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park

Children Who Live Near Green Spaces ‘Have Stronger Bones,’ According To New Study 

Children who live close to “green spaces,” such as local parks, playgrounds, sports fields, etc., have significantly stronger bones which could lead to lifelong health benefits as their bodies grow, according to a new study. 

hologram

UK Universities Become First To Feature Famous Hologram Lecturers 

Some universities in the UK are beginning to enter a new era of utilizing unique technology to teach its students. The technology in question involves holograms, the same holograms that have been used to bring back retired or dead singers to the stage; like Tupac at the 2012 Coachella music festival. 

Instead of performing hit songs, these particular holograms will be notable historical / cultural figures that align with the specific class their teaching. For example, physics students could get a lecture from Albert Einstein or a masterclass in design from Coco Chanel herself, according to reports from Rachel Hall of The Guardian.

Loughborough University in London  is the first in Europe to explore this new avenue of technology and learning. The university is specifically planning on using holograms to bring sports scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to teach fashion students about the intricacies of immersive shows. Loughborough University is also planning to have the sports scientists teach students in management how to navigate various business endeavors and situations. 

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Professor Vikkie Locke, the director of undergraduate studies at Loughborough’s business school, told the Guardian that the students love the technology, especially since they’ve grown accustomed to having classes on their computers and joining lectures through a screen. 

“[The students prefer] a guest speaker from an industry beaming into a classroom to a 2D person on a wall. [Classes on Zoom made students] feel like they were watching TV, there’s a distance. A holographic image is a lot more engaging and real to them.”

After this initial year of experimentation, the technology is set to be officially introduced into the curriculum in 2025. The holographic technology and units used are from LA-based company Proto, who also has clients like BT and IBM. Proto has also been known to work with popular clothing retailers to make interactive product displays for customers. 

David Nussbaum founded Proto four years ago, and stated that the company could soon be bringing some of the best thinkers from the 20th century back from the dead.

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“Proto has the technology to project an image of Stephen Hawking, or anybody, and make it look like he’s really there. We can hook it up to books, lectures, social media – anything he was attached to, any question, any interaction with him. An AI Stephen Hawking would look like him, sound like him and interact like it was him,” he stated.

“It’s awe-inspiring, it’s jaw-dropping, I’ve been in shock at how amazing the interactions are. AI is part of our life, whether people like it or not. You shouldn’t have to be an eccentric millionaire or a celebrity to have a hologram.”

“Different immersive technologies and AI are the new forms of literacy. Students need to understand what it means to use those, to be in those worlds, to experience them, to interact … and these are all things they’re going to need for their future careers,” said Professor Gary Burnett, who teaches  digital creativity at Loughborough University.

The university’s pro-vice-chancellor, Prof Rachel Thomson, said the “technology could help the university achieve its sustainability strategy by reducing the need to fly in guest speakers and by facilitating international research collaborations, as well as by reducing the amount of material used by students building prototypes in engineering, design and the creative arts.”

clothes

Digital Wardrobe-Tracking Is The New Sustainability Trend Of 2024

There’s a new trend in the realm of sustainability and fashion that is emerging as we navigate the new year. Social media users are now digitally tracking the clothing that they wear every day, and challenging themselves to do it for the entire year, as a means of analyzing how much they truly wear every piece of clothing they own. 

Tracking pieces of our everyday lives is nothing new. We’re used to seeing people track their daily step counts, sleeping patterns, spending habits, etc. The reasoning behind this new trend in wardrobe-tracking is to ideally slow down over-consumption in fashion, while saving money. 

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According to reports from Chloe Mac Donnell, the Guardian’s deputy fashion and lifestyle editor, some social media users are uploading their daily outfits and listing each item they’re wearing, while others are keeping a more private log of detailed spreadsheets to organize each item worn and the price of the item originally to calculate the price per wear. 

There’s also a slew of online resources and mobile applications to help people keep these sorts of logs. 

Sustainability advocates are encouraging people to track their wardrobe. Writer Aja Barber told Mac Donnell: “It inspires me to wear my whole wardrobe. It encourages me to try new ensembles and catalog the journey and it also tells me how much I’m wearing certain items.”

Mandy Lee, a fashion analyst, created a spin-off of the “75-hard” fitness challenge called the “75-day hard style challenge,” in which she challenged the 390,000+ people who watched her video to document their looks for 75-days without buying anything new. 

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This trend comes at a time where fast-fashion has taken over, which contributes massively to human’s contribution to climate change. For those who want to be more sustainable in their fashion choices, it’s encouraged to buy second hand.

There have been additional trends online to encourage this sustainability, such as “no buy January,” and “30 wears,” all meant to justify an individual’s clothing purchase and the environmental impact of that purchase. 

“You can’t buy your way into style. For many people tapping ‘add to cart’ has become a habit while scrolling. This challenge helps to break that cycle and instead focus and appreciate what you already have,” Lee stated. 

As we navigate the new year and the ways in which we can contribute to a greener Earth, looking at our shopping habits and wardrobe could be a new step in that effort.

run

London Man Runs 365 Marathons In 365 Days For ‘Hope For Justice’ Charity

41-year-old Aaron Robinson has run 365 marathons in 365 days, a major accomplishment for not only himself, but Hope For Justice, the anti-human trafficking charity where he works.

tree

Oslo’s Mayor Says London’s Trafalgar Square’s Christmas Tree Must Cut Its Carbon Footprint

Norway and London have a long standing holiday tradition in which Norway sends London a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square as a way of thanking Britain for its support during World War 2. 

Anne Lindboe, the newly elected mayor of Oslo, Norway’s Capital, has recently stated that she’s looking for new ways to reduce the tree and its transport’s carbon footprint. 

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Every year a tree that’s around 60 feet tall is transported from the woodlands near Oslo to Trafalgar Square by road and sea. A month after Christmas, the tree is then turned to wood chips, which Lindboe claims is hardly environmentally friendly. 

“It’s very important for us to continue the tradition. Now it’s maybe even more important to have these good relationships between cities and between people,” Lindboe said.

“But at the same time, we have to make sure that the carbon footprint is as low as possible. So that is also something we have to take into consideration: how to decrease it as much as possible.”

Since transportation is such a major factor, Lindboe suggested that they could instead give a tree that was grown in Britain, which citizens weren’t a fan of, so she explained that she’s considering how to adjust the transportation of the tree.

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Some Norwegian media outlets have also suggested that they simply end the tradition in general. City council votes on continuing the tradition every few years, and are set to do so again next year, however, Lindboe says there’s no serious talks about discontinuing the gifting of a tree to London. 

“I haven’t heard anyone in the city council saying that we should not continue. And … as the mayor of Oslo, this is really important, so I can promise that I will do everything I can to make sure that this tradition continues,” Lindboe added.

The tree itself also garners criticism every year due to its overall look, with some citizens this year claiming the tree looked “half dead,” according to the Guardian. However, Lindboe says that the criticism doesn’t really impact whether or not the tradition should end, and making fun of its appearance is even part of it.

“It’s part of the tradition isn’t it? That you should criticize the tree. We like to criticize, particularly if there’s something we’re really fond of. That’s really important to us.”

“It’s a natural-looking tree from a natural forest, not one of these cultivated Christmas trees that you sometimes see, which are more ‘perfect’, but maybe not so natural,” the mayor added.

lv

Pharrell Williams Faces Criticism Over $1 Million Louis Vuitton Handbag 

The new Louis Vuitton Millionaire Speedy bag from creative director Pharrell Williams is made from crocodile leather, and has the hefty price-point of $1 million, garnering criticism over the excessive and ‘insensitive’ focus on luxury goods.

planet

Young Europeans More Likely To Make Major Lifestyle Changes To Save Planet, New Survey Reveals

According to a survey taken across seven countries, younger people in Europe are more willing than older generations to make major lifestyle changes that would help combat climate change to help save the planet. 

The Guardian measured the data through the YouGov polling platform, which showed the general worldwide economic downturns in recent years have also dimmed their hopes for the future; more than half of those surveyed stated they were worried they’d be unable to own a home within the next ten years. 

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Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden participated in the survey back in August. The results showed that individuals between the ages of 18-to-24-year-olds felt like current economic conditions could also push them away from starting families. 

According to the Guardian’s report, “28% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 30% of 25- to 34-year-olds said they would be willing – or were already planning – to have fewer children than they would otherwise like.”

54% of individuals in that same age group said they would get rid of their car, or already have, and instead stick to walking, cycling, or public transportation, while only 45% of people over the age of 65 said they would do the same. 41% of the younger generation said they could switch to an electric car against 21% of the older generation. 

Both ends of the age spectrum offered a willingness to make lifestyle changes in order to do their part to combat climate change. The older age groups stated they would be more willing to create smaller adjustments such as refusing to buy single-use plastics, only buying seasonal produce, and creating more green spaces in their homes. 

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Younger generations are more likely to “support radical government measures in key policy areas than older cohorts, but were less favorable than their elders towards public policy moves that could be perceived as incremental.

A ban on the production and sale of petrol and diesel cars, for example, would have the support of 46% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 42% of 25- to 24-year-olds, against 28% of 55- to 64-year-olds and just 22% of respondents over the age of 65,” wrote Jon Henley and Michael Goodier of the Guardian. 

Both age brackets agreed on the general concern of climate change and its impact on our future. More than 70% of the total population surveyed said they were very or fairly worried. 

Additionally, the survey showed that regardless of their age, most Europeans believe that the European Union should be making decisions about how the world and its many nations can combat climate change at a larger level. 

Along with this line of thinking is the belief that a more collaborative effort among the union would lead to more success in the fight against climate change, rather than just letting individual countries make their own policies.

nyc

NYC Is One Of The Best Cities In The World, According To New Report

Every year, the Resonance Consultancy ranks the best cities in the world by analyzing over 270 cities and publishing a comprehensive list for the public to learn about some of the most famous cities in the world. 

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The full report utilizes user-generated reviews, social media, online activity/popularity, and other statistics to create their rankings. 

According to Time Out Magazine and the report itself,  other “analyzed metrics include a wide range of factors that have historically shown positive correlations with attracting employment, investment and/or visitors to cities.”

The ninth annual report listed London as the best city in the world, followed by Paris and then New York. Tokyo and Singapore marked the fourth and fifth spots on the list. The US is also the only country with two cities in the top 10, with San Francisco being listed as number 7.

Written as “the greatest city in America” in an accompanying essay to the report, the study mentions “New York’s dizzying roster of new shows, hotels and parks” as part and parcel of its perennial appeal, despite the record real estate prices that have defined life in the city in recent years.”

According to Time Out Magazine, “In a nod to 2023 and 2024 in specific, the survey also mentions two key events that render New York the ideal destination at this precise moment in time: the celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop music, which was founded in the Bronx on August 11, 1973, and the 100-year anniversary of the Museum of the City of New York.”

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The top 10 best cities in the world for 2024 are as follows: 

  1. London, UK
  2. Paris, France
  3. New York City, US
  4. Tokyo, Japan
  5. Sinagpore
  6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  7. San Francisco, US
  8. Barcelona, Spain
  9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  10. Seoul, South Korea
bully

UK To Ban American XL Bully Dog, According To Prime Minister

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that the American XL Bully dog is “a danger to communities” and will be outlawed in the UK by the end of the year.

shein

Shein And Forever 21 To Go Into Business Together 

Fast fashion retailers Shein and Forever 21 are going into business together in a new partnership agreement that was announced last Thursday. 

Under the agreement, Shein will acquire around one-third of the interest in Sparc Group, Forever 21’s operator. Sparc will also become a minority shareholder in Shein. 

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In a joint release statement, the companies stated that the deal is expected to expand Forever 21’s distribution on Shein’s global e-commerce platform, which has around 150 million online users. The partnership will also “offer the opportunity to test” Shein product sales and returns in physical Forever 21 stores across the US. 

Forever 21 currently has over 540 locations worldwide and online, and the specific financial details have not been disclosed in the statement. 

Sparc is a joint venture company that also includes mall operator Simon Property Group and brand development company Authentic Brands Group. Sparc also distributes apparel for brands like Eddie Bauer, Reebok, and Aéropostale. 

Shein has had a major rise in popularity in the US due to their low-cost apparel and items. 

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, according to AP, says that “the new partnership makes sense for both parties — Forever 21, which still struggles some in the fast-fashion world, could see fast growth on Shein’s sizeable online platform and that Shein will also hope that the addition of a well-known American name will help to lessen focus on its manufacturing practices, which have come under scrutiny.”

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Both Shein and Forever 21 are also no stranger to controversy over the way they run their businesses. Between the environmental impact of the way the clothes are produced and distributed and the allegations of unethical labor practices, fast fashion companies have been consistently called out. 

There’s been many ongoing conversations and concerns from lawmakers and advocacy groups over the unethical practices that occur within these facilities. 

According to the Associated Press: “In May, a bipartisan group of two dozen lawmakers asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to put the brakes on an initial public offering by Shein until it verified that it does not use forced labor from the country’s predominantly Muslim Uyghur population. A June Congressional report also unloaded a blistering critique of Shein and another Chinese fashion retailer, Temu — which sued Shein last month, accusing its rival of violating U.S. antitrust law by preventing garment makers from working with it.”

Back in June Shein said that “the company’s policy is to comply with the customs and import laws of the countries in which we operate. [We have} zero tolerance for forced labor and have implemented a robust system to ensure compliance with U.S. law.”

When speaking of the partnership, Saunders said, “while both Shein and Forever 21 are expected to benefit from the newly-announced partnership, Shein still has an advantage as it is operating from a position of strength and is already taking share away from Forever 21, and others. This is something of an admission by Forever 21 that it is not able to engineer growth in its own business in the way that it would like. There is an element of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.’”