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"In this age of quarantine and global uncertainty, gardening acts as a personal mindfulness practice for me." <span class="copyright">(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)</span>
“In this age of quarantine and global uncertainty, gardening acts as a personal mindfulness practice for me.” (Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

While watching a Buzzfeed fashion video on six Japanese street fashions that were meant to blow my mind, what really blew my mind were the tunes. The background music exuded a level of spacy intimacy that made my chest feel light while also giving off a nostalgic vibe reminiscent of childhood days spent at the beach building sandcastles. I had to check the credits: Mark Redito.

Redito is an L.A.-based electronic music producer who. it turns out, is also the proud plant parent to over 40 houseplants. He visually couples his earthy soothing sound with heavy plant imagery, from short snippets of him tenderly caring for plants to abstract videos of 3-D modeled flora. Redito’s aesthetic is the seamless marriage between the ambient digital world and

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Napa County Students May Have To Go Back To School Online

NAPA COUNTY, CA — If Napa County is still on the state of California’s COVID-19 coronavirus watchlist when the fall semester begins, Napa Valley Unified School District and other districts within the county will have to start the school year with online classes, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday.

Counties where schools are not able to start the 2020-2021 school year in physical classrooms must be taken off the watchlist and remain off the list for two weeks before schools can return to on-campus learning, Newsom said.

The news comes as the Napa Valley Unified School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The plan includes an initial online learning element with intent to phase into in-person learning when safe, according to the district’s website.

Whether online or in the classroom, Aug. 20 is the first day of school for students in the

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Why international students may have Big Tech to thank for the US’s visa reversal

Sometimes, it helps to have friends in high places.

A coalition of powerful U.S. technology companies and trade organizations threw their support behind a legal challenge — launched by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — to block the federal government from banning international students from attending online only classes on U.S. soil in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. And Big Tech’s involvement may have been a key factor behind the administration’s last minute about-face on Tuesday.

Revocation of the rule means that the U.S. Department of State may again issue visas to international students enrolled in U.S. schools for the fall semester. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection no longer has authority to deny those students entry to, or continued residence in, the country.

Yet the Trump administration’s aborted effort was noteworthy for the big guns that joined forces to block the move. A coalition

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Should you delete TikTok?: Tech Support

Welcome to Tech Support, a segment where I, Dan Howley, serve as your intrepid guide through the sometimes confusing, often frustrating, world of personal technology.

Here, I answer all of your most pressing questions about the various gizmos, gadgets, and services you use in your everyday life.

Have a question of your own? Reach me on Twitter at @danielhowley or email me at [email protected]

Now, on to your questions. This week’s dilemma:

‘Should I delete TikTok?’

If you’ve used the internet in the past year, then chances are you have some passing understanding of TikTok. And if you’re a teen or tween, you’re probably already shooting a video for the app instead of reading this.

But the explosive growth of the hottest social media platform has given rise to a new kind of panic beyond the usual hand wringing over too much screen time.

See, because TikTok, which is based

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Twitter Doesn’t Need Web 3.0 to Solve Its Identity Problem

Preston Byrne, a columnist for CoinDesk’s Opinion section, is a partner in Anderson Kill’s Technology, Media and Distributed Systems Group. He advises software, internet and fintech companies. His biweekly column, “Not Legal Advice,” is a roundup of pertinent legal topics in the crypto space. It is most definitely not legal advice.

Among the libertarians, I am something of an odd duck in that I am not a journalist, yet I have a blue check mark. 

I am proud of my blue check mark. I’m not sure how I got it. Back in the day, Twitter had a form you could fill in with links to press coverage if you wanted a blue check mark. I did so. One day, months later, a lot of my friends and I in fintech and Crypto Twitter suddenly had blue check marks next to our names. 

Related: Blockchain Bites: Binance’s Bitcoin Mining, ConsenSys’ Legal

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4 Reasons Why Helen of Troy Appears to be a Lucrative Stock

While the outbreak of COVID-19 has crumbled several businesses, many companies in the consumer staples space appear to be on firm grounds. One such consumer staple player benefiting from such trends is Helen of Troy Limited HELE, with its shares up as much as 40.6% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 18.7%. The company’s Health and Home segment has been benefiting from consumers’ rising demand due to the pandemic.

In fact, this was witnessed in the company’s recently reported first-quarter fiscal 2021 results, wherein both top and bottom lines increased year over year and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Apart from the rising COVID-19-induced demand, Helen of Troy has been gaining from its robust strategic endeavors. Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2021 earnings has gone up 14.2% in the past seven days to $9.73. Let’s delve deeper into the factors working well for

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Teachers Support Online Classes, Worry About Internet Access

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD — Teachers rejoiced when the school system announced that classes would be online until at least January. The Prince George’s County Educators’ Association, a local teachers union, voiced its support on Thursday.

“Our members have been very clear that they are most comfortable continuing to use and develop distance learning strategies,” union President Theresa Mitchell Dudley said in press release.

The teachers’ support comes the day after the school system said distance learning will continue until at least Jan. 29. Classes will start on Aug. 31.

Earlier this week, the state teachers’ union and PTA said they prefer to start the fall semester with virtual learning. Prince George’s County is the second in Maryland to commit to starting the school year online. Montgomery County was the first.

Prince George’s County schools have been closed since the state superintendent, Karen Salmon, shut down all Maryland public schools

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How can I make friends in the new normal?

Sarah Dawson has recently moved to a new town with her baby daughter, four-year-old son, and husband
Sarah Dawson has recently moved to a new town with her baby daughter, four-year-old son, and husband

Making friends as a grown-up can be tricky. Throw in the fact we’re now living in a socially distant world – and that my family had moved to a part of the UK where we knew no-one just months before lockdown began – and it’s become even harder.

In January, my husband and I found ourselves priced out of the Cotswolds, where we’d rented for almost 15 years. There really was only one other option – a move back to the county where I grew up, where buying a rural family house for our four-year-old son and baby daughter was actually achievable. Leaving behind friends we’ve known for decades and the tight-knit mum crew I’d built up was tough, but I felt confident that once we got into the swing of things in

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9 questions to ask to vet your back-to-school choices

In Brandon Wislocki’s fifth-grade class this spring in California, daily virtual classes were an experiment in creativity.

The Zoom sessions featured guitar playing, group discussions about literature, live math lessons, checks for understanding through Zoom’s chat function, and silly games, such as Oreo-stacking and household scavenger hunts.

The remote lessons also featured something many students didn’t get this spring when the coronavirus forced instruction online: the learning of new material.

Wislocki’s students at Stonegate Elementary in Irvine, California, still covered the core math and English standards that otherwise would have been taught in-person between mid-March and the end of the year. 

Brandon Wislocki, a fifth-grade teacher at Stonegate Elementary School in Irvine, California, started many of his virtual classes by singing to students.
Brandon Wislocki, a fifth-grade teacher at Stonegate Elementary School in Irvine, California, started many of his virtual classes by singing to students.

The experience suggests online learning doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, there are ways to make it more engaging and effective, education experts say. But schools

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Google Brings 5 Game Studios To Stadia To Make Exclusive Games

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google has announced that it has signed five game development companies to make exclusive titles for its cloud gaming service, Stadia.

The July 14 announcement brings developer, Harmonix and studio, Supermassive Games for a slate of exclusives in the future. The arrangement for Stadia is a win considering some of the publishers are high profile game development companies with a record of game successes such as Harmonix’s Rock Band and Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn. The other game developers to be included in Stadia’s exclusive deal are Splash Damage and Uppercut Games.

The live-streamed event called, “Stadia Connect” also provided a viewing of the first-party exclusive, Orcs Must Die 3 (OMD3) from Robot Entertainment. Last year, Google reached an exclusive agreement for the title which was released on July 14.

Robot Entertainment CEO Patrick Hudson said on August 19 of last year, “OMD3 would not be

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