Wednesday, February 24, 2021

changing police forces around the U.S.; an example from Ithaca, NY


In a nearly 100-page report obtained by GQ, Mayor Svante Myrick will propose replacing the city’s current 63-officer, $12.5 million a year department with a “Department of Community Solutions and Public Safety” which would include armed “public safety workers” and unarmed “community solution workers,” all of whom will report to a civilian director of public safety instead of a police chief. Under the proposal, all current officers would have to re-apply for a position with the new department.


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This will be important to watch,  I would think the police today would be happy to let social workers handle drunks anyway, so they could concentrate on crimes. 

Orlando, Florida, is doing something similar;

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

locust swarm? Eat the locusts!


"African regenerative agriculture company The Bug Picture is helping communities in Kenya turn the problem on its head. Specialising in insect-based protein that is environmentally sustainable to farm, it has come up with a way of turning desert locusts into animal feed and fertiliser.  Affected communities are encouraged to harvest live locusts and receive immediate payment through a mobile platform."


Also, humans can eat some types of locusts directly.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

plastics that can be recycled more easily

 A new type of plastic is potentially more easily broken down, and thus more easily recycled.  But there is criticism that research still needs to handle that the process is energy intensive and may have a hazardous chemical byproduct.  Still, it's good to see research going on!

some nice ideas for making your city more liveable


"When it comes to making life easier, the first thing you might think of is some snazzy little gadget. Well, what if the city's design itself was the gadget? Here we will look at the brilliant designs that make life easier in the city for anyone lucky enough to live there! Whether it's nature that picks your fancy or you prefer a more technological route, explore them with us here!"


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Of course, free phone charging stations are always welcome.  Lots of nice stuff here.

Friday, February 5, 2021

dividing police duties with healthcare professionals is working!


"Since June 1, 2020, a mental health clinician and a paramedic have traveled around the city in a white van handling low-level incidents, like trespassing and mental health episodes, that would have otherwise fallen to patrol officers with badges and guns. In its first six months, the Support Team Assisted Response program, or STAR, has responded to 748 incidents. None required police or led to arrests or jail time."


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It's working!  The police can now concentrate on crime.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

turn plastic waste into construction blocks


In 2017, Matee opened a factory in Nairobi called Gjenge Makers, where workers take plastic waste, mix it with sand, and heat it up, with the resulting brick being five to seven times stronger than concrete. The factory accepts waste that other facilities "cannot process anymore, they cannot recycle," Matee told Reuters. "That is what we get."

The bricks are made of plastic that was originally used for milk and shampoo bottles, cereal and sandwich bags, buckets, and ropes. Every day, Gjenge Makers produces about 1,500 bricks, in different sizes and colors. 


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 This solves a few problems at once!  Jobs, recycling, cheaper construction costs.


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Trickle down economics does not work, says 50 years of study


The paper, by David Hope of the London School of Economics and Julian Limberg of King’s College London, found that such measures over the last 50 years only really benefited the individuals who were directly affected, and did little to promote jobs or growth.

“Policy makers shouldn’t worry that raising taxes on the rich to fund the financial costs of the pandemic will harm their economies,” Hope said in an interview.


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Bubble up works, though.