Connect with us

Culture

Going to the Grocery Store to Chat – A New Concept

In terms of psychology, it’s been well understood that humans a social animals. However, thanks to the COVID pandemic in 2020, the entire world has realized just how much it depends on social interaction. And the older one gets, the more important that community connection is. That’s the reason why near 200 different Jumbo grocery store locations in the Netherlands will be engaging in a chat zone versus just expecting people to buy goods, pay and leave.

The idea, referred to as a “Kletskassa,” which translates to a checkout for chatting, started in a single store back in 2019 before the need became so apparent to everyone. Folks in Vlijmen in Brabant liked the idea so much, it became an instant success. That got the Jumbo store folks thinking, and the idea came to fruition to do a similar store model and chat checkout system for another 200 stores by 2022. And, the program has a key purpose as well. Loneliness has been a common, chronic issue, particularly among older citizens. To combat the mental health issues associated with the disconnection problem, the country has been trying to find ways to reconnect people again. The Kletskassa idea was such a proven tool, it quickly gained support from multiple corners and perspectives.

Loneliness is pervasive at every level of society, but teenagers and the elderly tend to feel it the most. Much of that trend has to do with societal pressure and role expectations. If people don’t fit in, they feel left out and go insular, often a problem with teenagers uncomfortable with how they are changing. If people don’t feel they have utility, they also disconnect and feel ostracized. This is common with the elderly who begin to feel they are a burden on the younger ages. No surprise loneliness can lead to more serious issues like depression and anxiety, and key pathway to serious mental health problems and serious consequences.

The Jumbo store approach specifically aims to provide people someone to talk to in the store who is there to talk to them on a regular basis, i.e. chat. It seems like such a simple thing, but the Kletskassa model works and has proven itself successful with significant acceptance by the shoppers and communities where it is applied. And for the Netherlands health ministry, it is exactly the kind of dynamic that needs to occur to help bring back folks who are suffering from loneliness and its effects.

Jumbo’s executive management is extremely proud to have created the program and its support of communities and plans to continue finding unique ways to positively improve the markets they operate in, beyond just selling product.

ADVERTISEMENT

Culture

A Conservation Dog in NZ known for Saving Countless Kiwis, Retires

Shannon Jackson

Published

on

Now that Rein, the conservation dog, has spent the better part of a decade searching for kiwis to keep them from going extinct, it’s time for her to retire.

DOC’s conservation dog Rein, a Hungarian Vizsla, will retire at the end of the month after more than a decade of service.

With the support of her handler Iain Graham, they work to protect the rarest kind of kiwi, row, as part of a multi-agency initiative to increase the kiwi population.

There are now 600 rows in the wild, up from 160 in the critically endangered category in 2016, and the species became downlisted to “nationally vulnerable” in 2017. Graham credits Rein with finding 1700 kiwis during her time with the program.

Motuara, a predator-free Creche Island in the Marlborough Sounds, will be her final stop before retirement from her job.

Graham has been a biodiversity ranger with the DOC’s Franz Josef kiwi team for four years. A colleague in Hamilton gave Rein to him as a puppy in early 2010, and he immediately saw the potential in her becoming a conservation dog.

As a conservation dog, she would need a strong sense of self-control, so he named her Rain.

To help with Operation Nest Egg, Graham wanted Rein to find kiwis in the wild.

In a slight stretch of low-lying forest inland near Quito in South Westland, Operation Nest Egg has successfully saved the rowing community from oblivion.

Since kiwi chicks are vulnerable to stoats and other predators, the environmentalists take the eggs from the woods for secure hatching.

After hatching at the West Coast Wildlife Sanctuary, the chicks spend roughly two months at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch before being transported to Motuara Island for their final destination.

On the West Coast, they get released after they are mature enough to defend themselves from predators.

In the Omoeroa ranges, north of Franz Josef, kiwis have been relocated from the keto forest.

By utilizing treats and feathers from the kiwis, Graham taught Rein essential dog training and how to act around birds.

“It was already clear that she had a strong drive.” In the beginning, training is primarily about building a relationship with the dog’s owner. When she was seven months old, “early for any protection dog,” he noted, “she had her first test.”

Each bird that gets released has a transmitter attached to it that monitors its movements. A 50% decrease in feeding activity signifies that the birds are nesting. “We realize they have an egg when the row females and males scavenging hours reduce from 10 to 5 hours a nightly,” he stated.

A little over a month later, Graham and Rein are on their way to search for the eggs. The moment she discovers the nest, she comes to a complete halt and starts pointing with her front paws.

When the breeding season is over, Rein doesn’t take a break for the rest of the year. Every 12 to 14 months, she makes the trip to Motuara Island to check on the chicks and change the transmitter batteries on the island’s resident kiwis.

“When the transmitters malfunction, that’s when she performs assisting us in locating the chicks who don’t have tags,” Graham said.

Haast Tokoeka’s new population was one of her most significant accomplishments.

After working in the sector for ten years, Graham felt Rein should take a break. Brew, a second vizsla, has gradually taken over the workload over the last few months.

Continue Reading

Culture

Tree on Nagasaki Island Bought By American to Prevent Felling

Kevin Wells

Published

on

With his fingertips, 38-year-old Sutton feels as though a Banyan tree on Fukuejima Island, along a narrow path with its branches extending in all directions, is a source of power for him.

As he made his way to and from the English school where he works, he came across the tree on his regular walks on an island in the Goto island chain off Nagasaki Prefecture.

Sutton was driving home in December 2013 when he heard a cracking sound coming from the banyan tree and saw heavy machinery chopping down large branches.

Sutton learned that the property owner who resides outside of Nagasaki Prefecture had requested that the entire tree and a nearby home get demolished.

Sutton leaped in front of the banyan, yelling, “I’ll save it by any means necessary, so please stop.”

Sutton and his bride, a Fukuejima native, relocated to the island in 2016 after admiring the landscape. He first came across the tree in the spring of 2017.

Known as Ako (in Japanese), the tree is situated on the road about 300 m from his rental apartment.

When its seeds germinate on other types of wood, the tree’s roots spread. The Banyan tree roots reached a neighboring tree on the other side, blocking sunlight and forming a tunnel-like structure over the path.

Sutton, a seasoned traveler, thought the tree with roots scattered over the soil was awe-inspiring.

Afraid of not getting a home loan on Fukuejima because of the stringent screening requirements, Sutton held out the banyan as a sign of faith. Sutton sensed that the tree was reassuring him.

Sutton contacted the firm’s president tasked with removing the tree as he pondered how to prevent the vital partner from being hacked away. According to the company’s head, “I also do not want to cut down such a majestic tree.”

Only the cost of the work they already did should be paid by Sutton, according to the president.

In the next step, Sutton called the real estate agency that had hired a tree-removal company to explain his desire to them.

Due to his lack of preparedness for the agent’s question, “what will you do with the tree?” Sutton replied, “I’ll go on a picnic with my family under it.”

The realtor suggested, “If you buy the tree along with the land and the residence soon, we will sell it to you,” after they had been arguing for some time.

Sutton quickly responded, “I will,” even though he had just had his home mortgage approved.

Using what little money remained in his bank account, he paid several thousand dollars. Sutton became the new owner of the tree in April of this year after completing the necessary paperwork and documents.

Sutton and his 5-year-old daughter, born on the island, currently visian. With her little finger, the child mimics her father’s actions, saying, “Toto (dad), power, power.”

On that day, “I felt connected to the tree,” recalls Sutton. He said, “It must have been a stroke of good fortune.”

The banyan, estimated to be around 250 years old, is his senior, friend, and most cherished offspring. As an arborist believes this banyan will live for another 300 years, Nicholas dubbed it “Acholas.”

Continue Reading

Culture

Saving the Sea Horses – One Women’s Mission

Kelly Taylor

Published

on

The myth of the solo fisherman catching fish one by one or with a small net has been idolized first in literature and then in classic movies. However, in reality, modern fishing and seafood harvesting is anything but simple. Similar to land agriculture, modern fishing practically rakes entire ocean regions of sea life with massive nets that scoop up so much seal life, the boats themselves almost reach the waterline with weight. In doing so, this broad-based “scraping” of the ocean daily is wiping out entire ecosystems.

Most of the sealife caught in a net tends to be a primary fish caught. But a good percentage may also be other sealife crushed in the mass of food and protein to be harvested. Instead of finding a use for these portions or saving them from harm, they are killed in the netting process and then simply discarded like weeds picked out of a lawn. The technical method of this fishing, “bottom trawling,” leaves the ocean floor sterile of any life that might swim and not cling or hide in coral or the sand below. It’s not a new method of fishing, but the 20th century version is extremely effective at capture.

For the seahorse, a common sea floor creature found in different parts of the ocean worldwide, bottom trawling has been devastating. In that regard, Project Seahorse was begun in 1996 to help stop further destruction of the species as well as provide education on what needs to be done to change fishing for the future. The group and its issue gained significant recognition when seahorses, among other marine fish, were included in the list of needed protection maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. And, Project Seahorse was also able to highlight a previously unknown market that was specifically harvesting seahorses for a dietary specialty in Chinese cuisine.

It is estimated that well over 70 million individual seahorses are killed annually by various forms of sea life harvesting. Bottom trawling is the primary means of catching the species, even if a single haul only produces a handful of seahorses per pull. The fact that the deathrate is in the dozens of millions only speaks to the volume of sea life harvested from the ocean in the same time period.

Wildlife protection groups and university research have both combined to try to educate government leaders on the need for change, cutting off fishing industry subsidies to reduce the number of players, and to ban bottom trawling where possible. While some countries have been responsive, others are more of a challenge given so much of their food industry and markets depend on the ocean. A specific target sought includes the creation of Marine Protected Areas, basically sanctuary zones where fishing is not allowed at all and violators are criminally punished. However, given that much of the ocean is in international waters, enforcement is minimal at best.

The above said, groups like Project Seahorse continue to try. The sea horse itself is a canary in the coal mine from their perspective. If the oceans are completely depleted, a lot more is going to go wrong with the planet than just the loss of a sea horse species, and humanity will pay that cost in dividends.

Continue Reading

Culture

Santa Clara Couple Open RV Park For Low-income Families To Stave-off Homelessness

Kelly Taylor

Published

on

There are millions of people living below the poverty line for varying reasons. Some only need a little assistance to get themselves back on track. Fortunately, an RV Park operator has seen the plight of the people in California and has begun an initiative to alleviate homelessness and get people to get on with their lives as quickly as possible.

For those in need, a Santa Clarita RV park operator with a heart of gold is going the extra mile to assist.

RV park: “We’re a low-income facility.” Individuals who are just getting started again are our target audience. Seeing them take off is a joy to behold, says Stewart Silver, the owner of Cali Lake RV Park.

Cali Lake RV Resort came into being by Silver as a place to store RVs. Finally, someone inquired about the possibility of living in their units.

After purchasing a park, Silver says, “We grew from there.” In addition to free Wi-Fi and sewage disposal, we also provide water, electricity, and gas.

There is no difference between me and anyone else,” he says. All human beings are created equal in the eyes of God. I’ll keep doing it and growing as long as I can, and it doesn’t impact me in any manner, shape, or aspect.”

According to Michelle Savino, most RV parks will not accept vehicles older than ten years. All get personally greeted by Silver, who was very friendly.

Savino claims to have found Cali Lake RV resort and decided to contact Silver after discovering it.

As far as He is concerned, individuals and their families should leave the roadways immediately.” Savino said, “We have a location for you.”

Savino and her hubby are now in charge of the business.

Latonya Harvey and her household live in the neighborhood and say, “it took us hours to find a spot to park our RV. Harvey lamented, “We managed to lose everything in this pandemic. It consumes a lot of effort and cash to keep the residents of this town protected. He’s done a lot for the community as a whole. I’d rather stay here than go somewhere else. I’m happy to be here.”

For the fourth consecutive year, the number of people living on the streets in the United States surpassed 580,000, an increase of 2% over the previous year.

The 6.8 percent increase in California was below half of the 16 percent increase in the previous year. However, those who work with the homeless say that doesn’t mean things are getting any better for those who don’t have a home.

Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, said the current and previous figures are likely an undercount because it is challenging to count youth and families experiencing homelessness accurately.

In an email, he said, “I believe the actual percentage [uptick] is in the 10 percent range. A massive infusion of federal funds into HUD’s affordable homes budget should be added to the Biden Administration’s small list of policy goals, I hope.”

The report also found that California has the highest percentage of unsheltered homeless residents in the country at 70%. On the street, in tent encampments, or anywhere else not inside a building are examples of people in this category.

More than half of the homeless population is in temporary shelters, such as emergency shelters or transitional housing programs, according to the report.

Continue Reading

Culture

13-year-old Unearths What Appears to be Huge Bronze -Age Treasure Stash

Kelly Taylor

Published

on

These days, there are very few hobbies in which young children and teens are not involved. Children do not venture into some because of the danger they pose, but nowadays, from coin collecting to rockhounding and exploring, you’ll find young people delving in full force.

Therefore, it came as no surprise that a large batch of valuable artifacts was uncovered by a young girl recently. A passion she developed for metal-detecting was encouraged by her very supportive parents and has proven worthwhile.

On her third metal-detecting trip, a 13-year-old girl discovered a large stash of Bronze Age axes. Milly located the first of 65 artifacts stretching back to around 1300 BC while sifting through a field near Royston, Hertfordshire.

In the beginning, Milly and her dad jokingly thought it could be an ax while their father dug up the first one.

Archaeologists excavated the whole hoard, and they sent it to the British Museum in London. After her third time out, Milly admitted that she had no idea what she was doing.

As soon as my father began digging, I shouted, “This might be an ax,” and he burst out laughing. Even though they found about 20 artifacts, the location had to be protected until expert archaeologists could excavate the next day.

When they completed the task, they had a collection of 65 Bronze Age artifacts. It was Milly’s understanding that she and the landowner would split any money she found.

A “diggie tool” – a tiny shovel that her father uses – was Milly’s answer when she questioned what she would buy with the money.

Since the discovery, Claire, her mom, said it’s been “utterly chaotic,” with many individuals curious to hear what transpired.

When something good happens to you and your family, “it means the world to us,” she said. “But the fact that this is a good thing, unlike some of the bad news we’ve had recently, makes it even better.”

“I’m guessing they’re hoping to find some gold, but I’m not sure. The only way to get over it is to be a little bit lucky.”

In the opinion of English Heritage, the Bronze Age in Britain started about 2300 BCE. They used tin and copper to smelt equipment such as axes and sickles throughout this time. Between 1600 and 1200 B.C.E., the Middle Bronze Age is when they might have created the recently found stash.

It is up to the state medical examiner’s office to determine whether the find is a relic, which is what Hardwick and her dad did. The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme collects and preserves archaeological artifacts found by the general public in England.

A museum could buy the relics when they’ve been evaluated and valued in compliance with the 1996 Treasure Act of the Uk. The Museum will split Any payment proposed for the treasure trove between the proprietor and the teenage metal detectorist.

Other treasure hunters have taken notice of Hardwick’s find, and she is now the December front-page feature of Searcher magazine.

The girl’s mom tells SWNS, “Other metal detectorists are very happy for her. Even so, Claire says, “On a few excavations, people will say, ‘Oh boy, she’s already here.'”

In the future, Hardwick plans to become an anthropologist or archaeologist. While she waits, she’ll keep looking for more artifacts to study.

Hardwick’s mother hopes they’ll find a gold nugget soon.

Continue Reading
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Trending