A welcoming place: Most Mecklenburg County residents believe the county generally welcomes newcomers, according to a survey from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. In an article on the institute’s website, Chuck McShane and Eric Caratao wrote that a majority of the 400 residents surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with five separate statements about Charlotte’s welcoming of people regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, immigration status or economic status. The Community Building Initiative, a Charlotte nonprofit that promotes inclusion and equity among groups, sponsored the survey questions on the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s Annual Survey in May and June. See the whole article here.
Real estate: A blog at Karnes, a Charlotte firm that tracks commercial space, recently reported that a company called University Investors, managed by Lincoln Harris, recently bought 24 acres at 239 W. Mallard Creek Church Road (at Tryon Street) from Bank of America for $3.5 million. Lincoln Harris was attracted to the site’s proximity to the future Blue Line Extension stop at J.W. Clay Boulevard and its terminal stop at UNCC. Read Karnes’ analysis here.
Tech research: Microsoft researchers have designed a smart bra that can detect stress, according to a UNC Charlotte news release that refers to online BBC news article. Erin Carroll, who received her doctorate in computing and information systems at UNCC last spring, was the lead researcher on the project during a research internship at Microsoft in summer 2012. She also completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UNCC in 2008. Carroll and other researchers published the paper “Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support for Emotional Eating,” which, according to the BBC story, said a bra “was ideal because it allowed us to collect EKG (electrocardiogram) near the heart.” According to the paper’s abstract, the researchers were focused on building a persuasive system for behavior modification around emotional eating.
Blood drive: Blood donors can get a free T-shirt if they give at a Community Blood Center of the Carolinas blood drive 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 13 at UNCC’s Halton Arena. Donors must weight at least 120 pounds. Find more public drives www.cbcc.us. CBCC has donation centers in Charlotte, Concord and elsewhere around the region; call 704-972-4700 or go to www.carolinadonor.org to make an appointment at any location.
Exotic animal expo: The annual Repticon! Reptile & Exotic Animal Expo will be Jan. 4-5 in Gold Hall at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center, 4751 N.C. 49 N., Concord. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 4 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 5. Two-day gate admission is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12; one-day tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 5-12. Ages 4 and younger are admitted free. For a detailed list of shows and activities, visit the Repticon website.
Cheer competition: The Athletic Championships Cheer Competition will be Jan. 11 in the arena building at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center, 4751 N.C. 49 N., Concord. The final schedule will be posted at the Athletic Championships website at 6 p.m. Jan. 9. Spectator admission is free. For more information visit www.athleticchampionships.com.