from the world's big
Welcome to the Digital Neighborhood
Anyone who doubts that the Internet has the potential to bring people together should take a closer look at Neighborgoods, a service that helps users share goods with people living nearby.
What’s the big idea?
Anyone who doubts that the Internet has the potential to bring people together should take a closer look at Neighborgoods, a service that helps users share goods with people living nearby. At first blush, Neighborgoods sounds like it’s just a service for penny pinchers, but as the website’s mission statement says, “NeighborGoods helps members live less wasteful and more connected lives."
Here’s how it works: If you need a bicycle for the afternoon or a cooking pot for a dinner party or any other common household supplies, you can search a map of your neighborhood to see if anyone on the website has posted that item to be shared. Once you find what you’re looking for, you can browse the user’s profile to learn more about him or her and arrange for how to pick up the item. Not only does this give you the opportunity to be frugal, but it also provides an excuse to go out and introduce yourself to those who may only live a few blocks away, but who feel somehow more removed than the strangers you follow on Twitter.
Micki Krimmel, the woman behind the website, has aptly described the service as using “new technology to do old things.” In this case, that means using the Internet to encourage neighbors to meet and share with one another - an activity that should be more commonplace than it is. After all, what better way is there to build a bond with someone in your community who you don’t know than by offering to share?
What’s the significance?
For years we’ve looked to the Internet to help connect people scattered across the world while ignoring the fact that many are lacking strong connections to those in their local community
In a particularly devastating piece this month, The Atlantic highlights a series of studies showing increased Internet usage coincides with greater levels of loneliness and that using Facebook in particular leads many to feel disconnected from their family and friends. As the article concludes, “What Facebook has revealed about human nature... is that a connection is not the same thing as a bond, and that instant and total connection is no salvation.”
This may explain why we’re beginning to see a new crop of online networks like Neighborgoods which don’t just hope to connect people online, but actually strive to create stronger bonds offline as well. These also include apps like Highlight and Banjo, which alert you when friends and acquaintances are nearby, as well as GrubWithUs, which helps users find people nearby to eat with.
The problem with services like Facebook and Twitter is that their primary purpose is to encourage users to spend more time online rather than cultivating a community in the real world. In essence, they just add a layer between people rather than bringing us closer together. But in time we may find that the truly satisfying online communities are those that explicitly seek to help us flourish offline.
The Internet is finally learning how to be social, the right way.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
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Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
SEAL training is the ultimate test of both mental and physical strength.
- The fact that U.S. Navy SEALs endure very rigorous training before entering the field is common knowledge, but just what happens at those facilities is less often discussed. In this video, former SEALs Brent Gleeson, David Goggins, and Eric Greitens (as well as authors Jesse Itzler and Jamie Wheal) talk about how the 18-month program is designed to build elite, disciplined operatives with immense mental toughness and resilience.
- Wheal dives into the cutting-edge technology and science that the navy uses to prepare these individuals. Itzler shares his experience meeting and briefly living with Goggins (who was also an Army Ranger) and the things he learned about pushing past perceived limits.
- Goggins dives into why you should leave your comfort zone, introduces the 40 percent rule, and explains why the biggest battle we all face is the one in our own minds. "Usually whatever's in front of you isn't as big as you make it out to be," says the SEAL turned motivational speaker. "We start to make these very small things enormous because we allow our minds to take control and go away from us. We have to regain control of our mind."
Is focusing solely on body mass index the best way for doctor to frame obesity?
- New guidelines published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal argue that obesity should be defined as a condition that involves high body mass index along with a corresponding physical or mental health condition.
- The guidelines note that classifying obesity by body mass index alone may lead to fat shaming or non-optimal treatments.
- The guidelines offer five steps for reframing the way doctors treat obesity.