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Living Today: Issues of modern living

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International   |   March 13, 2003 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

DIGITAL HOME DASHBOARD

In its Connected Home concept, based on the increasing availability of broadband and recent developments in wireless connectivity, Philips is developing the home of the future.

The iPronto by Philips is supposed to revolutionize control of home entertainment and home automation with a "dashboard for the digital home."

Instead of having a rising pile of remotes for every electronic appliance, the iPronto controls all video, audio and home appliances at the single touch of a button.

Using this one device, a person can watch TV, check sport scores on the Internet, turn up the lights, turn off the music, check stocks, water the lawn and order a pizza.


MORE WORRIED ABOUT FIRE

A recent rash of fires has heightened Americans' concerns about fire safety, according to a survey of by the National Concrete Masonry Association.

More than 6 in 10 Americans say they are more worried about fire in public and commercial buildings because of what they've heard and read about recent fires.

Eighty-five percent believe stricter building codes for public and commercial buildings would improve fire safety.

"Fire detection includes the installation of smoke detectors and fire alarms, fire suppression includes the use of sprinkler systems, and fire containment includes fire barriers, fire walls and exterior walls built of noncombustible fire resistant materials such as concrete masonry," says Gene Corley, senior vice president of Construction Technology Laboratories.


WIND POWER

Wind power is a $6 billion industry worldwide and Denmark relies on wind for 16 percent of its electricity.

It soon will add to that capacity when the world's largest off-shore wind farm at Horns Rev, off the West Coast of Denmark in the North Sea, begins running.

The 80, 360-feet-high wind turbines are controlled by the U.S.-based Wind River technology, which controls the regulation, monitoring, data collection and control tasks that ensure efficiencies and reliability.

"Wind is one of the world's most promising non-polluting renewable energy sources and the world's capacity to generate energy from the wind has tripled over the last year," Jerry Fiddler, chairman of Wind River, says in a statement.


NOT YOUR FATHER'S POT

Today's marijuana is more potent -- because of better cultivation practices -- and its effects can be more intense than the pot the Woodstock Generation smoked.

Studies show marijuana use by the young is three times more likely to lead to dependence than it is for adults.

Getting high alters judgment, leading to risky decision-making, from driving impaired to sexual promiscuity, according to Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

"What we've learned is that teenagers who take risks with marijuana are often the same teenagers who take risks with sex," Brown says in a statement. Parents need to understand that when they talk to their children about sex they also talk about drug use, she adds.

Topics: Sarah Brown
© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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