The global rise of 3D printing during the COVID-19 pandemic

3D printing enables on-demand solutions for a wide spectrum of needs ranging from personal protection equipment to medical devices and isolation wards. This versatile technology is suited to address supply-demand imbalances caused by socio-economic trends and disruptions in supply chains.

The digital versatility and quick prototyping of 3D printing empowers a swift mobilization of the technology and hence a rapid response to emergencies. Even during severe
disruptions in supply chains, critical parts can be manufactured on-demand by any decentralized 3D-printing facility in the world by leveraging designs shared online. Moreover, the addictive nature of 3D printing enables product customization and complex designs. The broad spectrum of 3D-printing applications in the fight against COVID-19.

3D printing is also being used to provide training and visualization aids for healthcare workers to cope with the limited pool of trained personnel. Digitization will continue to transform 3D-printing machines into key parts of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 environments in the post-pandemic, cyber-physical age

By Nature Reviews

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China Covid Update: Outbreak to Worsen in Coming Days

China reported 26 new local confirmed Covid-19 infections on Saturday, including seven in Inner Mongolia, six in Gansu, six in Ningxia, four in Beijing, one in Hebei, one in Hunan, and one in Shaanxi, according to the National Health Commission. Another four local asymptomatic cases were reported in Hunan and Yunnan.

The wave of infections spread to 11 provinces in the week from Oct. 17, Mi Feng, spokesman for the commission, said at the briefing. Most of the people infected have cross-region travel histories, Mi said. He urged areas that have been affected by the pandemic to adopt “emergency mode.”

Some cities in the provinces of Gansu — including its capital Lanzhou — and Inner Mongolia have halted bus and taxi services because of the virus, according to Zhou Min, an official at the transport ministry. 

Ejina, a county in the western part of Inner Mongolia, asked all residents and travelers to stay indoors starting Monday to contain the spread of coronavirus, the local government said in a statement.

The spread of the delta variant in Asia is slowing efforts by governments to re-open their economies. Singapore announced Saturday that only employees who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the past 270 days, can return to the workplace from Jan. 1. The government last week extended other virus restrictions for another month because cases continue to rise even with more than 84% of the population fully vaccinated.

In China’s capital city of Beijing, the epidemic has expanded to three districts including Haidian, a scientific hub, Pang Xinghuo, vice head of the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said at a briefing Sunday. 

Five new confirmed local Covid cases and an asymptomatic one were reported between Saturday midday to Sunday 3 p.m., Pang said.

Beijing will cancel a marathon originally scheduled for Oct. 31 due to the virus, the Beijing Daily reported. People in cities where infections have been found are banned from visiting or returning to the capital at present, the newspaper said. 

Article by Bloomberg

Challenges with the Current COVID-19 Vaccines and a New Solution

The Challenge: The world has been going through a pandemic involving coronavirus SARS-COV-2, also known as COVID-19. Governments worldwide have implemented measures to stop the spread of the virus, typically through physical lockdowns and recently with vaccines. As soon as they became readily available, several countries like the United States and Canada underwent mass vaccination campaigns for their citizens. As more people were getting the vaccine and together with lockdowns, it seemed that COVID-19 cases in those countries appear going down. But recently, there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases in various places. Let’s take a look at this chart showing COVID-19 cases in a select number of countries Since May 2021 after the vaccination has been carried out for a few months:

Several of the countries noted above are considered leaders in the distribution of vaccinations to their citizens. However, we see that around June 4, case numbers in the United Kingdom were rising. Case numbers in that country have dropped recently but are still much higher than in other countries except Spain. We later see other countries like France, Israel, and the United States have sharp increases in the number of cases later in July. If the vaccine is effective against COVID-19 and its distribution is successful in many countries, why are the case numbers still increasing as before?

People are still catching and spreading it after vaccination

Many shreds of evidence showed that the vaccine protects people from the most severe symptoms, but it does not mean you can’t catch and spread it. Infections amongst fully vaccinated people are known as breakthrough infections. Those with breakthrough infections are often less symptomatic, recover more quickly, and are less likely to pass it on. While such breakthrough infections are relatively mild right now, medical experts are concerned that there may be fully vaccinated people with more severe symptoms in the future, leading to a breakthrough disease.

Let’s also take a look at some data relating to COVID-19 cases in Ontario, Canada:

We see that most people from Ontario, Canada, have received at least one dose of their vaccination (47.5% partially and 30.8% fully, total 78.3%). Looking at the number of cases, more than half of new cases are from unvaccinated people, but they only make up 57% of the new cases thus far. The remaining demographic are those that did go for the vaccine: 7.4% are those that got their shot within 13 days, 31.3% are those that are partially vaccinated – one dose after 13 days or two doses within 13 days of the second, and 4.3% are those who are fully vaccinated – two doses with 14 days after the administration of the second dose. So, it seems that those who were vaccinated had just as much of a chance to catch COVD-19 as those who were unvaccinated. Not to mention that each dose needs at least 13 days to inoculate in the body. So, those receiving a single dose have the same protection against unvaccinated people for 13 days after the first administration. Likewise, those receiving a second dose have the same protection as those considered partially vaccinated (13 days after administration of the first dose).

However, when looking at the charts relating to hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths, most COVID-19 cases falling under those are from unvaccinated people. However, even with vaccination, there is still a chance for hospitalization, ICU admission, or death to happen, particularly when a person is only partially vaccinated. Oddly enough, amongst the COVID-19- related deaths, a little over 4% were from people who were fully vaccinated.

One may think that’s this shows how crucial it is to get fully vaccinated with two doses as soon as possible. That is a fair point, given that the protection granted is very effective against the worst of the virus. But the smaller number of people who caught COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated might also come from the reason that there are relatively fewer people who have taken two shots so far. Remember, not too long ago, it was considered enough to just get one dose of the vaccine. Then, it became two doses. Now, there is a possibility that booster shots will be needed. Such booster shots are now seen in Israel, where they are currently granted to its elderly citizens (60 and over). Many other countries are now debating the need to administer booster shots to their citizens, which seems plausible considering how long the vaccine antibodies remain effective. This booster shot may need to be administered to people annually, much like the flu shot. This constant change in information, although understandable, can make the true effectiveness of the vaccine questionable.

There are also cases where a significant number of fully vaccinated people (with two doses) catch the disease. For example, during the July 4 weekend in the United States, a COVID-19 outbreak occurred in Barnstable County of Massachusetts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that of 469 infections, 74% of them were from people who were already vaccinated with two doses. Of those vaccinated, 79% showed symptoms, and 90% of those cases, approximately 133 people, had the Delta variant. Only five were hospitalized, and there were no deaths. (Source:

Here’s another piece of data showing the vaccination rate for the state of Massachusetts as of recent:


We see that approximately 64% of people in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated. So, using the data from this and the article mentioned earlier, let’s assign the following values:

People fully vaccinated in Massachusetts = 0.64P; other people = 0.36P;

Sick people that were fully vaccinated =0.74Q; other people = 0.26Q;

Where, P and Q are merely constants the make up the number representing people who got COVID-19 or not amongst the vaccinated and unvaccinated, respectively. However, they will cancel out, considering that we are looking for the ratio of people who got COVID-19 to those who didn’t for the vaccinated or unvaccinated groups. Now we determine the ratio of the percentage of fully vaccinated people who had COVID-19 that weekend to the number of vaccinated people that did not. The same will be done for unvaccinated people who got COVID-19 that weekend to unvaccinated people that did not.

0.74Q/0.64P  :   0.26Q/0.36P

This leaves a ratio of 1.156: 0.722, leading to a 1.6:1 ratio between vaccinated people getting COVID-19 to unvaccinated people getting COVID-19. This shows that those who were fully vaccinated had a 60% higher chance of catching COVID-19, regardless of severity.

The chance of these infections post-vaccination may increase as time goes on. The reason for this to happen is still unknown. One of the reasons might be the vaccine is not working as we all expected it should at all.

Variants everywhere

As you may know, SARS-COV-2 has mutated into several variants. These variants result from mutations during the virus’ replication, which causes changes in the virus’s genetic code and how it is received in the body. In SARS-COV-2’s case, the new variants, like the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and the new B.1.617.2 (Delta), seem to have changes to their spike proteins that bind to a cell’s receptor. With each new mutation, there is always a chance for the virus to replicate into something that can entirely evade the immune system even when one is vaccinated.

As of this article, the most dominant variant is known as the Delta variant, which is known to be more contagious than the variants that came before it. Although vaccines have thus far been effective against COVID-19 and its variants, they seem to have lower effectiveness in protecting the body against the Delta variant, particularly when someone only has one dose. Israel, a leading nation in vaccine distribution, has found that the one doze of Pfizer vaccine was only 39% effective against the Delta variant. However, it was still effective in preventing the most severe versions of the illness. While this is a unique decrease in the vaccine’s effectiveness, other studies have shown similar trends. One study from Public Health England showed that people were still susceptible to COVID-19 and its variants even when vaccinated. The study showed that a single dose of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca only had an effectiveness of 30.7% against the Delta variant. While two doses provided much more protection, the AstraZeneca vaccine was 67% effective against the Delta variant, while the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against the Delta variant. So right now, the Pfizer vaccine is still very effective against COVID-19. But the study did show that the effectiveness against the Delta variant (88%) is lower than a 93% effectiveness against the Alpha variant.

Furthermore, new data has shown that the Pfizer vaccine wanes in effectiveness after eight to six months for one or two doses, respectively. So, this means that in the future, additional booster shots may be required. And with the creation of new variants, how long will it be until the acclaimed Pfizer vaccine or any other vaccine becomes totally ineffective?

mRNA vaccines: The vaccines and the time for clinical testing

If you got a vaccine, you would have likely received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, both of which are known as messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. These types of vaccines produce an immune response by transferring synthetic RNA into the cells within the person’s body. This causes the cells to build a protein found in specific pathogens and allow the protein molecules to create an adaptive immune response, teaching the body to fight a virus or any other pathogens. This is the first time that we massively use an mRNA vaccine on humans.

Most vaccines go through clinical trials with three phases that take several years for development and testing. When successful, the researchers apply for permission to manufacture and distribute their vaccines. Even then, quality control is still monitored. The clinical trials for the mRNA vaccines, on the other hand, have been much shorter due to emergency approval around the world. Often, these vaccines go through adaptive trials, where changes in the trial itself are made along the way. While more funding and less bureaucracy did help in speeding up the process, this streamlined process is risky. While the data relating to vaccine development is growing, it is still way too little compared to the research gathered in a typical vaccine trial. There is always the risk of low-quality evidence, hindering the thorough scientific understanding of the virus and its effects on patients. Furthermore, it becomes more dangerous if such products are immediately used in public health care on healthy people after such hasty testing.

Current mRNA vaccines also focus too heavily on the spike protein. While the understanding of COVID-19’s spike protein is what made the current vaccines so successful so far, we’ve already seen how the virus’ variants can mutate and change its spike proteins, making it potentially able to bypass someone’s immune system. Furthermore, there has been a lot of debate because of the spike protein and its cytotoxicity. Some say it is dangerous, causing various degrees of damage to different cells. One example of such is the potential neurological damage caused by cytotoxicity. One study from Philadelphia’s Temple University discussed how the spike protein had a negative impact on the blood-brain barrier and caused a pro-inflammatory response on brain endothelial cells. However, the brain endothelial cells were still considered viable. It should also be noted that cases like these are quite rare, though the risk still exists.

That being said, more research is being done to develop a better vaccine that looks at other parts of the virus that the immune system can identify and target. For example, a California-based company is looking into making a vaccine that targets not only the spike protein but also two proteins within the virus’ interior. But the time needed for that means more time for the virus to mutate. And the results of the clinical trials of future vaccines may not be successful even with the hastened process. In a sense, there are many risks involved with the production of mRNA vaccine for a small reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases.

While COVID-19 is steadily being understood and the vaccines have shown effectiveness thus far, the research behind the vaccines is still too rushed for it to be considered ideal. Because the information regarding COVID-19 and the vaccines still needs to be thoroughly investigated and tested, the vaccines we have right now can still be seen only as a temporary solution and one that may not be ideal.

The death and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are not high in the broader scope

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has taken a lot of lives, as the disease can potentially become fatal. The current vaccines do help mitigate the worst symptoms of the disease. However, the number of deaths throughout the pandemic, especially recently, is actually relatively small compared to the number of COVID-19 cases amongst the whole population of a given area (region, country, etc.). Even before the vaccines, most people who contracted the disease did not die from them. In fact, most people did not even go to the hospital. Instead, they stayed at home to self-isolate. Further still, many cases were considered asymptomatic. Let’s take a look at the number of COVID-19 deaths in Ontario, Canada, on July 30:

In the table above, the cumulative number of deaths in Ontario, Canada, on July 30 only makes up 1.7% of the total number of COVID-19 cases there, the largest of which were from those who were 80 years old and over. We also see that only 5.1 % of total cases for that day were hospitalized cases, and only one percent entering the ICU.

Now let’s take a quick look at the number of cases and deaths related to COVID-19 in some other countries:

A few countries are outlined (Canada, Israel, US, UK, Peru, Mexico, and Yemen) as sample countries highlighting their fatality rates. However, most countries around the world (colored or grayed) have a low case fatality rate regardless of sheer case numbers, usually around five percent or less. Peru, Mexico, and Yemen (outlined as colored dots) are considered exceptions with slightly higher case fatality rates. But these are outliers, and in time, their COVID-19 fatality rate will go down to the same level as everyone else.

Now let’s look at the death rate over the general population. For example, in Canada Ontario, the number of patients who died of COVID-19 is 6 on July 30, 2021, and 0 on August 9, 2021. The general population of Ontario is 15 million. So, the daily death rate is 0.4 people out of every million population on July 30, 2021, 0 on August 9, 2021, and the average is 0.2 person per million. This daily death is very low comparing to other normal reasons for death. For example, Ontario’s number of total deaths from motor vehicle traffic accidences in 2017 is about 61 out of every million people. This translates to a daily death rate of 0.2 people per million population. The chance for a person to die of COVID-19 is at the same level as car accidences. If a vaccine can further lower this small chance of death, this is negligible in a statistical sense.

The reproduction rate R

In many studies, R represents the ability for any infectious disease, e.g., COVID-19, to spread. This R ranges from 0 to any number, which indicates the following:

  • When R=0, there are no new infections, and the disease practically dies out.
  • When R<1, one existing infection creates less than one new infection. This means that the disease will likely die out on its own. The smaller R is, the faster the disease dies out.
  • When R=1, one existing infection creates one new infection. This means that the disease will be around for some time, but there are no outbreaks.
  • When R>1, one existing infection creates multiple new infections. This indicates an outbreak has occurred. The larger R is, the faster the disease spreads out.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the effective R-values have wavered between <1 and >1. Currently, R>1 in several countries around the world, indicating multiple outbreaks. Even with the vaccinations and/or lockdowns, the R-values only went down temporarily before going back up again during the current outbreaks. Also, R-values were marginally brought down thanks to the economic and social sacrifices people had to make during the lockdowns. But with people getting impatient with the lockdowns, many people, regardless of vaccination status, will start breaking the lockdown rules. As fully vaccinated people can still get COVID-19 and pass it on to others, this will tend to bring R back up again to the point of another outbreak.

R is also too heavily emphasized by governments to determine their policies regarding COVID-19 restrictions. Moreover, R typically indicates the disease’s ability to spread on average across a region. It cannot account for clusters within that region, which then skews the R-value as a whole. For example, there was an outbreak last year, which occurred in a meat factory from a region in Germany, which caused the country’s R-value to rise from about 1 to 2.88. This number increased despite low COVID-19 case numbers. This led to Germany going back into lockdown. These regional outbreaks tend to misrepresent how disease spreads across the country as a whole.

Additional research has shown that other variables play a role in determining how COVID-19 spreads. A country may have a lot of cases, but its R-value can equal 1. So, looking at the number of cases is an important variable. Another variable that comes into play is K, also known as the consistency in the way a disease spread. The larger it is, the more consistency in the way that the disease spreads. It is thus important to look at the conditions for allowing the disease to spread in the first place. Research has shown that most disease transmission comes from a small number of individuals, often through “superspreader events” like mass gatherings. One study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine showed that COVID-19 had a K value of only 0.1, indicating that 80% of transmissions are caused by 10% of infected individuals. Therefore, it seems the implementation of social distancing, restrictions on mass gatherings and indoor activities, and effective contact tracing (where applied) are what help prevent the massive spread of COVID-19, preventing R from rising. The vaccines can provide some protection, but if a vaccinated person attends an event that could be considered a “superspreader event”, then they will get COVID-19 anyways.


The general public does not pay for the vaccine. Vaccination providers cannot charge you for the vaccine, any administrative costs, or require additional services that may be billed. They also cannot deny someone vaccination due to lack of health insurance, But the vaccine is not charity work, as there are many upfront costs related to the development of the vaccines in the first place. Most of the money goes into the research and development of the vaccine. Other costs go into the manufacturing, quality control and assurance, sales, and distribution of the vaccines. This adds up to a high upfront cost, which governments worldwide pay to get the vaccines from these pharmaceutical companies. As a matter of fact, governments worldwide invest a lot of money in these pharmaceutical companies for the production and distribution of vaccines to the country. The United States, a leading investor, has invested billions of dollars in pharmaceutical companies for the production and distribution of vaccines. Starting last year, the United States government undertook a partnership with other pharmaceutical companies known as “Operation Warp Speed”, funding the development, manufacturing, and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines we know now. The funding for this partnership was initially ten billion dollars, later rising to 18 billion dollars. Where do governments get the money for this? Through the people’s tax dollars. So technically, it is not exactly free.

Time is also used up when getting the vaccines distributed and administered to the citizens. Even with the hastened process for clinical testing, it still took more than a year to develop the first vaccines. The distribution of these vaccinations also takes time to reach their destination, which is seen as they are flown across the globe. Then, once they get into the country, they need to be sent to designated clinics like vaccination clinics or pharmacies. Time is also invested in training staff and volunteers.

As for people receiving the vaccination, they have to take time off their busy schedules to go to the designated clinic. It takes to get the shot, much of which is spent waiting to see if any allergic reactions occur. Moreover, many people must take time off work (at least one day) to recover from the vaccine’s side effects. This means that companies lose time on productivity. In certain countries like Canada, the government reimburses such companies with the employees’ wages up to a certain number of days, providing that an employee is away due to COVID-19-related reasons like getting the vaccine. But of course, this means more money spent by the government.

Side effects

All vaccines, regardless of their type, have side effects. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines also have their own side effects, which include:

  • short term: fever, headache, loss of appetite, tiredness, nausea, and muscle pain
  • long term: possible affecting existing chromonic diseases, blood related issues, neurological issues, immunization system issues, reproduction related issues, genetic diseases, cancers, and/or unknown problems.

However, the severity of the side effects varies from person to person. For the most part, they are typically mild and show that the body has an immune response. Many people may need to rest for a full day after the shot to recover. But with some other people, the side effects can be more severe, causing illness for three days or more. This relates back to how time is lost because the person needs to rest for a certain number of days.

More severe side effects have been noted since vaccinations began. These symptoms are rarer, but when they do happen, the safety of the vaccine becomes questionable. For example, the AstraZeneca vaccines were known to cause blood clots and low platelet count after receiving the vaccination. The blood clots can appear anywhere within the body, including the brain. The reason for this happening is not clear; it is possible that someone’s immune system might create antibodies that react with the platelets, causing the blood clot to occur. The clots appear to also happen long after receiving the vaccine, up to 42 days after receiving a dose. While this vaccine brand is the most known for this, studies have recently shown that the Pfizer vaccine also carried a risk of causing blood clots as well. A study from Oxford University shows that the blood clot is just as likely with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (4 in 1 million chance) as it is for the Astrazeneca vaccine (5 in one million chance). The chance of it happening was extremely rare, regardless of vaccine choice, but present nonetheless. Another extreme side effect seen in some patients that take vaccines is myocarditis, the inflammation of heart muscles.  

Research has also shown that these particular vaccines can create adverse neurological effects. The study mentioned earlier regarding the effects of the vaccine’s spike protein on brain endothelial cells, and the blood-brain barrier is one such example. Additionally, several clinical trials have shown that the main vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca – show many participants that developed neurological disorders. Let’s take a look at the adverse effects shown in participants during Pfizer’s clinical trials:

The majority of the adverse effects from vaccines during clinical trials were general disorders, approximately 18%. However, the trials show a surprising number of participants (1158 cases or 6.8%) developing neurological disorders after getting the vaccine.

Clinical trials for the Moderna vaccine have also shown a fairly high number of neurological disorders compared to other adverse effects, as shown in the following table:

The table shows that amongst all the adverse effects present during clinical trials, nervous system disorders were prevalent in 4.1 % of all participants, just below the more common general disorders (5.9%). Fortunately, there were not nearly as many participants that showed severe symptoms.

The tables above also seem to show other symptoms in participants that fall outside the standard symptoms (headache, fever, etc.). Overall, while nervous disorders and other outlying symptoms are less likely to occur to someone during vaccination, it is not a guarantee that they won’t get it either. Furthermore, severe side effects are more likely in people with health complications, such as a compromised immune system. People with such health complications may not even be able to get the vaccine because of the higher risk and/or severity of the side effects in those individuals.

Face masks

Even with full vaccination, governments/CDC are still requiring people to wear face coverings or face masks. As noted before, it is still possible for a vaccinated person to catch the disease. The majority of people that do contract COVID-19, whether they are vaccinated or not, are asymptomatic. Not only does this make contract tracing a lot harder, but a fully vaccinated asymptomatic person could also still spread the disease to another person no matter if he/she is vaccinated or not. By wearing a face mask, even if you are fully vaccinated and/or asymptomatic, the face mask will help prevent it from spreading to other people, and/or prevent you from catching COVID-19 and other diseases too. But it should be noted that even with a face mask, there is a chance of catching COVID-19 because openings on the side still allow the virus to enter. This side opening problem can be solved by using a novel electrically heated face mask recently developed by Sterviral ( We were wearing face masks before vaccinations were available, and we are wearing them now. It did not matter whether we had the vaccine or not. Face masks and social distance are proved to be reliably effective and keep the R below 1.0. For any infectious disease to die out, the duration of R < 1.0 needs to be long enough.


So even after this rant, are the vaccines really worth it? COVID-19 vaccines still seem to be effective against the current major viruses at this time. However, the various challenges addressed in this article make the vaccine’s role in the fight against COVID-19 a trickier matter. The payoff is also questionable, considering that a fully vaccinated person can still get COVID-19 in a mild or moderate form. So, while vaccines are still considered a reliable asset against this pandemic in the general public, it is coming to a point where they alone cannot stand against COVID-19.

It should also be noted that despite the world’s desire for mass vaccination, it will be impossible to get every single person vaccinated. Some reasons include, but are not limited to severe reactions due to underlying health complications, the inability to access a vaccine and/or proper medical care, outright untrust, and vaccine hesitancy. Whatever the reason, this will leave a large portion of people without vaccination.

As mentioned earlier, even when fully vaccinated, people are still recommended and expected to wear face masks and practice social distancing. So, if the face masks and social distancing are to continue anyway, why not get something that could prevent you from getting COVID-19 in the first place.

One type of face coverings that can help a lot is an electrically heated face mask ( This type of device is worn just like a typical reusable face mask. However, the mask can produce a high-temperature thermal barrier around one’s nose and mouth, where pathogens tend to enter and go out. The high temperature can increase airflow to increase oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide and humidity, so to make wearing much more conformable. The thermal barrier can also prevent side leaking plagued by all existing face masks. According to WHO, a temperature above 60°C can kill coronaviruses. There was also one study from the University of Hong Kong that shows that the COVID-19 viruses were killed after 5 minutes at 70oC. The electrically-heated face mask can heat up to a temperature as high as 90 oC, which will kill any pathogens around the nose and mouth areas more quickly.

Barrie tornado: How to help

TORONTO — Residents in southern Ontario shared images of destruction Thursday afternoon after a monster weather system generated tornado warnings for several areas.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued tornado warnings for several communities around 2:30 p.m. EDT as a larger weather system moved into Simcoe County and Northern Dufferin County.

Tornado hits Barrie, Ontario. Residential homes were damaged, cars flipped, and several were left injured after the powerful storm on July 15, 2021. (Brandon Vieira/Twitter)

Warnings were issued for Barrie, Collingwood, Hillsdale, Orillia, Lagoon City, and Washago as the storm moved through the region. 

Residents shared images of widespread damage after a tornado confirmed by Environment Canada touched down in the Barrie area.

Images show overturned vehicles, sections of roofing torn from the house, and the second floor of a home completely detached from the structure. Barrie police said officers responded to several calls of people injured as a result of the storm.

Tornado hits Barrie, Ontario. Residential homes were damaged, cars flipped, and several were left injured after the powerful storm on July 15, 2021. (Brandon Vieira/Twitter)

What you can do to help: Environment Canada has so far ruled it an EF2 tornado, but more investigation is being done on the damage in the Prince William Way/Mapleview Drive East area.

Donations of supplies are no longer needed at this time, said Barrie police on social media. Residents are thanked for their generosity in providing toiletries and basic necessities for the families impacted by the tornado.

Barrie Families Unite has created a specific email for financial donations. Money e-transfers for tornado relief can be sent to

And a public volunteering page has also been set up on Facebook for people who would like to volunteer to help out.

400 Chrysler in Innisfil and Barrie Chrysler will open up as a Convenient and safe, drop-off location for any and all donations. If you can’t make it in, you can message Jessica Puddifant directly at 705-984-5963 and she will make arrangements to get them picked up.

The Sun Emporium is donating all proceeds of single tans/services to the victims of this horrific disaster.

Both locations are also drop-offs for any supplies, clothing food, etc to assist.

Anyone wishing to donate a specific item can also call Service Barrie at 705-726-4242.

And financial donations can also be made to the Canadian Red Cross.

Pyxish© is an online home renovation assistant with a web design simulator that facilitates individuals and/or business customers to quickly select a home building and renovation materials (e.g., kitchen countertop, bathroom tiles) or other construction configurations (hardwood/carpet floors) for their interior and/or exterior design. The website and software provide high-quality real-time 3D scene rendering and display a photorealistic simulation view (including VR viewing capabilities) of their dreamed designs.

NASA: Moon “wobble” will cause dramatic increases in coastal flooding in 15 years.

A “wobble” in the moon’s orbit will combine with rising sea levels due to the Earth’s warming to bring “a decade of dramatic increases” in high-tide coastal floods across the U.S. in the 2030s, NASA warns in a new study.

Why it matters: Low-lying areas near sea level already increasingly at risk from flooding will see their situation “only get worse,” per a statement from NASA administrator Bill Nelson.

“The combination of the Moon’s gravitational pull, rising sea levels, and climate change will continue to exacerbate coastal flooding on our coastlines and across the world.”

— Nelson

Register using this link — >

The big picture: Scientists have known about wobbles in the orbit of the moon, which takes 18.6 years to complete, since 1728.

  • While such events are not dangerous on their own, what’s new is how one of the wobble’s effects on the moon’s gravitational pull — the main cause of Earth’s tides — will combine with rising sea levels resulting from the planet’s warming, according to NASA.

What they did: For the study, researchers found the tipping points in flood numbers by analyzing 89 tide gauge locations in every coastal U.S. state and territory but Alaska.

  • “They created a new statistical framework that mapped NOAA’s widely used sea level rise scenarios and flooding thresholds, the number of times those thresholds have been exceeded annually, astronomical cycles, and statistical representations of other processes, such as El Niño events, that are known to affect tides,” per a NASA statement.
  • The researchers projected results through 2080.

State of play: We’re now in the tide-amplifying part of this cycle. Along most U.S. coastlines, sea levels haven’t risen too much, but high tides regularly top flooding thresholds.

The bottom line: By the next tide-amplifying cycle in the mid-2030s, the wobble in the moon’s orbit will combine with rising sea levels.

  • “The higher seas, amplified by the lunar cycle, will cause a leap in flood numbers on almost all U.S. mainland coastlines, Hawaii, and Guam,” NASA warns.
  • Far northern coastlines, like Alaska’s, will be spared for another decade or longer because these land areas are rising due to long-term geological processes.

Article by AXIOS

The Future of Transportation – Rotao Hybrid Transport System

The Rotao hybrid transportation system is a multi-layer transportation system formed by adding Rotao elevated tracks and ancillary facilities above the original road traffic. The transportation system is called a hybrid transportation system not only because it applies both ground-level and elevated transport, but also because the elevated track can be used by a mixture of buses, commercial vehicles, and private cars.

Urban rail transit and buses include most of the applications of urban public transportation. Urban rail transit includes subways, light rails, monorails, suspended monorails and street cars, etc., which are used on routes with higher ridership. Buses are used on routes with lower ridership. Rail transit usually uses overhead or tunnel methods in areas with high population density and more congested traffic.

The current urban rail transit has the following challenges or shortcomings: (1) The insanely high construction cost of the elevated structures or underground tunnels; (2) the long construction period with impact of surrounding communities; (3) the long station spacing and the long walking distance from the ground to the platform; (4) The excessively high turnout construction difficulty which limits the flexibility of the application; (5) The low friction coefficient between the wheel and the track , which leads to a long acceleration and braking distance, and also limits its use on slopes and use on wet and slippery areas covered by rain and snow.

In summary, no matter the existing rail transit or buses, they have their inherent limitations. The Rotao hybrid public transportation system, as a part of a new generation of the transportation system, can adopt the points of rail transit and buses and avoid their shortcomings. It will become the optimal choice for urban transportation and even intercity transportation in the foreseeable future.

The Rotao hybrid transportation system includes the existing surficial transportation and the elevated track built above it. The speed limit for ground transportation is compliant with the traffic regulations, usually 50-60 kph. The speed limit on the track is 80-90 kph in urban areas and residential areas, 110-120 kph in suburbs and industrial areas, and 140-150 kph in outer suburbs and intercity. These limits are estimated according to the noise impact of the surrounding environment by high-speed traffic. If only based on safety and reliability considerations, the speed may be higher.

The Rotao elevated track has the following main features: (1) The highly modular production and erection mode reduces construction time and cost, and reduces the impact on surrounding communities; (2) powers vehicles on the track and charges the vehicle’s batteries. (3) The elevated track does not affect ground traffic with long girder span and no road width reduction. (4) The optimization of the vertical space can ensure that the elevated track deck is lower, and the urban rail will expand to form a multi-layer rail transit in the future. At the intersection of the two tracks, the upper track can still keep a lower deck height. For other features of Rotao Elevated Track, please refer to the introduction of “Rotao Elevated Track”

In summary, compared to other rail transit systems, the Rotao hybrid transportation system has lower cost, greater ridership, lower construction time, shorter stop spacing, higher average operating speed, stronger resistance to severe weather, and can be used as a charging tool for surficial electric buses. While being used as public transportation, it also provides a series of value-added solutions such as affordable automated logistics, mobile offices, mobile workshops, mobile homes, etc.

Why are Trademarks so important?

Trademarks are symbols, words, or images that connect a service or product to the companies they originate from. Their concept has been around for hundreds of years as they were used early on as a means to recognize the origin or authenticity of different products. In modern days symbols, such as R, TM, and SM, signify the legal protection given to a specific logo, product, brand or service name, following a Trademark registration through a regional intellectual property office

1. Trademarking is a concept as old as commerce.

Early forms of trademarks were commonly present throughout ancient Egypt and China as far back as 600 BCE.

Here are some historical milestone in the history of trademark:

  • The baker’s Marking Law of 1226: The British Parliament first legislation concerning trademarks, which required every baker to put a unique mark on the bread they produced.
  • Britain 1618: The first legal case to mention the use of a trademark as a badge of origin (for cloth) – though the case itself concerned the sale of counterfeit jewels.
  • France, June 1857: The first comprehensive trademark system was established by the Law on Marks of Manufacture and Trade (Loi Sur Les Marques de Fabrique et de Commerce).
  • London in England, 1876: The Trademarks Registration Office opened and the first registered trademark was that of the beer company Bass & Co. Applied for on January 1st and still valid.
  • France, 1883: Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property was agreed. An international convention relating to trademark and other industrial property rights under the national legislation of its 11 member countries. As of 2017, the Convention has 177 members. This international agreement was the first major step taken to help creators ensure that their intellectual works were protected in other countries.

2 . Trademarks matter to SMEs

A European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) report suggests SMES with intellectual property (IP) rights have a 32% higher revenue per employee. After a trademark registration, 54% report a positive impact, through an increase of reputation, turnover and access to new markets. Any type of business with competitors can benefit from owning a trademark and therefore should apply for trademark registration.

3. Trademarks are important for creative businesses.

A combination of Copyrights and Trademarks will offer adequate protection for businesses in the creative sectors. Copyrights will protect their creative works and efforts, and a Trademark registration will protect the brand.

From your favorite music or movie studio name and or logo; to your favorite band or artist. Trademarks are everywhere and are often the subject of epic legal battles.

4. Trademarks help differentiate artists works

Artists should consider a trademark registration to distinguish their works from others.

When Pablo Picasso died he left a multi-billion dollar empire of some 45,000 works, all complicated by countless authentications, rights, and licensing deals to his heirs. There were 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 7,089 drawings, 30,000 prints, 150 sketchbooks, and 3,222 ceramic works.

5. The oldest trademarks are beers marks

Contenders for the oldest continuously used trademark in the world are LOWENBRAU, which claims use since 1383, and STELLA ARTOIS, which claims use since 1366 and coca-cola in 1886

Other marks such as WIELICKA and WEINHENSTEPHANER initially started as an appellation of origin in Germany in 1241 and 1040.

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Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories 2021 (FIVARS)

Due to Popular Demand FIVARS event has been extended until March 9th 2021 

“The Most Cutting-Edge Storytelling Festival in the World.”
~ Huffington Post

The Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories is a global leader in curating the finest in immersive storytelling – celebrating 5 years! FIVARS is about building a cultural awareness around this new leading edge technology,” says VBAReality founder Joseph Ellsworth “While at times we may choose to still enjoy a window view through a cinema, or television screen, we now have the potential of entering into the experience and being at the heart of the story.

Don’t Miss the FIVARS Dome Theatre

The Land of Milk and Honey, Director Lisa Birke, Canada. 11m 02s
A 360 degree video space of plenty starts to break apart to reveal the messy constructs (and special effects) holding the illusion together. The Land of Milk and Honey grapples with fertility, loss and the physical, poetic and psychological complexities of the human body.

Registration link —>  

Registration link —>
Frozen Tears (VR-Therapy)
Title: Frozen Tears (VR-Therapy)
Director: Jannik Tesch
Frozen Tears is a documentary VR-film that portrays a group therapy session with 6 actors and a real psychotherapist. Except for the character’s biographies, everything is improvised. The film was produced at the request of the psychotherapist, Jörg Albers, who uses his own unique method of exposure therapy.
Title: Welcome to the Other Side – Zero Gravity
Director: Jean-Michel Jarre
Country: France
Runtime: 4m 49s
Jean-Michel Jarre performed live from a studio near the cathedral in Paris, while his avatar played inside a virtual Notre-Dame. The 45-minute concert—featuring tracks from Jarre’s most recent GRAMMY-nominated opus Electronica, as well as new reworked versions of his classics, Oxygène and Equinoxe – gave the world a virtual inside look at the legendary landmark in a futuristic and festive way. ‘Zero Gravity’ is one of the tracks featured during the live 6DoF event, captured here in 360 VR.
Spiral of Strength
A poetic inner journey created with the music of Steve Roach and the visuals of Audri Phillips. Audri Phillips, VJ/3D animator, content creator, immersive media specialist, based out of Los Angeles with a wide range of experience that includes over 25 years working in the visual effects/entertainment industry. Her full-dome pieces, mixed reality, animations and paintings have been shown in festivals and conferences around the world. She is the co-founder and director of Robot Prayers an immersive transmedia project which explores AI and our hybrid identities in a world where man and machine are melding, a resident artist at Vortex Domes, member of the Intel Innovators Group, ADN (Autodesk Developers Network), and a consultant/researcher for a technology company, Stratus Systems.

Chromebooks overtake Macs in market share for the first time

Computers powered by Google’s Chrome OS have outsold Apple’s computers in individual quarters before, but 2020 was the first full year that Chrome OS took……………

Consultancy IDC tracked the use of operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows or Apple’s macOS. It found Chrome OS, used by the Google-powered laptops, took second place from macOS for the first time. The system – widely used in cheap laptops handed out to school pupils for remote learning – now has a 10.8% market share, IDC said.

The analysis, first reported by tech news site Geekwire, found that despite losing second place, MacOS’s market share grew from 6.7% to 7.5% in 2020, at the expense of Microsoft Windows.

This is a big win for Google and a warning for both Apple and Microsoft. It also signals to app and game developers that Chrome OS can no longer be ignored. Many of the purchases were made by big buyers like schools and even national educational bodies – but parents also played a role.

“There’s no doubt there’s a lot of consumers who had to go out and buy cheaper notebooks for younger children – so they didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money,” Mr Atwal said.

“It’s the right type of device, at the right time, for the right purpose.”

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How to enhance your gaming experience

Brands are launching accessible products that can seamlessly enhance roleplay. These innovations boast voice-changing capabilities or even enable users to speak to each other, despite language barriers.

The Conceptual Nintendo Switch Joy-Glasses by James Tsai are Immersive

James Tsai designed as an immersive hardware solution for gamers that are focused on providing users with a next-gen kind of experience with the namesake console. The glasses maintain an augmented reality (AR) functionality that will make them perfect for bringing gameplay to life in a new way. 

VR Noble will be opening their doors soon in March. To get to know more follow

Acer Launched SigridWave, an In-Game Live AI Translator

Acer launched SigridWave, a live in-game AI translator that, with the help of deep learning technology, wants to improve the communication between gamers from different countries that speak different languages.

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Wellness Devices to Mask-Sanitizing Latest Gadget Concepts 2021

The Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool is one of the latest appliances from the technology brand that aims to deliver exceptional cleaning and comfort capabilities for users when utilized in the home. The unit boasts a three-in-one profile that will work to purify the air, add humidity, and offer heat relief to maximize the number of tasks that a single appliance can do.

Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool

Uster’ UVC Sterilizing Light

The need to sanitize surfaces, technology, and more has become imperative for many consumers looking to get back to their daily life in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, so brands are responding with products like the ‘Uster’ UVC Sterilizing Light.

The wand-like device works in one of three modes including handheld, hanging, and standing that will enable users to customize the way in which it operates. A series of 16 UV lights are built into the unit consisting of six UV-C and 10 UVA that will work to eradicate 99.9% of the bacteria and germs that could be lurking on the surface of products.

The ‘Manara’ minimalist desk lamp is a design-conscious fixture for the home or office that will bring a touch of intelligence to the simple process of illuminating a space. Designed by Australia-based startup design company Project57, the lamp enables users to customize the functionality to suit their specific needs or preferences. This could include changing the color, gradient, or brightness level to suit their space and help them enjoy a healthier level of illumination that doesn’t detract from their aesthetic.
‘Proof of Health’

Estimote, a startup company that focuses on Bluetooth technology, created a new product that could help contact tracing efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Steve Cheney, the co-founder of the company, puts forth his belief that the device could play a role in enhancing workplace safety for essential workers.

The device is named ‘Proof of Health’ and it features a passive GPS, as well as Bluetooth and an ultra-wideband radio, and built-in LTE. The device has settings depending on the user’s health, which can be changed if they have been exposed to a potential infection. Following this, the device will be able to indicate the other people the user has come in contact with. Overall the device could help employers improve contact tracing efforts at essential workplaces.

Cleanty V2

When living in a city, it’s impossible to avoid all the potentially harmful bacteria hiding in the grit and grime of surfaces, but the Cleanty V2 is a new product that makes it easier to bust the likeliest culprits. The handheld LED wand uses powerful UVC light to kill bacteria and germs, sterilizing surfaces in as little as a few seconds.

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