Photographers React to Instagram’s New Snapchat-Like Features

Aug 18, 16 Photographers React to Instagram’s New Snapchat-Like Features

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Sadly, only 13% of young adults aged 18 to 24 have ever owned a photo album. With smartphones in just about every pocket in the country, popular apps like Instagram and Snapchat are thriving as the most successful photo companies. According to Business Insider, 27% of U.S. teens considered Instagram their most important social network, a drop from 33% as previously research showed. Snapchat claims that their photo company reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year olds on any given day. “There’s a certain type of audience on Snapchat and I don’t think it’s going to slow down at all,” said Nick Cicero, CEO and founder of Belmondo, an analytics company that works alongside Snapchat. “Most of the customers we work with said they don’t plan to stop creating on Snapchat any time soon.” Paste Magazine reports that because of Snapchat’s growing popularity, Instagram decided to replicate some of Snapchat’s features into their platform. Instagram added Instagram Stories to their app, which replicates Snapchat’s original stories feature. Many users of both apps were upset over the new features. “Instagram is proving to be knock off hacks,” said Matt Lowe, an avid Snapchatter and creative photographer, who goes by the name @Wolfwhiperer. “My first impression was, ‘Wow, this is exactly like Snapchat, but they [Instagram] have more users and are more mainstream so more they’re going to destroy Snapchat. Obviously, after taking a deeper look at things, Instagram’s whole thing is ease of use and basic features. Less of the Snapchat filters and that kind of thing.” Other digital photographers were quick to defend the harsh criticisms Instagram received from angry users in favor of Snapchat. Victoria Wright, a creative photographer from Seattle, wasn’t thrilled when she first learned about Instagram Stories, but she started appreciating the feature once she began using it more. “On Instagram, people can find me several different ways,” said Wright. “Whether it’s Instagram promoting me as a suggested user, or the explorer page, or seeing my interactions on other’s...

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Studies Show That Training Your Cat is Possible

Aug 18, 16 Studies Show That Training Your Cat is Possible

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Kittens typically need to be brought to the vet for vaccines every three to four weeks until they’re 16 weeks old, but that’s also a crucial time to begin training your cat, researchers have reported. Unlike dogs, cats have become domestic pets only within the past 50 years. In countless ways, they are still wild animals and experience stress as a result of the demands humans place on them in the home. That pressure often drives cats to act out in ways owners find frustrating: scratching the drapes, dragging dead rodents and birds through the cat door, and pooping behind the couch. The only way to help cats adapt to the pressure placed on them is to train them, which is — in fact — possible. Contrary to popular belief, training can actually be more beneficial to cats than it is to dogs. This comes as a result of dogs spending time with humans for much longer. Cats only began coexisting with humans about 10,000 years ago and have remained largely undomesticated for the majority of that time. The first evidence of humans bonding with cats is only from about 4,000 years ago in Egypt, where archaeologists discovered evidence of cats being ceremonially buried alongside their former owners. Contemporary relationships with cats are a bit different, though. As far as training cats goes, they learn in much the same way that dogs do. However, there are a few fundamental differences. Cats’ primary attachment is to a place, not people. A cat’s first priority is to find a safe place to live and a steady source of food, not bond with their owner. In addition, cats won’t benefit from being scolded. Scientific evidence indicates that they don’t comprehend the idea that humans are thinking about them, which means scolding them won’t have any effect. Similarly, the squirt bottle technique isn’t effective, either. If an owner sprays their cat with water every time they jump on the counter, the cat is more likely to associate the...

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Severe Weather Takes Destructive Toll on U.S. Cities and Homes

Aug 12, 16 Severe Weather Takes Destructive Toll on U.S. Cities and Homes

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Metal roofs are credibly proven to last 50 years or more with proper maintenance, but no amount of maintenance can prepare a roof for the kind of severe weather plaguing the U.S. this week. Iowa officials reported that severe storm winds ripped roofs off of homes, toppled trees, and even knocked out power in some areas of the state. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported. Winds up to 54 mph were recorded at the Dubuque airport, and power outages were reported Dubuque and Delaware counties. Not only that, but people in New Orleans are just starting to recover after a tornado with winds reaching 80 mph ravaged a half-mile strip of neighborhood, flattening homes and knocking out power lines. The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado, an EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, moved quickly through the Seventh Ward. City officials said several streets in the area may remain closed pending examination of structural damage. Unlike the incident in Iowa, at least two people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries as a result of the storm. Luckily, there were no casualties. However, power outages were reported for up to 29,000 customers and several empty buildings collapsed. While the storms are bringing destruction to U.S. cities, they’re bringing adventure to storm chasers across the nation. Alex Haworth and Brandon Copic are storm chasers who spent this past Wednesday following a tornado that ripped through North Dakota. “We got within 200 yards, maybe 100 yards,” explained Haworth. “Chasing in North Dakota was definitely one of the top in my career by far. Just amazed at the size of the tornado and the overall intensity, it was likely one of the largest tornadoes I’ve seen in my 7 year career chasing storms,” said Copic. It was one of many tornadoes that broke out in North Dakota on Wednesday, a number only matched by last year’s figures. Fortunately, there aren’t any more tornadoes forecasted for the weekend. USA Today reports that although most of the U.S. will experience...

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Nuclear Power Isn’t Suffering in the Nation’s Heat

According to the National Weather Service, about 12 million Americans are under heat alerts. The U.S. has been baking in extreme temperatures for the past few weeks, and according to Forbes, it’s affecting energy production, causing fires, water shortages, and more. One industry that hasn’t suffered? The nuclear power industry, which has recorded capacity factors of 96%, and above. And it hasn’t increased prices, either. Nuclear power also stepped up during the polar vortex, when natural gas and coal failed to deliver the energy needed to heat homes. Indeed, a constant baseload power during the hottest part of the day is very important to keep the air conditioners of the nation running, as the 85,469 HVAC companies in America well know. Nuclear power is essentially the backbone of the electricity grid and is able to operate even under extreme weather conditions. But that doesn’t mean that most of the country and utility companies don’t rely on gas and gas pipelines. With electric utilities struggling to meet peak demand, many are falling back on emergency measures. Towards the beginning of July, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a Flex Alert — the first in two years. The Alert called for the power conservation in California, especially citing issued with natural gas capacity in southern parts of the state. Until that point, the state had tried to avoid the gas access and pipeline delivery problems that many other parts of the country had suffered. “SoCalGas told us they had gas congestion and capacity issues,” reported the ISO spokesman, Steven Greenlee, leading to a decision to issue the Alert, which called for energy conservation. During the peak hours in the state, gas supplied more than 60% of California’s electric load, with solar and wind supplying less than...

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Little Boy Turns Garbage Man When Sacremento Grants His Wish

In Sacremento, California, Ethan Dean, a six-year-old boy diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, was granted a wish: he spent the day as a garbage and recycling superhero. Outfitted in a fluorescent sanitation safety T-shirt and a green cape, Ethan was applauded by more than 100 people who came out to cheer him on as he rode on a garbage truck through the city. The epic ride was a part of an event organized by the Make-a-Wish Foundation and local sponsors. The garbage route wound its way through Sacramento’s downtown and ended at the California state capitol building. The garbage workers really went above and beyond to make the day special for Ethan. A green garbage truck was plastered with a sign that said “Ethan’s Garbage Truck,” and dancers for the Sacramento Kings basketball team came out with signs declaring “We Love You Ethan.” The Sacramento Police Department even provided motorcycle escort. Ethan was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was two years old. When his family found out that he was going to have a wish granted, “We pretty much knew it was going to be about garbage trucks,” according to Ethan’s father, Ken Dean. Ethan’s cause is a worthy one — a single person generates around four pounds of trash every day. When asked what his favorite part of the day was, he simply replied” “Being a garbage man.” At the end of the garbage route and parade, Sacremento Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg and Police Cheif Sam Somers thanked Ethan, congratulating him for the work he did to clean the...

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