Heavy Flooding in New Brunswick Collapses Basement, Leaving Family Homeless

Many homes across North America come equipped with basements, those beloved underground spaces that can be used for storage, recreation and many other possibilities. Unfortunately, these basements can sometimes be more of a pain than they’re worth. It’s estimated that over 98% of homes with basements will incur some amount of water damage, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. For one New Brunswick, Canada family, however, the dangers of foundational water damage became all too real when their home’s basement collapsed during a recent period of flooding. According to the CBC, mother of four Amy Gow was almost killed when flash flooding in the town of Hoyt caused her home’s basement to collapse. Moments before, she had been in the basement to turn the house’s power off. “By the time I got to the basement, the water was up to my waist,” she said. “About three minutes later, the whole basement wall collapsed.” The flood waters came from a nearby stream which is usually fairly calm, Gow told the CBC. During this month’s bout of heavy rains, however, the water had risen above its banks and was lapping around Gow’s house. Upon the basement’s collapse, Gow called 911, and firefighters were able to safely get her and her children onto a boat. Gow and her children are now left without a home, as they haven’t been allowed back inside since the collapse destroyed the house’s foundation. Michael Harnish, the home’s owner, said New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization won’t allow anyone inside the home, as it’s considered unlivable. In the meantime, the Canadian Red Cross is helping the Gows find a new place to live. But this also means leaving everything from their home behind. “Unfortunately we can’t recover anything from the house,” said Gow. “So we’ve basically got to start all over again.” Sources:  CBCNews.com...

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How Will YouTube’s New Premium Service Affect the Marketing World?

YouTube has announced a new service: YouTube Red. For just $10 a month, users don’t have to deal with ads, they can save videos offline, and they even continue listening to a YouTube video in the background while they do other things on their mobile devices. The ad-free component launches the last week of October, but come January, a YouTube Red subscription will also grant users access to exclusive content, like full length movies and original series, such as Netflix’s House of Cards or Amazon’s Transparent. This change could have a ripple effect on the marketing world. YouTube is — believe it or not — the second biggest search engine on the web, and the third-most visited place on the Internet. Ranking well on search engines is also one of the most important marketing strategies right now. Search engine leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads, ones gained from direct mailing or print advertising, only have a 1.7% close rate. Yet if you want to get these leads, you have to rank well — ideally, within the first 10 spots on Google, Bing or YouTube. Research shows that 75% of users never even go past the first page of search results. In other words, companies have a lot to gain by getting their videos to show up first when users search YouTube. A simple “how to” video from a landscaping company could bring in new leads if enough people see and share it. “Both creators and users have been asking for a YouTube subscription service and that’s why we built YouTube Red,” a YouTube spokesperson told Gizmodo. “Today, the overwhelming majority of our partners, representing nearly 99 percent of the content watched on YouTube, have signed up. Videos of partners who don’t update their terms will be made private, but we remain committed to working closely with these partners with the goal of bringing them on board.” As ominous as that sounds, it essentially means that what once was 100% free is now only 99% free....

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New Sources of Rubber Could Reduce Environmental Impact and Production Costs

Oct 23, 15 New Sources of Rubber Could Reduce Environmental Impact and Production Costs

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Rubber has always been a product in high demand considering its versatility and seemingly endless applications. However, the production of many natural rubbers has proven to be costly, and may even have an effect on the environment. According to rubbernews.com, the Iranian organization Sadaf Petrochemicals Co., recently broke ground on a new emulsion styrene butadine rubber (ESBR). The original styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) is a mixture of two monomers, styrene and butadiene, used as a replacement for natural rubber and derived from petroleum; this synthetic rubber was created prior to World War II by a German chemist Walter Bock and Edward Tschunkur in 1933. As a result, the United States of America, during World War II, created the U.S. Synthetic Rubber Program to compete. Sadaf Petrochemicals’ production plant plans to make five new grades of varying dry and oily rubbers, two of which will be used to make tires, and three to be used in plastics. Overall, the plant will produce 136,000 tons of ESBR and export an estimated 50,000 tons every year. Foreign markets are expected to bring a lot of interest, such as China with a regular demand of 1.5 million tons of ESBR annually. With $289 million of funding for their project, Sadaf Petrochemicals says they will be finished in 29 months with an environmentally friendly product that reduces the need to consume natural resources. However, moderntiredealer.com reports that the Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. may have found a way to bypass the consumption of previously used natural resources for a more abundant and controllable renewable resource rather than using synthetics. The Cooper Tire and Rubber Co., will produce a prototype tire made with 100% of the natural and synthetic components substituted with those from the guayule shrub, native to the United States, by 2017. “Beginning in 2017, the company plans to build a prototype tire replacing all the natural and synthetic rubber with guayule components,” said the senior vice president at Cooper Chuck Yurkovich. “We will know then if we’re successful....

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A CD From Poland Sent Anonymously to a Tech Blog Contained a Creepy, Disturbing Puzzle

The Internet is a dark, mysterious place. Google has indexed a staggering 200 Terabytes worth of its data — 204,800 gigs — and has only just scratched the surface, indexing a mere 0.004% of the total web. It’s out of this ominous, labyrinthine network that a creepy puzzle has emerged. It all started when tech blog GadgetZZ received an anonymous CD from Poland. On it was a black-and-white video of a man dressed entirely in black robes and wearing a Black Death plague mask. The figure says nothing throughout the whole video, but holds a blinking light in his hand, suggesting a hidden message. The video also has a warbling sound, which may have contained a message. Naturally, GadgetZZ posted the video, and asked the Internet for help trying to decipher its meaning. The first crack at the puzzle came from a Reddit user, who put the audio into a spectogram. A bizarre image came out, which read “You are already dead.” Others who tried decoding the sound also allegedly found pictures of a woman in it, as well as GPS coordinates of the White House. The CD and video contained a myriad of different codes and images, the most disturbing of which were locked away in the various pieces of audio using a sophisticated cryptographic technique called steganography. “Now there are so many theories about this. Some say Illuminati, some say serial killer or even a threat directed at me,” an update in the original GadgetZZ post reads. “Perhaps, perhaps not, but I am highly skeptical. It makes sense to send it to me if it’s an elaborate joke or experiment, but if it were a serious threat I doubt it would be sent to a tech blog.” Others, particularly those on conspiracy theory forums and message boards, feel otherwise. “My interpretation of this that a whistleblower is telling us that the Shadow Governments (security agencies, rich/elite) are losing control, that they are planning to use biological warfare against the people who are...

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More Health Conditions Approved for Medical Marijuana Use

A panel in Illinois has voted to recommend medical marijuana use for more ailments. The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board is now recommending it for post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, osteoarthritis irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic pain, the latter of which affects 1.5 billion people worldwide. The board also voted to add chronic pain syndrome, chronic postoperative pain, intractable pain and chronic pain due to trauma, in addition to an existing approved list with 39 qualifying ailments. Doctors, nurses, patients, and a pharmacist made up the panel and voted for eight conditions. Their votes are only recommendations, which must be approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health. “The Department must ensure that patients are receiving medical cannabis in a safe and effective manner under the current regulatory framework,” said Joseph Wright, director of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program via email. “The Department will evaluate aspects of the program that can be improved upon as the program becomes more developed. Interested individuals may still submit petitions regarding diseases or conditions to the Department for consideration by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.” Many of the patients who testified said that they wanted it approved because their condition had not improved through the use of traditional medicine. Jared Taylor, 26, for example, said that his osteoarthritis will likely be helped immensely. Through using medical marijuana, he hopes to manage his pain and inflammation and would use the drug in conjunction with acetaminophen, yoga, and other treatments. Marijuana “is another tool to manage this condition,” Taylor said. Numerous studies have proven marijuana is helpful in treating pain, nausea, and vomiting. Until more studies become available, the board will rely on physicians to oversee its use, said board chairwoman Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple. “We’re not going to get the research I want to see as a clinician,” she said. “I have learned to accept that.” Many people, including Liana Bran, of the substance-free workplace program for the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, protested the use of marijuana to treat...

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