2 Birds in 1 Beep: Getting Help and Getting to Know Your Locale

The BeepBeep Nation app not only provides a platform for people to get the help they need and others to help out, it ultimately aims to create a culture of kindness and make the world a better place. It does this not only by motivating people to participate in a helping economy, it also fosters the potential of fulfilling face-to-face social interactions to turn into something more, like friendship.

But what else can it do? Perhaps another “little” thing it provides that can ultimately change the world is urge you to get to know your locale better or to explore a new place on a whole new level. There are always unfamiliar but fascinating things to discover about one community, whether it’s your own or another one that you’re just visiting for a while.

BeepBeep Nation connects you to everyone within a 1-5 mile radius who happens to have the app on their phones. If you’re beeping for some kind of help near your own home, chances are you’ll get a helper who lives in the vicinity. Maybe it’s someone from the home owners association of the village. Maybe it’s the mom of Kaylee, your daughter’s schoolmate, whom you never really talked to before. Maybe it’s the owner of that tea shop a few blocks down where your mother-in-law likes to get her chamomile.

Let’s say one weekend, you have your hands full because of spring-cleaning, and so you need a little assistance in picking up an item from the grocery. The BeepBeep Nation app will connect you to someone who can provide that help, and chances are, it might be someone from around the area. Grab that chance to talk to your helper. You never know, you might just make a friend you have been previously missing out on. There are always new ways to know your locale better through the people in it, no matter how small the place is. Bonding better with the people in the community will help you feel more in touch with your surroundings.

Now let’s say work has been extra tedious this week, and you and your co-workers just want to chill out for finally surviving it. You’re looking for an interesting place to have a few cocktails, and the usual just doesn’t seem to cut it this time. Use the BeepBeep Nation app in getting the freshest, most accurate recommendations. You might discover a new hole-in-the-wall that’s perfect for your bunch of peers. You might discover a new brunch place for a weekend with your mom. You might even fall in love with places in the community you’ve never paid attention to before.

Then again, BeepBeep Nation is not only good for getting help within your own community. You can also use it to explore a new place. Let’s say you have a business conference coming up cross-country, and it will last two days. After which, you have an extra day for sightseeing, but you don’t have the time to make an itinerary as you are busy preparing for the conference itself. BeepBeep Nation can help you specify your current location and beep for relevant requests, such as having a tour guide to take you around. Get a travel experience like no other by strolling around like a local citizen. You might just make the most of an unfamiliar city, and gain new contacts in a locality besides your own.

Soon to launch worldwide, the BeepBeep Nation app can truly help you hit two birds in one beep. You can know your locale better or explore a new community, all while getting the help you need. To participate, check out the EMINENT (EMN) token, fuel for BeepBeep Nation. Pre-sale is live now, and it has a current bonus offering of 10% extra tokens. Changing the world for the better has never been this fun.

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Newfound Ocean Zone Home to 100 Species

Just a while ago, a previously unexplored region of the Indian Ocean gave us more than 11 new species to look forward to reading about, including crustaceans with fascinating appearances and others. This is an amazing breakthrough for marine biology. But accomplishments in the field just seem to keep coming, as scientists from Oxford University travel Bermudian waters to discover a new area.

But that’s not yet the amazing part — the newfound ocean zone they call Rariphotic Zone (or rare light zone) seems to be home to 100 previously unknown species as well.

[M]ore than 100 new species were discovered including tanaids – minute crustaceans – dozens of new algae species and black wire coral that stand up to two metres high . . . The survey team spent hundreds of hours underwater, either scuba diving or using submersibles and remote operated vehicles which can reach depths of 6,500 feet (2,000m).

The team of marine biologists also found a huge algal forest on an underwater mountain about 15 miles from the Bermudian coast. Gardens of corals populated by urchins, eels, crabs, fish, and other creatures were also discovered to exist on this mountain’s slopes. For reference, the world has a total of around 100,000 underwater mountains, with only 50 that have been intimately explored by scientists.

Alex Rogers, Professor of Conservation Biology at Oxford University and scientific director of Nekton — the British charity which organized the ocean exploration trip — has a rightful opinion. The discovery of an entirely new ocean zone forwards the idea that there is far more diversity to look into. We may not have even laid eyes on so many ocean species.

“The average depth of the ocean is 4,200m. If life in the shallower regions of the deep sea is so poorly documented it undermines confidence in our existing understanding of how the patterns of life change with depth,” he added.

“[This is] evidence of how little we know and how important it is to document this unknown frontier to ensure that its future is protected”.

What he’s saying is very significant. Huge actions towards marine conservation are happening, such as Australia’s 500 million dollar pledge to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. But if we really want to protect the oceans and marine life, first we need to know in detail what we are protecting. And there is so much left to know.

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Why the Leaning Tower of Pisa is Incredibly Resilient

As travellers, we often forget to educate ourselves about the places we visit beyond the usual trivia. Our sources often include the tour guide mumbling facts every time the bus stops or last-minute Google searches before the tour starts. This is why a high-quality map detailing the origins of all the country names in the world should be interesting and helpful to all of us who are even the least bit keen to travel. Well, it should be fascinating to read up on stuff like this even before or without actually travelling, right?

Today’s wave of info has to do with romance, the pope, empires and emperors, pizza and pasta. I’m kidding. But close enough. If you were ever an 8-year-old who obsessively read about the architecture of the world in children’s encyclopedia (like me) or if you ever spent your honeymoon in Italy (unlike me, I’m single), of course you must have heard about the Leaning Tower of Pisa and its secrets — secrets that have finally been unlocked by a team of engineers.

[They] finally solved the mystery of how the seemingly unstable Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy has managed to stay standing for more than six hundred years, even in a seismically active region. A team led by Roma Tre University concluded that the tower’s height of 183 feet, the soft soil in which it stands, and the structural strength of the its marble all contribute to its remarkable resilience. This phenomenon is known as dynamic soil-structure interaction (DSSI).

The Leaning Tower of Pisa began construction in the 12th century. Even then, engineers seemed to understand how the soil mix of the area contributed to the leaning, which reportedly started when the third storey was being built. This truth has again been recently uncovered.

The Roma Tre University researchers further developed previous studies by analyzing structural and seismic data records over time, the material composition of the tower (and its physical, chemical, and mechanical properties), as well as the rock and soil itself in the area. Their findings say that frequent and powerful earthquakes in the city didn’t damage the Leaning Tower of Pisa because of the insulation caused by the DDSI.

“Ironically, the very same soil that caused the leaning instability and brought the Tower to the verge of collapse, can be credited for helping it survive these seismic events,” said University of Bristol researcher George Mylonakis in a statement.

If people are equal to buildings or structures, then I suppose this is the perfect time to say: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, eh?

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Play with Cuddly Cats All Day in Hawaii

If you’ve ever gone down the rabbit hole of the Internet for pet lovers — pun intended — you would know that designations as dog persons or cat persons are usual. Or even seemingly necessary. Dog person versus cat person debates even brew up sometimes, but all in good fun. For me, though, there’s no battle between species. And I hope you agree, dogs working at museums and cats surprising old ladies are equally adorbs.

I was just at the rabbit hole cooing endlessly at cute pictures — a rabbit hole which needs more bunny people, to be honest, because they’re also super cute — when I came upon this piece of exciting news for cat people and pet-neutral people like me. You can now spend your Hawaiian vacation on something other than getting a tan and sipping pina coladas. Why not hang out with the island’s lovable felines?

The Lanai Cat Sanctuary, only a “tail’s wag” from the Lanai Airport, hosts nearly 600 former street cats on a gorgeous property that attracts more than 10,000 visitors a year. The open-air space — where the cats can run, play, nap and generally do whatever they like all day — is a feline paradise.

Visitors may come to the sanctuary from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. everyday. And the best part? Admission is free! The place, however, accepts donations to be used for maintaining paradise and helping the kitties do the activities they like.

The other best part? If spending the day with cuddly cats isn’t enough, you may choose to adopt one. Many of the felines are adult, and all of them are up for adoption through the sanctuary. But those who won’t be adopted may live their whole lives at the place.

The organization started as a project to sterilize Lanai’s street cats to control overpopulation. In 2009, the group moved the cats to its current site and established itself as a nonprofit.

If work is taking over your year, however, and you need to put off your vacay for a while, you may opt to visit the Lanai Cat Sanctuary’s website in the meantime. Though I hope it inspires you to plan ahead for when you can finally slip away into holiday mode. After all, what other vacation could beat hugging cuddly cats while sipping pina coladas and getting a tan on a gorgeous island?

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Map Shows Literal Translation of Country Names

Not everyone who has walked through the beautiful pueblos of Spain knows that the country is named after rabbits. Likewise, you may have revelled in the sun-kissed beaches of Maldives, not knowing that the natives called their place a garland of islands. A beautiful name for a beautiful place, really. In an awesomely nerdy project that indulges our interest in travel, the Australian company Credit Card Compare created a map with the literal meaning of all the country names in the world.

“Learning the etymology – the origin of words – of countries around the world offers us fascinating insight into the origins of some of our favourite travel destinations and the people who first lived there,” the company says. Zooming in on continents and regions, from Europe to South America and Africa, the map offers a different perspective.

Varied reactions sprung up online, ranging from pure fascination to a personal need to verify the facts and study further, but one thing is for sure: the company’s research provides us with valuable insight to see the places we have been and the places we have yet to be in a new light.

“The interest has been enormous far beyond Australia because of some of the unexpected names. People are contacting us with their positive feedback and reasons for some corrections to one or two names. We plan to release even high-def downloads suitable for big poster-sized prints.”

A while ago, I wrote about the many different ways you can maximize your weekend. It could be difficult—though definitely not impossible!—to cram an exhilarating getaway in that two-day window. But sometimes, when you cannot go out there yet and travel, relaxing at home and making discoveries about the places you dream to explore could suffice. Make yourself a hot chocolate or a mojito, cozy up, and start with this map.

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Swiss Town To Pay Families £50,000 To Move In

In a new age of technology, tradition is becoming outdated. Still, small, independent groups are attempting to keep bits of history alive. Just recently, students from a Hong Kong university paid tribute to bamboo weaving in Peitian. The project proved impactful but modest, whereas other communities are taking a more urgent approach. To keep afloat, the Swiss village of Albinen is offering potential residents up to £50,000 to migrate in.

The council will soon be voting on the new initiative, which aims to repopulate a community that has dwindled to just 240 residents.

Like with all attractive propositions, the move comes with a catch — several of them. Takers must be below the age of 45 and live in a 200,000-franc residence for at least 10 years. You’ll also need to learn German. And while you may still be salivating over the promise of a hefty check, there is little to do in Albinen.

There’s little going on in the town’s centre, save for its narrow cobbled turns, centuries-old houses, a church and a shop.

That being said, with good company and a zest for the outdoors, Albinen may be the place for you.

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Deep-Sea Canoe Travels Around The World In 3 Years

There is no denying that people are capable of achieving the impossible. This Hawaiian deep-sea canoe brigade is no exception, having circumnavigated the globe in just 3 years. What makes the feat even more impressive is that the Hōkūle’a did so using only Polynesian navigational methods.

“Hokule’a’s crew would forgo up-to-date technology, using celestial navigation to prove that ancient Polynesians used only the stars, sun, moon, wind, and waves to travel to the islands in the Pacific. It would prove that the crew’s ancestors were not simply blown off course to Hawaii — that they were expert voyagers, who sailed with a purpose.”

The voyage, first envisioned in the 1970s, took years to plan. The style of canoe that navigators intended to build had not been accomplished for nearly 600 years.  This made it difficult to construct — something I can relate to, as I sometimes have trouble pitching simple tents. When it was finally time to sail, Hōkūle’a embarked on “Mālama Honua” or “Care For The Earth.”

Its goal was to reach environmentalists, scientists, concerned citizens, and children around the world, finding common ground in their desire to protect the planet. Hōkūle’a would “connect with communities who care for the health of the oceans and our shared island, Earth.”

Hōkūle’a traveled to 150 different ports in 23 countries and is now embarking on a Hawaiian tour. That’s what I call perseverance!

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This Clock Is Perfect For Frequent Travellers

All jet-setters know that time is a hassle when traveling on a regular basis. When trying to keep up with family on the other side of the world, it’s easy to forget time zones. This intelligent World Clock is a game-changer. Give it a roll and it’ll tell you what time it is anywhere in the world!

Developed by Japanese product designer Masafumi Ishikawa, the tiny clock has 12 flat edges and a single hour hand. Each side corresponds to a city – and as you roll [it] from one side to another, the hand automatically changes its position to show the time in that location.

Pretty neat! In addition to its sleek wooden interface, users don’t have to manually set the time. It is a smart device, after all. A second version of the product even addresses daylight savings.

Rotation is the only physical action necessary to tell the time anywhere on earth. The trick is a simple ball bearing that sets the new position of the hand when the clock is rotated.

I’m not usually one for quirks, but this clock is certainly a brainy find.

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Abandoned Castle Gets A Funky Makeover

Some long-forgotten buildings remain perpetually neglected and in the past. Even the most prestigious have-been structures don’t always get a second chance. Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel hopes to change this–at least for one abandoned castle in France.

Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel… is known for creating prismatic, geometric murals that cover abandoned historic churches, city streets, high-rises, and the sides of trucks and trains. Okuda has transformed an abandoned 19th-century chateau in France’s Loire Valley into a pop art paradise.

The makeover is going to promote a French street art festival, LaBel Valette. While street art is usually given a bad rep, it seems Okuda is turning things around.

The mural’s title is Skull in the Mirror. Okuda painted two large-scale geometric skulls across the castle’s white facade, and added colorful polka dots and paint accents to the remaining blank surfaces.

Looks like Lichtenstein proteges are going to have to step aside. Skull in the Mirror is nothing short of astounding!

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Have A Drink At The UK’s Only Pub And Zoo

I have grown up with zoos. I was the first in my class to see a panda which, according to my first-grade teacher, is the world’s most useless animal. Zoos were easily my go-to when my parents suggested a trip out of town. I have spent birthdays with apes, celebrated good grades with camels, and graduated with giraffes. As an adult, while my fondness of zoos has remained, I’d prefer to stare at zebras with a glass of wine in hand. At the Fenn Bell Inn in the U.K., you can do just that!

The pub zoo, in St Mary Hoo, Kent, is the brainchild of landlord and animal lover Andy Cowell.

Mr Cowell took over the pub in 2014 and housed his collection of exotic animals in the garden.

Now he has opened his zoo to the public, who will be able to see four different breeds of monkeys, genets (an African wild cat), meerkats, lemurs, birds of prey, raccoons and South American coatis.

While many of the animals at Fenn Bell, who are rejected from various keepers, are given a second shot at a comfortable life, keeping them doesn’t come cheap. Weekly upkeep hits around £700–or 233 pints of beer!

So what are you waiting for? Book a trip and treat yourself to a pint of draft beer. After all, you’d probably be paying for a parrot’s next meal!

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