The mysterious ‘Tully Monster’ fossil just got more mysterious

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF PHYSICS.ORG)

 

The mysterious ‘Tully Monster’ fossil just got more mysterious

The mysterious 'Tully Monster' fossil just got more mysterious
Artist’s impression of Tullimonstrum. Credit: PaleoEquii/WikipediaCC BY-SA

Every now and again, scientists discover fossils that are so bizarre they defy classification, their body plans unlike any other living animals or plants. Tullimonstrum (also known as the Tully Monster), a 300 m-year-old fossil discovered in the Mazon Creek fossil beds in Illinois, US, is one such creature.

At first glance, Tully looks superficially slug-like. But where you would expect its mouth to be, the creature has a long thin appendage ending in what looks like a pair of grasping claws. Then there are its eyes, which protrude outward from its body on stalks.

Tully is so strange that scientists have even been unable to agree on whether it is a vertebrate (with a backbone, like mammals, birds, reptiles and fish) or an invertebrate (without a backbone, like insects, crustaceans, octopuses and all other ). In 2016, a group of scientists claimed to have solved the mystery of Tully, providing the strongest evidence yet that it was a vertebrate. But my colleagues and I have conducted a new study that calls this conclusion into question, meaning this monster is as mysterious as ever.

The Tully Monster was originally discovered in the 1950s by a fossil collector named Francis Tully. Ever since its discovery scientists have puzzled over which group of modern animals Tully belongs to. The enigma of Tully’s true evolutionary relationships has added to its popularity, ultimately leading it to become the state fossil of Illinois.

The mysterious 'Tully Monster' fossil just got more mysterious
The Tullimonstrum fossil. Credit: Ghedoghedo/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

There have been many attempts to classify the Tully Monster. The majority of these studies have focused on the appearance of some of its more prominent features. These include a linear feature in the fossil interpreted as evidence of a gut, the light and dark banding of the fossil and the peculiar grasping claws of its mouth. The body plan of the Tully Monster is so unusual in it’s entirety that it will greatly expand the diversity of of whatever group it ultimately belongs to, changing the way we think about that group of animals.

The 2016 research argued the animal should be grouped with vertebrates because its eyes contain  called melanosomes, which are arranged by shape and size in the same way as those in vertebrate eyes. But our research shows that the eyes of some invertebrates such as octopus and squid also contain melanosomes partitioned by shape and size in a similar way to Tully’s eyes, and that these an also be preserved in fossils.

Particle accelerator research

To do this, we used a type of particle accelerator called a  light source located at Stanford University in California. This allowed us to explore the chemical makeup of samples from fossils and from animals living today. The synchrotron bombards specimens with intense bursts of radiation to “excite” the elements within them. When excited, each element releases X-rays with a specific signature. By detecting the emitted X-ray signatures, we can tell what elements were excited and ultimately what the specimen we’re interested in is made of.

The mysterious 'Tully Monster' fossil just got more mysterious
Another possible look for the Tully Monster. Credit: Nobu Tamura/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

First we found that melanosomes from the eyes of modern vertebrates have a higher ratio of zinc to copper than the modern invertebrates we studied. To our surprise, we then found the same pattern could be seen in fossilized vertebrates and invertebrates found at Mazon Creek.

We then analysed the chemistry of Tully’s eyes and the ratio of zinc to copper was more similar to that of invertebrates than vertebrates. This suggests the animal may not have been a vertebrate, contradicting previous efforts to classify it.

We also found that Tully’s eyes contain different type of copper to that found in vertebrate eyes. But the copper also wasn’t identical to that in the invertebrates we studied. So while our work adds weight to the idea that Tully is not a vertebrate, it doesn’t clearly identify it as an invertebrate either.

Where do we go from here? A broader analysis of the chemistry of melanosomes and other pigments in the eyes of a wider range of invertebrates would be a good next step. This may help to further narrow down the group of animals to which Tully belongs.

Ultimately the riddle of what kind of creature the Tully Monster is continues. But our research demonstrates how studying fossils at the chemical and molecular levels can play an important part in figuring out the identity of this and other enigmatic creature.

5 U.S. Cities Stuck in Time

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 U.S. Cities Stuck in Time

Some cities are immune to change. These places make time travel feel possible, offering glimpses back into different eras. From historic cities with cobblestone streets to ghost towns that can’t seem to move forward, here are five U.S. cities stuck in time.

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Credit: Dan Logan/Shutterstock

In 1765, a Quaker merchant named Joseph Rotch identified New Bedford, Massachusetts, as a prime location for his business. Located along the Atlantic Coast, with a deep harbor and easy access to Boston and New York, he believed New Bedford to be the perfect candidate for a top-notch whaling port. Rotch was correct in his assertion — during the 19th century, this Massachusetts city became the whaling capital of the world. New Bedford is still known today as The Whaling City and its identity is entwined with the million-dollar industry that once profited from its shores.  From the mansions built by the captains of industry on County Street to the flagged bluestone sidewalks, much of the city is unchanged from when it was first built.

Inquisitive visitors should stop at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. And although whaling is no longer permitted, the citizens of New Bedford still make their living on the water, with commercial fishing as one of the top sources of income.

Pacifica, California

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Pacifica, California, is a mere 10 miles from San Francisco, yet it feels a world away. A beachside haven that has changed little since its incorporation, this foggy surf town is surrounded by two sections of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Pacifica was originally formed in 1957 when officials merged nine different communities to create one larger city. Although city planners envisioned growing Pacifica to 100,000 residents, these lofty plans never came to fruition. Much of the surrounding area became preserved land during the 1970s, which protected it from the rampant development happening elsewhere in the state. The result? Pacifica remains much the same as it was when it was incorporated, with stunning beaches perfect for surfing and acres of pristine public lands.

Some change, however, has found its way into this picturesque beach side community. In the past couple of years, new plans have been passed to turn Palmetto Avenue into a downtown area, making it more appealing to visitors and residents alike.

St. Augustine, Florida

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The oldest continually occupied city in the U.S., St. Augustine, Florida, was first established by Spanish settlers in 1565. Today, remnants of Spanish culture remain untouched in this historical gem of a city. From Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a 330-year old fortress built by the Spanish, to the well-preserved Plaza de Constitucion, visiting St. Augustine is like stepping back into the well of history. The Colonial Quarter harkens back to the days when Spanish was spoken on the cobblestone streets, including live black smith and musket demonstrations.

St. Augustine’s most famous piece of architecture, however, is the Lightner Museum. Originally built as the Alcazar Hotel in 1888, the establishment closed during the Depression; it was later bought and renovated by Otto Lightner in 1948. Today, the restored museum includes memorabilia from the Gilded Age, in addition to rotating art exhibits.

Galena, Illinois

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Although it is commonly referred to as “The City That Time Forgot,” considering Galena a “city” is a bit of a stretch. For all intents and purposes, however, this well-preserved gem has rightfully earned its place on this list. Once the busiest port on the Mississippi River, Galena became a mining town in the mid-1800s when a lead ore mineral called “galena” was found in the surrounding area. The newly born city, named for the mineral that put it on the map, eventually became a political, industrial and cultural hub. Abraham Lincoln gave a speech from the second-floor balcony of a Galena hotel and even Ulysses S. Grant called it home for a spell.

Today, the town holds the magic of yesteryear, with its immaculate Victorian homes and brick architecture on Main Street. The city also draws scores of tourists looking to grasp onto the charms of days gone by, and with its working blacksmith shop and many historical sites, this feat is easily achieved.

Detroit, Michigan

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Detroit, Michigan, truly looks like a city frozen in time — but which time exactly? When Michigan Central Station opened in 1913, the train station was a shining example of Beaux-Arts Classical architecture and the tallest train station in the world. But when the station closed in 1988, it stood vacant for 30 years, a sad reminder of Motor City’s former glory. In an effort to move Detroit forward, Ford bought the train station last year, with plans to revitalize the building and bring the workforce back to the area. Still, the city is often referred to as a ghost town, with its fleeing population, abandoned homes and empty skyscrapers. In this sense, Detroit seems to be stuck in the early aughts, as it certainly hasn’t made any large strides since the collapse of the auto industry. With dreams of Detroit’s revival on the horizon, this is one city we hope isn’t stuck in time forever.

Chicago police officer shot on South Side

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF WGN NEWS CHANNEL 9 OF CHICAGO)

 

Chicago police officer shot on South Side: officials

CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer was shot Saturday morning on the city’s West Englewood neighborhood, according to officials.

The officer was on the 6500 block of South Winchester Avenue around 8:40 a.m. when he was shot. Police did not release details about the shooting.

The officer was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in an unknown condition.

No further information was provided.

The 3 Flattest States in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Flattest States in the U.S.

Either because of the visual representation from The Wizard of Oz or the fact it lies in the Great Plains, many assume Kansas is the flattest state in the United States. After thinking about the state’s topographical reputation, a professor and graduate student at the University of Kansas conducted a study of flatness across the contiguous United States. While people might think of flatness in many different ways, Jerry Dobson and Joshua Campbell used geographical data to determine the percentage of flatness across each state. The three flattest U.S. states, according to this rigorous, peer-reviewed study, are as follows.

North Dakota

North Dakota

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As one of the least populous states in the United States, and the flattest, some might not automatically think of North Dakota as a vacation destination. But North Dakota residents and other fellow Midwesterners know that North Dakota offers a distinctive culture and breathtaking landscapes. Once having a strong Native American presence, the state is home to historical sites and small museums dedicated to specific people and events, such as Fort Buford and Fort Union Trading Post. You can also travel along the Enchanted Highway, which has one of the best roadside attractions in the United States. Here are some other fabulous locations for fun times in North Dakota:

Fargo – Fargo is North Dakota’s largest city, even if it’s small when compared to other large cities in the Midwest. This city is North Dakota’s hub for arts and culture. The city has several museums, including the Fargo Air Museum, The Plains Art Museum, and Bonanzaville, a historic area of the city where you will find artifacts and Fargo’s first house.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Established by President Truman in 1947, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a paradise for those who love to hike, camp, and connect with the outdoors. The least flat part of North Dakota, the park offers 100 miles of trails and ample opportunity to view the region’s distinct wildlife. Also, you can see several historical sites with background information on Teddy Roosevelt’s time there in the late 19th century.

Devils Lake – This 160,000-acre lake is North Dakota’s largest body of water. The lake area draws outdoor enthusiasts all year long for fishing, ice fishing, water sports, and more. The lake gets its name from the Native American lore, which tells of bad spirits in the water.

National Buffalo Museum – The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, North Dakota, has lots of art and exhibits. It’s dedicated to educating the public and honoring the North American bison who live in the region.

Illinois

Illinois

Credit: XYZ/ iStock

While a good portion of rural Illinois consists of expansive agricultural fields, this flat state in the Midwest is home to one of the largest urban centers in the world. One of Illinois’s greatest assets is the juxtaposition of Chicago’s hustle and bustle with the more serene locations and activities found in Central and Southern Illinois.

Whether you find yourself in Chicago for the first or the 50th time, these are three locations you have to visit at least once in your life:

Navy Pier – This Chicago landmark allows visitors to participate in fun events and cultural activities with the panoramic backdrop of stunning Lake Michigan. Families will enjoy the rides and the Chicago Children’s Museum. All visitors can try out multiple dining options and enjoy live music and shows.

Millennium Park – Located in downtown Chicago, Millennium Park is home to Cloud Gate. This famous art installation looks like a big silver bean. The park has several fountains, a rock climbing wall, multiple dining options, and a pavilion for live entertainment.

Art Institute of Chicago – Art lovers cannot miss a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago located next to Millennium Park. Here, you can see famous paintings such as American Gothic by Grant Wood and Water Lilies by Claude Monet.

Don’t underestimate the rest of Illinois, where you can enjoy many different highlights, such as:

Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum – Road-trippers looking to “get their kicks on Route 66” can soak up the history at the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, Illinois. The museum offers thousands of pieces of memorabilia associated with the historic route and its importance throughout the country.

Starved Rock State Park – After visiting Starved Rock State Park, you might doubt Illinois is a flat state. Starved Rock State Park has 18 canyons along the Illinois River and 13 trails giving access to stunning waterfalls.

Springfield – Illinois’s capital city is home to the Lincoln Tomb and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Although he was born in Kentucky, Lincoln spent many years in Springfield prior to his presidency. Visitors will find numerous historical landmarks and can also visit the Illinois State Museum.

Florida

Florida

Credit: felixmizioznikov/ iStock

With Disney World, Universal Studios, and other theme parks, Orlando, Florida, is the theme park capital of the world. Also, Florida has much more to offer than just theme parks. When you get out of the Orlando area, you can find incredible beaches, rich history, and engaging cultural activities. Florida is also home to several beautiful golf courses. It’s difficult to include all of the great activities and places in Florida, but the following list includes some of the most exciting destinations throughout the state:

St. Augustine – Nestled along the northeast Atlantic Coast of Florida, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. It’s famous for its Spanish colonial architecture. St. Augustine is close to some of the area’s most picturesque beaches and home to several historical sites, such as their lighthouse and the Castillo de San Marcos.

Cape Canaveral – Home to Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral is the perfect trip if you’re interested in NASA operations or want to see a rocket launch.

Miami – As Florida’s cosmopolitan center, Miami offers world-class dining, museums, and the art deco glory of South Beach. Visitors enjoy the mixture of cultural influences from Cuba, the Bahamas, and Caribbean nations in Miami’s food, music, and architecture.

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3 States With Very Restrictive Gun Laws With Three Mass Shootings This Weekend

3 States With Very Restrictive Gun Laws With Three Mass Shootings This Weekend

 

This letter to you this evening is one filled with my opinions on guns and gun laws here in the U.S. as well as some facts for you to consider. New York, Illinois and California are three of the most restrictive gun law States in our Nation. Since Friday evening through Sunday night there were three mass shooting that I am aware of. First, Friday evening at a block party in Brooklyn NY some coward opened fire on the crowd killing at least three and wounding eleven. Sunday evening in the city of Gilroy in north central California another coward, or two, did the same at their annual festival, again killing at least three and wounding eleven. Over the weekend in Chicago the police there say that from 5 PM Friday through Sunday evening 40 more people were shot with at least 8 being killed. One thing that these three States have in common is that they are three of the most restrictive gun law States in our Nation.

 

What I mean by ‘restrictive’ is simple, it means that the laws in those States make it very difficult to buy and possess a firearm legally and to carry one on you, almost impossible. But, as all the world knows that in most cases it is not a person who bought a legal firearm that tends to go around shooting people. Don’t get me wrong, I am for several restrictions being in place to stop really bad people from buying guns. Restrictions like 5-7 day waiting periods to possess a firearm that is bought from a store. Federal background checks are a very good thing and I believe that people who are obviously a looney tune should never be able to get a firearm. I believe that ‘gun shows’ should have major curbs on them such as no firearms being allowed to be bought in the parking lots outside of the buildings and the same 5-7 day waiting periods with background checks for weapons being bought inside the shows.

 

Think about the situation just across our southern border in Mexico, they have very tough gun laws there which makes the law abiding citizens nothing but fodder for the drug gangs, the people aren’t allowed to defend themselves and the bad folks know it. I live in the State of Kentucky which has extremely lenient gun laws, probably about the most lenient ones in the whole Country. I have a concealed license as does every member of my family, we had them even before our ignorant governor made it legal for anyone and everyone to carry concealed shortly before the spring elections. This means that you don’t have to have any training at all to carry a hideaway gun on you, a very stupid idea. But there is one issue I would like you to think about concerning gun law reality here in Kentucky compared to Illinois, New York or California. Here in Kentucky if an idiot pulls out a firearm in a store there is a very very good chance that patrons within the store are going to shoot that person dead on the spot. If in a case like what happened in Brooklyn or in Gilroy happened here where a coward opens fire on a crowd many of the people in that crowd will have guns on them and they will without a doubt kill that shooter or shooters on the spot, thus limiting the body count of the murderous cowards. Please notice one thing about these shooters, the reason I call them cowards, they always commit their crimes where they are pretty positive no one will be shooting back at them. States with these highly restrictive gun laws only end up getting their innocent law abiding citizens murdered.  What I am trying to do in this letter to you this evening is to point out realities. After every mass shooting the ‘progressive left’ starts using the deaths as an excuse to disarm the law abiding civilians. One of the most gut wrenching realities is when a total coward goes into a school and kills a bunch of kids or into a place of worship and kill all the unarmed people. Cowards always choose the easiest unarmed targets, don’t be one. Don’t let the far left politicians or anyone else get you and your family murdered by one of these cowards. If you notice, the ones who do the most screaming about disarming you are the ones who have the protection of people with guns all around them, think about it.

10 Cities All Architecture Lovers Need to Visit Before They Die

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

Cities All Architecture Lovers Need to Visit Before They Die

From towering skyscrapers to the ancient Colosseum, the world is filled with architectural marvels. And since architecture is best enjoyed in person, here are 10 cities that architecture lovers simply must visit.

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Credit: Semmick Photo/Shutterstock

It’s called the “City of Big Shoulders” for a reason. Chicago is home to some of the oldest skyscrapers, such as the Manhattan Building, built in 1891; the Reliance Building, built in 1895; and Chicago Savings Bank Building, completed in 1905. Most of Downtown Chicago was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871, but the iconic Chicago Water Tower, built in 1869, was left standing. Built solely of yellow Lemont limestone, seeing the 182-foot tower firsthand should be on every architecture lovers bucket list.

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

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Rome is home to some of the world’s most photographed structures, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Trajan’s Market. Had it not been for the Romans, designs like the arch and the dome would never have come to be. Rome’s classical structures are a must see. That’s a given. But the city’s Baroque style buildings, which were mostly constructed during the 17th century, are also well worth your time. The sheer grandness of structures like St. Peter’s Basilicaand the Trevi Fountain can’t be captured in a photograph. Few things in life will leave you as awestruck as taking a stroll inside St. Peter’s, with its massive dome, and looking up. You may never want to look down again.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

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Influenced by the legendary 19th century Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona’s architecture, much like the city itself, is imaginative and colorful. One sight that’s a must see is Gaudi’s Casa Batllo. The façade of the building is constructed of broken ceramic tiles, thus creating an eye-popping mosaic that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Other structures that are inspired by Gaudi’s vivid imagination include Jean Nouvel’s Tower, which is designed to resemble a geyser of water shooting through the air, and Frank Gehry’s Fish.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Credit: Rastislav Sedlak SK/Shutterstock

In addition to being home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai skyline is filled with twisty-turny steel buildings. If you find yourself wandering in this desert city, be sure to check out the Burj al Arab, which is designed to look like an Arabian dhow ship, as well as the curving Cayan, with its seemingly impossible 90-degree twist. There’s also the famed underwater zoo located in the Dubai Mall, which features 300 different species of aquatic life, including all types of fish, sting rays and sharks.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China

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Fueled by government investment, Shanghai has grown rapidly in recent years. It’s almost as if a glossy new structure pops up each month. The architecture in Shanghai is modernistic, and best represented in buildings like the Hongkou Soho office building, with its pleated exterior. Shanghai is also home to the second tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower, which features a twisted, glass façade that stretches upward for 2,073 feet.

Paris, France

Paris, France

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The birthplace of Art Deco and Gothic architecture, Paris is a city whose rich architectural history stretches back centuries. Gothic style, which is marked by colorful stained glass windows and flying buttresses, can be seen in a number of Paris cathedrals, including the Sainte-Chapelle, the St-Gervais-et-St-Protais and, most famously, Notre-Dame, which was in the news earlier this year after sustaining serious damage during a 15-hour fire. Paris’s famed Art Deco buildings, with their notable exteriors that feature numerous horizontal lines, began popping up shortly before World War I and were dominant in the ’20s and ’30s. Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Grand Rex movie palace are two prominent structures that exhibit this style. This is a small sample of the numerous architectural wonders in the City of Light.

Moscow, Russia

Moscow, Russia

Credit: Reidl/Shutterstock

The Russian capital is home to some of the most recognizable architecture in the world with a style known simply as Russian architecture. Arguably the most renown structure in the Russian style is Moscow’s Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Constructed in the 16th century during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the cathedral is known for its vibrant, onion-shaped domes. Moscow is also home to more recent architectural wonders like the Ostankino Tower, which was completed in 1967 and was for a period of time the tallest building in the world, and a group of Moscow skyscrapers known as the Seven Sisters. The seven buildings, which were built during the reign of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, are wide and blocky, and scattered throughout Moscow. They were constructed in the Stalinist style of Russian architecture, which borrows elements of the Russian baroque.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

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Several ancient monuments from Athens’s classical era are still standing, most notably the Parthenon, with its enormous stone columns. There is also the Theatre of Dionysus, which was the birthplace of Greek tragedy and the first theater ever constructed. And what would a historically rich city like Athens be without its ancient temples? During its heyday, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was completed around the 2nd century, had an unthinkable 104 columns, although only a few remain standing today.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Credit: LALS STOCK/Shutterstock

The most populous city in Turkey is known for two distinct styles of architecture: Byzantine and Ottoman. The Hagia Sophia, which was constructed in the 6th century, is a church that is emblematic of the Byzantine style, with its massive dome and elegiac mosaics depicting Christ and other biblical figures. The Ottoman style of architecture also flourished in Istanbul. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries a number of imperial mosques were constructed throughout the city, including Faith Mosque, Yeni Mosque\ and Bayezid Mosque. The mosques all have the key features of the Ottoman style, with extensive use of domes and columns, and are an absolute marvel to experience in person.

New York City, New York, U.S.A.

New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Credit: GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

From the Art Deco masterpiece that is the Chrysler Building (1930), to the Gothic Revival design of the Woolworth Building (1913), to the more recent green design of the Conde Nast Building, New York City’s skyscrapers employ a wide range of stylistic elements. The character of the city can also be seen in the architectural designs used in its residential neighborhoods. From the brownstones in Brooklyn to the tenements on the Lower East Side, New York’s five boroughs are an architectural cornucopia whose styles are as diverse as the city itself.

10 U.S. States With the Largest Populations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

10 U.S. States With the Largest Populations

America is home to more than 328 million people, but did you know that more than 53 percent live in just 10 states?

Naturally, these 10 states are home to the country’s biggest urban centers. The most popular states are, for the most part, located along the United States’ borders, giving rise to the term “flyover states” to refer to the more sparsely populated interior states.

The following population estimate numbers were obtained from the most recent count by the U.S. Census, which was completed in 2018.

10. Michigan

Credit: pawel.gaul / iStock

With 9,995,915 residents, Michigan beats out New Jersey by more than 900,000 people to slide into the tenth spot. The auto industry in Detroit has historically been linked to population growth in the Great Lakes State. While that industry has downsized considerably, cheap real estate has recently attracted home-hungry millennials to the state.

9. North Carolina

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About 10,383,620 people call the Tarheel State home. There are lots of reasons North Carolina has grown to be such a populous state, including its temperate climate, prestigious universities, and a relatively low cost of living. Perhaps chief among them is the favorable business climate, which has drawn many employers to the state and jobs to boot. Forbes named North Carolina the Best State for Business two years in a row (2017 and 2018).

8. Georgia

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The Peach State is home to 10,519,475 people. Like North Carolina, its population blossomed between 2010 and 2018, growing a robust 8.57 percent. Close to half of the state residents, more than 5.8 million people, live in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro area. The next biggest metro area, Augusta, is home to 600,000.

7. Ohio

Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

The perennial swing state of Ohio has 11,689,442 million residents. While many of its traditional Rust Belt cities like Cleveland, Dayton, and Akron have seen shrinking populations, the capital city of Columbus has boomed, growing more than 11 percent since 2010.

6. Illinois

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Buoyed by Chicago, the country’s third-most populous city, The Land of Lincoln is home to 12,741,080 people. Of all the states in the top 10, Illinois is the only one that actually shrunk during the last eight years. The state shed 0.71 percent of its population, the equivalent of over 90,000 people.

5. Pennsylvania

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The Quaker State grew at a snail’s pace of 0.82 percent over the last eight years, but it was enough to take the fifth-place spot from Illinois. Pennsylvania is now home to an estimated 12,807,060 people.

4. New York

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From the top of the Adirondacks to the hot dog stands of Coney Island, about 19,542,209 people call the Empire State home. A big chunk of them, about 44 percent of the state’s population, live in close proximity to each other in New York City.

3. Florida

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Florida is the second-fastest growing state on the list, boosting its population by 13.27 percent over the last eight years. That brings the state’s total population to about 21,299,325 people. A steady flood of retiring Baby Boomers has given a bump to the Sunshine State’s growth.

2. Texas

Credit: Art Wager / iStock

Everything is bigger in Texas, including population growth. The Lone Star State is the fastest-growing state in the country, expanding its population at a rate of 14.14 percent since the last census tally and is now home to 28,701,845 million people.

Texas’ growth is powered by its cities. Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas all have a spot in the top 10 most populous cities in the country. Austin is right behind in 11th place. All told, some 6 million Texans live in it four biggest cities.

1. California

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Apparently, everybody wants to move to California, and for good reason. Not only is the California economy the largest in the nation, but if California were a country, it would have the fifth largest economy in the world.

The Golden State grew more than 6 percent from 2010 to 2018, reaching a population of 39,557,045 people. It is also the third-largest state by area, covering more than 163,000 square miles. That gives California even more room to grow.

Some people, however, think California should be broken up into three smaller states. Activists came close to getting a referendum to break up California on the ballot in 2018. Proponents argued that the proposal would allow all residents to obtain better infrastructure, better education, and lower taxes, according to venture capitalist Tim Draper who sponsored the failed measure. It would also give the people more representation in the U.S. Senate, giving the population within its boundaries six senators instead of just two.

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5 Biggest Chinatowns in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 Biggest Chinatowns in the U.S.

If you don’t live near a big city, you might be unfamiliar with the term “Chinatown” and its significance in American history.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a Chinatown as: “A district of a large non-Chinese town or port in which the population is predominantly of Chinese origin.” So-called Chinatowns exist all around the world, though there are particularly large concentrations in North America, Europe, and Australia.

While Chinatowns had existed in other countries for hundreds of years before making their way to the U.S., the United States features a particularly high number of Chinatowns relative to its size. Here are a few of the biggest Chinatowns you’ll find in the states.

5. Honolulu, Hawaii

Credit: Pgiam / iStock

While the exact boundary (and thus, the exact population) of the Honolulu Chinatown isn’t precisely known, it deserves mention on this list for its historical role in Chinese-American culture.

One of the earlier Chinatown settlements, Chinese immigrants came to Hawaii to work the island’s rich sugar plantations. Many of these laborers stayed in the area to work as merchants, and eventually, the early boundaries of Hawaii’s first Chinatown began to form. Of course, the area wasn’t without hardship—the Honolulu Chinatown was rocked by a great fire in 1886, an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1899, and another huge blaze in 1900. But the area endured, and it stands today as the home of the largest Chinese population in Hawaii.

4. Seattle, Washington

Credit: 400tmax / iStock

Further north than most other U.S. Chinatowns, the Seattle Chinatown — more officially known as the Chinatown-International District of Seattle — is the biggest Chinese enclave in the American northwest. Home to a diverse range of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Vietnamese populations, the area acts as a hub of Asian culture in the region and brings in substantial tourism throughout the year.

3. Chicago, Illinois

Credit: stevegeer / iStock

The second-oldest in the United States, the Chinatown neighborhood in south Chicago is certainly worth visiting. The bulk of the Chicago Chinatown population came from immigrants fleeing persecution on the West Coast; the establishment of the San Francisco Chinatown (as detailed below) made Chinese culture a staple in America, but the immigrants there faced extensive prejudice from U.S. nationals.

In an ironic twist, U.S. citizens viewed Chinese influence as a detriment to American culture, despite the fact that American culture (not even 100 years old at that point) had its foundation in African slave labor and Native American blood. Regardless, immigrants found some relief in their newly-formed Chinatown, where it stands today as one of the most populous Chinese enclaves in the country.

2. San Francisco, California

Credit: JamesYetMingAu-Photography / iStock

The San Francisco Chinatown is possibly the largest, and certainly the oldest, Chinese enclave in America. Its origins date back to the 1850s, when large influxes of Chinese immigrants made their way to the West Coast. These immigrants typically worked hard-labor jobs, such as mining or railroad construction, and struggled to integrate into American culture. As their populations grew, so too did their enterprise, with Chinese-owned shops, restaurants, and apartments filling the town. This gentrification led to the birth of the United States’ first Chinatown, a historic landmark that exists to this day.

1. Manhattan, New York

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The Manhattan Chinatown is one of the biggest in the world, with the New York City area featuring the biggest Chinese population outside of Asia. Indeed, there are so many Chinese people there that one Chinatown can’t hold everyone; to date, there are nine different Chinatown neighborhoods in New York City alone.

This particular Chinatown is considered a bastion of Chinese culture, both in the U.S. and abroad. The region is home to the Museum of Chinese in America and is a regular destination for new Chinese immigrants coming to the country. However, in true Manhattan fashion, rent prices are skyrocketing in the area, forcing out many of the poorer populations in favor of wealthier patrons who can afford the exorbitant prices.

Going Down to Chinatown

Credit: MongkolChuewong / iStock

This list is just a small sampling of the diverse Chinatowns that exist in America. The enclaves have long been thought of as cultural oddities to natives, but to Chinese immigrants, they’re welcome reminders of the comfort and culture they left behind. And while most Chinatowns these days have experienced surges in diversity compared to what they once had, there’s no taking away from the cultural impact they’ve had on our history.

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Several Hospitalized After Blast At Waukegan Illinois Silicon Plant

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK POST)

 

Several hospitalized after blast at Illinois silicon plant

A massive explosion in a silicon plant in northern Illinois sent at least four people to the hospital late Friday night.

The 9:30 p.m. blast at AB Specialty Silicones, located at an industrial park in Waukegan, also left an unknown number of employees unaccounted for, CNN reported.

Local police said an “active search and rescue” operation was underway, according to Chicago TV station WGN. The cause of the blast was under investigation.

Loud booms were heard and the ground shook in towns in the region, about 50 miles north of Chicago along Lake Michigan.

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Illinois gov signs opioid alternative bill, improvements to medical cannabis program

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF MPP BLOG)

 

MPP Blog


Illinois governor signs opioid alternative bill, making huge improvements to medical cannabis program

Posted: 28 Aug 2018 12:28 PM PDT

Sweeping changes include medical cannabis access for opioid patients, streamlined process, and others

Illinois’s medical cannabis program took a major step forward today as Gov. Bruce Rauner signed bill SB 336, the Alternatives to Opioids Act, into law.

This historic change makes several key improvements:

• Opioid patients now qualify. Patients who are — or could be — prescribed opioid drugs will be able to register to obtain medical cannabis as an alternative.

• Shorter wait times. Patients will get provisional authorization to access medical cannabis as soon as their paperwork is submitted for registration — saving weeks of wait time.

• No more fingerprint requirement! Patients and caregivers will no longer be required to submit fingerprints to register for the program, and those with felony convictions in their past will no longer be denied access to the program.

Many thanks go to bill sponsors Sen. Don Harmon and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, and the many medical cannabis patients and supporters who worked to pass this major improvement to state law. The full text of the measure is here.

In other news, if you are in the neighborhood, the public is invited to tonight’s town hall on cannabis legalization for adults in La Grange, Illinois.

When: Tuesday, August 28 7:00 p.m.

Where: La Grange Village Hall Auditorium, 53 S. La Grange Road, La Grange, Illinois

Who: Bill sponsor Sen. Heather Steans, Rep. Jim Durkin, and several other panelists

Another big win for medical cannabis patients today — please spread the word! And if you can, come to tonight’s town hall and support a sensible legalization law in Illinois!

The post Illinois governor signs opioid alternative bill, making huge improvements to medical cannabis program appeared first on MPP Blog.