Author Archives: R. Michael Brown

About R. Michael Brown

Communication, public relations, & marketing consultant, freelance writer, media producer, and speaker.

The Truth Behind Italy’s $1 Homes in Picturesque Rural Towns

Starting in early 2019, 20 towns across Italy began selling homes for €1, or about $1.10.

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Local governments hope the plan will attract fresh faces and new businesses to towns that have been suffering from rapid depopulation and a growing number of abandoned homes for decades. But the true cost of these homes turn out to be much higher than $1.

Business Insider video feature story describes the depopulation problem in rural Italian towns and what small town governments are trying to do about it.

Interesting concept and marketing program. Hint: taxes, fees, and renovation costs amount to a lot more than a $1.

Study Finds Sperm Doesn’t Swim Like An Eel, It Corkscrews Like “Playful Otters” | IFLScience

3D mapping of the movement of sperm has revealed that we’ve been wrong about how these gametes move all along.

In human reproduction, intercourse is really only half the battle. Once sperm is in the female it has a long way to go before reaching the egg, so to boost their chances these mobile gametes are fitted with a wiggly tail. We once believed that the sperm’s tail, known as the flagellum, moved in a way comparable to a snake or eel, but new research published in the journal Science Advances has revealed that they actually corkscrew their way to victory. Fetch your biology books, folks. It’s time for a rewrite.

— Read on www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/study-finds-sperm-doesnt-swim-like-an-eel-it-corkscrews-like-playful-otters/

Some people will get an interest payment from the IRS in 2020. Find out if you’re one of them – CNET

The feds will pay interest on some tax refunds — but there’s a catch.
— Read on www.cnet.com/personal-finance/some-people-will-get-an-interest-payment-from-the-irs-in-2020-find-out-if-youre-one-of-them/

LEGO YouTube Channel Hits Over 10 Billion Views, Making It the Most Popular Brand Channel on the Site

LEGO YouTube Channel Hits Over 10 Billion Views, Making It the Most Popular Brand Channel on the Site
— Read on people-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/people.com/human-interest/lego-hits-over-10-billion-views-on-youtube-most-popular-brand-channel/

The Cold War Bunker That Became Home to a Dark-Web Empire | The New Yorker

An eccentric Dutchman began living in a giant underground facility built by the German military—and ran a server farm beloved by cybercriminals.
— Read on www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/03/the-cold-war-bunker-that-became-home-to-a-dark-web-empire

Silicon Valley Bets Big on Microschools and Pods – Bloomberg

With schools in limbo, startups see a big market in helping parents organize learning pods and tutoring groups. Will some kids get left behind?
— Read on www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-23/silicon-valley-bets-big-on-microschools-and-pods

Government Bans 47 More Chinese Apps in India After TikTok, 58 Others Banned in June: Report | Technology News

Government Bans 47 More Chinese Apps in India After TikTok, 58 Others Banned in June: Report | Technology News
— Read on gadgets-ndtv-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/chinese-47-apps-ban-india-government-2269400