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    Wastewater testing sheds light on COVID-19 trends – Portland Press Herald – Press Herald - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Tests of wastewater from across Maine have shown a steady increase in COVID-19 cases in recent months, offering additional, localized insight into the spread of the coronavirus.

    Some Maine colleges, meanwhile, have successfully used the stuff flushed down the toilet to detect and isolate cases before they lead to larger outbreaks. St. Josephs College, for instance, has found infected-but-asymptomatic individuals on campus after following the virus trail to specific buildings.

    The wastewater has given us the tip off, said Oliver Griswold, a spokesman for the small, private college in Standish. In both of the two outbreaks weve had, we heard from the wastewater first.

    Still, it would take more frequent and robust screening to turn the states massive network of toilets into an early warning system for infection spikes.

    Individuals infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 shed fragments or genetic markers of the virus in waste. While research suggests the amount of active or live virus in feces is low, laboratories can detect and then amplify active or inactive markers as another way to detect trends before they begin showing up in the daily case counts.

    This is allowing us to get a finger on the pulse of whats going on in the community, said Yolanda Brooks, an assistant professor of biology at St. Josephs College whose team has been testing samples from the Portland Water District, Yarmouth and the campus community.

    The Portland Water District has been collecting weekly samples from its East End treatment plant in Portland and its Westbrook/Gorham facility for COVID-19 testing since July. Test results show levels of virus materials increasing starting in September and spiking in late-October. That correlates with surging case numbers within surrounding communities in recent weeks as Maine has seen the highest rates of infections and deaths since the pandemic arrived in Maine in March.

    Traces of the virus in samples from the Westbrook/Gorham treatment plant, for instance, increased by a magnitude of 10 between Sept. 1 and Nov. 3. While Brooks said federal officials caution against estimating the number of infections in an area based on wastewater results, she noted that Westbrook/Gorham had just a handful of cases on Sept. 1 and roughly 50 as of last week.

    It does confirm a correlation, said Brooks, who has a doctorate in microbiology and a background in studying fecal pollution.

    Other towns in Maine, including Yarmouth and Augusta, also have contracted with St. Josephs College or a national lab to conduct testing.

    St. Josephs internal testing program, meanwhile, illustrates the enormous potential for wastewater monitoring.

    Because St. Josephs has its own wastewater treatment system serving a relatively small population, staff have been able to use the testing results to zero in on clusters of cases in individual buildings.

    The process begins by collecting a series of samples from each of the three wastewater lift stations that serve different sections of campus. By analyzing those results, Brooks and her colleagues can see whether levels of the viruss genetic markers have changed since the previous tests and, in the event of an increase, order building-level testing in that zone.

    The college can then test individuals residing or working in buildings that have elevated levels of the virus markers. The vast majority of the students infected with COVID-19, to date, were asymptomatic but potentially contagious, so wastewater testing enabled college health officials to find and isolate them, said Griswold, the colleges spokesman.

    The early warning piece of it has given the whole campus a sense of we are going to know early what is going on campus, Griswold said. Whereas if you are just doing individual testing, you are going to know only when you have a problem, not before you have a problem.

    St. Josephs College has had 15 confirmed cases during the past two weeks, prompting administrators to transition all students to remote learning and send them home early this week before the Thanksgiving break.

    Three campuses of the University of Maine System Orono, Fort Kent and the University of Southern Maine also have been testing wastewater for COVID-19 since September. More recently, the UMaine lab where the test is done recently started analyzing wastewater from the town of Orono and is working with the University of New England in Biddeford on testing.

    Both the UMaine and St. Josephs labs use a testing system developed by IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook. The veterinary services company has also partnered with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to provide the equipment and materials used to conduct thousands of COVID-19 tests daily on nasal swabs collected from individuals.

    Robert Wheeler, associate professor of microbiology who leads the testing effort from his Orono lab, said virus levels in wastewater have been rising since September but the increase has not been steady. Wheeler noted that the various campuses have had lower numbers of infections among students and staff than their surrounding communities.

    The combination of sensitive testing technology and low virus prevalence rates allows them to detect slight changes.

    If we dont have any known cases but we are seeing the virus in the wastewater, that is a disconnect and triggers a discussion about where to direct additional testing, Wheeler said.

    Like Portland, UMaines testing is only done weekly, which limits the ability to quickly detect trends. Wheeler said his lab hopes to expand capacity this spring.

    Ideally we would be testing all of these places every day, he said. The University of Maine doesnt quite have all of the resources to do that and the State of Maine hasnt provided those resources as of yet.

    Scott Firmin, director of wastewater services at the Portland Water District, said it would be up to the member communities about whether to increase testing frequency. Tests cost $120 per weekly sample during the first, three-month period of the pilot project, but the district has since extended the agreement with St. Josephs College lab at $380 per sample.

    With all of the focus on fragments of the virus in wastewater, Firmin stressed that drinking water is safe.

    We use dual water treatments, ozone and ultraviolet light, that effectively inactivate viruses and kill pathogens, Firmin wrote in an email. COVID-19 is mainly thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another, not through water, according to the CDC. The EPA states that the presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.

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    Wastewater testing sheds light on COVID-19 trends - Portland Press Herald - Press Herald

    Storm cell picks up sheds, tears off section of roofs in Alfredton, Ballarat – ABC News - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A wave of wild weather crossing Victoria, in the form of a trough that brought thunderstorms and substantial rainfall, damaged roofs and brought down fences and trees across Ballarat and some other parts of western Victoria.

    The regional city's State Emergency Service (SES) unit was the second-busiest in the state as units responded to 402 jobs in 24 hours.

    Ballarat SES controller Gordon Hicks said a "very focused weather event" affected a few streets in Alfredton, a suburb of Ballarat.

    "We had a house that lost a few tiles off the roof, we also had another house that lost a fair proportion of its metal roof," he said.

    "There were some smaller sheds in backyards that were picked up and moved around and parts of air conditioners on roofs that came off the roof and ended up in backyards of other properties.

    "So there were quite a few properties affected by this weather event."

    He said Ballarat saw similar damage from localised storms six or seven times each year.

    "Ballarat get these fairly regularly, we're no stranger to these weather events," Mr Hicks said.

    "These are very focused weather cells."

    Deputy controller Olivia Lorkin said the period stretching from mid-morning Sunday through to Monday had been one of the busiest, and wettest, for the year.

    "We've seen some particular storm cells in the Alfredton area, we've also seen some jobs out in Miners Rest, Creswick and also out in Warrenheip as well," she said.

    "We've been out in isolated areas that have been most impacted by the storm cells and the rain and some of the flash flooding that's happened."

    A resident of Canopy Street in the Ballarat suburb of Alfredton, Angela, said her neighbours described seeing a lightning strike hit one house this morning.

    "About 5.30 [we heard] a massive gust of wind we described it like a truck just revving and revving out the front of our house, something I've never heard before," she said.

    "It was over probably in about 60 seconds, maybe 2 minutes, it was really quick and really short.

    "People have lost roofs off their houses, other houses completely lost their fences."

    Bureau of Meteorology data shows more than 40mm of rain fell in Ballarat in the 24-hour time period to 9am this morning.

    The Ballarat data from the city's aerodrome recorded a wind gust of 57 kilometres per hour late Sunday afternoon and gusts up to 35kph this morning.

    During that time 30mm was recorded at Warrnambool, 28.4mm was recorded at Mortlake and 11mm at Ararat.

    A supermarket in Ballarat East had to be evacuated late Sunday afternoon after water started leaking through the roof.

    Meanwhile the Bacchus Marsh SES unit assisted with a rescue of an injured hiker at Lerderderg Gorge on Sunday afternoon just before the rain hit.

    The team helped winch the hiker to safety before hiking through the pouring rain to respond to six more calls for help in the town for building damage and flooding.

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    Storm cell picks up sheds, tears off section of roofs in Alfredton, Ballarat - ABC News

    Special Collections speaker sheds light on the living work of the archive – The Bowdoin Orient - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Julia Jennings"BEYOND THE READING ROOM": Literary Scholar Susan Beegel and Special Collections and Archives Education and Outreach Librarian Marieke Van Der Steenhoven (left to right) discuss the effect of one of Harriet Beecher Stowe's most popular novels on summer tourism in Maine.

    In the third installment of the Beyond the Reading Room virtual lecture series hosted by Bowdoin College Librarys George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives (Special Collections), literary scholar Susan Beegel joined the Bowdoin community over Zoom on Monday to explore the role of Harriet Beecher Stowes novel in transforming Orrs Island from a fishing village to a summer tourist attraction. The event was open to Bowdoin students, faculty and alumni, as well as members of the Brunswick community and broader Midcoast Maine.

    Within the short span of time that Harriet Beecher Stowe spent in Brunswick during the mid-19th century, she irrevocably shaped the future of some of Maines coastal communities. Through the publication of The Pearl of Orrs Island, Stowe painted an image of mid-coast Maine so vivid that readers flocked to the Maine islands to see it for themselves.

    I think the impulse of tourism and the impulse to read are often very much the same. I mean, what are we looking for? Were looking for beautiful places, interesting experiences, to meet characters; thats what books are made of and thats what tourism is made of, Beegel said.

    The lecture specifically explored how Stowes fictitious interpretation of the Orrs Island community became a reality as community members jumped to meet the demand of tourists seeking the world that Stowe created through her work.

    Beegel, a writer whose work examines American literature and history, has utilized SC and A for her research on Stowe while also actively helping to grow the College Librarys collections of materials relating to the life and writings of Stowe.

    I grew up on an island off the coast of Maine where the population tripled in the summer, and

    so it was really fun for me to kind of make those personal connections as a viewer of her talk, Marieke Van Der Steenhoven, Special Collections and Archives education and outreach librarian and an organizer of the event, said in a Zoom interview with the Orient. I also think that the thread throughout it, which resonates with the work that we do in Special Collections, is thinking about how history is constructedand reconstructed.

    For this virtual series, Special Collections has welcomed a variety of scholars and artists, all of whom have some connection to the work of the Bowdoin Librarys collections. Previous lectures have featured Maureen Cummins, creator of artists books based on historical research, and Pamela Zabala 17, now a PhD student at Duke University, who has used archival research to contextualize racial bias incidents at Bowdoin. The final installment of the series will occur on December 3 with a lecture from Don Westfall 72 regarding his research on Bowdoins history of land acquisition in Maine.

    Through the virtual lectures, the Special Collections staff hopes to maintain engagement and build a virtual community, as well as to explore the lived impacts of materials and the dynamic nature of the archive.

    We started the series this semester [in] an attempt to try to connect Special Collections and Archives with people in the world, Van Der Steenhoven said. Normally we do programming that brings people into the reading room for hands-on or close encounters with materials, and so it seemed like a natural thing to doto move beyond the reading room and to think about how the materials and the collection have been used.

    While the lecture series has served as the main source of outreach for Special Collections and Archives this semester, Van Der Steenhoven and her colleagues have also been working with the archives behind the scenes. They have partnered with classes and worked to build the librarys digitized collection, which already contains over 300,000 materials.

    [Our work] this semester and moving forward to next semester has been a way for us to sort of leverage the existing digital collections and then also grow those collections as necessary, Van Der Steenhoven said.

    Special Collections hopes to continue offering online programming into the Spring semester, including the virtual revival of the monthly Audubon page turning. Van Der Steenhoven hopes that both the lecture series and the continued engagement with the SC and A will inspire the Bowdoin community to further consider the role of the archive and the evolution of primary sources.

    Its one example of all the exciting things that people are doing for a wide variety of different reasons, Van Der Steenhoven said. Like how people become attracted to and what they end up doing with Special Collections. Its a way to think about the active life of these materials.

    See the rest here:
    Special Collections speaker sheds light on the living work of the archive - The Bowdoin Orient

    Incident at West Valley high school sheds light on mental health toll in the pandemic – 12news.com KPNX - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A letter from the principal at Estrella Foothills High School said in early November a student threatened to harm themselves with a gun after band practice.

    Quick action helped end a scary situation at a West Valley high school.

    A letter from the principal at Estrella Foothills High School said in early November a student threatened to harm themselves with a gun after band practice.

    Goodyear Police said another student tackled the teen and gave the gun to a teacher. All students are physically OK.

    The gun was later found by police to be unloaded and the student was taken to the hospital to be evaluated.

    It was kind of an out of left field, Andrew Glenn, director of music at Estrella Foothills High School, said.

    Glenn said the incident brought to focus a different toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    I think theres going to be this hidden cost that were not going to see probably for even years down the road, Glenn said.

    Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ recently said 43 teens ages 17 and under have died by suicide this year, up already from 38 in 2019.

    Calls into Teen Lifeline are also up 14% from last year.

    Glenn said as a teacher, its been harder to keep tabs on students not seeing them in person every day.

    Mentally getting over the barrier of Ive typed it and Im acknowledging that somethings wrong is definitely the barrier that we are at with the students, Glenn said.

    Paula McCall Ph.D, a child psychologist, said the pandemic is playing a big role in mental health. Not only for students who are distanced learning but those that are on campus as well.

    In-person is not what it used to be, and we have to be social distanced and masked and dont get to interact with other people the way that we had before, McCall said.

    McCall said theres no profile of suicide but the pandemic has brought more risk factors.

    A lot of our resiliency factors arent there like they were before and our coping strategies are impaired, McCall said.

    She adds its good for parents to have open, honest communication with their teens.

    We see marked sudden changes in behavior, if we see concerning extreme emotions, if we hear talk about suicide or suicidal thoughts, we need to respond to those and we need to talk about what that is, McCall said.

    If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention line is available toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK.

    Other resources available include:

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    Incident at West Valley high school sheds light on mental health toll in the pandemic - 12news.com KPNX

    Lewis Hamilton sheds light on the role Ross Brawn and Niki Lauda played in convincing him to join… – The Sportsrush - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Lewis Hamilton had to be convinced to join Mercedes by Ross Brawn and Niki Lauda, ushering the start of the most-dominant era in F1.

    Former Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda played a crucial role in getting Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes. The three-time champion Lauda also played a key role in his development once he joined in, before his untimely demise.

    Id spoken to Niki back home in Monaco, I was talking to him and he was talking to me about coming. Im pretty sure he was the first one I had spoken to. He was like, youve got to come to the team!

    Ross Brawn had won the F1 title with Jenson Button at Brawn GP and was now the team principal at Mercedes. And according to Hamilton, Brawns visit to his moms house played a crucial role in him making the switch from McLaren to Mercedes.

    I wasnt convinced necessarily at the beginning. I think the convincing stage which really made me look into it more was when Ross came around my mums house and sat with me in the kitchen. We had tea, and he showed me what the plan is for the team. That was the real in-depth insight into what the team was planning, the changes they were trying to do. That was really the selling point.

    Also read: Mercedes writing an era of unprecedented domination in Formula 1, is there an end to their seamless triumphs?

    Lewis Hamilton is an inspiration to many across the globe, with his sheer grit and determination to achieve success. Little would he have known that his ambition to become an F1 world champion would lead to him winning it 7 times. And he has a wonderful message for those who think long and hard before making a decision.

    I knew I made a good decision when I made the decision. I knew it was the right thing for me. But jeez, did I know that we would win six world titles? No.

    I think what it says is that in life, weve got to make sure that we take that leap of faith, do what you think is right for you and not what people tell you to do, and do the homework so you have the pros and cons, and then go with it. Go with it all in, whether its good or bad.

    Also read: When can Ferrari return to prominence in Formula 1, and end Mercedes unprecedented dominance?

    Continued here:
    Lewis Hamilton sheds light on the role Ross Brawn and Niki Lauda played in convincing him to join... - The Sportsrush

    Book sheds light on the tragedy of Balochistan under Pakistan – The Sunday Guardian - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    New Delhi: I was reminded of the concentration camps that were operated by the Nazis in Auschwitz as I started turning the pages of the book, Balochistan-bruised, battered and bloodied (Bloomsbury publication) authored by Italian journalist Francesca Marino.This 230-page-plus readout which will be released on 28 November, starts with tracing the ancient history of Balochistan and concludes while detailing about the numerous Chinese CPEC projects that are being executed in the region. In between these are pages that bring to light the tragic and heart-breaking stories of how the common Balochi, for decades now, have suffered in the hands of successive Pakistani governments, be it either a democratically elected PM or an army chief who has gained power through a coup.The tragedy which the Balochis are going throughwhich the author has tried to bring out for the global readersis impossible to be summarized in one book, but Marino has done her best to give her readers an immersive picture of what is happening in the land where accessibility to outsider and non-residents is very strictly monitored. However, Marinowho has extensively covered Pakistan in the pasthas been, as the books shows, able to reach out to people on the ground while drafting her book.As one moves from one chapter to the other, the words that have been used to describe the poignant situation in which the common Balochis aredevoid of any human rights whatsoeverstart weaving a series of pictures in front of you. Picture of a 10-year-old boy who is shot four times after being tortured for four days by the Pakistani military because his elder brother is a Balochi freedom fighter, pictures of Balochi women being raped as a punishment and pictures of mothers and father, broken and sitting on their doors of dilapidated houses, waiting for the return of their sons and brothers who were picked up by the military years ago, never to be heard again. It seems in the forsaken land of Balochistan, only hope is alive, rest everything has been taken away by the Pakistani rulers.The book also has a collage of black and white photographsthat were clicked by a local photographer, Roshaan Khattak, while keeping his life at stake, depicting the Balochis and their lives. These picturesadd more pain to the sad tale that Balochistan is right now. The term missing persons might come as a shock to most readers, but in Balochistan, it is a part of life, and so are mass graves and mutilated bodies lying on the road side, bodies of those poor souls who are picked by the Paksitani military and death squads that function under the patronage of the Pakistan army. The present-day reality of Balochistan is hidden, depressing and saddening and the latter two emotions stay with you long after you have given this book a rest.The reason for that is that the human mind is not conditioned to accept that such atrocities, trampling of even basic human rights like right to life, are still taking place. The book also raises, at some point, the relevance of international human rights agencies asthey have failed, for years now, to give even a cursory look at what the people of Balochistan are facing every day.The book has managed to explain the past and the present reasons that have put the Balochis and their land in such a pitiful state. And it has also, perhaps rightfully so, stayed away from predicting the future. For the future of the Balochis, as was the past, looks an ending tale of depth of sorrow and death.Balochistan, bruised, battered and bloodied is not a leisure reading, but a book that extracts empathy from its reader.

    Excerpt from:
    Book sheds light on the tragedy of Balochistan under Pakistan - The Sunday Guardian

    Don’t leave it to the last minute; get that calf shed cleaned out for spring now – Agriland - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    With farmers already starting to dry off some of their herd. It wont be long until the milking season is over and cows are off on their holidays.

    Generally, spring-calving herds aim to calve down in around the start of February. However, in many cases, calving always starts sooner than that, with many cows calving in mid-January.

    December 1 is just around the corner. So, for many farms, you are looking at a six-to-eight week window before calving starts.

    The last thing you want to be doing is cleaning out a calf shed a few days before calving. Get ahead of yourself and put it on your to-do list over the coming weeks.

    Depending on how many cows you are milking and the level of help you have on the farm, a window of opportunity could present itself over the next while to tackle the calf shed and get it organised for spring.

    In terms of cleaning the shed, ensure all of the dung from the shed is removed and stored in a dung stead, where any run-off can be collected and stored.

    The power-washer should be brought into action and the entire shed should be thoroughly cleaned from head to toe.

    Once the shed is washed, open up the door(s) of the shed and allow it to dry out fully. The last thing we want is to be letting calves into a damp shed next spring.

    Once the shed has been allowed to dry out, we can then look to getting the individual and group pens set up and ready for use.

    Its no harm to clean out the water troughs now and again before calves are being housed. As well as that, getting any calf rearing equipment cleaned, and replaced if broken, should also be on the to-do list over the next few weeks.

    It is important farmers keep in mind the importance of good ventilation in their calf sheds.

    Over the course of the year, dust particles or hay and straw that are stored in the sheds can block up the air outlets in the Yorkshire boarding or in the vented sheeting in the shed.

    Therefore, it is important that these outlets are clear and allow for air to come through unaffected.

    If the warm air, that builds up in the shed, has nowhere to escape then animal health problems are more than likely going to occur which will have a negative impact on animal performance.

    The importance of removing stale air, odour, pathogens and viruses by allowing the inward movement of fresh, clean air into a shed cannot be underestimated.

    Therefore, take the time to inspect your calf shed to see if any air outlets are blocked up or if any alterations need to be made to increase or decrease the amount of air coming into the shed.

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    Don't leave it to the last minute; get that calf shed cleaned out for spring now - Agriland

    Are E-cigarettes Safer Than Cigarettes? Study Sheds Light on the Issue – Newswise - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Newswise Scientists and medical professionals have long debated whether pod e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. A new study provides some insight.

    In a collaboration between The University of Kansas Cancer Center, California State University San Marcos and Brown University, scientists conducted a six-week-long randomized trial comparing e-cigarette use to traditional cigarette use in African American and Latinx smokers. E-cigarettes simulate tobacco smoke via battery-powered devices that work by heating a liquid into a vapor that the user inhales.

    Nikki Nollen, PhD, co-program leader of KU Cancer Centers Cancer Prevention and Control research program, served as site principal investigator.

    Fourth generation e-cigarettes contain high concentrations of nicotine and other appealing features that may support switching and reduce potential health risks among those who smoke combustible cigarettes, Dr. Nollen said. We wanted to examine the biomarkers of exposure in both groups and determine the risk-benefit tradeoff of e-cigarettes.

    Those who switched to e-cigarettes experienced a significant reduction in a certain biomarker called NNAL. When NNK, a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen is metabolized, it converts to NNAL, indicating the bodys exposure to tobacco products. E-cigarette users also experienced a dramatic drop in carbon monoxide and self-reported respiratory symptoms. Nicotine exposure, lung function and blood pressure remained unchanged.

    What was most surprising was the magnitude of change experienced by those in the e-cigarette group, Dr. Nollen said. They reduced their NNAL by 64%, carbon monoxide by 47% and respiratory symptoms by 37% compared to those in the control group who continued to smoke cigarettes as usual.

    Dr. Nollen and the team were also surprised to witness that a complete switch to e-cigarettes was not needed to achieve benefits. Those in the e-cigarette group who only partially switched i.e., became dual users of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes also experienced reductions in NNAL, carbon monoxide and respiratory symptoms, though to a lesser degree than those who made a complete switch.

    The findings of the clinical study the first such trial to examine fourth-generation salt-based nicotine e-cigarettes were published in JAMA Network Open.

    Improving disparities

    To recruit participants for the study, Dr. Nollen and her team leaned on a 20-year partnership with Swope Health Services Central, a federally qualified health center located in Kansas City, Missouri. More than 85% of Swopes patient population is African American. KU Cancer Center members have teamed up with Swope on 10 studies over the last two decades.

    Overall, African Americans and Latinxs tend to smoke less compared to other ethnicities, but they are more likely to develop and die from tobacco-related health issues. The two minorities have largely been underrepresented in e-cigarette studies. Excluding these groups from such studies only worsen the uneven burden of tobacco-related deaths and disease they experience.

    According to Dr. Nollen, longer studies must be conducted in order to understand the long-term effects of e-cigarettes, but this study may serve as a springboard for additional research endeavors.

    Quitting cigarettes is the priority, Dr. Nollen said. But for those unwilling or unable, our findings support using e-cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for African American and Latinx smokers who experience significant tobacco-related health disparities.

    Read this article:
    Are E-cigarettes Safer Than Cigarettes? Study Sheds Light on the Issue - Newswise

    F1 2021 Calendar: Outgoing F1 CEO Chase Carey sheds light on the number of potential races in the upcoming… – The Sportsrush - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    F1 2021 Calendar: Outgoing F1 CEO Chase Carey has dropped hints on the number of potential races in the upcoming seasons.

    The 2021 F1 Calendar is the longest in the sports history, with 23 races. Venues of all but one have been confirmed, down to the first-ever Vietnamese GP being scrapped. Asked whether 23 is a magic number for the number of races, F1 CEO Chase Carey replied in the negative.

    I dont think theres a magic number. The capacity for races is obviously limited. I dont know that youd say there is a magic number that you dont go past, but we recommend 23 is a full calendar. We felt it was the right thing to have in place next year. We expect to have those 23 events next year and with fans. Really, every one of the promoters on that calendar expects to do the same.

    Also read: F1 2021 Calendar: Which races have made it to the longest ever F1 Calendar in history?

    The Covid-19 pandemic ensured that the current season was shortened, with 17 races ultimately making it to the calendar. It took a great effort from all the stakeholders to make it a reality. And Carey still is choosing not to undermine the uncertainly that presents the sport next season too.

    But we recognize we still have a period of uncertainty in front of us. The world is moving to a place where we have to figure out how to move forward with this virus, not shut down because of it. That said, weve all still got to navigate through it, so we feel good about it but we know we have a period of uncertainty in front of us.

    Also read: Asian triple-header will take a toll on people- Mercedes team principal shows concern over hectic 2021 schedule

    Continue reading here:
    F1 2021 Calendar: Outgoing F1 CEO Chase Carey sheds light on the number of potential races in the upcoming... - The Sportsrush

    Boys plant business helps family move from shed to apartment during COVID-19 – New York Post - November 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    In the midst of hardships during the coronavirus pandemic, one 8-year-old boy has been able to dramatically change his familys life all because of his business.

    Aaron Moreno, from East Los Angeles, started selling plants for his business, Aarons Garden, in June, after his single mom, Berenice Pacheco, lost her job because of the pandemic, KABC reported.

    When Moreno started Aarons Garden, his family had only $12 left and they were living in a shed, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a family friend to support the business.

    Now, Moreno and his mom have been able to buy a car, move into an apartment and bring Morenos older sister back to the U.S. from Mexico.

    But it was a long road to get there. Pacheco and Moreno had been homeless before they moved between various shelters and homes, finally settling on a shed for several months

    Morenos 10-year-old sister, Ayleen Pacheco, had been living in Mexico with her grandparents since 2018 because of the familys financial difficulties.

    When he started Aarons Garden, Moreno didnt only want to help support his family. He also wanted to buy his own Hot Cheetos without having to ask his mom for money, the GoFundMe said.

    He was certainly able to do that and much more.

    Since it was started with a $1,000 goal in June to raise money for Aarons plant company, the GoFundMe has raised $37,075.

    I never thought we would accomplish and come this farwe couldnt believe that we got a house, Pacheco told KABC. I admire him for everything he has been able to do that I havent as a mom.

    Hes just been doing everything for us, Pacheco added later. And hes like the man of the house.

    Original post:
    Boys plant business helps family move from shed to apartment during COVID-19 - New York Post

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