Devastating Amazon Destruction Continues

The world is filled with natural wonders that have been around for centuries. They often served as extensive ecosystems where various species thrived and coexisted (not always peacefully) for years. But as modern advancements continue to flourish, it has a negative impact on the natural world as technology takes the place of what used to be natural spaces, thereby displacing many animal species, contributing to pollution, and increasing our carbon footprint that hastens climate change. It’s a problem many folks are talking about.

Skyscrapers are all over big cities right now. Even nearby suburbs are transformed into sprawling residential communities to accommodate the world’s growing population. The need for natural and energy resources increases because there are more mouths to feed now, etc. But there are last frontiers that remain untarnished by modern living. They are often rainforest tucked away from the public and continue to provide food and shelter to different animals that you might not have even set sight on even in zoos. The Amazon is among the first to come to mind. One can only picture out snakelike rivers and lush trees and vegetations when they hear the word Amazon.

Norway has issued a blunt threat to Brazil that if rising deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is not reversed, its billion-dollar financial assistance will fall to zero. The leaders of the two nations meet in Oslo on Friday.

The oil-rich Scandinavian nation has provided $1.1bn to Brazil’s Amazon fund since 2008, tied to reductions in the rate of deforestation in the world’s greatest rainforest. The destruction of forests by timber and farming industries is a major contributor to the carbon emissions that drive climate change and Norway views protecting the Amazon as vital for the whole world.

The rate of deforestation in the Amazon fell steadily from 2008 to 2014, an “impressive achievement” which had a “very positive impact” on Brazil and the world, according to Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s environment minister.


Unfortunately, the Amazon has been suffering in silence because of irresponsible human activities. Deforestation by the farming and timber industries is a big problem for all because they not only cut down trees but increase carbon emission that fuels global warming. We can’t afford to lose more natural spaces in the name of progress or not care about the state of the environment and treat it like a big dump because it is us who will eventually suffer.

To meet energy needs, economic developers in South America have proposed 428 hydroelectric dams, with 140 currently built or under construction, in the Amazon basin—the largest and most complex network of river channels in the world, which sustains the highest biodiversity on Earth. The rivers and surrounding forests are the source of 20 percent of the planet’s fresh water and valuable ingredients used in modern medicine.

While these hydroelectric dams have been justified for providing renewable energy and avoiding carbon emissions, little attention has been paid to the major disturbances dams present to the Amazon floodplains, rainforests, the northeast coast of South America and the regional climate, the researchers said.

Rivers in the Amazon basin move like a dance, exchanging sediments across continental distances to deliver nutrients to “a mosaic of wetlands,” said Edgardo Latrubesse, UT Austin geography and the environment professor and lead author of the study. Sediment transported by rivers provides nutrients that sustain wildlife, contribute to the regional food supplies and modulate river dynamics that result in high habitat and biotic diversity for both aquatic and nonaquatic organisms.


Amazon is actually in a vulnerable state right now because there are various threats to its existence. From deforestation, poaching, and now the presence of these dams can mess up Amazon’s natural order and impact various animals that thrive in the area. Mother Nature may eventually strike back at us if we don’t protect the environment while we still can.

But despite our best interests, let us not forget that whatever protective measures we adopt should be well-integrated to disrupt as little of the natural system as possible and let nature run its course. The more we intervene, the worse it is for the environment and everyone else living in it. To limit the damage, let us educate everyone about environment-friendly approaches they can adopt in their everyday lives to reduce the injury the planet has to endure.

The post Devastating Amazon Destruction Continues Find more on: BI


iPad Failed To Deliver Its eBook Promise

Technology is all over our modern world. Wherever you look, there is some sort of modern tech contrivance that promises you the moons and the stars if you can afford to pay its high price tag. Our society has gone so far in terms of these technological advancements and it has basically changed the way people live today. Some people take it to a higher level by customizing their own tech.

When the iPad was launched, its makers from Apple dreamed of transforming the news and publishing industry through the app, The Daily. The Daily offers an interactive version of a news publication that features equally interactive videos, charts, and other tech treats along with superior journalism from high caliber reporters and journalists.

It was the first sign that the promise of the iPad — that it would upend industries like book publishing, education, the news media, and even video entertainment — would not come to pass. iPad sales have been in free fall since 2013. Ebook sales are plummeting by double-digit percentages as print books show a surprising renewed growth. Digital publishers have found more success on Facebook and other digital platforms, not tying their futures to one gadget. And despite a push to reinvent textbook publishing, Apple failed to make a dent in an industry controlled by big publishers.

“The role of the iPad was probably vaguer than any product Apple launched,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. “It wasn’t well defined.”


Unfortunately, The Daily ceased to operate barely two years after its launch. Since 2013, iPad sales have significantly gone down along with that of e-Book while print book production and sales are making a comeback. The iPad failed to conquer that market but Apple insists that this handy device has more to offer. Will the iPad ever be good or competitive enough to replace laptops as what Apple claims it is capable of doing?

And for a while, it seemed to work as planned. The iPad sold at a faster rate than even the iPhone had, peaking at an estimated 26 million units in 2014’s first quarter.

Since then, though, the market has largely stagnated, with sales dipping below ten million in last year’s fourth quarter. The’ve since rebounded, goosed by the introductions of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and an updated version of the 7.9-inch iPad mini. But The Daily is long gone, along with the most of the publishing industry’s hopes for tablet salvation.

Just about the only ones who must be happy with the current state of affairs are the major book publishers; antitrust or not, prices of their e-books are markedly higherthan they were back when Amazon’s Kindle was the only game in town.


It is not just iPad sales that are now down in a slump but as well as that of Android tablets in general. There are a lot of factors that contributed to this continuing decline and can likely be attributed to the increasing screen size of smartphones, both in iOS and Android. With their bigger smartphones, consumers no longer have to purchase a second device if they can do it all with their current mobile unit. There is little difference between the two content-wise. So why shell out more money when you can just bring with you one device with all the same features, even more actually considering you can always call and text using any

iPad sales have greatly suffered and were never able to replace Macs or PCs when it comes to man’s computing needs. But while the sales of e-Books are going down, online blogging is gaining in popularity and has become a lucrative career for individuals with the skill for writing. Whether it is a beauty, travel, or health blog among others, there is surely an audience out there waiting for your next story on whatever tech device they are using.

iPad Failed To Deliver Its eBook Promise Find more on: The BI Blog


Abortion In The Eyes Of Trump

Many aren’t a fan of President Trump but they have no choice but to put up with him – seeing his face on TV every day and hearing about his policies – because he won the last Presidential election fair and square. He is known to voice out his distaste for people staying in the country illegally, which is why it wasn’t surprising that among his first policies upon assuming office involved travel bans and more travel bans.

He doesn’t take science seriously as well. So, EPA now has to say goodbye to government funding and there goes decades-worth of climate change initiatives down the drain. Now, he’s got his eyes set on abortion policies. Others may be torn about this restriction since abortion is morally wrong but it can technically be good depending on a woman’s medical circumstance.

The Trump administration today released new anti-abortion rules — including a policy name change — that will apply to almost $9 billion in global health funding, including a massive HIV/AIDS prevention program, the State Department announced on Monday.

The rules — dubbed the “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” plan, and approved by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — restrict any foreign non-governmental organization receiving US global health aid from using any of their other funding to “perform or actively promote abortions as a method of family planning,” according to a senior administration official who briefed the press on the plan.

“Referrals for the termination of a pregnancy in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment of the life of the woman are not prohibited under this policy,” the official added.

The Tillerson plan is a dramatic expansion of the Mexico City Policy, a Reagan-era restriction that’s since been suspended by every Democrat in the White House and revived by every Republican. President Donald Trump signed a memo bringing back the restrictions on January 23.


Life is precious and that is what this abortion restriction is trying to highlight. The $9 billion funding can help spread this message across the nation and either discourage women from getting one or practicing safe sex instead.

President Donald Trump is moving forward with a plan to massively expand a ban on federal dollars going to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information.

Senior administration officials said Monday a plan to expand the so-called “Mexico City Policy” had gone into effect. The policy would apply broadly to organizations receiving U.S. global health assistance, compared with past versions of the ban which specifically targeted international family planning groups.

In all, about $8.8 billion in funding could be impacted, far more than the $600,000 covered under the previous version of the ban, which critics call the Global Gag Rule. The expanded policy is being dubbed “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.” The officials, who requested anonymity and were not authorized to speak on the record, said the ban would apply to groups working on HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal and child health, reproductive issues and global health.

Officials said the new policy would be applied immediately to new funding issued and then to existing arrangements as they are amended. To receive funding, health organizations must pledge not to provide abortions or abortion information or provide support to any groups that do. There is an exemption in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is at risk.


The goal of the policy is to provide American women easy access to the best health care there is in the country and in upholding the life of everyone, even those still in the womb. While many liberal-minded individuals may raise an eyebrow about these restrictions, pro-life advocates are glad in receiving this full support from the government.

The message is simple, if you are a woman and you don’t want to bother yourself with these abortion restrictions, take precautions during sexual intercourse. You have lots of options. From condom, pills, IUDs to implants, you don’t necessarily have to give up your sex life just to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies. And no matter how much some of you hate (loathe is such a strong word) Trump, he may have done the right thing on this one.

Abortion In The Eyes Of Trump was originally published on


Trump Doesn’t Take Science Seriously

There are many mysteries in this world that we won’t be able to uncover them all in our lifetime. Many questions will remain unanswered because we aren’t meant to know the answers in the first place. But despite the uncertainties of life, we continue to live and enjoy everything that life has to offer. Many of our questions actually have to deal with science. It’s quite obvious from the very beginning as we question the beginning of the world and of life that baffles us the most.

It’s funny, though, that we tend to forget the very essence of life and our own mortality as technology advances. We feel superior above other species on the planet because we feel that we know the answer to all of life’s questions. Money and power have a lot to do with this power trip. And it also happens that Donald Trump somehow is the closest personification to this that we can all relate to.

Donald Trump may be the US’ first “post-fact” president, but is he also the first “post-science” president? And should we be alarmed?

Ask many in the scientific community in the United States, and the answer is a deafening “Yes”.

Ask anyone looking for US leadership to constrain the environmental harm being done by climate change, and you would be deafened, too.

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s appointee as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has sued the agency 13 times and repeatedly called for its dissolution. Its staff have created an “alt-site” to preserve data on global temperature trends in the face of threats to wipe government websites clean of such data.

Rick Perry, Trump’s new Energy Secretary, five years ago called for the Department of Energy to be disbanded. He is now tasked to head it.


The technological boom in the US, mainly from tech start-ups in Silicon Valley initially gained support from the US government looking for investments in the field of pure science. And over the years, the US has pioneered in many scientific and tech advancements that catapulted the country as a global scientific leader.

On Monday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt declined to renew the terms of nine of the 18 scientists on the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors. According to an EPA spokesperson, this change was made in order to bring different scientists into the mix, including industry ones.

This dismissal, which is unprecedented in recent presidential history, represents yet another data point in the Trump Administration’s trend away from science as the backbone of the EPA and other key federal agencies. It is appropriate to have one representative from industry on the panel that reviews the EPA’s work — after all, those industry researchers know best how they will be affected by particular regulations.

But the remainder of the board should be made up of research scientists who understand the effects of chemicals and whose primary concern is ensuring standards that will not harm human health and the environment. Ongoing research and development cannot be dominated by those who have an economic interest in the outcome.

The dismissals are particularly troubling since they are one of a number of developments in an administration which appears to take a diminished view of science.


Aside from budget cuts including the EPA, the hiring of relatively junior and inexperienced scientists is detrimental to the environment and to America’s efforts in addressing global warming and climate change. After all, Trump has been quoted in the past to think of these issues as a mere hoax to get more money.

Two scientists who advised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have resigned over Donald Trump’s environmental policies. 

Dr Carlos Martin, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, and Dr Peter Meyer, President and Chief Economist of The EP Systems Group, both resigned citing political reasons. 

As Mr Martin told The Independent, he simply could “not be a future prop for bad science”.

Mr Martin posted their joint resignation letter on Twitter, and in it the pair said they felt the EPA was “watering down credible science” by putting politics where it did not belong. 

On several occasions, Mr Trump has called climate a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese and is considering withdrawing the US from the global Paris Agreement on climate change. The US is one of the world’s top emitters of carbon dioxide. 


Aside from the March for Science protest held last month, two EPA scientists also resigned from their post because they can no longer turn a blind eye to Trump’s disrespect of their cause and the lack of support they likewise receive especially when it comes to the funding important scientific programs.

The Trump administration continues to ignore the pressing issues of climate change but it does not mean it’s not real. We see and experience it first hand. Natural calamities get stronger each year and both lives and properties are lost to them in the absence of sufficient planning and preparation. We don’t want anything bad to happen to the country but we can’t help but wonder what the effects of Trump’s nonchalant attitude towards the sciences and how it will affect everybody’s lives over time.

Trump Doesn’t Take Science Seriously was originally published on BI


From Small Business To An Empire

Most successful empires today started small but their owners dreamed big and never stopped despite the challenges they faced. These tenacious entrepreneurs strived to reach their goals and even achieved more than they have dreamed of. While luck plays a big role in your business’s success, having a plan and sticking to it also matters. Making use of various marketing and technological tools used by most businesses today can likewise help you realize the business empire of your dreams.

The world is full of start-up businesses. Even in your own community, you’d see new names hanging outside street shops alongside popular franchises. Even when you go online, a lot of entrepreneurs take their businesses to the web to offset operation costs of running a physical shop, especially that they are just starting and money is an issue. Once they have a strong following on social media and they start making serious money, that’s when these entrepreneurs finally decide to open up an actual shop.

Small-business owners usually don’t have the time or money to routinely make big changes to their businesses. However, you can consider easy changes that have the potential to make a big difference to your company’s bottom line. Here are four tweaks you can make to help ensure you spend your money wisely and increase your success:

Use financial tools:

It’s hard to optimize your business if you don’t perform proper financial management for critical areas such as revenue, taxes and payroll. You can cut this seemingly daunting task down to size by using relatively inexpensive financial tools like quickbooks.

Businesses require more time to manage as they grow. Here are some ways to streamline your business and save yourself precious time and money:
1. Cut back on email.

  1. Outsource.
  2. Throttle meetings.
  3. Hire expertise.

Revamp your image:

Does your marketing image provide the best return on investment. Perhaps you can tweak it to give your brand(s) more oomph. First, conduct an image audit to find out what customers (and demographics) think of your branding. Pick a new logo, font, colors and designs that are more relevant to your target audience. Update your website and employ the latest SEO techniques. Get involved in the community and listen to customer suggestions.


While major businesses undermine the value of small businesses, a big number of the population actually make a living with the help of these small businesses and they serve as the economy’s backbone. They create 2 out of 3 jobs in America and the growth and determination of these small business owners fuel every community in the country.

In honor of National Small Business Week here in Illinois, the SBA and the Illinois Small Business Development Center Network will sponsor a series of panels, education sessions and networking events for entrepreneurs across the state. In Springfield, a branch office of the SBA teams with local partners year-round to host events and help small businesses succeed. The Illinois SBDC at Lincoln Land Community College, led by director Kevin Lust, provides one-on-one counseling and an extensive library of business and personal resources.

It is critical that the nation’s 28 million small businesses continue to thrive and their owners have the skills and resources for success. The SBA supports and advocates for them — whether they’re just starting, looking for financing or a mentor, or want to get to the next level — and we look forward to your continued support in doing the same.


Starting your own business is a serious matter, so start with a clear purpose in mind or you may end up easily discouraged by the challenges you face at the onset of your new endeavor. If possible, stick with what you know and make the most of the resources you have on hand. Money is your biggest resource but working with like-minded entrepreneurs can also open up other resources you can tap for the benefit of your business like sharing co-working spaces and even equipment and ideas you can share.

As your business grows, make sure you have multiple streams of revenue so your success does not solely rely on just one product or service. And most importantly, small businesses become big empires because they deliver their 100% and enjoy the loyalty of satisfied and happy customers who raves about their business even without their prodding.

From Small Business To An Empire was originally published to


What You Need To Know About Local SEO

We’ve heard about search engine optimization as we browse the web in our day-to-day. Although it means nothing to us, average people, SEO is actually a big thing in the world of business. Entrepreneurs rely on effective SEO tools to grow and build their brand. And for good reason too. Google reported that keyword searches are increasing especially with mobile use. It means that more people now use the web for information and the majority of them do their searches using their smartphones or smart gadgets.

For small businesses with actual shops where they do business, the concept of local SEO shouldn’t be missed. However, it can leave entrepreneurs confused as to its difference from the existing SEO they now have in place. Back in the days, the Yellow Pages is everyone’s ultimate resource. However, as technology advances, looking up a particular shop through it seem like an ancient thing to do. Most people are now armed with a smart gadget in hand and it does everything for them, from serving as the main communication tool for doing basic searches on retail, work, school, or other web-related inquiries. The landscape has changed and entrepreneurs need to adjust to stay relevant amidst the changes.

Welcome to local SEO

Local SEO, or local search optimisation, helps small businesses attract local consumers online.

If you search for products or services online, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo display not only traditional organic results, but also local results, which show businesses and maps in your area.

To do this, search engines will identify your current location via your IP Address and return the most relevant businesses within your immediate area.

Local Search Results

Local search results are probably already familiar to you. Google, Bing and Yahoo all return local results, and all have slight variations on the style and number of results featured. But for now, let’s look at Google:


Google searches have dramatically increased over the years. It is the reason why the company continually makes updates to adapt to all these changes. As of late, they even announced implementing paid results in local listings. It means businesses need to pay for their business to move forward and earn a spot in the “local finder page” even though the site lags on ranking.

If you’ve followed SEO strategies for any length of time, you know one thing: SEO changes all the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever that you optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your local business. Local competition is heating up, and if you’re not on top of your rankings, you can bet your competitors will be.

Here are five solid local SEO tactics you can use this year to help your business rank higher for local search terms.

  1. Title and meta description tags still matter

  2. Online directories and citations

  3. Google My Business: Claim and optimize

  4. Online reviews matter

  5. Use local structured data markup


Three factors encompass local SEO. They are local listings and citations, on-site local SEO optimization, and online reviews. Take the time to list your business on various online listings like Yelp, CitySearch, and many others. Also, include on your list other local directories like the local newspaper’s website or other popular listings in the community to reach a wider audience.

Small businesses have a bigger chance of succeeding and being able to compete against bigger brands with the help of local SEO. Providing accurate business data and customer service will eventually encourage consumers to write a positive review about your business, which will hopefully attract more customers. Also, make it a point to keep your website updated, so consumers know what to expect when they visit your site or buy something that you sell. Taking your business online is simply unavoidable these days as it is the medium preferred by everyone. So if you own a small business and want it to be a profitable one, local SEO is something you shouldn’t take for granted at all.

What You Need To Know About Local SEO was first published to The Brand Infiltration Blog


The Other Side Of Youtube

In 2005, three buddies from Paypal introduced Youtube to the world. And since then, our lives have never been the same again. People can get lost in this video sharing site for hours because of a wide variety of interesting content you can watch for free at your convenience.

If you are a star at heart, you can even make Youtube as the platform for your stardom where you can regularly post videos on your channel and showcase your talents to the world. Aside from being free and sometimes helpful to society, one of the perks offered by Youtube is that you can make a career out of it. Famous Youtubers earn six-figures annually from ads placed on their channel. It is some serious money if you take Youtube just as seriously. However, it is not always rays of sunshine and butterflies, many shady videos are also all over Youtube.

“Social media companies’ failure to deal with illegal and dangerous material online is a disgrace. They have been asked repeatedly to come up with better systems to remove illegal material such as terrorist recruitment or online child abuse. Yet repeatedly they have failed to do so. It is shameful. These are among the biggest, richest and cleverest companies in the world, and their services have become a crucial part of people’s lives. This isn’t beyond them to solve, yet they are failing to do so. They continue to operate as platforms for hatred and extremism without even taking basic steps to make sure they can quickly stop illegal material, properly enforce their own community standards, or keep people safe.”


While we get to watch reruns of shows or movies that we like or even follow famous Youtube personalities from time to time, there is another side to Youtube that worries people all over the world. Political hate videos abound the site and in plain access of everyone, even young kids who have their own iPads or tablets to help them pass time as their busy parents struggle to make both ends meet can watch it on demand.

MPs have accused social media giants of a “shameful” failure to tackle online terrorist propaganda and hate speech.

A hard-hitting report accused major firms of putting more effort into protecting their profits than keeping the public safe online.

Ministers should consider forcing firms to pay for the cost of policing on social media and introducing a system of sanctions with multimillion-pound fines, the Home Affairs Select Committee said.

The cross-party committee, which took evidence from Google, Facebook and Twitter, acknowledged that the technology giants had considered the impact that online hate, abuse and extremism can have on individuals and welcomed measures taken to tackle the problem.

But they said “nowhere near enough is being done”.

The committee said it had found “repeated examples of social media companies failing to remove illegal content when asked to do so”, including “dangerous” terrorist recruitment material, promotion of sexual abuse of children and incitement to racial hatred.

The report said: “The biggest companies have been repeatedly urged by governments, police forces, community leaders and the public to clean up their act, and to respond quickly and proactively to identify and remove illegal content. They have repeatedly failed to do so.


It is no longer acceptable for these major tech giants to keep ignoring or shrugging off the concerns of many responsible citizens.Racism, discrimination, and conflict still make the headlines all over the world and the threat of an impending World War 3 even looms on the horizon as hate speeches, racist posts and terrorist videos are everywhere, fueling anger and divisiveness among the people. Social media companies like Youtube and Facebook have a moral responsibility to uphold the morals of the public and not instigate conflict through the use of their social media channels.

They continue to disregard public safety simply because they make money from these hateful posts since ads still appear alongside them. Some of these extremist posts have actually been created by terrorists themselves to spread hate and to earn money especially once these inappropriate posts become viral. And sadly, this is still the reality we face every day. While for instance, Youtube has been ingenious in implementing stringent procedures in protecting copyright, they appear to be not as eager in addressing this hate issue that is all over their site. So, the burden now falls on you to avoid clicking these posts and remain impartial especially in issues that involve race and politics.

The Other Side Of Youtube is courtesy of


Retirement Home For The Queer At Heart

We all try to delay aging in as much as we can. We try different skin care regimens, take anti-aging supplements or eat healthily to make sure we can put off aging for as long as we could. Unfortunately, aging is but a normal process and that’s where all of us are headed later in life.

The trend nowadays is for the elderly to stay in retirement homes when they can no longer manage to live independently by themselves, often because they have harsh medical problems.. But what happens if you are a member of the LGBT group? The same thing applies, actually, and you can stay in most retirement homes along with the straight male and female elderly but wouldn’t it be more fun to stay in an LGBT-friendly retirement home/ community that understand pretty well what it’s like to live the life of the queer.

A senior living facility in development aimed at providing a place for LGBTQ Houstonians is a one-of-a-kind project for Texas and any red other state.

Kent Loftin, chief development officer for the Montrose Center, said There’s No Place Like Home is a nearly $24 million project that could break ground as early as 2018.

“It will be the only center in Houston that is LGBTQ culturally competent. What that means is that seniors of the same sex can retire and age together,” he said.

The Montrose Center, an LGBTQ resource organization, is leading the project. The planned 112-unit retirement facility will include traditional retirement home amenities and an activity center.

“In the LGBTQ community, our seniors are particularly vulnerable. They are twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to not have any surviving social connections,” Loftin said.

Loftin said gay seniors have challenges; many were not able to develop open relationships and families in their younger years and they struggle once they reach retirement. That coupled with rising rent in the Montrose neighborhood, an historic hub for gay culture in Houston, has placed a burden on many reaching retirement age in the local LGBTQ community.


The LGBT population is growing. Wherever you go, there are open gays and lesbians who enjoy the freedom of being able to express their sexual identity without fear or shame. But because they almost always fail to build their own family, they grow old alone and without loved ones to care for them.

San Diego’s first affordable housing development geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors has seen a flood of interest, with a sign-up list filling up in less than two weeks.

Nonprofit developer Community Housing Works broke ground on the project in North Park last summer. When it is completed, the project will offer 75 studios, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments to people 55 years or older who earn 60 percent or less of the area median income. That means an income of less than $36,000 for a one-person household.

Project manager Sylvia Martinez said 250 people signed up for the interest list when it opened on May 1, and that the list reached its cap of 500 on Wednesday. Selection will be through a randomized lottery.

“There was a lot of pent up demand in this community, and people have been waiting for this kind of project for a long time,” Martinez said. “North Park is one of the historic hearts of the gay and lesbian community in San Diego, and many folks are getting priced out of this neighborhood now as it gentrifies.”


We love gays, right? They liven up every event we are in and they don’t run out of jokes to brighten up our days. Gays and lesbians don’t usually have offspring of their own. They may have relationships with the same sex but they don’t always last and they often end up without a family or a home in their old age.

They can stay in retirement homes like everyone else but they will feel more at home living in facilities specifically for the LGBT community that understands what they went through in life and can provide the comfort and support they need in their old age. Their lives weren’t easy as well in their younger years as they battle the stigma of their sexual orientation and face the mockery of other people. So, living in a retirement home that is free of retirement discrimination is a welcome reprieve for the aging LGBT people who only want to live as normally and comfortable as the others in the twilight of their years.

The blog article Retirement Home For The Queer At Heart is courtesy of Blog


Social Media Use In Times Of War

Even though man has achieved so much over the years, conflict still reigns all over the globe. There is even the threat of an impending World War 3 as tension rises in various countries. And it is not just any war but a nuclear one at that. It’s as if we don’t have enough problems on our plate already when it comes to the environment and climate change. Chemical and nuclear warfare also causes a lot of damage to many of the world’s natural ecosystems.

In our everyday lives, we also witness first hand the wrath of regional political conflicts on hateful speech and videos we see on the web. Unlike in the past when the public isn’t really privy to war details, the advent of social media allowed us a blow-by-blow account of what’s happening in war-torn countries whether from news outlets or random posts from equally random people with Internet access that happens to be in the midst of all the action.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has watered down plans to impose fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million) if social networks such as Facebook do not remove slanderous or abusive online postings quickly, Der Spiegel said on Tuesday.

Proposed legislation to be considered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday omits a line that had been included in the draft legislation which said such a fine could be imposed after just one incident, the German magazine said, citing a copy of the proposal.

Instead, the legislation now says a single infraction does not mean a company lacks an effective means to deal with complaints about hate speech, and calls for “careful actions by the fining authority to protect freedom of speech,” it said.

Various groups had rejected Maas‘s initial proposal, warning social media companies could over-react and remove too many postings, thereby limiting free speech on the internet.


As more and more hate speech and posts fill the web, even the government intervenes and urges social media companies to censor these posts to prevent it from inflicting further conflict in our modern divisive world. However, some are against this kind of censorship since it violates our freedom to free speech.

A social media post threatening a race war was first posted to social media approximately a month ago. A student recirculated the post on social media this week, according to a DeSoto County Schools spokesperson. 

The post includes phrases like “hail Hitler” and “KKK life.”

On Tuesday, DeSoto County Schools responded saying the post caused them to contact local law enforcement and increase security at Hernando High School.


While we all have inherent rights, our rights end when the right of others begin. Compromising the safety and security of the majority is enough grounds to consider you an enemy of the state or be taken by the police for further questioning like what happened to these two students who went too far in exercising their freedom of expression.

Social media has completely transformed the way we consume news. We’re living in a world revolving around a new kind of journalism, peppered with the frequently unedited coverage of an ongoing humanitarian crisis – the Syrian Civil War.

In 2016, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reported that 51% of people with online access use social media, particularly Facebook, as a news source. Through a shiny 5-inch screen we’ve watched this war unfolding, including the good (JK Rowling sent eBooks to 7-year-old refugee and Harry Potter fan Bana Alabed) and the totally horrifying (toddler Alan Kurdi became an enduring image of the crisis when a photograph of his tiny body washed up on the beach hit global headlines). People in the First World are far enough away from the war not to feel its devastation directly, but we are close enough – through the availability of new technologies – to help.

The UK government this year committed £2.3 billion to help the 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, but on an individual level it’s difficult to see just how much we are doing through the smoke and mirrors of “likes” and social media shares.


Wars have somehow changed because of technology. While the rest of the world watch the events of war take place on their screens and see the extent of the damage in its aftermath, we also witness how people have suffered and died along the way. Even innocent children in Syria die without a fight from chemical attacks launched by the government and we all watched in horror at this mass murder.

While we have a lot of complaints against social media, it does serve its purpose at times. We are up-to-date on important events in history and can even proactively take our part in it through our social media use. We can launch fundraising for victims of war or raise awareness on the challenges faced by Syrian refugees who aren’t welcome in many countries throughout the world. Social media shows us the reality of our modern life and what the world has become with the advent of technology. But honestly, primary issues remain the same. It’s just the tools that we now have that have changed.

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It’s All About The Money, Money, Money

Money makes the world go round. We hear it time and again and it is true in every sense of the word. We live in an increasingly capitalist world that relies on money to support our needs and fuel the global economy. Almost everywhere you go, there is a tag price for everything and the quality of your life also depends on how much money you have in your bank account.

As you grow, your capacity to earn likewise grows but inflation also increased your cost of living, thereby decreasing your money’s value. It is why our elders always told us to save some money in the bank for the rainy days. And as such, our money grows over time and we can be sure of getting a bigger amount than we initially deposited. And for years, we have thought highly of these financial institutions wherever in the world you may be.

Due to increased competition from non-traditional banking competitors such as Financial Technology (FinTech), increased specialization to serve specific customer s’ needs with speed, reduced need for face-to-face interactions between bank customers and the banks as well as availability of digital currencies   like Blockchain, Ripple, Ethereum, the future of banking is uncertain.

However, modern advancements threaten the stability and the future of most banking institutions. The people’s lifestyle and habits have changed and they have adapted a more digital approach to doing things.

According to him, as technology is disrupting the nature of work at an unprecedented rate, there is the need for a new and inclusive approach to learning on the job. He added that while several researches has alluded to the positive correlation between income levels and educational attainment, it has been realiSed recently that, a college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening.

“Although the future of banking remains speculative, there are clear indications and a general consensus that a number of factors would continue to disrupt some already established banking models,” he said.


There would still be a need for banking among people although the need will significantly decrease as we probably are already witnessing now. For instance, payment systems and financial technology companies influenced the way people do banking these days, or perhaps, the lesser need for traditional banking.

For a brief moment, Wall Street stopped on Monday, as if time was suspended in an alternative reality.

President Trump, for the first time as resident of the White House, said aloud that he was considering breaking up the nation’s biggest banks. Of course, he had said it on the campaign trail, but this seemed different.

“I’m looking at that right now,” Mr. Trump told Bloomberg News during an interview in the Oval Office. “There’s some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that.”

The headline ricocheted around the email boxes of senior bank executives across the industry. At the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles, where Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had just finished speaking — and didn’t mention breaking up the banks — the hallways quickly buzzed about the comment, according to participants, as their phones lit up. Shares of bank stocks dived lower within seconds of the headline, only to recover quickly.


President Trump is known to issue controversial statements even as a private citizen. However, what he says now are of more significance considering he is occupying the highest office in the land but it might also be possible that whatever comments he issues have some merit and came from trusted advisers on his cabinet.

When it comes to banking, some form of stability builds trust and credibility. It is what the people are looking for in banking institutions. They not only put their money in it but their trust as well, and possibly their family’s future. Unfortunately, advances in technology also influenced customer expectations, making additional demands on how banks adapt to these changes and improve their services. And as such, it’s the reason banks are not making enough money and return on investments required by stakeholders. While the banks try to cope, it is not always easy as technology advances rapidly and there are likewise different facets in banking in finance that need to be considered before major changes can be made.

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