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One of the biggest contributors to car accidents in recent years has been distracted driving. There are many ways that motorists can be distracted behind the wheel, but in the new age of technology, mobile devices have caused increased automobile accidents and deaths on the roadways not just in the Tampa area, but nationwide.

Although it can sometimes be hard to prove the exact cause of an accident, it appears that the recent crash in Tampa — which left five motorists dead — can be traced to excessive speeding while trying to impress fans on SnapChat. A recent post has surfaced on SnapChat which shows the driver of the vehicle going from over 82 miles per hour to 115. The ten-second clip was filmed from the passenger seat.

Just moments before Pablo Cortes III veered off of the median and crashed head-on with a Toyota minivan while driving on E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the SnapChat was posted by his young co-passenger. Not only did thrill-seeker Cortes lose his life that night; his passenger was killed, as were three other people in the minivan that his car collided with. In the minivan were a mother and her two children, who died instantly. The driver of yet a third car was seriously injured in the fatal crash.

Because of the SnapChat posting, investigators have insight into the events of that fateful evening. Using the video, they are piecing together exactly what they had already surmised: Cortes was at fault while driving at excessive speeds. He was going nearly 50 miles over the posted speed limit when he lost control. The SnapChat video went live just ten minutes before the crash, which makes the evidence that much more compelling.

The video is proof that Cortes was driving recklessly with very little regard not just for his passenger, but for other drivers on the road. What the video has also stirred up is a debate about SnapChat and how it might be the propelling force behind incidents like the fatal crash in Tampa.

SnapChat is a forum that has been implicated in many destructive incidents including bullying. But what is at issue with this particular case is that the app includes a feature that allows videotapes to use a phone’s global positioning system so that users can post videos or photos that display real-time speed information. That has many thrill-seekers trying to “outdo” each other. The feature might be enticing others to continually try to outdo one another.

There are many reasons for vast opposition to the app, but many believe that the additional real-time speed feature encourages those who want to get social media attention to up the ante and drive at excessive speeds, which poses a real public health risk. The real-time speed feature is there for no other reason but to let those who want to prove just how fast they can go — for nothing more than to post it to their social media accounts.

Not only are SnapChat and other similar social media apps a huge distraction while behind the wheel, but the features that SnapChat provides to users (like speed posting) are likely instigators for teenagers who don’t yet have the capacity to see the full potential of their actions or to make sound decisions.

Many lawsuits have been filed by accident lawyer Tampa professionals, against SnapChat and those who have used the app in the past. To take one example, there is a lawsuit currently filed in Atlanta revolving around an accident in September of 2015. This is a high-profile case; the teenager involved in the crash, then 18, was likewise taping her speeding activities, which were clocked at over 113 mph when she collided with another car.

The use of technology while driving is posing a problem for distracted driving and creating an epidemic of accidents stemming from everything from posting to social media to texting and driving. What the American public doesn’t need is for an app to goad young drivers to make poor choices just to impress their friends on SnapChat.

With really no other use, the speed posting is something that is encouraging attention seekers to risk not just their lives, but the lives of others around them. SnapChat and the victims who died because of the speed-feature will both have their day in court, and hopefully, the feature will become a thing of the past.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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For Enea Angelo Trevisan and Ealixir, better than solving the problem of cyberbullying is preventing it

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One of the most commentated news regarding Instagram for the past weeks was their investigation on whether to ban likes counter on the platform or not, but mostly from the perspective of marketing strategy. It turns out that the social media platform is actually considering this new feature as a means to avoid a much bigger problem: cyberbullying.

A recent studied carried by Pew Research Center showed that fifty-nine percent of teens reported to have experienced at least one of six types of abusive online behavior, cyberbullying included. Another concerning fact brought by the study shows that 16% of these teens were already subject of physical threat of some kind due to incidents in social media.

In addition to that, a report published by the Journal of Abnormal Psychology has highlighted the popularity of smartphones among teenagers – a statistic that only grew during the past seven years. “More U.S. adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide,” stresses the study’s lead author, Jean Twenge, who also wrote the book iGen, in which he ponders about the influence of smartphones in teenage and child mental health.

Besides hiding how many likes a photo has received, Instagram is also considering another feature: a “nudge” alert that is activated while the user is still writing a comment that is flagged as potentially aggressive. According to the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, this could give an extra incentive for people to think twice before committing to an attack.

“Of all the obnoxious activities that can be carried out on the web, cyberbully is in my opinion the worst”, says Ealixir’s CEO and founder Enea Angelo Trevisan. “Cyberbullying targets those who cannot defend themselves: often minors or minorities. This is why one of our priorities as a company is to invest our technology in the fight against this plague.” In that sense, Ealixir gives support to individuals by making an early detection of offensive and troublesome contents, so they can be immediately erased and monitored to avoid further reloading. 

For Trevisan, the case for cyberbullying starts in schools, and this is the reason why Ealixir is also responsible for organizing sessions with children, so they can be warned about the dangers of the internet. “At this young age, kids think of internet as a huge playground. We teach them not to trust strangers and to think about the consequences of their virtual actions, exactly like in real life,” he explains.

Moreover, families also need to be aware of their children’s presence on the internet – they should not underestimate the possibilities and dangers of giving a smartphone to a child or a teen. “This is due to the fact that older generations were born and raised without the web, so they struggle to identify with their children. With Ealixir, we try and fill in this gap most of all through prevention, but also actively by deleting offensive contents and/or preventing harassment.

Besides monitoring and removing offensive contents published online, Ealixir also gives support to families and individuals who found themselves victims of cyberbullying by offering contact with specialized lawyers that can handle a case with expertise in the court. However, as much as in the case for health, prevention is the best scenario when coming to cyberbullying too, so internet literacy becomes an important competence to be learned by children for a healthier future of the web.

Sources: https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-instagram-plans-to-take-a-stand-against-cyberbullying

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Scaffolding rental now has more options than ever before

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There are many reasons why you might require scaffolding for your project. It is the best way to protect a workforce that needs to work for extended periods at height, without damaging the structure being worked on or using expensive equipment. 

However, every single project is different. There is no one size fits all approach, and in order to get the best results you need to be able to use scaffolding that can be built and adapted for each purpose. If you are running multiple projects, or each project is very different then it is simply not practical to buy the scaffolding yourself. 

This is why for scaffolding rental Houston, USA, has been leading the way by offering to all its clients their scaffolding needs for all types of project, and now that service model is becoming readily available across the EU as well. Here are some of the varieties on offer

Boiler scaffold for maintenance in power plants

For companies that need to work on power plant boilers, there is a definite requirement that the scaffold is as secure as possible. The specialist boiler scaffold is perfect for this, and is made from special materials to resist the extreme conditions of the power plant boiler. It can be difficult to find a bespoke scaffolding installation that is able to be operated in special conditions, but the best providers can do this.  

Special aluminium platforms for aircraft maintenance

Maintenance on aircraft can be hard when it comes to scaffolding. The shape of the airplane is unusual, and there are some quite delicate parts that cannot be damaged in anyway. A good provider like Alufase can provide modules that are specifically designed to be able to work high and close to the machine, but also adaptable for different aircraft types and shapes. 

Scaffolding for any building of any size

By approaching a scaffolding expert you can be sure that they will have the experience and adaptability you need for your project, and a team of expert engineers available to ensure the last on safety and function. Different to traditional scaffolding, it is possible to rent aluminium scaffolding these days that is much lighter and can be transported and assembled much more easily, yet with no reduction in safety and quality standards. 

Intensive work is best handled by rolling towers

For work that requires intensive use and also the ability to move the scaffolding from one location to another on the site, then rolling towers are the best option. You can reduce the risk associated with this by using professionals machines to deliver and build the towers, and make sure that the castors, frames, braces and platforms meet all the safety standards. Then you have the flexibility to move the scaffold as much as you need to. Rolling towers are incredibly useful for construction projects. 

Shipyard scaffolding doesn’t need to be difficult with the right supplier

Another awkward shape with tricky requirements is when scaffolding is required for shipyards. Like with aircraft maintenance, it is not unusual to have to have an elevated working surface, and during boat construction in particular the scaffolding needs to be able to grow as the ship does. 

Scaffolding can also be used to create huge stages

For a temporary stage structure, for example for large outdoor music concerts that are not taking place all year round, then scaffolding is the best way to ensure the safety of the performers and crowd, while elevating the performers to a high level so the crowd can actually see them. This is very different to other types of scaffolding, and the surface area needs to be a lot larger. 

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New photographs of great legends available to buy

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It takes something extremely special about a person for them to become a legend, and continue to inspire generations when they are gone. Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper are some of those legends whose legacy continues to live on in the art and culture they left behind them, and even now have huge fan bases that admire their heroes. 

One of the fascinating things about these great legends of the past, is that unlike today there was no social media, and even the traditional media had its limits. This can make it difficult to learn more about their lives, loves and who they were outside of the public mask they wore. Well now it is possible to see a glimpse into their world. Bank photographs of Ernest Hemingway, Orson Wells, Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper during the years that they were living in Spain have been uncovered and the rights to them are available to purchase

Nobel prize winner Ernest Hemingway lived a life of adventure

Ernest Hemingway was a world renowned journalist, novelist and sportsman, who to this day continues to influence writers all over the world, and is credited with being a major influence on all 20th century literature. The works he produced are considered American classics. 

It was not only his writing that drew admiration, but also his lifestyle. Nicknamed ‘Papa’ by those closest to him, he lived life to the full. He loved being outdoors hunting or fishing, and travelled the world for his writing, acting as a war correspondent in both World War II and the Spanish Civil War, after serving himself on the Italian front in World War I. He was also a big drinker and did not believe in life passing him by. 

He had a longstanding love affair with Spain, visiting many times for both work and pleasure. This is how Ernest Hemingway rights photographs in Spain have become available to buy, from the cameras of those who were there at the time. 

This is made even more poignant, as only two short years after some of these photos of Hemingway enjoying the bulls in Pamplona, he was to take his own life. Yet in 1985, ‘A Dangerous Summer’ a book inspired by those days spent in Pamplona was published. Hemingway had travelled to Pamplona between October 1959 and May 1960 on assignment with Life Magazine in order to write a 10,000 piece about the bullfighting and the rivalry between the key matadors. But he could not do it and instead wrote over one hundred thousand words, needing a fellow writer to edit it down. The photographs discovered show this time of his life, made all the more fascinating by the novel that was produced. 

Hemingway and Orson Welles, friends and rivals

Another great who fell in love with Spain was George Orson Welles, contemporary of Hemingway and sometime rival. He was an American actor, director, writer and producer who is considered one of the greatest film directors of all time. He visited Spain many times during the course of his life, and while bullfighting and film-making might be what drew him there, it was the lifestyle, the culture and the women that brought him back time and time again. 

He loved Spain so much, his ashes were interred in the South of Spain, in fact thrown down a well of a close friend and famous matador. For a glimpse into his life the Orson Wells rights photographs in Spain are available, a side not often seen of him. 

Ava Gardner’s love of life and parties in Spain

Another friend and contemporary of Hemingway, who could not resist the draw of Spain with Ava Gardner. She was a well known American actress who discovered Spain when filming in the country. Throughout her life she would go on to earn nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and also BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for her work. 

The success in her career, was equalled by her love for Spain and also for the Spanish bullfighters. Following the breakdown of her marriage to Frank Sinatra, she moved from Hollywood to Madrid, and spent her evenings creating her legend, with late night parties and drinking. It was during these days that she came to be known as the ‘World’s most beautiful animal’. Hidden away from the paparazzi that had hounded her life in the USA, she could be free to be herself. Only one camera captured these days of hedonism, that of a close personal friend. The Ava Gardner rights photographs in Spain available are from this very camera. 

Some have claimed that the parties she attended with simply urban myths, they were so crazy. However, it was real, only attended by an elite group of the rich, beautiful and artistic high flyers of the 1950’s and 60’s. Despite being in love with Spain, she never managed to learn the language, but instead got her Spanish teacher hooked on gin and tonics. For every drunken night out she would lose jewellery, often expensive, that would be left behind for a lucky finder. 

A real story that created the legend of those days in Spain

These three greats, all had one thing in common. A deep and lasting love for a country that was not their own. They found the place in which they longed to be, and this kept them all coming back again and again. More astonishingly this love affair with a country that inspired films, plays, novels and performances by these great artists was captured on film in a most honest and special way. Not posed photography, but real life, which makes it all the more special and serves to show the world the true story behind the legends. 

They represent a different era. One of adventure, of war and heartbreak, of the hot sun and fiery tempers. It is no wonder that so many are fascinated by the lives of these giants of modern culture

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