95-Year-Old World-Travelling Ammachi

If you believe you are too weak or old to venture from your home, reconsider!

Meet Annakutty Simon from an beautiful town in main Kerala, who is ready to cross the border once again even at the age of 95, all by herself. The nonagenarian settled in Kuninji town in Idukki district chooses to travel alone regardless of having enough and more buddies to take a trip with. The number of direct members of her family alone are around 70 individuals. This is including her kids, grandchildren and great grand kids. Language for Annakutty has surprising held no barriers in her journeys even though she speaks just Malayalam. “Wherever I go, I speak just Malayalam as it is the only language I understand. But I have never ever had any significant interaction issue abroad. Those whom I ask questions in Malayalam explain in their own language, but by God’s grace I get managed to get my responses,” states Annakutty, who ventured from India for the very first time at the age of 75.

Annakutty, a widow for the past 50 years, has visited Italy, Germany, Israel, France and the UAE (four times). She also wishes to make one more journey to Calvary near Jerusalem. But visa authorities appear not so crazy about permitting her to take the trip, mentioning her age. Nevertheless, ‘Ammachi’, as she is fondly called by her close family members to mean ‘Grandma’ in Malayalam, is confident of going on another solo journey, happily stating that she feels healthy and fit. Unlike many individuals her age, Annakutty declares that she does not struggle with diabetes, bloody pressure, cholesterol or amnesia. “Why do not they understand that I am still young at heart? I still can go anywhere by myself,” she states.

The great-granny to 20 kids also chooses not to switch her traditional ‘chatta and mundu’ for western clothing in the digital transformation age, no matter where she is, be it Idukki or France. She also happily uses her trademark ‘thoda’ in her ears wherever she goes. Her first foreign visit was to Germany in 1997 when she was 75-years-old. Annakutty states that she has never felt scared, even when she boarded the flight for the very first time in her life from Thiruvananthapuram. Rather, it was her kids who were stressed. Although the journey, through Sri Lanka and Dubai, was not simple for her, Annakutty with just a lower primary education managed to reach Germany safely.

Coming from the Kanamkombil household of Kadanadu in Kottayam, Annakutty, the tenth kid to her mother and father, Anna and Mathai, got wed to Pendanathu Simon at the age of 14 in 1936. The couple had 4 boys and many children. Annakutty and her partner also raised their eldest child’s friend. The kid had lost his mom and dad at an early age. Amongst her 12 brother or sisters, only her youngest sibling Mariyakutty settled in Kozhikode, lives now. Annakutty still sees and visits her today. But taking a trip is not Annakutty’s only passion. She loves farming, nursing and was also a midwife, her grandchild Reneesh informed.

“It is Ammachi, who supervises our farms and fields. She is also constantly the chief cook in the kitchen. When it comes to nursing, she has some wonderful ‘Ottamooli’s (single ingredient medication) for typical youth diseases,” he mentions. Reneesh also talks of how Annakutty used to do work as a midwife for females coming from bad households and who could not manage medical facility costs. “It is Ammachi who puts in the effort for all excellent endeavors in our area, be it roadway building and construction with cranes for hire or seed sowing in any field,” he includes. And that’s not all. The daring Annakutty has also acted in the current Malayalam motion picture Aby. “I have not acted, I cannot act. I just acted like I do in real life,” she shyly admits.

So, exactly what is the trick of Annakutty’s energy? “I do not sit idle. I do something all the time so that no I don’t have any negativity holding me back,” she proudly states.

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The Most Sustainable Town in the US

When completed, the Babcock Ranch, which is located about 20 minutes from Fort Myers, will be powered completely by the sun, relying on gas on cloudy days. Houses will be energy-efficient, many of them built with insulated panels created to manage any type of Florida weather. The real estate game is sure to heat up, marketing for mortgage brokers needs to get sorted out as soon as possible.

The town will be walkable and bike friendly, with 50 miles of nature trails. Locals will have the ability to plant crops in community gardens, which local breakfast restaurants will utilise. Houses will be set near walkways so next-door neighbours can more easily connect with one another. To encourage homeowners to drive electric cars, the town will set up numerous charging stations. Its taxi fleet will be electrical and driverless.

The Kinley’s were the very first to purchase a house at Babcock, where construction is now just getting underway. They expect to move into their one-story ranch design home in time for the fall and winter holidays.

“If I sat down and wished to develop a neighbourhood from scratch, this would be it,” said Kinley. “I love having a front porch where I can speak to my next-door neighbours and a downtown location within a five-minute walk.”

This is precisely what Babcock Ranch’s designer, and conference speaker for the development, Syd Kitson, wanted when he envisaged the concept of developing a town that aims “to go back to the way we used to live when we were young, where you know your next-door neighbours, and has the things you remember when you were growing up,” he stated. “We are dead set on proving that advancement and preservation can work hand-in-hand.”

The Kitson’s company completed its purchase of 91,000 acres along Florida’s southwest coast which, the very same day sold 73,000 acres back to the state and to Lee County in what has been referred to as the biggest single land conservation agreement in Florida’s history. The contract kept the bulk of the land untouched, allowing ranching operations to continue and leaving Kitson with almost 18,000 acres, a location about the size of Manhattan, for development.

The Babcock Ranch plan allows for 19,500 houses, schools, stores, green spaces, lakes and nature routes and even wedding accommodation. Ultimately, they intend to include apartments and homes. Someday, as many as 50,000 individuals will live there.

Kitson says to business leaders that to achieve his objective of having, as he describes it, the first solar town in America, he discovered an ally in Florida Power & Light. The utility business developed a new solar power plant in Charlotte County, whose 343,000 solar panels will supply power to Babcock Ranch.

At night or on sunless days, the town will be powered by gas “up until we get that solar storage puzzle solved,” Kitson said. Discovering ways to store solar energy “is crucial and we want to be a living laboratory to carry out that into Babcock,” he stated.

Mitch Pavao-Zuckerman, assistant professor of environmental science and innovation at the University of Maryland’s college of farming and natural resources, who aren’t included with Babcock Ranch, calls the production of an almost all-solar town “a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the expediency of these kinds of advancements.”

“It could enable us to see how effective these kinds of decentralized systems remain in real settings as well as how they respond to irregularity in weather– and solar production– and prospective risks to the network,” he included. “They’ve put a deal of consideration into the physical and aesthetic design of the community and components of environmental sustainability.”

For starters, the houses will make every effort to be energy effective. Brian Bishop, president of New Panel Homes, which manufactures– and will supply– the structural insulated panels for one of the house builders at Babcock Ranch, stated the houses from his building packages will meet standards developed by the Florida Green Building Union, which administers green accreditations throughout the state.

Bishop forecasts that the energy expense for each house will run no greater than about $90 a month. Due to the fact that these houses need to be air tight to be energy efficient, his group guarantees the air quality. “Our clients desire a green, healthy, nontoxic house with a small electrical bill, that is catastrophe safe,” Bishop stated. “This isn’t simply some eccentric thing for yuppies. Everyone benefits.”

Still, Kitson & Partners, dealing with the state, reserved 17,000 acres in the maintained location for panthers, if they ever try to move there. The animals, nevertheless, still would have to find a way to cross the river, as the only routes there are bridges with vehicle traffic.

For his part, Kitson hopes his future town “will be a design for the remainder of the country, perhaps even the world,” he stated. “The best thing we can do is create a model that works financially and where individuals wish to live.”

The Kinley’s are believers. Kinley hopes his business will approve a transfer. If not, he might retire. “That’s the worst case situation which isn’t a bad worst case scenario,” he said. He chuckled. “After we signed the papers and they informed us we were the first ones, I joked and said you ought to name the lake behind our home after us.”

He was kidding. However they liked the idea, so that’s what they did. Anyway, better get those mortgage broker websites up and running!

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Students Display Construction Skills to Help the Homeless

Building and construction trade students at the Pierce County Skills Center are some of the high school and university students from around the state who are building “tiny house” shelters for the homeless this month. Their projects are part of a state-wide competition in the Capitol School in Olympia on Monday March 27. Other groups from Pierce County originate from Rogers High School and Bates Technical College. Under the supervision of their schools’ year 12 tutors, students will deliver their almost finished shelters to Olympia for the Showcase of Skills competition. There, students will include the last touches to their homes, such as hanging doors or painting trim. After the competition, finished shelters will be carried to Seattle where they will be provided as transitional homeless real estate.

“No matter who takes home the reward, the genuine winners are the people who will not need to spend the night in the cold because of the effort of these students,” Linda Nguyen, CEO of WorkForce Central in Tacoma, stated in a press release. She said that building trade students are establishing sought-after skills and abilities with engineered timber products, due to an increasing demand for more sustainable methods of construction and development especially when the long-term disadvantaged are involved. “Pierce County’s building sector is growing much faster than anywhere else in the state, and we anticipate to see such a development continue for at least the next 6 years,” Nguyen included.

In other news, the city of Portland will also be allowing homeless families to move into government-built mini houses in the yards of locals happy to host them. A pilot program was introduced this summer season, called “A Location for You”. It will position the homeless into little pod-like shelters called “Device Home Units” in the yards of prepared house owners. The federal government is prepared to pay $75,000 per house in building expenses for 4 small units to be finished by June and for strategies to develop 300 housing units in the next year if the pilot program succeeds, the Oregonian reported.

As soon as building and construction is finished with the last drake low loader and crane or two, property owners can become the property owners in charge of maintaining the units for homeless households for 5 years. After the 5-year duration, house owners can do whatever they desire with the units. If property owners choose to break their agreement before the five-year duration is up, they need to pay the building and construction expenses. Occupants would be evaluated and would need to sign a lease with the house owner that specifies exactly what habits will not be endured. Households that take part in the program would be connected to the social services that provides to the homeless in Portland, and would be accountable for paying 30 percent of the lease on the units.

The Multnomah County Idea Laboratory, a fairly brand-new county workplace in charge of developing ingenious policy services, developed the pilot program using strategies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a county weatherization program. Locals simply passed a $260 million real estate bond, but authorities from the laboratory state that it will be some time before those units are ready. “Those units are not going to be up for lease for another 2 to 3 years and they’re very expensive to integrate in some cases,” stated laboratory director Mary Li. “We have individuals on the street now.” But good news: about 200 property owners have registered for the pilot program after the city’s alternative weekly paper advertised the project.

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Watertown Set to Rebid Thompson Park Playground

Watertown City Council members are ready to take another shot at finding the right contractor to set up the new children’s playground at Thompson Park in New York.

On Monday night, they unanimously consented to rebid the project to set up the equipment after that work returned $20,000 over the budget on February 28. The city’s Purchasing Department plans to start dealing with the second round of quotes today. It will take about three weeks to get the quotes out to perspective companies to ensure commercial plumbing services for WC facilities are properly installed, along with quotes for the appropriate builder’s indemnity insurance for the job.

But Mayor Joseph M. Butler Jr. thinks the city will have much better luck this time around in finding the right contractor for the playground install and landscaping job.”I’m hoping that they come back lower,” he stated after the conference. City park and purchasing officials decided to disqualify low bidder Terlouw Building, Newfield, from its $68,000 bid because the company could not offer sufficient builders warranty insurance for the $385,000 project.

City officials hope, by decreasing the required $5 million insurance coverage for the task to $1 million, the strategy will bring out more competitive bids. Watertown City Purchasing Supervisor Amy M. Pastuf still hopes the city can open the new playground before Memorial Day. “We have a bit of extra time,” she informed council members.

The city is working with Parkitects Inc., a Tompkins County-based company that deals mostly in parks and play areas, to create designs for the brand-new equipment. The city will then go through a state agreement to purchase the equipment from Landscaping Structure, a nationwide company that has actually offered equipment and kid-friendly landscape designs to playgrounds across the nation.

The quotes opened on Feb. 28 were strictly for a company to set up the equipment, a process that must only take a couple of weeks to finish. The other two quotes, $86,709 from Kevin Leach Landscaping, Pennellville, and $89,995 by Titan Advancement Co., Gasport, were found to be about $20,000 too high. 8 businesses were asked to submit bids as part of the original tender. The chosen business would set up the larger pieces of equipment with city Department of Public Works teams and locals working on the smaller sized pieces.

The city will order the playground equipment once the agreement is awarded to the business and emergency plumber that will install it. The city has received a $50,000 increase from the state to assist fund the job. The rest of its expense will come from the allocated 2016-17 budget. In November, the 29-year-old Thompson Park playground was taken apart and its remnants carried away.

In other news, council members accepted an offer to sell a deteriorated vacant duplex at 825 Academy St. to the Next-door neighbours of Watertown Inc., so the building can be refurbished. The eyesore will quickly be restored under a real estate rehabilitation program that was inactive for several years. The Development Authority of the North County is also involved in the job.

Council members also accepted to spend about $160,000 to destroy two more uninhabited apartment complexes on Academy Street. The building at 166 Academy St. was sold in the process of a public auction last autumn; however the winning bidder has actually decided not to go through with the deal. The nearby structure at 158 Academy St. remains in rough shape and cannot be conserved.

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How can Solar Energy help Solve an Energy Crisis?

Solar energy has long been an effective way for humans to accomplish tasks that they could not perform previously. The earliest humans quickly learned that their meat would taste much better when it was cooked naturally underneath the warm rays of the sun. Mankind also found out that a bath taken in water that was warmed by the sun was much more satisfying than a bath taken in chilly waters. Energy that is emitted from the sun is all around us and can be harnessed in order to ease the burden that is placed upon the earth’s natural resources.

Solar energy is not a complete alternative to fossil fuels and carbon forms of energy, but it is an excellent way to give mankind a variety of means to receive energy to fuel our cars, heat our homes, and cook our food. The use of solar energy has grown at a rate of about 30% annually for the past 15 years, compared to a demand growth in carbon energy of about 2% per year. Solar energy is becoming much more feasible and efficient than it used to be. Technology barriers have long halted the progress of solar energy, but many of those barriers have been broken in recent years. The cost of manufacturing a photovoltaic cell has declined on average by 4% since 1995. Newer and more effective technology has allowed these prices to decrease and make solar energy affordable. As of right now, the government has approved for solar energy subsidies to be provided to those who harness and use this form of energy. Most engineers believe that solar energy prices will continue to decline. click here to learn more about the microphone


Another advantage to solar energy is that it can be considered an infinite source, as far as mankind is concerned. It is true that the sun will eventually lose its deuterium and tritium fuels and burn out, but that is not projected to happen for a few million more years. At that point we will have bigger problems on our hands. Every square foot on our green earth is the beneficiary of solar energy nearly every day. This energy can be harnessed through the use of photovoltaic cells and solar panels that convert the solar heat into usable energy. Again, the rays from the sun are not the ultimate answer to our energy needs but solar energy is a great way to ease to burden that our fossil fuels carry.

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