Community Resiliency Fair This Saturday

first_imgAccording to Gamble the idea for the fair stemmed from the recent earthquakes and tsunami warnings on the Kenai Peninsula. Jade Gamble with the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management: “This is a community-focused event to inform residents on disaster preparedness and resilience after disaster strikes and during recovery.” Gamble: “We came up with the plan to host the fair the Wednesday before November 30, and then we had the big earthquake and that just really highlighted the need to have something like this for our community.”  The event will take place from 10-2pm, and is open to the public. For more information call 907-262-2097 or email oem@kpb.us.center_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Community Resiliency Fair will be held at the Peninsula Center Mall on Saturday March 2. State, federal and local agencies, nonprofits and utilities will be on hand to share useful tips, tools and resources. Booths include: Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services, Community Emergency Response Team, Homer Electric Association, Peninsula Fire Chiefs Association, Central Emergency Services, Soldotna Public Safety Communication Center, Moose Horn Radio Group, Points on Prevention Coalition, AK Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Independent Living Center, Red Cross of Alaska, Enstar, KSRM Radio Group, Alaska Army National Guard, Central Peninsula General Hospital, Office of Emergency Management, Kenai Peninsula Prevention Coalition Group, CompK9.last_img read more

Euromoney Institutional Investor Acquires Real Estate Investment Site

first_imgAccording to Nick Ferris—publisher of Euromoney’s Institutional Investor and the Real Estate Finance & Investment subscription newsletter—the acquisition is consistent with Euromoney’s strategy and “will enhance Real Estate Finance & Investment’s existing coverage of REITs and provide a platform to continue to build both products under the same expert editorial team.”Ferris told FOLIO: Euromoney Institutional Investor will increase REIT’s workforce as par of its investment. “It’s a profitable business and we expect to grow it substantially over the next few years,” he said.Euromoney Institutional Investor publishes more than 100 magazines, newsletters and journals, including the leading financial market titles Euromoney and Institutional Investor. London-based Euromoney Institutional Investor—publisher of several trade publications primarily in the international finance sector—has acquired REITcafe.com, a provider of news, data and podcasts for Real Estate Investment Trust investors.Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2005 by Anatole Pevnev, REITcafe.com is the primary Web site for global REIT information and analysis, with 6,000 registered users and an archive featuring more than 200 podcasts. The site also provides access to more than 60 quarterly earnings calls, an industry-specific news feed and a weekly newsletter.last_img read more

Behind TEN The Enthusiast Networks Big Bet on Video

first_img On top of a new name, StudioTEN also has a new face. Concurrent with the rebranding, TEN brought in renowned advertising executive Jerry Solomon, whose credits include the Emmy-winning Ad Council campaign “Love Has No Labels,” and, most notably, Apple’s famous “Get a Mac” commercials, which Adweek named the “campaign of the decade” in 2010. Jerry Solomon Folio: Coming over from the advertising side of the industry, what attracted you to TEN? Solomon: We’re agnostic. If there’s somebody at Motor Trend who has a great, authentic voice and wants to jump onto the filmmaking side, I’d say bring them on. Likewise, if I’ve got somebody who is a great filmmaker but wants to get more into the car world, bring them on, too. That’s what’s great about this place — I’ve got a group of creatives here who not only ideate, but execute. We might have someone sitting in the room who comes up with a great concept, and then when it comes time to execute it, that person might go ahead and direct it. We’re really seeing projects all the way through, with a singular voice. Solomon: The original programming stuff that we do is remarkable. We have nine programs that go across our YouTube channel, which has the largest automotive audience out there: over 4.5 million subscribers. People are watching these things in crazy numbers. Brands want to go ahead and be a part of that experience. Key to achieving that, says Dickey, is an aggressive expansion of its video production arm, which the company launched in 2014 and subsequently nurtured into a robust operation, comprising over 50 employees and a 30,000-square-foot Los Angeles studio. Solomon: The best clients are the ones that realize that they want to bring value to the audience. They have to think of themselves almost as programmers with a brand message. It’s definitely a challenge to say, “We know that you want to promote this car, but let’s find an entertaining way to do it that feels holistic or seamless to our audience.” The studio, formerly known as “MindOverEye,” was rebranded “StudioTEN” last month in an effort to more closely align it with TEN’s overall corporate structure. Folio: So is it safe to say that we can expect branded content to be a major focus for StudioTEN going forward? “We want to be the most powerful automotive media company in the world,” CEO Scott Dickey tells Folio:. Jerry Solomon: I had been in the commercial business for 20-plus years. It was always a talent sell, and it was also an interruptive medium. When you make TV commercials as long as I have, it was purely executional. You sat there and the stuff that you made was just going to go on TV, and it was going to be that stuff in between shows that people didn’t really like. I could see it in the way the budgets were and our interaction with agencies — you started to feel very outdated. One of my biggest challenges is determining how a brand gets their voice into that arena, not just in the original programming, but also across advertising, delivered to that enthusiast in a way that’s authentic and genuine and doesn’t interrupt their experience. We’re going to make a lot of that stuff: original programming, branded content, with events and social around all of it. “There was always a concern that having our own production studio might be a threat to our agency partners, so we wanted it at arm’s length,” says Dickey. “But branded content has become such a huge part of the equation that it no longer made sense to have [the studio] differentiated.” The relationship between consumers and brands and that interaction was changing. My two teenaged daughters do not watch TV commercials. They may watch branded content if it’s interesting to them, but they like a non-interrupted experience. I wanted a challenge to figure out what was part of the future, and TEN offered that to me. If we continue to serve our audience, it will continue to grow. If it continues to grow and we’re communicating with them the right way, then brands will be interested in working with us, because we own that group who really feels we are authentic.center_img Solomon: You can’t be a part of the interruption; you need to be a part of the experience. We have to make stuff for an audience and in a brand voice, and we have to make it authentic. It’s really a combination of audience, idea, and execution. I think they used to live in sort of mutually exclusive worlds, and now they all need to be interconnected. Folio: What are some ways in which that relationship between consumers and brands has changed? That’s what we want to create in a digital experience, where the best brands come to us and say, “Take something with our car, make it fun, connect our brand to your audience, and feel that you’re giving them something that’s not just interruptive.” TEN: The Enthusiast Network, whose brands include Motor Trend, Automobile, and Hot Rod, among several others, enters 2017 with a clear but ambitious goal. Solomon, who will oversee StudioTEN as managing director, was chosen because of his deep understanding of how to create content that resonates with consumers while still delivering a brand message, according to Dickey. Solomon: We want to be the ultimate destination for video in automotive and action/outdoor. The investments we’re going to make will be in greater creative talent. We’re definitely looking to create partnerships in high-tech spaces like VR and AR. It’s about us connecting our original programming and branded content with our audience across platforms. So it’s going to be an investment in both talent and new technology. Folio: Is it a challenge to balance delivering a client’s message while also providing value to your audience? Folio: sat down with Solomon to learn more about the future of branded content, original video production, and how he plans to use his commercial experience to bring StudioTEN to new heights.  Folio: What kinds of new talent are you looking to bring on? When it comes to talent, if someone’s got the right attitude and loves telling great stories, I don’t care if you come from Timbuktu or Motor Trend. I can teach people about the business and about content creation, but there’s certain innate talent you can’t teach. I base it on the individual. It’s not about just trying to find the cheapest solution. One of the greatest compliments on anything I’ve ever been involved in was when The New York Times did a piece about the Mac and PC commercials. Having executive produced all of those spots, when they did an article saying, “The best series on TV is a commercial,” they saw that campaign as almost interstitial programming that worked alongside broadcast TV. Folio: What are some of your initial plans for building out StudioTEN?last_img read more

5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Festival of Trees Lead Organizer Becky McGrath

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple recently caught up with Becky McGrath, lead organizer of We’re One Wilmington’s Festival of Trees, for five quick questions.What’s it like planning one of Wilmington’s most popular community events?“I have a lot of help; it’s certainly not just me. I’ve got an awesome team of 12 volunteers. For example, Karin Bloom takes care of the bake sale. Tammy McElligott handles all the decorating. Nathalie Hayduk takes care of all the entertainment. Jomarie O’Mahoney and Catherine Maiella take care of our Member Social. Jen Bolanos and Pam Almedia tag all the ornaments on the Angel Tree. And we have other team members as well helping out wherever they can. Planning starts in the summer. It’s hours and hours of work put in by tons of people. But it’s really a pleasure. They’re all amazing people to work with. We work really well together.”Are there any changes to this year’s Festival of Trees compared to years past?“Yes, the biggest change this year is we opened a day early, although not to the general public. The event is getting more and more crowded each year. We wanted to make it a more comfortable atmosphere for folks who might be older or need room for wheelchairs and walkers. We invited the Senior Center to come out on Friday morning. A couple of groups from Windsor Place are coming on Friday afternoon. The teachers and staff of Wilmington Public Schools have also been invited to come on Friday after school. Lots of the teachers don’t live in Wilmington, so they may not want to make the drive back to town on the weekend. There’s a lot of trees this year decorated by schools and student groups.”How many donations are you anticipating this year?“We’re estimating 118 donations, which includes 60-70 tall trees. It’s definitely a record year for donations. I think we’re reaching the maximum allowed for the venue. When you visit this weekend, just think of all the people — hundreds of community members — who put their heart and soul into these trees. We’re so grateful to the community.”How many people attend Festival of Trees each year? Will the event ever outgrow Villanova Hall?“Based on raffle ticket sales, we suspect about 2,000 people come through during the weekend. We really like where we are. The location keeps it feeling like a nice a community event. It’s so close to the Common. It’s really convenient for all the other activities going on, including the Town Tree Lighting on Saturday night and the Sons of Italy’s Breakfast with Santa on Sunday morning at the Knights of Columbus. It really is just the perfect spot. I think we’ll stay here, we just might have to cap the number of donations at 120, our magic number.”How much does the Festival of Trees raise each year? Where do the funds go?“Each year it climbs. The amount raised almost doubles each year, which is pretty amazing. Last year, after expenses, we cleared $50,000. And that’s without charging any admission fee — that’s raffle sales and bake sales.The event’s proceeds allows We’re One Wilmington to do so many things. We recently made a $2,000 sponsorship to the Elderly Services Department’s new Memory Cafe. We sponsored the “Revive Civility” program at the Wilmington Memorial Library.  We purchase holiday gifts requested by Wilmington families. We’re supporting 21 families this year. We paid over $3,000 in utility bills for people in emergency financial need. We have care packages we send out to residents who are struggling financially or emotionally. We hand out $8,500 in scholarships annually. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”BONUS QUESTION: Which is your favorite tree this year?“I have to admit, the cupcake tree is my favorite. It’s so adorable.”Becky McGrath (bottom left) and some of her team of organizers.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWe’re One Wilmington Still Looking For Donations For Festival Of TreesIn “Community”We’re One Wilmington Still Looking For More Trees For Festival Of Trees, Announces More Event DetailsIn “Community”PHOTOS: Becky McGrath Named 2017 Wilmington Good GuyIn “Photo of the Day”last_img read more

Blade Shadow Ghost turns your TV into a snappy cloudgaming PC

first_img Share your voice Post a comment Blade Shadow Ghost delivers great gaming performance… The Ghost itself costs $140 (£110), while the service runs $35 (£27) per month. All told, it’s a pretty good deal. It’s not available in Australia yet, but the Ghost’s price converts to about AU$205.Like many competitors, the service is essentially a Windows virtual machine (VM) running on a Windows server within a datacenter; in my case, the server is running a 3.2GHz Xeon E5-2667 V3 with 12GB RAM and a Quadro P5000 with 16GB GDDR5X. It’s not cutting-edge gaming performance, but it is roughly in the same league as the GTX 1070 max-Q laptops we’ve seen recently. Overall performance will depend on the game and your quality settings.But unlike almost every other cloud gaming system I’ve seen, it runs well in 1440p and, depending upon the game, even 2160p. And it feels more baked now than it did when we tried it in its early US rollout. It’s probably the slickest, too, for a VM. (Gaming-only services such as GeForce Now are obviously more streamlined.)Though it publicly specs frame-rates of 4K at 60 frames per second (which matches most 60Hz displays and TVs and thus shows fewer artifacts) and 1080p at 144fps, it also does 1440p at 75fps, which is a solid happy medium for a lot of games. The alternative resolutions are also a perk that many competitors don’t supply, as most are limited to 1080p.04-blade-shadow-ghostGhost provides all the essential connections. However, if you hook up wired devices to the USB ports, it does ruin the look a bit, like a Mac Mini. Sarah Tew/CNET The Ghost box connects to a display via HDMI. It has four USB Type-A ports, a headphone jack and an AC adapter input. You connect via gigabit Ethernet or 802.11ac Wi-Fi (aka Wi-Fi 5). The overall fit and finish is good — for a device that feels like it’s 3D printed.It’s easy to set up and compact enough to tote from one place to another. Windows recognizes USB devices such as keyboards, mice and an HP Omen Mindframe headset as if they were running locally. (Note that I didn’t test chat or streaming functions.) There’s one big problem with the Shadow: Its 256GB Windows partition isn’t nearly big enough. You’ll need a USB hard drive to swap game installations. I’d like to see the company either increase the base configuration or introduce a tier of service with more space.       The Shadow can also connect to wireless input devices via Bluetooth. The connection isn’t really through Windows, though, just through the box itself. It doesn’t work while the VM’s open, so it’s not as convenient as it could be. 02-blade-shadow-ghostThere’s only one button, for turning it on and off. Sarah Tew/CNET Performance on the Shadow side is one thing, but your connection to the internet is another. It doesn’t handle latency problems gracefully — that’s when your internet connection sends data packets erratically and is a bigger issue than bandwidth for most people, since it can vary so much from moment to moment. It’s hard to diagnose if your network’s at fault, because (obviously) you can’t launch offline or in safe mode, among other things. And it requires a mouse and keyboard to start up, so disconnecting them to diagnose any USB connection issues isn’t an option.There’s a control panel application that displays network statistics and lets you select some basic options. In the US, Blade owns its own servers in data centers around the country (called “co-location”), and it’s newer to the US than Europe. At the moment, you can’t pick which data center to access; it’s all automatic. 03-blade-shadow-ghostSwoopy! Sarah Tew/CNET The Shadow suffers the same problems as every cloud gaming system I’ve tried, most notably a compressed tonal range. No matter how good your bandwidth is, the bitrate is never high enough that it doesn’t have to compress the video signal, which can result in flatter colors. Some people may not even notice, or they’ll notice it less once they’re immersed in gameplay. Aside from selecting the option to automate Windows updates, the rest is in your hands, such as Nvidia driver updates. Restarting during driver updates can be a bit wonky, since that tends to close the Shadow on the first reboot. But it keeps running in the cloud for 90 minutes, which means it’s really easy to launch right back into what you were doing.And when you’re not gaming? I’ve been using it as my primary work system, attached to a monitor. So far it hasn’t groaned once under the weight of several browsers’ worth of tabs or anything else I’ve thrown at it. Updated 1:04 p.m. ET: Blade doesn’t lease servers in datacenters as originally stated; it co-locates its own servers in datacenters. In practice, that gives the company more flexibility over the configurations. Tags 1:47center_img Now playing: Watch this: Desktops Gaming 0 It glows from the bottom to indicate it’s on. Sarah Tew/CNET Blade’s Shadow Ghost is a cool little box that lets you use the Shadow desktop-in-the-cloud service with just a TV or monitor. No PC required. The box that gives you the device and network connections you need to use the Windows-based desktop service. When I tried it out, I kept forgetting I wasn’t on a local PC and never found myself shrieking about the speed. I still can’t believe I like it so much.A “Shadow,” as Blade dubs the virtual system the service provides, can be used for anything, but the most obvious mainstream allure of a virtual machine these days is for cloud gaming. Think of the Ghost as a console without any local storage and simple video decoding that can run any Windows game. This is actually the second version of the box, but now it’s got a catchy name and most of the kinks worked out. last_img read more

Grab close to buying Ubers Southeast Asia business Report

first_imglReutersRide-hailing service provider Grab is close to buying Uber Technologies Inc’s Southeast Asia business, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.Singapore-based Grab may sign a deal this week or next, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.Under terms of the proposed agreement, Grab would buy out Uber’s operations in certain markets in Southeast Asia and Uber will take a stake in Grab, according to the report.The structure of the deal would be similar to the one Uber struck with China’s Didi Chuxing in 2016, when the San Francisco-based company sold its local operation in exchange for a stake in the company, the report said.The  report comes as the ride-hailing giant is slowly curtailing its Southeast Asia operations to boost fledgling growth.SoftBank Group-backed Uber have had issues with some local regulators, including more recently in the Philippines, and seeing a slew of exits by senior executives in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and India.Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi last month said that the company could turn profitable if it cut costs of its business such as operating in developing markets.Grab has separately been in discussions with existing backers, including SoftBank Group Corp., and new investors for additional capital, according to the Bloomberg report.last_img read more

US Ambassador To Panama Resigns Saying He Cant Serve Trump

first_img Share Arnulfo Franco/APJohn Feeley, soon after his appointment as ambassador to Panama in February 2016. The career diplomat has now announced his resignation.John Feeley, the U.S. ambassador to Panama, is stepping down from his post, citing irreconcilable differences with the Trump administration, Reuters reports.Feeley’s resignation, widely reported on Friday, is not a response to President Trump’s remarks Thursday at a noon meeting about immigration. Sources tell NPR that at that meeting, Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries” and questioned why the U.S. admits immigrants from Haiti. Trump denies reports about his remarks, which have prompted uproar around the world.However, the ambassador to Panama had tendered his resignation by Thursday morning, before the meeting occurred, a State Department official tells NPR’s Michele Kelemen.Feeley, a career diplomat, informed the White House, the State Department and the Panamanian government “of his decision to retire for personal reasons, as of March 9 of this year,” the State Department says.Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary for diplomacy, told Michele that all ambassadors and other diplomats have the right to be in the job they chose and that it is up to them if they leave for moral reasons, or any other reason.Reuters has more detail on Feeley’s stated explanation of his resignation:“Feeley, one of the department’s Latin America specialists and among its [most senior] officers, made clear that he had come to a place where he no longer felt able to serve under Trump.” ‘As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies,’ Feeley said, according to an excerpt of a resignation letter read to Reuters on Friday.” ‘My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come.’ “Editor’s note: NPR has decided in this case to spell out the vulgar word that the president reportedly used because it meets our standard for use of offensive language. It is “absolutely integral to the meaning and spirit of the story being told.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Analysis The Unfolding Story of The Newest Americans

first_imgBob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneU.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about carrying out President Donald Trump’s immigration priorities at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas in Austin on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.Public policy is judged by how it works, not by how it was intended.As a deadline nears for reuniting immigrant families riven at the U.S.-Mexico border, even the stoutest defenders of tough U.S. immigration policy have to be smacking their foreheads at the outcomes of this fiasco.Back in April, the Trump administration, in the person of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced a tough crackdown on immigration, a “zero tolerance” policy at the country’s southern border intended to grind illegal immigration to a stop.“The situation at our Southwest Border is unacceptable,” he said at the time. “Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest — that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. As a result, a crisis has erupted at our Southwest Border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border.“To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration’s commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law,” he continued, “I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice. To the Department’s prosecutors, I urge you: promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens. You play a critical part in fulfilling these goals, and I thank you for your continued efforts in seeing to it that our laws — and as a result, our nation — are respected.”He did make himself perfectly clear, didn’t he?And you see how it worked out. Tomorrow is a court-ordered deadline (bet you a dollar the government doesn’t finish in time) for reuniting the families that were split as a result of Sessions’ policy.Strict enforcement of immigration law was the intention. Busted families and kids in jail was the result. As it turns out, that result was legally unacceptable to the courts and politically unacceptable to President Donald Trump, who reversed the “zero tolerance” policy with an executive order.Unwinding this mess is slow, painful and would have been unnecessary if the feds had thought things through. If you prosecute immigrants under criminal law, you’re obliged to take away and to protect the children who are with them, just as you would in the arrest of a drunk driver. You’d have to have a system in place that kept track of which kids came in with which adults. You’d want to quickly vet the adults to flag those that maybe shouldn’t be reunited with those children. But in most cases, you wouldn’t want to deport someone before making sure they had their kids back. The planning should also include places for everyone to be fed, sheltered and clothed. Health and education services might be needed.A million things.And the feds obviously didn’t do the prep work before throwing this zero-tolerance machinery into gear.Whether you approve or disapprove of how things turned out, this is what we’re doing. Whether it was the intention or not, it’s how the policy actually works. It’s the result of our actions, and it doesn’t much matter what our intention was.That approve/disapprove part now becomes important: If the policy produces the desired result, you leave it alone. If it produces an undesirable result, you admit the mistake and fix it.Even many Republican base voters — women, to be specific— thought the separations went too far. That made a political reversal necessary. And the courts ordered the families reunited, the process now underway, when the policy was challenged on legal grounds.The numbers aren’t great, but the fix is underway. As of Monday evening, 879 of the remaining separated families had been reunited. Another 538 parents had been cleared — a step toward that many more reunions. But 217 adults were in the “maybe” category, and 917 had been declared “ineligible” for reunion or likely to be so. Half the adults in that last group are no longer in the United States.But the kids are. Think about that. This round began with 2,551 kids still unattached to the adults who were with them when they got to the United States. Let’s say for the purpose of discussion that 1,000 of these minors will remain in the United States when all is said and done. We’re obligated to take care of them, educate them, feed them, all of that. They’re the newest kind of “Dreamers” — kids brought to America by immigrants who entered the country illegally, allowed to chase the American dream in the only country they really know or, in the case of older kids, the only country where they’ve still got adult guardians.That’s how the policy so carefully laid out by the attorney general actually worked, whatever the administration’s intentions: a politically forceful presentation, an ill-considered policy, a disastrous legal and political fiasco, and about 1,000 new Americans, making their way in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Sharelast_img read more

How Did I Leave My Child in The Car Experts Say Its

first_img Share How could a parent forget their child in the car? That is a question people ask every summer as dozens of children die in hot cars, forgotten by their parents.Eric Stuyvesant used to be one of them.“I was a keyboard warrior back in the early days of the internet and when I would hear something like this, I was brutal in any of my responses: ‘How do you forget a kid? It’s your kid. You can’t forget a kid,’ ” Stuyvesant said.Then it happened to him.In June of 2015, Stuyvesant was talking business on the phone while driving, and he forgot to drop off his 3-year-old son Michael at daycare.“You know I looked up and saw the exit I needed to get off at about a mile out, but I got engaged in a conversation in how we were going to resolve some issues and I drove right past that exit and I drove home,” Stuyvesant said.Now focused on work, he walked into the house and continued with his business. For an hour. Then fifteen minutes more. Then something shook loose in his memory: Michael.“I raced out to the car and found him. He was still with us, but he wasn’t doing well,” he said. “He was in a profuse sweat. His breath was extremely labored. His blue eyes — he had the brightest blue eyes — had started to turn gray and were rolling back in his head, and I pulled him out of the car and we ran into the house and all I could think was to take the coldest shower possible to get as much heat out of him as possible.”By the time paramedics brought Michael to the hospital, his temperature was still 104 — even after the cold shower. He would have six strokes but, ultimately, he survived.Stuyvesant still wonders, “How did I leave my child in the car?”Turns out, it’s pretty easy.Edward Golob, a psychology professor and an expert in human memory at the University of Texas at San Antonio, says people generally have too much faith in their brains.“I think people think cognition works better than it actually does,” he said. “We want to give it more credit. But perception, attention, and memory, they all have really strong limitations. They don’t work nearly as well as we think they do.”Golob said thinking your children are too important to forget is dangerous.“The kids are obviously the most important thing going on in the car, right? But other things capture our attention very easily, and attention doesn’t necessarily know what’s important,” he said. “For some things that are more dramatic — a very loud sound, for example — that will capture your attention, no problem.“But more subtle things that you need to attend to — if you’re really focused on something, if you’re feeling a little stress — you can easily make these sorts of mistakes.”In Stuyvesant’s case, he usually dropped Michael off at daycare before dropping his wife off at work. On the day of the accident, he drove his wife to work first, and he intended to drop Michael off next, but his brain wanted to go home.Golob said using this tendency to go on autopilot may help safeguard your kids.“So, for example, when I put the kids in the car or take them out of the car, I have a routine,” he said. “I walk all the way around the car and look through the windows and look at them.”Golob then talks with them, or sings “or anything to get them on your mind, so it’s recent and vivid. That’ll also make it a little harder to forget that they’re there.”Golob added other things to incorporate into a routine include leaving a purse, a briefcase, your lunch or your phone in the back seat with your children, whether the kids are in the car or not. It has to be something you always do for it to become part of the autopilot process, he said.“Just check. Even when you think they’re not there, check,” Stuyvesant said.So far, this year there have been 25 confirmed heatstroke deaths in cars in the U.S. Two of them were in Texas.Bonnie Petrie can be reached at bonnie@tpr.org or on Twitter @kbonniepetrielast_img read more

Physics team proposes a way to create an actual spacetime crystal

first_img Journal information: arXiv More information: Space-time crystals of trapped ions, arXiv:1206.4772v1 [quant-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1206.4772AbstractGreat progresses have been made in exploring exciting physics of low dimensional materials in last few decades. Important examples include the discovering and synthesizing of fullerenes (zero dimensional, 0D), carbon nanotubes (1D) and graphene (2D). A fundamental question is whether we can create materials with dimensions higher than that of conventional 3D crystals, for example, a 4D crystal that has periodic structures in both space and time. Here we propose a space-time crystal of trapped ions and a method to realize it experimentally by confining ions in a ring-shaped trapping potential with a static magnetic field. The ions spontaneously form a spatial ring crystal due to Coulomb repulsion. This ion crystal can rotate persistently at the lowest quantum energy state in magnetic fields with fractional fluxes. The persistent rotation of trapped ions produces the temporal order, leading to the formation of a space-time crystal. We show that these space-time crystals are robust for direct experimental observation. The proposed space-time crystals of trapped ions provide a new dimension for exploring many-body physics and emerging properties of matter. Citation: Physics team proposes a way to create an actual space-time crystal (2012, July 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-physics-team-actual-space-time-crystal.html Explore further Wilczek thought that it should be possible to construct a space-time crystal because crystals naturally align themselves at low temperatures and because superconductors also operate at very low temperatures; it seemed reasonable to assume that the atoms in such a crystal could conceivably move or rotate and then return to their natural state naturally, continually, as crystals are wont to do as they seek a lowest energy state. He envisioned a rotation with a ring of ions that flowed separately rather than as a stream, likening it to a mouse running around inside of a snake laying as a circle. The bulge would flow, rather than the snake itself spinning and would just keep on going, potentially forever. The problem was, he couldn’t figure out how such a crystal structure could be created in the real world.Taking Wilczek’s original idea, but not his method for creating a real world example, Li et al, suggest that to create a space-time crystal all that’s needed is a better ion trap. They believe that if ions could be forced using such a trap, into a ring at very low temperatures, as a superconductor, all that would be needed would be a little nudge from a tiny bit of a magnetic field to cause the ions to begin rotating as a single ring. Because there would be no resistance, and because of their natural mutual repulsion, the ring should then continue rotating indefinitely with no additional injection of energy, resulting in the space-time crystal that Wilczek imagined.The team is quick to point out, for those that might be making the jump, that the result would not be the mythical perpetual motion machine because no energy could be extracted from the space-time crystal. They do believe that building an actual space-time crystal should be possible though, in the near term if a future team has the funds necessary to overcome the difficulty of creating a better ion trap. Schematic of creating a space-time crystal. a, A possible structure of a space-time crystal. It has periodic structures in both space and time. The particles rotate in one direction even at the lowest energy state. b, Ultracold ions confined in a ring-shaped trapping potential in a weak magnetic field. The mass and charge of each ion are M and q, respectively. The diameter of the ion ring is d, and the magnetic field is B. c, The pseudo-potentials (Vext) for a 9Be+ ion in a quadrupole ring trap (solid curve) and a linear octupole trap (dashed curve) along the x or y axis. See arXiv:1206.4772v1 paper for details.center_img (Phys.org) — Earlier this year, theoretical physicists Frank Wilczek, of MIT put forth an idea that intrigued the research community. He suggested that it should be possible to construct a so called space-time crystal by adding a fourth dimension, movement in time, to the structure of a crystal, causing it to become an infinitely running clock of sorts. At the time, Wilczek acknowledged that his ideas on how to do so were inelegant, to say the least. Now another international team led by Tongcang Li has proposed a way to achieve what Wilczek proposed using a far more elegant process. They have posted a paper on the preprint server arXiv describing what they believe is a real-world process for creating an actual space-time crystal that could conceivably be carried out in just the next few years. © 2012 Phys.org Time crystals could behave almost like perpetual motion machines 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.last_img read more

Part of hospital car park to close for 24 hours

first_imgDriver named following fatal collision Police search for missing woman Punter found hiding in bushes Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or get the Android version from Google Play.  Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram.center_img Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA section of the car park at Royal Stoke University Hospital’s Cancer Centre is to be shut for 24 hours – to allow a new machine to be installed. The area of car park will be closed from around 12pm on Friday July 12, and is due to reopen early on Saturday afternoon. The drop-off area and disabled bays will still be accessible. A Royal Stoke University Hospital spokesman said:  “This is to allow for the replacement of one of our linear accelerator machines (LINAC). “A linear accelerator customizes high energy x-rays or electrons to conform to a tumour’s shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.” Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLivelast_img read more

Frequent travellers earn free days with Nationals Rent Rent Reward

first_img Friday, August 25, 2017 Tags: Car Rental, National Car Rental, Promotions Share Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Frequent travellers earn free days with National’s ‘Rent Rent Reward’ TORONTO — National Car Rental’s ‘Rent Rent Reward’ promotion is back, giving registered Emerald Club members the chance to earn one free rental day for every two qualifying rentals during the promotion.Each free day covers base rate (time and mileage) only. The earning window runs through Feb. 28, 2018, with a redemption period through June 15, 2018.To further increase the chances to earn free days, this year’s promotion offers additional promotional points to members who complete any five bonus opportunities through Rent Rent Reward and to members when they complete their third qualifying rental during the promotion.“Once again, we’re proud to show our Emerald Club members our appreciation for their loyalty and support with our annual ‘Rent Rent Reward’ promotion,” said Rob Connors, vice president of brand marketing for National. “For over a decade, we’ve offered this promotion with a focus on helping new and existing members earn more free rental days while providing them with premium service and a convenient, efficient car rental experience.”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthRegistered members receive one free rental day for every 600 points accrued through the promotion period, and every qualifying rental is worth 300 points. Additional bonus points can be earned through both rental and non-rental activities, including:Utilizing National’s mobile app to book rentals while earning unlimited points (75 points per completed rental).Renting any size vehicle in Latin America and the Caribbean (one-time bonus of 300 points upon completion of a rental).Renting any size vehicle in Europe (one-time bonus of 300 points upon completion of a rental).Participating in the Emerald Reserve service – which accommodates members who require a specific car class, such as a convertible, SUV, minivan, etc. – at Emerald Aisle locations (one-time bonus of 25 points upon completion of a rental).Completing an online customer survey (one-time bonus of 50 points).New this year, members can earn even more points by:Completing three qualifying rentals (one-time bonus of 200 points upon completion of third rental).Completing any five bonus opportunities available through Rent Rent Reward (one-time bonus of 75 points upon completion of fifth bonus opportunity).More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemEmerald Club is free to join and members get expedited service at airports and free upgrades in National’s Emerald Aisle, an exclusive section of the lot where members can select any vehicle as long as they reserve a mid-sized or larger car.Emerald Club members can register for the promotion at emeraldclubpromos.com/rentrentreward2017. Free days earned for qualifying rentals through Rent Rent Reward are awarded in addition to a member’s chosen rewards earnings (frequent traveller miles/points or rental credits).Registered Emerald Club members may track and redeem the free rental days they earn through Rent Rent Reward between today and June 15, 2018, by visiting emeraldclubpromos.com/rentrentreward2017.Up to three free days can be redeemed per rental at any time, including weekends. National notifies participants about their free rental days via email. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

New Home Healthcare Study Forprofits Charge More for Worse Care

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares August 4, 2014; EurekAlertAccording to a national study published yesterday in the journal Health Affairs, “For-Profit Medicare Home Health Agencies’ Costs Appear Higher And Quality Lower When Compared To Nonprofit Agencies,” not only do for-profit home health agencies charge more than nonprofits to Medicare, but their quality of care is worse, causing a higher level of repeat hospitalizations.Researchers at the City University of New York School of Public Health came to their conclusions after examining the Medicare Cost Reports of 7,165 home health agencies in 2010-2011 and the quality rankings from Medicare’s Home Health Compare database, which measures 9,128 agencies.Specifically, the researchers found that the operating costs at for-profit agencies were 18 percent higher, with two-thirds of the difference being charged to administration. The profits at for-profit agencies added 15 percent on top of operating costs, compared to a 6.4 percent surplus at nonprofit agencies.On the other hand, for-profits met each quality standard only 77.2 percent of the time, vs. 78.7 percent for nonprofits, and rehospitalizations occurred more frequently with clients of the for-profits—28.4 percent vs. 26.5 percent at nonprofits.In the South, where for-profit firms provide the overwhelming majority of care, the differences were even more extreme. Despite the fact that they do worse for more with a very vulnerable population, an astounding 88 percent of home healthcare agencies are for-profit businesses and they care for 81 percent of Medicare home care patients.Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, an author of the study, writes that “for-profit home care agencies are bleeding Medicare; they raise costs by $3.3 billion each year and lower the quality of care for frail seniors.”“Letting for-profit companies into Medicare was a huge mistake,” she continued, “that Congress needs to correct.”William Cabin, the study’s lead author, added, “While our study is the first to show that profit-making has trumped patient care in Medicare’s home health program, that’s no surprise. A large body of research on hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis facilities, and HMOs has shown that for-profits deliver inferior care at inflated prices…. Our findings show once again that the free-market, private-sector managed care model has failed.”Cabin believes that the industry might better serve the public if it were restricted only to nonprofits, as it was prior to 1980.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Michael Shane Bloomberg has upped its managing edi

first_imgMichael ShaneBloomberg has upped its managing editor of Bloomberg Digital, Michael Shane, to the new role of global head of digital innovation.Shane will remain based in New York but will spend time in each region looking at new opportunities to grow audience, engagement, and revenue – focusing on six months to two-years or more into the future.According to a memo sent to staff by Bloomberg’s global head of digital, Scott Havens, Shane will also continue to partner with and work across many diverse teams – including editorial, product, engineering and sales – where he will help drive a “more aggressive slate of global innovation”.“Michael’s remit will also include business model and commercial innovation and he’ll have his keen eye on disruptive threats and opportunities that our industry poses,” said Havens.Shane joined Bloomberg in 2014, prior to which he worked at Vox Media, where he was part of the team that drove the growth of tech site The Verge.last_img read more

As of the close yesterday the double bottom in go

first_imgAs of the close yesterday, the double bottom in gold was about 15 bucks away—and it’s a given that they’ll be gunning for it—plus more, if what they did to the silver price yesterday is any indication.And as I type this paragraph at 12:45 a.m. EDT gold, which had traded mostly flat for the greater part of the thinly-traded Far East trading day on their Friday, came under pressure shortly before 1 p.m. Hong Kong time—and is down a bit more than 10 bucks.  Silver came under the same price pressure shortly after 9 a.m. Hong Kong time and is down about two bits.  Platinum isn’t doing much.  Palladium tried to rally during the early going in Far East trading, but then got sold down below its New York close by 9 a.m. Hong Kong time—and is actually up a buck or so at the moment.  Volumes in both gold and silver are astonishingly high already.  The dollar index, which was trading flat, began to rally around 12:40 p.m. in Hong Kong—and is now up 40 basis points.Today, at 3:30 p.m. EDT, we get the latest COT Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday.  I’d guess we’ll see slight improvements in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver, but that is entirely inconsequential compared to what the report would show if one could be produced at precisely this moment.It’s obvious that JPMorgan et al are going all out to get as favourably positioned as possible in the Comex futures market, as I expect whatever lows are set going forward will never be seen again once the the inevitable rallies that will follow all this, begin.  The Fed meeting—and the ensuing ‘strength’ in the dollar index—are just the smoke screen that they’re using to do the dirty.And as I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s column at 4:57 a.m. EDT, I see that the HFT boyz and their algorithms are back—showing up in all four precious metals at 7 a.m. GMT in London.  The LBMA must open at 7 a.m. and not 8 a.m GMT this week.  They dropped the gold price another $18 in minutes—and at one point silver was down over 50 cents from its Thursday close.  Both are now off their lows by a bit.  Platinum and palladium also got hit as well, but they’ve rallied back to almost unchanged, at least for the moment.Here’s the silver chart as of 4:55 a.m. EDT.Gold volume has exploded to 95,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is 21,000 contracts.  The dollar index, which had been up over 50 basis points at one time, is now up ‘only’ 42 basis points.With today being month end—and Hallowe’en—it appears that JPMorgan et al have nothing but tricks up their sleeves for all the precious metal enthusiasts today—and I must admit that I’m not expecting great things when I roll out of bed and check the charts later this morning.But this too, shall pass.See you tomorrow. Silver price is now back to where it was in the first quarter of 2010The gold price wasn’t allowed to do much in early Far East trading on their Thursday—and developed a negative bias around 1 p.m. Hong Kong time—and by the time JPMorgan et al were through, with the low tick coming at 11:30 a.m. EDT, they had gold down around fifteen bucks from it’s Thursday close.  It recovered a few dollars off that low by noon, but then chopped sideways for the remainder of New York trading session.The high and low tick were recorded as $1,216.50 and $1,195.50 in the December contract.Gold closed yesterday at $1,198.80 spot, down $12.80 from Thursday’s close.  Net volume was very high at 195,000 contracts.The silver price didn’t do much in Far East trading up until shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  At that point the HFT boyz and their algorithms showed up—and the rest, was they say, was history.  The low tick was in at 11:15 a.m. EDT—and from there it bounced off that low a few times before rallying a bit.  After 12:30 p.m., the price chopped sideways in a tight range until the 5:15 p.m. EDT close of electronic trading.The high and low in silver were reported as $17.205 and $16.33 in the December contract, which was an intraday move of a hair over 5 percent.Silver finished the Thursday session at $16.46 spot, down 63 cents from Thursday’s close.  That’s a new low price for silver going back to March of 2010.  Net volume was a whopping 74,000 contracts.Platinum also ran into the same not-for-profit seller shortly before 2 p.m. in Hong Kong.  It’s low came minutes before 12 o’clock noon in New York.  It rallied a few bucks from there before trading flat for the remainder of the Thursday session.  Platinum was closed down 17 bucks.The palladium price got smacked twice yesterday.  The first time was at the New York open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening—and the second time was at the London p.m. gold fix on Thursday.  Like platinum, JPMorgan et al set the low of the day just minutes before noon EDI—and the price didn’t do much after that.  Palladium was closed down 16 dollars on the day.The dollar index closed at 85.99 late on Wednesday afternoon in New York—and then took three steps up to its 86.41 high tick, which came shortly after London opened on their Thursday.  From there it quietly sold back to the 86.00 mark by 12:20 p.m. EDT.  It gained some back by 2 p.m.—and then traded sideways into the close.  The index finished the Thursday session at 86.18—up 19 basis points on the day.Once again the gold shares got crushed, as the HUI closed lower by 7.44%—the biggest one-day decline that I can remember—and I can remember quite a lot.  The HUI is down almost 12 percent in the last two trading days.The silver equities fared better, but that’s only a relative term in this situation, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index got hammered for another 5.65 percent.The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 1 of the November delivery month showed that 2 gold and 44 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday.  In silver, the only short/issuer was Jefferies—and R.J. O’Brien and Canada’s Scotiabank stopped 25 and 18 contracts respectively. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.As I said in yesterday’s missive, barring any surprises, the November delivery month will be a yawner—and it’s certainly lived up to its advanced billing.The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that November open interest declined by 207 contracts and now sits at only 67 contracts left—minus the two in the previous paragraph.  In silver, the November open interest is now down to 164 contracts, minus the 44 posted for delivery tomorrow that were mentioned above.There was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 38,449 troy ounces and, once again, there was no change in SLV.Since there were no withdrawals or additions to SLV during the reporting week, which ended on Wednesday,  there was no report from Joshua Gibbons yesterday.For the second day in a row, there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.I’ll certainly be interested if they update their sales report for today, which is the last business day of the month.  If they don’t, the sales report for Monday should be quite something, as the mint has now gotten into the practice of withholding sales at the end of the month if it pushes silver eagles sales for the current month, too high.There was no gold received at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, but 96,450.000 troy ounces were shipped out—and that amount is precisely 3,000 kilobars, probably heading to China.  The link to that activity is here.It was a very quiet day in silver, as nothing was received—and only 7,060 troy ounces were shipped out.Nick Laird surprised me with the latest withdrawal from the Shanghai Gold Exchange for the week ending October 24.  It was another very chunky amount, as 59.684 tonnes were reported withdrawn—and here’s Nick’s most excellent chart.Once again I don’t have a lot of stories for you today—but there are several in here that fall into the absolute must read category so I hope you can make time for them.Since the commercials are so collusive and in control of the technical funds’ trading activities, they can do with the technical funds as they see fit. I truly believe that the key to understanding the manipulation is to know that the commercials control everything that the technical funds do; just like a puppeteer controls a puppet. If it were otherwise, we wouldn’t see the clear pattern in managed money behavior in silver (and other COMEX/NYMEX metals) of massive technical fund buying as prices rise and selling on declining prices, always ending in extreme positions at reversal points. With this in mind, the only explanation that seems plausible to me as to why the commercials let the technical funds off the hook the last two occasions of extreme managed money shorting is because the commercials were biding their time and waiting for a more opportune time to put it to the technical funds. Let’s face it, the technical funds have been like the goose that laid golden eggs for the commercials. You don’t cook and eat a goose like that without a thought. What I’m saying is that the commercials know that they can maneuver the technical funds into any extreme position at any time they want and that earlier in the year the commercials let the technical funds off the hook because they knew they could do it again whenever the commercials desired. (That’s my explanation, but if anyone has a different take, please drop me a note). – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 29 October 2014Yesterday’s price action in all four precious metals in general, but gold and silver in particular, should have come as no surprise, as JPMorgan et al attempt to drive as many of the Managed Money traders as possible off the long side and onto the short side in gold.I must admit that I was more than taken aback by the hatchet job that they managed to perform on the silver price, because with the Managed Money already holding a record short position, the selling had to come from somewhere other than the Commercial category—and that only leaves the small traders in the Nonreportable category as the long sellers/short buyers.Of course it’s possible that the Managed Money has gone even shorter than they already have, but without a Commitment of Traders Report to look at, it’s impossible to tell—and none of the price action of the last three trading days, including today, will be in the COT Report that comes out later this afternoon.Here are the 6-month charts for both both gold and silver—and as I mentioned at the top of this column, the silver price is now back to where it was in the first quarter of 2010.last_img read more

There is a lot of pornography on the internet The

first_imgThere is a lot of pornography on the internet. There are a lot of teenagers with smartphones. It seems obvious that teens would watch.But maybe it isn’t.In The New York Times magazine, Maggie Jones writes that parents underestimate how much pornography their kids watch on their phones. And many teens who watch porn before taking sex ed or forming sexual relationships end up with skewed ideas about intimacy, consent and pleasure. Combine this with mainstream depictions of sex and relationships, and, as Jones writes:These images confound many teenagers about the kinds of sex they want or think they should have. In part, that’s because they aren’t always sure what is fake and what is real in porn. Though some told me that porn was fantasy or exaggerated, others said that porn wasn’t real only insofar as it wasn’t typically two lovers having sex on film. Some of those same teenagers assumed the portrayal of how sex and pleasure worked was largely accurate. That seems to be in keeping with a 2016 survey of 1,001 11-to-16-year-olds in Britain. Of the roughly half who had seen pornography, 53 percent of boys and 39 percent of girls said it was “realistic.” And in the recent Indiana University national survey, only one in six boys and one in four girls believed that women in online porn were not actually experiencing pleasure: As one suburban high school senior boy told me recently, “I’ve never seen a girl in porn who doesn’t look like she’s having a good time.”Solutions like removing pornography from the internet or smartphones from teenage life are difficult to the point of being technologically or socially impossible. So some educators are trying something new … porn literacy.For this show, we’d like to hear your stories about how pornography has affected you or your children’s ideas about sex. Call us at (855) 236-1212 and share your story. And don’t worry, you won’t have to tell us your name.GUESTSMaggie Jones, Contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine; @maggiepjonesDr. Emily Rothman, Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. Co-author of the course, “The Truth About Pornography: A Pornography-Literacy Curriculum for High School Students Designed to Reduce Sexual and Dating Violence”; @emrothmanAl Vernacchio, Sex educator & speaker. Author of “For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values and Health”; @alvsexedErika Lust, Adult film director and producer; creator of the pornography education website “The Porn Conversation,” designed to be a resource for parents; @erikalustFor more, visit https://the1a.org.© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio. Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.last_img read more

I think Im coming down with somethingUsually tha

first_imgI think I’m coming down with something.Usually that means I prepare a mug of tea, add a spoonful of honey kept solely for such occasions, and add a dash of lemon juice. This elixir, I’ve been told, will soothe my sore throat and coax my raspy voice back to normalcy. But does it actually work?”I have to say, when I have patients that are sick, I often ask them to sip hot tea,” says Dr. Edward Damrose, chief of laryngology at Stanford Health Care. “But I’m not sure that it’s the tea itself that has the beneficial property, or that the warm water cuts through the phlegm and makes patients feel good.”To figure out whether the classic tea drink alleviates a sore throat, it helps to know what causes a sore throat in the first place. As Damrose explains, the throat is divided into two parts: a pharynx and a larynx, and both can be infected at the same time or separately. We use our pharynx when we swallow food or liquid. Bacterial or viral infections can cause the pharynx to swell and lead to a sore throat.When we speak, on the other hand, we use our larynx, the part of the throat that contains our vocal cords. Viral infections make it more difficult for the vocal cords to vibrate, causing us to lose our voices.How exactly this happens is something of a mystery. “We have a lot of ideas but not a definite answer,” says Dr. Jennifer Long, assistant professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. One theory suggests that white blood cells storm the vocal cords, causing them to swell and preventing vibration. Another theory is that viruses injure the surface of the vocal cords, making it difficult to vibrate. “For being a common problem, it’s surprising how little we know,” Long says.On top of this uncertainty, there’s not a lot of good research on whether tea or honey can help a sore throat or lost voice, according to Dr. Maya Sardesai, an associate professor of otolaryngology and surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. High-quality health studies typically use placebos, but that’s difficult in this case, Sardesai explains. Most people can tell whether they’re drinking tea and honey, so creating placebos for study participants is challenging.These difficulties aside, all three doctors are willing to speculate about whether tea, honey and lemon help a sore throat and voice loss.Let’s start with tea. Because liquids and food go down our pharynx, not our larynx, Damrose points out that any beverage is unlikely to have a direct effect on our vocal cords. But tea could still help a sore throat that results from a swelled pharynx. Research has shown green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which could help decrease a sore throat’s swelling. Perhaps more importantly, according to Damrose, when people drink a liquid like tea, the act of sipping and swallowing prevents irritating coughing. Warm liquid can also help remove throat phlegm. Long and Sardesai recommend teas with low caffeine, because caffeine may lead to greater acid production and irritate the throat further.As for honey, “it’s really very speculative” whether honey helps throat pain, according to Long. Honey might be a natural anti-coughing agent, but so far research is inconclusive. On the other hand, none of the doctors suggest that honey might harm the throat.That’s not the case for lemon. “I actually worry about too much lemon because it’s so acidic, and acids can be irritating” to the throat, says Long. Sardesai agrees, though she notes that “lemon does have vitamin C, and vitamin C is thought to be helpful early in some infections.” Damrose notes another plus: Lemon has antibacterial properties, which could fight off bacterial sore throat.The tea-honey-lemon trifecta has a mixed report card. For more tested treatments, the doctors recommend resting, inhaling steam and — in the case of voice loss — speaking as little as possible (yes, that includes cutting back on whispering). Symptoms should subside within two weeks, and if not, a trip to the doctor is warranted.I’ll do my best to follow the doctors’ advice. Just as soon as I finish my cup of tea.Natalie Jacewicz is a science writer based in New York City. You can find more of her work here. Gnawing Questions is a semi-regular column answering the food mysteries puzzling us and our readers. Got a question you want us to explore? Let us know via our contact form. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A huge study on the possible health benefits of dr

first_imgA huge study on the possible health benefits of drinking alcohol will be completely shut down, because its credibility was compromised by frequent and early interactions between alcohol industry executives, scientists and government officials.That was the decision made by Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health. “Is it even possible at this point that the results of such a trial would have sufficient credibility to influence anybody’s decision-making?” asked Collins. “That does, in fact, seem quite doubtful.”George Koob, director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which partly funded the trial, agreed. “I feel that the trial is irrevocably damaged,” said Koob, at a meeting of an advisory committee that gives advice to the NIH director.The Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health Trial was designed to follow over 7,000 people for years, at a cost of around $100 million. Half of the study’s participants would be instructed to abstain from alcohol, while the other half would be told to have a drink every day. The study was being funded in part by major players in the alcohol industry, through a nonprofit foundation linked to the NIH.An investigation by The New York Times revealed that scientists and NIH officials had met with alcohol company executives and appeared to solicit money from them in violation of government policy, prompting the NIH to shut down enrollment in the trial and do its own investigation.A report released Friday on the results of that investigation says that several National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism staffers “hid facts” from other staffers, and that there appeared to be an effort “to intentionally bias the framing of the scientific premise in the direction of demonstrating a beneficial health effect of moderate alcohol consumption.”The report includes emails, with names redacted, including one in which a staffer voices concern about the NIAAA appearing to solicit a gift from industry, “which we absolutely cannot do.” Another email from a staffer at the foundation noted a story the alcohol industry press saying that the foundation was raising money from industry for a large study, but that “no one here” knew what it referred to.”I think a very flashing neon light is staff conducting activities that they are trying to hide from other staff. That tells you that something is being done here that everybody recognizes has crossed a line,” said Collins. “Another very clear line is if that interaction involves a manipulation of what the research plan is going to be to achieve a certain outcome that would be beneficial to the donors. And that was clearly happening in these discussions as well.”Only 105 people had enrolled in the trial before it was suspended, said Collins, who expressed gratitude to the press for initially uncovering the problems with the study.”We do want to use this as a teachable moment,” he said. Collins noted that public-private partnerships have allowed valuable research to move forward for things like Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, Parkinson’s disease and cancer in ways that are “above reproach in terms of the way in which they were put together and the way the science is being conducted.”But this kind of interaction with industry clearly has risks, said Collins, who added that he will work with other officials to more clearly lay out the ethical boundaries that cannot be crossed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A mental health charity has been heavily criticise

first_imgA mental health charity has been heavily criticised for its decision to announce a partnership with a controversial US insurance giant that has made significant financial gains from government incapacity benefit reforms that it influenced through its lobbying.The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) said the new partnership with Unum would see the two organisations work together to tackle the stigma of mental health in the workplace and encourage employers to safeguard the mental health of their employees.But disabled activists who learned of the partnership this week are horrified that a mental health charity would join forces with an organisation that has made money from the controversial programme to reform incapacity benefits and has bragged about steering government policy on those reforms.They point out that many thousands of people with mental distress have either died or had their health further damaged by the reforms.Mo Stewart, the disabled activist who has led efforts in the UK to raise concerns about Unum’s influence, has written to a trustee of the charity to alert him to the company’s background.She told Disability News Service (DNS) she had “spent the past six years researching the links between this American insurance corporate giant with the British government*, their funding of a research centre to produce policy-based research that was used to justify the introduction of the fatally flawed WCA, and the fact that they were identified as the second worst healthcare insurance company in America”.She said: “It remains cause for serious concern that this American corporate giant continues to infiltrate the agencies concerned with the welfare of our most vulnerable people.”Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of the user-led, grassroots network Shaping Our Lives, also raised concerns about the partnership.He said: “Organisations like MHF (and Mind and Rethink etc) hog the resources, the credibility and still largely sign up to a traditional psychiatric/medical model which isn’t really working and isn’t really helpful.“For this sort of thing to be lurking as well means – well – what friends and allies have we really got, if such liaisons are underpinning organisations claiming to speak for us?”Unum was once described by a senior US law official as an “outlaw company” and it has been repeatedly exposed in the US courts for its refusal to pay out on large numbers of genuine insurance claims by disabled people.In 2011, Unum launched a major marketing campaign to promote the need for its income protection insurance (IPI) policies, just as the coalition began its three-year programme to reassess about 1.5 million existing claimants of old-style incapacity benefit through the work capability assessment (WCA).Disabled activists insist that the hated WCA is simply a public sector version of the tests used by companies like Unum to justify turning down valid IPI claims, and that by making the process of applying for the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA) harsh and stressful, it has made IPI look more attractive.Three years ago, DNS revealed the existence of a Unum document from 2005 which bragged that government policy on disability assessment and management was “moving in the same direction” as Unum’s own views, and was “to a large extent being driven by our thinking and that of our close associates”.In 2002 – six years before the Labour government launched the WCA and the new ESA – Unum submitted a detailed memo to the Commons work and pensions committee.In the memo, Unum called for fundamental reform of the welfare system, and said the government “must ensure both that work always pays more than benefits, and more importantly that it is clearly seen to do so”, while laying out proposals with a strong resemblance to the ESA/WCA reforms that would be introduced several years later.The Unum memo suggested retaining a form of IB for those “genuinely incapable of undertaking any work whatsoever”, as Labour did with the ESA support group.It stressed in the memo that the company – then known as UnumProvident – was “confident that its policies and approach to [IPI] claim management and rehabilitation can be replicated more widely for those on IB” and that it would “particularly welcome the opportunity to put them into practice”.Despite this memo, and other evidence, John Letizia, head of public affairs for Unum UK, said in a statement: “Unum does not and never has lobbied on the topic of welfare reform or related matters.”He said: “As with many other businesses, Unum partners with various organisations on issues of mutual interest.“Our research in this case aims to tackle the stigma of mental health in the workplace in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, a fantastic charity with who we wish to help reach and educate businesses on this important issue.”The Mental Health Foundation refused to respond to the particular criticisms of Unum, but a spokesman said: “As a UK mental health charity that seeks to reach the broadest possible audience, we are always looking for ways to amplify our message and to develop new evidence to ensure everyone is able to enjoy good mental health.“That includes entering into partnerships with companies to help increase our reach and our capacity to undertake new research.“These are sometimes difficult judgements to make and we are guided by an assessment of whether the output of a partnership will break new ground and positively benefit people’s lives.“To that end, we took a decision, which we stand by, to work with Unum on an important project which we are confident will uncover fresh insights on how employers can build a more supportive environment for people experiencing mental distress into their everyday business activity.”He added: “On the issue of welfare reform, like many charities we have raised concerns about the disproportionate effect on mental health that some welfare reform measures have had.“We remain concerned, and as an organisation that speaks truth to power, we continue to raise questions and promote debate through our policy, research and campaigning activities.“We will not hesitate to raise any concerns directly with Unum, if needed, and have found them open to constructive dialogue.”*Her book, Cash Not Care – The Planned Demolition Of The UK Welfare State, will be published later this year by New Generation Publishinglast_img read more

The number of staff working in the governments Of

first_imgThe number of staff working in the government’s Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has plummeted by more than two-thirds under the coalition and Conservative governments, new figures released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed.In March 2010, just before the Tory-led coalition came to power, there were the equivalent of 48 full-time staff working in ODI.By March 2012 that had fallen to 29 full-time equivalent staff.Although there are no figures for 2013, 2014 and 2015, by 1 January 2016 there were just 20 full-time equivalent staff working at ODI.DWP insists that part of the reason for the fall is that “elements of the work that was carried out by ODI is now being taken forward by specialist units across government”, such as the Work and Health Unit (WHU), jointly set up with the Department of Health in 2015.But following the launch of WHU, the numbers continued to fall, to 13.65 in January 2017 and just 11.5 in January this year, although they rose again slightly to 15.45 by May this year.The numbers were released to Disability News Service by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in response to a freedom of information request.Meanwhile, the ODI website has not been updated in more than six months.In all of 2017, the website was updated just three times, compared with five updates in 2016, and 17 in 2015.Only last month, DWP admitted that none of the bodies it set up to engage with disabled people and their organisations as part of its disability strategy had met in nearly a year.And earlier this month, DWP refused to say whether it still followed the Fulfilling Potential strategy, which was supposed to describe the government’s commitment to “a society where disabled people can realise their aspirations and fulfil their potential”.A DWP spokeswoman said: “ODI remains the focal point for cross-government disability issues, working on a range of issues to empower disabled people and enable them to participate fully in society, but their team is [by] no means the only people working on disability issues.“ODI has an oversight role to provide advice and facilitate engagement, as departments focus upon disability as part of their policy.”She also pointed to this week’s announcement by Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, of a new “interdepartmental ministerial group on disability and society”, which “will include ministers from a wide range of departments to oversee and drive forward the work of government in tackling the barriers faced by disabled people and to ensure their voice is heard in policy development and legislation”.No further details of how the group will operate and who will be involved have yet been released.But there was confusion following the announcement because the coalition had previously announced it was setting up an “inter-departmental ministerial group on disability” in February 2014.Successive governments have failed to explain what happened to that group, and why it appears to have been scrapped at some point in the last four years.But the DWP spokeswoman said: “The IMG in 2014 was set up and run under a previous parliament.“It is normal practice for different governments to set up new structures and protocols.”She had not confirmed by 9am today (Thursday) when the previous IMG was scrapped.The DWP spokeswoman added: “This government is determined to build an inclusive society that enables everyone to realise their full potential and as such remains committed to ODI facilitating the work across government for disability issues.”DWP’s admission of the cuts to ODI staff since 2010 will cast further doubt on the government’s commitment to disability rights and equality, and its pledge in 2013 to make the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) “a living reality for disabled people in Britain”.Last August, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities told a UK government delegation – led by ODI – that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe”, which was “totally neglecting the vulnerable situation people with disabilities find themselves in”.The committee later told the UK government to make more than 80 improvements to the ways its laws and policies affect disabled people’s human rights.In its “concluding observations” on the progress the UK has made in implementing UNCRPD, the committee raised concerns and made recommendations on all but three of the 33 treaty articles it could have breached.It was, said the committee, the highest number of recommendations it had ever produced for a country undergoing the review process.last_img read more