Ever wanted to live in an Italian castle? Now's your chance

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 0 comments



If you've ever dreamed of taking up residence in an Italian castle but don't have the deep pockets required, a new scheme by the Italian government may be of interest. It's handing out longterm leases to 103 castles, villas, and other historic buildings free of charge – providing you're willing to roll up your sleeves and do some DIY.


ourism in Italy is often focused on familiar hotspots like Venice and Rome, but the country's new Strategic Tourist Plan aims to introduce visitors to less well-trodden areas. The idea is to promote "slow tourism," or cycling, walking, and the like.

There are a total of 103 properties up for grabs this year and another 200 planned over the next two years. They're located all over Italy in various stages of dilapidation. Many are still very picturesque though and include villas, castles, inns, farmhouses and other buildings.



Standout properties include Serramazzoni's Torre della Bastiglia, a 12th Century tower erected to support the Castle of Monfestino; Torre Angellara in Salerno, a 15th Century military building that was part of Italy's coastal defenses; and Fortilizio dei Mulini, a medieval fort in Spoleto

Before you go packing a drill and phrasebook however, you'll first need to fill out an online application (follow the source link below). You'll also need to commit to renovating a site into a tourist-friendly facility like a hotel, restaurant, or spa. Duties will include promoting local walking tours, cycling, and such. Under 40's are preferred, and the offer is only open until June 26th.



Those given the nod will be granted an initial nine-year period to work on their project, with further nine-year chunks of time then doled out. Up to 50 years is also possible in some cases.



The question remains as to whether the scheme is open to non-Italian citizens. Judging from our rudimentary attempts to translate the Italian text with Google Translate, we'd guess that's the case, though an English-language version of the terms and conditions is on the way, so all should become clearer soon.

5-Step Plan to Reduce Inflammation With a Healthy and Active Lifestyle by Michael Joseph

Sunday, 6 August 2017 1 comments


Chronic inflammation is one of the biggest killers in the world.

It is a growing problem that affects a significant number of people, and it has links to almost every chronic disease.

On the positive side, we can mostly avoid it depending on how we live our life.

This article will explain some simple ways to reduce inflammation through a healthy and active, real food lifestyle.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is supposed to be a natural process that helps our body heal from injury or illness.

During an inflammatory response, macrophages (local immune cells) are the first to defend the body.

Also, chemical messengers known as cytokines warn the immune system about the problem and small white blood cells (lymphocytes) fight the infection/damage.

Key Point: Inflammation is a natural, biological process. However, it is only supposed to last for a short time, and chronic inflammation can cause major health problems.

How to Reduce Inflammation

I’m sorry to all those lists of vegetables that “beat” inflammation, but a kale smoothie does not make up for a poor lifestyle.

Regarding inflammation, it is our whole diet and lifestyle that are important.

Fortunately, living a healthy and active lifestyle can stop inflammation in its tracks.

The following five areas are all essential to our overall health;
Diet
Exercise
Sleep
Stress/Social Relationships
Sunlight

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Control a Giant Mech Robot

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 4 comments



Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos got to live out every 6-year-old's fantasy when he got behind the controls of a giant "mech" robot.

The Verge reports that Bezos tried out the 13-foot-tall (4 meters) robot yesterday (March 19) at his company's private Machine Learning, Home Automation, Robotics and Space Exploration (MARS) conference. Video of the bot, developed by Hankook Mirae Technology in South Korea, first surfaced in December in promotional clips. Live Science was skeptical of the robot's existence and functionality at the time.

But the new video reveals that the robot does, indeed, exist. However, it's far from clear how much the mech (a term for piloted, humanoid robots) can really do. Bezos flails the arms around using controls in the robot's torso cockpit, but the robot does not take any steps and is tethered to the ceiling, presumably for safety reasons

Giant mech

The robot does not pick anything up in the video, either, which is notable because its developers say that one of their goals is to create piloted robots for real-world jobs, like cleaning up the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was damaged in 2011 when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. So far, none of the footage of the mech has shown it manipulating objects. The massive bot also runs on external power, which means that, so far, it's unable to work untethered.

Such limitations could be overcome. Roboticists have already developed robots that can navigate uneven terrain, including Boston Dynamics' intimidating "Big Dog" and the bipedal "Atlas" humanoid robot. Atlas can open doors, lift boxes and even right itself when pushed, and operates with an internal power source. Those bots are much smaller than the giant mech Hankook Mirae is trying to develop, however, and don't present the same safety challenges as a piloted robot. According to Hankook Mirae's website, the mech robot, nicknamed Method 2, weighs a minimum of 1.6 tons.

Solar Impulse 2 breaks records by reaching California

Monday, 25 April 2016 0 comments

Solar Impulse 2 landed at Moffett Airfield after a 62-hour flight



Last night, Solar Impulse 2 completed the Pacific Ocean crossing leg of its round-the-world flight. According to the Solar Impulse organization, the aircraft with founder and chairman Bertrand Piccard at the controls touched down in a night landing at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California on April 23 at 11:44 pm PDT after a flight time of 62 hours and 29 minutes from Kalaeloa Airport, Hawaii.




Taking off from Kalaeloa on April 21 at 6:15 am HST, the one-man, solar-powered airplane reached a maximum altitude of 28,000 ft (8,634 m) and an average speed of 40.4 mph (65.4 km/h) as it covered a distance of 2,810 mi (4,523 km). During the day, power to the electric motors was provided by the solar panels on the upper wing surfaces while special batteries kept it aloft at night.

According to Solar Impulse, Solar Impulse 2 set several records during the Pacific flight, including distance, speed, duration, altitude, and altitude gain for an electric airplane. These records are still pending US FAA confirmation.





Piccard at the controls of Solar Impulse 2 in Hawaii

During the flight, on April 22, Piccard addressed the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and 175 heads of states in New York via a cockpit video link as part of the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Yesterday's landing finished the ninth leg of the Solar Impulse 2 circumnavigation. The next destination is New York, followed by Europe or North Africa, with the voyage ending at its starting point in Abu Dhabi, where Solar Impulse 2 took off in March 2015.

Solar Impulse 2 was stranded in Hawaii due to damage sustained by the power system during the record five-day flight from Japan to Oahu. Due to over-insulation, the batteries that sustain Solar Impulse 2 during the hours of darkness overheated. After landing, ground crews discovered that the batteries had been extensively damaged and the weeks required for repairs meant that the daylight/weather window for the next leg was missed, requiring the delay.

"Solar Impulse showcases that today exploration is no longer about conquering new territories, because even the moon has already been conquered, but about exploring new ways to have a better quality of life on Earth," says Piccard. "It is more than an airplane: it is a concentration of clean technologies, a genuine flying laboratory, and illustrates that solutions exist today to meet the major challenges facing our society."

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