Travel: A Postcard From Tuscany (Condé Nast)

From cypress tree tunnels to medieval villages and ancient vineyards, Tuscany is home to some of the most beautiful scenes in Italy.

Tuscany is a region in central Italy. Its capital, Florence, is home to some of the world’s most recognizable Renaissance art and architecture, including Michelangelo’s “David” statue, Botticelli’s works in the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo basilica. Its diverse natural landscape encompasses the rugged Apennine Mountains, the island of Elba’s beaches on the Tyrrhenian Sea and Chianti’s olive groves and vineyards.

Aerial Travel: Wat Phra Phutthabat In Thailand

Wat Phra Phutthabat  is a Buddhist temple in SaraburiThailand. It is among the oldest Buddhist temples in Thailand. Its name means “temple of Buddha’s footprint“, because it contains a natural depression believed to be a footprint of the Buddha.

Phra Phutthabat temple was built in 1624[1] (B.E. 2168) by King  Songtham  of Ayutthaya, after a hunter named Pram Bun found a large depression in the stone, resembling a huge footprint, near Suwan Banpot Hill or Satchaphanthakhiri Hill. The hunter reported his find to the king, who ordered workers to build a temporary mondop to cover the footprint; this later became the temple.

Science & Medicine: What Are Risks Of Monkeypox?

The sudden surge of monkeypox cases outside Africa has alarmed public health authorities around the world. In Europe and North America it’s the first time community transmission has been recorded among people with no links to west or central Africa. So what is happening?

Ian Sample talks to virologist Oyewale Tomori about why monkeypox is flaring up, whether we should fear it, and what we can learn from countries such as Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which have been tackling this virus for decades.

Urban Living: Are U.S. Big Cities Still Worth It?

A cost-of-living crisis is unfolding in U.S. major cities. Inflation data shows that costs for items such as rent and groceries are increasing quickly across the Sun Belt and coastal superstar cities. Now years removed from the darkest days of the pandemic, people are asking: Is a return to the city worth it?

Metropolitan regions have sprawled in recent years, raising budget concerns and quality-of-life issues for the people who remain downtown. Meanwhile the absence of commuters is slowing the recovery in leisure and hospitality. Many renters believe that a cost-of-living crisis is brewing in America’s major cities.

New York City is showing up as a hotspot of rent inflation. The average rent for 1-bedroom apartments in Manhattan rose to $3,995 a month in May 2022 — a 41% increase from one year ago, according to Zumper. Sudden, double-digit rent spikes are hitting other hubs, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Austin, Texas. Zumper data shows that growth is particularly strong in Sun Belt cities such as Miami, where rents have risen to $2,700 a month in May 2022, a 64% increase from a year prior. During the pandemic, workers left the largest U.S. cities.

Two years in, renters have returned but many commuters haven’t as companies negotiate the particulars of a return to the office. Public officials are concerned about lagging transit ridership in cities such as New York. Ed Glaeser, an economist at Harvard University, says cities are becoming more important — not less — in the age of remote work. “When you Zoom to work, you miss the opportunity to watch the people who are older, to watch what they’ve done and to learn from them,” he told CNBC in an interview.

But for renters, a return to increasingly expensive cities might seem like a raw deal, especially if they can do their jobs from home. Researchers say remote work limits firms’ ability to train new workers. Data produced by Microsoft’s workforce suggests that it is more difficult to share in-depth information remotely, which can produce silos within companies’ rank and file.

“A lot of these tech companies, they’re saying you can work remotely,” said Andra Ghent, a professor of finance at the University of Utah. “But, you know, in many cases, they’re also saying, like, we’re not going to pay you quite the same amount.” Many renters believe that a cost-of-living crisis is brewing in America’s major cities. New York City is showing up as a hotspot of rent inflation. The average rent for 1-bedroom apartments in Manhattan rose to $3,995 a month in May 2022 — a 41% increase from one year ago, according to Zumper.

Sudden, double-digit rent spikes are hitting other hubs, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Austin, Texas. Zumper data shows that growth is particularly strong in Sun Belt cities such as Miami, where rents have risen to $2,700 a month in May 2022, a 64% increase from a year prior. During the pandemic, workers left the largest U.S. cities. Two years in, renters have returned but many commuters haven’t as companies negotiate the particulars of a return to the office.

Public officials are concerned about lagging transit ridership in cities such as New York. Ed Glaeser, an economist at Harvard University, says cities are becoming more important — not less — in the age of remote work. “When you Zoom to work, you miss the opportunity to watch the people who are older, to watch what they’ve done and to learn from them,” he told CNBC in an interview. But for renters, a return to increasingly expensive cities might seem like a raw deal, especially if they can do their jobs from home.

Researchers say remote work limits firms’ ability to train new workers. Data produced by Microsoft’s workforce suggests that it is more difficult to share in-depth information remotely, which can produce silos within companies’ rank and file. “A lot of these tech companies, they’re saying you can work remotely,” said Andra Ghent, a professor of finance at the University of Utah. “But, you know, in many cases, they’re also saying, like, we’re not going to pay you quite the same amount.”

Aerial Views: Pittsburgh In Western Pennsylvania (4K)

Pittsburgh is a city in western Pennsylvania at the junction of 3 rivers. Its Gilded Age sites, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, speak to its history as an early-20th-century industrial capital. In the North Shore neighborhood are the modern Andy Warhol Museum, Heinz Field football stadium and PNC Park baseball stadium. 

Science: Fossil Mystery Solved, A Silk Mother Of Pearl, Bolivian Amazon

The puzzle of PalaeospondylusOver a hundred years ago, archaeologists discovered fossils of the aquatic animal Palaeospondylus. But since then researchers have been unable to place where this animal sits on the tree of life. Now, new analysis of Palaeospondylus’s anatomy might help to solve this mystery.

08:18 Research Highlights

A strong, silk-based version of mother of pearl, and the parrots that use their heads when climbing.

Research Highlight: Silk imitates mother of pearl for a tough, eco-friendly material

Research Highlight: A ‘forbidden’ body type? These parrots flout the rules

10:51 How lasers revealed an ancient Amazonian civilization

Archaeologists have used LiDAR to uncover evidence of an ancient civilization buried in the Bolivian Amazon. The team’s work suggests that this area was not as sparsely populated in pre-Hispanic times as previously thought.

Research article: Prümers et al.

News and Views: Large-scale early urban settlements in Amazonia

Nature Video: Lost beneath the leaves: Lasers reveal an ancient Amazonian civilisation

16:21 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the debate surrounding the first transplant of pig kidneys into humans, and the plants grown in lunar soil.

Nature News: First pig kidneys transplanted into people: what scientists think

Preview: Times Literary Supplement – May 27, 2022

Times Literary Supplement, May 27, 2022 – @TheTLS, featuring @NshShulman on the Queen; @nclarke14 on Melvyn Bragg; @richardlea on nuclear power; Claire Lowdon on Elif Batuman; @RohanMaitzen on Rosalind Brackenbury; @rinireg on abortion – and more.

News, Views and Reviews for the 55+