Rohingya aid truck crash kills 9

first_img.At least nine people were killed and 13 others injured after a relief-laden truck for Rohingya people had fallen into a roadside ditch near Chhadkhola BGB border post in Naikhyangchhari upazila on Thursday.The deceased are day laborers, said district superintendant of police Sanjit Kumar Roy.Bandarban Red Crescent Society secretary AKN Jahangir said driver of a relief truck for the Rohingya refugees of Shonkhola temporary Rohingya camp lost his control over the streering and the truck veered off the road.The truck fell into a roadside ditch in the area around 7:45am, leaving six people killed on the spot and eight others injured, he added.Local upazila health complex resident physician Salman Karim Kahn said some 16 injured were admitted in the hospital and three of them succumbed to their injuries. Another injured was sent to Cox’s Bazaar Sadar hospital as his condition deteriorated.Bandarban deputy Commissioner (DC) Dilip Kumar Banik confirmed the incident.last_img read more

Schoolboy killed over seniorjunior feud

first_imgMd Hasan. Photo collected from FacebookA schoolboy was stabbed to death due to dispute between local ‘senior group’ and ‘junior group’ at Chandni Ghat of Chakbazar in Old Dhaka early Saturday, reports UNB.The victim is Md Hasan, a JSC candidate of Islambagh Ideal School.Hasan, son of Mohammad Ali, was residing at 20 Hazi Rahim Box Lane of Posta in Lalbagh.Quoting the father of the victim, sources at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) said one Ali, 15, allegedly stabbed Hasan centring dispute between ‘senior group’ and ‘junior group’ at Chandni Ghat Shishu Hospital Goli at around 9:00pm on Friday.He was rushed to DMCH with fatal injuries where he succumbed to his injuries at around 4:30am, said ASI Babul Miah of DMCH police camp.last_img read more

Public School Chancellor Announces New School Budget

first_imgThe early part of the calendar year for government entities is both a trying and exciting time. Why? Because budget season is on the horizon. From the largest department to the smallest, contracting programs, everything is up for financial examination and review. What is not needed is cut, and what is seemingly imperative for growth, expanded.DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced the new school budget on March 17.In the case of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) FY 2016 budget, its central office was cut, while its comprehensive high school programs, and school-based staff size, expanded. The news was announced March 17 by DCPS Chancellor, Kaya Henderson.Comprehensive high school programs throughout the district will receive $13 million in new funding to increase the number of advanced placement courses and elective courses, such as African-American literature, and school-based positions will increase by 200. The new funding does not include additional money for specific special education or alternative high school programs.“Our budget process this year started with strong input from our community and included honest conversations and hard decisions. This has allowed us to set a higher bar and higher expectations for our students and our schools,” said Chancellor Henderson in a press release. “Together, this budget will allow us to continue to transform DCPS into the best urban school district in the country, and the school district we all want for our children.”The budget represents a 3.4 percent increase in funding from FY 2015, which comes out to $25 million more dollars and a total local budget of $726 million for D.C.’s students. New schools will also be opened through the Chancellor’s new budget.The schools include:• Brookland Middle School (Ward 5);• Van Ness Elementary School (Ward 6);• River Terrace Elementary School (Ward 7); and• Community Academy Public Charter School Amos I CampusThe Community Academy will now operate under DCPS, Ward 4. DCPS continues to experience enrollment increases, including 1,500 new students expected next year. These new schools will help furnish DCPS’ growing population.Related to new schools, is the extension of an extended school-year program at the Raymond Education Campus (Ward 4) made possible through a $1 million pilot investment. The money will give students extra instruction time, and the program will affect planning decisions for other D.C. schools in the future.The most alarming part about the newly announced DCPS budget is the large reduction of the central office. At the time of the budget announcement, Chancellor Henderson said the school system still is not sure how the 25 percent decrease would translate into positions and staff. She was clear however, telling the AFRO on March 12, “Schools will feel it. There will be some limits to what the Central Office can provide.”The increase in funding aligns with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s dedication to improving D.C. schools, and more specifically, transforming middle school grades by 2020. While many D.C. public agencies experienced budget decreases, DCPS did not.While still early, DCPS’ budget shows promise for the upcoming school year. Individual school budgets still need to be determined. The budgets should be submitted within the next few weeks.last_img read more

Long sleep during pregnancy linked to stillbirths

first_imgSleeping more than nine hours per night during pregnancy may be associated with late stillbirth, suggests a new study. This is because blood pressure reaches its lowest point during sleep which has been linked with foetal growth problems, preterm birth, and stillbirth. The study, led by a team from the University of Michigan, explored how maternal sleep habits, including lengthy periods of sleep without waking more than once in the night, may be associated with foetal health independent of other risk factors. Moreover, pregnant women often report waking up and getting up in the middle of the night. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfVery disruptive sleep has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including growth restriction and preterm growth. “Our findings add to research indicating that maternal sleep plays a role in foetal well being. Studies aiming to reduce stillbirths should consider maternal sleep as this is a potentially modifiable risk factor,” said lead author Louise O’Brien, researcher at the varsity. “Understanding the role of maternal sleep may help us identify interventions that would put us in a better position to advise women,” O’Brien added. For the study, reported in the journal Birth, the team involved 153 women who had experienced a late stillbirth (on or after 28 weeks of pregnancy) within the previous month and 480 women with an ongoing third-trimester pregnancy or who had recently delivered a live born baby during the same period. Progress in reducing stillbirth deaths has been slow.last_img read more

Save Business Expenses with Netbooks

first_imgApril 21, 2009 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read Enroll Now for Free By Zack SternWhy Do You Need New Systems?Can you use netbooks for business? The answer depends on your specific needs, but there’s a good chance you can with current hardware. And more powerful, upcoming hardware is even more likely to work. Don’t rely on netbooks beyond their light-use design. If you’re replacing aging desktop PCs, netbooks will likely run at similar speeds without any perceived upgrade over the old hardware. A smaller case is nice but probably nets a result of wasted money.Consider netbooks more if you’re replacing old laptops. Speed gains will still be modest at best, but the little laptops could cost a lot less than more powerful systems.Netbooks can best supplement your current laptop stable instead of putting old systems out to pasture. If you’ve added a few new employees–even temporary staff–the cheap laptops could help you ride out the tightening economy.How Will You Use the New PCs?The current crop of netbooks handles a few tasks well and is abysmal at others. Be sure that your needs fall in the former group.Consider a netbook for basic productivity tasks. Even Office applications are on the threshold of straining the systems–but I think most hardware is just fast enough. Better–and lighter–uses include web browsing and email. And if your office uses online tools in a browser, the netbooks will likely work well.Avoid netbooks for more taxing, media applications. Forget any regular graphics- or audio-creation software. Forget video editing. Even media playback can be a chore on these laptops.Pick a Netbook and ExtrasIf you’re going to buy a netbook, first choose between Windows XP and Linux. Linux can offer lighter system needs and therefore streamlined performance. However the hurdle of adjusting to a new OS and rethinking your software might be too big.Netbook hardware specs are generally similar between different brands. Most of all, check out the screen and keyboard sizes. I type poorly on netbooks with 9-inch screens because the smaller form-factor shrinks the keyboard too much. See how you handle the smaller keyboards. And check out screen resolution. You’re not likely to get a lot, but get one with a resolution of 1,024×600 or greater–the typical size.Load up on RAM; shoot for 2GB. It’ll help bolster an otherwise sluggish system. And get at least 16GB of disk storage. Anything less can be too cramped next to system and application files.You’ll need peripherals for heavy netbook use. Definitely add a full-size keyboard if you’ll be typing in an office, hotel, or other longer-term location. And dig up an old monitor–or add a cheap new one–for more constant in-office use.Upcoming netbooks could act a lot more like full laptops, although there aren’t any specific release plans yet. But if you need new hardware now, the current crop can fit into a small business if you know what to expect.last_img read more

Visitors advised against festive behaviour during Thai Kings mourning

first_imgVisitors advised against ‘festive’ behaviour during Thai King’s mourning Tags: Thailand, Travel Alert BANGKOK — Concerts and colossal beach parties in Thailand have been cancelled. An annual festival meant to placate the country’s goddess of water with lanterns that float into the sky will not take place.And closed for the first time in years: red-light districts in the heart of the Thai capital filled with seedy go-go bars so irrepressible they managed to stay open even through past military coups.No foreign government has suggested its nationals to cancel trip plans, but several have issued advisories. Canada called on its citizens to “refrain from any behaviour that may be interpreted as festive, disrespectful or disorderly,” Britain urged its nationals to “wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public,” and the U.S. called on Americans to maintain “decorum during this extended period of profound mourning.”The death Thursday of Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej has plunged this Southeast Asian nation into an unprecedented period of mourning like nothing it has ever seen, and it’s likely to stay that way for some time.But calm – not chaos – prevails, and the closures and cancellations are unlikely to last more than a month or have any serious long-term impact on tourism.Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared a one-year mourning period and urged people to refrain from organizing entertainment events for 30 days. But he has also made clear that life must go on, and urged businesses to remain open to ensure the nation does not “lose its credibility.”More than 30 million tourists visit Thailand every year, accounting for about 10 per cent of government revenue. The industry is one of the few bright spots in an economy that has slumped since the army ousted a democratically elected government in 2014.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalIn a statement late Friday, the Tourism Authority of Thailand confirmed that tourist attractions will remain open with the exception of Bangkok’s gold-gilded Grand Palace, because it “will be the venue of the royal funeral rites.”Bhumibol’s body was transported by royal procession to the palace’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or Wat Phra Kaew, on Friday as thousands of people lined the roads. Widely seen here as a unifying figure and the father of the nation, Bhumibol served as monarch for 70 years – so long that most Thais have known no other.The subdued atmosphere that has engulfed the country since his death is unmistakable, visible in the black or white dress worn by millions of Thais in a massive show of mourning that has been displayed even on mannequins in luxury shopping malls.In Bangkok, the neon-lit dinner cruise ships that ply the majestic Chao Phraya River every night have turned off their booming music.Even some of the capital’s most prominent red-light districts have shut down. Nana Plaza, a three-story complex of go-go bars filled with scantily-clad women announced it was closing temporarily to “pay respect and mourn the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.”“It doesn’t bother me,” said Australian tourist Darren Turner, who was standing outside the all-dark plaza. “This is a man who stood on the throne unopposed for 70 years. He did a lot for his country and his people, and it’s good to show a mark of respect for his passing.”More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamThe neon lights of another red-light district nearby, Soi Cowboy, abruptly switched off Friday night after police and soldiers paid a visit and asked bar managers to close to show respect of the king.Hours after Bhumibol’s death on Thursday, Richard Barrow, a Bangkok-based travel blogger, tweeted that many tourists were “asking if they should cancel their holiday.” His is advice: you should not.No foreign government has suggested its nationals to cancel trip plans, but several have issued advisories. Canada called on its citizens to “refrain from any behaviour that may be interpreted as festive, disrespectful or disorderly,” Britain urged its nationals to “wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public,” and the U.S. called on Americans to maintain “decorum during this extended period of profound mourning.”While Thailand’s stunning beaches and resorts remain open, some tourists’ plans to see particular events may already be ruined.In the northern city of Chiang Mai, the city government announced the annual Yi Peng Festival set for mid-November – in which tens of thousands of lanterns float into the sky – has been cancelled.On the island of Koh Phangan, organizers of the renowned “Full Moon” party, which had been set to begin Oct. 17, called the event off.And in Bangkok, a sold-out concert featuring British singer Morrissey, the former frontman of The Smiths, was also cancelled.Khaosod English, a local media outlet which reported numerous cancellations in the capital, offered prudent advice to its readers for upcoming events: “Call ahead first.” The Canadian Press Posted bycenter_img Share Monday, October 17, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Lender Profits Looking Up

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, News Doug Duncan Fannie Mae Lender Sentiment Lenders 2019-03-13 Seth Welborn March 13, 2019 815 Views Sharecenter_img According to Fannie Mae’s Q1 2019 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, mortgage lenders net profit margin outlook has improved significantly in the past three months, despite still being negative. Fannie Mae cites stronger demand expectations for both purchase and refinance mortgages for the increases.”Lenders appear less pessimistic regarding mortgage demand expectations; thus their profit margin outlook over the next three months is also slightly improved,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “While the results seem to portray the gloomiest picture of purchase mortgage demand during the prior three months in the survey’s five-year history, the net share of lenders expecting rising demand over the next three months exceeded the level recorded in the same quarter last year. Lenders’ view of the refinance market was somewhat rosier, as both recent and expected demand improved to the best showing in two years, helping to support lenders’ improved profit margin outlook.”According to the survey, the net share of lenders reporting purchase loan demand growth across all loan types reached a survey low, but demand growth expectations for the next three months has improved. Meanwhile, the refinance mortgage demand saw a significant increase. The net share of lenders to report demand growth over the prior three months hit its highest number in two years. Lenders have also reported easing credit standards across all loan types”While more lenders anticipate declining rather than rising profit margins, continuing the trend that started in the fourth quarter of 2016, the net share expecting falling profit margins decreased from a survey high in the prior quarter to the lowest share in nearly two years,” continued Duncan. “Lenders’ improved demand outlook going into the spring selling season bodes well for our forecast of relatively flat mortgage volume this year following the double-digit drop in 2018.”Find out more about Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey here. Lender Profits Looking Uplast_img read more

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has completed th

first_imgFrench commercial broadcaster TF1 has completed the acquisition of female lifestyle digital media provider Aufeminin Group from Axel Springer and named Olivier Abecassis as CEO of the unit.Following regulatory approval, TF1 has completed the purchase of a 78.07% majority stake in the group from Axel Springer at a price of €39.47 a share and has made a public offer for the balance of the shares.Abecassis, TF1’s chief digital officer, replaces Marie-Laure Sauty de Challon as CEO of the group. Other members of the Aufeminin management team remain in place, including deputy managing directors Agnès Alazard and Christophe Decker and finance chief Patrick Caetano.TF1 made a firm offer for the digital media group in December. The final price is slightly higher than the original offer, under which TF1 planned to pay €37.74 a share.Aufeminin owns brands including Joyce, Lonny, Marmiton, My Little Paris, Netmums, Onmeda, StyleBistro and its eponymous Aufeminin portal. These brands target a combination of both French and international audiences.Last week TF1 posted Q1 revenues of €499.3 million, down 0.8% year-on-year, and an operating profit of €38.3 million, up 1.4%.last_img read more

In This Issue   Japan goes all in   Job talk

first_imgIn This Issue..*  Japan goes all in *  Job talk *  ECB saves the day *  BOE stays putAnd, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Draghi uses another lifeline.Good day.and welcome to Friday morning. Since Chuck and Chris are on the set list at the Global Currency Expo, I’ll be at master control today. Well, it’s been exactly one week since my last visit with you and the market is singing somewhat of a different tune. It was one of the more action packed days yesterday, at least for the currency market, that we’ve seen in a while so there’s no shortage of stuff to talk about. At times, it reminded me of a suspense novel with a few good plot twists that keeps you on seat’s edge.As Chris reported yesterday, it all started in Japan when the central bank announced its goal of attaining 2% inflation within two years by doubling the monetary base through buying government bonds and other securities. In other words, the BOJ is going all in and then some by expanding QE to an monthly $77.8 billion figure. I don’t know if this shift in attention from interest rates to the monetary base is their last bullet, but I would say it has to be close. This action mirrors the Fed with a current inflation target of 2% and then the intended consequence of a weaker currency along with a rising stock market.The BOJ said this policy will probably result in the central bank buying about 70% of the government bond issuance and probably ending up somewhere in the 150 trillion yen figure by the time its said and done. It’s a shame this thought even came to mind, but I had to ask Siri what came after the trillion mark. So, you’re trivia night tip of the day is quadrillion. Anyway, they are more than tripling the balance sheet increases from their last two measure but where does it end. Like anything else, there’s plenty of support and opposition, but I think Bill Gross made a good point by saying much more depreciation of the yen has to take place to get anywhere close to 2%, and he’s not sure the other G7 nations are willing to permit that.When I came in yesterday morning, the yen was down about 2.5% and the dollar was up across the board on the news out of Japan. Next up on the playlist was the economic data here in the US, which didn’t do anything to turn the tide. In fact, we saw another disappointing day in the report department as the jobs data wasn’t encouraging. Chris touched on this as well, but the Challenger job cuts report did reveal that layoffs in March were up 30% compared to this time last year. According to the report, announced layoffs were about 145k in the first quarter, which is the most since third quarter 2011. The report also went on to say that federal spending cuts could cause more damage down the road.The weekly jobless claims gave us yet another move in the wrong direction. Those who filed for unemployment benefits last week increased to 385k, which was the highest since Nov. 24. The Labor Department said that claims from California and the Virgin Islands were estimated and the Good Friday holiday were factors that needed to be taken into consideration. That’s fine and everything but I have a difficult time rolling past this one, especially taking into account the other data reports showing similar results. For example, let’s take a look at the ADP employment report from Wednesday, which many economists use as a preview to the national employment number.The experts were forecasting a job increase in the neighborhood of 200k, but instead, we only saw 158k. The disappointing result was primarily attributed to a subdued showing from the construction industry, but nonetheless, it was the smallest increase since October. I thought this sector would have actually led the way since we usually see a pickup in construction projects once spring hits, including home building, but maybe we’ll see that jump in April. Also going back to Wednesday, we saw a measure of the service industry that raised some eyebrows.The ISM non-manufacturing index unexpectedly fell to a 7 month low in March as it slid down to 54.4 from the previous reading of 56. While manufacturing is important to the US economy, the services sector is the lifeblood as it accounts for just about 90% of the economy. If we take a look under the hood, the employment gauge of this index saw its largest decline in about four years and we also saw a pullback in the new orders component. Neither report yielded a horrible outcome, but the markets are starting to interpret these results as a slowdown heading into the second quarter.Getting back to jobs, we do have the March jobs jamboree number right out of the gate this morning, so we won’t have to wait long before things heat up. The experts are prognosticating a figure of 190k and the unemployment rate to remain at 7.7%, but the infamous adjustments made to the bottom-line by the BLS makes it an educated guess at best. There can be a fairly large disparity between the ADP number and the official report, so take it for what you will, but it’s what we have to work with. Take last March for example. The ADP number came in at 129k while the gov. report was 205k.I glanced at both reports over the past year and noticed the ADP report, more times than not, yielded a lower number so if that logic remains, I would say 190k is within reach. But, let’s see what the BLS has to say about it. With the slower economic numbers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a disappointing outcome. Looking ahead to next week, it’s shaping up to be light in the data department. There’s only a handful of reports, but the March budget statement and minutes of the last Fed meeting on Wednesday will hold some weight. Other than that, we’ll see the March retail sales report on Friday, which is expected to slow.The dollar index shot up right after the US data report and the euro fell to 1.2746. It was shaping up to be one of those days where you wished that you had stayed in bed, but in a matter of minutes, the market turned on a dime. I actually had to do a double take as the euro was back trading well into the 1.28 handle. I’m sure you’re thinking, well what happened. It was Mario Draghi to the rescue. He once again rode in on his white horse while yelling out whatever we need to do as he galloped by. As Chris mentioned yesterday, the ECB had their monthly meeting and it couldn’t have come at a better time.Draghi, who is the ECB president, said monthly policy stance will remain accommodative for as long as needed. He went on to say they will assess all of the incoming data in the coming weeks and they will stand ready to act. He also said they are considering both standard and non-standard measures to increase stimulus, but he didn’t reveal any specifics. Some gov. officials hinted that a rate cut and additional long term loans to banks could be on tap soon, but a rate cut to 0.5% looks to be the next order of business.Since inflation is well below the 2% target, the ECB has plenty of capacity to ramp up the stimulus, much like the Fed and BOJ. The market wanted to get that reassurance from Draghi that he’s still willing to do whatever it takes to not only keep the European economy afloat but also maintain the integrity of the euro. Confidence took a big hit in conjunction with the whole Cyprus deal, so I would say that he was forced to show his hand. If he didn’t reiterate his do whatever it takes stance, it most likely would have been a much different story.I ran across two interesting headlines on the Bloomberg, one of which said Greek March economic sentiment rises to the highest level since 2009 and the other read Cyprus economy might shrink 13% in 2013. I think we can sort of call this the before and after picture. A Cypriot gov. official said the recession may not be 8.7% as is currently estimated, but instead, my reach 13%. In Greece, we’ve seen some increased investment activity and a return of bank deposits going a long way in giving the feeling that things are at least progressing, even though recession remains firmly in place.The BOE also met and decided to maintain their current stimulus measures as well as keeping rates on hold. There was some chatter that we may see British officials join the party and turn up the stimulus a notch or two, but they’re in a bit of a different situation. You see, inflation is actually running above target and is projected to rise in the coming months, so policy makers don’t want to pour gas on an open flame. The pound actually ended the day as the best performing currency with nearly a 0.7% gain.Taking a look at the other currencies, it ended up being a decent day. That is, except for the Japanese yen as it lost nearly 3.5% and was trading into the 96 handle. Other than that, the Aussie and Swedish krona were the only others to finish the day in negative territory. It would have only taken a few basis points in the other direction to get them into the black, but like I said earlier, it was a totally different picture right out of the gate yesterday morning. I mean, the euro was trading at 1.2930 as I walked out the door last night.As I came in this morning, things are pretty much where they were last night as the euro is still sitting in 1.29 land and the yen is trading in the 96 handle. We did see Feb retail sales in the euro area fall 0.3%, led by a 2.2% drop in France, but we also had German factory orders increase twice as much as expected in Feb, so they sort of offset. Other than that, it’s been a fairly quiet morning so far as everyone is holding their breath until we see that big jobs report here in the US. Gold and silver have stopped to take a breather, but depending on the jobs number, we could see the volatility continue.Then There Was This.There is a report rising to the surface that two former top officials at the Bank of Cyprus may have deleted e-mail messages relating to the bank’s disastrous decision to invest heavily in Greek government bonds. In this report commissioned by the central bank, forensic experts are examining the computers of former CEO Andreas Eliades and Christakis Patsalides, a high ranking executive in the bank’s treasury department, as wiping software normally not installed on the bank’s computers were found.To recap.Japan is throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at trying to get inflation moving toward a goal of 2%. As a result, the yen turned in the worst performance of the day with over a 3.5% loss from the enormous monetary expansion plans. All eyes now shift toward the March jobs number in the US this morning, which is expected to rise by 190k. Recent jobs data and a slowdown in the service sector have some lowering expectations heading into the second quarter. Draghi saves the day with his pledge to remain accommodative for as long as needed, so he played the do whatever it takes card once again. The BOE met and decided to keep things status quo, so the pound turned in the best performance of the day.Currencies today 4/5/13. American Style: A$ $1.0417, kiwi .8393, C$ .9862, euro 1.2923, sterling 1.5224, Swiss $1.0629. European Style: rand 9.1614, krone 5.7650, SEK 6.4924, forint 232.77, zloty 3.2347, koruna 19.9232, RUB 31.58, yen 96.06, sing 1.2397, HKD 7.7655, INR 54.8550, China 6.2609, pesos 12.3352, BRL 2.0150, Dollar Index 82.70, Oil $93.05, 10-year 1.74%, Silver $26.96, Gold. $1,554.55, and Platinum $1,529.00.That’s it for today.Well, it’s yet another week in the history books and I’m glad to see that it’s Friday. It’s supposed to be nice this weekend, so I desperately need to get outside and do some yard work. I did get the green light from the doc to put the crutches away and start walking on my healing broken ankle. It still needs some tlc, but I can at least walk on two feet again. We’ll find out who gets to play for the NCAA championship this weekend, so the best of luck if your team remains. My bracket blew up long ago, so I’m just hoping for good games. Speaking of a good game, the Blues were able to edge past the Blackhawks last night in an exciting shootout win. And with baseball in full swing, I can finally say spring has sprung. So until next time, Have a Great Day! Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

Recommended Link

first_imgRecommended Link Recommended Link This Weird New Tech Is Disrupting The $7.8 Trillion Finance IndustryHe picked the #1 stock on the S&P 500 11 months in advance and saw a 1,000% return. Now he says this will be the #1 tech play of 2018… and Silicon Valley insiders are already investing millions in it… Click Here for the Full Story — Click here for the full story Why America’s “Second Confederacy” Could Begin Nov. 6, 2018California governor Jerry Brown says the feds are “basically going to war.” Cities and states are suing the federal government. Is it any wonder that 13 states—including Texas, New York, and California—could soon “secede” from America? One expert shows how they’ll “break” from the union, but not in the way you think… Not a single gunshot will be fired. And not a single soldier will be deployed. Instead, these states have found an ingenious way to reclaim part of their sovereignty. See what it means for you, even if you live outside these 13 “rogue” states… By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily DispatchOur destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security… When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.Donald Trump said this in June. It was why he announced plans for a Space Force.The Space Force, as I’m sure you’ve heard, would be the newest branch of the military. Its purpose is—you guessed it—to defend space.Now, I’ll admit it. I didn’t take the Space Force seriously when Trump announced his plans for it three months ago. But I no longer feel that way.I say this because it’s now clear to me that conflict in space isn’t just possible… It’s probable. You could even make the case that it’s an immediate threat to America.That probably sounds like fearmongering. But consider this…• Russia launched a mysterious object into space last year.I’m talking about a satellite known as Kosmos 2519.At the time, the world didn’t know the purpose of this satellite. Only the Russians did.But recent intelligence now suggests Kosmos 2519 could be a weapon. Yleem Poblete, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, warned at a conference last month:We are concerned with what appears to be very abnormal behavior by a declared ‘space apparatus inspector.’ We don’t know for certain what it is, and there is no way to verify it.Poblete said that recent U.S. intelligence indicates that this satellite could be surveilling U.S. space assets (i.e. satellites), possibly in preparation for an attack. Quartz reported last month: Such a vehicle could be used for many purposes: To perform maintenance on or re-fuel older satellites, extending their lives, or to clean up space debris, even sending old satellites to storage orbits or to burn up in the atmosphere. It could also be used to spy on other satellites and attack them with lasers, robotic manipulators or simply by crashing into them.This sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. But regular readers know it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens. • Doug Casey recently told me that the militarization of space was inevitable… Here’s an excerpt from our conversation on the Space Force:Ever since the days of the cavemen, warriors have striven to control the high ground—and space is the ultimate high ground.So this is ramping up the arms race in a big way. And I don’t see how you can stop it. Governments get in wars with each other for a living; it’s their raison d’être. It’s been that way for thousands of years. No different from Game of Thrones, to use an analogy that’s more meaningful to the average sports fan.Of course, you’re probably wondering, “Why militarize space? What’s the motivation?” It’s quite simple, really.• Everyday life depends on space… Pull your smartphone out of your pocket.Can you imagine life without it? Most people can’t. They’d be completely lost without it, both literally and figuratively.This is because smartphones keep us in contact with our family and friends. They help us get from point A to point B. They make it possible to hail an Uber with just a few clicks.And that’s just one example of how dependent modern civilization is on space assets. Not to mention, the satellites in the sky also guide military missiles.To say they’re strategically important is a massive understatement. If we lost contact with our satellites, all hell would break loose.Unfortunately, it wouldn’t take much for that to happen. Strategic Investor editor E.B. Tucker explains:If just a few of the 24 active GPS satellites go offline, devices will lose the ability to triangulate. That means they won’t know where they are anymore. Planes won’t know where they’re going, ships will go wayward, your cell phone won’t work, and the bank machine won’t dispense money because it thinks it’s 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 1900.In other words, a coordinated attack on satellites could bring a country like the United States to its knees. Still, most people won’t take this seriously… that’s because this threat sounds like something ripped from a science fiction novel. But this would almost certainly happen if a major conflict broke out.The Office of the Director of National Intelligence warned in February: We assess that, if a future conflict were to occur involving Russia or China, either country would justify attacks against U.S. and allied satellites as necessary to offset any perceived U.S. military advantage derived from military, civil, or commercial space systems. — • The good news is that the U.S. government will do everything it can to prevent this… It’ll invest heavily in defense systems as well as capabilities to attack other satellites.E.B. agrees. He wrote in the latest issue of Strategic Investor:There’s a new space race.This race is for control of the air between Earth and outer space. Whoever wins will control world commerce. The U.S. knows the stakes. It also knows it’s facing more competition than it did in the race against the Soviets 50 years ago.E.B.’s absolutely correct. Every major country in the world will vie for control of space. Doug thinks so, too:The Chinese are space-capable. So, they’ll do it as well. The Indians are becoming space-capable. And, of course, the Europeans. Soon we’re going to have two, three, many different forces in space…This is just the way these things happen. Somebody does A and somebody else has to do B to counter A. Then somebody else does C to counter B.Unfortunately, there’s nothing the average person can do to prevent an all-out conflict in space. But you can turn this threat into huge profits. Be sure to read tomorrow’s Dispatch to learn how.Regards,Justin Spittler Kotor, Montenegro September 19, 2018P.S. As I mentioned, E.B. has been covering this opportunity and sharing specific ways to profit with his Strategic Investor readers. And he just recommended two new companies poised to soar in the years ahead as this new space race heats up. Subscribers can catch up on his recent issues on the opportunity here and here.If you’re not a Strategic Investor subscriber, I highly recommend signing up for a risk-free trial today. You’ll be able to access E.B.’s picks—and all of his other big money-making ideas—right away. Learn more here.Reader MailbagWhat are your thoughts on the new space race? Do you see it as a major threat to America today? Would you like to hear more about this idea—and ways to protect yourself and profit? Let us know right here.In Case You Missed It…Doug Casey is headed to Bermuda for the first-ever Legacy Investment Summit in the weeks ahead. And he asks you to join him…And it’s not just Doug.Some of your favorite Casey Research editors like E.B. Tucker, Nick Giambruno, Dave Forest, and Marco Wutzer will also be there.There’s still time to save a seat—and receive $1,000 in bonuses for joining us. Details here.last_img read more

Mexicos future in focus at Rices Baker Institute May 18

first_imgShareMEDIA ADVISORYDavid Ruthdavid@rice.edu713-348-6327Jeff Falkjfalk@rice.edu713-348-6775Mexico’s future in focus at Rice’s Baker Institute May 18  HOUSTON – (May 8, 2015) – Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano, former leader and founding member of Mexico’s Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), will share his perspective on the country’s upcoming elections at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy May 18. This Baker Institute Mexico Center event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.Who: Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano, former politician and current president of the Mexican foundation, Fundación para la Democracia.Allen Matusow, the Baker Institute’s director of academic affairs and the William Gaines Twyman Professor of History at Rice, will provide welcoming remarks.Tony Payan, the Baker Institute’s Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and Mexico Center director, will give the introduction.What: “The State of Mexican Democracy: A Conversation with Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.”When: Monday, May 18, 6-7:30 p.m. A reception will begin at 6; Cárdenas’ presentation will begin at 6:30.Where: Rice University, James A. Baker III Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.In June, voters in Mexico will head to the polls to elect the 63rd Congress as well as a number of governors, mayors, city council members and state legislators. Will Mexico’s recent electoral reforms and the new National Electoral Institute foster transparency and fair elections? What will the elections mean for international investors in energy and telecommunications? In his presentation, Cárdenas will share his perspective on the upcoming elections and the future of democracy in Mexico.Cárdenas is available for interviews in advance of his presentation.Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.The public must register to attend this event at a map of Rice University’s campus with parking information, go to Media are advised to park in the Central Campus Garage.-30-Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInsitute.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 10 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog, AddThislast_img read more

Women at center of undocumented revelations will speak at event sponsored by

first_imgAddThis Share1MEDIA ADVISORYDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduWomen at center of ‘undocumented’ revelations will speak at event sponsored by Rice’s Tapia Center HOUSTON – (June 20, 2016) – Two young women who revealed their undocumented status at the time of their graduation from high school and a third who drove thousands of miles to bring her undocumented mother to her college commencement at Harvard last month will be part of a panel discussion presented by Rice University’s Richard Tapia Center for Excellence and Equality Tuesday, June 21.The event, “The Importance of Education for All,” will be held at the Ripley House Neighborhood Center, 4410 Navigation Blvd., Houston, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.All three women garnered national press for their revelations and the aftermath. Norma Torres Mendoza, a 2013 graduate of Rice and now a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, flew to Houston in May to pick up her mother and drive her to Massachusetts to attend her commencement. She feared that her mother would be detained at the airport if she attempted to fly.The Texas high school students, Larissa Martinez and Mayte Lara Ibarra, were valedictorians and revealed their status on the occasion of their graduations, Martinez from the lectern and Ibarra on Twitter before the event. Ibarra graduated from David Crockett High School in Austin and will attend the University of Texas at Austin, and Martinez graduated from McKinney High School in McKinney and will attend Yale University.Joining them on the panel will be Richard Tapia, a University Professor and mathematician at Rice who was the first Hispanic elected to the National Academy of Engineering and was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2011; State Sen. Sylvia Garcia; Juliet Stipeche, director of education for the city of Houston; and Houston immigration attorney Charles Foster.The Tapia Center is dedicated to advancing women and minorities through their higher education goals, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.What: A panel discussion titled “The Importance of Education for All.”When: Tuesday, June 21, 7 to 8:30 p.m.Where: Ripley House Neighborhood Center, 4410 Navigation Blvd., Houston.Tapia is available to speak with media about the event today, and press are invited to cover the event on Tuesday. Contact Jaime Rodriguez at the Tapia Center at 202-905-3652 or or Mike Williams at Rice Public Affairs at 713-348-6728 or Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated materials:2 valedictorians in Texas declare undocumented status, and outrage ensues:  She had to drive her mom 2,000 miles to see her graduate from Harvard. Here’s why:  Tapia Center at Rice: tapiacenter.rice.eduTapia Magazine: on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to read more

Googlers Stage Walkout to Protest Trumps Immigration Ban

first_img Image credit: turtix / Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Associate Editor The coordinated protest is happening now across eight campuses. This story originally appeared on Engadget Politics 2 min read Add to Queue –sharescenter_img Next Article Andrew Tarantola Googlers Stage Walkout to Protest Trump’s Immigration Ban Numerous technology companies have already voiced their opposition to the Trump administration’s executive order from Friday banning the immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Today, Google employees from eight campuses have staged a work stoppage and walkout to protest the order as well.Super proud of all my fellow Googlers who showed up in a display of solidarity #NoBanNoWall #GooglersUnite— Mike Doherty (@mikedoherty_ca) January 30, 2017The employees are coordinating and documenting their protest using the #GooglersUnite hashtag. Google does not have an official comment on the situation but a source within the company did state that the company supports the employees’ rally.This is @google right now. #googlersunite— PGK (@patrickgage) January 30, 2017There are at least 187 Googler families affected by there #MuslimBan. Today we stand with them. #Googlersunite #NoBanNoWall— Bri Connelly (@bricon5) January 30, 2017According to company reps, Google Assistant project manager Soufi Esmaeilzadeh acted as the keynote speaker for the Mountain View campus. Esmaeilzadeh, an Iranian-born Canadian citizen who has lived in the U.S. for 15 years (and employed by Google for the last five), was on a plane from San Francisco en route to Zurich when Trump’s executive order took effect. After conferring with Google’s legal team, she returned to the U.S. via Boston and arrived back in the Bay Area yesterday. In addition to Esmaeilzadeh, other employees affected by the order spoke out as well as Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai and company co-founder, Sergey Brin. The company estimates more than 2,000 employees participated in total.Update: That didn’t last long. According to eyewitnesses, the San Francisco branch of the protest has apparently already headed back to work.Aaaaaaaaand the Googlers are done. Protest duration: less than an hour— Blake Montgomery (@blakersdozen) January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

New Study Confirms What Many Already Know Cannabis Helps Treat Insomnia

first_img Add to Queue Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. August 9, 2018 Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. Image credit: PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou | Getty Images Medical Marijuana Green Entrepreneur Podcast –shares New Study Confirms What Many Already Know: Cannabis Helps Treat Insomnia 5 min read Four-time Stanley Cup Champion Darren McCarty often credits medical cannabis with saving his life. “When I first went pro at age 21, I was drinking myself to sleep every night,” McCarty says. “When I couldn’t drink, I experienced severe anxiety. That is when I first remember battling insomnia.”While the former Detroit Red Wings superstar says he used cannabis off-and-on during his NHL playing days, he’s the first to admit that it wasn’t strictly for medicinal use. “In my playing days, I didn’t know any better,” he says. “But after my NHL career ended, I began educating myself about the benefits of cannabis, one of which was for treating insomnia. It was around that time when I began to respect cannabis as a medicine.”Similar to McCarty, former UFC Heavyweight Champion and three-time King of Pancrase World Champion, Bas Rutten, also battled with insomnia. But for much of his professional fighting career, Rutten was heavily dependent on sleep aids such as Seroquel to treat the problem. “I knew the sleeping pills were ruining my liver,” he saysBut it wasn’t until his primary care physician introduced him to high-CBD (cannabidiol), Indica-dominant cannabis strains in 2013 that he found a replacement for the pills. “After being introduced to medical cannabis, one hit at night with a vaporizer allows me to fall asleep with ease,” he says.Related: He Fought for Marijuana Legalization at Age 13. Now He’s Reaping the Rewards.Vindicated by ResearchNow a new study from the University of New Mexico (UNM) backs up these two athletes’ and countless others’ claims. The study entitled Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia Under Naturalistic Conditions, recently published in the Medicines journal, concludes that the consumption of medical cannabis flower is associated with significant improvements in perceived insomnia.Jacob M. Vigil, MD, the lead cannabis researcher at the University of New Mexico, utilized a mobile software application called Releaf App to analyze how 409 people who completed 1,056 medical cannabis administration sessions tracked their personal cannabis administration methods, products, dosing regimen, and perceived side effects (co-author Kevin Provost is an investor in Releaf App).Dr. Vigil says that patients using cannabis flower, and particularly plant strains with higher CBD contents, reported significant improvements in insomnia symptoms with relatively minimal negative side effects.According to the UNM study and based on data collected by Releaf App, Sativa strains were more commonly associated with more reports of negative side effects than Indica strains. Vaporizing was also associated with reduced reports of negative side effects compared to smoking joints.   The study concludes that in comparison to conventional prescription pharmaceutical sleep aids, CBD is generally believed to be much safer and often is described as non-psychoactive.  “For individuals weighing the costs and benefits of using different types of sleep medications, whole natural Cannabis flower, or good old fashion ‘bud’ to the layman, may offer some of the highest therapeutic-to-negative-side-effect profiles of any available options currently available to sleep-sufferers,” Dr. Virgil says.Despite the fact that insomnia is still not a qualifying condition under any state-authorized medical cannabis programs, McCarty and Rutten were excited to learn about the insomnia research study, which further confirms and supports their personal experiences. “It’s important to have science-based research backing up what many individuals believe to be true about the healing effects of cannabis,” says McCarty.Rutten agrees. “It seems that 85 percent of the people I talk to about medical cannabis are either using it for pain management or as a sleep aid.”Related: New Study Will Explore Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for AutismTheir Cannabis RegimeWhen we asked McCarty and Rutten if they had specific products or dosing regiments to recommend for insomnia, both were quick to provide personal insight.Rutten’s cannabis regimen includes a vaporizer for Indica-dominant strains like Northern Lights, Purple Passion, and OG-Kush prior to bedtime. Rutten rarely takes more than one hit, unless he’s feeling extremely stressed.McCarty, on the other hand, manages his insomnia with a low-TCH/high-CBD strain three times per week on average. It is far more important for him to communicate with the source of his medical cannabis supply as opposed to relying on a specific strain, he says, advising: “Get to know your cultivator so you can trust where your products come from”.For McCarty and Rutten, the support of medical cannabis doesn’t stop with personal consumption. In addition to being medical cannabis patients themselves, both men advocate for cannabis research as members of Athletes for CARE (A4C), a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2016 to address critical health and wellness issues facing former professional athletes and the public.“Once people know you are using cannabis, it’s easier to talk about”, says Rutten, who joined A4C to help share his story of overcoming an addiction to pain pills using cannabis.  Similarly, McCarty was attracted to A4C to help spread education on medical cannabis and to surround himself with like-minded individuals in pursuit of healthier lifestyles. “Having consensus among athletes from every major sport in support of cannabis research is something the media, professional sports leagues, and healthcare communities can’t ignore for much longer,” says McCarty.With over fifty former professional athletes presently in the organization, Athletes for CARE is the largest “by athletes – for athletes” cannabis advocacy group in the world.Related: Ice Cube’s Big3 Allows CBD UseKevin Provost is Founder of CoFund360, CEO of Greenhouse Ventures, and Chair of the Advisory Board for Athletes for CARE.  Researchers at the University of New Mexico find that Indica and vapes are effective in treating sleep disorders. Javier Hasse and Kevin Provost Listen Nowlast_img read more

Meet the Evil Genius Behind New York Comic Con

first_img October 10, 2016 Add to Queue Actually, his name is Lance and he’s really nice. Editorial Director –shares The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Next Article Image credit: Dan Bova 2019 Entrepreneur 360 Listcenter_img Entertainment Apply Now » Meet the Evil Genius Behind New York Comic Con In a land before time (2005 to be exact) the words “New York Comic Con” did not exist. Fast forward to the future (now!) and New York Comic Con is not only a thing, it is the premiere convention dedicated to comic books, anime, video games, toys, movies and television. People come to the event to collect, nerd-out over sneak peeks, listen to awesome creator panelists and more than anything else, play dress up.I went to the Jacob Javitz Center to check out this year’s offering. In an office space overlooking the vast floor of the convention (kind of like a mad scientist’s volcano lair, only with more water bottles and beige walls) I spoke with Lance Fensterman, creator of NYCC and senior global VP of ReedPOP, the company that runs the show.While he did rub his hands together and cackle madly gazing over the insanity he created, never once did he threaten to wipe humanity from the face of the Earth. What’s New York Comic Con’s origin story?In 2006, we were in one single hall downstairs in the Javitz Center. The idea basically came from the question: why doesn’t New York City have a big con? The prevailing answer was, “Because it is really expensive!” But in 2006, we gave it a try. It was a tiny show, tiny hall and big crowd. It did not go well. [Laughs] It was 10 pounds of show in a 5-pound bag. The fire marshal shut it down, people who bought tickets didn’t get in, people who didn’t buy tickets got in, it was a mess. But there was something there.We apologized, made good with the fans and figured out how to do it better. Now in 2016, we’ve grown so big that we can’t fit in all in the Javitz Center, and are using other venues in the city.Related: Check Out Mind-Blowing Cosplay at New York Comic Con (Slideshow)Was this your first big idea?In a way. Reed Exhibitions was in the business trade show space, and dabbled a bit on consumer trade shows but never in a big way. This was the first consumer show. ReedPOP is the offshoot. We realized quickly that ReedPOP needed its own brand, its own culture, its own identity. We went on to do the New York Anime Festival, acquired a small video game show in Seattle called Penny Arcade Expo, we struck a deal with Lucasfilm to run their Star Wars Celebration and now we’re in 10 countries around the world with about 30 events.How do you maintain consistency across all of those events in all of those countries?It’s the question that is constantly on my mind. How do you get bigger but maintain the thing that makes it special? I think we do it primarily one way, which is to stay close to the people who matter most, which are the fans. Find out what they want, try to anticipate what they might want before they even think of it. If we stay core to that, we won’t stray too far from the DNA that made us who we are.Did fandom lead you to doing this?I’m a comic book fan, video game guy, huge LEGO collector. But what’s interesting though is that you go to these shows and you realize you don’t know what a “fan” is until you start to meet these people. Like I have a lot of LEGO sets, but there are people who have thousands of unopened boxes. They’re like, “You open them and build them?!” They look down on me. [Laughs] Those guys are “fans.” I’m an amateur.What does being a big LEGO fan mean exactly?It means that when I was moving once and the last thing I was moving was my LEGOs, because they’re my most precious possessions. So I’m in the elevator and I’ve got one of multiple loads of LEGOs and this person goes, “Oh, your son must be so happy.” And I’m like, “Yeah, my son … who doesn’t exist … I’m not weird, I’m just a grown man with thousands of LEGOs in this elevator alone!”I had a personal bounty of $500 cash to my team for whoever could get LEGO to come to the show. And we got them four or five years ago. And now I get to get their exclusive toy with the logo of my show on the box, and that’s like little kid Lance going, “Alright, good job adult Lance!”There are a ton of businesses out there on that floor. Do you give them tips and best practices?What’s funny is that the smaller guys know what they’re doing. They know how to get customers, bring the right stuff — they know what they’re doing! The bigger guys are the ones who need a little bit of assistance. They’re not used to hand-to-hand combat with fans! We definitely lend our expertise to non-endemic brands that are here so that they can connect in an authentic way that will be meaningful.The best way is when you can solve a problem for someone. Like, I think it was Progressive last year, they had professional line standers. Meaning, they had people who would wait in line for you while you walked around enjoying the show. And the fans were like, “Progressive, that’s awesome! You provided more fun time for me.” That’s a great example of a non-endemic activation that fans loved.How far in advance do you plan this?I’m looking at my phone and have e-mails about 2017 right now! We are constantly researching and make use of surveys, taking in comments to see what people want and how to make it better. My team, in part, is paid on how much people enjoyed themselves. I found that helps keep us focused.Related: Hulking Great Investments: 12 Comic Books That Are Now Worth A FortuneAny regrettable moments over the years?Um, yeah, OK. Once we did a sponsorship with a toilet paper brand. I thought it was clever, but it wasn’t. It was bad, looked like a total sellout. It wasn’t, I thought it was funny! And there was another campaign, I’m not going to name the brand, that had a clever play on words that was really kind of crass. And it was just stupid. And it was on a lot of our screens in our panel rooms. And our artists and creators would see it on the screen before they spoke and would be like, “What the f*ck is that?” [Laughs]We realized we should never have taken their money, or happily taken their money and then help them do what they were trying to do in a much cooler way. So yes, there have been regrettable moments!When you talk about Comic Con, the first thing a lot of people think of is the cosplay. I’m not sure that people realize those are just fans who built these elaborate and expensive costumes just for fun.It’s true! And it is kind of an indicator for us if one of our cons around the world is a success. The elaborate costumes and sheer number of them is amazing, and we see it wherever we go. It’s not “I like this,” it’s “I want to become this.” That’s a passionate fan base!Are there any countries where the culture alters what Comic Con is?No, it is generally very similar. I’ve been all around the world and there is a strain of personality that goes across all cultures and just loves this stuff. Politics sometimes brings in slight differences. Like in Australia, they have very strict age rules on video games, so there will be bigger walls and different configurations to make sure kids won’t be exposed to any of the more mature games.What is the next step for NYCC?We want to move into not just curating great stuff, but become more a part of the creation. We’re looking to make this a citywide event, which isn’t easy. “Hey, you have a great idea for a podcast? Go do it at Barcade in Brooklyn.” We want to facilitate and help people who are passionate about this stuff.What do you think when you look out over that floor?Well, it’s hard not to see the flaws. These people love this, and it is our job to allow them to enjoy it as much as possible. So for example, this morning, the lines to get in were too long. That took time away from people doing what they love and that’s not OK. But we fix that stuff and keep improving.An important thing to me is that we help small businesses here. There are a lot of people that are going to make a lot of money here this weekend and that’s important. And what’s funny is we have an interesting dynamic with these sellers. They’re not entirely Incentivized to tell us how well they are doing. If they say, “I’m killing it!” then they assume we’d be like, “We’re not charging you enough!” So they’re a little cagey. “Yeah, it’s going OK.” But trust me, if they weren’t doing well out there, we’d hear it!Related: Everything You Need to Know About Breaking Into the Video Game IndustryWhat does seeing NYCC grow mean to you?We build fun for a living. There’s nothing “serious” here. I watch the debates, there is some depressing shit going on out there. So I love the fact that people can come here and forget all that, dress up, spend some money and just have fun. I mean, there’s a guy in a fucking 10-foot Hulk costume out there! It’s wonderful.Who would you most like to be dressed as down there?I think I’ll cosplay as a real business man. I’ll wear a suit, shave, carry around, I don’t know, spread sheets or a binder or some shit? And I’d spew things about IBIDA or whatever. 10 min read Entrepreneur Staff Dan Bovalast_img read more

Dementia and guns When should doctors broach the topic

first_img This article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 12 2018Some patients refuse to answer. Many doctors don’t ask. As the number of Americans with dementia rises, health professionals are grappling with when and how to pose the question: “Do you have guns at home?”While gun violence data is scarce, a Kaiser Health News investigation with PBS NewsHour published in June uncovered over 100 cases across the U.S. since 2012  in which people with dementia used guns to kill themselves or others.  The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression — common symptoms of dementia.  Tragically they shot spouses, children and caregivers.Yet health care providers across the country say they have not received enough guidance on whether, when and how to counsel families on gun safety.Dr. Altaf Saadi, a neurologist at UCLA who has been practicing medicine for five years, said the KHN article revealed a “blind spot” in her clinical practice. After reading it, she looked up the American Academy of Neurology’s advice on treating dementia patients. Its guidelines suggest doctors consider asking about “access to firearms or other weapons” during a safety screen — but they don’t say what to do if a patient does have guns.Amid a dearth of national gun safety data, there are no scientific standards for when a health care provider should discuss gun access for people with cognitive impairment or at what point in dementia’s progression a person becomes unfit to handle a gun.Most doctors don’t ask about firearms, research has found. In a 2014 study, 58 percent of internists surveyed reported never asking whether patients have guns at home.“One of the biggest mistakes that doctors make is not thinking about gun access,” said Dr. Colleen Christmas, a geriatric primary care doctor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and member of the American Neurological Association. Firearms are the most common method of suicide among seniors, she noted. Christmas said she asks every incoming patient about access to firearms, in the same nonjudgmental tone that she asks about seat belts, and “I find the conversation goes quite smoothly.”Recently, momentum has been building among health professionals to take a greater role in preventing gun violence. In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting that left 58 concertgoers dead last October, over 1,300 health care providers publicly pledged to ask patients about gun ownership and gun safety when risk factors are present.The pledges came in response to an article by Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California-Davis. In response to feedback from that article, his center has now developed a toolkit called What You Can Do, offering health professionals guidance on how to reduce the risk of gun violence.In a nation bitterly divided over gun ownership issues, in which many staunchly defend the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, these efforts have met dissent. Dr. Arthur Przebinda, director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, framed Wintemute’s efforts as part of a broader anti-gun bias on the part of institutional medicine. Przebinda said asking physicians to sign such a pledge encourages them “to propagandize Americans against their constitutionally protected rights to gun ownership and privacy.”Przebinda said he gets several requests a day from patients looking for gun-friendly physicians. Some, he said, are tired of their doctors sending them anti-gun YouTube videos and other materials. His group, which he said has over 1,400 members, has set up a referral service connecting patients to gun-friendly doctors.For doctors and other health professionals, navigating this politically fraught issue can be difficult. Here are the leading issues:Is it legal to talk to patients about guns?Yes. No state or federal law bars health professionals from raising the issue.Why don’t doctors do it?The top three reasons are lack of time, being unsure what to tell patients and believing patients won’t heed their advice about gun ownership or gun safety, one survey of family physicians found.“There’s no medical or health professional school in the country that does an adequate job at training about firearms,” Wintemute argued. He said he is now working with the American Medical Association to design a continuing medical education course on the topic.Other doctors don’t believe they should ask. Przebinda argues that doctors should almost never ask their patients about guns, except in “very rare, very exceptional circumstances” — for example, if a patient is despondent or homicidal. He said placing patients’ gun ownership information into an electronic medical record puts their privacy at risk.When should they broach the subject?The Veterans Health Administration recommends asking about firearms as part of a safety screening when “investigating or establishing the suspected diagnosis of dementia.” The Alzheimer’s Association also recommends asking, “Are firearms present in the home?” as part of a safety screening. That screening is part of a care planning session that Medicare covers after initial dementia diagnosis and annually as the disease progresses.The American College of Physicians recommends physicians “counsel patients on the risk of having firearms in the home, particularly when children, adolescents, people with dementia, people with mental illnesses, people with substance use disorders, or others who are at increased risk of harming themselves or others are present.”Wintemute said he does not suggest all doctors routinely ask every patient about firearms. His group recommends doing so when risk factors are present, including risk of violence to self or others, history of violent behavior or substance misuse, “serious, poorly controlled mental illness” or being part of “a demographic group at increased risk of firearm injury.”Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaA program of therapy and coping strategies works long-term for family dementia carersMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesWhat should health care providers recommend patients do with their guns?The National Rifle Association and What You Can Do both offer tips on how to store guns safely, including using trigger locks and gun safes.The Alzheimer’s Association advises that locking up guns may not be enough, because people with dementia may “misperceive danger” and break into a gun cabinet to protect themselves. To fully protect a family, the organization recommends removing the guns from the home.But health professionals may be reluctant to recommend that due to legal concerns, said Jon Vernick, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Most states allow the temporary transfer of firearms to a family member without a background check. But seven states don’t: Connecticut, Hawaii (for handguns), Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina and Rhode Island, according to Vernick. He recommends health professionals look up their state gun laws on sites such as the NRA Institute for Legislative Action or the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.In addition, 13 states have passed “red flag” laws allowing law enforcement, and sometimes family members, to petition a judge to temporarily seize firearms from a gun owner who exhibits dangerous behavior.What happens when clinicians ask about guns?Natasha Bahr, an instructor and social worker who works with geriatric patients at a clinic focusing on memory disorders at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, said as part of a standard assessment, she asks every patient, “Do you have firearms in the home?”“I get so much pushback,” she said. About 60 percent of her patients refuse to answer, she said.Patients tell her, “It’s none of your business,” “I have the freedom to not answer that question” or “It’s my Second Amendment right,” she said. “They make it sound like I’m judging, and I’m really not.”Dr. John Morris, director of the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis, said he asks his patients about firearms in the context of other safety concerns. When safety is at risk, he typically advises families to lock up firearms and store ammunition separately.“People with dementia typically lack insight into their problems. So they will protest,” he said. Dementia is characterized by “the gradual deterioration not just of memory but of judgment and problem-solving and good decision-making,” Morris noted.In one case, Morris said, he had to persuade the daughter of a dementia patient to secure her father’s hunting rifles. Uncomfortable with the role reversal, she was reluctant to do so.“It’s very difficult to tell your father he can no longer have his firearms,” Morris said. The father responded: “I have never misused my firearms. … It’s not going to be a problem,” Morris recalled. “But, he’s remembering his past history — he can’t predict the future.”Eventually, the daughter decided to remove the rifles from the home. After a few weeks, her father forgot all about them, Morris said.Morris said the story highlights how difficult it is for families to care for people with dementia. “They’re forced to make decisions, often against the persons’ will,” he said, “but they have to do it for the person’s safety and well-being.”KHN’s coverage of these topics is supported by Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, John A. Hartford Foundation and The SCAN Foundationlast_img read more

Occupational exposure to pesticides increases risk for cardiovascular disease among Latinos

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 13 2018Latinos who are exposed to pesticides in their workplaces are twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease compared with Latinos who are not exposed to pesticides at work, according to a new study published in the journal Heart.The study looked at survey questionnaire responses from 7,404 employed Latinos ages 18 to 74 years old enrolled in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) regarding occupational exposure to pesticides, metals and solvents — substances known to have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. The HCHS/SOL is the largest epidemiological study of Hispanics/Latinos and includes more than 16,000 participants from Chicago, San Diego, Miami and the Bronx in New York. Participants were asked whether they had been exposed to metals, solvents or pesticides at work.”Recent studies have linked certain chemicals found in solvents and pesticides and metal dust to cardiovascular disease, but none of those studies looked specifically at Hispanics/Latinos — a group that is especially vulnerable to exposure to toxins at work,” said Maria Argos, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and corresponding author of the paper.About 5 to 9 percent of employed Latinos reported exposure to solvents, metals or pesticides in the workplace.”While our study didn’t involve objective measures of exposure to toxic chemicals or metals in blood or urine samples, we observed significantly increased cardiovascular disease, most strongly for atrial fibrillation, among those who self-reported occupational exposure to pesticides,” Argos said.Related StoriesPesticide exposure may increase risk of depression in adolescentsPET/CT imaging spots cardiovascular disease risk factors in OSA patientsSubclinical cardiovascular disease linked to higher risk of falling in older adultsThe researchers found that participants reporting occupational exposure to pesticides were twice as likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease compared with those who didn’t report pesticide exposure.Participants reporting exposure to pesticides at work were twice as likely to have coronary heart disease, a type of cardiovascular disease where cholesterol-based plaques accumulate on the walls of the arteries, causing stiffness and increasing the risk for blood clots and stroke. When the researchers looked specifically at atrial fibrillation — a type of cardiovascular disease characterized by an irregular, often rapid heart rate that can cause poor blood flow — they found that participants reporting occupational exposure to metals were almost four times as likely to have the disease, and those who reported occupational exposure to pesticides were more than five times as likely to have the disease compared with participants who did not report having these exposures at work.”Our findings strongly suggest that asking patients about their occupational history can help clinicians uncover exposure to toxic chemicals or metals that can contribute to cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Martha Daviglus, the Edmund F. Foley Professor of Medicine in the UIC College of Medicine, director of UIC’s Institute for Minority Health Research and principal investigator of the HCHS/SOL Chicago Field Center. “We know that exposure to toxins and metals is damaging to health, and our study corroborates the harmful effects with regards to cardiovascular health. Thus, efforts should be taken to reduce exposure to these substances whenever possible.”Source: read more

Short textbased exercises can increase happiness for adults recovering from substance use

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 21 2019Brief, text-based, self-administered exercises can significantly increase in-the-moment happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders, report researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Recovery Research Institute. The study, published online in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, is the first of its kind to test whether positive psychology exercises boost happiness in persons recovering from substance use.”Addiction scientists are increasingly moving beyond the traditional focus on reducing or eliminating substance use by advocating treatment protocols that encompass quality of life. Yet orchestrated positive experiences are rarely incorporated into treatment for those with substance use disorders,” says lead author Bettina B. Hoeppner, PhD, senior research scientist at the Recovery Research Institute.Related StoriesHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyThrough a randomized, online survey, more than 500 adults who reported current or previous problematic substance use were assigned one of five short, text-based exercises that took an average of four minutes to complete. Participants reported the greatest gains in happiness after completing an exercise called “Reliving Happy Moments,” in which they selected one of their own photos that captured a happy moment and entered text describing what was happening in the picture.An exercise called “Savoring,” in which participants described two positive experiences they noticed and appreciated during the preceding day, led to the next highest gains in happiness, followed by “Rose, Thorn, Bud,” in which they listed a highlight and a challenge of the preceding day and a pleasure they anticipated the following day. Conversely, “3 Hard Things,” in which participants were asked to write about challenges they had faced during the preceding day, led to a significant decrease in happiness.The authors note that the ease of use and effectiveness of these positive psychology exercises suggest they may be promising tools for bolstering happiness during treatment, which may help support long-term recovery.”These findings underscore the importance of offsetting the challenges of recovery with positive experiences,” says Hoeppner, an associate professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Recovery is hard, and for the effort to be sustainable, positive experiences need to be attainable along the way.”last_img read more

Hawaiis missile alert gaffe—why good humanmachine design is critical

Credit: Shutterstock The false missile alert sent to residents of Hawaii. Credit: EPA-EFE Smartwatch interface could improve communication, help prevent falls at nursing homes Explore further A ballistic missile warning alarm that was wrongly triggered in Hawaii recently rams home the importance of the way interfaces are designed to prevent such major bloopers from happening in the first place. As a state government, we must learn from this unfortunate error and continue to prepare for any safety threat to Hawai’i’s residents and visitors – whether it is a man-made threat or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tsunami.— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) January 14, 2018 Provided by The Conversation This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Design for errorPoor interface design clearly fails to address human errors. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) systems, examples of which are found ranging from aircraft cockpit design to interactive medical devices, have been studied extensively. The underlying science tries to address optimal interaction between human and machine, in an effort to minimise gaffes such as the Hawaiian incident. A couple of design principles serve as pertinent reminders on this occasion. Human error is to be expected – it’s not the case of if but when. Every step of the way mechanisms should be built in to prevent mistakes. Strong audiovisual cues could be used to make a notable distinction between genuine alerts and drills. Different menu styles could also be provided where alerting sequences could be different to drill sequences. Simplicity of design should, however, trump all design elements to avoid complexity which in turn can also be problematic for the person behind the controls. Two-person ruleBeyond the interface design, operational protocols could also be devised requiring two people to issue an alert. This prevents one person making a false choice, inadvertently or deliberately, and ensures that the probability of an error is significantly reduced. However, this may introduce an unnecessary delay or an added cost burden in case of genuine alerts where both operators need to be present at all times. While years of research into HCI and safety-critical systems have served us well, be it aviation safety or healthcare and patient safety, the possibility of human error remains. The unfortunate mistake that led to the Air France AF447 accident in 2009, in which the pilot doggedly pulled on the control stick in a fatal climb even though the aircraft was repeatedly warning it had stalled, is a reminder that accidents do still happen despite advances in design. A cockpit scenario albeit has a radically different context to an early warning alert system. Our interaction with technology is becoming more and more complex. Early warning systems are very welcome but the Hawaii mishap serves as an opportunity for a radical redesign, with a better understanding of their impact on the population: how do people respond to mass panic? How do we communicate alerts to reduce panic and promote orderly movement? It is also an opportunity for scientists to reexamine the social dynamics in an emergency situation. At a time when the world is increasingly uncertain and our dependence on technology is so high, a redesign of poor warning systems is critical. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Citation: Hawaii’s missile alert gaffe—why good human-machine design is critical (2018, January 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from It’s an unfortunate reality that we need to prepare for national emergencies due to war or natural disasters. Civil defence organisations, set up to coordinate and respond to such emergencies, are an important part of any modern state. Such entities – often a mix of state apparatus and voluntary organisations – play a critical role in terms of triggering alerts, coordinating response across law enforcement and emergency services, disseminating information and aiding response efforts to minimise impact and restore order. Clearly, they are important systems for alerting nations to risks when disaster strikes. But such systems can go wrong. In Hawaii on January 13 an employee of the US state’s Emergency Management Agency set off a false alarm that seemed only too real to anyone seeing the stark warning of a “Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound to Hawaii”. It was sent to social media channels and mobile phones, followed by the chilling message: “Seek Immediate Shelter. This is not a drill.” The false alarm continued for 38 minutes and caused widespread panic. Human error was reportedly behind the false alarm, after an employee chose the incorrect option from a drop-down menu. The options of an actual alarm and a drill were provided in the same menu. One offered to trigger a “DRILL – PACOM (CDW) STATE ONLY”, while the other very similar sounding option was described as “PACOM (CDW) STATE ONLY”.Triggering the alarm also brought up a confirmation dialogue box – the only prompt that could have prevented the errant message from being sent. The operator clicked on it to confirm that he did want to send out the alert and, in the panic that ensued, Hawaiians thought they only had minutes to live before a ballistic missile attack. read more