New Technology and Consumer Trends Expanding Job Opportunities in Stagnant Agriculture Industry...

If 100 college students were asked if they’d like to have a career in agriculture, it’s likely that only a select few would say “yes.” However, recent advances in technology have broadened the horizon for agricultural jobs, and more students are now looking to enter this “growing” industry. According to local Michigan news affiliate WILX, Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is providing hundreds of students with the opportunity to follow their dreams of becoming a dietitian, pesticide applicator, or any other farm-related job imaginable. While most people would not assume that dietitians require a deep understanding of agriculture, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Deborah Walker, a sophomore at MSU who is studying to become a dietitian, decided to enter the prestigious agriculture program because “food management kind of goes back to what’s being grown.” Kelly Millenbah, Associate Dean and Director of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU, agrees with her student. She believes that more college freshmen would show an interest in the program if they knew the wide array of job opportunities that can come from an education in farming. “Yes it starts in the field,” said Millenbah. “That’s an important part of what we do, but it concludes [with] things like food scientists and dietitians and foresters. [Students] perceive, when you use the words food and agriculture, hard dirty work and that’s a part of it.” Another reason that many students choose not to pursue a career in agriculture is the common misconception that agriculture has become obsolete. While employment of farmers and other agricultural managers is projected to decline 2% in the next decade, this does not affect ancillary careers such as dietitian or forester, which are still in high demand. “We...

String of Propane Related Explosions Continues This Week as Two Separate Trucks Crash and Explode...

In what can only be described as the latest in an inexplicable uptick in propane-related incidents across America, an 18-wheeler carrying massive quantities of the volatile gas rolled over this afternoon in Calloway Co., KY, shortly before bursting into flames, reports local news station KFVS12. Police were forced to close the 5000 block of Murray-Paris Road and evacuate several homes in the area. People are reportedly still being asked to avoid the area until it has been deemed safe by authorities and emergency responders. The incident is only the latest in a string of propane-related fires or explosions which have bedeviled the country over the past few months. This has Americans understandably concerned, as over eight million homes are powered by the gas. People want to know if they’re running their homes on something potentially unsafe. Just last week, firefighters and police responded to the scene of another propane truck crash in Callaway, MN, where a tanker truck collided with a freight train and caught fire. The crash and explosion caused the train to derail, according to the Star Tribune. The driver of the truck, Biya Abdella Buta, 31, was not injured in the crash. However, the two-member crew of the Canadian Pacific freight train both suffered minor injuries. Fire from the crash and the threat of additional explosions prompted authorities to temporarily evacuate the area. Authorities are looking into potential criminal charges for the driver, who, Twin Cities reports apparently displayed negligence in the leadup to the crash. Onboard video from the train recovered last Friday proves that the crew aboard the train sounded the horn and did everything in their power to alert the truck driver and slow down the train. Over the weekend, Gov. Mark Dayton traveled to Callaway to view...

Michigan High School Tech Students Develop New Locker Mechanism for Sixth-Grader With Cerebral Palsy...

It’s amazing what people can do with a little time, innovation, and a commitment to wanting to make the world a little better for someone else. Sometimes those people aren’t even old enough to buy lottery tickets yet. That’s the case in a recent school project that could revolutionize school lockers for kids with cerebral palsy. According to MLive.com, a team of eight seniors from Grand Rapids’ Kent Career Technical Center’s Engineering and Architectural Design class spent about five months working on a class project that doubled as a community service activity as well. Brin DeVries, an 11-year-old sixth-grader from nearby Excel Charter Academy, has always navigated the school hallways by wheelchair due to her cerebral palsy condition and was even given a custom locker in order to allow her to access it by herself, as she lacks the motor skills necessary to maneuver a traditional combination lock. Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability found in children and affects approximately one in 323 kids in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, even the custom lock the school had originally gave her was a bit inadequate, too. It would typically take her multiple tries to successfully get through the three-step process, which had a 10-second timer, on the magnetic locker with a modified key. By combining the three actions into one all-inclusive, turn-key solution, the senior students were able to give DeVries even more freedom and peace of mind not having to worry about constantly running late for class. “It certainly gives me more independence,” said DeVries, who said the old lock was frustrating. “A simple design on a computer turned into something that could help me. It’s pretty amazing!” The high school students from the vocational...

Cat Feces Might Cause Trigger a Rage Disorder in Humans...

Cats are known for their famously grumpy attitude, but a new study suggests that people with cats might actually be more prone to bouts of rage due to toxoplasmosis, an illness that’s actually caused by a parasite found in both cat feces and raw meat. According to lead researcher of the study Dr. Emil Coccaro, people who are diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) are more than twice as likely to carry Toxoplasmosa gondii, the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis. “If you’ve got someone with aggression problems, you might check them for toxoplasmosis,” said Coccaro, chair of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago. “People who blow up have a real problem. It’s not just a character problem or bad behavior. There’s something underneath that’s driving it.” However, Coccaro’s study was not a clinical trial. This means that the results don’t establish a direct cause and effect link. According to UPI.com, IED is a disorder that involves recurring, impulsive outbursts of anger that can manifest in both physical and verbal aggression. The disorder affects as many as 16 million Americans and, according to the study, is more common that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia combined. “They’ve got a short trigger, and when they’re threatened by something, they blow up,” Coccaro said. And Coccaro and fellow researchers believe that toxoplasmosis might be linked to some cases of IED. For the most part, toxoplamosis is a harmless infection. For those with weakened immune systems, toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain eyes or other organs. Yet previous research shows that even otherwise healthy carriers may experience a change due to the disease. Previous studies have found that those with toxoplasmosis are linked to an increased risks of impulsiveness and aggressiveness, as well as suicide and suicidal...

Liam, The New Apple Robot, Can Take Apart an iPhone 6 in 11 Seconds...

Meet Liam — the new Apple robot. He is designed to take apart old iPhones and harvest from them valuable, reusable materials. Liam was unveiled in response to heavy criticism that Apple products are too difficult to recycle. The prototype will be used to deconstruct the iPhone 6, recovering materials like aluminum, copper, tin, tungsten, cobalt, gold, and silver. Apple has expressed plans to modify and expand the system to process other devices. Liam is actually 29 separate robotic modules, working together at a single site near Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. He started to operate at full capacity last month and is able to take apart one iPhone 6 every 11 seconds. Although Liam could deconstruct a couple million iPhones each year, that is only a small fraction of the number of iPhones in use. In 2015 alone, Apple sold more than 231 million iPhones. When it comes to waste disposal, new innovations in technology tend to change the name of the game. For instance, cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP), a non invasive sewer rehabilitation technology, has the same lifespan as that of a brand new pipe. Liam, however, serves as a vital new addition to the field of electronic waste recycling. Electronics recycling has been a long neglected issue. Millions of electronics are produced every year, and yet less than a sixth of global e-waste is properly recycled or made available for reuse, according to a United Nations University report. Gary Cook, a Greenpeace IT analyst, told Reuters, “If it’s easy for a robot, that’s great. But making it easier for a human, who will be doing most of this, is part of the solution.” While Apple may be ahead of the game when it comes to green initiatives — the company received a perfect...