent of Americans buying gifts for their families. And the most popular present of all? Gift cards.
Answer: Believe it or not, we have a marketing campaign to thank for the most famous reindeer of all: Rudolph. The original eight reindeer were popularized by Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, but Rudolph didn’t come along until 1939, when he was dreamed up in Chicago by Montgomery Ward advertising copywriter Robert Lewis May. The copyright was later transferred to May and became a book, and the famed version of the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (by Gene Autry) hit No. 1 in 1949.
Answer: The Christmas pickle, or the Weihnachtsgurke! It's a German tradition that's popular in the Midwest (and the South) today. Read all about it here.
Answer: Germany. Some historians have gingerbread houses dating all the way back to ancient Rome, but both sweets have become synonymous with the holidays in the U.S. thanks to the millions of German immigrants who arrived in the 19th and early 20th century. Gingerbread houses had been especially popular in Germany since the publication of the Brothers Grimm's Hansel and Gretel in 1812, and candy canes are thought to have originated in in the U.S. in 1847 when August Imgard, a German-Swedish immigrant, decorated a tree with paper ornaments and candy canes.
Answer: Jimmy Carter in 1979. Since then, every U.S. president has celebrated Hanukkah in some way. The first official White House Hanukkah Party took place in 2001, hosted by George W. Bush. An annual reception hosted by the President and First Lady, the guest list includes hundreds of American Jewish leaders and school and yeshiva deans.
Answer: Cyber Monday. While Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is still the busiest shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving) is the fastest growing day. Sales grew from $2.98 billion in 2015 to a historic high of $10.8 billion in 2020.
Answer: Believe it or not, Christmas, Florida is a real town. As is Santa Claus, Georgia, and Mistletoe, Kentucky. Here's our list of 18 Southern towns with festive names.
Answer: Dr. Seuss, also known as Theodor “Ted” Geisel, in his holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. After the debut of Seuss’ 1957 children’s book, his lead character of the Grinch has appeared in numerous films and television specials and is featured in two of the three highest-grossing Christmas films of all time at the U.S. box office.
Answer: Silver. Once a display of wealth, it was tradition in Germany to hang tinsel ("estincele,” or sparkle in Old French, or “lametta,” meaning tiny blade in Italian) made of thin strips of silver on a Christmas tree to reflect candlelight. But since silver has a hefty price tag, cheaper alternatives have been made since the early 20th century.
Answer: In Brevard, North Carolina on July 24th and 25th in 1933 at a girls' camp called Keystone Camp. Real all about how Christmas in July came to be in North Carolina here.
Answer: Turkey. Active in the fourth century, St. Nicholas’ existence was not officially recorded, so nothing certain is known of his life except that he was probably bishop of Myra in the 4th century. His reputation for generosity became legendary, as well as stories of miracles he performed. St. Nicholas’ lore persisted in Holland as Sinterklaas (a Dutch variant of the name St. Nicholas), which gave rise to our current version of a gift-giving “Saint Nick” or Santa Claus.
Answer: Taylor Swift, who loved growing up on the 11-acre farm in Reading, Pennsylvania, so much that she wrote a song about it (“Christmas Tree Farm," written and released in 2019).
Answer: “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. Her 1994 album “Merry Christmas” ranked No. 3 on the album charts and sold 15 million copies worldwide, but the album’s lead single didn’t hit No. 1 until 2019. While the original continues to dominate the airwaves each December, Carey also recorded a new version as a duet with Justin Bieber for his 2011 album Under the Mistletoe.
Answer: "White Christmas"—written by Berlin, the song won an Academy Award and the version sung by Bing Crosby became the world's best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales topping 50 million copies worldwide. When other versions of the song are added to Crosby's, sales of the song exceed 100 million.
Answer: 60 million. Thanks to new package processing equipment and operational improvements, the Postal Service is expected to process nearly 60 million packages every day this holiday season, up from 53 million in 2021. Last year, the USPS projected that more than 12 billion holiday letters, cards and packages would be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
Answer: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"—originally dreamed up by songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine, the song has continued to live on through the years—both as its original Judy Garland recording for the film and its many covers. Other popular recordings of the song include versions by Frank Sinatra, Tori Amos, Michael Bublé, and Sam Smith.
Answer: George Washington. This urban legend has flourished for decades. The first president allegedly had his own recipe for the popular holiday drink. There’s just one problem: it likely isn’t true, as there is no documented evidence of eggnog consumption at Mount Vernon. It’s unclear how the myth began, but we do know that Washington was fond of a brandy-based drink known as a cherry bounce.
Answer: Japan! Aptly nicknamed "Kentucky Fried Christmas," what began as a cheeky gimmick in the mid-1980s has evolved into a more widespread justification for locals to bring home a festive feast of KFC to share with family the week of Christmas. A “party barrel” bucket filled with fried chicken, coleslaw and cake makes for an annual holiday treat that many Japanese families enjoy, year after year.
Answer: Seven swans-a-swimming! An English Christmas carol that embodies the spirit of the holidays, the classic tune describes gifts that increase on each of the 12 days of the Christmas season. The song’s lyrics were first published in England in the late eighteenth century, with its most popular melody derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin. Variations of the song also exist in Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden and France.
Answer: The 1960s. Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as a way of uniting the African American community. Modeled after traditional African harvest celebrations, the weeklong holiday is celebrated as a cultural holiday; many people celebrate it in addition to other religious traditions. As many as 12 million Americans celebrate Kwanzaa annually, including writer Jessica B. Harris, who shares the meaning and principles of Kwanzaa here.
Answer: Teddy Ruxpin. Alongside Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pez dispensers and California Raisins figurines, the ‘80s brought us the toy that parents searched high and low for at Christmastime. The best-selling toy of 1985 and 1986, the talking bear was novel in its ability “tell stories” while the cassette tape played. If you’ve still got one, you’re in luck: a Teddy Ruxpin in mint condition can fetch upwards of $1,000 today.
Answer: No! One of the most well-known holiday tunes in the world, "Jingle Bells" was published by James Lord Pierpont in 1857 as “The One Horse Open Sleigh” with no particular connection to Christmas. The song developed a Christmas and winter connection as it grew it popularity starting in the 1860’s. In 1965, "Jingle Bells" became the first song broadcast from space when the astronauts aboard Gemini 6 performed the song on a harmonica and jingle bells as a prank.
Answer: The Bumpuses. In Bob Clark's classic 1983 comedy film, the house next to Ralphie Parker’s is home to the Bumpuses and their 785 smelly hound dogs. The dogs hilariously get to the Parkers’ Turkey dinner before they can stop them.
Answer: St. Petersburg, Russia. With its iconic score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the ballet The Nutcracker features a unique instrument that Tchaikovsky had recently discovered in France: the celesta, which provides the unforgettable sounds we now associate with the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Nutcracker is now one of the most popular annual ballets to be performed across the U.S. each holiday season. Editor Tip: It also makes the perfect mother-daughter holiday tradition!
Answer: James “Jimmy” Stewart. A 1946 Christmas film, the movie was the first Stewart appeared in after returning from military service following World War II. Considered one of the greatest films in history, it was nominated for five Academy Awards and remains a beloved American family holiday tradition. There’s even a pilgrimage to make: The Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum in Seneca Falls, NY, features a year-round museum and a It’s a Wonderful Life-themed town festival each December.
Answer: Latke! Is there anything more delicious? Traditionally made with potatoes (but sometimes other vegetables!) and a staple for Hanukkah, every family has their own recipe for latkes and no two are the same. With origins in Italian pancakes made with ricotta cheese, potato latkes gained popularity in Eastern Europe in the 1800s and have been a hit ever since.
Answer: Paris. The 1990 American Christmas film Home Alone stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McAllister, a boy who gets accidentally left at home while his family heads to Paris for vacation. Hilarious hijinks ensue when burglars break in. Home Alone is currently the second highest-grossing Christmas film of all time at $476.7 million, surpassed only by 2018’s The Grinch, which brought in $512.9 million.
Answer: An old silk hat. An international holiday sensation written by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins in 1950, Frosty The Snowman tells of a snowman who comes to life—but only after a magical silk hat is placed upon his head. Numerous book and film adaptations followed, including the popular Christmas special narrated by Jimmy Durante (in his final film role) that has aired every year since its debut in 1969.
Answer: Ebenezer. First published as a novella in 1843, the book commonly known as A Christmas Carol tells the story of an elderly grouch who is transformed into a kinder man following visits from the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and several impactful spirits. An instant success, the holiday staple has never been out of print and has been adapted many times for film, stage and opera.
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Here’s the basic problem for conservation at a global level: food production, biodiversity and carbon storage in ecosystems are competing for the same land. As humans demand more food, so more forests and other natural ecosystems are cleared, and farms intensify and become less hospitable to many wild animals and plants. Therefore global conservation, currently focused on the COP15 summit in Montreal, will fail unless it addresses the underlying issue of food production.
Fortunately, a whole raft of new technologies is being developed that make a system-wide revolution in food production feasible. According to recent research by one of us (Chris), this transformation could meet increased global food demands by a growing human population on less than 20% of the world’s existing farmland. Or in other words, these technologies could release at least 80% of existing farmland from agriculture in about a century.
Around four-fifths of the land used for human food production is allocated to meat and dairy, including both range lands and crops specifically grown to feed livestock. Add up the whole of India, South Africa, France and Spain and you have the amount of land devoted to crops that are then fed to livestock.
Despite growing numbers of vegetarians and vegans in some countries, global meat consumption has increased by more than 50% in the past 20 years and is set to double this century. As things stand, producing all that extra meat will mean either converting even more land into farms, or cramming even more cows, chickens and pigs into existing land. Neither option is good for biodiversity.
Meat and dairy production is already an unpleasant business. For instance, most chickens are grown in high-density feeding operations, and pork, beef and especially dairy farming is going the same way. Current technologies are cruel, polluting and harmful to biodiversity and the climate – don’t be misled by cartoons of happy cows with daisies protruding from their lips.
Unless food production is tackled head-on, we are left resisting inevitable change, often with no hope of long-term success. We need to tackle the cause of biodiversity change. The principal global approach to climate change is to focus on the cause and minimise greenhouse gas emissions, not to manufacture billions of parasols (though we may need these too). The same is required for biodiversity.
Cellular agriculture provides an alternative, and could be one of this century’s most promising technological advancements. Sometimes called “lab-grown food”, the process involves growing animal products from real animal cells, rather than growing actual animals.
If growing meat or milk from animal cells sounds strange or icky to you, let’s put this into perspective. Imagine a brewery or cheese factory: a sterile facility filled with metal vats, producing large volumes of beer or cheese, and using a variety of technologies to mix, ferment, clean and monitor the process. Swap the barley or milk for animal cells and this same facility becomes a sustainable and efficient producer of dairy or meat products.
Animal cruelty would be eliminated and, with no need for cows wandering around in fields, the factory would take up far less space to produce the same amount of meat or milk.
Other emerging technologies include microbial protein production, where bacteria use energy derived from solar panels to convert carbon dioxide and nitrogen and other nutrients into carbohydrates and proteins. This could generate as much protein as soybeans but in just 7% of the area. These could then be used as protein food additives (a major use of soy) and animal feed (including for pets).
It is even possible to generate sugars and carbohydrates using desalination or through extracting CO₂ from the atmosphere, all without ever passing through a living plant or animal. The resulting sugars are chemically the same as those derived from plants but would be generated in a tiny fraction of the area required by conventional crops.
These new technologies can have a huge impact even if demand keeps growing. Even though Chris’s research is based on the assumption that global meat consumption will double, it nonetheless suggests that at least 80% of farmland could be released to be used for something else.
That land might become nature reserves or be used to store carbon, for example, in forests or the waterlogged soils of peat bogs. It could be used to grow sustainable building materials, or simply to produce more human-edible crops, among other uses.
Gone too will be industrial livestock systems that produce huge volumes of manure, bones, blood, guts, antibiotics and growth hormones. Thereafter, any remaining livestock farming could be carried out in a compassionate manner.
Since there would be less pressure on the land, there would be less need for chemicals and pesticides and crop production could become more wildlife-friendly (global adoption of organic farming is not feasible at present because it is less productive). This transition must be coupled with a full transition towards renewable energy as the new technologies require lots of power.
Converting these technologies into mass-market production systems will of course be tricky. But a failure to do so is likely to lead to ever-increasing farming intensity, escalating numbers of confined animals, and even more lost nature.
Avoiding this fate – and achieving the 80% farmland reduction – will require a lot of political will and a cultural acceptance of these new forms of food. It will require economic and political “carrots” such as investment, subsidies and tax breaks for desirable technologies, and “sticks” such as increased taxation and removal of subsidies for harmful technologies. Unless this happens, biodiversity targets will continue to be missed, COP after COP.
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Chris D Thomas receives funding from The Leverhulme Trust
Jack Hatfield receives funding from The Leverhulme Trust.
Katie Noble receives funding from The Leverhulme Trust.
Q. I have a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria that is losing coolant, I have checked the system for leaks and haven’t found any. Even after being parked for a few days there are no wet spots on the ground. The oil is clean with no signs of no moisture in it. I am adding about a quart of coolant a week, what is the issue.
A. The problem is most likely a leaking cylinder head gasket. The standard procedure is to pressure test the cooling system and if the system holds pressure, then the next step is to look for an internal leak. You can purchase a kit that uses a special chemical to look for exhaust gases in the cooling system. These kits are $35-$50 and are easy to use and quite accurate.
Q. My daughter has a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Lately the car has started to vibrate/slide as she brakes, as if the ABS system is engaging even though the road is clear and dry. The light with the squiggly lines will appear briefly. No other lights activate. Our mechanic has been able to experience the issue but has not been able to fix the issue. Any advice?
A. The anti-lock brake system uses sensors at each wheel that monitor wheel rotation. What you describe as a phantom ABS application can usually be traced to a rusted or cracked ABS tone wheel. A careful inspection and some testing should be able to pinpoint the problem.
Q. My Mazda 2014 CX-9 has about 55,000 miles on it. During a couple of four-hour drives on the highway I noticed a hum coming from the car. After some novice detective work figured it to be the right rear wheel bearing/hub was the problem. I removed the assembly and replaced it with a “sorry to say” economy brand part I purchased online. I road tested it and for about 300 miles of highway driving, no sounds. Unfortunately, after a few hundred more miles the same “hum” is back, although less intense. I did more internet research, and some comments were that this brand failed prematurely. And other sites mentioned a bit of a sophisticated install process. The replacement of this bearing hub is straightforward: remove defective part and install replacement. Four bolts hold the assembly to the rear axle assembly, and you just remove and reinstall the axel nut. Mixed recommendations on the torque specs for the axel nut: 200ftlbs/258ftlbs. Do you think I just got a lemon part? Did I install it incorrectly? Not like the old days when you’d repack the wheel bearings and “set” them with rotating the wheel and tightening and backing off the holding nut.
A. I suspect you may have gotten an inferior part. You are correct the replacement of the bearing is fairly simple. According to AllData the technical database I use, the attachment bolts should be tightened to 58–75-foot pounds and the axle nut is tightened to 175-202 foot pounds of torque.
Q. I have three simple questions that I can’t get an answer for so I’m coming to you. What window wash fluid do you recommend, especially in the cold Northeast states, are there any window treatment products do you recommend that shed water or prevent fogging and are gas additives worth the money? My car is a 2015 Kia Soul, but I’m sure the advice applies to most cars.
A. When choosing windshield washer fluid (which is basically soap, water and alcohol) look for fluid that will protect against freezing to at least 20 degrees below zero. Some fluids will have additives that do a better job of removing bugs and other debris and some will bead water. What ever fluid you choose, the best results come from a clean windshield. Clean the windshield inside and out with a good quality window cleaner and then go over the windshield with a clean microfiber cloth. Regarding window treatments, I have tried some and had mixed results, so I tend to stay away from them. If you are trying to prevent fogging, first make sure your defroster is set to fresh air. Fogging happens when there is a temperature differential of the inside and outside of the windshield. A DIY method to prevent fogging is to clean the window with shaving foam. I haven’t tried it on my car but it works on my bathroom mirror. Regarding fuel additives, adding a fuel injector cleaner periodically and using a gas line antifreeze just before cold winter temperatures can’t hurt, although typically not necessary if you use quality fuel and keep the fuel tak at least half full to prevent moisture.
Q. My 2008 Suzuki XL7, runs great but the RPM (idle speed) will dip or hesitate? Again, it runs great on the highway. I think it’s the timing belt or serpentine belt is off, what do you think?
A. A worn timing or serpentine won’t cause an engine to idle poorly. I suspect there is a fuel issue. This could be a clogged/dirty fuel injector, vacuum leak or even a sticking exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve.
Q. Let me first say that I enjoy the insight that comes from you on both your radio show and Newsday. My question is about thread sealant. When doing routine repairs on my vehicles (brakes, suspension etc.) is it advisable to use thread sealant as an additional measure of safety or is it ok to just tighten nuts and bolts according to manufacturer’s specification?
A. Topically use a thread locker (Loctite is one) when that bolt is under extreme stress or instructed to by the vehicle manufacturer. If the fasteners are something that is something that are removed periodically, I wouldn’t use thread locker, just tighten to manufactures specifications.
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Q. First time reaching out. I have a 2013 Honda Civic. Lately, I have been hearing a weird sound from the rear of the car. Almost sounds as if something is banging around in the trunk, but my trunk is empty. Thought it was a loose pipe of some sort, but after checking quickly under the car, I didn’t see anything obvious hanging. Could it be the gas tank at all?
A. Great idea to look in the truck I have seen loose spare tires, jacks, lug wrenches, soda and soup cans. At this point the car needs to go on a lift and look for loose or worn suspension bushings and worn strut mounts. The issue could also be a loose baffle in the muffler. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to find the source of the noise and to rule out if it is a safety issue.
Q. I own a 2022 Subaru Forester when I turn off the car there is a noise that starts. I recorded a video and had the Subaru dealer look at it and they tell that is nothing, they didn’t find anything with my car. Is it nothing?
A. Great idea to record the noise. More than likely the noise is the heat shield that surrounds the exhaust system expanding and contracting as it cools. In the past I have seen manufacturers add shims to fill the gap and quiet the noise. Where the car is new I would supply the dealer a little time to see if Subaru has come up with a fix to quiet the noise.
Q. My question is how long does diesel fuel stay fresh in a car? Can I add Stabil to diesel or is that for gas engines only?
A. I have seen untreated diesel fuel last six months or more. Over time untreated diesel fuel will become sludgy and can even grow an algae like substance. Stabil does have a product specifically for diesel engines and if are storing a diesel-powered vehicle for anytime it would be best to use a fuel additive.
Q. I have a 2018 Nissan Murano SL with approximately 38,000 miles. I have bled and flushed brakes in the past before but decided to try using a pressure bleeder. I read in the service manual to either disconnect the ABS (anti-lock brakes) control unit or negative battery cable when bleeding brakes. I’d like to not disconnect battery, so I attempted to disconnect the ABS module, which is near impossible to reach without removing parts. Is it absolutely necessary that the ABS module be disconnected, will there be any adverse effects? In the past on older vehicles I never had an issue but I’m unsure how to proceed with these newer vehicles.
A. Nissan is very specific to disconnect the battery of the module to prevent any damage to the anti-lock brake system. ABS brake systems will sometimes need to use a scan tool to cycle the ABS system to remove any air. Changing brake fluid is a great idea every three to four years, but as a bit of a cheat, siphon out some (no all) of the fluid from the master cylinder. If you do this at each oil change you will “freshen” up the brake fluid.
Q. I have a 2022 Infiniti QX 60. Bought brand new with 3000 miles. With my vehicle running, pulling into a parking space that is on an incline, foot on the brake pedal, and then placed into park. With the foot still on the brake pedal, turn off the motor. The vehicle will roll back approximately 2 to 3 inches after you remove your foot from the brake pedal. The dealership has said they’ve tested other new vehicles on the lot and that they all do this. This is a scary situation as someone may be exiting from the other doors, you still have your foot on the brake, they open the door and can be in a tight situation where the car will roll backwards, as you let your foot off the brake pedal. Or you could open the door yourself and an object could be next to the side of your driver’s door. I Got my driver’s license in 1965, and never had any other vehicle that did this or it was in one that did this. Having worked on cars and knowing what 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 stands for, helps when you’re talking to the mechanics in the shop. I still have my 1970 AMX race car. The standard answer is they all do it which I don’t agree with. Appreciate any help that you can supply me.
A. The 2022 Infiniti QX has the new nine-speed automatic transmission that replaced the less than desirable CVT transmission. I agree that three inches of roll back is too much, and I would personally want to test another vehicle for comparison. Infiniti is a little cheeky about this. In the owner’s manual it states that you should always apply the parking brake when stopped and the “park” position is not a substitute for the parking brake. At this point I haven’t been able to locate any technical bulletins about this issue. If in fact “they all do it” it may be an undesirable characteristic of this transmission. By the way in my opinion the AMC AMX is one of the most underappreciated muscle cars of its time. Readers if you are wondering, 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 is the firing order for a small block Chevy engine.
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