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Plants are receding up mountains faster than thought in North America


Plants in some alpine regions are relocating upslope far faster than previously thought

Shutterstock/Gaspar Janos

In the face of climate change, mountain plants in western North America are migrating to higher, cooler elevations faster than previously thought. But in some regions, the climbing isn’t keeping up with rising temperatures.

As climate change ratchets up global temperature, plants and animals that have evolved to live within a specific set of environmental conditions are forced to quickly adjust to the new normal. One way for species to beat the heat is to move higher in elevation, where cooler conditions persist in the thinner atmosphere. Ecologists already knew that species respond to changes in their environment, says James Kellner at Brown University in Rhode Island, “The question is, to what degree? And are they able to keep up?”

To learn more about the rate of vegetation shift, Kellner and colleagues compared NASA Landsat satellite images of nine mountain ranges in western North America between 1984 and 2011.

“We’re talking about an absolutely enormous region of the world here, all the way from southern Mexico to the Canadian Rockies,” says Kellner.

When the team looked at the mountain slopes’ peak “greenness” – a measure of vegetation cover during the height of the growing season – they found a rapid shift: plants were moving an average of 67 metres higher per decade – more than four times faster than previously reported. In New Mexico, where vegetation was moving fastest, plants climbed over 112 metres per decade.

Warming isn’t the only reason vegetation might move upslope. Changes in precipitation patterns, or ecological disturbances like farming, grazing livestock and fire could also be responsible for the skyward shift. But Kellner says finding this pattern across different mountain ranges suggests one common factor: rising temperatures.

“It’s pretty hard to think about any explanation for this [pattern] other than something that is operating consistently across nine mountain ranges between Mexico and Canada,” says Kellner.  Climate change has also impacted the amount and timing of precipitation in some ranges, but the pattern hasn’t been steady across all regions.

Some plants’ rapid climbing may still not be fast enough. When the team compared measured speed of the upslope shift across five mountain ranges in the US with what would be predicted by recent warming, plants in only two ranges – in New Mexico and the Sierra Nevada – kept pace with climate change.

“If species are being pushed outside of the range in which they can have a viable, sustainable population,” says Kellner, “then we could be in a situation where we’re going to lose them.”

The nearly three-decade timespan and geographic range analysed are major strengths of the study says Sabine Rumpf at the University of Basel in Switzerland who was not involved in the research. But because the study looks at vegetation cover overall, Basel says the findings can’t tell us what is happening with individual plant species.

“The problem is species shift so differently [from one another] – there is huge variation.” She says the findings are a “wake up call that species are already on the move.”

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Using new radiocarbon 3.0 method to study interaction between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals


Professor Sahra Talamo, director of the BRAVHO Radiocarbon Laboratory at the University of Bologna and first author of the study. Credit: University of Bologna

It is called radiocarbon 3.0, the newest method in radiocarbon dating, and promises to reveal valuable new insights about key events in the earliest human history, starting with the interaction between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals in Europe. This is shown by the combination of updated radiocarbon pretreatment, the latest AMS instrumental advances, and the application of the Bayesian model coupled with the new IntCal20, including the Kauri floating tree-ring section.

These important findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, are the result of extensive research coordinated by Professor Sahra Talamo, director of the BRAVHO Radiocarbon Laboratory at the University of Bologna. Two international radiocarbon experts from the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and ETH Zurich (Switzerland) collaborated on the research as well as the isotope expert at Simon Fraser University (Canada).

The new publication presents an advanced evaluation and discussion of two earlier, widely recognized publications focused on the earliest Homo sapiens in Europe and their temporal relationship with Neanderthals. The crucial challenge is high temporal resolution chronology, which so far was severely limited by the low number of dates per site, low resolution of the radiocarbon calibration curve, and limited Bayesian modeling.

In this new publication, these central aspects are addressed in a new, fully integrated way: (1) Only dates of samples pretreated in the state-of-the-art methodology are considered, (2) the most recent advances in the AMS radiocarbon measurement technique are applied, and (3) radiocarbon calibration is now based on a section of high-resolution Glacial tree-ring chronologies in the age range of 44,000 and 41,000 calendar years BP (Before 1950 AD).

The concise amalgamation of these three aspects, called radiocarbon 3.0, leads to a new level of temporal interrelation between Homo sapiens at the site of Bacho Kiro, Bulgaria, and, for the first time, a link between the respective presence of modern humans to climatic events (warm and cold phases) in the Glacial, documented in Greenland ice cores.

“Using radiocarbon 3.0, we were able to reconstruct more accurately the movements of ancient hominids, which occurred at major European archaeological sites, during different climatic phases,” says Sahra Talamo, professor at the University of Bologna’s Department of Chemistry “Giacomo Ciamician” and first author of the study.

“Thanks to this kind of analysis, it is therefore possible to obtain new valuable information on the evolution of the earliest human settlements and the resilience of hominids in different climatic phases, all of which may have contributed to the global spread of Homo sapiens.”

Radiocarbon is the most widely applied dating method in archaeology, especially in studies of human evolution. In recent decades, it has enabled scholars around the world to make important advances in reconstructing the chronology of key events in our history.

However, this method, based on the detection of a radioactive isotope carbon-14 in organic samples, does not always obtain sufficiently precise and accurate dates to reveal important processes of human evolution, e.g., the interaction between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. The challenge was therefore to expand the capabilities of radiocarbon, increasing its high temporal resolution chronology.

Back to the time of the first Homo Sapiens with a futuristic clock, the new Radiocarbon 3.0
Researchers looking for fossilized trees: tree-ring chronologies are used for Radiocarbon calibration. Credit: University of Bologna

Two new Bayesian models were constructed, using the direct dates of Homo sapiens at Bacho Kiro, and Neanderthal dates of Vindija, Croatia, and Fonds-de-Foret, Belgium. Only the high-precision dates of Bacho Kiro allowed the researchers to assign the presence of Homo sapiens at this site during the cold phase of GS 12.

“In this study, we have shown that the at Bacho Kiro did not occur at once, but there were three different occupations (one around 44650 to 44430, one at 44200 to 43420 and one at 43110 to 42700 cal BP) or two different ones (one around 44650 to 44430, one at 44310 to 43710 cal BP), depending on the 14C dates considered and the Bayesian model used,” explains Talamo.

At present, both scenarios could be supported because it is not yet known whether the Initial Upper Paleolithic may have lasted longer in Bacho Kiro than in the Levant or may have overlapped temporally with the Protoaurignacian dispersal.

“Moreover, obtaining a small 14C error in a time period around 42,000 years ago is a key point of radiocarbon 3.0,” explains Lukas Wacker, at the ETH Zurich and co-author of the paper. “The better this error interval is defined and obtained, the more accurate the final age calibration process will be.”

“In this paper, we have demonstrated the potential and advantages, both in terms of temporal and environmental accuracy, of discussing chronologies obtained from 14C ages with the same tight error intervals,” says Bernd Kromer at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and co-author of the paper. “In addition, the extent of the Initial Upper Paleolithic (IUP) is constrained better by the new models, compared to the previous publications.”

“Our exercise shows that using radiocarbon 3.0, we are able to accomplish the definitive high resolution of European key archaeological sites during recurrent climate fluctuations, and model the human and faunal species’ responses from a diachronic perspective,” explains Michael Richards at Simon Fraser University (Canada) and co-author of the paper. “This is the way to promote knowledge exchange between archaeology, palaeoclimatology, geochronology, and geosciences in general, all essential disciplines in the study of the human past.”

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE and titled “Back to the future: the advantage of studying key events in human evolution using a new high-resolution method.”

More information:
Back to the future: the advantage of studying key events in human evolution using a new high resolution radiocarbon method, PLOS ONE (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280598

Provided by
Università di Bologna

Using new radiocarbon 3.0 method to study interaction between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals (2023, February 15)
retrieved 19 February 2023
from https://phys.org/news/2023-02-radiocarbon-method-interaction-homo-sapiens.html

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Snakes Can Hear You Scream, Scientists Say





MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“




Sputnik International



MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“


Sputnik International



MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“

snakes, cnakes can hear screams, scientific research

snakes, cnakes can hear screams, scientific research

Previously, it was widely held that snakes could not hear sound waves carried through the air in any significant capacity, although some ability was known.

I scream, you scream, we all scream – when we see a snake! According to new research that debunks long-held assumptions about snake senses, the slithery serpents can actually hear you when you scream.

The research, printed in the Public Library of Science’s peer-reviewed publication PLOS ONE on Tuesday, describes numerous snake responses to sound across a range of frequencies that did not produce ground vibrations, which snakes are already known to use to navigate.

“We conducted 304 controlled experiment trials on 19 snakes across five genera in a sound-proof room (4.9 x 4.9 m) at 27ºC, observing the effects of three sounds on individual snake behavior, compared to controls,” the scientists wrote, who were all based in Queensland, Australia. The sounds were played at 85 decibels, or roughly as loud as a person screaming.

At different frequencies, the scientists observed eight different snake behaviors, including body movement, body freezing, head-flicks, tongue-flicks, hissing, periscoping (when a curious snake lifts up to one-third of its body off the ground), head fixation, and dropping of their lower jaw, in response to three sounds.

The responses were highly genus-dependent, with Woma Pythons significantly increasing their movement in response, and Death Adders, Taipans, and Australian Brown Snakes all moving away from the sound. They also noted that Taipans took up defensive postures, while three of the five genera showed a variety of other dispositions.

The python was notably the only nonvenomous snake tested, and the only one not to flee from the sound. The Death Adder, an ambush predator, also showed inferior hearing ability to the Taipans and Australian Brown Snakes, both of which are active hunters.

“Our results highlight potential heritable behavioral responses of snakes to sound, clustered within genera,” they concluded. “Our study illustrates the behavioral variability among different snake genera, and across sound frequencies, which contributes to our limited understanding of hearing and behavior in snakes.”

Snakes don’t have external ears like humans do, but they do possess all the internal workings of an ear, allowing them to feel vibrations in their skull and make sense of them. The experiment proves that this doesn’t just help them feel ground vibrations, it lets them detect some sounds traveling through the air, too.

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Justice Department declines to charge Rep. Matt Gaetz in sex trafficking probe


Analysis: Matt Gaetz investigation

Analyzing new allegations into Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz


Washington — The Justice Department has formally decided not to charge Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida in relation to a sex trafficking investigation, sources familiar with the matter told CBS News, with career federal prosecutors informing witnesses of the decision on Wednesday. 

The four-term congressman has been under investigation for several years to determine if he violated sex trafficking laws and obstructed justice in that probe. Gaetz has previously denied all wrongdoing, and said he has never paid for sex nor had sex with an underage girl. CNN first reported that the department had decided against charging Gaetz. 

Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, attorneys for Gaetz, said they learned about the decision not to pursue charges after speaking to officials at the Justice Department on Wednesday. “[T]hey have concluded their investigation into Congressman Gaetz and allegations related to sex trafficking and obstruction of justice and they have determined not to bring any charges against him,” the attorneys told CBS News.

Federal investigators were trying to determine whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old. According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, the woman was introduced to Gaetz by Joel Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector and associate of Gaetz who pleaded guilty in May 2021 to six federal charges, including trafficking of a minor.

Investigators also zeroed in on a trip Gaetz allegedly took to the Bahamas in 2018 as part of an inquiry into whether he violated sex trafficking laws, multiple sources told CBS News in 2021. Federal investigators wanted to determine if any of the females who traveled with Gaetz were paid or illegally trafficked across state or international lines to have sex with him.

Last year, an ex-girlfriend of Gaetz was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony in front of a federal grand jury hearing evidence in the investigation of the congressman, according to a source familiar with the matter. She was viewed as a potential key witness, with information related to the sex trafficking allegations, and a separate obstruction allegation.

Gaetz, an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump, became a thorn in now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s side as McCarthy vied to become speaker, leading a group of conservative Republicans who resisted candidacy until McCarthy agreed to several concessions.

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22 fantastic Black-owned Etsy shops to support in 2023


Etsy is known for being the go-to destination for anyone looking to buy beautiful handcrafted items. Whether you’re looking for a unique piece to add to your jewelry collection or a statement piece for your home, you’re sure to find something from one of the many incredible sellers on Etsy. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve rounded up 22 Black-owned Etsy shops worth supporting all year long.

Domonique Brown has been selling her artwork through her Etsy shop, DomoInk, since 2020. With over 200 listings on her Etsy page, the California-based artist sells prints of the beautiful pieces she creates, alongside apparel and stickers featuring her work. Brown’s artistic talents have led to her being featured in various publications and to partnerships with companies like Target, which included Brown’s art in its 2023 Black History Month collection. Having those types of opportunities serve as a reminder that her artwork is making an impact. “It lets me know that I’m doing something right. That people are seeing something in my work,” Brown says. “They’re seeing what I’m trying to present, which is black joy — positivity.”

Among her top sellers are her “Queen is Black” print, “Barry Fisherman” print and “Girl Dad” print. While she creates a lot of her art using a combination of markers and acrylic paint, her Black Hair Series showcases some of her digital work.

Available for purchase as a canvas or print, this piece is the perfect way to introduce some color into your space. The original was created by Brown with markers and acrylic paint.

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Through her Etsy shop MKobyArt, Melissa Koby sells her captivating artwork as prints, and on items like shirts, candles and keychains. Initially, the Florida-based artist had planned on selling hand-painted wedding stationery, but Koby says the pandemic crushed that dream before it could be realized. Using the iPad she had bought to digitize her stationary work, Koby began to draw life in quarantine. “When I started it was more about being at peace with being isolated, so a lot of my artwork reflected that,” Koby says.

Koby’s art skills have led to successful collaborations with brands like YSL and Erin Condren, which released planners, notebooks and tote bags with her work on it. Among her shop’s bestsellers is her print “Built on Pride,” which Koby says is “an expression of love for my friends regardless of how they identify.” “We Rise,” which is one of her recent pieces, is also doing well and is an artistic embodiment of Koby’s mission to uplift women.

Available in three different sizes, this print is a beautiful reminder to engage in some self-care.

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Lanre Adefioye is the Canadian-based artist behind the Etsy shop Lanre Studio. In addition to selling his original work and prints on Etsy, Adefioye also sells his art on pieces of home decor like clocks and acrylic trays. As someone who has had a love for the arts since he was a teenager, Adefioye says he was inspired to pursue art as a career after seeing the work of Nigerian artist David H. Dale. “I began to nurse the dream of becoming like him someday,” he says.

Vivid colors and geometric designs are central to Adefioye’s frame-worthy artwork, which he says is inspired by life. “My ultimate goal is to maximize the inspiration that I derive from everyday events and turn them into a source of inspiration and happiness for my audience over and again.” Included among his top sellers are his pet portraits and his travel art/maps.

 A unique gift for any dog lover, this acrylic tray features an adorable French bulldog and is available for purchase in two different sizes.

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Mark Feijão Milligan II focuses on the African diaspora in his art. His deep-seated desire to create change through art can be seen in one of his bestsellers titled “Inocencia Negra.” Milligan says he created the piece during the summer of 2020, in the wake of the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. “Instead of creating a picture that deals with angst or tension,” Milligan says, “I’ve created what I want and what future I want for my sons — who are actually depicted in the piece and it’s pure innocence,” he says. Also among his bestsellers are “Madonna/Isis” and “Inocencia Negra II,” which Miligan says people buy to pair with the first one. While a drawing may take him anywhere from one night to a week to complete, he says that some of his larger paintings have taken him two years.

Sure to be a standout piece in your home, this limited edition 16 x 10 giclee print is signed and numbered by the artist. 

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Alicia Goodwin is the Chicago-based jeweler behind the Etsy shop Lingua Nigra, where she sells her handcrafted jewelry. Goodwin first developed an interest in jewelry-making after taking a summer camp class when she was 11. “I took a class and it was brass wire work,” Goodwin says. “They showed us how to make rings and earrings and we had to repeat it over and over again until we got it right. I just really picked up on it and really enjoyed it.”

Through Goodwin’s Etsy shop, you can buy everything from nature-inspired bracelets and necklaces to earrings and rings. “I’m inspired a lot by natural forms, elements, beetles,” she says. Customer favorites include Goodwin’s reticulated studs; her bangles, which she has been making forever; and her I Can See the Light beetle earrings.

This statement-making necklace features a brass pendant and a 22-karat-gold-plated brass chain.

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Through her Etsy shop ItsAllCultureJewelry, Ashley Bebley-Adesiyan sells eye-catching polymer clay jewelry. Bebley-Adesiyan first got into jewelry-making while pregnant with her first child and what began as a hobby while on maternity leave ultimately led to her opening an Etsy shop in 2019. Since then, her jewelry pieces have been spotted in publications like Essence.

Through her jewelry, Bebley-Adesiyan hopes to boost the self-esteem of the wearer. ​​”When you walk out and people acknowledge you and compliment you, that does a lot for your day,” she says. “That’s what it did for me when I started wearing big statement pieces.” Her bestsellers include her “Leo Mood” earrings, her “Tri-bamboo” hoops and her chunky “Devine Twine” hoops which she credits with launching her shop to success. “These were the number one and still are the number one sellers,” Bebley-Adesiyan says of her hoops.

We love the look of these chunky triangular hoops that are crafted out of polymer clay and have a gold-plated stainless steel ear post. 

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Althea Meade-Hajduk is a North Carolina-based potter who has been running the Etsy shop Althea’s Pottery since 2013. “Every plate, every cup, every bowl, everything that I make, I make individually from a ball of clay,” she says. Meade-Hajduk says she developed an interest in pottery-making after a longtime friend of hers gifted her a beautiful Caribbean blue fruit dish as a wedding gift. “I signed up for a class because I wanted to learn how to make that thing I was just enthralled by,” she says.

Among her bestsellers are her angled pasta bowls and her three-piece dinner set, which includes a dinner plate, a salad plate and a soup bowl. Recently, Meade-Hajduk opened another Etsy shop called TheaBromaChocolate, where she sells the chocolate she makes from scratch.

This neutral-toned three-piece dinner set includes a dinner plate, a salad plate and a soup or cereal bowl for easy table setting.

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Pepper Sims painted her first pot in early 2019 before creating her first collection in September of that year. Since officially launching in 2020, Sims has had her pots featured in publications like Oprah Magazine and Essence.

For Sims, painting plant pots is an expression of love. “Everything I create comes from the heart. I do it from love, and it’s something that started with my grandmother — the love of plants and having that time with her.” Her pot designs are inspired by the different shapes she sees while hiking and by color. “What feels right and looks right to me is usually what I go with,” she says. Among her bestsellers are Desert Days, which is one of Sims’ older designs, Mega and Ablaze.

 This bright yellow pot with polka dots would look great in any room.

Tal & Bert

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Valencia and Raymon Talbert offer gorgeous geode-centric candles, planters and vessels through their Etsy shop Tal & Bert. ”The first day we posted, we got 10 or 12 orders right off the bat,” Val says. The geode-centric design of their home decor stems from Val’s love of crystals and recreational mining. “My parents got me into it because they realized I liked rocks and crystals and things like that, so they kind of honed and nurtured that interest for me.”

Val says their candles are what draw most people to their line. “Our candles function as art. Our work is functional art because it’s meant to be a statement piece or a piece to be talked about.” Another customer favorite are the couple’s geode vessels. “A lot of people put them on their desk just to add a little color to it,” Val says.

This gorgeous candle has top notes of mandarin, tangerine, lemon satsuma, ruby red grapefruit, eucalyptus and spearmint and a bottom note of cedarwood. After the candle is finished, the vessel can be cleaned out and repurposed. 

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Jasmine Friend has been selling the handcrafted soy candles and wax melts she makes in Georgia since 2020. She decided to start making her own candles after struggling to find pure soy wax candles in Augusta. After receiving positive feedback from her family and friends, she decided to start selling her products.

Friend’s bestsellers include her Pineapple Sage Candle, Strawberry Guava Candle and Birthday Cake Candle. Through her candle business, Friend hopes to spread love and positivity with each sale. “We have a slogan that we say — good smells and good vibes — so we hope that we are sending love and positivity and good energy with each candle,” she says.

The 8-ounce version of this super-festive soy birthday cake candle has a 40-hour burn time.

T.W. Aromatics and Co.

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Trenace Williams got into candle-making after realizing that she could make her own candles instead of buying them. “When I learned that I could go out and buy the materials for it, that’s what I did and I just kept researching and testing until I found what worked,” she says. William’s Amber & Oakmoss incense cones are one of her bestsellers along with her White Sage and Lavender candle, Sea Salt and Orchid candle and Sweet Lemon and Verbena candle.

With over 45 hours of burn time, this 8.5-ounce soy candle features notes of green leaves, citrus, neroli, jasmine, powder and patchouli.

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Renesha Wolfe is the fourth-generation gullah basket weaver behind the South Carolina-based Etsy shop Sankofa Sweetgrass. At 13, Wolfe began learning from her aunt how to basket weave. “We would get up in the morning and we would make the bottoms for her and then she would go from there to make a complete basket,” she says. At 15, she began to learn how to make the full basket herself.

Wolfe likes to weave late at night while listening to gospel music or jazz and says it can take her anywhere from 6 to 8 hours of straight work to complete one of her smaller baskets. Wolfe’s bestsellers include her Elephant Ear Basket and her coasters.

This beautiful basket is made using a combination of sweetgrass, palmetto, pine needles and bulrush. The basket can be used to hold your belongings or for decorative purposes.

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As someone who has always had a love for making things, Kwadwo Som-Pimpong says he would beg his parents for Legos whenever a Toys ‘R’ Us was nearby. “I would pour them out on the carpet and work all day long on my projects,” Som-Pimpong says. He got into woodworking in 2015, after struggling to find the furniture pieces he wanted for his new home. Taking matters into his own hands, Som-Pimpong decided to try and make some end tables for himself. “It was pretty crude when I look back at the pictures, but what sparked was a love for the process,” he says.

Depending on the size and complexity of the table, Som-Pimpong says it can take him anywhere from 10 to 15 hours to complete a piece, while something smaller like a cutting board or a shelf will only take a couple of hours. One of his bestsellers is his Modern Square Coffee Table, which features a pedestal base and is available in walnut, oak, cherry or maple wood.

Display everything from your plants to candles on these beautiful honeycomb shelves, available in walnut, maple, cherry or oak.

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Marie Mutesi opened her Etsy shop Agahozo alongside her mother in 2017. In Kinyarwanda, Mutesi says that Agahozo means “something which gives comfort or encouragement,” which is a meaning she hopes applies to her baskets. Initially, Mutesi’s mother wove the baskets, but after a few months, Mutesi says they decided to work with a cooperative. The shop’s intricate handmade baskets are woven by women in Rwanda and are named after the weavers, she says.

Perfect to keep for yourself or to gift, this beautiful blue basket is made out of sisal and sweetgrass.

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When Nicole Alesi first started her business, she made cards that reflected the type of representation she felt was missing from the market. “My friends who are gay were getting married and there were not appropriate cards for them at the time, so I started making cards for them,” she says. Through her Etsy shop, Alesi sells colorful stickers, buttons and cards some of which are inspired by her NYC surroundings and pop culture. Alesi’s bestsellers include her dinosaur birthday card and her Batter Than You friendship card.

 This cute card is sure to be appreciated by any happy newlyweds.

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As a full-time social worker and someone who has always been artistic, Kyra Ghilas uses her Etsy shop as both a creative outlet and an additional stream of income. “Etsy helps me continue doing the things I like outside of work,” Ghilas says. Ghilas’ popular items include her human rights stickers, cactus stickers and custom gift tags. “They’ve been really popular for bachelorettes, for proposals and adding to bachelorette gift bags or even as wedding place cards,” she says. Although she doesn’t do invitations very often, they are one of her favorite orders to fulfill, along with place cards for events.

Style and beauty

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When Ade Ogbomo was a child her grandmother taught her how to sew. As an adult, she put those skills to work by making her nephew an Ankara bowtie so he could match her church outfit. “I looked online and everything I saw looked flimsy and poorly made,” she says. She decided to open her Etsy shop after her bowties continued to garner attention. Through Gabe Jade Accessories, Ogbomo sells African print hair accessories, bowties, neckties and dog bandanas. At the heart of her business is love, which she says is the basis behind the matching pieces she creates. One of Ogbomo’s bestsellers is her Queyoun necktie, which is named after her friend who is modeling the piece.

This multi-colored necktie pairs perfectly with a suit for work or a special event.

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Lamont and Aurian Henry began making their own body butters after researching natural ingredients they could use to tackle their skin concerns. After Lamont’s sister encouraged them to try and sell their products, the couple decided to open their Etsy shop. Their body butters, which come in a variety of scents, are formulated with organic, cold-pressed oils and mango, shea and kokum butter. “I really want to make sure that people understand that what they see is what they get,” Lamont says. Their products are also vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free. Their bestsellers include their Vanilla Bean, Lavender Vanilla and Sweet Mango body butters.

This lavender body butter is formulated with three types of butter and cold-pressed oils, making it perfect for moisturizing dry skin.

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Through her Etsy shop, Malacia Anderson sells the stunning African print clothing she designs and makes herself. She describes her pieces as African-inspired with a vintage flair and has been designing and sewing her own clothing since she was 10. When it comes to designing her pieces, Anderson says she likes to mix the old with the new, and will pull her inspiration from Pinterest, street style and old sewing patterns. In addition to her kimonos, the other popular items in her store are her dresses and her skirts. Anderson hopes that people feel confident when wearing her pieces. “I make them to measure so that gives them the flexibility of having an item made specifically to them outside of what they can get in the store,” she says.

This gorgeous kimono can be dressed up for a special event or down with a pair of jeans. 

Indulgence Spa & Body Products

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As someone who was always making her own things, Stephanie Willoughby says Etsy was a way for her to do what she loved on a big scale. And in this case, that meant creating her own bath products that help people make some real quality time for themselves and indulge. “I want everyone to have a moment to be a little selfish, to have a moment to themselves to just focus on their well-being and relaxing,” Willoughby says. Included among her shop’s bestsellers are her sugar scrub and her shower icing in the fragrance “Butt Naked.”

This coffee scrub is made with ingredients like argan oil, safflower oil and coconut oil to help soften the skin and promote a healthy glow.

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Katherine Theobalds is the creative mind behind Zou Xou, which is named after a character played by actress Josephine Baker. Through Theobalds’ Etsy shop, you can buy beautifully crafted mules, flats, boots and sandals that are handcrafted by a small team of artisans in Argentina. Theobalds started her business in 2015, and decided to launch her Etsy shop after realizing that her product needed to be exposed to people who were in the market for artisanal goods. “Really it was to find niche customers,” she says.

The designs for Theobalds’ footwear are inspired by her lifestyle and by color. “I find myself drawn to certain colors depending on the season,” she says. Among Theobalds’ bestsellers are the Eugenia Flat in Black and Zou Xou Mule in Black.

Perfect for wearing with a spring or summer dress, these cream sandals feature a square-toe footbed and a leather-wrapped heel.

Charmed Bath & Body

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With over 12,000 sales, and an average review rating of 4.8 or higher, Charmeas Edris’ products speak for themselves. On her Etsy page, Edris says her products are handmade in Greenville, South Carolina and produced in small batches. One reviewer who purchased her bath salts wrote “Smells lovely! I chose the larger container and I wish it was bigger. A real treat.”

Elevate your baths by adding in these bath salts, which are made with epsom salt, Himalayan salt, rose essential oil and dried rose petals.

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Nikki Haley launches 2024 presidential run, calling for “new generation” of GOP leadership


Washington — Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, formally launched her 2024 campaign for the White House on Wednesday, pitching herself to voters as part of a “new generation” of Republican leaders who can win at the ballot box.

“I know America is better than all the division and distractions that we have today,” Haley told several hundred supporters in Charleston, South Carolina. “And I’m confident that the American people agree. We’re ready — ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past, and we are more than ready for a new generation to lead us into the future.” 

Haley, 51, declined to criticize former President Donald Trump directly, and instead focused her criticism on President Biden and establishment politicians of both parties in Washington. In one not-so-subtle dig at both Trump and Mr. Biden, Haley called for “mandatory mental competency tests” for politicians over the age of 75. Trump is 76, and Mr. Biden is 80.

“America is not past our prime — it’s just that our politicians are past theirs,” she told the crowd. 

Haley lamented that Republicans lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight elections, which includes Trump’s 2016 win, saying Republicans had “failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans.”

“If you’re tired of losing, put your trust in a new generation,” she said.

Former South Carolina Gov. and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley arrives for an event launching her candidacy for the presidency on Feb. 15, 2023, in Charleston, South Carolina.
Former South Carolina Gov. and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley arrives for an event launching her candidacy for the presidency on Feb. 15, 2023, in Charleston, South Carolina.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Haley is so far the only GOP challenger to her former boss, who announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination last November. She joined the Trump administration as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in January 2017 and departed the post at the end of 2018.

Haley broke barriers when she was elected governor of South Carolina in 2010, becoming the first woman to lead the state and its first Indian-American governor. She would be the first woman to top the party’s ticket if selected as the GOP presidential nominee.

The former ambassador faces the challenge of differentiating herself from Trump while still appealing to his loyal base of supporters, who make up a large portion of the Republican primary electorate.

Before the speech, Haley received an endorsement from South Carolina’s Rep. Ralph Norman, a Trump ally who initially opposed the election of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Norman introduced Haley, characterizing her as someone who shares some of the same qualities as Trump. 

“In 2016, President Trump was exactly what the Republican Party and our country needed,” Norman said. “You see for too long, the Republican Party has been marginalized and watered down by liberals in both government and throughout the media. But when President Trump came along, he reminded Republicans how to stand boldly for our beliefs and commitments to the freedoms that we enjoy today. And I want to thank Donald Trump for his service and his place as one of the great leaders of all time. During the Trump years, folks, the American people recognized what qualities we needed in a leader. Nikki Haley has those very qualities desperately needed in America today — a fierce, a bold leader, who will fight for America.” 

One of the Haley supporters who took the stage before her was Cindy Warmbier, the mother of Otto Warmbier, who died after he returned unconscious and unresponsive from custody in North Korea. She said Haley helped the Warmbier family as they fought the North Korean regime’s injustices in the wake of their son’s death, and sent the family texts and emails to check in on them. 

“I came here to tell you how Nikki Haley changed my life,” Cindy Warmbier said. “To tell you that Nikki was a glimmer of light in the darkest period of my life. To tell you why America would be lucky to have Nikki Haley in the White House.” 

Haley was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, to Indian immigrants, a heritage she leaned into in a video declaring her candidacy on Tuesday. Haley noted her parents were in the audience on Wednesday.

“My parents left India in search of a better life,” Haley said. “They found it in Bamberg, South Carolina, population 2,500. Our little town came to love us … but it wasn’t always easy. We were the only Indian family. Nobody knew who we were, what we were, or why we were there. But my parents knew. And every day, they reminded my brothers and my sister that even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America.” 

Haley rose to prominence during her two terms as governor, notably after she ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds. The move came in response to the racially motivated shooting of nine people by a white supremacist at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015.

Following her campaign launch in Charleston, Haley is set to travel to New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two states on the GOP presidential primary calendar.

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A message for today from last century’s vast telephone exchanges


A telecommunications museum in Seattle, with a working exchange from the 1940s, shows how telephones brought us together – but also tore us apart, says Annalee Newitz


| Columnist

15 February 2023

Heritage Image Partnership Ltd /Alamy

I STOOD inside a warehouse, sandwiched between two floor-to-ceiling frames that looked like ancient bookshelves or perhaps server racks from another planet. Their surfaces were alive with chattering metal switches attached to wires so old their plastic sleeves had faded to brown. It felt like I was trapped in a machine from a Charlie Chaplin movie. But I was actually in the guts of a Number Five Crossbar Switching System (5XB), developed at Bell Labs during the 1940s to route thousands of phone calls at once. The sounds I heard were numbers cascading through electrical switches mounted on crossbars, establishing …

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The Longest Goodbye review: A poignant documentary on space psychology


Astronaut Cady Coleman playing duets with her Earth-bound son is among the moving and candid moments from The Longest Goodbye, Ido Mizrahy’s poignant exploration of the psychology of space travel


15 February 2023

Astronaut Cady Coleman is open about the difficulties of losing vital connections with Earth

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Longest Goodbye

Ido Mizrahy (Sundance Film Festival premier)

AUTOMATION and artificial intelligence in space missions are still a long way from being able to do everything required for success – to a greater or lesser extent, humans are still required. But with crewed lunar and Martian flights on the cards in the near future, what is the psychological effect of astronauts spending months in extreme, confined environments without much or any contact with friends or family?

This …

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A message for today from last century’s vast telephone exchanges


A telecommunications museum in Seattle, with a working exchange from the 1940s, shows how telephones brought us together – but also tore us apart, says Annalee Newitz


| Columnist

15 February 2023

Heritage Image Partnership Ltd /Alamy

I STOOD inside a warehouse, sandwiched between two floor-to-ceiling frames that looked like ancient bookshelves or perhaps server racks from another planet. Their surfaces were alive with chattering metal switches attached to wires so old their plastic sleeves had faded to brown. It felt like I was trapped in a machine from a Charlie Chaplin movie. But I was actually in the guts of a Number Five Crossbar Switching System (5XB), developed at Bell Labs during the 1940s to route thousands of phone calls at once. The sounds I heard were numbers cascading through electrical switches mounted on crossbars, establishing …

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We don't need 'miracle' green technologies to save the planet


A focus on revolutionary solutions like carbon capture and geoengineering is slowing the uptake of existing answers to the problems of climate change, air pollution and energy security, says environmental engineer Mark Jacobson

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