Tuesday, May 11

Month: October 2014

Remodeling Industry Continues To Recover, According to Harvard Study
Business

Remodeling Industry Continues To Recover, According to Harvard Study

According to a new study recently released by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the slow recovery of the home remodeling industry is expected to continue, but that the recovery process could take a while. After the housing market was hit by the recession in 2008, secondary industries (like the home remodeling business) were also impacted quite severely. However, unlike the housing market, which has regained health quite suddenly in the past couple of years, the remodeling business is expected to continue its slow trajectory of recovery throughout 2015. The Harvard study used an algorithm called the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) which calculated the numbers of remodeling projects, along with homeowner spending habits on remodeling projects, in order ...
Cosmetic Procedures Increase for Racial and Ethnic Minorities, But Some Are Worried About the Trend
Lifestyle

Cosmetic Procedures Increase for Racial and Ethnic Minorities, But Some Are Worried About the Trend

Cosmetic surgery is more popular than ever, with almost 1.9 million procedures performed in 2013 alone, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Today, racial and ethnic minorities comprise 22% of all patients, but this trend worries some, who fear that their racial identity will be obscured by these surgeries. One such patient is Kendra Elia, a young, biracial medical student who identifies herself as African-American. She flew all the way from Fresno, California to New York City to get her fourth rhinoplasty procedure. When asked by ABC News why she chose rhinoplasty, she said it came down to her appearance. "I just looked in the mirror one day and just maybe, you know makeup's not changing anything. Not helping. Maybe it's my nose," she explained. Her fo...
Across the Country, Orthodontists Encourage Kids to Trade in Halloween Candy for Cash
Lifestyle

Across the Country, Orthodontists Encourage Kids to Trade in Halloween Candy for Cash

This Halloween, a number of orthodontists across the United States won't be giving candy to trick-or-treaters -- they'll be taking it away.It's part of an increasingly popular practice in which orthodontists give children $1 per pound of Halloween candy -- up to five pounds.The Halloween candy buybacks help kids recognize National Orthodontic Health Month, support overseas troops, and teach children about eating habits that keep teeth healthy. Feil Orthodontics in Bismarck, ND is one of the many orthodontic practices taking part in the Halloween candy buyback, according to the Bismarck Tribune. The children who sell their candy can choose to either keep the money or donate it to Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to U.S. troops and veterans. Another key com...
Study Suggests a Connection Between Male Pattern Baldness and Prostate Cancer
Lifestyle

Study Suggests a Connection Between Male Pattern Baldness and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer affects one in seven men at some point of their lives, with over 3 million in the United States affected today. In contrast, around half of all men will experience some form of hair loss by the age of 50, often beginning with a receding hairline. But what do these conditions have in common? According to a new study, they might be linked. A connection between prostate cancer and baldness has been suspected for some time. Not only are both conditions often associated with aging, but patients also typically have a family history of the condition. Furthermore, a hormone derived from testosterone affects the development of both. To test the connection, a research team tested 39,070 men with no history of cancer beyond non-melanoma skin cancer. More than half of the participan...
How Twitter Helped One Man Realize the American Dream
Lifestyle

How Twitter Helped One Man Realize the American Dream

Kris Sanchez's story is the American Dream narrative. Writers like Horatio Alger would tell tales of protagonists like Sanchez, who through hard work and savvy strategies could rise to a place of prosperity and prestige in the United States. After starting a little Twitter account in 2009, Sanchez is now one of the most influential presences on social media, and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Over the past few years, Sanchez's UberFacts has sent thousands of the most "unimportant things you’ll never need to know" into the Twittersphere. The brand tweets weird facts like, "Connect 4 is a mathematically solved game -- The first player can always win," and "Rapper Busta Rhymes did the voice of Reptar in the Rugrats movie." Now, UberFacts has accumulated more than 7.28 millio...
Gold To Go: Singapore Gets First Gold Vending Machines in Region
World

Gold To Go: Singapore Gets First Gold Vending Machines in Region

Vending machines are usually ideal for grabbing a snack or treat for a couple dollars. But two machines installed in Singapore at the end of September dispense a product slightly on the pricier side: pure gold. The Smart Gold ATMs dispense a range of 24 karat gold items such as gold bars (ranging from 1 to 10 grams in weight), ingots, and gold coins that can be customized using seven designs including the Singaporean icon of the Merlion and symbols from Chinese zodiac. The two ATMs are located at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Resorts World Sentosa, both luxury spots catering to wealthy residents and visitors from all over the world. The machines offer support in Chinese, German, Russian and Arabic and take both credit cards and cash as payment (though, as customers are advised, the mac...
Auto Developers Ready to Test Self-driving Cars on Public Roads
Business

Auto Developers Ready to Test Self-driving Cars on Public Roads

The results of a recent survey show that a majority of people would be interested in purchasing semi-autonomous vehicles. The study, by Boston Consulting Group, revealed that 55% of people would be likely to buy a car that had partial self-driving abilities, such as taking over the wheel on the highway or during traffic jams, while 44% said they'd be interested in a car that was fully autonomous. Apparently people are willing to pay a good chunk of change for these vehicles, as well. More than 20% of those surveyed said they would pay $4,000 extra for a car that was able to entirely drive itself. As the hype builds over these new autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, the reality of putting self-driving cars on the market is closer than ever before. Just last month, California issued 2...
Skin-Like Building Technology from UC Berkeley Could Lead to Zero Energy Air Conditioning
Business

Skin-Like Building Technology from UC Berkeley Could Lead to Zero Energy Air Conditioning

Since 1880, according to research from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, global median temperatures have increased by 1.5°F. While that might not seem like much, the shift in temperature is having a staggering effect on oceanic water levels, crop development, and weather patterns. It's also a driving factor behind a huge increase in the number of people across the world using air conditioning.Hoping to stem demand and do its part to fight off the forces of climate change, the University of California-Berkeley has developed a new technology that effectively air conditions structures without using a single watt of energy. SABER, as the tech is known, emulates skin to regulate air and light flow into buildings. The skin automatically senses changes in light and temperature, openin...
New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are Home to the Most Expensive New Houses in the U.S.
Local

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are Home to the Most Expensive New Houses in the U.S.

If you're interested in building or buying a new home, consider yourself lucky if you don't live in the Northeastern United States: new research from the National Association of Home Builders shows that median home prices on the Atlantic Coast are 52% higher than the U.S. average. And while the NAHB reports that this difference is due to more expensive tastes and high local labor costs, the research shows exactly how disparate the country's new home construction market has become as the economy continues to recover. By analyzing government data on speculatively-built homes--or residences constructed on a builder's land, which are sold in one deal with the property -- the NAHB found the median sales price of a single-family home in the U.S. to be around $86 per square foot. In contrast, ...
Paying Less at the Pump — AAA Reports National Gas Prices To Be at Record Lows for 2014
Lifestyle

Paying Less at the Pump — AAA Reports National Gas Prices To Be at Record Lows for 2014

Americans may feel hesitant to accept this news as good news -- and they certainly can't be blamed -- but gas prices are reportedly at the record lows for the 2014 calendar year, and they're expecting to keep falling across the country. AAA reported on October 6th that the national average price per gallon was $3.29, and the same article lists some interesting price comparisons to explain the gravity of this situation: just a week earlier, the national average was five cents more, and less than a month ago, the average was 15 cents more. After 11 consecutive days of decreasing national prices, experts predict that the national average cost of gas could go as low as $3.10 before the year is up. The best part about this national average, as Time reporter Brad Tuttle notes, is that many...