When Second Hand Doesn’t Mean Second Best

Estelle Sidler

Not so long ago, buying second hand was seen as a last resort. Charity shops were there for the people who really needed them – though there have always been bargain hunters who love seeking out gems amidst the faded tea sets and battered copies of The Da Vinci Code. The only time buying second hand had any sort of glamour attached to it was when you were ‘going vintage’ or shopping for antiques.

Things have changed. We’re now starting to see that buying second hand benefits more than just our wallets; it’s a way for us all to do our bit for the environment. Buying second hand means things get used for longer. There’s less production, and therefore less waste. 

Looking at the clothing industry, “if it continues on its current path, by 2050, textiles production will use over

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How will RBS’ share price, now NatWest, fare against challenger banks?

Estelle Sidler

Sheryl Crow might have sung “A change will do you good”, but RBS’ [NWG] share price begs to differ.

Known as the NatWest Group since 22 July, RBS’ share price had already tanked over 50% in 2020 by the time the name change took place as the coronavirus knocked the UK economy for six. Since the rebrand, NatWest’s share price has slipped a further 12.62% as it faces the same headwinds as other UK banks. 

Adding to NatWest’s share price misery is an influential study criticising the bank’s customer service. This is a dangerous position to be in when challenger banks like Monzo are building brands on straight-forward, in-app customer support and the ability to open a new bank account in a single day from anywhere with an internet connection. 

Given customers’ increasing digital awareness, this could be a huge blind spot for NatWest. So, just how great is

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Miles Morales Pre-Order Bonuses Include Two Suits and a Gadget

Estelle Sidler

The T.R.A.C.K. Suit, another secret suit, and the Gravity Well gadget.

marvel's spider-man miles morales

Pre-orders for PS5 are live now (even though the whole thing has been a bit of a dumpster fire), and alongside that, so, too, are pre-orders for the console’s launch titles. One of those is Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and if you’re wondering what the pre-order bonuses for the game are, those have now been revealed.

An image was recently uploaded to the game’s page on the official PlayStation site, and though it has since been taken down, a user on Reddit managed to snag it (you can take a look at it below). That and descriptions of the bonuses on the game’s Target listing detail what pre-order bonuses you can expect.

Those who pre-order the game will get early access to two suits and a gadget (which will presumably also be unlockable through gameplay for everyone else). There’s

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Earth911 Reader: EV Savings, Cooling Clothing, Saving $50 Trillion Over 30 Years

In Sustainability

Buy An EV, Save up to $14,500 on Fuel

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a study of the economic benefits of driving an electric vehicle compared to an internal combustion vehicle. The research found that over 15 years, an EV owner will pay $14,500 less for energy than a gasoline vehicle driver. Of course, the environmental benefits of an EV depend largely on

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Library now open at 9:30 am with limited computer usage

(September 8, 2020) The Westfield Memorial Library is pleased to announce that as of Tuesday, September 8, the library will be open at 9:30 a.m. Limited usage of the computers will begin on Tuesday as well.

The rules for computer usage are as follows: Westfield residents will have access to one thirty-minute session per day. Westfield residents without a library card will be able to get a guest pass at the Circulation Desk with proof of residency. Non-residents will not have access to computers.

Those who would like to print will need to have coins or one-dollar bills as the library does not currently have change. Due to limited staffing, computer assistance will not always be available.
The computers will be shut down 30 minutes before closing.

Since occupancy in the library remains limited, we request that patrons wait outside or in their cars should all computers be in use

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Convenient or exploitative? Behind China’s food delivery boom

a person riding on the back of a motorcycle

© EPA-EFE/Wu Hong

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China.

Cheap and quick food delivery was popular in China even before widespread travel restrictions turned it into an essential part of urban life for many globally.

But as demand for the service has risen in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, public scrutiny is putting pressure on China’s tech giants to show consideration for the workers who risk their lives to hit the tight deadlines set by the services’ algorithms.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

How popular is food delivery in China?

Getting food delivered to one’s doorstep is much more affordable in China than in wealthier countries.

Thanks to low labor costs in China, customers usually pay less than $1 per order

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from a wearable air purifier to a brain cooler, the best travel gadgets from the Berlin technology fair

a person sitting in a chair: When travel restarts, make sure you’re ready to go with the latest gadgets such as those shown at this year’s Berlin IFA tech show. Photo: Shutterstock

When travel restarts, make sure you’re ready to go with the latest gadgets such as those shown at this year’s Berlin IFA tech show. Photo: Shutterstock

We may not be travelling much, but when we do, we’ll have some exciting new tech to take with us.

At Berlin’s IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin) – the only major tech exhibition happening in 2020 – there was a new slant on travel tech: Covid-19 related gadgets.

However, along with the portable mask sanitisers and wearable air purifiers, plenty of “old normal” tech was launched, to the delight of photographers, adventurers, and anyone who has trouble getting to sleep.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

Honor Watch GS Pro

Huawei sub-brand Honor announces the Watch GS Pro (US$300/HK$2,325), its first “extreme” smartwatch for hikers, skiers, cyclists and climbers. Able to run for

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Liberal Establishment Promotes “HERD IMMUNITY-lite”

(Of course it doesn’t work that way, but it sounds “lesser evil”!)

Human lives are cheap in a capitalist society, particularly for members of the working class.

The ruling class is obviously willing to play “Russian roulette” with the very lives of the working class.

Some of the doomed, early “victim-players” will be (and have already been) teachers and students as both corporate parties recklessly (homicidally) endorse premature school reopenings. But the Democratic Party, like with its wars, will put a humanitarian spin on it. “The poor children desperately need their educational environments be returned to them.” As if the quality of life of the children of the working class seriously matters to our ruling class elites.

The “poor children” … pawns in the capitalistic game of getting the working parents back to the workplace to grind out profits for the rich elites who incidentally just enjoyed another obscenely large

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Imagine clothing that stretches or shrinks to fit you

Estelle Sidler

Imagine clothing that stretches or shrinks to fit you

As everyone who has painstakingly straightened their hair knows, water is the enemy. Hair carefully straightened by heat will bounce back into curls the minute it touches water. Why? Because hair has shape memory. Its material properties allow it to change shape in response to certain stimuli and return to its original shape in response to others.

What if other materials, especially textiles, had this type of shape memory? Imagine a T-shirt with cooling vents that opened when exposed to moisture and closed when dry, or one-size-fits-all clothing that stretches or shrinks to a person’s measurements.

Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a biocompatible material that can be 3D-printed into any shape and pre-programmed with reversible shape memory. The material is made using keratin, a fibrous protein found in hair, nails, and shells. The researchers extracted the keratin from

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