Month: May 2021

Roblox: The Platform Fueling a Chaotic Music Scene

Artists, label heads and industry schemers know that success in pop music today requires racking up plays on TikTok and streaming services. But there’s another, unlikely platform that’s picking up steam: Roblox.

Roblox is a game-creation engine, first released in 2006, that allows players to customize their own sandbox worlds, create mini-games on multiplayer servers and enjoy a second life online as square-shaped beings called Robloxians. Unlike Minecraft, a game that drops users into a fantastical “otherworld,” Roblox’s most popular mini-games (or, as Roblox calls them, “experiences”) are rooted in real life. They are “roleplays,” meaning the player

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Shrunken head once used as a film prop turns out to be human

A shrunken head that was on display for years at a university in Georgia has been returned to the place it came from.

Known as a “tsantsa,” the artifact has been sent back to its home country of Ecuador after researchers realized it was the real thing.

NBC News reports that the artifact had been sitting on display at Mercer University in Macon for decades. The tsantsa had even been glued to a fake body and used as a prop in the 1979 John Huston movie, “Wise Blood,” a dark comedy film starring Brad Dourif of “Chucky” fame.

So, as

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People Fail To Recognize Factory Farming’s Link To Zoonotic Diseases, Study Says

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Many people do not recognize factory farming’s link to zoonotic diseases, according to a new study. 

Research led by the University of Kent found participants ‘blame’ the wild animal trade or lack of government preparation for epidemic outbreaks – not animal agriculture.

Zoonotic diseases

The study also showed those who are ‘highly committed’ to eating meat ‘struggle to acknowledge global meat consumption as a link to the problem’.

Moreover, even after being informed about the risks of factory farms in the spread of disease – meat-eaters were ‘still less convinced of policies to change or ban

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Appalachian Trail Open to Thru-Hikers Once Again

Cole Mountain, Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is the longest “hiking only” footpath in the world, spanning from Georgia to Maine. But for the bulk of the past year, it’s been effectively off limits to all long-distance hikers due to COVID-19. Now, according to a new report from Matador, that’s about to change.

Last year at the onset of the pandemic, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) made the decision to close the trail in entirety. Two months later, toward the end of May, it was announced that roughly 98% of the trail would be open again with the exception

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Can travel romances last? These “digital nomads” describe the highs and lows

Claudia Canu arrived in Bansko, Bulgaria filled with anticipation. She was about to meet Sebastien Pelletier, the man she had been chatting with on Facebook Messenger for months.

Canu and Pelletier met during a beta test of an online speed dating platform for so-called “digital nomads,” a group of creative class workers who work remotely while traveling. Canu had logged onto the test call from Bali, where she had been for a month. Unlike many digital nomads, she likes to keep a home base — hers was usually Barcelona — but post-Bali she planned to relocate to Bansko, Bulgaria. That

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Are they having a laugh? How The Father’s posters get the film so wrong | The Father

The Father is not out in the UK until next month, but we already know plenty about it. We know that its script won an Oscar for the uncanny way it dropped the viewer into the mind of someone with dementia. We know that Anthony Hopkins gave such a harrowing, desperate performance that he also won an Oscar. Perhaps you even read the New Yorker interview with Hopkins about the role, which inspired him to recount the circumstances of his own father’s death in devastating detail. Basically, we know that The Father is quite a dark film.

Beaming …
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Former meatpacking plant turned into collaborative community of farming and small food business

CHICAGO — After decades of production, the former Peer Foods meatpacking plant in the Back of the Yards neighborhood sat idol for years.  Described by a real estate broker as a “strip and rip,” it was on the market to be stripped of its stainless steel, copper, and anything else of value. 

The Plant as it looks like today

Bubbly Dynamics saw tremendous potential in this USDA-grade facility and envisioned reusing the structure to incubate food and farming businesses. It would bring much-needed jobs back to a disinvested community in a “food desert” lacking healthy food options.

John Edel is

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140-acre Dane Co. nature conservancy unveiled with hiking trail

MARSHALL, Wis. (WMTV) – Dane County officials unveiled a new 140-acre nature conservancy Friday afternoon near Marshall that is now open for visitors to explore.

Visitors to the Joyce M. Baer & George J. Socha Nature Conservancy can walk on the newly developed hiking trial and along the Maunesha River, Dane Co. Executive Joe Parisi announced.

“This is a great addition to our Dane County Park System,” said Parisi. “I want to thank George Socha and his late partner Joyce Baer for their incredibly generous donation of land.”

The land was donated in 2007 to the county with a life

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Canadian talk of vaccine passports not likely to impact travel in the near future

According to an April 26 report by The Associated Press, European Union officials are working on a program to allow some U.S. travelers to enter member countries, though it isn’t yet known if travelers will need to show proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, proof of recovery from the illness or some combination thereof.

But in Canada, Minister of Health Patty Hajdu last week said her government supports the idea of “vaccine passports” for international travel. Some Canadians are skeptical of her views, considering spiking cases of coronavirus there, along with a lagging vaccine rollout.

“We certainly won’t be

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How a Plus-Size Hiker Found Her Footing on the Trail

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“How do you tell Long Trail hikers from Appalachian Trail hikers?” the man who went by the trail name Trash said, holding three fingers in the air.

I looked up at his tall, trim physique. He smirked, highlighting crow’s feet wrinkles on his perfectly sun-kissed face in a way that showed he thought the answer would be hilarious. “It’s BBB.”

“Boots?” I answered, looking down at my own, woefully inadequate, pair. My toes banged against rocks in the otherwise cushy trail runners I wore to

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