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The Millennium Tower opened to great fanfare in 2009, but it has sunk 18 inches into the soft downtown soil — and it’s tilting, its current engineer says

A dozen years later, it’s still promoted “Your city within the city,” a 58-story monolith with more than 400 multimillion-dollar units in San Francisco’s tallest residential building.
“It was billed as one of the top 10 most luxurious buildings in the world,” former Millennium resident Frank Jernigan recalled.
But, since it opened, the hulking blue-gray tower has sunk 18 inches into the soft downtown soil on which it was built — and it’s tilting, according to the Millennium’s current engineer, Ronald Hamburger.
Now, amid reports suggesting the deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South more than 3,000 miles away in Surfside, Florida, began in the building’s lower reaches, questions are being raised about the Bay Area tower’s structural integrity.
“When you have a high rise that collapses and you had a situation in San Francisco — we had a high rise that was sinking and tilting — it affects people’s peace of mind,” said attorney Niall McCarthy. He represented about 100 Millennium Tower residents who reached a mediated settlement in 2020 with developers and others to a lawsuit claiming their property values plummeted with news of the sinking.

Millennium engineer: Surfside comparisons ‘reckless and premature’

Hamburger, who has monitored the settlements of the Millennium Tower and evaluated their effect on the structure since 2014, told CNN in a statement that the building was designed for earthquake resistance, remains safe and is not at risk of collapse.
“The collapse of the residential building in Surfside … was tragic, but it is far too early to speculate about what caused that disaster — and any potential comparisons with Millennium Tower would be reckless and premature,” Hamburger said.
“Millennium Tower was designed to stringent earthquake resistance standards and is a much tougher form of construction than typical buildings in Florida, which are not required to be designed for earthquake resistance,” he added. “I can state with confidence that settlements experienced by Millennium Tower have not compromised its stability and safety.”
A $ 100 million fix, set to be completed next year, involves the installation of piles into the bedrock of downtown San Francisco beneath the building, according to Millennium spokesman Doug Elmets. The piles will then be tied to the existing foundation, he said.
The retrofit, announced in October following years of lawsuits, hearings and accusations, will finally anchor the building to the bedrock. The original foundation was built into deep sand and experts determined that nearby projects and a process known as dewatering had weakened the soil under the sinking tower.
“The structural upgrade currently underway at the tower is intended to prevent further settlement, and recover some of the building’s tilt, rather than to repair damage or provide strengthening,” Hamburger said in the statement. “The building remains safe and is in no danger of collapse.”

Surfside collapse may have begun in building’s lower reaches

In Florida, at least 24 people are dead and dozens are unaccounted for after the residential building partially collapsed last Thursday. Search and rescue teams had worked feverishly to locate missing residents until efforts were temporarily halted Thursday amid structural concerns about parts of the building that remain standing. Those efforts resumed Thursday evening.
Several engineers have told CNN that video of the collapse suggests the failure began near the structure’s foundation, and a 2018 survey prepared ahead of the building’s mandated 40-year certification cited problems in the pool area and the garage beneath it.
Resident Sara Nir, who was in her ground floor condo at Champlain Towers South with her two children the night of the collapse, said she heard loud knocking sounds followed by a boom. She said ran toward the sound and witnessed the building’s underground garage collapse.
The cause of the collapse is still unknown.
The surviving members of the Champlain Towers South condo association issued a statement Friday saying, “We know that answers will take time as part of a comprehensive investigation and we will continue to work with city, state, local, and federal officials in their rescue efforts, and to understand the causes of this tragedy.”

‘It was a really wonderful place to live’

“These people were lying in bed comfortably at night with no warning whatsoever,” former Millennium resident Jernigan said of the Surfside catastrophe. “It’s a horrendous thing for the families to be going through now. And our hearts just go out.”
Jernigan, a retired software engineer, and Andrew Faulk, a retired physician, paid more than $ 4 million in 2011 for their condo on the 50th floor of the Millennial.
Years later Jernigan and Faulk learned the highrise was not only sinking but also tilting. In 2016, they recorded a heavily watched online video titled, “Marble roll in Millennium Tower.”
“It was the very first time we did it,” Jernigan said of the experiment. “He got the marble out and I’m going to roll this and see what it does.”
In the video, aimed at demonstrating the infamous tilt, the marble was rolled on a hardwood floor but it then changed directions.
“Rolls about 10 feet out,” Jernigan, who shot the video, said of the marble’s trajectory. “Slows to a stop and then turns around and starts rolling back and picks up speed as it goes past him.”
“In the direction that the building is leaning,” Faulk interjected. “And so, it was like, ‘Oh my God.'”
In 2017, CBS’s “60 Minutes” called a segment on the Millennium “The Leaning Tower of San Francisco,” and showed alarming stress gauges and cracks in the building’s foundation.
Jernigan and Faulk sold their two Millennium units in 2017 for what the former software engineer called “earthquake sale prices.”
“It was a really wonderful place to live and, of course, we didn’t know it when we were moving in, but there were also wonderful people that lived there,” Jernigan said.
Amenities in the building included a barrel shaped wine locker, a private movie theater, and a sprawling outdoor terrace with a marble fireplace and waterfall overlooking the indoor Olympic-sized pool.
Jernigan and Faulk, of course, will not be around with their friends and onetime neighbors for the completion of the Millennium’s fix in late 2022. They have moved to another condo complex.
“We did what we had to do to get peace of mind,” Jernigan said.
Faulk added, “We got our suitcases … put everything in …. and we left.”

Author: Dan Simon, Julia Jones and Ray Sanchez, CNN
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Houseboats: Family shares secrets of liveaboard life – ‘it’s not cushy’

Tony and Diana made the life-changing decision of moving to London’s waters two months ago, as the spending between their house and their shop in Camden Town was becoming unbearable. The couple – and their two dogs – couldn’t afford rent in the city, so they decided to trade it all in for a life afloat in a single space two-meter wide narrowboat.

Tony and Diana are “continuous cruisers”, which means that in order to avoid paying for a mooring, the couple move to a different spot every 14 days.

But how is it really like to live on a tiny narrowboat?

“It’s a little more cramped than living in a house, of course. We sort of live on top of each other. We sleep in the same room as the kitchen, so you can imagine how it’s like.”

The couple shared some “secrets” of their life afloat.

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“It’s not cushy at all. There’s a lot of planning around it. People might not know that when you live on a boat you have to empty your toilet and get your own water,” explained Tony.

“The main disadvantage is emptying your toilets, as you actually see your poop and all that!”

“It’s not romantic at all!” said Diana.

Tony continued: “You also have to go to a water point and fill up your water tank.

“And in the winter it is a bit of a struggle sometimes to keep warm.”

But all of those are minors things for the couple, who believe that the most important issue when living on a houseboat is security.

“We are quite secure, although if someone wants to break in they would find a way. So you always have to be aware, never park in an isolated area. We always park where other boats are.”

“There are other challenges like every time you move somewhere new you have to learn where the nearest supermarket is and all that, but after all, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages,” explained Diana.

“For us is a great lifestyle because we love the natural world, so we are close to that being on a boat. While we work in London, this is the closest you can get to the countryside.”

“For us, it’s a good way of life, but it’s definitely not for everybody,” concluded Tony.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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It’s Time to Get Co-Operative In The Anacrusis

The Anacrusis is an infinitely-replayable, four-player, co-op first-person shooter coming to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10, and with Xbox Game Pass this Fall. In our launch trailer, you’ll meet the four survivors who make up the cast of The Anacrusis’ first season — Nessa, Guion, Liu, and Lance. Our unlikely heroes are unwilling combatants in the battle to defend humanity from a newly-discovered alien menace on the edge of explored space.

The Anacrusis

Every time you play The Anacrusis, the game changes. The AI Driver controls every aspect of the game, it spawns every enemy, directs each boss, and places all the weapons, gadgets, and health kits in the game. The goal is to deliver the perfect difficulty for your party’s preference, but it goes much further than that. The Driver knows how much of the story each player has experienced, so the secrets of the alien attack, and the relationships between the characters, and even more story beats unfold as you play. You’ve never experienced a co-op FPS quite like this before.

The Anacrusis

But wait, there’s more! Each time you play The Anacrusis, you’ll find new perks. The perks will change the way you play from game-to-game. You can stack all your upgrades to become your team’s offensive expert, spread your perks around and play for general utility, or specialize in healing to keep your friends alive. You’ll unlock more perks the more you play, and you’ll automatically share them with everyone on your team! Join our community Discord for regular development updates while we ready the game for launch in Fall 2021!

Author: Will Smith, Director of Communications, Stray Bombay
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Sainsbury Delivery: Tesco rivals with one-hour delivery

Sainsbury Delivery

Sainsbury Delivery Tesco has said that the initial trial of its Whoosh delivery service will be available for customers in selected postcodes around its Wolverhampton Willenhall Express store. The supermarket giant will then assess potential opportunities to expand the model nationwide.

Customers will also need to spend £15 on groceries, otherwise Tesco will charge an additional £2 on top of the £5 delivery charge.

Tesco online managing director, Chris Poad said: “Customers are telling us that they would welcome the addition of a 60-minute delivery to their door option as part of our online grocery service.

“We’ll use the pilot to understand how Whoosh could work best for both our customers and our colleagues.”

Taking to social media to share their thoughts, some customers who had managed to make use of the service, explained their experience.

One person said: “Super speedy. Ordered and sent out for delivery within 30 minutes.”

Another wrote: “It’s about time Tesco launched something like this, I use Sainsbury’s version and this is well needed, it’s amazing.”

The supermarket giant has also expanded its normal delivery service throughout the pandemic, with 1.5million more slots available for customers.

It has shared plans to add even more slots as it will open more urban fulfilment centres (UFC).

A statement read: “These UFCs will enable us to provide access to more delivery slots for customers with an increased rate of picking – a scalable, efficient option to fulfil ongoing customer demand.”

Tesco also offers a Delivery Savers scheme, where customers pay £7.99 to have access to the best delivery slots.

The service also allows shoppers to book slots up to four weeks in advance.

Customers can also still pick up their groceries via Click + Collect at stores across the country.

The service will cost £1.50 for a minimum order value of £25.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express

Can I get a Sainsburys delivery?

Sainsbury deliver 7 days a week* with convenient delivery times with standard 1-hour slots or flexible Saver slots. You can check if we deliver to your area on our Groceries page. You can also purchase our delivery pass saving up to £126 per year* visit sainsbury delivery pass page to find out more.

Sainsbury deliver on all UK Bank Holidays, however do not deliver on Public Holidays.

Coral reefs are dying, but it’s not too late to save them

The global outlook for coral doesn’t look good. The reef-building animals, which create the living architecture for some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, are acutely vulnerable to climate change, and are experiencing heavy losses already. Without dramatic emissions reductions in the coming decade, their future is increasingly dire.

But that doesn’t mean that the end is inevitable. As two recent studies make clear, humans can still help reefs hang on in a warming ocean.

“We really do think of our story as good news,” says Mary Donovan, a professor of conservation science at Arizona State University, and a lead author on one of the studies. “The impacts of climate change on coral reefs are quite overwhelming. So to be able to uncover other effects [on reefs] puts it in the hands of everybody—we’re saying, human impacts are making things worse, and also, we can actually improve conditions.”

The primary climactic threat to coral is called bleaching. Coral polyps, the animals that build the reef structure itself, live in a symbiotic partnership with colorful algae, which provide food. But in marine heat waves, the polyps kick out their algae partners, leaving the reef bone-white. A healthy reef can recover from the blow, but if conditions get bad enough, it will die entirely, and the entire structure will begin to crumble.

According to Donovan’s research, published last week in Science, those bleaching events could be exacerbated by two key local trends: pollution and overfishing. And that means that local restoration efforts could help reefs survive the majority of heat waves.

The reefs that fared the worst after bleaching events tended to have an overabundance of seaweed, which flourishes in water polluted with nutrient-rich runoff, and which would normally be kept in check by herbivorous reef fish. That seaweed releases chemicals that directly stress the reef.

“When it gets really hot, coral gets really stressed,” Donovan says, “and if you’ve got anything else stressing them out, that’s really bad.”

More surprisingly, bleaching was also associated with an overabundance of sea urchins. Under normal circumstances, those urchins would feed on the seaweed. But when their predators are overfished, the urchin population can also explode.

“There’s kind of this Goldilocks zone, where at very extreme abundances, they’re doing more harm than good,” Donovan says. “There’s nothing left to eat, there’s so many of them, they’ve chowed away at the bottom, so they just keep going. They’ve got these really strong teeth, for lack of a better word, and they start eroding away the reef itself.”

Humans can also help undo that damage.

For one thing, local fishery managers might protect the species—parrotfish, surgeonfish, unicorn fish—that go after seaweed. That’s already happening in Hawai’i’s Kahekili Marine Reserve, Donavan says. But, she stressed, “in many of the places where coral reefs exist, people living near the reefs and the reefs themselves are highly connected. Often the society is relying very heavily on the reef for subsistence. It’s important not to paint fishing as a bad thing. It’s a matter of survival for a lot of people all over the world.”

[Related: How divers found 4 new coral species, hidden in plain sight]

More obviously, reducing nutrient pollution (often by cleaning up sewage), could both help reefs and human health.

Other research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that humans might also be able to nudge the evolution of corals towards bleach-resistance.

In the Caribbean and Great Barrier Reef, conservationists have already begun planting tens of thousands of corals from nurseries. Ideally, they would select the corals that appeared to survive heat waves without bleaching. But that requires bleach-resistance to be a trait that survives when a coral is moved. It’s possible those corals were resilient because of their habitat, or would be so stressed by the move that they’d be newly vulnerable.

To test how bleach resistance travels, a team in Hawai’i took pieces from corals that had weathered back-to-back heat waves, and moved them around the reef.

It took several months for them to become settled in their new environments, but after that, both appeared to keep their heat-resistant properties in lab tests. And because a coral is home to thousands of genetically identical organisms, it’s likely that as the transplant grows, it will make the entire section of reef more heat tolerant.

Taken together, the two studies outline a multifaceted approach to saving coral.

“Many of the people who are most impacted by the decline of corals are not the ones in control of climate policies,” Donovan says. And headlines about massive bleaching events, like on the Great Barrier Reef in 2015 “leave a lot of people discouraged. So our work clearly sends the message that action on all levels is necessary in ensuring the future of corals.”

Philip Kiefer

Author: Sara Chodosh
This post originally appeared on Science – Popular Science

Regardless of COVID-19’s origins, experts say it’s time to tighten up biosecurity lab protocols

On Thursday, biosecurity researchers released the first comprehensive map of the world’s maximum biological containment labs. Those facilities, known in the US as Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) labs, work with the deadliest pathogens under high-security precautions, from pressurized “space-suits” to air-locked labs, and until now, had never been published in a central list.

In a Thursday webinar, the authors outlined a series of recommendations for using the map to develop a global approach to biosecurity.

“The aim of our project is to increase public knowledge about Biosafety Level 4 labs, and importantly, to strengthen national and international virus management policies,” Filippa Lentzos, a biosecurity researcher at King’s College London, said on the call.

That means everything from up-to-date education on how to deactivate a live virus, to better protocols for reporting accidents when they do occur.

“Clinical work on pathogens are important for public health, biomedical advances, and disease prevention,” Lentzos continued. “But some of these activities pose significant risks,” both to lab workers and to the public. “There are also security risks that pathogens could be stolen from a lab, or a lab insider could use their knowledge, skills, and access for malevolent purposes.”

To be clear, in spite of this week’s media froth, there’s no biological evidence that ties SARS-CoV-2 to such a lab. Studies of the virus’s genome suggest, though indirectly, that it was neither bioengineered nor cultured by humans. Though many virologists say it’s possible a previously undetected SARS-CoV-2 could have infected a researcher, there’s widespread agreement that a spillover unrelated to a lab is more likely. Coronaviruses spread from animals to humans with frightening regularity—a new one, from dogs, was discovered in Malaysia just this month—while there is no record of a novel pathogen coming out of a lab. And sorting out the precise origin story of the 2001 coronavirus outbreak, SARS-1, took years, even under much less fraught geopolitical circumstances. (It involves wild bats and caged civet cats.)

Still, that doesn’t mean that lab safety isn’t a pressing issue. Regardless of where SARS-CoV-2 emerged, the risk of lab accidents has risen with the number of labs. According to the report, 21 maximum biosecurity labs have been established in the last ten years. The actual number might be higher—the researchers couldn’t find founding dates for about 20 labs. According to the report, three quarters of these are in urban areas, raising the risk that a mistake could turn into an epidemic.

And high-risk incidents have happened at these labs. For the most part, they involve a BSL-4 lab shipping samples of a pathogen, like Ebola and Marburg, that had not been fully inactivated to a less secure facility. In 2004, one person in Beijing died of SARS-1 after her daughter, a virologist, was infected in a lab accident. (This instance didn’t take place in a BSL-4 lab, and SARS isn’t categorized as a highest-risk pathogen.)

[Related: The fight to stop the next pandemic starts in the jungles of Borneo]

The problem with trying to count these facilities is that there’s no clear international definition of a BSL-4 lab. On the borderline are labs that might have the capacity to scale up to BSL-4 in a crisis, or mobile BSL-4 labs that could perform autopsies in an anthrax outbreak. There are also no binding agreements for safety precautions in the highest-security labs, though there are a series of recommendations from the World Health Organization.

The map released Tuesday includes 59 labs, along with preliminary information on their biosecurity protocols. The majority are in Europe, although they’re spread across the European Union, Russia, and various non-EU countries. There are 14 in North America, and 13 in Asia.

Of the 23 countries that have BSL-4 labs, only 17 have national biosafety associations or are members of international partnerships. International bodies, the researchers say, should be providing support for the remaining countries to develop their own legislation and internal oversight in line with global standards. “It’s not enough for a single lab to have its own policies,” says Gregory Koblentz, a coauthor and biodefense researcher at George Mason University.

But that means some organization needs an international mandate to oversee biosafety. On the webinar, Lentzos raised two possibilities: the World Health Organization, or the UN’s Biological Weapons Convention. “I think neither institution, as it is currently configured, is set up to do this kind of work,” she said. “A more natural fit would be with the WHO, but the WHO doesn’t have this kind of mandate. So some kind of restructuring would need to happen.”

That kind of international collaboration could be moving further from reach as American politicians seek to pin blame on China for COVID-19, making it harder to prevent a future lab-related outbreak by increasing tension about the issue.

The other significant challenge that would face such an international body is developing a clear risk assessment of different research types. Lentzos referred to the recent focus on “gain of function research,” in which microbes are altered in a laboratory to study how they might become human pathogens. “From our perspective, gain of function is just one type of potentially high-risk research. Just looking at whether or not a lab is carrying out gain of function research doesn’t tell you so much. … You need to identify high-risk research more generally.”

And that means identifying other, lower-security labs that might also be doing high-risk research. This project, the researchers say, focused on a very narrow category of labs only as a starting point. They’d like to extend the work to cover BSL-4 labs that deal exclusively with animal pathogens, as well as into BSL-3 facilities, which work with slightly less deadly, but extremely dangerous, pathogens like tuberculosis and plague.

“When we talked to colleagues earlier about the study, they would say, okay, you’re mapping the BSL-4 labs. But is that really where your risks are?” explained Lentzos. “We completely agree. BSL-4 labs are the very tip of the iceberg.”

Philip Kiefer

Author: Sara Chodosh
This post originally appeared on Science – Popular Science

‘Outrageous’ plastic bag charge increase has come into force – ‘it’s doubling!’

The Government has said the use of single-use plastic carrier bags has seen a 95 percent decrease in sales since the 5p charge was enforced six years ago. It has now increased the price to 10p in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the environment.
One person wrote: “This is outrageous, I’d rather they’re scrapped altogether, it won’t stop people buying them.”

Another person said: “Quite a big increase, it’s doubling!”

Others responded positively to the news, expressing how welcome the news is.

One user tweeted: “This needed to be enforced years ago, it’s crazy to think we used to get them for free.”

Morrisons has said that scrapping single-use plastic bags will save 3,200 tonnes of plastic per year.

David Potts, Chief Executive at Morrisons, said: “We have been listening hard to our customers over the past year and we know that they are passionate about doing their bit to keep plastics out of the environment.

“Removing all of the plastic bags from our supermarkets is a significant milestone in our sustainability programme.”

Co-op also announced the news that it was removing its “bags for life” from sale last month, replacing them with compostable carrier bags. 

Jo Whitfield, Chief Executive of Co-op Food commented on the move, noting that customers usually buy bags for life “just once”.

She said: “Increased use of bags for life has led to a sharp rise in plastic use.

“With over 1.5 billion bags sold each year by retailers, this remains a massive issue for our industry as many shoppers are regularly buying so-called bags for life to use just once and it’s leading to a major hike in the amount of plastic being produced.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Windows 10 update causes ANOTHER nightmare, and this time it’s bad news for Chrome users

On a Google forum, one affected user wrote: “My Chrome is no longer launching. Well, it launches, but my webpages crash, new tabs crash, even trying to load settings or bookmarks, that webpage crashes. The application doesn’t crash, just the webpages. I’m not sure what’s going on. I ran sfc /scannow in CMD to no avail, I ran a Memory Diagnostic which came up dry. I reinstalled Chrome, and rebooted to nothing.”

While another posted: “I have the same issue and have been searching for solutions on the internet for an hour when I came across this thread. Maybe this is a widespread issue? I feel a little relieved now tbh cause I tried all those suggested solutions but none worked”.

And on Reddit another posted: “All my extensions including tabs are crashing, found a post, that maybe EAF+ is the problem, but didn’t change anything. I also tried disabling all extensions and sandbox, same answer.Chrome sites (Settings, …) are also crashing. Reinstalling also didn’t do anything, hope someone will find out, what is wrong.”

Thankfully, as Microsoft-focused blog Windows Latest has reported, it looks like Google is on the case. A product expert from the firm posted to the official Chrome forum stating that the issue has been caused by the “user data directory”.

DON’T MISS: Google Chrome is about to get even faster on Windows 10 and macOS

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Noel Gallagher health: ‘It’s pretty bad’ Star opens up about major condition affecting him

Noel Gallagher, 53, is an English singer, songwriter, record producer and musician. He served as the songwriter, lead guitarist, and co-lead vocalist of the mega successful rock band Oasis. Perhaps owing to his years of touring with constant loud music, the singer’s health began to greatly suffer.

Speaking to the Daily Star, he said: “It’s the [ear] I stand in front of my guitar amp with. It’s pretty bad.

“I was going to bed one night and you know when you go into the bathroom when you put the light on a fan goes off?”

The singer explained the sound as similar to a “whistling kettle”.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is when you experience ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears, said the Mayo Clinic.

The health site continued: “The noise you hear when you have tinnitus isn’t caused by an external sound, and other people usually can’t hear it.

“Tinnitus is a common problem. It affects about 15 percent to 20 percent of people and is especially common in older adults.

“Tinnitus is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system.”

Treatment

There are several alternative or complementary tinnitus treatment options, including:

Nutritional supplements

Homeopathic remedies

Acupuncture

Hypnosis

None of these treatment options are supported by science.

Many people are convinced that the herb gingko biloba is helpful, however large-scale studies have been unable to prove this.

There are also many nutritional supplements claiming to be tinnitus remedies.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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